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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

SplitOpenAndMatt , attached to 2014-10-28 Permalink
Listen if only for Harry Hood. 19 min and worth every second. It's also a crystal clear jam/warm up of the upcoming Halloween's "The Dogs," starting at about 7:30 into it. Just sick when it clicks.

Nothing better than a payoff like that after a top notch show, start to finish.

I was at this show and all 3 at BG and this show is the gem. The second set is untouchable. No, you can't even point at it. No, don't even look at it. Just find it and listen.
Score: 0
Piper72 , attached to 1994-11-25 Permalink
Piper72 This was my first show, and my first experience with the maelstrom of sound and fury called Phish. We were a group of young, hapless hippies with a few Dead shows under our belt, but otherwise NO CLUE. I don't remember too much about our entry, or who bought the tickets, or the events leading up to the show. I do remember standing kind of near the back of the floor with our group, hearing those few notes of Trey's guitar, Fish's little drum roll, and then "Llama" hit us in the chest like a freight train and we went flying - literally, into each other, bouncing around, communing with these strange happy souls, these "Phans" as they - and we - would be known. The cacophony of "Llama", the deep funk/reggae of "Guelah Papyrus", the majesty of "Reba", the wacky circus dirge "Esther" - I watched these four guys play these songs - in a line! They stood in a line! Who DOES that?? - and my eyes never left. My eyes and ears were forever captivated. I felt suspended from time and space. The sound, the lights - this was what a concert should BE.
At some point, we got up to the front. I don't remember how; it was one of those things. You see an opening, you follow a guy, a girl - or, and I think this is what it was more like - you determine I AM GOING TO GET MUCH, MUCH CLOSER and you just start walking. The crowd before you, sensing your determination, clears a path. And before you know it, you're THREE ROWS BACK, and you're looking at these guys, but they're not guys anymore - they are GODS, they are titans, they are ephemeral beings levitating us over Mt. Olympus and showing us the universe as we had never seen. And with that second set, they blew that universe WIDE OPEN. The "2001>Mike's>Simple" was a slow opening cosmic rift, like the fabric of space and time being stretched to the point of ripping open and letting whatever madness lurking behind it come bellowing forth in a tidal wave of incomprehension. Seriously, at some point in "Simple" a wormhole opened up, and we were transported through a black hole (a la Cygnus X-1) and brought into a mountainous world of angry old men, wild slobbering dogs, an innocent boy and his pet cat. And love beams. Green love beams and Angry red vocal hatred beams. They were everywhere! I had never seen a glowstick war at a concert, and I've never seen one like this since. It was staged, of course, but the audience feedback of retaliation with the "love beams" to combat the "vocal hatred beams" - you'd have thought, witnessing it, that there was really a battle of good and evil going on and Trey was enlisting all of us as his footsoldiers to take up the cause. And ever since, I've thought of every Phish show in that same context, band and audience together charging evil head-on with our "love beams" dancing, smiling, spinning, cheering - supporting our Phour Phearless Leaders. Yes, my first show contained my first "Harpua" and first (some say THE first) glowstick war. Was I the luckiest sonsabitch alive? Maybe. I think so, at least. And there was still that "Weekapaug>Mango Song" (still one of the best transitions they've ever pulled off IMO), still that "Purple Rain" with that goofy little Greazy Fizeek and his silly dress and vacuum cleaner, OWNING that shit like he was Sinatra. And Run Like an Antelope, to spend the rest of our synapses and seratonin. "Good Times Bad Times" was a bit ironic for a cap-off - could there even BE bad times with this band?? - but their masterful take on Zeppelin really "Brought it on home" for us at the end.
In short, everything was amazing and enough to "hook" me for the next twenty years. And I'm glad to see "the boys" most recently continuing to explore that headspace that we all embody, capturing an imagination we never knew we had, the Phab Phour plus CK5 creating the most perfect aural and visual show money will ever buy. Thank you, Phish, for 20 years of ripping open that universal fabric for me, and leaving me never the same.

Mark Lester
November 25th, 2014
Score: 1
patper , attached to 2009-11-25 Permalink
patper We all know how awesome 11/24/2009 was - sick setlist, fiery playing, Flyers jersey Trey.

The next night was a generally maligned show, due mostly to an ill-advise late second set placement of Time Turns Elastic and a questionably snoozy segment of tunes in the first set.

For my second Phish show, in retrospect, I probably would have chosen the first night in Philadelphia over the second. I didn't, but still had a great time at the show and can listen back, with a lot of fondness, to some of the great music that may have been overlooked when this show first dropped.

