Trey teased Entrance of the Gladiators at the end of Punch You in the Eye. Page performed Over the Rainbow solo on the theremin. Waste through Strange Design were performed on the acoustic mini-stage. Trey played the composed section to Divided Sky over the soundcheck jam. This show was officially released as Live Phish 12.
Entrance of the Gladiators tease in Punch You in the Eye
Debut Years (Average: 1990)

This show was part of the "1996 Summer U.S. Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by johnthrush

johnthrush This was my first Phish show. The year before this show i was following the Grateful Dead around every summer and when Jerry died i reluctently agreed to get in a van with 8 other people and go see what Phish was all about. Nobody in our group had any tickets, and on the first night nobody got in. We all got to the lot about 4pm on the second night and scattered in all directions looking for tickets. My cousin and i scored 2 tickets about 20 minutes before the show with about 20 minutes to spare. I remember feeling sad when the show started because i wasn't exited to see this band and knew that if Jerry was still around i could be standing there hoping to see Scarlet/Fire. I knew something was up with this and when i saw smoke coming off the stage and envelopingthe band as the high-hat and the bass started with a spine tingeling intro to Maze. Trey ripped the hell out of this song and my ears started to perk up. I started thinking maybe this band was going to be ok after all but wasn't completely sold. When the second set started four out of our original group of 8 were standing together getting ready for what was to come. This is still one of my favorite versions of AC/DC. I don't remember much about Lizards but listening back to the tapes it sounds pretty good. Anyway they started playing Mikes, the song went into the jam and they did the first mind blowing musical highlight, a huge tension release explosion. That was it for me. I was completely blown away for the next 20 minutes as they blew my mind over and over again. I never knew music coul'd be like this. At one point i remember standing there having my mind blown as i felt a rush of tingeling shoot from my feet and up through my spine. As the Jam continued, somewhere along during Mikes i realized this was the best music i have ever heard. I looked at my friends and just shook my head, speechless. I tried to explain to them after this Jam that this was the best music that has ever been played but they just agreed with me and didnt seem to understand how serious i was about this music. After the Mikes jam, i just stood there and felt like i was waiting for this band to blow my mind again. I thought "these guys are capable of blowing our minds so please hurry up and do it again", i felt like the whole crowd was waiting for it too. They band took it down a notch and then the high hat cymbal started the intro to Bowie and i heard some guy behind me say "here we go". I knew we were in for another mind blower and it truly was. After the show i walk out in a quiet daze thinking there was no way a band could ever come close to what these guys were doing. My mind was blown from that point until forever. I still listen to this show and even got my little girl into the Mikes explaining to her that this is what music should be, explosive! The next day we all got into the van and headed back to michigan. Well on the way home just outside of Ft Wayne the guy driving the van fell asleep at the wheel. We went off the rode and the driver woke up, over corrected with his steering and pulled too hard to the right. The van was doing 360's down the highway until it literally started flipping and roling. We ended up upside down on the side of the highway and all of us went to the E.R. some were hurt pretty bad and were actually in the hospital for weeks. They told me i just had some torn muscles and went home that night. I was injured and it hurt to walk but the next morning i got up and went over to my cousins house to get my hands on his Phish tapes. He wasn't there so i told his roommate i "needed" his phish tapes and took like half of them. He was actually at his parents house recovering and he was ok with it but i could not get that music out of my mind. Since then i have been hooked on the hose and will never forget my first experience with phish.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

