, attached to 1995-10-06

Review by Man_From_Mars

Man_From_Mars The drive to Vancouver from Portland that morning went smoothly. We got a hotel room just south of the border to leave our valuables stateside. Crossing the border was uneventful. We were excited to be heading to the first theatre show of Fall tour, and my first since the ‘94 Beacon run.

Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre is one of the most ornate venues I have ever seen. The beauty is evident from the moment you step through the door. The gold and burgundy colors were so vibrant. It really felt criminal to be attending a Phish show in such a pristine building.

Ya Mar was a pleasant way to kick off the first set. Perhaps they were showing a little respect to the venue and staff by starting things out in a mellow mood. The band’s playing was spirited and playful. The beginning of Stash doesn’t have the edge it can have, but it fit the room. The jam meanders along for a while and picks up steam toward the end but doesn’t get too crazy. Billy Breathes keeps the show on an even keel and sounds nice in this venue.

Reba starts up to my delight as I felt the show needed a little kick in the ass. The composed section is solid and the jam starts out upbeat with some fine playing by everyone. Trey’s playing very patiently and the band is riding right alongside him. Trey takes it to next level and Gordo is dropping some sweet bass lines. This Reba just keeps soaring and soaring right until the end. Instead of whistling the band comes to the front of the stage with their acoustic instruments.

I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome is played without mics and sounds great. I still smile when I hear Page sing his verse about packing his suitcase to go. “Moses Brown on the mandolin,” says Trey. Rift gets the ball rolling again and delivers as expected. Free follows and is faster than prior versions this Fall. I’m pretty sure this is the first time Trey plays his percussion rack during this song.

Lizards always makes me happy. It was the first Phish song to pique my interest and inspire me to learn about this band from Vermont. Page and Trey do their parts justice. Sample In A Jar closes out a standard first set full of tour staples.

The second set opens with a typical upbeat Poor Heart. The ending transitions into Maze and finally we have some intense Phish. Nothing out of the ordinary for this Maze but it ratchets up the mood. Theme From The Bottom allows the band to showcase their ability to sound as one with no one really stepping into the spotlight. The ending is pretty powerful. The 1st NICU of Fall tour is a welcome surprise.

The 2nd Tweezer of tour (6 show gap) is just what the doctored ordered. Post Uncle Ebenezer Trey immediately jumps on his percussion rack forcing Gordon to assault us with his bass. The jam is similar to Free but not exactly the same. Trey gets back to playing his ‘doc while Page is driving things along. Fishman picks up the beat and Trey buckles in for some serious riffing. The pace slows into spaciness and sparse playing by all. Then it slowly builds back up as Trey leads patiently over the sonic groove then drifts away.

Keyboard Army emerges appropriately out Tweezer. Phish being Phish is great! As the song winds down Trey makes his way to Fish’s drum kit. As Page is hinting at HYHU Trey starts playing the drum beat to Suspicious Minds. And Fishman makes his way to the front of the stage wearing his cape to sing this Elvis classic for the 2nd time. Fish being Fish is great!

Slave To The Traffic Light is well placed and delivered passionately to close out the second set. The encore begins with Hello My Baby sans mics. This venue sounded great and was really, really nice; the ushers were very friendly. A Day In Life was a fitting show closer for such a royal venue.

Overall I was underwhelmed by this concert but it wasn’t below average. We retreated to our hotel across the border to get some rest before the 6+ hour drive to Spokane for the 3rd show of this 4-show run.

Worthy of a listen: Reba, Tweezer > Keyboard Army > Suspicious Minds



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