, attached to 1995-11-28

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito Several shows before the legendary month of December ‘95, I was curious to see why this show seems overlooked and whether it was potentially underrated. The show-opening Stash is certainly a nice start. While nothing close to the magnificent version a few weeks back, on 11.14.95, this is an energetic and unexpected way to open a show. For those keeping count, Stash has opened shows only seven times so it’s a fairly rare treat and this version make me wish they did it more often. (Another underrated Stash-opening show is 7.22.15, which remains one of my favorite shows from that fantastic tour.) Dinner and a Movie follows. Although this was a bust out earlier in the tour, by this point in their career this tune had already become a rarity so this was nice to hear. After BATR, the band treats us to Foam, which is a solid and welcome take. Other highlights of the first set include an excellent Divided Sky, which has a nice jam in the latter few minutes and it seems like the band really gels here. This is followed directly by Guyute, solidly played. A brief 2001 opens Set II, leading into an awesome Maze. Much of the rest of the set is well-played and fun. Additional highlights include an energetic Suzy, Free, and a mid-set Antelope. I really like a lot of versions of Free from this era as the band was consistently stretching the tune out. This is a typical version for the era, which is to say it’s excellent and worthy of a listen. There are, however, more interesting versions out there from this time (e.g., 6.26.95 and 11.22.95). Overall, this is a quality show that is likely overlooked due to the many great shows to follow the next month, plus it lacks any big jams that occurred at many of the shows from this tour. However, there are numerous highlights, enough to warrant labeling this show underrated and worth checking out.
, attached to 1998-08-11

Review by GrantBrown

GrantBrown I broke in my tube preamp on my hifi setup with the Schoeps copy of this show & was amazed at how warm and airy my system had become. Turns out - it was the show. No seriously - this show is ridiculous. When the Wolfman's jam hits, veteran phans know that this is gonna be somethin else altogether. The 4 guys bounce harmonics off of every inch of the venue & they're doing it was style. And the show is LOUD too. The maze - just listen - spaced the F*ck out doesnt even describe it. Runaway Jim 95-esque - case closed playa. Its shows like these - when the guys are edgy and hungry that make their 4.0 star shows seem kinda... well just pretty good. A+++++
, attached to 1998-11-02

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat Allusions to ecstasy pervade Trey's banter at the very outset of the Harpua storytelling section. He says, "We're happy to be here at the E Center," with huge emphasis on "E." Wink wink. He doubles down, saying, "What a good place to be. I LOVE this place. I'm in love with this place. I love everyone here, I love everything. I feel so warm and full of love..." Not sure if the crowd picked up on this stuff live but definitely this is straight up drug banter. Oh, Trey!
, attached to 1992-03-13

Review by conormac

conormac A great early show from 1992 (especially Set 1!) and only the 5th show into the Winter/Spring Tour. This is considered one of the bands best early tours, especially as they tear across the west coast in mid-April. But even in March things were heating up. There are debated GOAT versions of Phish classics like Fluffhead and Antelope, and some great readings of newer songs that would eventually make it on the Rift album (Maze, Mound, The Horse>Silent, Rift). The technical prowess of the band is on full display, and they are still playing small enough rooms to indulge in funny stuff like the secret language and Fishman extravaganzas on a daily basis. Phish comes out of the gates strong with the Curtain. It is perfectly played, and sets a great tone for the show. Immediately out of The Curtain comes the SOAM drum beat. At this point, to my ears, you can hear what separates 1991 from 1992. The band seems so relaxed, yet so tight and in the pocket. The sound (system) has improved, and the band just has a fuller sound in general than previous years. For me, it's why I enjoy 1992 so much, cuz it really is the band taking all they've learned from the past 5 years, and combining it into a well-oiled machine. They are still such a young band, but their sound is maturing, even if it takes another year for them to start breaking their own boundaries. Anyway, SOAM is played very tight and as they enter the jam, things heat up. Things stay in the pocket with Gordo really thumping away on the bass line. Trey's maturing, yet still nasty, tone is on full display here, as he builds tension against the band’s groove. At the 6.5 min mark, things start to grow thick under Trey's repeating guitar line, Page hammers away, and Gordo starts walking the bass underneath, until Trey trills to a peak, perfectly in sync with Fish. A great energetic take! Next comes a well-played Poor Heart (albeit a little slower than other, better, versions) and Guelah Papyrus, which is executed nicely, but nothing extraordinary (They sure did like this song pre-94). Up next is Maze which is the first new song of the bunch. This version is played pretty much by the book, but that's fine. Trey and Fish are a little more subdued during the verses, not popping off aggressively each time they hit the lyrics, but as they enter the jam, Trey wakes up and shreds this one in classic machine-gun style, though, in general, it is all a little tentative in comparison to versions to come. However, Maze truly was an instant classic Phish song, even during its debut tour performances, and this version is highly enjoyable, if only for its newness, and it seems, to my ears, like a pleasant surprise for the crowd. The band next treats us to the oldie but goodie, Dinner and a Movie. The song is its great self, with added energy of Trey's screams, and the Ahhs from the crowd are very enjoyable as well. They next jump into an average take on Divided Sky. The crowd shouting Possum during the break is comical, as you wouldn't hear that in 3.0, but back in the early nineties, Possum was a highly requested song, and often played with some of the highest energy of the night. Anyway, the Divided Sky itself is standard good, nothing too special or memorable. Up next is the 2nd new song, this time from Mikey, with Mound. Fishman starts it off, his snare tone sounding great IMO, and the claps from the band/crowd making a meager performance. The band enters, Fish changes the drum beat, and we are off and running through the song proper. The music is fine, but the vocals are still developing at this point (Trey/Page harmonies in particular are not as well-executed as in later versions). The band successfully navigates this difficult tune, and rewards themselves with jumping into, whatdoyaknow, another difficult song! Fluffhead is a definite highlight from set 1, and is often referred to as the GOAT by many. The song is played with both emotion and precision, and the tension built throughout the composition is truly appreciated once they hit the Arrival section, which has some of the best energy release I've ever heard! Though it's Trey that gives us that peak we love (and of course the Yellow Brick Road tease at the close, starting many OZ references), Mike is the MVP throughout IMO. This is a keeper for sure! "Ssssccchhheck it out" for yourself. The band wastes no time and jump right into a historic Antelope, with Mike continuing to tease the Wizard. Trey cues the Simpson tease, and the "Doh!", but the crowd doesn't know what hit them (they may not all be in on the secret language...yet). Antelope continues, and we quickly slide into the Em jam. Things start to get interesting right away, as Page and Trey repeat syncopated notes against each other, with Mike playing the closest thing to melody, and Fishman just slinking along in the back. The jam becomes more tense and especially swirling, feeling like Dorothy herself is getting sucked up into the tornado. At the 6 min mark the swirling nature reaches its climax, with Trey nailing long ascending and descending runs, and hitting a quick peak at 6:40 mark bringing the band back into more standard 'Lope territory. But then surprisingly, as if the storm has cleared, the band breaks down at the 7:20 mark. It's kinda like the end, but not really, cuz someone is chanting/screaming, and then Trey randomly comes back in firing with a highly distorted lead. But, alas, they break it down again, more chanting/screaming, and then Trey treats us to some nice reverse delay/echo parts, the band breaking down around him. We end in a slow yet chaotic jam, with Page playing chromatic organ leads over top. All of a sudden the band starts to speed up, and we are in BBFCFM!! "Oh why?" repeated from Gordo at 1st chorus comically becomes "Hawaii" and then "How are ya?" (in a kinda RI accent), then Trey suddenly cues the band back into the closing part of the Antelope jam. But, of course, the band slows things down again, as if they are going to go to the end of Antelope, but Gordo keeps bringing back the BBFCFM lyrics ("Why do I try to kill you?") Then Trey again brings us back to the 'lope jam one last time, which finds itself into the end of the song proper-like. A Simpson's signal at the end really says it all ("DOH!"). What a mind fuck! A fantastically strange and exciting way to end the 1st set (one of the best of the year IMO). Set 2 opens with some pleasant, jazzy noodling, then Over the Rainbow teasing, adding to the Wizard of Oz nature of this show. Then Trey quickly jumps into Wilson, the rest of the band falling in behind him. More Over the Rainbow teases follow, jabs and stabs by each band member, then the classic Wilson chant. From here, the boys run through a standard reading of Wilson, and immediately dive into Brother. Brother gets a Hawaii reference from Trey before jumping in to shred this solo to pieces. This Brother is not extraordinary, but a very good, high energy version. Up next is The Horse > Silent, which is a new tune at this point, and gives Trey a chance to give a shout out to "Matilda" in Horse. Silent is well played, even if, like Mound, the harmonies are still getting smoothed out, finding the voice that brings us to our knees if you will. Regardless, this song is a great addition to Phish's "slow song" category. After a short break, Phish busts into The Landlady, which gets the crowd moving. The band provides an energetic ending to the tune (with a typical big Fish fill) and lands right in the start of Lizards. The band immediately locks into this version, which goes through the typical motions to much success. The crowd claps fanatically before the final section, which entertains Trey and Fish as they know it will be difficult for them to play along with the clap. The crowd ceases, and we are treated to an excellent rendition to the close. Phish then jumps into My Mind's Got A Mind Of Its Own, which is also a new cover tune, with Mike taking the lead. This one is very well-executed, and seems to me to be a reference to the crazy Antelope from Set 1, and also a hat tip to the Scarecrow from OZ. The 3rd Gamehendge song of the set comes in next. The Sloth features some excellent interplay from the band, as they float through the changes and feels. The reworked version of Rift is next, and is executed nicely. Fun to hear the song change from the slow and misguided infant 1990 versions to the one we know and love today (see http://phishtracks.com/shows/1990-04-28/rift if ya wanna spin the old version). After Rift comes Fishman's part of the show. For this, he picks the "old standard" Love You which is fine, but kinda wished they had stuck with the Wizard of OZ theme and done If I Only Had A Brain, but that's OK. The bagpipe adds to the comedy, with proclaiming "Isn't this a fucking great invention?!" Then he "feels like suckin", so he plays the vacuum over a fun groove. Fish wraps up the tune and retreats to his cold as ice throne. To close the set, Phish picks Possum (satisfying the phans that screamed for it during Divided Sky) and also giving Trey the opportunity to once again explain the secret language (Trey tests the "All Fall Down" signal and no one falls down, so he must explain again). It's a riot to listen to Trey explain all the signals. [i]Too bad[/i] the band got too big too fast and they couldn't see the social experiment truly come to fruition. Trey then jumps into Possum proper. During Trey's solo, he does the Simpsons signal and the crowd joins in. The jam starts build as normal, a Turn Turn Turn tease comes, and according to Trey, the crowd reaction is very weak. Regardless, Trey continues ratcheting up the tension as they move along. The final round is very bluesy and ripping, but not extraordinary, making this an average version made better due mostly to the signals. The encore is Contact > Fire. Contact is unique (and funny quite frankly) with the addition of Mike on accordion during the intro and outro. Trey then rages in to Fire, which ends the show on a very high note, and has the crowd hooting. Trey absolutely shreds it Jimi style to close the night. This is a great show from 1992, a perfect combination of technical prowess and antics. Set 1 especially is a must listen for all fans of classic Phish, with Fluffhead and the Antelope from Mars really standing out as all-time versions. Set 2 is great, but not quite the treat as set 1. Happy Phishin'!!
, attached to 1999-09-28

