From: Darius Zelkha 
Subject: 10/31/95 Review

The day after, here are my thoughts on Halloween:

First of all, I had just seen phish 10/28/95 in Detroit, and I had
killer seats for halloween (5th row, center), so I was psyched.  On with
the show...

SET 1:

Icculus:  Wow!  Very surprising, very cool, not that long but a great
version.  I was REALLY happy to hear this, it made it seem like this was
a special night for a show (and it was!).  The band seemed to be having
a great time, which was apparent throughout the show (I mean, they
always do, but everyone was laughing - even Mike - and seemed to be
ready to play around).  Hard to hear what Trey was saying because of the
mixing problems, but luckily they were fixed (at least where I was
sitting) by the second song, which was...

Divided Sky:  GREAT choice - another one I've heard many times but
really love, esp. as an opener or early in the set.  A good version -
Trey flubbed a couple parts but it had TONS of energy - very nice jam.
I really enjoyed it.  I was also stoked to hear what followed, which

Wilson:  Another appropriate song, with a great vibe to pull the crowd
in and kick ass.  Very energetic, fairly standard, but lots of energy
and enthusiasm.  Great spot for it as well.  This sort-of segued into...

Ya Mar:  Hadn't heard this live before, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I have it on many tapes,  and it's sort-of Ho-hum, but I liked it here.
GREAT, long, jazzy solo by Trey, with great backs from Fishman
throughout.  Very musical, fun, nice spot after Wilson.  After this

Sparkle:  VVVVVVERY fast.  I mean flying.  This was REALLY moving.
Other than that, standard.

Free:  Killer!  One of my favorite "new" songs, great textural jam in
the middle with Trey on the pedals and percussion set, very cool.  Mike
seemed to like this alot, he was pretty into it.  Again, nice contrast
to Sparkle and Ya Mar, very nice spot and  i was stoked to hear it.
Then came...

Guyute:  I was SO EXCITED to hear this - not only because they hadn't
done it in a while but I wanted to see if it was any different.  It was
- only a little though.  The whole band plays during the 1st and 2nd
verses (as opposed to only Trey), and the building part is a bit
different, but not much.  The end is "evil", similar to Providence
12/29/94 (the last time they played it).  They had a little meeting
before playing it, and they seemed a little rusty on it, so i wonder if
this was just a passing thought or a planned song.  It was definitely
cool though.  Then came...

Antelope:  Weak, IMHO.  I also thought it would end the set, but I
really didn't get into the jam here at all.  I really liked the part
after the big cut-off - they played this little "disco-esq" jam that was
VERY cool, and Trey pointed to fishman when he did the whole Marco
Esquandoles bit.  Nice touch - again, they all seemed to be joking and
having a GREAT time.  I went crazy when they started the next tune,
which was...

Harpua!!!:  Wow!  I was jumping for joy, literally.  i was REALLY happy
to hear a story, and they didn't dissappoint.  Cool raccoon story by
Mike, with trey holding a flashlight under his face (the only light on
stage) ala campfire story.  Very charming.  Then Trey said "And Jimmy
was listening to his favorite album, the ACTUAL ALBUM THAT PHISH IS
GOING TO PLAY FOR THE 2ND SET OF HALLOWEEEN 1995!!!!!" needless to say
the crowd went ballistic when they played 30 seconds of "Beat it".  I
was going wild, that's for sure.  Then they finished the story, with
Trey substituting "Raccoon" for "Dog" in some of the lines.  GREAT
closer, I can't say enough good stuff about it.

SET 1 thoughts:  WONDERFUL.  One of, if not the best, sets I've ever
seen/heard.  Very long, probably around 1:30, maybe a bit more (?).  The
energy, the songs, the vibe was Phish at it's best.  Very fun stuff,
with alot of charm from the band.  Very cool.  I wondered about the
Thriller bit, but I didn't have long to wait until SET 2...