In the twenty-odd Phish shows I’ve attended in the past eight years, none stand out in the way this particular concert does. In fact, it was from the release of this show in the LivePhish series in 2002 that my interest in Phish re-emerged. Not only was this performance’s setlist in top form, displaying a slew of old favorites, rare tunes, and new songs, its quality of performance is almost unparalleled. Indeed, diehards need only look at this show on paper to get excited about what Phish once was, what the band is now, and what it could possibly be in the future.
The band, playing its seventh in the string of a ten show tour in the low-volume summer of 1996, had played some good, but some almost forgettable shows up to this point in the tour. Wolf Mountain, Red Rocks, and Alpine Valley had turned out some good moments, but none, on tape at least, match up to the quality and intensity of this particular night amid the vast cornfields of rural Central Indiana. It was the band’s third performance at a now-favorite venue, Deer Creek. To preface, I saw not only the first three shows there, but every subsequent Phish and Phish-oriented Deer Creek performance there (minus the Trey Anastasio Band’s appearance in 2002). After fifteen shows in the same spot up to the winter of 2003, none compare to this hot August night.
A positive buzz was in the air as fans and local adventure-seekers alike were herded into the venue grounds. Pre-show shouts for “Tela!” still resonate in my head when thinking about this Phish show, my personal favorite. After a solid first night in a two night stand which included rarities such as “Esther,” the first "Weigh" in a while, and “McGrupp,” both the band and fans alike knew they were in for a special treat.
As the skies opened after a cloudy Indiana summer afternoon, the band opened the lengthy first set with “Divided Sky,” which was its typical beautiful, moving self. My group and I had been listening to “Tube” earlier in the day and we were all excited to hear Trey’s muted strumming of the introduction to this song as the second in the set. “Tube” rocked hard and led up to the parking lot requested “Tela.” Subtle, delicate and vastly welcomed, “Tela” led us to another four-letter titled tune, “Maze,” which picked up where “Tube” left off. At this point, with three four-letter songs in a row, perhaps “Reba” was in store next?
Alas, it was played at Alpine Valley two shows previous, and the band chose to perform a delicately played “Fast Enough For You.” “Punch You In the Eye” and “Llama” got things back to a rocking pace, while the rare “Glide” was both unexpected and delightful. A climatic “Slave to the Traffic Light” sent the capacity crowd into the aisles for set break. So far,
we were experiencing a well-played, long-lasting and incredibly enjoyable Phish concert. Never have I witnessed such a well thought-out first set, played with such precision.
Setbreak was its usual lengthy self, but the band certainly made up for whatever yearnings the audience may have had in the second set. A long, tweaked, spacey instrumental groove left myself and most others scratching our heads, as it preceded a focused, hard-rocking “AC/DC Bag” to open the second set. The crowd-pleasing “Lizards” was next and got the crowd up and moving if it wasn’t all ready. So far, the variety of novelty, vintage Phish was astounding. The omnipresent, but always anticipated “Mike’s Groove” followed. In it, “Lifeboy” was sandwiched, and provided an excellent rest between a characteristically smoking “Mike’s Song” and a long, incendiary “Weekapaug Groove.”
Page then entertained the crowd with a frightful “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the theremin on which he had been experimenting that summer. While it was nothing about which to write home, during this time the band rolled out on its mini-stage where it played acoustically for
the next four songs. This was the band’s second of three mini-stage performances, and it was a true delight in the way it gave fans a look into the forthcoming Billy Breathes record that was due out in the fall of 1996. Most thought “Sweet Adeline” would close the set, but the familiar high hat cymbal introduction to “David Bowie” by our favorite frock-clad drummer caught the audience by surprise. Indeed, it was “David Bowie,” albeit in short form. While this was the antithesis to some of the spacey, explorative “Bowies” from 1994 and 1995, this one was focused and driven, capping off a superlative second set.
After the encore that followed, a usually uneventful pairing of “Sleeping Monkey” and “Rocky Top,” I heard one individual proclaim that the show was so good that even the "Rocky Top" was almost worthy of "best ever" status. Best ever or not, it sent droves of satisfied fans into the typically crazy Deer Creek parking lots.
Never have I been to a Phish show, other than my first, of course, that was so entertaining from top to bottom that sheer recollection alone enabled me to write a full-length review, such as this, from memory. This has been perhaps the most diverse and compelling Deer Creek show the band has played to date. And that, not coincidentally, says a great deal.
Furthermore, the release of this show on Live Phish was certainly a wise decision by those involved in the production and distribution of that engaging series. Hearing this again, in all its digital glory, led to my inclination in catching four more shows in the band's post-hiatus spring and summer tours of 2003. And I thought I was done with Phish, at least in the live setting. Needless to say, now that these discs are in wide distribution in both the trading and commercial realms, there’s no reason not to hear for yourself the magnificent music the band emitted this night in Noblesville.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez well, this one is a doozy. after 60+ shows, this one, from top to bottom, is still my favorite. coming off a very good first night, as phish seems to do, they found a way to top that. the first set is loaded with nice rare treats and excellent playing, and well, the second set, it's just a monster.

