This year marks 25 years since Phish’s historic Fall Tour 1995. In recognition of that noteworthy tour and to make up for the lack of shows this fall, JamBase presents a daily retrospective highlighting a noteworthy moment from a Phish fall tour concert that took place on that date over the past 25 years (read a note on Fall 1997 here). The 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour series runs each day between the start of Phish Fall Tour 1995 on September 27 through that tour’s finale on December 17.
Phish’s history on November 19th includes the debut slow version of “Poor Heart” in Charlotte, North Carolina on Fall Tour 1995, a funked-out, four-song second set in Champaign, Illinois on Fall Tour 1997 and guest vocalist Heloise Williams (of Burlington band viperHouse and guitarist Trey Anastasio’s Eight Foot Fluorescent Tubes project) sitting-in on “You Enjoy Myself” in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Fall Tour 1998.
Phish also performed on November 19, 1996, at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City that featured a memorable “You Enjoy Myself” as well. The band’s second and final visit to Municipal Auditorium, where they played the previous fall, produced several outstanding moments, particularly in the second set.
An adventurous +18-minute “David Bowie,” with a drawn-out intro and exploratory middle section, opened the second half of the show. A cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In Life,” set up a rendition of “Bathtub Gin” that brought another healthy dose of improvisation and bled into the “Vibration Of Life.” Trey made the first dedication of the “Vibration Of Life” to the band’s crew, specifically calling out audio engineer Bob Neumann.
Trey then gave the four-count that signaled the start of “You Enjoy Myself.” The Phish classic came out strong and quickly led to a start-stop funk jam, reminiscent of what would become commonplace on Fall Tour 97. During one of the pauses, keyboardist Page McConnell took a turn soloing, while drummer Jon Fishman and bassist Mike Gordon fell out and then snapped everyone back together. At another pause, Trey used his megaphone to squeak out a sound.
The funky jam eventually got rocking behind Trey’s fiery fretwork. Once they hit a peak and pause, Gordon comes in with the bassline from “Groove Is In The Heart,” which he keeps playing while the rest of the band follows Trey to another tension-filled climax. The rest of the band then picked up on Mike’s groove and Fish began singing the “Groove Is In The Heart” refrain and Trey moved to his mini-drum kit.
American dance band Deee-Lite originally released “Groove Is In The Heart” on their 1990 album, World Clique. The recording featured legendary bassist Bootsy Collins and rapper Q-Tip and was a hit around the globe. According to Phish.net, “Groove Is In The Heart” has been teased by Phish a total of six times, the first coming in during a performance of “Weekapaug Groove” in 1991.
The November 19, 1996 “YEM” vocal jam brought about a brief reprised “Groove Is In The Heart” quote. Phish followed the “Groove Is In The YEM” with an a cappella rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” and capped the set with Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.” That night’s encore was “The Squirming Coil.”
Watch the entire second set from November 19, 1996 in Kansas City below (click to start with “YEM”):