SET 2:  I'm not going to review this song by song, because I don't know
Quadrophenia that well.  Here's the general picture:  Lights go out this
M. Jackson music comes on the P.A. and it's only black lights on stage.
Smoke and stuff on stage, and finally, after a few minutes the boys come
out, trey starts moonwalking on stage.  I'm thinking, "Wow, maybe they
ARE going to play thriller," just when I see 4 horn players standing in
the back.  I was excited to see the horns, but I was VERY surprised to
hear the beginning to Quadrophenia from the Who.  Who knew (couldn't
resist, sorry!) ?!?  I wonder if this was the top-vote getter.  Anyway,
I didn't know it too well, but it was hard NOT to like it, with the
horns and phish seemed to be having SO much fun, you just had to get
into it.  Trey was doing alot of big windmill guitar stuff, grinning
very broadly.  Musically it was tight, well-played, with a few funny
flubs by Trey but nothing major.  An accomplishment, to be sure.  A
bunch of solo oriented songs - a few only page and piano and a few only
trey and guitar.  A few songs played with the Acoustic lineup.  Fishman
sang Love Reign o'er me to close the set.  I was happy, but also pretty
happy for it to be over so we could move to the 3rd set.  Overall,
well-done.  That's all I'm going to say about the 2nd set.

SET 3:

You Enjoy Myself:  OK, I was wondering what they were going to open
with.  If it was something like Sample or Fee or something short and
"song-y" I thought that the 3rd set might just be a standard, normal
phish set, so when they opened with YEM, I was in 7th heaven.  AWESOME
version.  Lots of jamming in the spacey part a couple minutes in,
well-played body of the song, AMAZING jam segment.  Did the tramps
thing, and they for Trey's solo they brought it WAY down and kept
building and building (very nice solo, very jazzy and musical) until I
thought they could go no further, and they kept going.  Insane jam, one
of the best I've heard, with lots of themes - it was clear that the band
was REALLY listening to eachother.  Then it kind of got mushy and
spacey, which I usually don't like, but it was nice in this situation.
After a bit of that trey did this cool vocal/guitar looping effect that
was done to a slow beat formed by the rest of the guys.  The jam turned
almost bluesy, with page taking a great solo and then, after a while,
trey started whispering and the vocal jam began. Cool VJ, with lots of
Hebrew-esp harmonies - very long, almost TOO long IMHO.  Timed (by
someone else) at 40:10.  That's right, a 40 minute 10 second YEM.  Worth
every second.

Jesus Left Chicago:  The surprises just kept coming.  GREAT blues jam.
Awesome solo by page, great backs, and then Dave "The Truth" Grippo
played one of the most entertaining sax solos I've ever heard.  Trey was
going NUTS hearing it!  It was killer - Trey gave him a hug afterward.
Cool song, interesting placement, but it worked well.  Nice to hear.  I
love to hear Phish jam on blues, and this was the song to hear it.  A
nice structured break after the crazy YEM too.

Day in a Life:  Very weird choice, because the rest of the show was so
un-standard, and this tune has become kind-of standard for them.  Also,
I thought FOR SURE it was closing the show.  It was well-played, much
better than Red Rocks this summer, but I didn't like it THAT much.
Would have rather heard something else, and after a whole cover album I
didn't really want one more cover.  But it was good none-the-less - the
crowd LOVED it.  It didn't end the set, but almost did...

Suzie Greenberg (w/horns):  After Day in the life, trey looks around and
says "Let's do another!"  and he counts off Suzie.  The horns enter, and
they play a KILLER version. Nice to hear a phish tune with horns too -
and Suzie was the PERFECT way to top off the night.  GREAT, very long
trumpet solo, killer work by Page, and trey sang the same verse 3 times,
although I doubt anyone cared.  Very cool, lots of energy (like the
whole show) and they seemed to be having a GREAT time.  AWESOME closer.

SET 3 thoughts:  Amazing - really killer.  Great mix of tunes, somehow
it fit perfectly with the rest of the night.  These guys never cease to
amaze me.  Awesome YEM.

Encore:  During the time before the encore, multiple mics were being set
up, and a cheezy white drumset was brought on stage with "The Who"
written in white tape on the front drumhead.  They boys came onstage
with the acoustic lineup, only fish played the corny Keith Moon-ish set.
They played a funny, nice version of My Generation that was very
entertaining, and then Trey and Fish started destroying the drums while
Page and Mike vamped.  Hilarious - they were going NUTS.  Trey beat the
crap out of his acoustic guitar, Fish had a sledgehammer (which he
broke) working on the drums - i mean they were WILD.  Then they shoved
all the stuff in a corner and Trey had this ACME pump and he blew up the
spot where the pieces were.  CRAZY.  All the time Page is sort-of
looking like "What's going on" and Trey and fish are having SO much fun.
Mike was wearing these goofy goggles.  Very wild way to end the show -
lots of fun.  I liked it.

