, attached to 1995-11-30

Review by danielplainview

danielplainview If I had a say in the decision making-process, I would push hard for this show to be released in SBD quality, preferably remastered from the muti-track recordings. This second set of this show is probably my favorite of 1995.

There's not much new to add to the reviews but I would like to reiterate for those who have not heard this - the Tweezer -> Makisupa Policeman -> Antelope is a one-two-three punch that (in my opinion) musically captures everything that was happening to (and is great about) Phish in the Fall 1995. This Tweezer is the early predecessor of the 12/02/1995 version which occurs just two amazing shows later in as many days. While the New Haven Tweezer is essentially an exposition on tension and release, charging towards an explosive climax before dissolving into a breakdown of the theme and rhythm, this Dayton version settles into a catastrophic major-key theme early which is repeated, and elaborated upon before submerging itself in disorienting, tension and release. Emerging from the tension, the theme is repeated with Trey shifting towards a major resolve on every third downbeat, and then the sixth; when effective - as it is in this version - it can literally make you feel as if you being punched in the stomach.

Because the nature of this music is so forward-moving in feeling, these themes are elaborated upon but must change before feeling stale - a final resolve before the *first* build features Trey sustaining a single note while Page provides the melody's climax and Mike + Fish keep time (incredibly impressive). This would be a contender already even if it dissolved into a breakdown and merged into Antelope at this point, but because its Phish - it moves forward into the ether, dissolving once more into tension and release, and while the major-key theme still exists, it is getting harder and harder to pick out of the noise.

What happens next is hard to describe (and must be heard) and it is in my humble opinion the high-water mark of Phish v.1.0-c.1995. Essentially, the music speeds up and breaks down, the tension and release is still there but it somehow more spacious; more mechanical / factory sounding, almost. Trey provides some awesome improvised chord progression while Page works the ivories. Suddenly - a shift. Remember how I said Mike + Fish have kept nearly perfect time? The band becomes one, during this. Everyone locks into a double-kick drum rhythm, Page hammers two low notes on the downbeat and Trey leans on the guitar. The music builds into a You Enjoy Myself "AHHHHHHHHH" moment (slower though, at first) until it explodes; Trey's guitar physically goes no higher and Fish speeds things up to match Trey resolving the full-band build into a solo that is beautiful and climatic.

And this show continues - and the Tweezer builds again in a different, but no less firey direction, then dissolves into a breakdown of the Tweezer theme which, believe it or not, blends seamlessly into Makisupa. And OK, so then, once the beauty of Makisupa is finished (complete with some really pretty sounding 95ish sustains) you are punched again in the stomach by an absolutely blistering Antelope that does not slow down even for a second.

One more note from this show: Harry Hood. It is beautiful, blissful and perfect. This is a favorite set of mine. As I tried to illustrate, the band worked together as one unit and the breakdowns, tension, release, climatic build, soaring solos by all members, not just trey plus rhythmic perfection. It was everything they had worked on achieving by Fall 1995 and is the foundation for one of the best months in Phish history - December 1995.

Things would be so much different, but none-the-less equally astounding, by the time they returned to the Nutter in Dayton in December 1997.


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