This past summer was full of inspired music, complete with thoughtful jams, innovative styles and excellent set lists. Of course some will say that’s not true because there wasn’t a 20 minute jam on a nightly basis, or that Phish didn’t take it type II enough… but that is garbage. Phish was excellent in 2011 from start to finish.
One show in particular that displays this inspired playing was the now famed “S” in Colorado, which had every song beginning with the letter “S.” While this is in recent memory, let’s take it back 15 years, to the 11/15/96 show “brought to you by the letter “M.”
Not every song began with the letter M, but in the second set every song in aside from Weekapaug Groove contained an M. Trey, before Weekapaug, told the crowd that the show was brought to them by the letter M and the number 420.
It marked first time the band did a theme surrounding a specific letter, and may have spawned the S show. 1996 is highly regarded as a year of growing pains between the epic 12/31/95 show at Madison Square Garden and the cow funk of summer of 1997, but certain shows shined and this was one of them.
Give it a listen by finding it right here: http://www.phishows.com/
11/15/1996 at the Kiel Center in St. Louis, MO
Set 1: Wilson, Divided Sky, Bouncing Around the Room, Character Zero, Punch You in the Eye, Prince Caspian, Ginseng Sullivan, Train Song, Chalk Dust Torture, Taste, Cavern
Set 2: Makisupa Policeman, Maze, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Split Open and Melt, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, My Mind’s got a Mind of its Own, Mike’s Song, Sleeping Monkey, Mean Mr. Mustard* **, Weekapaug Groove **,
E: Funky Bitch **
* 1st time played and Trey announced that the show was brought to you by the letter M and the number 420
** Jon Popper on harmonica
(Aside from this disclaimer, there are 333 words in this article… my theme?)