Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 07:56:54
From: Jason Link 
Subject: 11/18/95 - Charleston, SC

North Charleston Coliseum
Charleston, SC

Set 1 (55 min)Dinner and a Movie>Bouncing, Reba, Lawn Boy, PYITE, Slave,
Blue & Lonesome*, Sample

Set 2 (1hr 20-25min)AC/DC Bag, Sparkle, Free, I'm So Tired, YEM>Brickhouse
Jam>YEM, Contact, BBFCFM, Acoustic Army, BBFCFM, Cavern

EC: Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey?**

*acoustic w/mics
**w/ Page's dad

Dinner and a Movie was a surprise. I don't think they've played it since
Florida last Fall. Bouncing. Reba was hot. The jam had the usual sections
but seemed to have a little more than most Rebas. After Page's lounge
routine in Lawn Boy, Trey gave us a "The Chairman of the Boards, ladies
gentlemen" a la 8/20/93. My first PYITE did not disappoint. The opening
a little sloppy. It seemed Trey wanted to start the "Hey!" jams before
everyone else was ready. Other than that which I may have mistaken anyway,
the song smoked. The Slave that followed came out of nowhere. It was an
average Slave, bearing in mind that an average Slave is gorgeous. At this
point, I was thinking: Slave? Midway through the 1st Set? Unfortunately
set ended 2 songs later. Blue and Lonesome would have been better if the
crowd were quiter (For more on this, see my Charlotte review). I was
for more songs, but when they started Sample I thought they might call it
set. For a 55 minute set, this set was still great. My highlights: Dinner,
Reba, PYITE, Slave.

2nd set opened with a nice Bag. Mike seemed to lead the way on the jam
was a treat. Sparkle.(BTW, the 2 songs with the loudest croud response:
Sparkle and Bouncing. I wasn't surprised.) I like Free a lot. Trey went to
his drum kit during this (and Slave and YEM) which let Page and Mike do
nice work. The YEM-Vocal Jam that followed went just over 30 minutes.
"Wash uffize..." and a little jamming, they broke into a Brickhouse jam.
Trey sang a few "Brick"s and "houses", but the music was more important.
Eventually, they got back to more YEMish jamming before the vocal jam. The
vocal jam had a few "Blue and Lonesomes", but the highlight was the end
the bright white lights above the stage spinning in circles. The lights
their voices were on time and it was pretty wild. After Contact (which
back in loud and quickly at the end), they broke into BBFCFM. They went
through a few choruses before Trey grabbed his megaphone, said something
a stage manager, and then started making those crazy noises with the
megaphone. He was still doing this as they set up 4 barstools. There was a
break as they got ready for Acoustic Army, which would have been much
with a lot less yelling. After AA, they went ahead and finished BBFCFM
(which was electric for whoever asked in the earlier post). The Cavern
closer was pretty standard.

For the encore, Page's dad came out. Trey said something like "The other
night we had Jimmy Buffet come out and play with us, but we think
going to be even better. Page's dad sang Won't you Come Home Bill Bailey?
was great. He was having a blast up there singing and doing all kinds of
wacky dance moves. We cheered him on and he kept on going. It was great to
see him there having such a good time and the band was eating it up too. A
nice set.

On the concert review scale, I'd go with a 7.7. I liked first set a little
better than Charlotte and the 2nd set was a tossup between the 2. Both
great. I just wonder what they'll have for us in Winston.


