, attached to 1995-10-13

Review by Man_From_Mars

Man_From_Mars The 1,000-plus mile drive to Fort Worth from Phoenix seemed to take forever. While the prior drive from Montana to Arizona was over 200 miles longer, that journey was manageable because the terrain was more interesting. The Will Rogers Auditorium, another venue with a seating capacity less than 3,000, resembled a theatre in that it had seats and a balcony, but there were hallways on the sides of the floor.

Ya Mar opened the first set and got everyone on the same Leo, I mean Page ;) I was expecting something a little weirder since it was Friday the 13th. Also Sprach Zarathustra caught me off guard being played second song of the 1st set considering I saw it open the 2nd set 13 times prior. This choice provided the spooky vibe I was seeking. Fishman’s hi-hat emerges out of the ending of the standard 2001. Maze is always a good time, and this was a high octane version.

Billy Breathes, which was played for the 6th time ever, appropriately slowed the pace in a beautiful manner. They took advantage of this small theatre and played I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome acoustic and without mics. “A little hand for Moses Brown on the mandolin”, says Trey.

Prince Caspian was played powerfully for the 7th time ever. Fishman drops the Split Open And Melt drumbeat, and as always my body flinches into action (#suchagoodfeeling) This Melt is not in a rush and just plods along exposing the darker side of Phish. Everyone is very active and hammering away intensely. A fine version! Nice yang to the Caspian yin!

Fluffhead immediately starts as SOAMelt ends. It was the 1st one of Fall tour (17 show gap) and 3rd of 1995; it was not being played as often these days. Fluff’s Travels is executed with authority and the climax delivers. Trey says they are going to do one more and they play Life On Mars by David Bowie for the first time ever. Wow, what an interesting cover song! Pretty solid first set, and looking forward to the next one.

The 2nd set begins with Trey sharing that “this is the town that I was born in. Fort Worth Children’s Hospital I crawled into this world through the other dimension!” Then Phish shocks me, and others, by playing Tube. My first one and last time played at the Game-Hoist show (99 show gap). Page takes the lead solo on his baby grand and they wrap it up in under 4 minutes ;) Uncle Pen keeps the energy up and Texas gets a little country vibe.

Theme From The Bottom rolls in and the jam seems to have a bigger than normal vibe right from the start. They take this one deep and close by spacing out the ending post chorus. Trey jumps on his percussion rack and creates waves of sound. Out of the noise the Wilson ba-dum notes can be heard; it takes a few before the crowd starts chanting “Wilson!”. Trey stalls longer than usual before the “Blat Boom” ending which fizzles to near quiet before Run Like An Antelope begins. While it’s a great set closer I enjoy mid-set Antelopes a lot. Fishman lays down an incredibly fast beat and everyone settles into the fast pace. The intensity/insanity builds and builds until a minor breakdown prior to usual climax. The outro groove is pretty cool as Fish/Gordo initiate some start/stops as Fish fills the silence with some timely cymbal strikes, and Page briefly teases Low Rider, Maze and Landlady. I’ve always had fond memories of this “Fort Worth Trio” of songs that spans 30 minutes.

Keyboard Army emerges out of the ending and the guys migrate to Page’s keyboards. The crowd eats it up as usual. The Lizards follows and sounds great in this venue. Both Page and Trey nail their respective solos; top notch Phish! While My Guitar Gently Weeps is welcome in its first non-set-closing role since it was debuted.

They sing Sweet Adeline without mics before playing a set closing The Squirming Coil. Page takes his sweet time and brings it way down before solidly finishing his solo. Perhaps the rest of the band, while waiting for Page off stage, decides he should also close out the show with Bold As Love (20 show gap), the 1st of three that Fall tour, and the 8th cover song that night! It was a fun night with a very interesting setlist.

The next two shows were in Austin, TX and less than 200 miles away, an easy 3-hour drive. This was a welcome relief after covering over 2,300 miles since Monday morning for two shows.

Worthy of a listen: Split Open And Melt, Theme From The Bottom > Wilson > Run Like An Antelope

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