Debut Years (Average: 1991)

This show was part of the "1996 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by sethadam1

sethadam1 My first show. I didn't know as much about the live shows as I should have. Tickets were almost impossible to get. I bought one out front for $35 and the three guys I traveled with from JMU were shut out and left me there. So I had to hope I found a ride home the 4 hours back to school.

I walked in during Mound, I think, because I remember the clapping. I immediately recognized Stash and Coil, so that was fun, but I spent the entire time walking around trying to find friends.

Set 2's stand out was Avenu Malkenu, because I didn't know Phish performed it and I remembered it from when I was a kid. And it's funny to think that the highlight of the night for me was Cavern, which was my #1 wishlist song at the time.

Literally on the way OUT of the coliseum, I found my friends. We packed 6 people into a little sedan for the ride back. Good times.

This show is often overlooked, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by Drewn2o

Drewn2o So here we go…this is my first and only review of a Phish show and its been 20 years to the day — as Hampton 96’ was my formal "musical beginning" with Phish and likewise for soo many of my friends . So in the wake of Jerry’s passing and the one real Grateful Dead (who I had worshiped consistently for 4 years during high school) show I had been exposed to, with limited listening of Phish in high school (only Joist, Lawn Boy, and Rift) I was really still a green horn on the overall music scene. Having entered into NCSU in Raleigh, NC that fall class of 96 I had not made any firm plans to attend a Phish show. After a relatively new found friend named Danny (a prior school of the arts classical guitarist) encouraged me to attend this show, there was no turning back. Little did I know Danny had scored tickets for Hampton, Charlotte, and Atlanta for the Omni 96 Halloween shows and this was the beginning….a beginning of a fairly long and wonderful career as a fan of this band.

After smoking cheap hand rolled joints, drinking some canned beers, and stopping to piss in the beautiful fall cotton fields of VA, my friends and I made our way to the lot. The lot was rowdy to say the least….our having arrived in a 98 SUV Isuzu Rodeo driving up from Raleigh we were stoned and laughing as we stumbled about watching the drummers near the fountain and attractive scantily clad yoga beauties stealing camera posses in the center of the drums. Having chowed a nominal amount of organic mind altering portobellos, we entered the venue where some cat was getting worked up prior to show time. He was hooting and hollering and definitely a hard wookie from the looks of it. I had my back turned having entered the ground floor at Hampton in the pretty show light before the purple hue had been ensconced the crowd started to hoop and yell. Suddenly I head people yelling as clothes were raining down on my friends and I. A couple of peers had taken to hide near or under the bleachers as their dinner was starting to strongly take hold. The naked work guy was sadly escorted out by security but his rowdy had made its impression on the venue. We were in for a really rowdy show and this guy had served to up the anti. We made our way to the right mezzanine and Phish opened with Ha, Ha, Ha. I remember thinking to myself these guys are really loud, overall this is a wacky and weird choice to open with, but this shit rocks!! I remember various tunes in particular like the Makisupa > Maze, the Papyrus, the Stash with everyone signing along the bridge in unison and clapping, and Pages particularly tear jerkingly beautiful solo at the end of the Squirming Coil.

At the point of set break I remember walking around and thinking to myself this was in fact a “scene” and a “happening” and while different from the Dead’s, the crowd energy and efforts of the Dead had not dissipated but rather morphed and given birth to something totally new in their wake. Of course at that time there were numerous Dead and Panic haters and Phish haters amongst all three scenes, but regardless I was able to block out this noise, and now Hampton had just unknowingly become my new sacred ground. Little did I know that Hampton was going to be my new “Halloween”, my new holiday, my new spiritual and religious pilgrimage for the next 4-5 years all culminating in 11/22/97 rendering itself one of the greatest if not the greatest musical moments of my meager existence. This show however on 10/26/16 for many new coming NC, VA, and newbie Phish phans was the planting of the seeds, the germination of the scene for so many NC heads and VA heads, and now everyone including myself would grow with this band for many years. Its always been particularly poetic and beautiful to me that at my first show I got to hear The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday. What a gnarly setlist in retrospect, and what a perfect first show this was!! This was Phish being in the perfect time and the perfect place to teach and totally indulge my young adult mind. I felt like a relatively late comer to Phish but today feel like an olde Phish head which is ridiculous. At this show Phish as a newbie were intriguing, intimidating at my young age of 18, and upon listening review totally bitching and rad. The cal-funk era was around the corner, and this show was my first “taste” and a wonderful pre-cursor of the miraculous music to come over the next few years. After this show we hastily pilled into my friend Wes’s black 1998 Isuzu rodeo, rode to J. Morgans parents crib, and woke up the next morning for pancakes at the VFW where his family paid for our breakfast. My next few shows of this run left me a hardened phiend and phanatic for the next foreseeable period of my life and I am so proud and lucky to be able to reflect and review it today.
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by DaReba

DaReba nice haha opening.
sloppy Taste but the jam is interesting . Fish is just a beast as he's been since the summer.
Makisupa Policeman!! always fun "Dank!"
I always hate when Mound starts but by the middle I'm always pleased.

