, attached to 1996-11-02

Review by Campster

Campster DVD review time.

Coral Sky was a cool release, particularly because '96 isn't exactly held up in the highest esteem (although really it's more a victim of being sandwiched between 95 & 97).

They open with Ya Mar. This version is awesome and breezy and Karl Perazzo adds a nice rhythmic dimension. He was a great compliment to this show in general. Trey had an issue with his rig (as evidenced by a bit of frustration on the DVD), but they manage to play a very compelling version here. This is a strong version and definitely noteworthy.

Julius is jazzy in the two hole. I felt all of set one was chosen with Perazzo in mind, good tunes for him to add to. This was a tight fiery version.

Fee was similarly awesome with the additional drummer. Really pretty harmonics outro jam as well ->Taste.

Taste contains some strong playing, but isn't exceptional.

Cavern is a rock out. Great choice.

Stash is also aided by the additional drummer. This is a good tight version. It's not overly exploratory, but it certainly showcases the tightness with which the band was executing at the time. As a side-note, this really does show how a straight ahead type I version of a song like Stash compares so favorably to the modern versions that sometimes just don't have that edge or tightness. (not a gripe, more a compliment to the speed/tightness factor of 96).

The Lizards is always a treat and this a strong version. Love it.

Free is actually quite good. It features Trey on the kit for a time in the jam, while he makes use of some toys to loop some droning sounds up and down in pitch. It's awesome and definitely worth a listen. It's pretty cool to watch.

Johnny B. Goode was a cool choice to close and boy does that tightness rear it's head. This baby steamrolls.

Overall - a great set. Lots of fun, good choices, and the extra percussion factor really worked with a lot of the song choices. Don't sleep on the Ya Mar, the Free, or the Stash.

Set II kicks in with C & P fresh off of Halloween. Well everyone rightly goes nuts for this. This jam is not for everyone, nor for the faint of heart as it's crazy! It's perfection to my ears though as they traverse all sorts of zany spaces with an amazing rhythmic section. It's full of energy and purpose. I'll never forget when I first threw the DVD on and saw Perazzo during this jam (and the subsequent Antelope) with the demonic red lights and his devilish mustache standing in ironic contrast to his sleeveless tweety bird tee. It's a fine moment.

Trey makes use of the kit as well, so three percussion (I use that term loosely for some of Trey's contributions) players going, giving Mike and Page good chances to shine. They end with a melancholy reprise of the still waiting lyrics and they ultimately signal a -> Antelope.


Antelope is a perfect version. This is one of the most furious I have heard. Like the Stash it's linear, but boy is it tight and the peaks are incredible. You will need to sit down and drink a glass of water after that opening combo.

Well Waste gives us that chance. It's a nice call and well played.

Harry Hood gives us one more excellent jam for the night. This version is similarly aided by Perazzo, but also some incredibly tasteful playing from Trey, who finds some incredible shapes to play on the next of the guitar in a beautiful descending pattern. The peak is very satisfying as well. Beautiful stuff.

ADITL is a good send-off and Sweet Adeline is a nice choice as well.

Encore with Butch Trucks banging away on Funky Bitch.

Overall: I'd put this show as a 4.5/5 as it's definitely incredible, but not a true 5. Generally though it remains a great piece of Phish history, and it is certainly worthy of the fantastic DVD release. Great sit in with Perazzo as well.


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