Phish Performs +26-Minute ‘Bathtub Gin’ On Fall Tour 1996
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 made their first and only appearance at the Rupp Arena on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky on this date during Fall Tour 1996. The show, one of two played on November 7 over the past 25 years, was highlighted by an otherworldly version of “Bathtub Gin.”
More 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour on JamBase
The “Lexington Gin” was the longest version of “Bathtub Gin” in the song’s history up until that point and was only surpassed once since, when a rendition played in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on November 23, 1997 spanned +31-minutes as per Phish.net. “Bathub Gin” emerged out of the “Suzy Greenberg” that began the second set in Lexington. Phish’s first set at Rupp Arena featured a mix of oft-played staples such as “Chalk Dust Torture,” “Waste” and “Free” with tour debuts of “Weigh,” “Guyute” and “Tela.”
Guitarist Trey Anastasio starred in the first movement of “Bathtub Gin” in Lexington. Anastasio strung together one powerful riff after another while his band mates kept the song’s normal groove going. However, Phish wound up swerving into a funky section when Trey focused on the mini-drum kit that was part of his rig for a few years. Keyboardist Page McConnell used the opportunity to lead the band with dirty synth work. Trey picked up where left off around the 19-minute mark as he delivered Jimi Hendrix-esque riffs to the delight of the crowd.
Phish connected on an ethereal chord progression that marked the climax of the jam. Yet, the “Lexington Gin” wasn’t over as the band followed the peak with a spacey, exploratory segment. Drummer Jon Fishman hit upon a double-time beat that served as the base of the standout jam’s stellar finale. Anastasio, McConnell and bassist Mike Gordon each ripped it up for an intense few minutes, which out of nowhere gave way to a cover of Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up.”
“Hold Your Head Up” served as Fish’s intro music for a rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Bike” in which the drummer came up front to lead the band and play vacuum. Phish concluded the frame with “You Enjoy Myself” and said farewell with a cover of Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein” as the encore.
Listen to an official recording of the “Rupp Gin” below: