My Friend featured Trey using his microphone stand as a slide. Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Scent of a Mule contained a Sunshine of Your Love tease from Page during the Mule Duel and later in the song, Mike sang part of Hatzi Kaddish. Whipping Post was played for the first time since April 20, 1993 (286 shows) and featured Fish on vocals.
Sunshine of Your Love, Hatzi Kaddish, and Hatzi Kaddish teases in Scent of a Mule
Debut Years (Average: 1988)

This show was part of the "1996 Summer U.S. Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by Wookiewicz

Wookiewicz My first show and to tell you the truth I really didn't know what was going on. Everything was new for me. The band. The music. The people. The venue.

A event that I will never forget and still trying to remember.
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by RebaCandide

RebaCandide Lots to remember about this, my first Phish show. Since there aren't any reviews of this yet, I'll go ahead and jot down what I can remember from the experience and various recordings. First, the energy and speed on a lot of the songs kept things upbeat. Cavern was over the top to my ears - coming at the end of the first set. Jams on DWD and Scent of a Mule were excellent for me. And even though the jam on Reba started way mellower than what I could have expected, the band seemed like they were buzzing. Reba was my favorite jam back then so I was gone. First show. First Reba. Come on. Again, I'd maybe heard like one or two live Phish recordings up to this point in my life, so I was getting deeper into them than ever.

The choice of cover songs surprised me too. A Day in the Life just about shocked me. Whipping Post kept the energy push on.

Oh, my friend, Andy, actually saw Mike biking through the Alpine Valley crowd. Funny.

This was a better show than a lot of the other live recordings I've heard lately. I wouldn't say it's my favorite live era for them, but this definitely outdoes what I heard in '98, any of the '00's shows, and '09. I don't know, for some fans that's probably not even saying that much.
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by ADAWGWYO

ADAWGWYO At the time this was the largest Phish show ever. Soon to be squashed a week later. My first and last trip to Alpine Valley as well as my only Whipping Post. Solid Reba.

We went to the free MMW show in Madison the night before so we got to Alpine Valley early. We paid some nice folks 20 bucks or something to camp on their back lawn. There was room for 20 or so cars. The only rule was we couldn't set up tents(ruin their lawn.) It was real nice out so that was no problem. As security was kicking people out we hopped the fence to our car, pulled out lawn chairs, an cracked some beers and watched the circus.

Peace All
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by wurm79

wurm79 I had started listening to phish just after I went to see the dead in the summer of 95'. A friend of mine's brother was listening to them, and once I heard them I was hooked. I missed the fall 95' tour when it came through my area, so once I heard about that the summer tour was only going to be a few shows, I made sure I wouldn't miss them coming back around. Alpine Valley was the show, and my what a memory it was. I remember the talk up to it that it was the biggest shows ever, until a week later at Plattsburgh.

I was sixteen years old at the time. Five of my friends, and myself crammed in my buddies 86' buick regal named "skunky". I think it was named that after the odors that came from it. Anyway, we drove from Peoria Illinois till we reached the town of East Troy. We stopped in the town at the square where everyone was chilling since it was early. We smoked and walked around. I remember a small drum circle in the center of the square, and a guy playing Fee on acoustic guitar.

We then left the town and made our way to the parking lot. This was my first time to alpine valley so when I saw the parking lot it seemed like it went on forever, which it did. We got a parking spot and then immediately went for a walk. We all did our our own little journeys through the lot and I picked up some shrooms and some of my friends got some lysergic. That being said, you know were this is going. BONKERS CRAZY!!!

We had all started tripping by showtime. Once the band took the stage you could hear trey with the my friend, my friend noodling on his guitar. For me, this was the ultimate phish song to hear live and perfect for the first, I might add. The energy kept building in that song, and then takes a crazy twist in the middle. The Wilson, Fluffhead, and Harry Hood noticeable highlights. I hardly remember the rest, but I know for sure I was on a journey through the cosmos. What a show! I hope that one day this will get a livephish sbd release some day. The audience copies floating around just don't give it justice. Everything was played perfect that night, or maybe it was just the shrooms. I don't know! You be the judge!
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by Feetoid

Feetoid My first show as well, I went with my older brother and his friends. Its been a while since I've thought about this, so here's a list of things that come to mind.

I remember walking around the lot, beer in hand with ease, something that wouldn't be an easy feat for 16 year olds in the years to come at Alpine. Some guy in the lot later taught me how to open a bottle of beer with a lighter, something I'd never forget.

I ate my first ever, phatty garlic grilled cheese.

The My Friend, My Friend opener was killer, I'd love to see it as an opener again, more than any song! The album Rift always had a "wintery" quality to me, so seeing a first set dominated by Rift tunes set to a backdrop of the ski area that I learned to ski and board at was pretty sick.

Hearing Fee at your first Phish show is pretty sweet when your last name is Fee. Our lawn neighbors wanted proof so my brother and I busted out our ID's.

Whipping Post was funny from what I remember. I think Trey referred to Fishman as "the dork".

Contact > Fire encore? Only now do I realize how dope this was, even if Contact isn't exactly one of my faves.

