Phish - 1996

The Clifford Ball, Plattsburgh Air Force Base
Plattsburgh, NY, US

Set List

Show Notes

This was the second day of the 2-day festival – The Clifford Ball. Reba ended without whistling. Trey sang the verses of Fee through his megaphone. During the first setbreak, the band turned the stage over to The Clifford Ball Orchestra – a full symphony who performed classical music including Stravinsky’s The Firebird, accompanied by a glider that danced overhead. Before set II, Trey paid tribute to Aaron Stein of Syracuse for being front row every show of the tour. Brother was played for the first time in more than three years (since 8/2/93) and featured fellow Vermonters Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (who were then collaborating with the band on Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food Ice Cream) on guest vocals. Wilson included a Heartbreaker tease. Run Like An Antelope incorporated a female acrobat (Sylvia from Rio de Janeiro) on a rope suspended circus-style high above the stage. The Scent Of A Mule duel featured dueling Page/Fish solos instead of the usual Page/Trey duel. Tweezer included full-size trampolines on each side of the stage with freestyle ski and sport show athletes (some on skis and snowboards!) performing along with the music. During Tweezer Reprise and Harpua, a stunt plane flew above the stage. A fan jumped onstage during Harpua, which was unfinished amidst Trey’s narration…and ultimately completed on 8/16/97 at The Great Went. Like the previous night, this whole show was broadcast live on Clifford Ball Radio. This entire show including the soundcheck and Flatbed Jam were released in March 2009 on The Clifford Ball DVD and played on Thanksgiving weekend 2021 as Dinner And A Movie Episodes 36 and 37. During DAAM36, ‘The Clifford Ball’ vinyl box set was announced for presale in December 2021. Geulah Abrahams (Dave’s mom) died this day – Trey wrote the following in the September 1996 Doniac Schvice: “In Memoriam: I’m sad to have to bring you the news of the recent passing of a loved and important member of the Phish family. Geulah Abrahams died last Saturday in Princeton, NJ at the age of 65 after a brief illness. The Abrahams family has always played a big part in my life. Dave, Geulah’s son, has been one of my best friends for years and together with Tom Marshall, we spent many hours jamming and writing songs at his house. Dave and i wrote “Runaway Jim” together, and he added the “Seen the city” line to “Slave To The Traffic Light”. It always struck me that Geulah’s creativity was a big influence on Dave, and in turn, on Tom and I. Dancing was the focus of Geulah’s life…she founded her own modern dance company – Geulah Abrahams Danceworks, taught and choreographed at the Ballet West school in Aspen, Colorado, and was a member of the dance faculty at Princeton University from 1975-1985. She succumbed to cancer, and in her last year became increasingly concerned with educating others about the dangers of smoking. Geulah will be missed greatly by all those who loved her.” Between The Clifford Ball and fall tour, the band released the September 1996 Doniac Schvice, put the finishing touches on their ‘Stash’ European compilation (11-songs from ‘Junta’ through ‘A Live One’) and reviewed footage for use in The Clifford Ball MTV Rockumentary special, which aired in November 1996. Fish played with Pork Tornado and Mike (and Fish) played some shows with the Gordon Stone Trio. The band also appeared on Modern Rock Live radio show to promote their upcoming album, ‘Billy Breathes’.