The KDF opener brings a lot of energy and some great Trey soloing. I really like KDF in the opening slot and this one does a great job. 46 Days keeps the heat coming. I love Sugar Shack, so I'll just leave it at that. The drop into Divided Sky from Halley's is just great, and this D-Sky is definitely solid.

Sleep Again - Ocelot - Train song... Let's skip ahead to the seriously hot Wilson > Antelope to end the set. Great great stuff. Snoozy segment aside, this first set is just fine.

The first three quarters of the second set feature some great, although not too exploratory, improv. Birds of a Feather gets deliciously weird - Trey gets whacky with the whammy after a key change (I like this kind of use of the Whammy pedal) while Fish and Mike hammer away at the groove, taking the pocket deeper and deeper. Mike comes in with the Meatball as the jam switches back to the original key and comes to a standard close. Really sweet jam, reminds me of a compact version of some of the darker, effects-laden groove jams of 99-00.

Farmhouse is Farmhouse. The Tweezer jam quickly builds up in typical fashion, until Trey hits a riff centered around the tonic that is reminiscent of the riff from 6-7-2009 Tweezer. The other guys build the progression beautifully around it, and eventually Trey takes off and the jam peaks rather nicely.

The composed section of YEM is pretty much nailed, and the jam starts off quiet with some bluesy, sneaky licks from Trey with his octave pedal. The jam slowly builds from there, and the peak is just fantastic, with Trey really slaying his solo and the band following his intensity at every step.

They followed up this great YEM with Esther. Who doesn't love Esther?

TTE. Okay. I like this song. I really do. I wish it wasn't shelved. I don't think the Phish fan community would implode if they broke it out once or twice a year. However, I have to agree with this show's naysayers when they say that this placement was bad – it was, especially after a quieter tune like Esther. Talk about sucking the energy out of the room. Yikes. The jam at the end has some energy to it, and eventually we are redeemed with a rocking Tweeprise.

Oh Sweet Nuthin encore… It's not a bad song, but maybe after the late set TTE the band could have come out with something a little more rocking, but you know how it is.

In summary, this was a really good show in spite of its flaws, and has lots of great music, especially the Birds, Tweezer, and YEM, and some really solid performances in the first set.
Score: 1
Iculus7 , attached to 1994-11-25 Permalink
11/25/94 was my first concert of any kind, ever. I was barely 14 years old. Over the last 20 years I've seen over 180 Phish shows, over 1000 of other bands, and spent 12 years working as an entrepreneur in the music business, which includes developing Phanatic – the first Phish related setlist app back in '09, partnered with phish.net.

It's been a beautiful 20 years – friends, experiences, jams of all kinds. Looking back in time, I pin point everything to this night, 11/25/94.

Phollow your passions and life will be beautiful.

David Blutenthal

p.s - the Reba is redic.
p.p.s - the transition from Mike's > Simple still gives me goosebumps.
p.p.p.s - this was the first public "throwing of glowsticks" but definitely not an outright war. As said in previous posts here, it was one person in the upper balcony above Page tossing green sticks (love beams), timed into the Harpua story...and one red beam as well.
Score: 1
bluefox , attached to 2014-10-25 Permalink
bluefox I had a fantastic time at this show. The Set List at a glance is incredible, and naturally half my energy dancing comes from just loving the song, so I was ecstatic for each song pick. Upon second listen it's clear that the overall audience and band energy was lower than previous nights on the tour and the guys weren't as tight but, dang still burned.

I highly recommend this listen. There is a calm space and flow over it.
Score: 0
Pipertheredworm , attached to 2014-10-31 Permalink
Phish review 10/31/14
Las Vegas MGM

Back in September we celebrated 18 years of marriage. My wife,being who she is, agreed to Halloween in Vegas with Phish as our way of celebrating. This is what I wanted. You see, we first met at a pregame party before Phish played 7.25.1992. (You've got to check that set with Santana if you have not). We married years later. For both of us this band has been a central theme in our lives. She got on the train early while (briefly) attending UVM in the mid eighties. I was the guy holding a sign for tickets for "Fish"tickets not long after. Eventually, we hit several of the big festivals together. So it wasn't to big a stretch to hope we could celebrate our union in Vegas this year.