Review by Abe_Froman

Abe_Froman Fun show. The band was having a great time, sounds like the audience was too. Dance party extraordinaire to kick off the show, with Wolfman's, Sneakin Sally and Tube. Lovely Velvet Sea and Harry Hood to finish set 1. Opening set 2 with three new tunes was....interesting. They're all well played, and the crowd seemed to be into them, but, yeah....that's the beauty of live music. Sometimes it holds up, sometimes not so much. That back half of the set though, good stuff. Slow, slinky Tweezer, Makisupa, standard/great Chalk Dust, and a BIG YEM. Last outdoor show of the year, til Big Cypress that is. Glad they eventually made it back to Oak Mountain. 4 stars!
, attached to 1991-12-31

Review by conormac

conormac A great old school NYE show and a hint of what was to come in the future. Nothing [i]absolutely[/i] ground breaking here, but some great takes on Phish standards with the added energy of crossing into a new year. Apparently this was a much bigger success than the previous year NYE show, and the crowd gets treated to a good one. Not quite the craziness of NYEs to follow, but great nonetheless. Note: Page is mixed loudly throughout, which makes for a different experience at times, especially Stash, Tweezer and Mike Groove. Possum opens and the band dips their toes in to make sure the water is warm. By the 5.5 min mark, Trey is trying his darndest to blow the roof off in song #1, and nearly does at the 6 minute mark. Man, what a start, and the crowd is immediately stoked. Foam in the 2 slot is a typical (maybe safe) play, but the band plays it very well, Trey employing a staccato style during his solo, and then is really growing by the end, which is fun and interesting. Sparkle is up next, and Trey uses his new cursing voice box for the first time. At this point its just confusing. Sparkle is straight forward otherwise, well-played, though not at break neck speed and borderline out of control like later versions. Next the boys jump into Stash. After shaking the rust off in the intro, the band locks in nicely. Page shines with dramatic comping behind Trey's stellar leads. At this point, the band has learned the tricks that make Stash a great far out jam, filled with tension and peaks. We get both in spades here, and the boys really push the boundaries, making the first truly standout tune of the night. The Lizards visit us next, and it is a fine version, well played and enjoyable, and Page adds a little extra to his piano breaks. They slip in to Guelah Papyrus next. The band struggles a little to settle in. Page's organ playing is tasteful, but the bands timing is a little off at first. Luckily, the Asse Festival portion is played nicely, and the song concludes energetically, but this is the low point of the set IMO. Trey takes the time to dedicate Divided Sky to Chris Dainty, which is a heartfelt moment. And, of course, DS pulls at the heart string on its own, so the next 12 minutes are pure Phish bliss, setting the bar higher and presenting the 2nd true highlight of the night. Trey shines for last 3 minutes, dancing around the peaks and egging his band members on, Fishman finally setting him up for the last big peak with a strong snare fill. At the 11 min mark, Trey is soaring, as good as it gets IMHO. We join the circus in Esther, and Trey once again uses his cursing voice box, this time clearly saying "Fuck You", which gets a reaction from the crowd. Trey then tells the crowd that it was a Christmas present. Nice one. Esther gives Trey another opportunity to play a classic soaring sustained guitar lead, after kinda struggling through the middle section. It's a fine version, but the Llama that follows is from another dimension. Page comes roaring out of the gate in the intro, and the band is immediately locked in step. Page again smokes his organ solo, using a lot of chromatic runs to build tension, and, by the end, he is just wailing. He switches to the piano and Trey steps up to the plate. His solo is like a high powered drill to the chest; the energy is off the charts, but none of it sounds nice, very unsettling, even when he does reach the peaks And the valleys, they are just ridiculously demented. Leading up the 4 minute mark, Trey is a man possessed, and its great. Our 3rd highlight, in the first set! Call the exorcist after this one! A typical closer in Golgi is fine. Nothing crazy, just a great tune played average good, Trey and Page playing around with timing in the middle instrumental section. It's different, and works OK. The set ends after the energetic chorus refrain, and Trey thanks the crowd, but I'm still reeling from the Llama as set 1 comes to a close. Brother makes an appearance to open Set 2 at about 11:45pm. Mike slaps the bass energetically, and the organ swells above. Getting to the 2nd verse, the band stumbles a bit, but quickly locks back in. Apparently Trey's 2nd cousin, and someone twice removed, joins him as he enters the jam. They help bring back the nastiness from the Llama for a bit, not quite as chaotic, but twisted for sure. The crowd roars at the end, and then the girls in the crowd cheer (maybe some guys too) for the start of Bouncin'. It's an interesting call with less than 10 minutes until midnight, but I guess it was important to play a shorter song, so they could prepare for the countdown coming up quickly. Buried Alive opens next, and Trey announces that they have about 2 minutes until 1992. He jumps into the lead, then teases Auld Lang Syne the 2nd go round. It works nicely, but not as smooth as some other teases in later years (NYE '95 Paug is my fave). Trey then counts down to HAPPY NEW YEAR and the band crashes into Auld Lang Syne proper. For the new year, Phish chooses Runaway Jim, a song that shred 1991 to pieces consistently. Things start all normal-like, but then Trey finds a riff at the 5 minute mark, which helps him ratchet the energy to a long sustained note. The jam continues to pick up momentum, then ends, of course, with a fiery performance from Trey and Fish in particular, the trill at the 6:30 mark making for an exciting peak. Its a great way to honor 1991, in straight Machine Gun style. With 1991 behind us, Phish jumps into The Landlady, allowing the crowd to salsa dance with their date. Fun stuff, with Fishman really driving towards the end, but it's not til Reba that we get some more truly inspired play. Starts as normal, close to the studio version tempo. Everyone is playing well, and the lyrical part of the song, roll along nicely. The composed section is also well-executed (par for the course in '91...well '92). Fish's drum solo is precise, and the boys land in the jam smoothly. The crowd is ready, and Trey takes his time getting in. By 8 minute mark Mike is ready to drive, and he urges Trey to pick it up, playing impressive bass fills through his octave filter. This leads to the first intersting moment of the jam, as Page decides to ratchet up the tension, which eventually breaks with a peak around the 9 minute mark. Trey