Geulah another song I feel the same way about. Its cool to watch them play this thigh. So far a pretty heady Phish show. these last three songs might be the weakest of point of the Fall tour thus far. The boys playing old duddies that are fun but lack the inspired nature of the last week or so.

I didn't Know is always good again, the boys are having fun
And Trey basically says this right before Stash lol! HE tells the crowd that people always ask whats the best room and he said this is it.

Boy, did he prove it in Stash lol Immediate Type II jam for about 10 minutes. Crazy intense heavy psychedelic warrior fare. Must listen. top 10 stash ?

For sure this will go down as a top 10 Coil. Page's jam at he end alone warrants this. It is Keith jarrett like in its virtuosity. A must listen for sure.Page goes on for at least 6 minutes. all beautiful .

Very interesting first set. Maze Stash and Coil are all superb
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by Brettinthebathtub

Brettinthebathtub @drewn20 - also my first show. Hadn't done the math on the anniversary date. Good call. Kinda gives "20 Years Later" a special meaning.

I remember walking around the parking lot before the show and just feeling like it was somewhere that I was supposed to be. Really good vibe to a 17 year old kid. My friend had gotten me into Phish a little bit, but I was still fairly unaquainted with what they were all about, so I was unsure of what to expect. It was a promising start.

We rushed the stage when the gates opened and wound up about 20 rows back. The cats around us were really cool and seemed very excited when they heard it was my first show.

Danced my ass off during the first set. When the set break came, my buddy had to hit the head, so we started making our way off the floor, but it was so crowded down there that we couldn't get out. We tried the entire time until the lights went back down. He was pretty irritated until the band came on and we realized that we had wound up about 3 rows from the front, Page side, in between him and Trey. It was the closest I have ever gotten, and it was completely by accident.

Going back and listening to it now, it was a decent but not great show. Coil was awesome, Stash and Maze were really tight, and I was psyched to hear Geulah, one of probably 20 songs that I knew at the time. But by the time the show ended, I was completely hooked. It's cool that they played TMWSIY at this one, because I also stepped into another world that night.
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Ha Ha Ha > Taste: Nice one, two punch coming out of the gate. Nice little bustout for HHH as it had not been played since 12.15.95, a 45 show gap. Taste has a nice jam.

Makisupa Policeman -> Maze: Makisupa has good breathing room for an ethereal jam and melts perfectly into an ominous Maze. This Maze reaches incredible heights and is almost as good at 10.18.96. Seriously, if you are a Maze fan this is must listen material. Trey makes this one sounds like airplanes are taking off inside the mothership. Tons of replay value here.

Billy Breathes, Mound, Guelah Papyrus, I Didn't Know: Standard first set fare – somewhere in here Trey comments how this is one of his favorite rooms to play, everyone is free to move around as they wish…

Stash: Pretty good version, has some extreme tension and release – the ending where you think it would go screaming into instead sort of melts into it very quietly. Would relisten.

The Squirming Coil: Trey forgets how to play a bunch of his parts in the 1 + minute range. Pretty bad.

First set summary: Really solid set of Phish right there. They are solid out of the gate, give us three jams that have stood the test of time and then a beautiful Coil to take us into the break. This all bodes well for a killer second set!

SET 2: Tube: Awesome! >

Prince Caspian: Momentum halted.

Timber (Jerry the Mule) A little sloppy in parts but this one gets intense. Replay value for sure. >

The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday: Good stuff but need a banger after this.

NICU: Oof, not a good spot for this tune. Middle of set II? >

Free, Strange Design: Standard.

Harry Hood: Solid yet unspectacular >

Cavern, The Star Spangled Banner, ENCORE: Johnny B. Goode: Standard.

Second set summary: Not much to sink your teeth into here unfortunately outside of Timber. First set is better than the second set and it’s not close. I would rate this a good bit lower than what is on .net (3.829). I would give this a 3.6/5. Check out Makisupa, Maze, Stash, Timber.
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by DaReba

DaReba Tube opener for Second set is pretty funky but you can hear how they are not there yet. still a little awkward , but fun, with the funk. Some of Billy Breathes material getting worked with Prince Caspian following

NOt a big fan of the song but this version is a bluesy rock progressive music display of talent. liked it a lot.

Timber Ho !!! Fish lets us know what's what from the get..

TMWSIY!! classic song. First since MSG NYE run. very pretty

Harry is a great ender. but a so so second
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by Nirbhao

Nirbhao First show, 15 years old, arrested briefly in the lot drinking a large Samuel Smith. No ID, let me walk. Spent the entire show front and center, wide eyed, ear to ear smiling. Super confused by the opener, I remember set 2 clearly hopping up and down. Great scene. Musically not an all timer, nostalgic to say the least!
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