, attached to 1996-10-26

Review by plaintxt

plaintxt Ah... ten twenty six ninety six. I've said those words a bunch because this was my first show. Today is its twentieth anniversary. And twenty years later, I still love this show so much. It's probably the show I've listened to the most - and maybe I have beer goggles because it was my first time but I still think the song selection and performance are fantastic.

My friends wanted me to go to 11/19/95 but I wasn't into the band at that point. It took another year, but I remember hearing MFMF for the first time and being so happy. Anyway, I went to this show with those same friends, and we had a blast. Even in the balcony, I could see that Mike was wearing bright green pants rolled up halfway. What a guy!

Lots of people don't love Julius. But I do! This is a strong version, with an uptempo driving rhythm that gets the crowd worked up right off the bat. I remember playing this version for my dad years later because I thought he would appreciate the swing beat. He didn't get it.

Other first set highlights include Reba, Train Song, and Theme. Reba has been my favorite tune for a long time. While this version doesn't have the bottom-of-the-gut antics of the studio version, it's well played and energetic. Train Song is so tender! It's fun to hear the band move from the wailing Reba climax to whistling to a quiet ballad without losing the crowd. The Theme is by no means an 11/23/97 version, but it's played well and turned the Coliseum into a fishbowl. Good times.

The second set opening DWD > YEM duo is probably the single biggest reason why I've returned to this show so often. I'm not a musician, but it sounds to me like the DWD was played in a slightly higher key than normal - especially Mike's opening line. Back in the tape days, I would rewind Trey's last solo over and over to try and figure out why it feels so right. I remember trying to explain it to a buddy "you hear that? It's like he's turning it around or something. It goes down and then up at first- but then it goes up and then down!" Yeah. I'm not a musician. But I also remember taking this tape with me when I visited a girl in France around 2001. I had met my (now) wife a few weeks earlier but had already booked this trip. On the bus ride out of town, I had the biggest grin hearing "this has all been wonderful but now I'm on my way!" Also, this is how I like YEM to be played, with standout solos from Page, Mike, and Trey.

As another reviewer mentioned, this is an unusually strong version of Sparkle. Yes, it's Sparkle. But the crowd reaction is BIG.

The Simple from this show gained some attention after being released on Live Bait 8. I don't remember it that much, and that's possibly because I didn't know about Type II until much later. I do remember loving the McGrupp, and I'm still delighted that it was part of my first show. The Antelope closer is an absolute rage-fest. As evidenced by the Fire encore, Trey was pretty excited about Hendrix here. Thanks, Jason Roberts!

It holds a special place in my heart, but I also think that this show's energy and musicality make it worth the time.

Here's to the next twenty years :)


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