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Phish.Net Review Archive

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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

theghost , attached to 1992-04-16 Permalink
theghost This was a very heavily traded show back in the day when Phish was surging to stardom. I'm sure these tapes in particular played a role in driving their rise. I know I sent this one out to many people.

It's just a great show...definitely my favorite of the California run and one of the best of the year. The first set is a perfect showcase of what they were doing at the time. The second set is a little gimmicky but the Weekapaug is sublime.
Score: 0
CentralScrutinizer , attached to 1997-07-30 Permalink
This is one of my favorite shows from 1997. An incredible Bowie>cities>Bowie. A fantastic Wolfmans>chalkdust. One of my favorite versions of Free. A really nice my soul and not a bad stash in there too. A great great show all around but that free Bowie cities Bowie is amazing top shelf phish and one of my favorite 45 minute stretches of music from 1997.
Score: 0
CentralScrutinizer , attached to 1997-08-06 Permalink
Third mediocre phish show in a row after the gorge shows. Ghost is nice, not that great, but still fun for an early version. Another nice and spirited Julius, repeated from the previous show. Another right although not fantastic twist. And a fun antelope into Makisupa transition. jim
is ok and the stash gets interesting about 8 minutes in for a short while. But again, for the third show in a row; not much playing off each other or hooking up with each other. Like trey is playing over instead of with the other three who do their best to carry the show.
Score: 0
CentralScrutinizer , attached to 1997-08-03 Permalink
A nice taste and a nice twist. Two songs they were crushing recently. Nothing spectacular though. Julius gets into a little something around 9 minutes in. But overall, not a great show. Decent Zero and decent limb, another show they were putting great energy into this tour and really nailing, but this one wasn't quite as strong as others from this tour. I enjoyed the Sampson variation too and fluff head was nice too, nothing out of this world, but gets pretty sweet in the middle. Nothing to write home about and not a show I'll be playing much in the future
Score: 0
CentralScrutinizer , attached to 1997-08-02 Permalink
One of the weaker shows of 97. Just didn't play together. Trey kind of off and playing over everybody. A nice Water In The Sky. And split, tweezer, and ghost all eventually end up with a little something interesting at 11.5 minutes, 14.5 minutes and 6.5 minutes respectively, but never get anywhere great. Not much hooking up going on in this show. This is a show worth skipping.
Score: 0
tubescreamer , attached to 1997-06-25 Permalink
tubescreamer Anyone who is interested in shows that showcase the antics of Phish (fans of MPP 7/27/14 II) with fresh and unique takes on old numbers are going to love set II. The kick off is a highpowered romp that starts to dig, and deep it goes. Who knew the controls were set to the center of the earth for this one. Who knew the center of the earth was a shockingly silly, hilarious and deranged Phish show? I digress. The meatstick debut-- completely different than any other version every played, segues masterly into THE most different uncanny improvised version of McGrupp, how does it sound? well I will preface this whole review by reminding you that this was the part of summer 97 when the band was reaching their apex of otherworldly swamp on the edge of a black hole sound (read: Paradiso 7/1 + 7/2), complete with audience participation encouraged by the band, this McGrupp is a once in a lifetime performance that in retrospect could only have been followed by the dance throw down-inside joke that is Makisupa. However we get it just after the dark predatory sirens that we come to now know as a ghost intro, (this is all dark humor afterall) and we get a raucous and banter filled Story of the... Nug. The mood and subterranean reggae feel had been rolling over the past fifteen minutes to set up the segue perfectly. Then, if you think the jokes couldn't get any stranger, ladies and gentleman the greasy troll comes out and sits on a chair and plays his drumsticks on a towel on his lap while trey mics them, and belts out Celicia- acapella, managing to go on and on while forgetting most of the words, per usual. This show is Phish as comedic magician, dazzling, confounding and leading up to a climax that will cut you in half for all to see... Then HYHU ensues, and after the expected victory lap finale fishman hops on guitar, subsequently, Mike hops on the Piano, and Page gets on the Bass. [There needs to be a Rotation Jam noted put into the notes of this show] After that they go into a haunting rendition of Rock A William. Given the strangeness of this show, this song just slays it as if drawing the ghost of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing "16 Tons" from inside the ground, maybe on the back of the worm. By now is this the longest stretch fishman has ever been on stage? Antelope brings the bivouac back towards the surface of the earth by climbing into a sonic slow ascent, with trey hanging on long notes, like in Maze but a 'slightly' different context. It is a harrowing mad dash for air. The show concludes with Trey thanking all sorts of people- Fans who like banter are going to love this. As an encore they break out Guyute. The thing is that gets forgotten all too often about Guyute is that when it was busted out in the beginning of it's life it had a magical reverence the song has certainly lost with age, (read: me, the jaded vet.) The first set is just a whole lot of fun with Summer 97 flare all over the place, but the second set is that carnival at the bottom of the Mariana trench we so rarely get brought to by the band.
Score: 0
gingerphish , attached to 1997-12-02 Permalink
Right now I'm dedicating a large portion of my listening time to Fall 97'. I would still consider myself a newer phan (first show 7/13/13) and after finally finding websites with quality audience recordings I'm going hard into exploring the older versions of Phish I missed out on. After hearing this show I was blown away. Since I wasn't there I can't tell some awesome story, but I'll leave my notes on what I took from this show.