the divided sky: this was a very cool opener. the band came out in sync and flying high right off the bat. one of the better versions of this song that i have seen.

tube: bam! the first of many treats in the set. sure, these 96 versions arent quite as good as what would come in the next couple of years, but back then, this was damn good fun!

tela: ah, us indiana folk getting dropped tela 2yrs running. another fine version, and this one led into....

maze: here we go... back in serious rocking mode! page and trey kill this maze. there are some very hot licks on this one.

fefy: not my favorite song, but it was a decent mid set slow down tune. it seemed to work well in this slot.

old home place: some nice snappy bluegrass to get everyone going again. nice to get gordo back in the game too.

pyite: like tube, i prefer the versions that would come in the next couple years, but there is a fun simplicity to these shorter versions. not to mention, they always nailed the "landlady" portion of the song, which i have seen them flub pretty badly the last 2 times i've seen them play it in 09. anyway, this was a nice sharp 96 punch. good solid key work by page.

llama: as always, this one was hot from start to finish. once again, page was strong on the keys.

glide: another nice rare treat. this fit in this slot really well coming up right before...

slave!: very good slave. maybe the best i've seen. i've heard many say that this one has dark star teases all over it, but personally, i don't hear it. there are a few very brief passage where i could say maybe, but all in all, i just don't hear it. i do hear a damn fine slave.

set 2
ac/dc bag: a nice rowdy version of bag got the crowd moving in the second set. like pyite and tube, this one was not quite a monster jammer yet, but the boys sounded nice and tight on this one before it gave way to a snappy version of...

lizards: this one fit well out of bag, and was, like everything else this night, played very sharp. it was a last bit of breathing room before they drop a monster on us...

mike's song: this is my all time favorite straight up mike's songs. you get those with all the teases and dipping in out of mike's, but for a straight up jammer, this one takes the cake. after they weaved through a few different "mike's song" style climaxes, gordon and fishman led them into a very dark and exploratory groove. trey and page found there were through this groove and both had some really hot licks before trey moved to the wood blocks. this is also one of my favorite "trey on percussion jams." page had some hot and heavy licks while trey/fish/gordo layed it down. after a good 20+ minutes of jamming they eerily gave way to...

life boy: this one seemed a little darker than normal....

weekapaugh's groove: gordon came out of this one humming and the rest of the band caught on quickly. very good versiion, one of my favorites of the year behind msg in the fall....

sotr: here came the deer creek audience's first taste of the theremin... it would be back next year in a big way..

(acoustic mini set): this is one of 3 outings, along with red rocks and the clifford ball, for the acoustic mini stage. it was a good way to introduce some of the newer billy breathes material. strange design was familiar, but waste and train were hot off the presses. out of the 3, i found train song to be the most interesting.

adeline: a quick accapella number before we do one more quick tune and hit the road right....

david bowie: woah nelly... we already had gotten our money's worth out of this show, but phish threw on a monster bowie closer. they took this one to some deep spacey realm before driving back to the triumphant bowie outro. great set.


sleeping monkey: quick and easy
rocky top: ditto


must hear. great show from start to finish

set 1: the divided sky, tube, tela>maze, llama, glide>slave (yeah pretty much the whole thing)
set 2: mike's>life>paugh (probably a top 5 mike's groove), david bowie
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks 1996 is a bit of a forgotten year in Phish history, suspended uneasily between the rousing peaks of 1995 and the cow-funk of 1997; on everyone was talking about 'permagroove,' which translated to 'pleasant aimlessness' if you ask me. Still, you could spend a blissful week surveying the top 10 shows. Here's a classic Deer Creek outing centered on one of the great Mike's Grooves. If you like this one, seek out the 8/5 show as well.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by Hose_jam

Hose_jam Great Jam. 3 Major segments in my opinion.

