Soundcheck: Funky Bitch > Dog Log > Funky Bitch, The Old Home Place

SET 1: Buried Alive > Poor Heart, The Sloth, Divided Sky, Horn, Tube, Talk[1], Split Open and Melt, The Lizards, Character Zero

SET 2: David Bowie, A Day in the Life, You Enjoy Myself, Taste, Swept Away > Steep > Harry Hood

ENCORE: Julius

Talk featured Trey on acoustic guitar. Demand was teased before the first Funky Bitch in the soundcheck.
Jam Chart Versions
Debut Years (Average: 1990)

This show was part of the "1996 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by Danjo

Danjo This was my 9th show. I saw the shows in the midwest at the time. 1996 - a much overlooked period, but as solid as it gets. The year of the Clifford Ball.

This show is not nearly as bad as some here seem to think. If it were played today in 2013 people would think it's the shit. The songs are great and the playing and singing are all above average. If you feel Tube was too short you're crazy. Page jams the piano hard on Tube. It's short, but solid. Songs don't need to be 20 minutes long to be good. This is a night where Page shines.

Come one people, look at the list:

Set 1
Buried Alive (Great opener)
Poor Heart (High energy here - top notch clean playing)
The Sloth (More Energy to start)
Divided Sky (Classic - great tone on guitar, they build the ending nicely)
Horn (This is slow but way better than Velvet Sea)
Tube (Great Piano)
SOAM (Wicked Jam at the End - if Trey still played like this people would freak out)
The Lizards (Solid as Hell - piano solo great - guitar silky smooth)
Character Zero (Not my favorite, but sounds great this night - much better than an encore. Works well as a first set closer)

That was set 1 - If you had that kind of show with 3.0 you would thinks it's the best show of the year with just set 1. The vocals were incredibly solid and the playing is high energy and dynamic. Trey is ripping, Fishman is pushing the jams with attitude, Mike is solid and Page is getting some room to jam. Great first set. If this is average 1.0 it's top notch 3.0. Just listen to it.

Set 2
David Bowie (Spacy intro - Love It. Trey is totally on his game here in the jams) (First peak nice - second peak is totally dissonant and insane, 3rd peak crazier, 4 and 5 peaks are super clean arpeggios by Trey - this is a great Bowie) THAT is how you open a second set.

A Day In The Life (a great cover - much better than Loving Cup for old school tunes. Page sounds great this night on vocals - probably the best version I have heard them play)

YEM (Trey actually nails all of the beginning arpeggios - haven't heard that in a long time. This is a very dynamic version of the song. Trey is all over it on the first solo. The funky part is wah driven, very funky. The first Page solo is a synth sound - spacey, second solo is clav with a wah - extra funky. The crowd participation is in top form here. The guitar solo at the end starts funky with the wah and then proceeds to melt your face. This breaks into a drum solo with trey on percussion, the bass solo afterward is a deep think funk with a syth layer - the vocal jam is very psychedelic)

Taste (One of the better Billy Breathes songs, Page sounds great on this - yet another highlighted Page moment on piano this evening - Trey is sweeping through the end solo in and out - very tasty indeed)

Swept Away>Steep - A cool down. Vocals sound very nice. This transitions into Harry Hood perfectly

Harry Hood - Trey doing some interesting arpeggios in the beginning, Band is really tight. Very patient jam with percussive dynamic.

Encore: Julius - Nice encore. Trey jamming at the end is similar to Chalk Dust Torture with a couple of peaks.

The second set has David Bowie, You Enjoy Myself & Harry Hood. That alone would be classic enough, but then to throw in A Day In The Life and a solid Taste makes this nicely constructed second set with great flow and songs.

I would love to hear a board tape of this show. The taper version is pretty bad quality. Too much room noise. Anyway - I thought it was a great show. I went to this one with some of the guys in my band at the time and they were blown away. Great experience. This show should be considered to be much better than what is generally thought of it. It's probably because of the level they were playing at the time, but compared to today's standards this show would be at the top of most people's lists. This would be classic 3.0 material.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by JOEB7891

JOEB7891 A lot of people say that this show was kind of lame.