First set highlights: Ripping version of Chalkdust. Although late 90's versions tend to remain shorter, they give Trey a lot of freedom to shred and he doesn't disappoint here. Same concept with Down with Disease. I'm not going to say this was some mind-blowing version, but very solid, tight playing from everyone. The Ghost kicked off a little funk and kept me interested. Like an earlier comment previously stated, it doesn't blast off into any type II territory, but I was jamming out to this song.

Second Set highlights: As someone who would usually skip through Mike's Song when listening to 3.0, I cannot believe how absolutely incredible the start of this set is. Mike's is down right rocking and really attracts the side of me that LOVES heavy playing. You can really tell by the audience recording I have that people are freaking out throughout this song. Simple brings things down a notch after one hell of a Mike's song. This song is beautiful, although I think the Page/Trey interplay drags a little bit. I love the smooth change of pace though and everyone gets a breather with Dog Face Boy. No one can control the pace of their sets like Phish and this is a perfect example. So begins the second ascent. Ya Mar is always fun and I'm becoming a big supporter of this 97' versions. The transition into Weakapaug is so smooth, but I don't know about smoothest transition you'll hear. Kind of an awkward change of pace, but as soon as everyone gets adjusted, they lock in. This is by far and away the best Weakapaug I've ever heard. I'm a bass player so obviously this is favorite to begin with, but the shift from funk to rock is unreal. Like I told my friends trying to convince them to download this show, this song peaks like only the best Phish jams do.
Score: 0
Mikesgroover , attached to 1994-04-14 Permalink
Mikesgroover I have vivid memories of this show, as it's the only Phish show I ever "taped". The main reason I attempted to do this was because I had first row balcony seats, so I brought in a backpack with my portable tape recorder with built-in mics and some extra tapes.

Of course, I had to indulged in some mushroom tea with my friend in his Bleecker Street apartment. I also invited a girl I didn't know very well but I hoped to date to accompany us to this show. Did we bother to tell her we'd drank some tea beforehand? Nah, that would have been too easy. Was my enhanced state evident on the tape, of course! The show itself, alas isn't as musically memorable as the experience. It remains an entertaining show where the exuberance of the New York City crowd was in evidence throughout the night.

Jim and Foam are high-energy and typical of the era, with precision playing from Trey. The first New York City performance of Disease shows the song still finding its footing. The second performance of Demand goes right into Split Open and Melt, just like on the Hoist album. This confused me at the time as I thought Demand was just some weird spoken-word intro to a very average Melt. Other than Demand, there's nothing in this first set to set it apart from others of the era.

The one truly outstanding moment of the night is during The Antelope, is a furious example of 1994 tension>release and contains the one truly outstanding moment of the night -- a particularly furious peak from 8:00 to 9:20. Unfortunately, it's one of only a handful of high-energy moments in this second set.

The second-ever Mule is a fast-paced romp, with the crowd attempting to clap to the beat during the slower middle section before it speeds up. YEM is a very standard version, until Trey asks for a volunteer from the audience to take his place during the tramps segment. Despite stressing that people should only raise their hands if they knew the entire trampoline routine, the guy who ends up getting to do it totally fucks it up.