Per livephish recording...
6:55 Mike and Trey play off each other and Page jumps in on the organ. Things get weird quickly. Amazing interplay by the entire band in this segment. Very '94 esque jamming segment here...
8:13 They come back together all at once and rip back into the Mike's song dark nasty groove.

9:30 Trey signals the end of the Mike's jam with the walk up and sustained notes.
9:50 Beginning of the "second" jam of Mike's song. Page goes to grand piano, Fishman settles on a nice tom groove, Trey plays some great trill licks over it. Love the bassline Mike has going.
11:10 Fishman plays a lot of ride/splash cymbals and Trey responds by increasing the tension and frequency of his screaming guitar.
11:55 GOLD. Trey is playing a wall of distortion, locked in with Fishman's cymbal crashes while Mike hammers away a funky bassline and Page rocks the grand piano. This is the type of 'sound' trey often goes for in 2.0 but much more focused and concise.
13:30 Fishman has a nice beat, hitting the splash cymbal on beat. Trey reels it in a bit and goes off with some absolute shredding. Machine gun Trey has been spotted.
15:00 Jam shows signs of slowing down, Mike plays some nice dissonant notes, Trey follows.

15:40 Mike drops a baseline and leads the jam. Page plays some dissonant stuff on the piano, Trey vamps on a riff similar to Mike's bassline. Page seems to be hinting to modulate the jam to major.
17:15 Awesome keyboard work by Page as the jam fizzles a bit though Fishman keeps it driving, eventually switching to a rim and tom driven beat. Mike also helps keep it alive and driving. Trey eventually switches to percussion kit?
20:00 Page drops back to the Grand Piano. 20:40 Page just goes off and Mike lays off his dissonant bass groove. Nice interplay between Page, Gordo and Fish here.
21:30 Trey comes back in with some scratches and feedback distortion and delays. Very cool and patient reentry by Trey. Jam seems like it may take off again when Trey enters with a high sustained note but the jam slowly fizzles into Lifeboy...
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by TheWiggler

TheWiggler This was my introduction to Live Phish; I had Story of the Ghost along with Lawnboy already, but I burrowed (and kept) this LivePhish Recording from my now brother-in-law. The result is that I pretty much judge every song from this show against these versions. Maybe thats unfair these days, but it served as the perfect primer to my listening. This Divided Sky is so emotive to my ear, as is the Slave. The Mike's is a peak of Summer 96, and very unique still. Plus a theremin Over the Rainbow! This show has everything.

My brother-in-law is a real sport- he and his wife played Waste at my wedding (on beautiful Lake Michigan) on ukulele and acoustic guitar respectively. I'm lucky as far as brothers go; the guy just keeps on giving!
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by CreatureoftheNight

CreatureoftheNight The Mike's Song was the first time I had witnessed open jamming in person. I was blown away and vowed the next year to venture farther from home and see more than a couple shows.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by ND61400

ND61400 For some reason, I was late to the party in giving this show a deep listen. I think it was the Weekapaug -> Rainbow that really threw me off, and it's still not my favorite piece of Phish music. (Really I'm talking about the Rainbow, as Weekapaug is a lot like Antelope for me in that I tend to like most every version.) What's more, Waste and Train Song have never really done it for me, and they're just sitting there in the middle of Set 2.