Halloween got off to a rough start for us. Convinced our flight was at 9 am, we would arrive in plenty of time to relax and rest up for the big weekend. The excitement and anticipation may have led to the consumption of a beer or two more that necessary on Thursday night. At 7am Halloween Friday, I discovered my error, first flight had been at 6 am. Obscenities flew, urgency took over. Instead of a casual start, we had to start sprinting. The ticket agents at Jet Blue were very helpful. Yes, we had missed our flight, but they could still get us to Las Vegas. There was a catch, a 6 hour layover in JFK. And a 9 pm arrival time in Vegas. Well so much for the first set. Maybe it was the martinis, but for what ever reason we decided that airport sushi was a good idea. By the time we landed my favorite girls belly was messed, she needed to sit this one out. Armed with an extra ticket I sought a friend in need to miracle. Then there she was, a Pfamily friend, recently relocated to the west coast who like us had a crazy travel day, flew in ticketless but with the faith that it would all gel. "Well then, here you go friend." In we marched as the second set began.
I will do my best to review the first set by ear, but as many of you know, "it ain't nothing like being there".
Burried Alive has become a favorite opener for all of us and this did not disappoint. Page and Jon start the counterpoint rhythm. When Treys overdriven tone starts,the panic begins. Clawing my way to the top is what I hear.
Ghost starts next, the Clav is right up front where I like it. A patient Ghost from the onset. No urgency here, "you see people we have got all weekend to blow it up." Let's enjoy this time together, have I ever told you the story. Yes, you have, tell it again I love that story. Intro blends into jam. Stories are being told. Mike and Jon keep the steady pace. Piano and guitar chat it up. Trey starts to heat up as the lead soars. Sweet string benders. Rhythm starts to drive it harder as the song closes.
Mike gets the Scent of a Mule going, things are building here in Tomahawk county. I smell it. Page franticly crushes his lead piano piece. Then the duel. Balm, balm, balm, balm balm balm balm. Crowd loves it, but can not wait for the tension to break. I always think of some kind of Yiddish celebratory dance before Mike then finishes sounding like a Muslim prayer. Here we showered ourselves in lightness.
The chords to sample in jar ring out. In your grasp the fears don't last. After the crazy mule it's nice to settle into this anthem. The simple songs and good times feel all wrong. Pretty sure I could here 19,000 voices here. Trey builds it up. Jon hits those skins hard as the solo concludes.
Reba. Bag it tag it. Intro into jam per normal greatness. Mike drives this one from the down low. Bum bump. Guitars soar. Bum bump, bum bump, bum bump. Everybody working together through the jam. Listening, but working it together. She peaks then starts a wind-down. Then she peaks again. Whistle while you work, it's always more fun that way. And we are to the outro. Bag it.
46 days. Cow bell heavy. Taste the fear. 46 days and the coal ran out. Organ pans, things start clicking. That guitar is talking to me. Piano peaks in. Counter play all around. Mike and Jon are locked. 46 days continues to build to climax to the out.
Big black Furry creature from Mars are all around. We can punk too. Why do I try to kill you? Because. We will punk you haters. We will kill you. Ready? Ha.
Lawn Boy. Moist green organics. Michael Gordlione. Cactus makes that bass a jazzy tool to complement Pages Vegas lounge act. Complete with Fishman solo on cymbal and then the whole kit. Everyone is back on the grass, anticipating.
Saw it again. A form in my window, wants to come in. I try not to look. And I am fully awoken. I saw it again. The spooky tunes go on. Fine Phish form here. Everybody is clicking as it jams out. A great build up.
Tube. Funky Clav rules this one. Love how the bass fills the spaces between. Then we take off up the tube. So stupendous. So stupendous living in this tube.
Wolfman's starts with a cheer. You shouldn't have took more than you gave. Mike steps it up. Trey fills in behind him. Or is the other way around? Here comes that Clav funk. Everybody has got something to say here. The boys are having some fun stretching it out. Complete synthesis. Doing what they do best right here. Everybody is talking at once, but the conversation is so coherent. It just makes sense when they do it. Everybody keeps adding to the conversation. Wolfman's.

Spooky wind to start the costume set. Nothing to compare this set to, just go for the ride. Creaking. Erie Dracule sounding synth. A foreboding guitar lead crescendo leads to a drumming build up to a creaking door. She introduces the Haunted mansion that you investigate, but from which you never return. Cats shriek. Pounding piano stress. Screaming lead tones bring everyone into the present. Then we start up the stairs to investigate. Screaming wailing voices unsettle. dissonance. One and two and three four.
Creaking again.( whoopy cushion)
The fuse is lit. Plink. Plink. Da da da plinko. There you go. Gonna blow you up. We are gonna blow. There you go now. Bam bam bam bam. Boom!
Mans best friend? Awoken in the stone hut by the Dogs. Better get going now. They howl and snarl. They are coming for you. Terror. Power chords hint at the severity of the situation. Here they come again. Closer. You scream. Hear the the dogs come. You better run.

