PHISH FRIDAY: A November (’96) to Remember

Our A November to Remember series continues this week with 1996. The same month Derek Jeter won the AL Rookie of the Year Award and Bill Clinton was re-elected President by beating out Bob Dole. I’ve asked another one of our Phish aficionados Billy Morgan (@BillyM9) for his thoughts on this very underrated month in the band’s history. Here’s his take… — @phortin

1996 is a year in the Phish catalog that is often overlooked as the band was fine-tuning their arena sound after a monumental fall tour in 1995. The band began the summer touring Europe after a short break in the Spring of ’96. Following their stint in Europe, the band played a short US tour leading up to the famed Clifford Ball in August, which set the table for another huge fall tour.

Phish played one of the defining shows of their career on Halloween in Atlanta, covering the Talking Heads’ Remain in Light. The feel of the album lent itself to a new-found style of percussive, rhythmic jamming that would lead to another November filled with highlights a-plenty. Following Halloween, Phish played a pair of shows in Florida with percussionist Karl Perazzo, furthering the progress made in the Omni a couple nights earlier. The West Palm Beach show, officially released as Coral Sky, was the only outdoor show that fall and easily one of the best of the tour. November ’96 is a special month book-ended with a pair of legendary shows, 10/31/96 & 12/6/96, while beginning to foreshadow the groove-based jamming to come in 1997. Here are the highlights we’ve compiled:

Notable Shows / Moments from November ’96:

11/02Crosseyed & Painless, Run Like An Antelope.
11/03 – A top-rated Tweezer w/ Karl Perazzo on the mini-kit. A recurring theme in this November series. Download available here.
11/07The famous Rupp Gin and You Enjoy Myself.
11/08Simple. (An @PeteLikesPhish pick)
11/09 – Split Open and Melt. Download the full show here.
11/15 – Second set brought to you by the letter M and the number 420, Mean Mr.
Mustard> Weekapaug w/ John Popper
11/16 – Trey holds note for nearly three minutes during Harry Hood. The 2nd set starts with a cover of La Grange.
11/18A monster Simple and an all around great show with Gary Gazaway guesting on Trumpet for the end of the second set.
11/19 – A wild second set with Vibration of Life -> Kung ->Catapult and references to Leigh Fordham. A little foreshadowing to “46 Days?”
11/22 – Above average “Theme From the Bottomn”. Full Show Audio. (A @phortin pick)
11/27 – Fans refer to this as “The Diseezer Show.” DWD > Jesus Just Left Chicago, Scent of a Mule, Tweezer > Sweet Emotion. Download the second set here.
Jam> DWD.
11/29Harry Hood. November ’96 was a damn good month for Mr. A. Minor.
11/30 – Timber, Taste, and Funky Bitch with Peter Apfelbaum on Sax, Amazing
Grace with Peter Apfelbaum and John McEuen.

Highlighted Video from November ’96:

Phish 1996-11-15 Mean Mr. Mustard Weekapaug w/ John Popper

Our next edition will focus on a month that needs no introduction — November ’97. Some call it the most overrated month in the band’s history, while others celebrate 11/17 like a Phish holiday. We’ll dive in next week! Any suggestions, please leave in the comments or tweet @LiveMusicBLog with hashtag #PhishFriday