From the YEM vocal jam through the two acoustic, no-microphone tunes you get about 15 minutes of no playing, which let some of the gas out of this set. The band wanted to play with the acoustics of the venue, but the audience could have used a little more high-energy playing at this point. Exuberant, yet straightforward Slave wraps things up.

To wrap up the story, in my out-of-it state I managed to dump the contents of my backpack, including my date's wallet, underneath the seat before departing. We realized what had happened at the Subway station and had to convince security to let us back in the venue to retrieve them.

Take the 2001>Antelope for a spin if you're in the mood for some fine '94 style tension>release. And don't drink mushroom tea if you're going to try and impress a date to a Phish show.
Score: 1
Ravinus , attached to 1999-09-25 Permalink
I was at this show, on my birthday, in the town where I was born. I attended the night before in Austin as well. I really enjoyed myself at this show. As far as the recording, it's a good one to throw in that won't require a lot of attention. It will perk your ears at various times and force you to listen but, in all honesty, the night before was a lot better. The 2001 is spectacular though. I'm kind of surprised that it does not get a "highly recommended" stamp. I guess there is a personal bias I'm experiencing. Perhaps it isn't long enough to make the cut. Check it out though, you won't be disappointed. I wish there were clearer copies of this show available out there. Unfortunately, I don't see it being one that gets released from the archives.
Score: 0
chuckmccarty , attached to 1995-11-19 Permalink
welp, i was definitely a noob at this show. My initiation into Phish was the Rift album that my buddy turned me onto. Years later, i bought A Live One when it was released and my girlfriend at the time (who had no idea who Phish was) surprised me with tickets. I was totally impressed with the show even though i had little background except for the mention albums. i will always wonder who won the chess game. Anyway, it it nice to now know that the first Phish show i saw had a recommended Tweezer included. i need to get a copy of this show!
Score: 0
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2014-11-02 Permalink
MiguelSanchez At this point, Phish had delivered the goods two nights in a row, and I do not think there was one person in the room that didn't think they were going to do it again.

The first set kicked off with the classic Jim>Foam pairing. I've always been a fan of this opening sequence, but I had yet to see it in person. It was executed well, and they made it evident that they were on point again this evening. They did follow this with one of the biggest turds in the catalog, Mexican Cousin. I'm always a bit surprised to see that people actually like this song. Whenever Trey opts to play this, I wonder where his PO is to drug test him. At least it's short. Ocelot started to shift things back in the right direction. Then came Sugar Shack. This another I do not really care for, but they did buried it. Trey in particular seemed to have actually put some time into learning the changes. I'm not sure I've seen a cleaner version. SIHTOS worked well here. It gave this set a tinge of darkness, and you could tell by Trey's wailing that he was ready to wallow in it. Halfway to the Moon was a solid selection after SIHTOS, but it wasn't a pick that really blew anyone away. BT Gin, on the other hand, pulled everyone's focus right back in. This played out like many 3.0 1st set versions, but they took it for a slightly longer ride and gave it a little more pop. As the jam wound down, they cranked up Free. I always feel like Free feels out of place in the first set, but it worked here. Trey was booming with energy as they moved through this one. When they started dropping the "Your Trip is Short" lines, the band and crowd went crazy. Like BOAF the night before, this may not be the most musically adventurous version, but it was full of energy and tons of fun. WOTC sent everyone into setbreak happy and anticipating the final set of the run.

