On this date in 1996 Phish brought fall tour to Assembly Hall on the campus of the University Of Illinois in Champaign. Full show, fan-shot video of the foursome’s performance is available on YouTube thanks to Telekinetica.
Phish returned to the venue in 1996 after making their Assembly Hall debut on October 22, 1995. They would go on to play one more show at Assembly Hall a little over a year later on November 19, 1997. The quartet’s Fall ’96 visit to the University Of Illinois featured the first take on Rift instrumental “All Things Considered” in 108 shows and the return of the original version of “Axilla” after 170 shows. Guitarist Trey Anastasio had problems with his rig that led to him kicking his amp during the latter.
Improvisationally, the concert is best remembered for standout versions of “Reba,” “Maze” and “Simple.” The latter featured a tease of “Cecilia” by Simon & Garfunkel and saw Trey once again struggle with equipment issues that gave extra meaning to the lyric “I know I play a bad guitar” in the cover of “Loving Cup” that followed. There’s also a nice jam on the main “Dave’s Energy Guide” theme within “Down With Disease.” Phish ended the second set with the only “Mike’s Song”/”Star Spangled Banner”/”Weekapaug Groove” sequence in their history and encored with “Theme From The Bottom” for just the third time.
Watch Phish’s performance at Assembly Hall from November 8, 1996:
[Originally Published: November 8, 2016]