I have to disagree with that. There is a lot of great little jams in here.

The Melt packs a lot of punch, I know that its not a 20 min jam or anything but its very intense. Lizards was great and has a cool little synth solo in it. I always like a show that has Lizards and Divided Sky in the same set.

The 2nd set is a great complete set. The songs all flow really well and each song is pulled off really well. I know that its not the craziest show out there but its a very solid set list and the songs are all really well played. I had a lot of fun at this show, even though it was no 95 or 97 Palace show it still hold a special place in my heart.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by theghost

theghost I LOVE this Split (included in SBD on the Road to Vegas bonus disc). It sounds older than 96...more like 93/94 (the peak of the song for me). There's are spots that remind me of the Demand Jam version on Hoist...the feel of the groove at around 4:30 for one. Around 10:20, it sounds about ready for the car crash. The guitar line at 5:35, the filthy note at 7:43, the line starting at's little things like this that thrill me.

It's a great Trey-centered version (with some savage Fishman too). I'm surprised the jam charts haven't given it at least a little love.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by markah

markah (posted to in Nov 1996 -- my second ever show review)

Wow, that first post was WAY too long, so this one will be more concise.

Set I: Buried Alive-->Poor Heart, The Sloth, Divided Sky, Horn, Tube,
Talk, Split Open and Melt, The Lizards, Character Zer0

Set II: David Bowie-->A Day in the Life, You Enjoy Myself, Taste, Swept
Away-->Steep-->Harry Hood

E: Julius

For starters, this show rocked a lot harder that Champaign. We had been
driving for 9 hours (lots of stops for potty, smokes, snowball fights,
etc.) and we were ready to GO! Thankfully we were in no way let down. I
had 12 row floor seats (another fan singing the praises of mail order!)
which I though was perfect...close enuf to see individual facial expressions
and interplay, but far enuf for Chris to work his magic.

For Buried Alive I knew that these guys weren't fucking around tonight.
They kept cranking out tune after tune that made me go "Yes!" Never a
dull moment until Horn. Pleasant song, but can be a buzzkill. Not
tonight, though, when Trey said the next one was for a guy in front
holding the sign up...TUBE! I heard this at Deer Creek last year and
consider myself one of the luckiest people alive to have heard this at 2
out of my last 4 shows. I still don't know the words, but this song kicks
it. Hard. Talk was time to chill & smoke, But SOAMelt played with my
mind horribly. Kept twisting and turning. I loved it, but I needed
Lizards to calm down. The girls behind me (junior high...plastic mardi
gras beads, glitter, long flowery dresses, birkenstocks and plenty of eye
makeup - they were, in a word, Absolute Posers - is THIS the newbie scene
everyone's talking about/defending?) were damn annoying; they asked "now
what's THIS one called?" During "we breathe deep" in SOAMelt. Then they
absolutely SCREAMED "And the lizzards they have DIED!" Oh my god...I hope
that they had a really good time detracting that much. Sorry to rant &
rave...Char 0 was cool, I was wanting a vocal jam, but did not get one.
I was going nuts toward the end when Fishman did a big fill and kicked
the jam up a gear. I've never seen FISHMAN lead a charge that fiercely
into a new level. Go Johnnie Boy! Make your mom proud! (Who,
incidentally, I heard was there on Friday!)

