, attached to 1995-10-28

Review by funkybch

funkybch 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.


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