From: Subject: Phish Here's a review. I'm one of the music critic's for Charleston's daily paper. It might run there (the editor of the Preview section is moving to Columbia so everything is in flux) Am also syndicated and the piece will probably run on AOL's Critic's Corner.. I've like Phish since I got an advance of their major label debut back in 1992, so though the review is a heavy pan, I'm not someone who merely hates the band and is trying to stomp on them. Review of live concert by Phish at North Charleston Coliseum on November 18, 1995 by Gregory Forman Bruce Springsteen's audience eventually ruined him and Phish (though hardly matching the Boss in artistry) appears to be going through the same process. Compared to the Phish concert last fall at the Gaillard, the band is pandering to an audience that might be among one of the worst in rock. Inspiring some of the same communal, wandering-tribe ditziness as the Grateful Dead (hence the fan nickname "Phishheads"), a Phish concert is a hippie road show. If Phish's music is the politics of solipsism (as I once claimed), their audience is the end result of such politics. And the audience is rude. A Phishhead's "do your own thing" mentality really means "do my own thing." Young mothers were dragging infants with them to the concert--as if a life on the road, traveling from Phish show to Phish show, was a great way for a six-month-old to grow up. With little respect for the personal rights of others, the Phishheads were the stinkiest audience I've ever had the displeasure of being part of. In a no smoking concert, the reek of body odor, patchouli, marijuana and tobacco permeated the arena (and eventually my clothes). No one seemed to care that their cigarettes were blowing in your face; they were doing "their own thing." This lack of respect translated into a failure to acknowledge personal space. Phish fans freely grabbed better seats (including one's own) crowding others out of their space. Their freaky style of dancing imposed on others attempting to dance and they didn't care. Even moshers have more respect for personal space. If the hippies of the 1960's were this rude and self-centered, it's a wonder LBJ didn't draft em, shore em, bathe em, de louse em and ship their behinds off to Vietnam. Perhaps the same things can be done with Phishheads, who I'm sure would make great peacekeepers in Bosnia (imaging the bonus comic factor of these rude dweebs getting winged after naively attempting to mellow the warring parties). As an added detraction, in trying to please this audience of stoned stumblebums, Phish's music and stage act are becoming insufferable. Phish specializes in Dead styled jamming, with lead singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio dominating. His guitar playing features two distinct styles: flowing lines broken by short staccato bursts (sorta like Carlos Santana) and long sustained tones which are then electronically altered. The first style can be fun in moderation; the second style appeals to the hallucinogen takers in the audience. Dress-wearing drummer, Jon Fishman is actually the group's best musician. His drumming is solid, even muscular, and just sophisticated enough to generate polyrhythms. Bassist Mike Gordon is the pretty-boy in the band, his playing complicated but lacking in funk, his occasional lead singing adenoidal. Keyboardist Page McConnell's playing and use of different keyboards (organ, piano, synth) provides drama and tonal color (sort of the same function Roy Bitten performed in Springsteen's bands) when he isn't chording behind Anastasio's soloing. Phish's two set, three hour concert Saturday mixed a few short cheeky numbers and long jams with a some oddball changes of pace and a long indulgent spacy passage at the end of the second set. The sound quality was excellent in the first set (proving that when sonics are a big part of a band's appeal it's possible to get great acoustics in an arena setting) yet oddly distorted in the second set--something I'd never heard at a concert before. Since Phish's jams are best appreciated in moderation and when combined with the band's playful side, it's the non-jam portions that separate good Phish from mediocre Phish. At their Gailliard concert last fall, the band added variety by switching around instruments (it was fun to see a band that relies on instrumental prowess, playing music in which such prowess was undercut), playing a bit of bluegrass and a'cappella and by doing oddball covers. An acoustic medley of Boston and AC/DC was a particular highlight. All of those moments were designed to challenge and toy with the jam format.. At the concert Saturday, Phish merely pandered to the audience. Some of the new songs were about having to wait for traffic light or grocery store baggers and radiated hippie bohemian contempt for working class Americans (an attribute that, in the 60's, made the hippies especially despised by Middle America). A cover of the Beatles "I'm So Tired" is just the sort of thing that appeases an audience of 60's wannabes. While the one bluegrass tune radiated a genuine affection of the group's Vermont roots, a vocalese number merely worked as a method of thrilling the audience with spacy light effect (the lights would zoom and whirl in time with the band members' vocal inflections). And the metal and hardcore parodies near the end of the second set were simply condescending; allowing the audience to feel superior to fans of musical styles the audience has no real appreciation for (last year, one could tell Anastasio appreciated metal from the pleasure he took in doing an acoustic "Highway to Hell"). Having Anastasio and Gordon doing coordinated jumping on trampolines or dinky little dance steps were about as humorous as the band now gets (notwithstanding Fishman's dress). It was just the sort of seemingly free-spirited minutia that appeals to the hackysack crowd. One of the few nice moments was when McConnell's father got on stage for the lone encore to do a creaky but rocking version of "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey" (the concert was, in part, a benefit for the elder McConnell's Hilton Head medical clinic). Yet, it was an odd way to end the concert. When Beck sang "Nightmare Hippie Girl" he could have been thinking about the audience Phish has developed. If Phish continues on this path of pandering to the stoned audience, they'll become the denuded Grateful Dead of Generation X. It will become a rite of passage to drop acid, dance like a freak and follow the band around like a pathetic loser. From the appearance Saturday night, Phish is now actively cultivating that audience--and a band that once celebrated non-conformist playfulness is now celebrating the play (and drug use) of conformist non-conformists. *************************************************************************** From: Scott B. Subject: 11-18-95, abbout above review I have to make a request....the review of 11/18/95 SUCKS....I was there and it was one of my favorite shows that I saw this fall....I do not look or act like the stereotypical Phish fan, but I have learned that the people at Phish shows are just part of the whole experience.... whoever wrote the review completly ignored all of the wonderful songs they performed that night....they opened that show with Dinner and a Movie, a song only played 2 times this year...Bag to open the 2nd set.....a YEM with a Brickhouse jam in the middle that had to be one of the best that I have seen to date...and Acoustic Army in the middle of BBFCFM? What more could you ask for? When I get my e-mail address back I would like the opportunity to write some reviews from a true fan....this fall I caught all three Fox shows, Charleston, Charlotte, Knoxville, Nashville, and all of the New Years Run....BUT above all please get that piece of crap excuse for a review off the net...Phish and their fans deserve a lot more credit than they got... ********************************************************************* From: Ken Snavely <""> Subject: Review My review of 11/18/95 - Charleston,SC I thought it was amazing, for my first show!! As I was dropped off in the lot, I knew it was gonna be a night never to forget. I chiled w/ some phriends in the lot then went inside. My seats where in nose bleed, but not all that bad. As they opened up w/ Dinner & A Movie the crowd was already hiped up. The first set went well, then they kicked off second set w/ a killer AC/DC bag. Then a while later You Enjoy Myself, and it was amazing, probablly one of the best in '95 that I've heard from all my tapes. The trampolines where great while Trey + Mike bounced, the crowd did as well. After the show was over I was psyched. I didn't know what to expect before the show, but I have expierenced it, and it was a night I'll keep w/ me forever and plan on goin to many more Phish shows in the future!!!