is then primed to soar, and proceeds to rev things up until Fishman cuts things off (a bit too soon IMO) and the band lands together at peak. The whitelisting ensues, and we bag, tag it, and sell it again. Cavern comes next, and Fishman adds a little extra spunk in his beat. But Trey dances around the chords a few times, and just when ya think the band is gunna lock up, Trey stays out. It doesn't really work, but that's OK, cuz Pages queue to the lyrics is tasteful. Trey continues his long dragged out notes through the instrumental breaks. He also forgets some lyrics, which is comical, but doesn't help the relistenable quality of this version. After a quick jaunt through My Sweet One, we close the set with Antelope. Bluegrass fans like me will enjoy the Nellie Kane tease in the intro, but will cringe when the band stumbles into the next part. Trey tries to make up for it buy playing what sounds like the Cities chords over the band, but it doesn't really pan out. They eventually make their way to the Em jam. It's hard for them to get settled from the start, and the jam kinda meanders for a bit. At the 5 minute mark things grow more tense and interesting, but the band isn't 100% locked in like other versions from this era. That being said, the build up at the 6.5 minute mark proves successful and the band hits one really large peak before breaking down to the final section. Trey plays some different chords in the Marco E part, which kinda works, but not really. We go through the motions, and the crowd agrees to reset their gear shift, and lets out a huge cheer as the boys close the 2nd set. A below average version of 'Lope for the era, really nothing special. Ultimately, the 2nd set is short (about 50 minutes), which is OK, being that an absolutely stacked 3rd set is coming our way. Fishman starts with Wilson with just his kick drum, but Trey takes over and gets the band started. He also uses the cursing voice box again, and third time the charm. The voice is very clear now since its used in the breaks in between Wilson hits. It also works on another level, cuz Wilson IS a "Fucking Jerk". And this makes me realize, there is a connection to Trey using the voice box in Set 1 as well. First during Sparkle as it was a gift ("she buys a gift"), and during Esther, cuz fuck that doll is evil. Oh Trey, you so clever. The Wilson chant from the band starts and soon we are into the song proper, Trey shredding the guitar parts with fury. The breaks come around again, and again Trey nails the voice box. Wilson ends in typical fashion, and the opening notes of Coil come forward. A standard reading here, average good, and a chance for new year's introspection and reflection during Page's extended outro. But the Tweezer that comes next elevates the energy back to party time. Trey starts the riff, and the band slowly slinks in gently. This Tweezer starts as normal, but gets a little extra mustard in the jam, and ends at roughly 13 minutes, taking its place as the longest jam of the evening. The band moves as one, and even though spend the majority of the middle part of the slowly building tense music, it works very well due to their patience. Trey is also back in the mix allowing the other guys to stand out, which also helps make the sound more cohesive. Around the 9 minute mark, the band starts chanting, which adds to the menacing feelings of the jam. It's very improvisational at this point, especially for the era, and Trey focuses on creating distorted soundscapes, and allows Fishman, Mike and Page to lock in to a straight rock groove, though, eventually, Fishman retreats back to the Tweezer beat, and Trey revs some Pete Townsend style chords over Page's echoing piano. They lock into hit the classic ending before Trey can take us to the next level. But what this jam lacks in a pick peak, it delivers in dynamic group interplay. A few years later, when the band learns to combine both, is when things really start to amaze. All in all, it's an interesting and above average take for the era. McGrupp emerges out of Tweezer, and is a great juxtaposition of beauty after the previous jam. Despite a few stumbles (Page struggles a bit with chords during the verses), this version is well-played. By the time we hit the instrumental section, the band is humming along again, and Page delivers a nice solo, kind of reminiscent of the end of Coil. The Mike's that immediately follows again brings something a little extra. The song proper is tight, yet laid back. The 1st jam is pretty standard good for this era, Trey sustaining 1 long building screech, and Page really utilizing his organ's full potential. But when the 2nd jam ensues (pretty sure because the band stumbles after the classic Mike's build up) something is a little different. The band gets very punchy as Fishman retreats to his closed hi-hat. Trey joins in supporting Page as he continues to crush the organ. This section hints at what Phish would learn to do with the Mike's jam in later years (more groove, and less screech). After this pleasant section, the band hits the walk up build again, this time with even more gusto, and continue on to the proper ending. Great stuff, and a clear highlight from the 3rd set! Hydrogen is beautiful, the crowd urging the band on, then and we quickly dive into Weekapaug. I really like Mike's bass solo here, with Page gently backing him up. Trey enters and we're off and running. Trey settles on a lion sleeps tonight quote for a while. When he abandons that theme, things start to peak back to standard Paug shredding territory. The band is locked in as ever, building a large foundation over which Trey can soar. Around the 4 minute mark, things really start to rage, Trey absolutely shredding, but it doesn't sustain, cuz by the 5 minute mark we are winding down to the ending refrain. A very powerful (albeit short) version that has a [i]larger[/i] sound quality then versions from 1991. A great exclamation point to the final set! Before the encore, Trey gives Mike's Mom a "new hand" for her new artwork acting as the stage backdrop. Fishman urges Kuroda to do some things with the lights so the band can see what it looks like in action. The Ooos and Ahhhs from the crowd are entertaining. For music, Phish chooses Lawn Boy, which is perfect in this setting. Page is my MVP for the night, so letting him croon a little is appropriate. Trey plays the Christmas song during his solo, which fits surprisingly well and is played perfectly, and is in honor of his favorite Christmas gift, the cursing voice box (LOL!). Next up is Rocky Top, which gets the crowd dancing again. And of course, out of the cheers comes the Tweeprise, and it blows the roof off one last time, just like when they started with Possum. People cheer and everyone goes home. What a night! This is classic old school at its finest, nothing too outrageous to be found, but very well executed set lists. If you enjoy early Phish, the archival release of this NYE show is a must. Rage on!
, attached to 1990-10-31