Set two had a cool spacey intro, could it be Bowie-->YES!! And Bowie
rocked. They seriously did not want to waste any time tonight. There wer
no "filler" songs, they were just out to jam tonight. Chris was working
double overtime in Bowie. Trey's drumkit work was cool, he and Fish had
some of the coolest interplay I've ever seen between the 2 of them with
that sssshhhhHHHHHWWWWWUMP! trigger effect thing. GO Fish! You are ON
FIRE! (quick justification for drumkit comments given my previous post
ripping into his use of it...) These past 2 nights when he has used
it...with the exception of Friday's Simple, he has kept it short, and has
simply added cool sounds as opposed to setting up a groove (*paranoid mode
off) Trey ripped up the ending, firing it through the riffs, no
alternating fast-->slow 4 bar licks, just pure energy throughout. Day in
the Life was fun...kept energy up Fish accidentally threw in a beat and
screwed up Trey's rhythm, who a few second later sang "made the
Bus" twice. Bad Fish... I called YEM, and it was a great
treat. Definately above average. Trey did a really neat thing in the
pre-nirvana segment where he coaxed a chord-feedback thing and then put
the harmonics over Almost in the 1-5-8 pattern of 2001. Why
did everybody start clapping in the (I think it was here?) b&d segment? I
was praying for someone to screw with tempo, and Fish read my mind. Thank
you for that overly syncopated fill -- it shut the DAMN CLAPPERS up!
There was whistling in the vocal jam, which made it really cool -
something to remember, I guess. Taste was really neat to hear, they DO
have it down pat, Corey. Then I finally got to hear Swept Away-->Steep,
and I was ecstatic. Chris fucked up, brought the spot on Trey a bar
early, then turned it off, then flashed it on for a second, then slowly
tried to fade it in as Trey was singing - as if no one would
notice...well, I DID! But both of these songs made me happy. I was
surprised by Steep...good job, guys. That blood-curdling scream
frightened me thoroughly and nearly knocked me onto my ass. Whew! Then
Hood. Good chance to calm down before they jammed the ending. I left
feeling good (about Hood).

"Encore, they better kick it, unlike last night!" I thought. Julius was
up, and I was smiling. I thought the clappers had started, but it didn't
happen...thank God! Trey did a lick in his solo similar to the Chalkdust
Torture solo on Picture of Nectar.

Overall, this show was a definite rocker after Champaign. I was blown
away, and I have to give this show a Scott Jordan 7.

See you tomorrow in Grand Rapids!!

- Mark H
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by EducateFright

EducateFright My first show! The quality of this aud is fairly bad, probably due in part to the poor acoustics of The Palace. On the other hand, the audience comes through loud and clear, which does make this an entertaining listen.
The opening sequence (Buried Alive, Poor Heart, The Sloth) whips the crowd into a frenzy! It's nice to hear Talk, with Trey on the acoustic guitar. YEM has an extended, rather unusual bass-led jam. The segue between Steep and Harry Hood consists of a startling, blood-curdling scream!
Still, nothing in this show is terribly memorable. Most (all?) the shows I've seen since are more remarkable.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by BassPlayer

BassPlayer This was the 1st time i had ever heard Tube and it restructured my DNA. Great jam with Trey's Snd Fx and Mike's foot bell in YEM!
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by kipmat

kipmat http://

From The Phish Book, page 21:
Page: “During the Fall 1996 tour, we left the East Coast but continued to play big arenas that were progressively less full as we traveled further outside our usual circuit. In response, we ended up playing with even more conviction, working harder, and taking more chances in order to harness the sort of energy level that comes automatically at a sold-out arena show.”

1996 has undergone a renaissance since the advent of the Phish Downloads Spreadsheet, and is arguably no longer "The Forgotten Year" it once was. At the time, many of the shows played that year paled in comparison to 1995, and the best shows of '96 were soon eclipsed by the pinnacle shows of 1997. At the time of this review, an archival release of 11/30/96 Sacramento has been announced, so there is still enough value and interest in listening to shows from this year. Even so, there are a few well-regarded .netters who may feel that the rest of the year is merely worth skimming, or overlooking altogether. They may be correct; but there are others who can't resist turning over all the stones to inspect what crawls beneath.

