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on May 22, 2017
Great sound quality and some of the best improvisations....excellent
1 helpful vote
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on June 3, 2016
I HAD A DOG HIS NAME WAS JIM! GOOD STUFF, GREAT SOUND, THE BAND AT THEIR PEAK, YOU CANNOT TOP MID 90'S PHISH, THEY WERE PLAYING UNREAL SHOWS BACK THEN!
1 helpful vote
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on April 21, 2014
What can I say about this time and place in Phish History? The band was reaching a new high every night in Fall Tour 1995. Several of the songs from this show are felt to be some of the best renditions of quite a few band favorites. Glad i didn't miss it!
1 helpful vote
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on April 1, 2008
I had to buy this album because frankly, the reviews are not always as helpful as I would like them to be. So, honestly, I had to hear it before I could make an honest assessment.

Some say if you are a fan, you will love this; you understand the significance of the show and so on. However, THIS IS NOT THE BEST INTRODUCTION TO PHISH.

Therefore, if you are just getting into Phish, I would buy A Live One instead, I think it is a better, more digestible release.

If you are a long time fan on the other hand, you will enjoy this immensely.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on December 31, 2015
Once upon a time I would have given this show 5 stars and thought whoever gave it less was obviously not knowledgeable in Phishology . . . Not sure if I might have just created a word ? Anywho, I used to think this show was the cream of the crop when my friends and I used to listen to an old bootleg I think it was. Then I purchased a copy once it was released by Rhino and still thought it was magnificent ! Fast forward a few years . . . Now that I consider myself I more seasoned phan I do belive this show is just a bit overrated. Why ? Well for starters I always love the long improvised funky jams of the later nineties. This show doesn't have that. Unfortunately it does have some unnecessary mindless noise (Gamehenge time phactory) as well as some unpleasant nonsense to start the 3rd disc right before what is probably the stroke of midnight. Sigh . . . so overall, for me, As the years have gone on and better shows have surfaced. I can't help but realize that I don't enjoy this show as much as I once did. But still I am happy from time to time to hit the play button and reminisce of days gone by.
1 helpful vote
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on October 19, 2007
If there has been a band that has had the most success of being an "underground" band, it would have to be Phish. Phish has long had the reputation of being a band with an "open audio taping" policy and as a result they built up a great following - especially as a live act. . In fairness to the quartet, this is a band that produces some of the most innovative music anywhere on the music scene. Phish's reputation both as a studio band and a live act really took off in the mid 1990s. Phish would release three live albums in the 1990s - 1994's "A Live One" ,1997's "Slip Stitch and Pass", and 1999's six CD collection, "Hampton Comes Alive". Excluding the "Live Phish" series that would begin to be released in 2001, Phish would not release another live album until after their breakup in 1994. In 2005, Phish would release "Live at Madison Square Garden - New Year's Eve 1995". This would be a three CD set that would feature this New Year's Eve concert in its entirety - and once again continue to legacy of Phish as one of the great live bands of all-time.

As mentioned, excluding the live Phish series, this is the fourth live set by Phish. 1994's "A Live One" was a good introduction to Phish and showcases Phish's jams in top form. "A Live One" was a double CD set with only 12 songs, but contained 131 minutes of music. "Slip Stitch and Pass" does a great job at showcasing the live improvisational skills of Phish while performing an an intimate setting. At the same time, the mid 1990s saw Phish emerge as one of the great cover bands in a live setting. Covering other artists' songs would be a natural extension of the improvisational skills of Phish. "Hampton Comes Alive" would not only showcase Phish's jam and improvisational skills, but would also continue to showcase Phish covering other artists. "Hampton Comes Alive" would feature two separate Phish concerts on back to back nights. For "Live at Madison Square Garden", this would feature also feature a Phish concert in its entirety from 12/31/05. The big difference between "Hampton Comes Alive" and "Live at Madison Square Garden" is that the "Hampton Comes Alive" contains some of Phish's more interesting covers (i.e. "Gettin' Jiggy With It", "Rock and Roll Part II", and "Tubthumping"). On the other hand, while "Live at Madison Square Garden" is not short on covers, it is stronger on jamming and contains more of the longer jams that Phish fans have become accustomed to.