To sum it up, incredible show. What I thought would be a regular rock concert turned out to be a party of epic proportions. All this plus 2 sets and a two song encore? What a deal for $27.50!!!!
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by deceasedlavy

deceasedlavy Officially my least pleasant experience at a Phish show. I was way back on the lawn and it was too quiet, and I was with a sizable crew who weren't interested in moving up and possibly disturbing people, I guess. At least I learned the valuable lesson never to be a slave to the herd again. Phish played a decent show, but Henrietta shenanigans are about my least favorite aspect of Phish and we got a double dose here, plus "Mule" and a general atmosphere of summer silliness. This seemed like a different band from the one that played my hallowed Dane County Antelope. By the time Fish finished his godawful rendition of "Whipping Post" I had pretty much had it. To my eternal chagrin, I was basically turned off of Phish for a couple years. Listening back the show certainly had its moments, a fine "Reba", "Gin" and "Disease" but I like a dark edge to my Phish and there was none of that whatsoever, except in my bad attitude.
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by greezy_fizeek

greezy_fizeek Also my first show! I was 15 years old at the time and was driven to the show by my grandfather. needless to say it was a culture shock for him.the lot was a crazy new world to me. the whole vibe was just awesome. By the time i actually got into the show the only thing i remember was this guy dancing in a tiger suit in the lawn. Im also pretty sure trey had on a Jerry Garcia shirt but not positive..

Overall: this show changed my life. looking back on it they could have absolutely laid an egg and i wouldnt have cared, I was sold already. but remembering what i can and listening to it at this very moment. its still Everything I thought it was on that day when i was 15
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by hseamons

hseamons Wow, "My Friend, My Friend" returned to Alpine Valley after 23 years! I don't remember a whole lot from this '96 show, but I do remember Trey walking out and looking at the Alpine Valley crowd for the first time—I was 6th row center with my older brother. Was that the largest crowd yet they played to? Trey had a huge smile on his face, and then he started up those rising notes to MFMF. It was my first show, and it still lingers with me to this day as one of the most exciting and beautiful Phish openers. I know MFMF opened a bunch of shows back then, but it was the whole summer gestalt of it happening at Alpine Valley for the first time. It was like they were saying, "We finally made it, and here we go!" By the time the song finished I was thinking, "Now this is something really special"—I was hooked for life!
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by thinktankted

thinktankted This was my first (and regrettably only) show. I'm with the guy that didn't really know what was going on most of the time. I loved the albums that I had, but never really "got" into it here. My experience at this show, like a lot of the live music I went to in the late nineties, was inhibited by how damaged I was from Garcia's passing in '95. I remember the Argent (I think I was with Fishman on that I have since learned.) I was in the restroom for the Glow Stick war. We were way up on the hill. My most vivid memory was of the parking lot after...the idiot security people had made the rows three cars deep, and we were in a middle I sat and drank a couple beers while we waited for the lot to loosen up....boy did I regret that after being stuck in the exit line for 45 minutes and having to piss like a racehorse. It took 20 minutes of driving to get to the next legal restrooms, and I had to wait behind a bunch of other full-bladdered phish phans. I tell everyone here one thing though...I will ENJOY the HECK out the next Phish show that I attend!!!
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by turquOiseMountain

turquOiseMountain At a first show, it helps to get a Fluffhead. The entire audience at Alpine singing Fluff was a perfect induction into the Phish experience. I loved this show. This was the first time I'd heard AC/DC Bag also. I remember thinking how cool it was to have all those catchy songs not on the albums. They played several of their jam songs also: Reba, Hood, Disease, Mule.

I was so clueless back then. I'd had no idea they'd be doing Clifford Ball just a few days later.
, attached to 1996-08-10

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: My Friend, My Friend: Standard.

Poor Heart: Standard. >

AC/DC Bag: Well jammed, really fun version. >

Fee: Standard. >

Reba Thrilling version! No signature moment but tons of high energy moments in the last 90 seconds that make this version one that should be revisited:

I Didn't Know: Standard.

The Horse > Silent in the Morning: Standard.

Rift: Standard. >

Bathtub Gin: Solid offering, nicely jammed. Killer trills at the end. Has a Santana type of vibe to it.

Cavern: Standard.

SET 2: Wilson: Standard. >

Down with Disease: Sound issues that start around 7:39. Snap, crackle, and pops. This goes on for a full minute. I think they may have shifted to a Page led jam on the baby grand while the tech guys figured out the issue? Because pretty much as soon as Page's jam starts the sound issues disappear. Trey wrests control back from Page in the early 10's and wails tastefully. >

Scent of a Mule: If you like really weird songs with yelling and screaming and Sunshine of Your Love – then you will enjoy this.

Free: Standard.

Fluffhead: Standard.

Hold Your Head Up > Whipping Post[3] > Hold Your Head Up: Standard. Funny banter.

Harry Hood: Standard. Pretty middle of the road but Page and Trey do have a nice little few minute love affair early on in the jam that would be worth a listen. >

A Day in the Life: Standard.

ENCORE: Contact – Trey is quite sloppy leading into the Page/Mike funk piece. >

Fire: Standard.

Summary: This is a solid Phish show, the biggest show that they had ever played. Of course that would be eclipsed just six days later. But this was a big moment for the band, and they were basically ready for it and performed well enough. No huge highlights outside of the Reba though. The rating of 4.233/5 (120 ratings) on seems far to strong for me. I would hit this in the 3.8 out of 5 neighborhood.

Replay Value: Reba, Down with Disease.
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