From: Matt Dallman 
Subject: Review of 10.22.95, Champaign (fwd)

Assembly Hall is a pretty good place of this size to see a show.  It was 
'Phish in the round', as there were seats 360 degrees around the stage.  
I can imagine that this is a GREAT place to see a basketball game, in 
that there didn't sem to be a bad seat in the place.

There was, however, an enforced "No-Smoking" policy, and since we were in 
the first row off the floor, a whole 3 feet from a security guard, there
was indeed not a lotta fun had by all...until, that is, we moved back a 
couple rows, away from the guard, in the friendly confines of anonymity 

And there was WAY too much security:  Each entrance to the floor had like 
five security guards each.  I guess this is a fact of life, now...

At 7:55 the lights went down, and the chess move was made.  Again, my 
eyes are too poor to accurately observe the precise moves, so I am of no 
help here. :(

AC/DC BAG started set I off in a rockin manner.  Good jam, and a good 
opener.  Terribley standard, though...

MY MIND'S... was nice to hear, my first, but didn't really maintain the 
energy from the AC/DC.

THE SLOTH was a total shocker, another first live for me.  This was one 
of the first songs I had on tape, so it kinda has special meaning for 
me.  "Poo-poo you" to anyone who disagrees...;)

RUNAWAY JIM ran away next.  A straight take on this one, but still nice 
to hear.  Standard jam, similar to Kansas City, maybe a bit better.  I was 
hoping for a segue out of it, but alas, there was none...

NICU rose out of the applause of Jim, and, frankly folks, I thought this 
version was pretty bad.  Too much of a downer, and lacking the energy 
from Memphis, for example, when I last heard it.  Oh win some 
and you lose some.

FAST ENOUGH FOR YOU just beat the dead horse again. Hold me not in the 
corner with those who specially regard this song.  Here, it suffered 
from bad placement, coming after a below-average NICU.  

ICE was next, and I was pysched, considering I established kinda an 
emotional bond with this one this summer.  Alas, dissapointed again, as 
this one failed to exceed expectations.  The middle jam wasn't much to 
talk about.  This version is no where near the one from 6.10.95 at Red Rocks.

POOR HEART, in terms of energy, rescued this set from crash.  Another 
repeat from KC, but it was cool, nonetheless.

SAMPLE IN A JAR, the first in over a year for me, was kinda a nice 
sing-along.  Nothing more, nothing less...

BLUE AND LONESOME had the band crooning, especially Page.  He, briefly, 
for sure, streched out his final vocal solo (bad word), and it got quite 
a rise out of the masses.  

There was a Simpson's "D'oh" signal, and it was picked up by most.  My 
second signal in two shows.  I am waiting patiently for the, "Aw, f-ck!" 

A grandiose, outstanding, full-blown STASH finished the set.  Excellent 
jam, and well-needed.  A collective "YEAH" was let out by those in my 
group.   This was a very below-average set, in my apparently not so informed 
and flippant opinion...;)

Getting a soda or going to the restroom was pretty difficult, given the 
tiny walkways underneath the stands.  I had to hold it...

GOLGI APPARATUS relit the fire of the audience, and I was nice to hear 
this one, personally.  They certainly generate a *lot* of evergy in a 
short amount of time.

POSSUM showed up next, and it was great, but standard.  The extended the 
end of the jam a bit, trading tension and release with ease, and really 
showing off they tightness as a band.  A bit better than KC, imo.

BY THE WAY, Mikey Perrot's official setlist for Champaign just 
cyberarrived at my mailbox, and goddammit, I posted to setlist at like 
3:30 am, yet thanks goes to Chico...what do I have to do to get some credit 
around here, anyway??? ;) What about ME? ;)

Anyway, CATAPULT came next.  Chants are cool. :)

My call for the evening, CURTAIN, fell upon us all, and it was realy 
spiritual to hear.  The "...regrets..." line never fails to spook the 
hell out of me, yet also strike some resonant chord within my innerds.

An immediate start to TWEEZER jumped out of Curtain. I timed this one at 
17 minutes, but was we know, I clearly might be wrong.  This was  very 
high-energy Tweezer...they boys weren't frilling around at all...they 
plunged right into the jam.  A LOT like the glorious first ten minutes or 
so of Bangor.  Glorious is a good word here.  This was not an explorative 
version as much as a "this is where we are now" version.  Nothing was 
groundbreaking, but the jamming was fantastic.  And short.  When the 
energy finally dissapated, Fish immediately began knocking the sparse 
rhythm to MAKISUPA, and I picked up on it pretty early.  I saw Trey, upon 
realization of the direction Fish wanted to go, give an OKAY sign to him, 
and the basslines to Makispua appeared soon after.

A pretty long version of Makisupa, with the as many lyrics as I have ever 
heard.  They got to the Kingstown lines.  There were some pretty funny 
ad-libbed whispers from Trey: "_________ on my head", with the blank 
being Quadifi (sic),  Paluska, and others.  Pretty funny.  Great version!
Very reminiscent, strangely, I know, of the Hobart show in October of '89 
(I think!)  This was my first tape, and the versions are very similar...

Into the second BIG, BLACK, FURRY CREATURE FROM MARS in four days 
for me.  Same as it ever was.  Not quite as edgy as KC.  But keeping on the 
Mars theme...

...LIFE ON MARS, their new Bowie cover, came next.  Frankly, folks, I 
hope they never do this song again! No, really, I am not a big fan of 
this one, and I'd rather hear MANY other songs here than this one.  At 
least I heard it, I guess...

A curious placement of UNCLE PEN.  Cool, but at the end of a set?

The wonderous journey that is known as SLAVE TO THE TRAFFIC LIGHT 
followed.  My first live, ever.  Nonetheless, this was not nearly as 
perfect as some Slaves I have heard on tape.  I didn't have the feeling 
of utter release experienced by some people I know.  STILL, I grooved 
throughout this whole song, of course.

A funny SWEET ADELINE began the encore.  As I said, the stage had seats 
all around it, for 360 degrees.  With a single mic, the band preceed to 
sing to all four directions of fans, beginning with those in back.  At 
minor breaks during Fish's turn, the band changed direction, being sure 
to cover all directions.  Absurdity approached at the end, with 
directions adjustments every word or so.  The funniest Adeline for me, 

A majestic SQUIRMING COIL finished off this show, and it was, BY FAR, the 
best song of the night.  The opening, of course, was the same.  The band 
had a long cool down, with great arpegios from Trey, until they arrived 
at Page's extended outro.  This was about as long as the one from ALO.  
More or less, the same, but it was so damn beautiful!!  A polite thank 
you from Page, and he exited as quietly as did his solo.

My final thoughts are that this was a show that didn't really live up to 
its potential.  The venue was pretty, the crowd was packed, attentive, 
and more or less polite.  The show was very average with the second set 
ten times better than the first.  I'd get the second set, cause the 
Tweezer>>Makisupa, Slave, and Coil were collectively pretty damn good.  
But I won't actively search for this one.

Using the infamous Scott Jordan Concert Review Poll (tm), with a 5.0 
being a typically average yet nonetheless outstanding for any other band 
show, I respectfully submit a 5.0 flat.  Set I's 4.0 was perfectly 
balanced by set II's 6.0.  That's all. 

Louisville in six days!!!!  Then Ween!!!!

courteously abstaining,

Matt Dallman