Here are ten facts about this collection:

1-Phish performed three sets on New Year's Eve 1995 at Madison Square Garden. Two sets are played before the welcoming of the New Year. 1996 rolls in at the beginning of the third set and Phish ushers in the year with the playing of "Auld Lang Syne".

2-There is a great deal of material from the bootleg Phish album called, "The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday". This was a concept album focused around the land of "Gamehendge". Songs include "The Lizards", "Colonel Forbin's Ascent", "Fly Famous Mockingbird", and "The Sloth". It also includes other songs that are considered to tie in with the "Gamehendge" theme. These songs include "Punch You in the Eye" and "Axilla Part II".

3-At the beginning of the third set, Phish appeared as Mad Scientists working on a recipe for time during "Gamehendge Time Phactory" as they count down to 1996. However this didn't translate well to the CD collection as all the listener really hears is a bunch of uninteresting sound effects. Still I give Phish credit for including this as part of the concert, thus keeping the listening experience authentic.

4-Phish performs two outstanding covers by The Who's Quadrophenia album - "Drowned" and "Sand and Sea". While they are not played back to back ("Drowned" is on set 2 while "Sand and Sea" is on set 3), they still are good covers. In fact, "Drowned" might be one of the strongest covers ever done by Phish - providing all of the intensity of the original.

5-Other covers include Collective Soul's "Shine", the Barber Shop Quartet-like "Hello My Baby", Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein", and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" as the finale. Longtime Phish lyricist Tom Marshall has lead vocals on "Shine". It is "Johnny B. Goode" that stands out.

6-Phish shows how they can incorporate a calypso-beat during the performance of "The Lizards" - proving to be one of the outstanding songs of the night.

7-Perhaps one of the best songs is the opening track, "Punch You in the Eye". Phish shows a wide variety of musical styles in this song. I love the progressive rock opening to this track, yet later in the track there is an outstanding Latin infusion on the track.

8-"Mike's Groove" takes on a different look at this concert. "Mike's Groove" normally consists of "Mike's Song", "I Am Hydrogen", and "Weekapaug Groove". Here we get a 20+ minute version of "Mike's Song" wrapping up the second set. The third set begins with the "Gamehendge Time Phactory" countdown and "Auld Lang Syne", followed by 17+ minutes of "Weekapaug Groove".

9-Other long jams include 16+ minutes of a terrific version of "Runaway Jim" and 25+ minutes of the longtime favorite live track, "You Enjoy Yourself". Also worth noting are a 10+ minute version of "The Squirming Coil" and 12+ minute version of "Drowned".

10-The beginning of the second set features Phish conceding a chess match with the audience. Throughout 1995 Phish engaged in a chess match with the audience throughout their tour. At the end of 1995, Phish and the audience had each won one match.

The liner notes include a write-up on the concert by Parke Puterbaugh. Overall, this is a terrific set and preserves Phish's reputation as one of the great live bands of all time as well as provides for the full concert experience. Highly recommended.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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on April 16, 2014
This is my all-time favorite Phish show and it is the show that got me into phish. I would recommend this show, along with A Live One, to somebody trying to get into Phish.
Most Phish first sets are not special, but this first set is an exception and is one of my five favorite first sets. The first sets contains some of my favorite phish songs: Punch You in the Eye, Reba, etc. and you get an original new year's themed gamehendge story replete with a short and funny collective soul cover ( what a nightmare!).
The second set is the weakest of the three, but still great. The jammed out versions of Runaway Jim and Mike's Song are the highlights.
The third set is perfect and it is my all-time favorite set. It has everything one would want from a phish set: great covers (sea and the sand, frankenstein, and johnny b. goode), an amazing You Enjoy Myself with my fave YEM vocal jam: long, beautiful, and a touch avant-garde, and a long jammed out version of weekapaug groove.
Overall, New Year's 1995 is an amazing show and I cannot recommend it enough.
1 helpful vote
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on January 4, 2006
Again, Phish has managed to amaze me.

