Full Show Friday: Phish Philly ’96 Video Upgrade Surfaces

UPDATE: Adam Roberts is working on syncing taper audio with this footage and has unveiled his version of the first set from December 29th, 1996 which you can watch below.

For their New Year’s Run in 1996, Phish started off with a pair of shows at The Spectrum in Philadelphia on December 28th and 29th before celebrating the 30th and 31st at the Fleet Center in Boston. Shortly after the shows fairly high-quality fan-shot video from the Philly performances started to circulated among fans. Most of the copies were VHS and the quality degraded each time you’d make a copy. Back then, before the digital age gave us YouTube and torrents, if you’d buy a bootleg VHS Phish tape, there were good odds it was far removed from the quality of the original recording.

Yesterday, clips containing the highest quality video of the Philly ’96 shows I’ve ever seen surfaced on YouTube. Now, unfortunately the clips aren’t synced with taper audio, but they are still well worth checking out in their hi-def (720p) glory for the video upgrade. All that’s missing from both shows is the start of the first set on the 28th. The highlights are many and include outstanding versions of Mike’s and Weekapaug on the 28th and a ridiculous second set on the 29th that saw a “rotation jam,” Tom Marshall emerge during Harpua for a cover of Champagne Supernova by Oasis and a killer David Bowie.

So we’ve compiled the Philly ’96 videos for your viewing pleasure. We highly recommend clicking on the symbol that resembles a gear at the bottom of each embed to increase the quality to “720pHD.”

December 28th:

Set 1Runaway JimNICUWolfman’s BrotherIt’s IceBilly BreathesGinseng SullivanSplit Open and Melt, The Mango SongFrankenstein

Set 2Makisupa Policeman[1] -> MazeBouncing Around the RoomDigital Delay Loop Jam -> The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > Mike’s Song ->Strange Design > Weekapaug Groove[2]The Star Spangled Banner

EncoreJohnny B. Goode

[1] Key words: “Stink, Stank, Stunk”
[2] Ended with long Page solo.

Notes: Makisupa Policeman included the cryptic lyrics “Stink, Stank, Stunk,” which may have been a reference to the theme song in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Weekapaug Groove ended with a long Page solo. The Star Spangled Banner was dedicated to Kate Smith, who used to sing God Bless America at Flyers’ home hockey games.

December 29th:

Set 1

Set 2

Set 1Poor Heart > Caravan > Cavern > TasteGuelah PapyrusTrain SongRift >FreeThe Squirming Coil[1]La Grange

Set 2David BowieA Day in the LifeBathtub Gin -> The LizardsYou Enjoy Myself -> Rotation Jam > Sixteen Candles[2] > You Enjoy Myself[3]Harpua[4] -> Champagne Supernova[5] -> Harpua

EncoreRocky Top

[1] Sesame Street theme tease from Page.
[2] Phish debut; performed solo by Mike on piano.
[3] Vocal jam.
[4] Harpua, Poster, and Jimmy were cconfronted by the “Über Demon” and the “evil sound of hell.”
[5] Phish debut; Tom Marshall on vocals.

Notes: Squirming Coil contained a Sesame Street theme tease from Page. Mike performed the Phish debut of Sixteen Candles solo on piano. Tom Marshall contributed the vocals to the Phish debut of Champagne Supernova as Harpua, Poster, and Jimmy were confronted by the “Über Demon” and the “evil sound of hell.” This show featured the breakout of Caravan, which had been shelved since December 2, 1994 (160 shows).

[Setlists Courtesy of Phish.net]

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7 thoughts on “Full Show Friday: Phish Philly ’96 Video Upgrade Surfaces

  1. hey now Reply

    wow. yikes – left channel audio only. somebody should definitely sync this great video with good soundboard audio. please!

    • Scott Bernstein Reply

      I don’t think SBD audio exists, but I let Telekinetica know about this footage and hopefully he’ll sync with taper audio

  2. Lee Reply

    Thanks for doing what you do love these posts. This will help me get through the last hour of my friday at work

  3. lotfungus Reply

    thankyou kindly

  4. Damon Reply

    Still 2 of the most fun shows I’ve ever seen. CRAZY 2nd set on the 29th.

  5. Papa Reply

    I was feeling pretty groovy on the 2nd night, and being straight away from the stage during Harpua, I really thought it was the dude from Oasis on stage with Phish. Which makes no sense relistening to the Uber Demon narration ;) Good times, so miss Phish showd at the Spectrum!

    • Ouish Reply

      Don’t we all brother! These were two really good shows with the second night being an classic. The second and third shows played at the Spectrum with many more to come. Glad to see 96 getting some love lately!

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