Date:    Thu, 20 Nov 1997 18:40:22 -0500
From:    Jake 
Subject: 11-14-95 II - U. Central Florida review

Hey all,

I just picked up a copy of a super fatty Phish show from 11-14-95,
University of Central Florida Arena, Orlando, and I wanted to share some
thoughts on it with you all, thereby completing a plea bargain agreement
with Iain (just kidding!!).

All I have is the second set, but it is on fire.  It starts out with a
ripping Maze.  As they do whenever they open a set with this song, they
play a nice, slow gradual build-up to the full might of this song.  It's
a testament to the control they have as musicians not to just belt it
out from the beginning.  It catches fire though, and smokes through to
the end, with screaming guitar solos to boot.  Maze is followed by
Gumbo.  I only have a couple of versions of this songs, and most of the
versions I include the Giant Country Horns, so it was interesting to see
how the song would sound minus a horn section.  It holds its own with
just the foursome playing it, but I must say that it's just as not as
good as 7-21-91 with the Horns, or the version on A Live One.

What follows though, is something that isn't often seen on some Phish
tapes...creative segues.  Stash -> Manteca -> Stash -> Dog Faced Boy ->
Stash.  I'm not discounting Phish's creativity, but they usually follow
formulaic segues, like Mike's -> H2 -> Weekapaug.  This one I found a
little more unusual.  The initial part of Stash starts as it usually
does, but a certain quality about it that I can't put into words.  Trey
is singing it with more feeling than usual, and the rest of the boys are
all playing off of each other superlatively.  The jam to the song kicks
in, and it's taking it's usual course, when... all of a sudden you hear
Trey hinting ever so slightly at the Manteca riff.  They develop into
the song fully, and really kick some energy to it, but don't spend too
much time with it before they head back into the Stash jam.  They head
to a new plateau this time, a spacey explorational jam, with no real
rhythm to it, but more of a mood piece.  It's out of this space that
Trey begins the first quiet lyrics of Dog Faced Boy.  It's in these
situations that I realize the limitation of analog tapes, since the tape
flip falls right where Dog Faced Boy begins.  Fortunately the show was
taped on DAT, and was rewound slightly where the tape flips sides.  Dog
Faced Boy was always a strange song to me, since I'm not sure what
meaning I'm supposed to take from the lyrics, and the lyrics are the
bulk of that song's presence.  I still enjoy it though, and this version
doesn't let me down.  During Dog Faced Boy, the boys continue to play a
spacey, constant overtone to Trey's singing, making the song almost
a capella.  The ethereal jam continues as Trey wraps up Dog Faced Boy,
and after a little noodling he begins to play some riffs that follow the
Stash theme.  The "maybe so, maybe not" ending swings back into the tune
as the boys absolutely blow the audiences mind, with not only a great
closing, but also the standard abrupt ending to Stash.

The set is already in full swing, but Phish takes it down a notch as
Page launches into Strange Design.  I love this tune...I've been
thinking about covering it in my band, but we just can't seem to do it
any vocal justice.  Page's wide vocal range is accentuated in this song,
as well as great harmonies from Trey and Mike... this song is just so
sweet.  I just wish it was longer than three minutes.  I guess they
figured the set so far hasn't been low tempo, so why spend to much time
in that arena... and they head right into YEM.

I like YEM not so much for its pre-composed jams, which constitute the
first half or so of the song, but rather for the improvisation that
follows.  YEM always goes in an unknown direction, and that's why it's
such a great live song.  This time, the jam heads to a theme.  It
develops into what sounds similar to the end jam in Mike's Song, but
it's slightly different, I can't quite put my finger on it... and then.
Oh, wow, it's Zeppelin's Immigrant Song... like I said, unpredictability
is the key here.  They don't really bust into the song fully, they don't
sing the lyrics, but they do jam it out nicely, and someone is doing
that "ahhhhhhahhhhhh ah" thing from the beginning of the song.  Pretty
sweet.  From here they head into the vocal jam that ends YEM and closes
the show.

The encore choice is ever so nice.  Everybody loves a double encore.
The Wedge, which I still have yet to hear live, is a cool song, and
reminds me a lot of Colorado and the splendors of being out West.  I
also like the staccato drum beat to the song... it lets Fish take on a
lead role in the song, instead of just playing the rhythm.  The Wedge
concludes, but no sooner can the audience shower Phish with applause
before they launch into a ripping, speedy Rocky Top, another one I have
yet to see live.  Rocky Top is cool, but almost too fast... it's in that
vien with Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.  Overall though it has a
nice bluegrass on meth feel that's characteristically Phish.

This is a great set... recommended to all.  The good audience tapes
don't have the boomy, saturated bass that you sometimes get with indoor
shows.  If you see this one on someones list, pick it up...I'm glad I

More to come...