Jam Chart Versions
Debut Years (Average: 1991)

This show was part of the "1996 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-10-17

Review by DaytonDetes

DaytonDetes The venue was brand new!! So clean..i thought to myself. they didnt know who they were booking when they got Phish. the ushers tried to keep people in Check but the smoke screen came out and the band jammed on. I really enjoyed the first set. The Star Spangled Banner was a nice treat!
, attached to 1996-10-17

Review by ZachDrums428

ZachDrums428 (Disclaimer: my reviews of shows are not affected my the quality of the bootleg recordings)

2001 was solid, an interesting start to a show. Definitely gives the feeling of “lift off!”. Once we’ve reached a cruising altitude, Funky Bitch seems like a true “start” to the show. All the members are shining on this one. Mike seems to be trying some new things vocally while Trey plays a furious solo while page brings some true funk in his.

After sparkle comes Tweezer. During the tweezer jam, Trey plays a lot of long sustained notes to slowly and more intently build tension. Part way through this, Mike adds dissonant counterpoint “melody” to create sort of a tug of war feeling with Trey’s playing. Page takes a lead near the end.

I don’t know if it was planned but there is an incredibly smooth transition from tweezer right into Theme, which still sounds slightly “unsolved” by the band at this point.

Talk sounded very new still and the vocal melody sounds pretty out of range fro Trey’s voice. However Page compliments this song very well.

Character Zero is fantastic in this recording. That band is definitely really excited to play this and having tons of fun as it was still new to them. It almost sounds like they’re teasing a vocal jam near the end!

Everything until Gin is pretty typical. Gin at this point is still played with disorienting rhythms to start and just gets darker and darker harmonically throughout.

Scent of a Mule has a cool spot where Trey does some vocal jamming alongside his guitar playing. Always found this song to be fascinating. Wish I knew more about it’s origins and the writing process for it.

Later in the set, the band debuts an a cappella Star Spangled Banner and is prefaced with the explanation that the Lakers invited them to perform it before a game. The crowd really seemed to love this... I mean who wouldn’t (;

David Bowie isn’t quite as shreddy as I’ve heard from some other shows before this tour. Trey plays with some more intention. There’s a very dark and spacey start to the jam, with Fishman not supplying much of a back beat, which creates a feeling of forever floating while the jam slowly builds with much discipline. Perhaps a hint at what was to come in 97’.

I’d give this show a 3.75 out of 5
, attached to 1996-10-17

Review by DaReba

DaReba looking at the setlist you can infer this was a solid night. The crowd was very energetic which helped get the band rolling with a 2001 opener that drove the crowd wild.
A solid fun funky bitch followed. This Tweezer is why you like Tweezer. again the fun the band is having comes through. Its a great showing of how much they listen to each other.Heavy riffs here. Fish 's drumming is of another species/level..
an average Theme follows but doesn't take away the energy. Trey thanks the crowd for a second time after this song. I've never heard that before.again you could tell They were having fun.
PYITE. always a good sign in my eyes. They nailed this one.
A raging Character Zero let them rock out . LOVE THIS SONG.
I love 1st set tweezer reprises.
perfect ya mar second set opener. Wasn't there but you tell the happy feeling and makes sense since they call State College Happy Valley in general lol

Chalkdust sees the boys get back to business.Trey and Fish are just locked and we benefit. gets pretty type II here. Not for the faint of heart
, attached to 1996-10-17

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround Penn State on a Thursday night had to be rowdy time, much more so than the previous show in sleepy Lake Placid on a Wednesday night! This set gets started off with super high energy!

SET 1: Also Sprach Zarathustra: Roof had to be blown off I imagine with this one, just the second show of the tour, Clifford Ball barely in the review mirror and Thursday night on a huge college campus? BRING IT ON!!! >

Funky Bitch, Sparkle > This combo is rocking and rolling and ratchets up the energy even more.

Tweezer: Tweezer in the show’s first quarter! Wow! This certainly bodes well. For whatever reason, the band wasn’t looking to extend this one basically at all, wonder when the last Tweezer was under ten minutes? >

Theme From the Bottom, Talk: Solid.

Punch You in the Eye, Character Zero, A Day in the Life, Tweezer Reprise: I love, love, love the placement on all of this. All fairly non-traditional in that each one of these tunes has largely been an opener, closer, or an encore and yet each do not get pigeonholed in their typical places. Well done!

First set summary: Nothing groundbreaking. At all. BUT! This is a rock solid first set of Phish – the flow, setlist construction and energy are all perfect and have us set up for a killer set two. Hopefully!

SET 2: Ya Mar: Standard.

Chalk Dust Torture: Face melter!

Bathtub Gin: Good micro-jam but it is ended out of nowhere, not sure who rip corded that one.

Scent of a Mule: Frampton style talk box prominently used here as is common in the era, is that the right terminology? Quite the crowd clap along.

Free: Standard, Trey on percussion rack.

The Lizards: Ever so slightly you can barely hear Trey singing along to his guitar parts during Page’s solo. Trey’s solo starts off so quiet and tender – for the most part the crowd accommodates this and is quiet along with it! Trey crushes his solo and the outro vocals are brilliant. Perfect version!

The Star-Spangled Banner: Debut! Trey lets the crowd know they got a call from the LA Lakers a couple of weeks ago and that they wanted Phish to sing this before a Lakers game. So, they accepted and but of course they want to try it out on us first! I have huge goosebumps as I type this and listen to this, the crowd goes absolutely bonkers over this. Brand new Bryce Jordan must have been shaken to its core.

David Bowie: This one has a hard edge to it, Trey’s tone sounds so good, complimented nicely by Page. The band begins building tension in the late 9’s, things get loud and chaotic, Page is POUNDING that baby grand. First peak hits at 11:11 but is brief, second peak hits at 11:43 and is also brief. THE peak hits at 12:25 and is clean and as ferocious as you would expect. This is a rock solid, early tour version of David Bowie. An unheralded version with replay value, for sure.

ENCORE: Golgi Apparatus – Standard.

Second set summary: Unfortunately, a groundbreaking night was not in the cards – for whatever reason. Still, over the years I have always appreciated this show and feel it is rated lower than it deserves. Currently, it is rated as 3.286/5 (49 ratings). I would rate this show as a 3.6 out of 5. I would love to rate it higher than that for all the reasons I stated in my first set summary but outside of the Bowie, it doesn’t have anything that gets out there at all. Everything is played safely. But guess what fans?! Pittsburgh LOOMS!!!
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