Subject: Skyballs & Saxscrapers: 12/6/96
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 03:22:53 -0500 (EST)
From: benjy eisen

SKYBALLS AND SAXSCRAPERS: 12/6/96 Set II Alladin Theater Las Vegas, NV
Mike's Song ends after a
pleasantly ominous 10:47 Drops seamlessly and effortlessly into Simple at 10:47 with precision and ease, right at the place
where Hydrogen has gone a mere 202 (known) times before...It's true; I'm not making this statistic up. Remember though,
kittens, that Simple was composed by Mike from Mike's Song and the skeleton structure of Simple existed within many a
Mike's from far before Simple was a song in its own right (12/30/93 is the perfect example of this...remember that "Simple"
didn't deBUTT until 5/27/94. Also recall that the first chunk of Simples, and still the majority of them, are segued from Mike's. )
At 0:37 into the song, "We've got simple, cause we've got a band" and we've got a lyrics segment before the jam. I'm skipping
the entire lyrics segment. No need to pick out the subtleties, as there are typically few variations to be found here, with the
exception of a small lyrical flub. Nothing major either way. They lie about the saxaphone though, you know :) The last lyric is
sung at 3:53 or so before launching immediately into the jam. Someone sings a halfhearted "Sim-bop" before they realize that the
lift-off is in-effect, with Trey navigating the friendly skies. We keep the safety of the "F" Simple structure, but we leave the
matrix of the Simple lick, going out into the world as children that have just learned how to fly. And we are children who are
about to fly... The 4 and 5 minute areas contains pure and simple Simple jams. Nothing too groundbreaking, nothing unusual for
a Fall '96 Simple... the band keeps the structure, Trey keeps launching soaring solos that are melodic, non-repetitive but based
in gravity and flight simulataneously. Showing-off my ability to easily assimilate vocabulary terms, :), I'll say that this is a "Type I
jam" (and hence, the "gravity") but the structure it follows is one that often yields a feeling a gentle flight. Tied to gravity? Yes,
but a Gravity BONG no doubt! Starting at 6:19 the jam "sinks" a bit, the bottom drops out, Mike becomes less active, and Fish
drops the anthmetic pounding. At 7:05 Trey and Page give up their false "We're human" pretense and proceed with some
intricate spider-web weaving. Guess which one isn't sticky...It doesn't matter - we're caught in the web. At 7:42 Trey climbs the
'doc in increments, allowing us to become unstuck but still just as spellbound, this time on a soaring magic carpet ride, while
Page discovers the highest keys on the piano. At 8:39 Trey starts playing around with some of the themes Page was playing
before and hits...he hits....he HINTS...he teases... THE ELLUSIVE DAVE'S ENERGY GUIDE! (maybe not all that ellusive
after all)... Truth be told he hinted at it a few times earlier but this time goes with it, until Mike at least chimes in with the
ENERGY on bass around 8:49. The ellusive DAVE'S ENERGY GUIDE is heavily teased at 8:49 through 9:08. There's some
"hushed" playing around with it and then they move on to other hushed forms of playing around: Very fragile jamming in the
9minute area. At 9:42 Trey returns to familiar Simple oriented licks, but the rest of the band refuses to follow. Very light, airy,
and well - dreeeamy. Fish hits extremely subtle percussion giving the impression to a casual listener that he's not there at all and
Mike appears to be flatlining it for short lapses. Again, from 10:56 -> 11:05 there's some tooling around with Dave's Energy
Guide....if anybody feel like it, feel free to verify. Since I'm not going to go back and re-time this, any self-proclaimed obsessive,
phish-retentive disciples are welcome to double-check the exact timings of these DEG jams. Otherwise, these rough estimates
will do. 11:05, the conversation reverts to "Hey, remember the DDLJ?" BUUT there's no Digital Delay Effect per-se. (Some
Dave's in here perhaps...damn he IS ellusive, but he's DEFINATELY in-and-out of much ENERGY that he can never
stay put for long, I suppose) At 11:32 there are some swoops back into Simple territory, thank you Treeay. Around 11:44 the
jam picks gloriously back up, but don't believe the hype - after some thematic riffing by Trey in the 12 minute area, 12:39
sounds like arena crock is gradually pulling them together and towards that Arena Rock Alter-Ego of theirs, but at 13:07 it's not
all together anymore and 13:24 sounds nice but not beyond belief. Fish has finally conceeded that cymbals *are* in-fact grand
after all. Steady beat. Ah...ah, I *knew* it, at 13:37 there's some "I wanna be a rock n' roll star but I'm laying down in bed,
dreaming" music. See - don't believe the hype! This jam continues on meritously, melodiously and quite simply, beautifully. This
Simple has become a TRANSCENDANT LULLABY. Play it as bedtime for any kid though, and you'll have one very aloof
child on your hands! (An aloof one, but a very *enlightened* one at that) At 14:10 the jam drops again...or does it? They can't
decide, I can't decide, who can decide? Ultimately, Fish keeps the beat only lightly via a snare, but Trey does his repetitions as
does Page, from high atop the Piano. Some chorus-like effects from Trey at the beginning of 15minutes. Then he sustains one
note, effectively letting this jam, don't just stand there - BUST A MOVE!! But he just doesn't hear me. Mike and
Trey do some stomp-romp trudging and then Fish drops the beat again, going for a snare-drum march for a little while before
taking it even lower at 16:30...Page brings in some beautiful piano and Trey adds some wet slip-n-slide licks. Quite entrancing,
enchanting, and enrapturing, (as is this whole jam, I might add) At 16:49 my copy fades and then there's a tape flip. There is
nothing missing appearantly, but between the tape flipping and my own inadequacies, I'll call everything to have a 5 second
margin from here on out. 10 at the absolute most. At the 17:00 mark there's a nice repeating theme from Trey - he's been doing
it actually for awhile now but I've had other things to type. You know - Type 1, Type 2, Typo. The usual. Around 17:32
something it sounds like Fish (???!??) singing "We've got" very slowly, almost like the "Softly sing sweet songs" background
vocals in BB. Is he singing, "I wanna go on?" in a slow drawl? Um...possibly. Relix Magazine (Vol. 24, No. 1, pg. 24) claims
that he is, but then again in the most ludicrous statement of the year they also claim that Blister in The Sun is teased here...which
quite frankly I don't hear even when I stretch the imagination. These vocal are much more oddly recollective of the wonderful,
but too-often-overlooked 12/8/94 Simple->Catapult->Simple. ("Saxapho-o-ones") 17:50's turns into a feedback fetish
meltdown until roughly 18:31 when the Hood intro is initiated by Fish. (And as the inventor of the much-debated Hood chant,
well, all that I can say is that I only ever intended it to be a RedRocks thing) Regardless, This Sim-bop wieghs in easily at a
Grade A. ("Um, as opposed to any other Fall '96 Simple Spells?") Walk with light my friends, Benjy