Final thoughts:  GREAT show.  Amazing setlist, great jams, and maybe
what I liked best was the mood that the band put out - a great, fun,
energetic vibe that was great.  Certainly the most memorable show I've
seen (and I've seen some good ones), I really liked all of it.  They
played with the audience alot (more than usual) and seemed to be having
SO much fun and loving every minute of it - Lots more of this than I saw
in detroit.  GREAT show, very long, and VERY unique.  Thanx guys, I
really loved it.

Well, that's it -  thanx for reading another insanely long review of



Date:    Thu, 22 Jan 1998 15:38:47 -0600
From:    Eric Fleming 
Subject: Quadrophenia as performed by Phish (long)

I just saw Trevor's review of the 10/31/96 "Remain in Light" show, and
thought I'd add my opinions about the year before.

10/31/95 - Rosemont Horizon - Chicago, IL  - Set 2 - ³Quadrophenia²

³Quadrophenia² tells a story, but what is it about?  To boil it down to
itıs most basic elements, it is the story of Jimmy, a rather troubled
youth.  He doesnıt get along with his parents, he canıt hold a job, and all
of his money goes towards clothes and pills.  He is a mod.

What is a mod?  A mod is the antithesis of a rocker, but that doesnıt
really explain anything; in fact, it complicates it quite a bit.  A rocker
and a mod listen to the same music.  They are both the same age, and might
have the same job.  They drink the same liquer and do the same drugs.  So,
how are they different?

Attitude.  Pure and simple.  Well, attitude and clothes.  A rocker, given
the choice, will be outside his society, not only indifferent to it, but
rather violently against it.  A mod, at the other end of the spectrum,
wants desperately to be at the height of his society, but rarely has the
means to achieve the lofty goal, mainly because of clothes and pills.  The
mod is very fashion-conscious and is in a constant state of updating his
wardrobe to meet the latest trend before it becomes passe.

The Who were a mod band.  Not because they were anxious about being
accepted (in that respect, they were probably more aligned with the
rockers), but because they realized many of their fans were mods, and in
their early wardrobe and a few early songs, catered to that audience.  And
voila!  Their fan base was secured.

How does all this relate to ³Quadrophenia,² besides being backstory?  Of
all the members of the Who, Pete Townsend had become the posterboy of the
mod culture, and when the Who started gaining notoriety, the mod roots he
had worked so hard to cultivate were left behind.  ³Quadrophenia² was his
attempt, years after the mod craze had, in fact, died out, to bring closure
to his mod experience.  It is not his story, by any means, but it is
written with his point of view.

This story is all about cynicism, and being let down by a culture.  As the
story progresses, he is at first enamored with the mod lifestyle, as it
gives him a place in society he would not normally have.  He has status; he
has a job; he has the respect of others.  But a mod is invariably doomed to
self-destruct, as being at the height of fashion (as opposed to actually
setting the fashion), means one is always a step behind.  As things go
along, he realizes that no one really cares, and the leaders of the mod
³revolution² (who in not a small way were the Who themselves) were actually
poseurs, and his whole image of the mod culture is ruined.  This is further
enforced when he finds that one of his mod idols (Ace Face - played in the
movie by Sting), who had appeared larger than life as he was protesting
against the establishment by throwing bottles at a hotel, was actually part
of the establishment, working at that very hotel as a bell boy.

After crashing his own scooter (another mod symbol), the narrator steals a
boat and heads out on the sea to a rock, in the middle of the bay, to die.
He climbs up on it, and as the boat drifts away, leaving him stranded, his
life flashes before him, and he sees that in certain ways he has become
parts of different people in his life - a dancer he saw and imitated at a
party, the posturing group (the Who) that only appeared to lead the
revolution, the bell boy, who had once appeared larger than life, but is
now a servant, and even his shrink, who had called him schizophrenic.

³Schizophrenic?  Iım Bleeding Quadrophenic.²

Well, that was a bit long-winded, but ³Quadrophenia² does tell a story,
just not one thatıs easy to ascertain fromt the songs.  But I think the
explanation goes into the idea behind the story, which is why I find the
fact that Phish performed this a bit strange, to be honest.

