I can't think of a more underrated show from Fall '95 than this one. The stark contrast of moving from the hockey arena in Kalamazoo to the massive Palace in Auburn Hills was such an immediate turn towards the weird, that the show was pre-destined to be dark and cavernous.
This is one of those shows where a playback will never do it justice, as Kuroda was such a major part of what was happening here, the band and CK5 clearly playing to room, with a selection of tunes that featured dark murky themes, accented by deep blue lights.
While the first frame was no slouch, with Bag>Mound, Timber kicking things off, "in blue", and finishing off with a punishing Antelope, this show is all about set II.
When, in 2012, we talk about complete sets, this is an example of the band using song placement instead of uninterrupted music, to reach a unified theme. Again, taking into mind the expansiveness of The Palace, starting the set with Maze, was a perfect call. The frantic, dark undertones, illuminated by the spiraling blue lights, created an underworld ready to be swallowed within the anxiety of Page and Trey's electric leads. When we all crashed back to earth, the underwater tones of Theme made the Palace feel like a giant ocean that we were slowly sinking to the bottom of. Fall '95 to me is still the best year to have heard this song, it's freshness invigorating the band, especially Trey, as they continually crushed the ending. As the noise of Theme dissipated, Mule chugged forward. While at the time I was weary of Mule, specifically the Muel Duel, this version upped the ante of delirious skullduggery, twisting the minds of those in attendance with particularly evil breakdowns of sound. Before they let us off the hook, YEM was needed to take in the space of the place, with a cosmic jaunt settling us into a confused, slightly scared reluctance to follow the bliss, which ultimately was a wise decision, as the above average jam was followed by one of the most terrifying vocal jams in the history of vocal jams. No question that one left some folk running for the doors. Yet, like Phish can do, they picked exactly what we needed with a calming Strange Design, letting us know we weren't alone on the terrifying trip that had just been dropped. With a wink and a smile, a well placed Frankenstein acknowledged the scare factor, and the soon approaching Halloween show. Closed with a energetic Chalkdust, this set never felt like it stopped, and is to me, still, the quintessential "evil" Phish set.
My first - I concur with the other reviewers - masterfully played and set 2 was scary as hell!
One thing I have always wondered -- during YEM pre-nirvana as mentioned above Trey sings something about his Mother. It sounds like "My mother's waiting for me." The first lyrics on Quadrophenia are "I went back to my Mother." Was Trey laying a hint? I like to beleive so!
This was my 2nd Phish show ever and what a night. Last night in Kalamazoo was great and I had no idea what was about to happen to me.
I lost my mind in the palace left a part of me there forever!!
Right from the first song the end of AC/DC felt like Phish was messing with me. After Timber Ho! I king of lost it. I stood there in my set so confused. I could see or thought I could see rain drop falling from the roof of the Palace like it was dripping on me. The next thing I know Phish is playing Antelope
and the jam just keeps getting crazier and crazier and it felt like it was hard for to breath. I bet I looked like a deer in headlights. I felt like my head was going to explode.
This is one of the darkest scariest Phish set I have every seen and still have not seen anything like this again.
Maze>Theme was great. This Maze kicked so much ass. They don't play Maze like this anymore. Then The Scent of a mule was nutz. The Mule duel was out of this world. Pages solo was over the top then Trey sings his whole guitar solo. Then Pages does this too. This is all very dark. Then in Y.E.M. Trey starts singing about his Mother in the very quite little kid voice and then right before the vocal jam
he is making monster sounds with his guitar and moving his arms like the sound is coming from his arms. I was blown away and every one I know that was at this show feels the same way about it. After this I was hooked and I never seen or felt anything like this again at a show. After this super dark first half of the 2nd set Page plays Strange Design and tells it going to be ok. I felt like the band was right there with me and had the demons biting at there feet too. Like I said I have never felt anything like this at a concert before and have see a lot of Phish after this and have see so many great shows but never have I felt this scared and happy and lost before. After this show I felt like I was on this amazing adventure and that the band was there with me the whole time.
This certainly has to be one of the most underrated Phish shows of all time. This is one of my favorite Set IIs ever and hands down the best Scent of a Mule (the harmonies Trey is able to accomplish in his vocal guitar playing is astonishing). Do yourself a favor, find this tape, throw it on, blaze, and sit back in astonishment as they tear through a fluid second set that should scare the crap out of you and leave your jaw way down on the floor.
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