, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by markah

markah (posted to rec.music.phish in Nov 1996 -- my second ever show review)

Wow, that first post was WAY too long, so this one will be more concise.

Set I: Buried Alive-->Poor Heart, The Sloth, Divided Sky, Horn, Tube,
Talk, Split Open and Melt, The Lizards, Character Zer0

Set II: David Bowie-->A Day in the Life, You Enjoy Myself, Taste, Swept
Away-->Steep-->Harry Hood

E: Julius

For starters, this show rocked a lot harder that Champaign. We had been
driving for 9 hours (lots of stops for potty, smokes, snowball fights,
etc.) and we were ready to GO! Thankfully we were in no way let down. I
had 12 row floor seats (another fan singing the praises of mail order!)
which I though was perfect...close enuf to see individual facial expressions
and interplay, but far enuf for Chris to work his magic.

For Buried Alive I knew that these guys weren't fucking around tonight.
They kept cranking out tune after tune that made me go "Yes!" Never a
dull moment until Horn. Pleasant song, but can be a buzzkill. Not
tonight, though, when Trey said the next one was for a guy in front
holding the sign up...TUBE! I heard this at Deer Creek last year and
consider myself one of the luckiest people alive to have heard this at 2
out of my last 4 shows. I still don't know the words, but this song kicks
it. Hard. Talk was time to chill & smoke, But SOAMelt played with my
mind horribly. Kept twisting and turning. I loved it, but I needed
Lizards to calm down. The girls behind me (junior high...plastic mardi
gras beads, glitter, long flowery dresses, birkenstocks and plenty of eye
makeup - they were, in a word, Absolute Posers - is THIS the newbie scene
everyone's talking about/defending?) were damn annoying; they asked "now
what's THIS one called?" During "we breathe deep" in SOAMelt. Then they
absolutely SCREAMED "And the lizzards they have DIED!" Oh my god...I hope
that they had a really good time detracting that much. Sorry to rant &
rave...Char 0 was cool, I was wanting a vocal jam, but did not get one.
I was going nuts toward the end when Fishman did a big fill and kicked
the jam up a gear. I've never seen FISHMAN lead a charge that fiercely
into a new level. Go Johnnie Boy! Make your mom proud! (Who,
incidentally, I heard was there on Friday!)

Set two had a cool spacey intro, could it be Bowie-->YES!! And Bowie
rocked. They seriously did not want to waste any time tonight. There wer
no "filler" songs, they were just out to jam tonight. Chris was working
double overtime in Bowie. Trey's drumkit work was cool, he and Fish had
some of the coolest interplay I've ever seen between the 2 of them with
that sssshhhhHHHHHWWWWWUMP! trigger effect thing. GO Fish! You are ON
FIRE! (quick justification for drumkit comments given my previous post
ripping into his use of it...) These past 2 nights when he has used
it...with the exception of Friday's Simple, he has kept it short, and has
simply added cool sounds as opposed to setting up a groove (*paranoid mode
off) Trey ripped up the ending, firing it through the riffs, no
alternating fast-->slow 4 bar licks, just pure energy throughout. Day in
the Life was fun...kept energy up Fish accidentally threw in a beat and
screwed up Trey's rhythm, who a few second later sang "made the
Bus" twice. Bad Fish... I called YEM, and it was a great
treat. Definately above average. Trey did a really neat thing in the
pre-nirvana segment where he coaxed a chord-feedback thing and then put
the harmonics over it...wow. Almost in the 1-5-8 pattern of 2001. Why
did everybody start clapping in the (I think it was here?) b&d segment? I
was praying for someone to screw with tempo, and Fish read my mind. Thank
you for that overly syncopated fill -- it shut the DAMN CLAPPERS up!
There was whistling in the vocal jam, which made it really cool -
something to remember, I guess. Taste was really neat to hear, they DO
have it down pat, Corey. Then I finally got to hear Swept Away-->Steep,
and I was ecstatic. Chris fucked up, brought the spot on Trey a bar
early, then turned it off, then flashed it on for a second, then slowly
tried to fade it in as Trey was singing - as if no one would
notice...well, I DID! But both of these songs made me happy. I was
surprised by Steep...good job, guys. That blood-curdling scream
frightened me thoroughly and nearly knocked me onto my ass. Whew! Then
Hood. Good chance to calm down before they jammed the ending. I left
feeling good (about Hood).

"Encore, they better kick it, unlike last night!" I thought. Julius was
up, and I was smiling. I thought the clappers had started, but it didn't
happen...thank God! Trey did a lick in his solo similar to the Chalkdust
Torture solo on Picture of Nectar.

Overall, this show was a definite rocker after Champaign. I was blown
away, and I have to give this show a Scott Jordan 7.

See you tomorrow in Grand Rapids!!

- Mark H


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