Set 2:
I was certain DwD was poised for the opening spot, but instead, they offered me my first live taste of their new 2nd set opening jam darling, CDT. I've seen CDT plenty of times, but I have never caught one that went deep. This version pushes through almost every genre Phish loves to borrow from, rock, jazz, funk, etc. Fishman keeps the beat like a champ thoughout bringing several fresh twists. Right when you get comfortable with this jam and think you have a handle on how it will play out, Trey comes over the top with one of his most riveting guitar lines of the year. After that, there really is no reason to keep pushing this jam, so he delicately directs them into one of the most consistent improvisation vehicles of the last five years, piper. Piper explodes out of the gates but quickly lands in a ambient funk land when Gordon fires up his space bass to signal the rest of the band to let the bottom fall out. They conjure up a jam that feels like it came from one of the best parts of Fall '98. Trey slowly bends everyone towards Theme from the Bottom. It was a pretty straight forward take. I'm a fan of Wombat, so I really enjoyed it's placement here. After a mind bending sequence to open the set, this centered everyone for the homestretch. Bowie, despite being past its peak, fits just about everywhere for me. This concise version really felt like a set up for a set/run closing Mike's Groove. Then they drop The Line? At first, this was a bit of a head scratcher for me. Then it hit me. We aren't closing this show with a standard old Mike's Groove. They are going to close this down with a bitching YEM. I love being right. For the first time in over a decade, they played a YEM with some freaking muscle. Trey played like he had balls the size of grape fruits through the composed part. I feel like almost every other version I've heard in 3.0 either felt rusty or like they were just walking through it. They were focused on making this version count. They made sure to hammer home the dance party funk on the back end and even left time for some good phishy mayhem. Trey chased Mike around the stage while they were both jamming. I have to give it to Mike. The dude was still laying it down despite having a ginger hot on his heels. The jam concludes with everyone trying their hand at percussion over at Fish's kit, and it only seemed fitting that the last song of the run ended with all of them so close simply having a blast.

Moma Dance was the perfect call for the encore. As "the moment ended," the dirty funk of Moma made it less of a bummer and gave everyone one last chance to get down. Slave is, in my opinion, the best way to end a run. It's delicate beauty, even if played in an unspectacular manner, sends me out the door in a nice blissful place. After they finally brought it to a close, I was certain we'd get one more song. I have never heard a crowd so insistent in my life. They left the house lights on for just long enough to believe this wasn't done yet, so when the lights finally clicked on, all you heard was a low "Ahhh..." from the audience as it became clear that this fantastic time was over.

I have seen a lot of Phish. I won't say this is the best 3 night run ever, but I will say, it's probably the best 3 night run I have seen. Summer '15 has not started, but I have a feeling that they laid the groundwork for a mindblowing year in Las Vegas.
Score: 2
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2014-11-01 Permalink
MiguelSanchez After the previous night's show, everyone at the MGM Grand was still a little bit flabbergasted. A lot of questions were out there. Did they blow their load last night or is this going to be one of THOSE runs? What about the Halloween songs? Are these one and done are are they going to be back? Will Trey stay in the driver's seat or is he going to go back to the 2014/rhythm guitar norm? By the end of this evening, all of these questions would be answered.

Set 1:
We all knew Fuego was getting played this weekend, but no one saw it opening the show. Going off how the previous night played out, many were thinking that this would be the next big/jammed out one after the versions from SPAC, MANN, and Portsmouth the previous summer. It was not. It was still well-played and served as a great opener. Plus, I like to get the predictable out of the way early. My Soul, 555, and Back on the Train were all pretty straight forward, but they were playing well and these songs had good flow. Dog Faced Boy was the first of a few rare scores. Fuck Your Face got the crowd rowled up again, and horn kept the rock vibe going. Frankie Says felt a bit sudden, but hey, it's Frankie Says. It's just one of those songs I always feel like works best coming out of a spacey jam. It did lead nicely into MFMF, which sent the crowd into the stratosphere. I always feel like Roses is about to take off at the end. No matter how many times it doesn't, I always find myself saying, "Ah, I thought they were about to go for it..." Either way, this one fit well after MFMF. Roggae has been sounding pretty good the last few years, and this one kept that trend going. The set took on a mellow lean, and then they crank up BOAF. It was here that we got our first sign that "The Haunted House Songs" weren't going anywhere. They hit several "They Attack's" in the middle section. Musically, it didn't do anything spectacular, but it was fun none the less. I have become a big fan of the Wingsuit set closer. Trey's playing was very tasteful on this take, and at this point, I'll take this over another Antelope that just shoots from point a to point b.

After a set that couldn't decide if it was a rock set or a mellow set yet still flowed, no one really knew what to expect next.