This show starts hot right out of the gates. Buried Alive > Poor Heart was a common opening combo in the days when the band was playing clubs with dodgy sound systems and needed to test the onstage sound with an instrumental followed by a song with vocals from all four band members. (It's worth noting that the Palace at Auburn Hills featured a notoriously poor room sound, even for a basketball arena.) Another "early days" combo follows, with a stomping Sloth setting up yet another great Divided Sky. Trey takes over during SOAMelt and Character Zero, and Page takes a rare synth solo during Lizards. YEM still contained enough improv to be a second set centerpiece, with Trey's percussion rack creating space for Page and Mike to step into the spotlight.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Buried Alive: My first so I was very excited to hear it. Not many better ways to open a show. >

Poor Heart: Good energy and I like the placement.

The Sloth: Can't go wrong with this tune, glasses tinklin'.

Divided Sky: Loved it, went crazy for it as this was my favorite song at the time. Well played.

Horn: Standard.

Tube: Oddly enough, not much of a reaction for this one. Good to hear it, played close to the vest.

Talk: Standard.

Split Open and Melt: Straight ahead rager. No frills, no left turns. Just in your face.

The Lizards: I love the placement.

Character Zero: Again. Dead horse'd.

SET 2: David Bowie: Solid version, love it in this slot, definitely sets the tone. Some good peaks in this one.

A Day in the Life: Standard, but appreciate it not being at the end of a set.

You Enjoy Myself: Red hot version and the B & D is not to be trifled with. Lot's of replay value here.

Taste: Fairly typical Fall 96 shreddy Taste.

Swept Away > Steep: Standard. I was good with the placement considering all that came before it, a breather was not wasted on me. >

Harry Hood: Average to below average version. Never felt cohesive live or on tape. They sort of just fall into the peak which there is not much of one.

ENCORE: Julius: Ripping as you would expect.

Summary: Don't get me wrong, we had a great time. Good seats. All was good. But the band didn't truly deliver the goods on this night. It happens. YEM is a very good version and one that I have gone back to over the years and will continue to do so. The rest, not so much - even with the attendance bias. I would rate this as a 3.6 out of 5. Really good setlist. One other thing, this show is quite short. Walking out of there and for years to come we always complained at how similar the setlist was here to that of the show we saw in Pittsburgh a month ago, except Pittsburgh took way more chances and jammed much more. Auburn Hills was a very vanilla show.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by Frankster

Frankster Yo Bert calm down. I have no idea what you said but please don't get worked up over an opinion. I just didn't see and hear what you other kids did that's all.
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by Frankster

Frankster Just listened to this one again and I must say this show is lame. At the time I thought it was a decent show but yikes. Now it could be the atrocious acoustics of the Palace but the sound is flat. This is by far the worst and shortest Tube in history. SOAM gets out there a bit and is by far the highlight of set I. Set II starts off good with a groove oriented Bowie but quickly sputters until a descent hood to finish it off. Its hard to believe what was to come in 6 months. I'm not a huge 96 fan so I may be biased. Also it was balls cold that day and the cops were out in force!
, attached to 1996-11-09

Review by nichobert

nichobert "Worst and shortest Tube ever"?

Except for all the other Tubes before Dayton 97 which are all pretty similar I guess. But hey, if they've jammed a song out 15 out of 104 times they've played it, it's safe to say that they jammed it out every time except for this crappy version that made you so pissed off, right? God I can't believe you actually LIKED this show!! What were you thinking? You must have been a Dave Matthews fan or something, but now you're into Medeski Martin & Wood because you're sophisticated like that.

God these reviews on this show are hilariously entitled and angry.

Oh no, people are seeing their first show and they know the words to fucking Lizards!! the tragedy that these posers knew the words to a song that had never been on an album! Somehow worse than when people act like there are these legions of n00bs out there who heard "Farmhouse" and "Heavy Things" on this imaginary FM radio station that played Farmhouse and Heavy Things and Bouncin and oh, of course the funniest- DWD.. There are still people in 2012 who will act like DWD is a song for "frat boys who saw it on mtv". i shit you not. It's a wild and woolly scene out there.
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