PHISH FRIDAY: A November (’95) to Remember

Last week we dedicated our Phish Friday to November ’94. This week, we promised November ’97 but contributor @PeteLikesMusic had other ideas and rightfully so. Before he scolded me for not including the acoustic version of “Foreplay -> Longtime” and the 11/16/94 “Simple” last week, he then listed off all the great November moments in 1995 and asked why we were skipping over that year? A smart man listens, so for the next two editions of Phish Friday we’ll bridge the gap. This week Pete Merriman dives into another November to Remember – 1995!

Ticket Stub from @Phish’s first show at the Hampton Coliseum

Words by Pete Merriman (@PeteLikesPhish):

November ’95 will always live in the shadow of it’s December neighbor (12/7/95, 12/9/95, 12/14/95, 12/17/95, 12/31/95) but that’s more a testament to the strength of the latter than any dig at the month preceding it. Simply put, Phish was on fire for all of Fall ’95, if they weren’t going Type II on your ass, they were going to shred and pile on the tension like their lives depended on it. To many this was the peak of the first era of Phish, before they went back to the drawing board and started to experiment with more groove based jamming (aka “cow funk.”) Upon going back and re-listening to the majority of November ’95 I discovered a treasure trove of highlights, and I’ve culled the creme de la creme below:

Notable November ’95 Moments:

11/11 – The finale of the three-night run in Atlanta. “2001 -> David Bowie” kicks off a stellar second set. Listen to the entire show. (An @phortin pick)
11/14Stash -> Manteca -> Stash -> Dog Faced Boy -> Stash. Officially released on LivePhish.
11/18You Enjoy Myself. This version includes a “Brick House” jam.
11/21David Bowie -> Take Me To The River -> David Bowie.
11/22 – After an aborted Rift blamed on Fishman, Phish plays a 33-minute FREE -> Llama.
11/25 – Timber -> Kung, Mike’s Song -> Rotation Jam -> Mike’s Song — First known Rotation Jam, and first show at the legendary Hampton Coliseum.
11/29 – Bela Fleck sits in for most of 2nd set, including the set closing Slave to the Traffic Light. This show also includes a great version of Possum.
11/30Tweezer -> Makisupa > Antelope. Many regard this Tweezer as setting the table for the epic version two days later on 12/2/95.

Those are the highlights as I see ’em, but please tell me, what did I miss? Some soaring “Rebas?” A majestic “Hood?” Let me have it! Phish Friday will be back next week with picks from November ’96! Any suggestions? Leave a comment below or tweet @LiveMusicBlog

*Updated with a Video of “Rift” from 11/30/95 via @Telekinetica!



  1. My thoughts on my selections, if anyone cares ;)

    November 95 Highlights:

    11/14/95 Stash -> Manteca -> Stash -> Dog Faced Boy -> Stash
    -A staple of Fall ’95 jamming ever since the notes left the stage, this entire show has actually been immortalized as an official LivePhish release.

    11/18/95 You Enjoy Myself
    -It was hard to limit myself to just one version of YEM, as Fall 95 was truly the pinnacle for the song that most embodies Phish (see 10/31, 12/9, and 12/31). This one contains a little Brick House jam.
    Honorable Mention: The 11/10 version is also worth noting for it’s segue in and out of “Crossroads”.

    11/21/95 David Bowie
    -This Bowie has one of the longest spaciest “hi-hat” intros I’ve ever heard, and a fun drop into Talking Heads’ “Take Me to the River” for good measure.

    11/22/95 Free -> Llama
    -After an aborted Rift to start the 2nd set (where Trey graciously placed the blame on Fish), the band launched into the most ferocious version of Free by a long shot.

    11/25/95 Timber -> Kung, Mike’s Song -> Rotation Jam -> Mike’s
    {{{Sections starts at exactly one hour into the YT clip above}}}
    -This date marked two very big firsts for the band: the first known Rotation Jam, and the band’s first show at the legendary Hampton Coliseum. The second set starts off with a fiery Timber and an aytipical Kung (even by Kung standards) before launching into a solid rendition of Mike’s Song. You can hear the crowd erupt several times when the Rotation Jam starts around the 1:24 mark of the video, until eventually all 4 band members found themselves at the keyboard. The band eventually reclaims their rightful instruments and brings it back into the end of Mike’s.

    -Bela Fleck sits in for most of 2nd set for a couple of traditional bluegrass numbers, including a gorgeous set closing Slave, which marks one of the few times that a guest sitting in didn’t hinder the band’s cohesion.

    11/30/95 Tweezer -> Makisupa > Antelope
    {{{Section starts at 1:07:22 of the YT clip above}}}
    -This entire show slays, but the meat of the 2nd set is one of the inspired and consistent 35 minute segments Phish put together this fall. This Tweezer set the stage for one of the most shredding versions of all time just 2 days later on 12/2/95.
    Honorable mention: the 11/19/95 Tweezer

    Honorable November mention: 11/16/94 Simple.
    While Aaron had some pretty solid picks last week with his 11/94 post, I could not believe he mentioned Rev Mosier’s first show with the band on November 16th and still managed to omit this highlight (hey, we all make mistakes!) I call this the Banana Simple, because it is simply bananas. Type II throughout these 32 minutes, and still the longest Simple of all time, it reminds me of the 12/29 Bowie six weeks later.

  2. No mention of the show opening Cars Trucks Buses>Mike’s Song>A Day in the Life>Poor Heart>Weekapaug Groove from 11/11? Such a good Mike’s Groove.

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