, attached to 1995-12-08

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Here's another typically great show from one of Phish's greatest tours, Fall 1995. This show is very much a "median" show, the sort of show that might not be the best of the run, but neatly displays just how high the wave the band was riding was cresting at the time. The first set doesn't boast anything "special" in a "this really should be in Set 2" sense, but every song in the set is just torn a new asshole in the December 1995 style, with Type I being stretched as far as it can go - the Simple to It's Ice run in particular is cooking with gas, with a really sweet little proto-ambient passage in the days before Phish could truly go ambient in It's Ice serving as the highlight. Set 2, on the other hand, is a legitimate powerhouse, anchored by (and hold onto your jaw, lest it drop in shock) another 12/95 Tweezer for the ages.

This Tweezer rolls right into a deep groove from the start, Page really going at it with some sharp piano chords as the band just wails away behind him. Then things strip away, Trey playing some minimalist notes with the band coming in with thunderous accompaniment at the end of every bar (it's like the band is in a mansion just slamming every door in the house at odd intervals), and then Fish leads the band back into another powerful groove which gets all atonal soon enough. I often think about 1994, and how often the band would trip over the line between "experimental" and "unlistenable"; in jams like these, Phish would neatly skirt that line, and then start playing something even better than before. In this case, it's a thrilling, pure hose jam, with Trey in full 70s rock god mode, which is quickly discarded for another exploratory jam, both Trey and Page coaxing weird notes from their instruments, the rhythm section dissonant and off-kilter. And off-kilter is just the sort of environment for Kung to appear, and the band gets that out of their system, whipping up a real good horror show accompaniment, before slamming back into the main Tweezer theme and petering out to a deliberate close. This is about as weird as Tweezers get after 94, and it's another glorious version from maybe its greatest month ever.

Fish and his vacuum come next, then Coil and the seeming set end in Tweezer Reprise, but the band has one more surprise lined up - a fierce and powerful Antelope, played (like all 95 versions) like the stage is set to explode if the band don't keep playing at over 50 mph. The Beatles tributes in the encore slot are just icing on the cake. I love the heck out of this show - give it a listen, and you almost certainly will, too.


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