Review by conormac

conormac Show starts off with the classic early era pairing of Buried Alive > Possum. Trey shreds BA to pieces, even though it's a relatively new song, and it's most appropriate being that it's Halloween. Possum (another death song) includes some early secret language signals. Fishman kicks us all standard like, and we're off and running, settling in to a calm groove immediately. The crowd eats up Mike's dramatic vocal rendition. As we enter the jam things start quiet, and you can tell Trey means business from the start, confidently floating over the changes. Each time around, the tension is ratcheted a bit more. Mike is mixed loudly, which is nice for re-listening to this possum, as the driving nature of it really relies on Mike's persistence and reliability. At the 7 minute mark, Trey starts really shredding, and Fishman eggs him on by keeping the rolling going even longer than typical. A great jam, that builds organically with very high energy and confident playing. Perfect start! After a brief thank you, and the scary sounding scream that Trey does (ya know? like from the ALO of Tweezer? wish he'd bring that back), we find ourselves in The Squirming Coil. The satanic theme continues. This version is well played, Page, and, even more so, Mike (he nails some nice bass fills) really exploring the boundaries of the form, and Trey pouring his heart out into the last guitar melodies. Page delicately brings us to the close, with Mike gently plucking along repeatedly at first, and then Trey slips is with Lizards (more death filled themes for Halloween...spoiler alert...the Lizards died!). The band drops in quickly, making this a fantastically executed segue. The Lizards gets a standard reading, Trey [i]almost[/i] stumbling some lyrics, but the band really playing smoothly. Again Mike is just dancing all over everything; just superb playing on his part. Trey (I think, maybe Page) scats along with the piano solo, which is entertaining. Trey restrained (at first) solo part in final part is fantastic, his sustained tone, having matured and smoothed in 1990, on perfect display here. Breaking from the death theme a bit, Phish jumps into the new tune, Stash, only played live since September of '90. The band is so well rehearsed that it's intimidating. Everyone is in the pocket and just slaying their parts. It's extremely pleasing to the ears. The crowd does not clap with Fish's wood block solos [i]yet[/i], but the 2nd go-round we get some wooing from several audience members, which brings a smile to this phan's face, knowing what maligned wooing has become since the TT. The stash jam is short by today's standards, but wastes no time getting exciting. While the band pushes the sonic boundaries of the form, and adds tension, they haven't quite learned how to lean on those unresolved notes really hard yet, so the jam rolls forward more pleasantly than later versions, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not what we've come to expect from a Stash jam. Trey hits the closing melodic melodic riff at end and we fall down into BATR immediately. The band readjusts to the change and then jumps into the lyrics. BATR gets the college radio reading here, pleasant, but nothing special. YEM starts up next and the band means business, locking in immediately. Mike's solo is endearing, and the band just keeps the crowd engaged through the whole composition. When we reach the jam, the boys keep it up tempo, really charging forward in this one, each member laying down together perfectly to form a brilliant groove. Page's fills are especially enjoyable, and he reels it up nicely before passing it to Trey, who takes him time building things up. Some say Mike teases Wilson? (I think he's just playing with the groove) and also the Munsters theme, which is topical. Buy the 11 min mark, they are just crushing. The jam peaks, the bass and drums is straight forward, and we are entertained by a vocal jam, pick-pocketing the crowd with this one, and quoting a Night in Tunisia. The jazz teases must have inspired the band, as they next treat us to the jazzy Asse Festival (another new song, played standalone outside of Guelah Papyrus). This short tune leads us to our first bluegrass number of the evening, My Sweet One. Next comes Cavern, which gets some tasty bass fills at the start. No big chord hits from the band, just slinky funk. This version is well-played and satisfying, though Trey is rather restrained on this one, opting not to solo through breaks. For Set 1 closer, we get Antelope, which is fitting. Fishman adds a more snare driven beat (almost bluegrass mixed with Nawlins rollick) in this intro, which makes it feel unique, if not rushed. Not sure if it works completely, but it makes for a different experience. As we hit the next movement, things are back to the standard fare, and we eventually run through a awesomely maddening jam. The band is really locked in and moving together like a rising ocean. A simply great rendition to end the 1st set! Set 2 opens with a stand alone Landlady (new), which is energetic and fitting, though not without its hiccups between band members. Up next is Reba, a personal highlight from this show. Again, Mike just kills the bass, bouncing around the melody to perfection. There is a little stumble as the band repeats the last chorus, but nothing major. The difficult parts are played majestically, Trey again vocally scatting along at times (wait...is that Page?). Fishman adds some fun variation in his parts leading up to the start of the jam, though he plays this drum solo part standard style. The jam, while VERY compact, is also very groovy and infectious. I just love how Trey comes out in front, almost like he's teasing some 80s pop song. He builds upon this theme as the band supports him powerfully. Runaway Jim shows up after, and showcases how Phish can whip a crowd into a frenzy quickly. The vocal harmonies are very nice, and Trey absolutely murders this one (playing more patiently as he builds it seems), and the band works together seamlessly behind him. Full band interplay at its phinest, and another highlight of the evening. The Foam gets thick next, a well-played classic that again showcases Trey's smooth tone (and a few more scats from...Page? It's gotta be Page). Trey's lead work at end is very nice (I still here vocals, man, who is that?). In closing vocals, Mike makes the Foam seem like a horror movie character with his deathly repetitions. An above-average version IMO. From there, our next highlight is Tweezer. The groove is infectiously funky (for an early version), very danceable stuff. Page's switch to organ in verse is tasteful, and it's entertaining to hear the vox get more and more dramatic throughout the song proper. That theme peaks when Ebenezer comes out of the freezer. The jam begins and Page is leading the way with bluesy riffs. Trey sneaks in with some heavy medal riffing, Mike slapping along to great effect. Led Zeppelin phans will delight in the Heartbreaker teases that start at this point, I know I do! Mike's octave pedal continues to impress as Fishman pushes the band to escalate things. Trey finds a riff he likes and rides it home as the boys envelop him. Fishman urges a big peak with a long snare build and the jam hints at going major, but then retreats to more energetic Heartbreaker teasing. Things slow and growl up to one more solid large peak before breaking to the typical slow it down to a crawl ending, and then refraining the Tweezer riff again and employing there teasey stop short ending of the early 90s. A very enjoyable compact early version of Tweezer. Phish next lighten things up with Fee, though the boys play this with good energy, hopping and jumping along in wooden shoes. After the traditional harmonic ending of Fee, the classic pairing of Oh Kee Pa > Suzy is up next and doesn't disappoint. Trey sounds fantastic during this ceremony, and confidently jumps into Suzy. Mike slaps around the bass line a bit which helps make this version pop. Both Trey and Page's solos are energetic throughout, Page's 2nd solo benefiting from the funky off kilter comping from Trey, Mike, and Fish ( I think Fish even let's out a "Yeah!"). Next, Zero Man comes forward and graces us with the original "Love You". This song has an Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd feel, which works well when sucking your face with a vacuum. It's Fish, and it's funny, but probably better in person. But, come one, give it up for him! Without [i]wasting [/i]too much time, the boys jump into Mike's Groove to close the set. Love the way Trey plays this lead line at top, super smooth. After a laid back rendition of the song proper, the jam takes on a slow brooding quality. The classic walk down to hard rock ending leads into Hydrogen, which is also beautifully executed. Though the tempo speeds up into Weekapaug, things stay relatively calm at the start. The band is really listening to each other, and playing patiently, but some of that break neck speed and energy of a typical Paug suffers at first. But around the 3.5 minute mark Trey starts whaling wildly, and the boys help him out, beginning to take lift off. Machine Gun Trey comes out in full effect, and the jam is it's great self, but the whole MGroove doesn't move mountains like we know it can, and will, only a few short years in the future. For the encore, Phish brings out Uncle Pen, only the 2nd bluegrass number of the evening. Trey really shines here, and this version is highly enjoyable. Things quickly move from happy and light, to dark and scary when, to close the night, the boys visit Mars, and bring back the furry creature. This BBFCFM is well-played, especially in the Halloween setting. The crowd loves the strange menacing darkness of it all. "Why is he running?!!" Simply put, this show rules! All songs are well played, Phish's technical prowess is on full display, and their most classic tunes get great readings here (YEM, Tweezer). I really think Trey's tone turned a corner in 1990, and this performance showcases perfectly. 10/31/90 has a firm place in the Halloween set lore. Happy Phishin'!
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by turquOiseMountain

turquOiseMountain Just briefly. . . . . .have to urge everybody to check out the auds for this show, rather than the official CD release. Not that the CDs are bad recordings, but they're way too dry and somehow stifled to my ears. Though the playing speaks for itself, MSG sounds nothing like what those discs come off as. If you were there, I'm sure your recollection of what that gig sounded like is more expansive, resonant, singing, and expansive.
, attached to 1989-08-26

