Jimmy, I have some bad news...
What is it Dad?
It's about your cat, Poster...
You mean Poster Nutbag?
Trey begins with an abridged recounting of the base story, mentioning that at Christmas time, the people of this little suburb of Gamehendge come together to hold hands in a circle and sing Christmas carols and all that. He starts in on the evil man and his dog, almost taking this to a Grinch type situation before deciding to move forward, brushing past the typical backstory of our man Jimmy and his beautiful little cat Poster Nutbag.
Trey suggests to those in the crowd who aren’t familiar with the tale to ask the person next to them and he moves on to the MEAT of the story. Fish interjects with some MEAT banter, and Trey gets right to the fight!
On this night, the fight leads to Harpua and Poster spinning around each other so furiously fast that they create a tornado. One so powerful, it eventually sucks the entirety of Gamehendge (including all of the Christmas presents) into a hole in the ground that brings them all to HELL. Everyone is looking around realizing they are in Hell and Jimmy looks around in terror as the Über-Demon walks towards him. The Über-Demon opens his mouth and out pours the horrible sound of Hell!
Fish beseeches the horrible sound of Hell to speak to us, and out comes the Über-Demon himself (played by Tom Marshall) who incants that horrible sound which is in fact the [then quite unavoidable as it was played constantly on the radio] Oasis song “Champagne Supernova”.
Trey closes the story out with Jimmy watching Harpua and Poster melt into the lava at the bottom of Hell as he too melts away.
Fight Locale: Starts in The Town, ends in HELL.
Method of Death: One could argue the tornado that brought all of Gamehendge to Hell is to blame, or that it was *technically* everyone melting into the lava of Hell, but clearly it was “The Horrible Sound of Hell” sung by The Über-Demon, Tom Marshall
Song(s) Teased: Champagne Supernova (Oasis), sung by Tom Marshall
This show, alas, marks the last performance to date of the jazz standard Caravan by Phish which was also a 160 show bustout that evening.
While in later days there would be songs like Walfredo and Rock A William and a host of jams in 2016 with instrument switching, this show marked only the third (of four ever) “Rotation Jam” where each band member rotated through all instruments before returning to their respective rig. This version occurred in the middle of YEM.
On this night the rotation ended with Mike performing the only Phish version of “Sixteen Candles” in the band’s history unaccompanied on piano prior to the vocal jam that closed the YEM ahead of Harpua.
The Sesame Street Theme tease in Coil is a probable nod to the fans who presented Trey with a “Tickle Me Elmo” doll at the start of the 12.28.1996 show the night before.
This is one of the few versions where Harpua dies (more on this as we go along…)