Soundcheck: Midnight on the Highway, work on Midnight on the Highway, Midnight on the Highway, Funky Bitch

SET 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Guelah Papyrus, Cars Trucks Buses, Divided Sky, Punch You in the Eye, Midnight on the Highway[1], Split Open and Melt, Rift, Funky Bitch

SET 2: The Curtain > Mike's Song -> Simple -> Makisupa Policeman[2] > Axilla > Weekapaug Groove[3] -> Catapult, Waste, Amazing Grace, Harry Hood

ENCORE: Good Times Bad Times

This show included the first Phish performance of Midnight on the Highway, which was learned while the band was stopped at the American/Canadian border. Makisupa also referenced the border-crossing incident: “Woke up in the morning, border guard in my bunk, he took his fucking dog on the bus, and he found my dank.” Weekapaug was unfinished.
Debut Years (Average: 1989)

This show was part of the "1996 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-11-23


PHATTSKIS A damp night and evidently tough ticket outside. I remember this red-headed kid begging me for a ticket (I don't know why he was singling me out) and then others thinking I had tickets swamping me for a miracle until I just said screw it and walked in the door. Simply smoking first set with a little special song thrown in for good measure. I know the real story behind the Midnight on the Highway but I will never phriends might though...

Second set blew us away. It sounds as good as it looks and no particular highlight as the set was a highlight ending in a spectacular Hood. The Good Time Bad Times encore was truly fitting as the tour had seen both for band and phans!
, attached to 1996-11-23

Review by fall96josh

fall96josh A tough haul to get to this show on some very long snowy highways and, as noted in another review, a cold wet night after the show. Somebody told me at the time that Kuroda had friends from Industrial Light and Magic in the audience and added some extra zing to the light show. The shape of the coliseum (compared to the arenas of the rest of this tour) and how it interacted with the lights that night definitely added to the two killer sets reviewed here to make for a memorable night. Punch You In the Eye definitely a highlight.
, attached to 1996-11-23

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito I tend to think of 1996 as an often overlooked and underrated year between the amazingness of 1995 and the funkified 1997. 11.2.96 is a prime example, as is the one show I caught that fall, 10.23.96, which features Bob Gulotti on drums. But I digress. Here, we get one of those shows where both sets feel complete and everything seems to click.

Chalk Dust Torture is an always welcome opener, setting an upbeat tone for the show. This is a fairly short, adequate version. Next up is Guelah Papyrus. I love this tune, and would take it in any show, in any slot. A very nice version.

Cars Trucks Buses is one of those tunes that I would love to see back in regular rotation. A welcome addition here, and then we get an awesome, well-executed Divided Sky. This version deserves multiple listens.

Following up with PYITE is a bold move, as the band clearly didn't need a breather at this point. The band is on fire, but we do get our breather during Midnight on the Highway. The Melt that follows is a set highlight - it's of the mean and nasty variety, my favorite kind of Melt. This version builds and builds, like the best of them.

With Rift and Funky Bitch closing out the set, it's clear the band is enjoying themselves. Both are enjoyable. Overall this is a fantastic set that could be tough to top if the second set wasn't so strong.

Opening up Set II is The Curtain. This is an always-welcome opener as it sets the tone for the set and it did so here admirably. While the version itself wasn't extraordinary, the set itself is excellent, leading all the way through the encore.

I'm a huge fan of Mike's Song and this version doesn't disappoint. I've always been a fan of the transitions into Simple too and this one is fairly smooth, with nice fills from Page on organ. Before going there, however, they take their time jamming Mike's for a bit. And the Simple is a decent but not particularly special version. This drops quietly into Makisupa, where Trey makes reference to a border crossing incident.

As Makisupa dissipates, Trey counts it off and the band jolts us into Axilla. And then comes one of the set highlights, Weekapaug, which is phenomenal. The Catapult is really just stuck in the end. But it works here and it's unclear when this is over whether they're closing out Catapult or Weekapaug. But it doesn't matter. It was an awesome combo.

The Hood that closes the set is magnificent as the band reaches a huge peak, and makes for a fitting end to an overall excellent show. This is one of my favorite versions that I've heard in a while. Overall, this is a very good show with some real highlights.
, attached to 1996-11-23

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Guelah Papyrus, Cars Trucks Buses: Solid opening trio of songs.

Divided Sky: Great version, thoroughly enjoyed this one tonight and over the years.

Punch You in the Eye: Excellent, love this placement.

Midnight on the Highway: Debut. Band had issues at the border. See Makisupa.

Split Open and Melt: Interesting and a bit unique.

Rift, Funky Bitch: Properly ripped.

SET 2: The Curtain: Great opener for set II. A bit sloppy in parts though. >

Mike's Song: Evil. Intense. ->

Simple: Really good little jam, Page’s solo at the end briefly sounds like Right Now from Van Halen. ->

Makisupa Policeman: Amusing story about meeting some funny people at the border, they got on the bus and stole my dank…Kind of a blah version of this tune though. This one has that funky theremin lead type jam - you know that woo woo thing they were doing back all over this tour? >

Axilla: Sloppy. >

Weekapaug Groove: Interesting version, I think it is quite strong, but it does get down into the weeds a bit. ->

Catapult, Waste, Amazing Grace: Standard.

Harry Hood: One of my favorites! This one gets angelic. Big, big peaks. Page and Trey shine!

ENCORE: Good Times Bad Times – Ripped properly, great encore.

Summary: Replay value for me Divided Sky, SOAMelt, Simple, Weekapaug, Hood. I feel like Hood is an all-timer, it’s that good. The other highlights I mentioned are worth your time. This was a MUCH better show than Spokane, they needed to rebound from that show and they did. Hoping some day I can find a good version of this show as ones I have ever listened to are below average. I have touted this show for years as a dark horse selection. It has a lot going for it! I would rate this show as a 4.1 out of 5.
, attached to 1996-11-23

Review by Feel_The_Bern

Feel_The_Bern this show has a truly GREAT divided sky... 5 stars just for that alone
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