Review by conormac

conormac One of the early shows I wish I could have been at. Must have been amazing to see 1000s (by one account) of people jamming to this early Phish material in a beautiful park in VT. As it's been said, it's a great "snapshot" of early (80s) Phish, and I'm not surprised they released it as Live Phish 9. Fluffhead starts things off, which is a adventurous "soundcheck" song, as they apparently were still dialing the sound/monitors for the band, and Trey is slightly out of tune, and continues to be throughout the set/show (to my ears). As they start the 2nd verse, and later in the song, you can actually hear someone's spring reverb rattling on stage. This all makes for a pleasant experience, as you can really start to picture being there with this young, small, relatively new band. The song itself is played in all it's 1989 gusto, technical prowess, and high energy. Especially enjoyable is Fishman hitting all his parts with precision and vigor. Fluff "Hen" brings us to the tough stuff, and Trey's early tone really shines here. Mike is low in the mix, but Page can be heard clearly, which adds to the magic that is the chase passage. After much inspiring and tight playing, the Arrival...well...arrives...and Trey puts an exclamation point on this one with some very tasty soloing and trilling! Thanks a lot! Now that they're warmed up, a trip to Gamehendge is in order. Col Forbin's > Mockingbird does not disappoint, and Trey's short but sweet narration (they'd get wildly more involved later on) is a fun listen. The long sustained note in Trey's solo in Col F is especially exciting. Paul also has some fun with the vocal reverb when Trey talks in the perspective of Icculus, to differentiate it from the narrators [i]voice[/i]. Mockingbird is played at lightning speed and pretty much nailed, which is impressive, and Trey's playing as he unleashes his solo is unreal. The volume swells that follow are equally artistic and brilliant. Next up is Harry Hood (ya, set list looking nice so far). Very nice bouncy feel from the band to get started. They don't play around too long with the intro, so soon we are soaring through the changes, Treys rhythm guitar shining with a clean tone and Page just smoking the piano parts. After Mr Miner gets appreciation, we gently fall into the HH jam, and quickly the sound of floating on clouds fills the air. Trey cumulusly rides above, gently building the melody. Just before the 8 min mark, he shifts to his grittier tone, and grows bluesier with the band supporting him subtly throughout. The band never really rides a coaster, up and down, as they do typically in versions in later years, but slowly builds to the climax with greater intensity. The rhythm section plays this great ascending line in unison several times as we reach the final peak. It feels good. Split Open and Melt comes out of Hood with a steady tempo. The delivery throughout the song proper is standard, if not straightforward, each band member riding Fishman's funky, off-kilter beat together like a rolling river. The harmonies during the bridge are well-delivered, and we find ourselves in the jam, which starts with very high energy, Trey holding out long sustained notes and urging the boys into dissidence. However they never quite break free of the SOAM melt form (with the Bum, Bum, Bum at end of each chord progression). When Trey hits on the down beat is the most enjoyable moments, as his guitar screams and pierces. The jam is short by today's standards, and ends in typical fashion. Here comes the Divided Sky. Sure! Trey's tuning remains a small issue for me during intro, but doesn't take away from the brilliant execution. We move right along through the suite with each member really nailing their parts, though Page's organ build hits some funny notes and tones until it hits it's sweet spot, leading to Trey's first gritty solo. As the song settles down, Trey comes in with his clean tone, which, without the silence delay of later days, just rings straight throughout the next section. Page's shimmery organ tones shift behind him, making for a layered listen. Per usual, tones grow louder and grittier, but never venture too far from beautiful. We quickly reach the final section, and Trey's guitar roars with long sustain, high above the band. This is classical era Trey at it's phinest, a sound he would continue to develop throughout the early nineties to much success. The big peak at then end is beyond excellent! Because they haven't played any of their best songs yet, Phish decides on You Enjoy Myself. Are you writing this down!? #dreamset. I love this rendition of YEM as it shows off the band's technical capabilities and dedication to performing their songs as written. This song just sums up early Phish for me, the ultimate classic, played to perfection. Yes, the jam does not get all star treatment, but it doesn't need it; it's a perfect tune, majestically played. Trey's solo (where he typically plays the long sustained note the 2nd go-round, but doesn't this time) is played with zest, choosing to play an interesting descending line that lands us in the big build before the vocals. The funk section cooks along with juvenile bounce, thanks mostly to Fishman's playing. Page's solo gets really quiet, which is quite nice (though I continue to hear that spring reverb, or is that an organ effect? idk) Mike also has a filter of some sort on which adds to the fun. When Trey returns, things build slowly until he is just wailing away over the two chord jam. The bass and drums comes out with Mike using a filter again. Then the vocal jam slaps the weird icing on the cake. Straight out of the summah hoooouuuuuse comes the intro to Possum. (Are they serious?! This set list is all time!) No frills, or snare build, just straight into the groove, after some short Wes Montgomery style soloing from Trey. Mike takes the lead for the first time, and it's refreshing, the band riding down the road behind him happily. In classic style, Trey comes out quiet and bluesy and slowly build this thing to a roar. And what a ride it is! 5 minutes of tasty Trey licks and we are all dancing and smiling. At the 5:20 mark Trey hits that high note that we all know and love, then we're back to the top. And that's the end of the road for Set 1! Go for a swim, play miniature golf, Phish will be right back! But wait, just look at this SET 1: Fluffhead, Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Harry Hood, Split Open and Melt, Divided Sky, You Enjoy Myself > Possum. OMG that is stacked with classics, and they are all played extremely well. What a start! Set 2: The Andy Griffith Theme is a nice way to get the fingers snapping and lips a-whistlin', very Phishy, and phunny, but not very interesting on repeat listen. "I can't hear you!" Things get started for real when Jimi comes to play. Page shines in this version, singing boldly. After a fiery guitar solo at the end of Bold is Love, we get Yamar, which is a classic early version, with great interplay from the boys, and a very fresh solo from Trey to open the tune. Slave comes next and you can really tell the boys are feeling it. It's short, but sweet, with great soloing from Trey and immense build to a climax from the other band members. Pete Rose would be proud of this take. With a short break, AC/DC Bag comes hot out of the gate. The guitar work from Trey to start is bouncy and fresh, making this version pop. They rollick along through the changes energetically, and as they enter the jam things get even better. Page switches to the organ and they break down the groove a bit, to tremendous effect. Trey rips an ascending line followed by a loud growl, and this jam starts building momentum quickly. When Fishman kicks it to the straight rock beat, the band is on fire. Trey's highest notes ringing above all else, and Gordo laying down the walking bass line at a zesty tempo. The band just keeps pushing the envelope on this one, bringing us higher and higher until we fade into silence. The crowd is getting more interactive now, and after some slight debate of old vs new, Trey decides to settle things down with some Charlie Parker jazz. Donna Lee is a great rendition with the band really locked in unison for the head. Trey pulls off the jazz solo with grace and pizazz, and he even sneaks in a well placed Entrance of the Gladiators tease. Wish they'd bring this one back! Next up is Funky Bitch, which once again give Mike the chance to shine. But before Mike can sing, Trey is growling out of the gates, making this version especially energetic (man he plays the hell out of the lead line). Instead of opting for his standard bluesy solo, Trey gets extremely tense, making the band swirl under his long fiery lead tones. This energetic solo helps Mike come growling into the last verse and has him screaming at the tops of his lungs later as well, which adds spunk to this great version. In atypical fashion, Page takes the last solo, ending this one as lead man. More classic Phish follows immediately, with a fun dip in the Foam. Played at a nice tempo, this one floats along nicely through all the difficult sections. As we get the solo, things quiet down and turn introspective, which is pleasant. Ala, Trey and Co. build this to a climax, albeit quickly. All in all, this quick romp through the foam is fun, if nothing else. Next up is Bowie, which may be the highlight of the whole show. The intro starts out sparingly, then Trey counts the band in, rather than giving Fishman the queue duty as in later years. Things start out normally, maybe with a bit more spark in the boys heels. Everything is well played and interactive, especially Fishman's drumming, which is absolutely on point, and a bit louder than other songs this set. Sounds like they are really going for it. Then we reach the DB jam, which is when things get especially interesting. The boys start things mellow, as usual, but get more and more improvisational as the jam progresses. Trey plays some jazzier chords, which I sends the boys into new territory. Trey hits several riffs, which the band mirrors nicely, leading them through several different movements. By the 8 min mark, the band is far away from the typical Bowie jam, punching away, and bouncing off each other. A fast snare roll from Fishman, starts to push the band back to familiar waters, but Trey again pushes the boundaries. At 9.5 minutes, the band starts repeating and swelling as if getting knocked around in rough surf. The band then starts revving up, and the the rhythm section hits the final section as Trey continues to build. The band catches and starts supporting him nicely, until at 12 minutes, Trey final says "OK, let's do this", hitting the tonic high note sending the band into the final movement and chord changes. The trilling that ensues is well-deserved after the journey it took to get there. This version ends with passion, and hoots and hollers from the amazed crowd. And that brings Set 2 to a close. Set 3 starts out light with TMWSIY, Trey really making his guitar sing the melodies. That quickly rolls into Avenu Malkenu, which showcases Fishman syncopated drumming. This one is sung strongly as well, even though I don't understand any of the lyrics, due to my lack of Hebrew familiarity. Bass takes a nice solo here. Pete Rose and his bookie (aka God) would again be proud. After some comedic pleasantries, we slides into Suzy Greenberg, which takes on a more chill vibe than other versions. Trey can't help but laugh when his band members interject throughout. They take this one to Suzy's house, giving this a menacing flavor during Trey's solo. This is a fine version. Next is a quick Dinner and a Movie, which benefits from great a great solid groove (Fishman throwing in some Llama-esque bass drum doubles). Trey's tone gets pretty warbley at end before the soft breakdown (ooooooooo, ahhhhhhh). Next, Run like an Antelope prances into the set, making itself a personal highlight. The interplay between band members in intro is simple, yet fantastic. We jump into the guitar solo with menacing grace, maybe a little more laid back than other takes. But as we hit the Em jam, things start to pick up a head of steam. Fishman opens up his hi-hat and then washes over to the ride, providing the band the backsplash for which to engage. The band really pushes the energy during this version, and by the 8 minute mark, this jam has grown monstrous, and then quickly shuts down, as they do, to the funky ending section. Trey ensures everyone is listening, and offers a special treat, and introduces Marco Esquandolas! Someone joins on trumpet, not sure who, but it gives the ending a bit more of a unique flavor. Trey again ensures everyone has met properly, before he charges in to the final refrain. On the Live Phish version, the recording fades out here, as Trey continues to scream about his boy Marco. Being as many phriends drove across the state of VT to see the boys, the extended encore begins with Contact. Phish starts this one gently, to nice effect. The crowd enjoys it, as they help sing along at the end, yes that's right. Next we get an early take on Lizards, which is played in all it's glory, Trey getting to sustain those notes with old school tone once again. Just perfect. And to wrap things up nicely, Phish provides the ZZ Top crowd-pleaser, La Grange, which is played with much vigor and precision, Trey laying down a smoking solo once more. "Pick up the garbage and we'll see you next time"! From top to bottom, this show displays Phish's early skill in playing technical compositions, as well as whipping the crowd into a frenzy with eclectic jamming (well...guitar soloing...mostly). This one should stay in everyone's collection, and be revisited frequently, to again remind us where it all started, and how far we've come. Note: the Live Phish 9 version adds a bonus track of McGrupp played on 9/12/89, a few short weeks after the Townsend show, at Pearl Street in Northampton, MA (Great venue!) The performance is a pleasant trip to the a large field to visit with the lone shepherd. The tune is, needless to say, played in all it's aged goodness. Page's solo is especially well-played, to the crowd's satisfaction and participation. Happy Phishing!
, attached to 1991-07-12

