, attached to 1996-11-19

Review by Captain_Fantasy

Captain_Fantasy Set I
Ya Mar – This one has about 3 different small jam segments in which Trey and Page play off each other quite well. Not monumental at all, but don’t skip it. It’s playful and melodic. Clocking in at about 10 minutes, this one serves perfectly as an effective opener.

Bag – The star of this version is, as usual, Fish. His drum fills guide this smoothly built outro jam tempo. This gives a glimpse into just how well Fish can glue the band’s pacing together with his skillful drumming. Not an amazing Bag, but definitely a good one. Obviously Trey gets nasty later on through the song. Great second slot song for this show.
Foam – Ahhh one of the most underrated, unspoken about tunes in the Phish repertoire. Page is on fire in this rendition.

Theme – Clocking in at about 10 minutes, this is a standard Theme. It’s one of those songs that seems like chaotic noise for a while, but ends up slowly sorting itself out for a blissful ending. Don’t expect to be blown away, but nevertheless it is well worth listening to.

Mound – There’s never anything wrong with a Mound in the setlist.

Stash – In my opinion this is a mediocre jam for the first 5 minutes, but it gets intriguing the last few minutes.

Fee – Fee was the song that got me hooked to Phish in the first place. Nothing wrong with the placement here.

Taste – Standard taste.

Loving Cup – While I detest the abundant listening of Loving Cup as of recent tours, this one belongs to an exclusive group of Loving Cups which I can still enjoy. Trey doesn’t force anything, but he also knows he has to keep up the energy, so this version turns out well.

Set 2
David Bowie – Caution! This Bowie is not for relaxing. It will melt your mind if you are not ready for the fast-paced psychedelic notes Trey fires at you. Ha ha ha, but seriously, it is intense.

ADITL – Always fun to hear this. Very cool dissonance-to-resolution Phish can pull off.

Gin – This one is not top 5, but is great in its own right. The tempo switches from slow to fast every couple minutes or so and allows for a smooth transition into the Vibration of Life. Can’t explain it too well, but definitely a highlight.

Vibration of Life – Room for meditation before this nasty YEM.

YEM – Tight playing of the composed sections. Then the jam happens. This jam features many complete halts, making the crowd feel like the song is over. But then Phish puts it into overdrive and funks it out each time the music is stopped. This is what I like to call a hyper-funk jam because it features the speed and energy of ’94, but also the smokin’ funk of late ’96-’97. Mike is the accelerator here with Fish, Trey, and Page keeping pace and creating a hip-moving wall of sound. This also contains a quirky Groove is in the Heart segment and a keeper of a vocal jam.

Star-Spangled Banner – A Cappella is nice.

Fire – Standard, but this set closer doesn’t often disappoint.

Encore: Squirming Coil – I never have too much to say about this. It’s just always refreshing to hear Page alone.

Set 1-Ya Mar, Bag, Stash
Set 2 – Gin>Vibration of Life>YEM, Bowie
Overall: Very good show, but not mind-blowing. Undeniably well-worth at least one listen, but it doesn’t quite achieve a 5-star reputation because its first set is merely solid. The second set is great, but doesn’t contain anything too ground-breaking. The YEM is the real gem here. Maybe it’s not ground-breaking, but it is absolutely filthy and is sheer bliss to listen to. There are jams in the Phish repertoire where I find myself grinning like a jackass, and this is definitely one of them. Check this show out. Rating – 4/5 stars (if I could make it a 4.4 I would).


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