, attached to 1996-12-06

Review by Campster

Campster I got this show pretty early in my Phish listening days and it remains an awesome showcase of the tightness of '96 with some hints towards the funky '97 jams that would soon emerge.

Wilson > Peaches is a great opening pairing. Wilson does the rock and roll thing and Peaches is a great treat and very well played.

Poor Heart sounds great especially at the furious pace of the era.

2001 is up next and this is maybe the first version that gets a nice long workout. OK so it's only about 10 minutes I think, but it's good and funky and is a real window into the future of the tune. Definitely a great version and an awesome little time capsule.

Llama is up next and blows a lid. Nice fiery version, which is again serviced well by the tightness of the era.

Mid-late first set YEM pops up and boy is this a doozy! This was a favorite of mine for a long time and the fantastic bass and drums segment keeps me coming back. Tremendous version - which makes me a little sad that we may never see these type of YEMs again... good thing for SBDs!

CTB is nice and keeps the funk train rolling (pretty funky set I!).

Down with Disease is the pre-closer closer, and is absolutely liquid hot magma. This version smokes within it's type I structure. Nonetheless a great version.

Frankenstein finishes the set off, nary a respite in site in this set!

Overall a tremendous set I. Plenty of highlight jamming in 2001, YEM & DWD as well as some inspired song choices that made for a really rocking set.

Set II kicks off with Julius, which is surprisingly satisfying. They played a nice version in this show.

Sparkle is in the 2 slot, which is a bit odd, but continues the fast paced song selection.

Mike's is in the 3 hole and this one delivers big time. It's worth mentioning that the groove as a whole is a masterpiece, but this Mike's sets the table nicely. It's not the longest or most exploratory, but just good ol' mean playing.

>Simple probably is the show's jam highlight even though it stays relatively in the box. It's a good long version with a really great upbeat jam. It sort of stays within the confines of Simple, but really is great playing throughout. Must hear - and remains a top version for me.

>Harry Hood is the other song contained in this MONSTER groove. This version is awesome. Very good playing throughout all sections, with a majestic peak!

>Weekapaug is awesome and again hints at '97 with some great funk work, some start stop, some cool down and than a straight up sprint to a tight and fiery '96 peak. Absolutely killer!

Sweet Adeline and GTBT make good foils and send us home in style.

The Encore is wild, and certainly worthy of a listen, with Claypool's influence. Not the ultimate moment on tape, but fun.

Overall set II is a great set. The Mike's Groove that comprises the majority is 100% must hear Phish. Great versions of all songs within the groove. Throw in some great playing in the Julius & GTBT bookends, and you've got yourself a nice classic set.

The encore is of course more historical artifact than must hear music, which doesn't diminish it's value necessarily.

'96 doesn't get the kudos, but this show really highlights the virtues of that year, with fiery tight playing and a lot of great song selections. When they did jam big, they definitely hit the mark. Love the '97 foreshadowing as well.

Comfortable 4.25/5


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