Review by conormac

conormac This show definitely belongs in every phans phish collection. The Giant Country Horns add a unique flavor to this show that is quite enjoyable. Dinner and a Movie starts with a great horn line (kind of a precursor to the Remain in Light" set stuff we'll here 5 years later). The energy is very high with Gordo and Fish nailing the rhythm. When the horns join Trey's signature arpeggio lines things start to get even more interesting. We fly boisterously into Bouncin’ and land on the down beat perfectly. Some of the best parts of early Phish is how the pre-planned transitions between songs make for tight executions (as opposed to the loose "feel-it-out" transitions of the late 90s). Bouncin’ is standard well-played (with Trey missing a key on one of his signature lines, but when he rests it really locks in). However, I do miss Page's full grand that would enter the picture in 1993 and make this song even more full/enjoyable. Again, the end of one song immediately starts up another, this time finding ourselves being Buried Alive. The horn section uses a similar syncopated ensemble technique as Dinner/Movie, to a lesser profound effect IMO. However, Trey's growling tone (geez, its angry) gets this one started off nicely. Now it's time for some jazz. Really wish we could get some of these tunes today. I know they may not translate to big venues of 3.0, but the band really can play well in this context. Flat Fee is our first jazz excursion (original composition by Trey) and is nice, with Trey executing the same gnarly tone as Buried Alive for his solo. That wraps our first movement of this set. Next comes Reba (no horns), a classic early version, a little slower than we'd hear in 1993/1994. Hard not to focus on Mike during the composed sections; he is so on and just dances around the melody nicely with his old school tone. The difficult parts are all played very nicely, making the release of the jam that much sweeter. The jam is quite nice with great playing, though the band is still learning how to make this one even more of an emotional journey that it would become in the near future. Next is the Landlady, played with vigor. It seems like there is an auxiliary drummer here based on the extra fills etc (is someone playing bongos, the GCHs perhaps)? Horns rejoin and allow this one to reach new levels, especially the fiery horn solos. Then we are back to standard Phish fare with Bathtub Gin. Another early version which is well played, with added excitement with addition of horn section. Love Trey's vocal delivery here, somewhat menacing. The crowd is still warming up to the idea that they "love to take bath" (I think the infusion of more "dirty" hippies in the late 90s make the fact that we all scream this line now even funnier!) Trey comes out of the gate playing his lead line very punchy with the rhythm section syncopating nicely behind him. The horns (and vocal scatting) joining in give the lines extra power. Things grow more dissident before Trey cuts it off with one last "Bathtub Gin!" After a brief (and comical, due to the background music from Page) intro to the Giant Country Horns, we find ourselves in a jazz classic by Miles Davis, Donna Lee. This tune "stretches out" a bit more to nice effect. After a little jazz, we find ourselves in the first real highlight of the night, AC/DC Bag. The horns are a great addition here (more melodic lines and less syncopation), and the band (especially Mike and Fishman) are playing this with a very funky and jumpy feel, which keeps the energy very high. In the jam, Page hits single note syncopation with Trey to great effect, which builds with the horns fantastically. The short jam is full of great Trey playing as he takes us to our typical exciting conclusion, the horns laying additional foundation that helps build the layers to the climax. We next land in our first bluegrass number of the evening with Rocky Top. Mike takes the lead nicely, and before we know it we are in a pleasant early version of Cavern. Mike starts things off in funky fashion, then joined by Trey and Page. In this version there is no big Em chord drop from Trey and the band, just slinky playing over the main chords. The horns take the instrumental breaks which allows the band to keep that tight funk going throughout. The vocal refrain is standard and energetic. To close out the 1st set, Phish picks David Bowie. The version starts out with jazzy bass soloing from Mike and Trey over the intro. Without the Fishman fill, we jump into the song proper, the horns complementing the band creatively. Things move along nicely through all the composed sections, the horns adding another unique flavor to a classic tune. At 5 min mark we find ourselves in the DB jam. Starts out very popcorny with playful Trey soloing. Mike joins the fun, then the rest of the band, and they accomplish their first jamatic moment smoothly. The horns join at the 7 min mark with swells, adding to the building tension. The rhythm starts to break, driving more tension, until Fishman switches to the straight-fast rock beat, and Trey remains in full send mode. More dissidence and tension starts to grow (hornless) into the key changes. From here we get pretty straightforward Bowie trilling climax, though the horns add new flavor again. And that's set 1! Set 2 starts out without horns, woody-wood-pecking its way through an energetic reading. Trey struggles a bit to get his fingers warmed up, but nothing too jarring. Squirming Coil is another Lawn Boy tune to get a nice early version. Trey and team work their way through the changes with passion and grace, Trey demonstrating his control and classic era tone here, with only one real missed note which sounds endearingly organic as it rears its head. Page has fun with the ending (per usual), though it's not quite as [i]grand[/i] as in years to come. I especially like how Trey winds up the energy with a semi-Tweezerish riff before Page concludes the passage. Next the Giant Country Horns return, for a take on Charlie Parker's Moose the Mooche, which is a bouncy song, Fishman's Nawlins drumming standing out here. Mike also helps support with very playful bass lines. Trey's solo is very fun, with an almost Yamar-like quality. Then comes the actual Tweezer, the band quickly locking in step with one another. The crowd loves it, and the horns play one of the nicer composed instrumental sections of the evening between vocals. Ebenezer plays horns this go round, which builds tension, though he doesn't really know when to stop. We find ourselves in the jam with a big (for the era) Mike bass bomb. Then crunchy playing from Trey, and Mike filtering through some effects. Page and Fishman dance around them until we hit the 6 minute mark where the horns blend back in and we build to our first peak. Trey starts to shine here as he builds with repeating riffs followed by sharp jabs supported by the driving rhythm section. Things grow bluesy and energetic until we hit the big chord at the 8:30 min mark and start winding down slowly to the ending. We get our brief flash of the main riff again at the end which works awesome with the addition of the horns. The horns take a break once again as we get our second bluegrass number in My Sweet One, a standard reading which rolls along quickly. Next up is an early version of Gumbo, which is a highlight for me. Though not gooey like later versions, the horns add a spark (like the ALO version) and the band plays up-tempo and energetically. In the second verse the band really locks in to the groove. Then there is a great instrumental break which is absent in later versions, which I really enjoy and wish they would bring back! Page then gets a chance to shine on the organ. When the vocals come back, the harmonies from Page are very nice as well! Trey then jumps in at 11 and burns this one down. The band even hold out the last chord of the structure a bit longer to create an extra special peak, which hits a sudden stop (think ’97), and then back into the Trey solo. Lastly, the horns then have their shot as they rollick this one to close. Very delicious Gumbo IMHO. Mikes Groove is up next and it's a classic version, the horns making it unique. Trey gives the horns space in first jam, opting for more guitar jabs and stretches, before landing back on the main bass-line riff hard, and then leading the band into the walk up. The second jam sees more hard rock Trey, and the horns return, building back to another walk up. We go through the motions to Hydrogen, which is its beautiful self, very well-played, without horns, which stop short at the end of Mike's, rather surprised to have ended quite frankly. Weekapaug comes out of the gates ready to run wild per usual. Mike gives us an interesting reading on his bass solo at the start, a bit jazzier then typical. When the band hits again, we are full-bore Paug. As we hit the jam, no horns to be heard, as Trey and gang are really pushing through the standard fare. Though at 3 minute mark, things take a unique turn, which helps separate this early version from the pack. Soon, however, we are back in send mode with Trey rallying (rather quickly) to the peak in classic machine-gun style. (Note: the recording goes through some funny warping and phasing during the refrain at the end). To cool things down after the rowdy Paug, Fishman gets to steal the show, and Touch Me is a fantastic tune for his gimmicky performance. Trey introduces Henrietta who proceeds to not only sing his best version of the Doors classic, but also joins the horns with his trombone. Just classic Fish, at its finest and funniest. Next, the "Lizard Queen" retreats to his throne, and the band runs through Oh Kee Pah without horns. Standard version. We land nicely in the classic pairing with Suzy G, which spits fire, and closes the set with exclamation! I especially like Trey's chordal comping during page's solo. I also absolutely love the composed horn lines for this one (Hampton Comes Alive was my first exposure to it, and I still sing them with every version, with horns or not!). Great stuff to close the 2nd set! We get an extended encore at this show, which is fitting, cuz we haven't played enough songs yet, right? ;) Sweet Adeline is performed without mics with average shooshing. Ends with the loudest applaud of the night. Next Frankenstein comes to life (only for the 6th time at this point in Phish’s career) and is a fun listen, the horns contributing tentatively. Trey really cranks it for his solo, his tone getting as dirty as ever. Fishman's solo is executed well, and he gives a little extra of his own spin in the middle with some salsa-y fills. Page sticks to the organ for this version. There is a vocal jam in the middle, with splashes of horns, which makes for a unique reading. After the 2nd drum solo, the band caps this one off with excellent energy! The crowd eggs the band back on for more and the band returns. Trey thanks the crowd, then jumps into a classic Fee, though Page and Trey need to remind themselves of the chords at the start (last played 2 months earlier). Next comes the expected Tweezer Reprise, which has been tearing houses down since 1991! Gordo adds some hardcore bombs here, and the horns help build this one with fury. And that's a wrap! A fun and exciting ending to a fantastic show, which really stands out in this era due to the help from the Giant Country Horns. Like I said, this show belongs in every phans collection, and showcases what was unique about 1991 GCH tour. Phish on! Note: on the Live Phish 19 version of this show, we get a BBFCFM , a bonus track from the previous night at Battery Park in Burlington, VT . Simply stated, it’s Phishy awesomeness! Radical!!
, attached to 2007-09-21

Review by Abe_Froman

Abe_Froman This is a really fun show. Mike was putting together the Green Sparrow in 2007, taking time off from touring, but just happened to land in Kauai for this night, and you can feel the relaxed vibe of this show through the excellent tape from the spreadsheet. Nothing you have to hear from this one, but there are some nice jams, as one would expect from that lineup. Maybe Phish will play Weekly Time at some point? Aloha!
, attached to 1998-08-02