I've had an audience copy of this show for 3 or 4 years, and I chose to never listen to it because I knew that they would officially release this at some point - and here it is. Gotta say, it was well worth the wait.

Short & Sweet -

Packaging (Who cares??)

They did a good job with the packaging. Nice insert booklet with lots of decent pics.

The essay was pretty comical...

Sound (5 Stars)

This release blows the LivePhish releases that I've heard out of the water as far as sound quality goes. There's nothing really more to say. They nailed it. I've been very happy with Rhino's re-mastering work as of late.

Performance (25,000 Stars)

I won't dive into the play-by-play in this review..I think that it's better left to one's own interpretation.

Simply put, this was Phish at their best. If you're new to the whole Phish thing and are unsure of what the hooplah surrounding these guys is all about, or if you were wondering what this band was actually capable of musically, then search no more.

Overall (5 Stars)

23 bucks well spent. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!!!
10 helpful votes
11 helpful votes
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on December 24, 2005
This New Years concert has been voted "greatest Phish show" in many polls, and after listening to this sparkling soundboard CD set, even the most cynical of phans would be hard pressed to leave it off their Top 10 list. The songs are packed with adrenaline, something that was arguably missing from many of the band's post-hiatus concerts...if the Coventry shows were on even half the level of this show, I'd be crying for not attending it.

The band is locked in for most of the night, tearing apart standards such as "You Enjoy Myself", "Reba", "Chalkdust Torture", "Maze", and a trippy "Mike's Song", but some infrequent performances such as "Drowned" and "Strange Design" are highlights as well IMO. Truth be told, I could probably rave about nearly every song here, so let's just say there's a reason I gave it 5 stars.

In addition to this being a great show, it's a nice-looking CD package...once again, Rhino turns in an outstanding product. In short, this Phish release belongs on the short list of "must haves", and has enough moments to satisfy both longtime fans and uninitiated newcomers...
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on January 2, 2006
For those that don't know, this show has long been a favorite of both the band and its fans. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Phish fan that wouldn't rate this show in their top five or ten. I've had audience recordings of it for years, but I had always wanted a nice, clear soundboard recording. With over 20 shows already officially released, the fact that this one hadn't been among them had always seemed like a glaring ommission, so I was really psyched to hear that they would finally release it for the 10th anniversary of the show.

Thankfully, the band was apparently waiting so they could give this show the release it deserves. It's very obvious that they spent a lot more time putting this one together than with any of the 'Live Phish' series. The 'LP' releases sound good, but this one has been given the full multitrack mix treatment and includes a nice booklet with an essay on the show and plenty of pictures.

The sound is comparable to A Live One (that is, fantastic), but that's not the reason this show is famous. The energy is through the roof the whole time, and there are all-time great versions of so many of the band's most beloved songs; the jams in Reba, Drowned, Runaway Jim, Mike's Song, Weekapaug Groove, and You Enjoy Myself are all among the best ever. Sure, there are arguably slightly better versions of many of these songs, but the sheer quality and consistency of the playing in this show is what puts it among the band's best. Virtually every jam is worthy of a mention on the all-time Phish highlight reel, and the non-jamming songs are extremely well played as well.

The only downside I can think of with this release is that they could have mixed the crowd mics a bit higher to better capture the audience reaction in some spots. I miss hearing the crowd going completely nuts in certain parts on the audience recordings. But overall, this is a relatively minor complaint, and shouldn't deter you from buying it. Basically, if you're a Phish fan, there's no reason you shouldn't pick this one up, and if you're not, it's definitely not a bad release to start with.
9 helpful votes
10 helpful votes
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