In spite of all that, my opinion of this show has only grown with each listen. That's mostly the result of an outrageously good Mike's Groove. As someone who typically falls on the Groove side of the Mike's Groove spectrum, I find this Mike's Song to be one of my absolute favorites, and I think Lifeboy really works well as the filler. Set 1 has a super sharp Divided Sky opener and a perfectly lovely Slave closer, but I keep coming back to that Tube. It's *only* 4 minutes long, but the (too short, obviously) jammed out portion absolutely kills. I shudder to think what would've happened had they played this on, say, 8/13/97 instead of 8/13/96.

At the end of the day, I'm glad I've continued to come back to this show despite some initial reluctance.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm not a 1996 scholar, but this show is a worthy prelude to the Clifford Ball. I think maybe more interesting things happened during Fall Tour that year as far as Type-II jams, but this Mike's Groove is better than a whack on the back of the neck with a big fucking stick, I'm sure. I love the acoustic mini-stage setup they used in '96. I'm talking myself into, just writing this review, making a more concerted effort to investigate '96, which is often lauded as one of the most underrated years of Phishtory in the Forum. BRB!
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by Slewfoot

Slewfoot Out of all the Phish shows I've seen live, this one has a special place in my heart. I saw it while visiting colleges in high school and staying with an old friend. We drove out from Dayton with no tickets in hand and found a pair from some guys at a gas station close by the venue. Things were already looking up.

I saw most of my shows between 1994 - 2000 and some are very memorable and others not so much. This one is in the former camp. I remember much of the music, but also distinct images: the sea of moving bodies as we walked in during Divided Sky, the guy jumping up and down when they started Tube, the way the music in Lifeboy made it seem like chandeliers were swaying all above our heads, Page dangling the theremin, the band sitting down for the acoustic set and many others.

Everything about this show felt special that night and it has only gotten better over time. Kevin knew what he was doing releasing this show many years ago. It would nearly be impossible to ask for a better setlist and the band had that perfect balance of playing with severe intensity and flawless balance. Too many highlights to mention them all, but the Mike'a really is one of the best versions they've done. I can't recall them playing with such balls to the wall rock while being so cosmic. Really great.

Please do hear this show if you haven't already. It gets my vote as the most underrated show the boys have played.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by docj7

docj7 This was by far one of my favorite Phish shows. It was my third show and I was so stoked about Phish and this show pretty much sent me off to being a phish junky. I thought after Jerry died the musical trip that I was on was over, until I experienced Phish. I started out very young seeing shows. My first was the Grateful Dead when I was thirteen, my first concert ever. I saw 13 Dead shows before Jerry past away. I graduated high school in '94 so I saw some really good shows. I wish I was a little bit older to maybe appreciate what I saw and kind of understand a little better. So it took my friend a little while to get me to listen to Phish,there was always something weird about dead fans listening or being fans of Phish. Like if you liked the dead you couldn't or it felt like shouldn't like phish. Which I still find in some people. To this day a guy I know calls phish a grateful dead cover band. I don't understand. I could ramble about that issue for a while. This is the show that solidified phish to me as a great band. To this day Phish is still a part of my life. When I said it took me a while to listen to Phish I worked on a great friend of mine who was reluctant because of the whole "if you're a true deadhead you can't listen to phish. He to became a huge phan and just visited from Hawaii and we saw phish together for the fist time in years. I think this was the show that put a great band and a lot of great friends and good times in my life.
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by DaReba

DaReba this first set is ridiculous..... Splendid Divided Sky . The song choice alone is a harbinger of things to come.
The Tela is pretty and perfect after a short Tube. Maze is just one of those songs. The theme of the song has lent itself to be a solid crowd pleaser for literally decades. its a sick song . this is a great version.
I heard a FEFY my first show 6/28/95 at Jones Beach. I love the song. that said this is one of my fav versions. They really were laying into this song for about 2 years
the llama is awesome. The boys are felling themselves right now. And as a reviewer mentioned up top, this is a very interesting transition year for the boys.
SLaVE set I s=ender is another harbinger. Trey gets a nice country rock riff that lifts this slave to enjoyable heights. this is Fish's year though. listen.......