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat Lifeboy has a really interesting uproar from the crowd deep in the song, in the climactic final choruses. Maybe there were glow sticks flying around? Maybe someone ran on stage? Or maybe the crowd was just legitimately moved by this early-era tune being played to a T. Whatever the hoopla was about, it's not a normal end of song ovation. Lifeboy rightfully doesn't get that much fanfare... it's not that great of a song. But this version is particularly on-point and the crowd gets real lathered up during it.
, attached to 1990-09-20

Review by Mattynabib

Mattynabib A lot about this show has been covered by @demandopener, so I'll just leave this here to commemorate my "Phisheversary" of 28 years ago today! I'd heard a fair bit of Phish before this, and I had ATTEMPTED to go see them at least three times, all foiled foiled: once through sheer apathy because I didn't get it yet, once by a car being stuck in ice, and another by my car being stolen (and thus missed the famous first Boston Paradise show)! Finally, on Sept. 20, 1990, I made it to the Somerville Theater. I had expected to go, enjoy it, and be done. Needless to say, this did not happen: I was a convert. I ended up back the next night, early enough to be near the front of the line, and with my Tascam 4-track recorder and some cheap-ass mics. My career as a taper never really took, but my love of Phish led me to several tours and 100+ shows over the next three years, including all of the Somerville Phish shows over the next year or two.
, attached to 1999-09-14

Review by conormac

conormac Love this show. Classic Phish, and one of my faves from '99. Starts out fantastic, with an energetic Chalkdust, spackled but soulful Sloth, a great bust out in Curtain (very well played), and a surprisingly nice landing pad in Waste. The Loving Cup gets a nice '99 style take (from Trey), though, the Farmhouse, after a slow (albeit great) What's the Use and Velvet Sea, is an interesting call. Nellie Kane and Rocky top in set 1 is also interesting, but the Taste that splits them makes up for all that with some great Trey soling and superb support from the rest of the cast. Peaches to open is great, def satisfying the rarity category. AC/DC Bag goes big, and we all know and love it. I love that Miek and Page continue to hint at standard Bag changes htrouh=ghout, which helps propel this swirling jam for more than 15 min. The jam has a climax, with a chill spacey ending, but.....speaking from 2018, would love to see them go into Crosseyed and Painless at the 19 minute mark (when it gets Phishtronicy), but I guess phans had to wait until Cypress. After quite the adventure that is Bag (most phans must have been beside themselves) we land in a thick Gumbo. Trey starts this one out with a pretty aggressive tone and sprinkles the lyrics with nice fills. Mike gives a little extra uummph leading up to the standard Trey solo entering the jam. Thiigs seem to be gong normally, and loosely, when Fishman snaps the hi-hat, we get the ABTD tease, which is naturally AWESOME, Fishman keeps varying the beat giving it some extra mustard. The jam that ensues is straight funky, and the dance party is sweaty, Fishman keeping it "light" with his vox. Next DWD comes out roaring, the energy is so high going into the jam. Not the most exploratory version, but absolutely shreddery from Trey and Fishman beating the hell out of the skins. Frankenstein ends the set on a high note, some hiccups in execution, but fun nonetheless. Simple is a fun encore, Mike hitting the harmonies nicely, and, when Trey abandons the mixed up vox before jam, launches into a short but sweet lil jamlet. Hello my Baby ends this classic show in Phishy style. '99 is a phunny year in Phish. The inconsistency made for interesting tours, but when they were on , it could send the crowd out of this world. Many shows lag due to new song placement and often several slow songs linked together in stretches. This show starts to go that route in the 2nd quarter after What's the Use, but the band comes out swinging in the 2nd half and makes up for it in spades! This is a classic show, enjoy!
, attached to 1998-07-28

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat Old school as h***. Funny that coming off a show where they played 6 covers, this show breaks way old school. Not sure if they were in a rut, getting bored, or what, but this is the second consecutive show where the setlist wasn't "normal" at all. (This break from the norm is better than the cover orgy.) It's Ice, The Wedge, Mango Song, Brother... these songs weren't getting played at all leading up to this show. Really cool, makes for some good listenin' if you happen to be working your way through the tour. Curve balls all over the place.
, attached to 1995-12-01

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat I'm kinda floored that there is no show note on this Down with Disease. It's an absolute rager. It is a concise, tight jam... nothing remotely experimental about it, but my god does it hit the spot. I'd take this 3-4 minute jam over a more ambient, improv DWD (like, say, the 8-16-98 Lemonwheel version, which is long and fun but doesn't sniff the peaks of this version).
, attached to 1999-09-14

Review by Abe_Froman

Abe_Froman This show has been given the Live Phish treatment, so that right there is a pretty good reason to seek it out. The AC/DC Bag....man. The first 12 minutes or so may be some of my favorite Phish ever. They drop into a minor key, and just go to town on stuff that sounds like it came from a movie soundtrack. And I love that stretch from The Sloth through Velvet Sea. There's just a feeling of good energy, good communication between the band and an attentive, appreciative audience. Great stuff.
, attached to 1995-06-30

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito Both of the Great Woods ‘95 shows were a lot of fun to attend but for whatever reason the next night seems to be the more popular of the two. Perhaps that’s due to the availability of the soundboard or it’s due to the setlist. Regardless, this night has many gems and I think this show is arguably underrated. With AC/DC Bag and Mule in the 1-2 opening slots, the band gives a nice, high energy sequence. Both are solid. After a quick Horn, the band plays Taste. This tune is noteworthy as being the final early version before the band reworked it into what would briefly become The Fog That Surrounds. Despite being short, this is a tight, energetic version. Much of the rest of the set is solid but not particularly noteworthy until the Antelope. This version is a typical mid-90’s version, full of zest and a bit more extended than modern versions. While not as thrilling as the previous year’s Antelope (which knocked it out of the park, or the Woods), it still closes the set out nicely, with fun, alternate lyrics. The Mike’s > Contact > Weekapaug Groove are the highlights of Set II but I like the opening sequence of 2001 and Possum > Ha Ha Ha. After the rare TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu, we get to the meat of the set. I love this Mike’s, which instantly launches this set to the next level. This was a great year for Mike’s and this version was no exception, as it was high energy, exploratory.and generally awesome with a very interesting jam that starts around the 12 minute mark, eventually moving into a more ambient jam. The transition into Contact is nice, and Contact in the middle here is fun and unexpected. In fact, by my count Contact has been between Mike’s and Weekapaug only 2 other times, the first time being 6.20.95 and more recently on 7.7.12. The Weekapaug that follows is a beast and is highly recommended. They close out the set with a lovely Coil, followed by Cracklin’ Rosie and Golgi in the encore slot. Overall this is an enjoyable show with a couple of real highlights, particularly the Antelope and the Mike’s > Contact > Weekapaug segment.
, attached to 1994-04-17

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito This show has all the signs of an underrated gem. Off the bat, it’s 1994 so that’s an automatic good start as this was such a landmark year for the band. Next, a soundboard is in circulation, which I would think makes this show more attractive. Highlights from the first set include the set-opening Loving Cup, which has only happened a handful of times, moving right into the ever-welcome Foam. The DWD, while short and still evolving, packs a punch and moves deftly into If I Could. The second set is pretty packed, and highlights include an amazing Bowie, followed by an amazing Wolfman’s being played only for the fourth time. As with many from this year, the Reba is spectacular. Maze too is worth a listen. It’s quite a set with a handful of very strong tunes. Plus we get a Bold as Love encore, which I’ll always welcome. Overall, this show deserves greater recognition and to my ears is without a doubt underrated.
, attached to 2018-08-12

Review by charleschanwick46

charleschanwick46 It was a smoker. All Night. I never took a bathroom break. Llama got things going nicely, While going from the lawn to my pav seats BBFCFM was playing and I always like to watch the staff of the venue and see their reactions. When Meat started playing everyone started really grooving- the plaza was loaded with people dancing. It was quite a site and it was basically its own separate party the whole night. Oh boy was I glad to be in the pavilion for this night because the night before we were in Chomper Town, I try to shrug off people talking the best I can (out of my control), but N1 at MPP you could barely hear the band over the talkers. Alaska- I absolutely love this song and it gets me every time when Trey is just rippin solos. Tweezer- Short but solid - smooth transition into a smoking Gin (Hose). Got feels in with Curtain. Then an absolute FIRE CDT (Hose X3). Tweeprise to open S2 was everything you would hope for. NMINML - Gordo was hitting some basslines at 7:30 that got my nips hard, toe tapping stuff. Twist slowed it down a little but still hype- I have no problems with saying I like Caspian- I love to look around the room when Caspian plays and I take it all in. Piper- just when things started getting into hose territory, it was like a WAVE just took over me and the crowd, Tweeprise happened and took MPP into another universe- almost like everything you have done in your life was all leading up to that point, pure orgasmic joy- the roar of the crowd means you know that Phish were, in the best way I can describe it, hitting everyone's G-spot- serious squirting going on, ie: HOSE. They could have ended it there and I would have been fine. I really like BDTNL and thought it was placed perfectly in the set- another song to look around and take it all in. 2001- WTF- this is was down right sexy- super space funk with Mikes bass and Trey blasting off those effects that were just melting my brain, not a single person wasn't moving - DANCE PARTY USA. Harry Hood- perfect closer- all the feels, Hood will always have a special place in my heart and when executed perfectly it really rustles my jimmies, twas the case here. Solid Encore with Tweeprise to take us home. This was a perfect setlist on a perfect night at MPP. My friend who couldn't be there said this was the kind of show why I have seen them over 250 times. Blaze On.
, attached to 1992-03-22