Set 2:
I don't get all the possum hate, but personally, I love a good 2nd set Possum opener. I think it loosens the band up, and typically, big things follow. As this possum came to it's rousing conclusion, they crank up crosseyed. This has to be the best "party song" in Phish's catalog, and it worked perfectly on this crowd in Vegas, which was probably the most buzzed yet attentive audiences i've been a part of. This is version does not try to be very exploratory. It focuses on simply shredding over the crosseyed them. They accomplish exactly what they set out to do. As this version fades away, Trey actually transitions quite nicely into Light, which has proven tough for him the past. The band gets in sync right out of the gate on this light jam. They navigate several twists, turns, and narrow passage with ease covering a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time. As they come out of the final twist, Gordo and Fish settle on a pretty rocking groove setting Trey up perfectly. He jumps on the opportunity and segues cleanly into The Dogs. Boom!! One night later and it appears the Halloween songs are going to be worked into the repertoire. This version is a bit more free-wheeling than the previous night's, and just for good mearuse, they keep rocking out of the back end. They eventually take their foot off the gas and slow it down. As Trey moves through the space, it sounds like "No Quarter" is poised to pop up, but then comes another major surprise, Lengthwise!! This song is about as rare as they come, and this is one of the few times that you actually find in an interesting spot. This seamless stretch comes to a close when Trey strums out Twist. Just to keep things spicey, they work in a fair amount of Manteca, including lyrics. Personally, I'd call it Twist w/ Manteca teases, but I can see how some would want to label it Twist->Manteca->Twist. Velvet Sea fit well, and I don't think I was the only one needing a quick breather.

This is the point in the show where I think Phish had definitely delivered enough to call this a great show. Everything beyond this point is house money. I don't think the rest of the show shined like the first 3/4's of the 2nd set, but it really didn't matter. After a massive resurgence in 2014, this version of Hood seemed pretty average. It would probably be looked upon more favorably if it had been played anytime between '09-'13, but in a year that brought us the Great Woods, Northerly Island, and BGCA Hoods, this just comes off as average. Being already very pleased with the night's performance, I was actually happy to see Golgi, Numberline, Monica, and Waiting All Night pop up. These aren't songs I aim to see, so it was a good time to cross them off the list of songs that could pop up tomorrow. The Star Spangled Banner was a great back drop as we eased out of the MGM and hit the Vegas night life hard again.....

They followed up a legendary Halloween show with a very strong outing. Everything between crosseyed and twist was gravy, but some will argue that the best of the 2014 Vegas run had yet to come.
Score: 0
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2014-10-31 Permalink
MiguelSanchez I wouldn't call myself a 3.0 hater, but I am one of those that has always said that 3.0 just can't touch what they were doing from '93-'99. Like Halloween '96, this show may prove to be THE pivotal show of the era. Trey's playing on this night, and for the rest of this run, had a swagger that I had not seen/heard from him in some time. After spending most of 2014 sitting on rhythm and guiding jams that way, this was the night that he remembered how to grab a song by the throat and just rip it. If the approach he took this run carries over to 2015, I may be singing a different tune when the 1.0/3.0 debate comes up again.

Set 1:

Is there a better way to open a Halloween show than Buried->Ghost? Quite simply, no. Buried got everyone loose and for those that thought the 1st 2 sets of the previous year's Halloween show were not so hot, well, it got some of those concerns out of their head for this year's go at it. Ghost won't stand out as an "all time keeper," but you can't complain about the action you get out of it in the 2 slot. I really like Trey's playing towards the end of this jam. It really has a "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" feel to it. Mule comes in hard in the 3 slot. This may be my favorite version since the 90's. The lumina marimba is cool, but it's nice to hear them lean on some old fashioned weirdness and not that in the middle of the mule jam.

The next few songs have a bit of a "standard first set" feel to them. No complaints on Sample after the 1-2-3 punch that opened. Reba is welcome anywhere. This is a nice pleasant version, but in the grand scheme of Reba's, I'd have to call it average, at best. 46 Days hits a pretty typical rock and roll climax and sets up BBFCFM nicely. Lawnboy provided a nice breather before they hit the homestretch. Trey has some nice licks in "I Saw It Again," which doesn't pop up as much as it should. I'll never complain about a short Tube, and like many, this one packs a punch. Wolfman's lands a bit more on the abstract end of the funk spectrum than most versions, and it sent everyone into break wondering what the hell was about to happen in set 2.