Did I mention harbingers??? we got a nice little jam before the AC/DC second set opener. Let's get this show on the road!!! Trey laughs after this line. the boys are enjoying themselves. it gets real at 6:50. Fish is a mad man.
u gotta expect a Lizards after a Divided opener. Solid.
This is a quintessential Mike's Song... the first 6 min. are straight ahead rock then they get into hey hole type II territory then bring it back to Mike's with Trey shredding it just for fun and Mission Impossible themeing to boot in a weird way...sick drone vamp jam after the first break. Its really a spaced Simple jam. awesome is really what it is. LISTEN!!!! CHyyUUUUURCH!!!! not to mention a sick keys/drums jam ... listen....
Lifeboy in a show like this serves its purpose. I like the song on its on though;-) one of the great Phish refrains,,, "God Never Listens ....To What I Say.."

CLLLLLAAAAAASSSSSIIIICCCCC Weeekapaugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol
for reals. from start to finish. sometimes they don't just lock in . this time they do . AWESOME
, attached to 1996-08-13

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Divided Sky – You can hear Trey say “I said it once and I’ll say it again” Not sure what this is in reference to but in my mind I imagine the guys walking out to the stage and discussing how lucky they are to have this scene envelop them etc etc and then right as Trey walks up to the mic he glances at Page and utters those words. Would love to know if there is any truth to this or if am off base. Anyway, this Divided Sky is about as good as it gets. Scintillating version and to open the show? Intent is clear. The band is looking to put on the best show they can on this particular night. And they DID.

Tube: Nice! You have to remember, back in 96, this was tough to come by. Give the people what they want and then deliver it to the masses!

Tela: Wow, another major kickdown. Folks were always asking for this tune and here it is early in set one. Love it! >

Maze: Pretty strong version. Trey’s ending is very sloppy.

Fast Enough for You: Beautiful. >

The Old Home Place: Two of my buddies that were at this show with me hate this tune. Thought it was fine then and fine now.

Punch You in the Eye: Standard.

Llama: Trey is on fire here. Impressive! Sounds like an airplane taking off starting in the mid 3’s and then he hits that delay. Dude! Highly recommended!

Glide: Nice, solid vocals.

Slave to the Traffic Light: Yesssss! Was really hoping for this one! Mike very active and up front in the early part of this jam, he is LOUD! This one is almost like a 3.0 simply in the fact that there is no patience with this one – straight to the heat. Trey is aggressive and it peaks fairly well. This is a good Slave, but certainly not a great Slave.

SET 2: AC/DC Bag: Straight ahead face melter with some length for the era, very nice! >

The Lizards: Perfection!

Mike's Song: Here we go! First jam is very good. Second jam around 9 and half. This gets very intense, very fast. It was extreme for us way back on the lawn, must have been nutso up close. Back at the campground that night we all talked about when this jam went Atari mode – 17 minutes or so – sounded to us at the time and me sitting here now – like an old school video game, lol. Good stuff. After this Fishman goes on to destroy the place for a minutes on end, absolutely leading this jam. This eventually leads to Page killing the baby grand along with vey psychedelic effects from Trey. Way, way down the rabbit hole. INCREDIBLE!!! >

Lifeboy: Wow. Just, WOW. Blown away then, and blown away now, 27 years later. What a band. >

Weekapaug Groove -> Over the Rainbow: Pretty standard’ish version but the way it slides into Over the Rainbow is very cool!

Waste: Standard.

Train Song: Standard.

Strange Design: Standard.

Sweet Adeline: Standard.

David Bowie: Who is that teasing Frankenstein in the intro? Ripping Bowie to round a fantastic second set.

ENCORE: Sleeping Monkey – Standard >

Rocky Top: Standard

Summary - 4.548/5 (314 ratings)

Replay Value: Divided Sky, Llama, Slave to the Traffic Light, AC/DC Bag, Mike's Song, Weekapaug Groove
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