Antelope contained Simple Gifts teases from Trey. Rift was aborted by Trey after he accused Fish of error. Free included No Quarter teases and a Bouncing tease. Poor Heart was performed in the slow, shuffle style.
Only been to Landover twice. First time was to see Jerry on 3/17/93. He floored my current GF and myself with a blistering Shakedown, Dark Star, and Lucy in the Sky etc. I knew we were stepping into hallowed ground seeing Phish there for the first and only (?) time. Things got heated first set with a smoking Antelope third song. And they did Fluff next. With a nice arrival at the end. As a whole first set was good but standard for 95.
The second set began with Rift which basically sucks. We caught on to Fishman stopping the beat right away. At the time we felt that he didn’t like Rift either but who knows? They began to play Free. The first 12 to 15 minutes is great, shreddy, type 1 Free jam. Then the walls came down from the song structure and we were left with a crazy jam. From 15 to 20 min, it’s Trey and Fish pounding on the drums and page taking the lead. High energy and sick. At 20m, it becomes this dark ambient jam with Trey playing beautiful leads on his axe. From pretty, dark and slow it culminates to a rocking, hard driving jam. All the way to Trey ripping a few high notes. Then back into a drum jam then gently landing into Llama without the traditional drumbeat intro. Sunrise over turquoise mountains. Trey does the full pressure release during Llama, which felt so good. Then they play YEM. With a white hot guitar solo. Trey and Fish fully locked in. Trey hits a few monster high notes with Fish dropping bombs around it. Shapiro needs to release Free-)Llama and Yem b/c there isn’t any great sounding copies of this around. I laugh at the fact no one reviews a show like this and it has 3.5 stars when a weak 12/31/12 has countless reviews and almost 5 stars. This is why Phish is about the music and certainly not about the Fans. I will begin reviewing shows. Only the ones I went to since if you weren’t there you shouldn’t review it. And my reviews will be quick to read.
Free--) Llama is an all-time jam. For this alone it’s a 5 star show. But to be honest, I gave it 4.
This show contains the single most improvisational version of Free of all time. A symphony with multiple passages that never feels forced, this version is to Free what the 12/29/94 version of Bowie is to that song.
After a pleasant but largely forgettable first set, the band manages only half a verse of Rift before Trey pulls the plug. "“We’d like to credit that last one to our drummer, Mr. Jon Fishman. Let’s hear it for him," Trey quips.
Then it's on to the Free, where Fishman's drumming is solidly out front. At around the 10 minute mark Trey clearly begins teasing the guitar lick to No Quarter, while the band at first appears poised to drop into Simple. Eventually, the band settles into full exploratory "jump off the deep end into the abyss" mode. By 15 minutes they've completely abandoned the Free theme, and are out in serious Type II territory. After an ambient excursion, Fishman begins playing the Bouncing drumbeat, but the band isn't done exploring, with Trey adding some beautiful guitar playing around 25 minute mark. Eventually, the Free theme returns, followed by another Bouncing tease. The song eventually concludes with a percussion jam, with Trey on his mini-kit and Fishman pounding away, together.
Nothing else in this show particularly stands out (though the slow arrangement of Poor Heart is always nice), but this 33 minute Free is Phish improv at its finest and a must-hear.
In the grand scheme of life, in Phish world...(a year with very little not to love)...a very good show will slip thru the cracks, some of the November shows get forgotten in the year of our Icculus ‘95...makes sense: hot last week of October and then a legendary December.
But this show is the king of middle children...as exceptional as the others but ignored
This was my 1st show. I had been listening to phish for years and finally went to see them. 5 hour drive to a venue a year before I saw my first Dead show. I was blown away, could not have asked for a better show. Looking back on it and the set list. Just something that you wont see these days. Overly I'm not a super critical person and I wont tear the band apart for slow tempos missed cues or forgotten lyrics. We are all human and I was just glad to attend this show and it secured my love for the band that has lasted to this day.
This show is underrated. Yes, the Rift was cut short. But the Free alone is worth checking out, as discussed below, and is a major highlight.
The first set too has some nice highlights. I’ll take CTB to open, thank you very much. The Wilson to follow keeps the energy up. The mid-set Antelope is as good as can be expected for the third song in and this one shows no signs of the band needing further warming up. And then they move into a solidly played Fluffhead. After the opening tunes, I have no issues with the remainder of the set, which are solid but not particularly noteworthy.
Back to the Free - this version is the longest to date, which in itself is noteworthy. But length doesn’t always translate into greatness. Here, however, the band keeps things interesting and this version is fantastic, with several distinct segments. While I’m still partial to my favorite version on 6.26.95, this one is a close second even though they’re totally different beasts. The transition into Llama is nice as well. The YEM is fine, but not even close to the version I caught on 12.9.95.
The Poor Heart encore is a slowed down version, which is interesting. The band follows that up with the always-welcome Frankenstein.
Overall, this is a solid show with an extraordinary version of Free. Despite the aborted Rift, there is plenty to like here and this show seems pretty underrated.
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