Set 2:
This set was just to SHOCKINGLY GOOD. I have seen some good Phish in my day, but this is the first set in over 15 years where I absolutely could not believe what I had seen. When everyone got their Play Bill, we all knew to expect the unexpected, but man, this was something.

The Haunted House has Trey at his raunchiest and filthiest. This is almost like Phish mixed with Zappa and Black Sabbath. I knew right when he hit that first power break that this set was going to be something. I really didn't give the Longest Fuse a great listen until after the show because I was captivated by the stage antics. It has some nice playing by all the members. This wasn't my favorite song from the set, but it has some nice potential. Dogs and Timber brought the edge back to this set, and lord only knows how these two songs will work their way into the catalog. Your Pet Cat sounds like one long Tube jam. Ship Wreck, Chinese Water Torture and Unsafe Bridge moved like something off the Siket Disc but with a fresh spin. The Birds brought everyone back up as the set started to come to a close. I think "They Attack" is going to be in the Phish lexicon for some time. Then there's "Martian Monster." This puppy is going to be the next Phish-Funk slammer. Get ready kids. Your trip may be short, but this song is not. By the time the band laid this one out, they already knew they were victorious, and this was the victory lap. The whole arena was going balistic.

This set, my friends, was legendary. Unlike the Wingsuit set, where they just debuted new songs, Phish came out and debuted a new sound. Unlike the wingsuit set, this worked. It more than worked. It blew everyone in the room away. There were no talkers. There was no texting. Everyone's eyes and ears were all focused forwards.

Set 3:
For most of this set, it felt like they just couldn't find what they were looking for. You could definitely tell they wanted to deliver some more heat, but they just couldn't find what they were looking for. That said, I don't think there was one person in the MGM that didn't feel like they had gotten their money's worth already, and they did find a little something towards the end.

PYITE was a nice opener. After so much "new," in the 2nd set, Punch brought everyone home. They took Golden Age on a nice long exploration, but this was the one jam of the weekend that they really couldn't find anything. I always appreciate them trying, but even Trey knew it was happening. That's why he gave this jam a little mercy killing in favor of Tweezer. The Tweezer jam started to take some nice twists, and then Fish happened upon Heavy Things. Sure, this killed the Tweezer jam, but I'll be damned if it wasn't a perfect segue. Guyute was well-played, and it fit the mood of the evening. Then they cranked up Sand. Initially, this played out like a normal "dance party Sand." It hit its typical rousing climax, and it made a move like it was returning back to Sand. It was immediately clear that no one wanted to do that. They found a nice funky groove, and Page, Mike, and Fish left it to big red to deliver the goods. Ladies and Gentlemen, the man delivered. He put every jaw to the ground with a classic Trey rock star solo that made sure to touch on Alice Cooper along the way. Eventually, he pulled this one into a rousing tweeprise closer. The segue was less than seamless, but that was more than forgivable.

The first encore song asked "Is this what you wanted?" Hell yes. Halloween was back!! Frankenstein was merely the icing on the cake.

Top to bottom, this is one of the best 3.0 shows you are going to find, and it kicked off what could be the best 3 night run I have ever attended.

Phish....hats off to you guys for this gem.
Score: 1
NickSalv , attached to 1998-07-15 Permalink
NickSalv Once again, no full review, as I believe this show already has spoken for itself amongst the all-time shows in the canon, but I forgot to add one thing from my previous lil blurb...

Does anyone hear the Peaches tease from Fish prior to the start of LxL? it's kind of a slow descending roll, but it seems like it's hinting

PS: Noob-Me was a little off suggesting "Contact" teases from Fish towards the end of Simple. I don't quite hear those anymore, so I'm assuming I definitely meant GLIDE !
Score: 0
UtilityMuffin , attached to 1990-01-29 Permalink
UtilityMuffin This was my 3rd Phish show. It is a shame the recording is so bad because they absolutely ripped. The band showed up very late due to a blizzard. The bar staff wasn't sure if they'd even make it. They set up quickly and did a live sound check for the crowd that blew the roof off. That really set the mood for the evening. Very high energy! The set listed as above as "Set 1" is actually the 2nd set.
Score: 1
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