Out of the many things Phish is about, one thing they certainly are not
about is working class anger.  The Who is, and so is ³Quadrophenia.²

Phish has always seemed to me to be about dexterity, both instrumentally
and lyrically.  They do amazing compositions, with incredible harmonies and
counter-melodies.  What they do is unique.  But they have never struck me
as being an incredibly ³passionate² band.  There just wasnıt any angst
present.  Which is fine.

But the fact that they did this, when it was truly the biggest stretch of
any of their Halloween cover, is what makes their performance all that much
more amazing to me, especially since ³Quadrophenia² is really everything
Phish is not.

Now, first off, Iım not going to say this was the best thing Iıve ever
heard, especially when comparing Pageıs vocals to Roger Daltryıs
performance.  There is no comparrison, and there shouldnıt be.  Roger
Daltry was a small, insecure tough guy, who always had the cornered animal
mentality.  Pageıs voice too pure to really do justice to the throaty
vocals Roger was capable of, but the passion is there.  And that is really
what made the show for me.  Take away the vocals from Phishıs performance,
and compare that to what the Who were able to do with it, and in my opinion
the energy is the same.  The power is the same.  All things being equal,
whatıs the big deal?

Well, first off, covering ³Quadrophenia² gives everyone else a real chance
to shine on some good, old fashioned solos, while keeping them within the
structure of the songs, which really arenıt built to be split opened for a
jam.  Fishman in particular would have enjoyed this, I think.  Keith Moon
of the Who was one of the most unique drummers in rock history, and his
style fit in perfectly with the Who.  Generally, the rhythm section of a
band is held down by the drums and bass, but in the Who, the drums and bass
acted more as melody instruments than rhythm, which was carried by Townsend
on guitar, who was honestly not all that good a lead player.  But that fact
allows the normal rhythm section of Phish to really play out a bit, with
some nice fat basslines and crazy fills on drums, while Trey can chunk
along, providing the rhythm along with the keyboards (which the Who only
used on a couple songs), with the occasional guitar solo thrown in.

So, the instrumental aspect of this show was first rate.  Period.  Iıve
played instrumental parts of this show for people before, and always get
the same first reaction, ³You have a copy of the Who live in concert?²  And
it certainly sounds like the real article, but I mentioned the vocals being
not quite up to par, so why listen?

With the vocals back in, as Iıve said, the vocal quality isnıt there, but
the emotion certainly is.  And this performance showed me a side of Phish I
hadnıt seen before, and I must say I certainly enjoyed it.  Phish is
generally more playful than this, more teasing, almost as if theyıre
playing hide and seek.  Delicate, but with an abundance of technical skill
and rhythm that leaves most of us (I feel I can speak for more than just
myself here) wanting more.  This show just showed me how much more
versatile they are, compared to my impressions.  So I enjoyed it.

As far as interpreting the songs and making them ³theirs,² to be honest,
there isnıt a whole lot of that going on here.  It was pretty much a
straight-ahead cover, with the exception of ³Helpless Dancer,² where I
think speed got the best of them, which had the result of turning a very
nice accelerando into something else.  Only the first couple words of each
verse were intelligible, and it pretty much ruined the song for me.  But
other than that, I was fine with it.  Consider that after the Halloween
concert, pretty much all the songs from ³Quadrophenia² have dropped out of
Phishıs repertoir, with the exception of ³Drowned,² which pops up
occasionally.  Itıs a pretty hard thing to take a 90 minute piece of music
and make it identifiable as ³yours² when youıll only be doing it once.

The horn section Phish brought in for the concert (Dave Grippo, sax; Don
Glasgo, trombone; Joe Somerville Jr., trumpet; Alan Parshley, french horn)
really expanded Phishıs sound, bringing it more in line with what the Who
presented on album.

So, how does this all sum up?  Is it as influencial on their sound as the
Talking Heads cover?  Certainly not.  Was the concert one of the greatest
of all time?  I donıt know.  But what I get out of this concert was that
here is one of my favorite bands, taking a big risk into musical territory
not all that familiar, chancing a horrible disaster (both in how they might
perform and how the performance would be appreciated by a group of people
probably not all that familiar with the music either), and coming out
fantastically!  And I guess thatıs what I like about the band the most.

Eric Fleming