Review by SplitOpenAndMule

SplitOpenAndMule It's nice to hear young Trey rock lead guitar and vocals on a verse with a very tight group of professional musicians. This is a fun boogie song, I think would sound good ending a Phish set. Can be heard at: https://youtu.be/uqNJ3jSofpc?t=19m20s (Adding more to be long enough to post.) The preceding NPR show on that recording is also very fun. I like hearing Phish cater to a more adult audience than was likely seeing them on tour. Funny to hear fans shouting for Fee, Reba, Golgi, and Suzy before Landlady.
, attached to 2018-08-31

Review by TweezingSpaceRanger

TweezingSpaceRanger This won't be the last review I leave about this show. But the Ghost->Crosseyed needs to be added to the jam chart. The jams out of each were both unique and the segue was ridiculous. It reminded me of the 12/30/97 AC/DC Bag where they almost went into Psycho Killer but just teased it. That sequence was too good. Also, the Mercury needs to be on the jam chart because it is the best version to date with Mexico 2017 being close. The funk jam following "the net's unbreakable" part is ridiculously funky. None of the jams I mentioned should be highlighted yellow, but they should at least be listed
, attached to 2018-08-31

Review by Cerias

Cerias Great show; beautiful weather and a great vibe at the venue! Perhaps the staff @ phish.net would reconsider the "Eminence Front" tease/quote in Free, which I don't believe it was. Though it was similar to the "Come and join the party ... dressed to kill" line from Eminence, it just appears to be a descending set of notes from Trey. A side by side listen would clear it up. Discuss!
, attached to 1994-05-07

Review by BroMcDudical

BroMcDudical For those who get as excited about little details as I do: When they go -> Tweezer Reprise (which is glorious in its own right) Page does something totally sweet when he kicks into the starting piano chords. Maybe he's done this in versions elsewhere but none that I can specifically recall. Basically he plays a reprise of the normal chords (which I believe the cycle of 4 is [D, E-sus4 (A-7/E?), F (D-/F?), G], something like that). Not to get bogged down in the technical detail but he plays the first pass through as normal with the exception of returning to the 2nd chord following the 4th, the next two passes through the cycle are noticeably 'reprised'. It's pretty cool, a tweezer reprise reprise (the original threeprise?), only fitting to cap off Tweezerfest....
, attached to 2018-09-01

Review by SkyTrainWand

SkyTrainWand Great weather, great people, great music. I really only have one thing to say... I thought the stage with Phish on it was going to start lifting off of the ground somewhere during the SYSF > Fuego combo. This was by far my favorite show of the run. Glad to have been a part of it all and sharing in the groove with so many wonderful fans.
, attached to 2018-09-02

Review by SkyTrainWand

SkyTrainWand WTF is wrong with Gotta Jibboo? I mean, it's fine if you don't like the tune, but don't accuse them of "mushing it all up" with a song that like 90% of the Phish crowd has no problem with. Phish has put together a lot of really good jams (even if some are only 12 minutes) with Gotta Jibboo, if you've listened to the Baker's Dozen version or Jibboo from 12/31/17 you know what I mean. Anyway, I thought this show kicked ass. I liked the Soul Planet opener going straight into Possum, I liked the Mellow Mood bust-out, for the most part I really liked their song selection in the first set. Miss You isn't my favorite, but hey, it's still an original and if Antelope follows, I'm more than cool with it. I didn't get to be there for this show, had to fly home but I think this is one of the greatest 2nd sets of the year. I'm extremely happy for all that were in attendance because I think the 46 Days -> Tweezer -> GA > Steam is top-shelf Phish. Sure, they could have picked other songs besides Suzy and Zero to close with but they opted to keep the energy high and rock out. Nothing wrong with that. I'll be listening to this set 2 for quite some time, and I hope you do too. WE LOVE DICK'S!!
, attached to 2018-07-25

Review by ElevatedPrime

ElevatedPrime Gotta say, GREAT SHOW. The energy was slow at first but was truly amazing after Tube loosened up the crowd. Opener was great to break into the night. Tube definitely shocked me tho. First set highlights include the light show. Started off slow and then WOW. Anyone who has ever seen a light show and saw those lights must have been blown away. Jim was a real treat and the follow up with The Horse and Silent sure to come made for a nice middle chunk of funk for Keepin which apparently was a debut. Driver drove. Sweet and simple. Saw it Again kept the crowd screaming into Ocelot. Definitely had some major jam material. Nice to see that one can take any shape. Two of the newer songs sandwiched Backwards. I have been coming around to the last two albums... That being said I was looking forward to the second set! Set Your Soul was a new one to me. I should know every tune ya?.... Twist Was Ridiculous = Fun Fun Fun! Man did the crowd get down on that tune. Gotta love "police man" harmonies... Trey is Hilarious. Never seen a SASS without the intro. That was cool. Right into it. What's the use really had trey using the reverb and feedback with that sustain. Love those tones.... The Wedge. What else can I say. We had our whole band there and it inspired us to add it to the set list!!! Love that tune. Second set ender Possum was, as usual, a toe tapper. THE LIZARDS. What else can I say. They ended with a tale and big finish. Crowd was wonderful... Loved the lights. !!!
, attached to 1994-07-09

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito Forever overshadowed by the previous night, this show is underrated and is worthy of greater recognition. As we all know, Summer ‘94 was a peak time for the band. This show was no exception, with killer playing and a knockout setlist. Kudos to @kipman for highlighting this fine show in the underrated shows forum posts. Reading this column and having attended this show (and the previous night, thankfully) inspired another listen. I wasn’t disappointed and it was fun reliving the show. The band opens with the classic early-to-mid-90s combo of Jim > Foam. I really love this pairing and both are solid renditions, with Foam being its usual awesome self. I really miss that tune being in regular rotation. After a brief but welcome Gumbo we come to Maze. This Maze is a strong version and an early highlight of the set. Next comes Guelah, which I’ll take anytime, followed by a decent Scent. I like this version but it’s not anything that’s really noteworthy. We then get a short and still evolving DWD followed by Horse > Silent, and then to Antelope to close the set. The Antelopes from this era were generally incredible and this one is no exception. I love this version. We get a little Call to the Post, leading into the build filled with intensity and verve. Trey wails on this one. This is exactly what the crowd needs to send us into set break. Opening Set II is a short 2001, leading effortlessly into Melt. This was a peak time for this tune during this peak era, so the chances were good that this one would smoke. And smoke it does. The band is in full sync here, which I can only describe as organized chaos. There is some screaming at a few points during the jam, and some laughter at the end, which is actually the perfect way to end this magnificent, frenzied version. Up next is Fluffhead, another highlight, as this is a very nicely played version that is perfectly placed in the set before leading into Poor Heart. The band is unrelenting so far, and this continues as this then leads into Tweezer. This version is relatively short and while it has a few moments that are interesting it’s not a particularly noteworthy take. Lifeboy, Sparkle and BBJ give us a chance to catch our breaths before the Hood > Suzy closing sequence. This Hood is a fantastic version of one of my favorite tunes, with a strong peak before its finale. Sleeping Monkey and Tweezeprise close it out nicely. Overall, this is an excellent show that deserves numerous listens as it has a lot to offer, including stellar versions of Maze, Antelope, Melt Fluffhead, and Hood. This show is an underrated gem.
, attached to 2018-09-02

Review by TweezingSpaceRanger

TweezingSpaceRanger It's hard to compare this show to the other 2 played earlier this weekend. The energy inside the venue was incredible. Soul Planet wasn't the opener I was hoping for but the segue into Possum was nailed and the place went nuts. Mellow Mood was a great bust out and the Tube>Funky Bitch that followed got the place going crazy again. MFMF>Horn>Maze was a great Rift triplet and the Antelope was a fun way to close the set. The 46 Days->Tweezer->Golden Age was probably the best music of the entire weekend. The whole venue lost their mind when Tweezer started. The amount of glowsticks flying around was the most I've seen since Magnaball. Steam through Gotta Jibboo was good song selection but the closing Suzy and Zero was slightly disappointing cause I was looking for a YEM or Fluffhead but oh well. Overall this show was another winner and Dick's 2018 was a blast. I'll be listening to the 46 Days Tweezer Golden Age section of this show several times
, attached to 2015-11-10

Review by TangledHangers

TangledHangers Really enjoyed this show, there was a moment probably around Mr Completely where Trey had all these lights focused on his his guitar and it created a strong beam of reflecting light which trey then took the time to shine across the crowd from left to right. Great venue, I had seen Trey at the Fare Thee Well shows earlier that year, so it was a cool feeling going from a football stadium to such a small room.
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