Timber. Woodsman sawing. Wah wahing. Dun dunt. Dun dunt. Love this one. Layers build in a phamiliar way. Until it all comes crashing down.
Your cat. Your pet is a friendly one. Until one day. Cat screech samples kick this one off. Lots of keys and deep bass. Leading the way to the plink/ screech solo. All the while Jon keeping it in time. I think Mikey likes it. Meow. Page keeps bringing back the funk. Huge roars from the crowd.
Shipwreck. "Are you too near the shore with its crashing surf and jagged rocks?" Felt like a rock opera intro on this one. Foreboding guitar hints at impending disaster. Sample is fragmented, hinting at a bubbly siren call. Your vessel creaks as you realize your mistake, is it too late to correct?
The unsafe bridge. Spanish guitar. You venture across the suspension bridge. You don't want to fall. Bass and drums hold it down. Piano counterpoint to the guitar until you fall.
Chinese Water Torture. It never failed. Operatic intro. Drippy piano. Dan-ant guitar. Wow. A very clever sample. Here comes Page. Driving you crazy. Wah. Plink plink. A very clever race these phish are. Chinese water torture. Trey is raging, frothing as we go insane.
The Birds. "You fear the feathered creatures with their sharp beaks and their clutching tallons." You fear. They attack. Bass pumping the Rhythm. Plink plink plinky plink - Into wailing lead tones. Bump a bump up. Here we go again. Che Che Che goes Jon on the splash. They attack. Ba ba Ba bump. They attack. For each time you step outside your house they attack. They attack. Snare like a shot. Scary fun.
Martian madness.
"Your time is short." The count down is progressing, because of the incedible speed of your rocket your trip is short. Palm muted lead. Mike putting it down. Jon holding it together while Page brings the funk on organ once again. Your trip is short. Your tripping. Your about to blast off. Here we go. These boys are on fire. Samples trip us out. Ba bump da Ba ta da bump. Your about to. Ba bump ta da ta da bump yeah. Blast off. When you reach Mars your are met by a Hungary welcoming committee. Crunch. Sirens. Blast off. Your trip is short. This funk machine does not quit. Even though your trip is short you've got a smokin soundtrack to listen to on the ride.
Blast off. Trey hammering. Sample warppling Bubbling bass sample brings the boys out of their box to take a bow with the zombie dancers.

Back to familiar ground for the start of the third set. Punch you in the eye. Killer bass thumping. Hey! Oh! Wilson. Hey. Ascending guitar riffs to solo. Nice version.

Golden Age. Oh It's gonna drop. The age of sound. Coming round. What you viewed as gold pollutes this space. Age of miracles. It came around. Don't you falter. There you are. You arms in the air. Clap your hands if you think your in the right place. Crowd roars its approval, because we know we are in the right place. The love from within the crowd became palpable. We will not falter. Into into jam as you would expect. Then we settled into the groove. Mike started to bring some of that swirly, slippery, whipping, envelope follower effect to bear and the jam took off between Page and Trey. Everybody listening. Unsure of who was to lead? Page took it to the Clav as Trey started foot tapping. Whaling? Crowd all ears as groove settles down and breaks to Tweezer.
It's gonna be cold cold cold. But not at the MGM tonight. Anticipation following this song is to be expected. Of course Tahoe, but more recently at Randalls there was another epic version. So won't you step into this freezer? Normal intro into slow down until a second phase build up. Slight dissonance then back into the main riff. Page takes over with piano, then hands it off to Trey. The interplay never gets old. Searching for a theme. Page suggests ascending scales. Trey jumps in on that idea. Jon and Mike may have something to add here. Page leads on to phase three build up to which Trey seems eager to play with. It's gonna be cold, but not in here. It's gonna be cold. Jon switches the tempo up for the segue into Heavy Things.
Steals my one remaining breathe. Stumbling as I fall from grace. Things are falling down on me. When I tried to step aside I moved to where they hoped I'd be. Nice little plinko & keys segment within. Woo woo whoa! Trey breaks down a descending line that leads towards the end. And Guyute.
He lectured me in language strange then scampered quickly out of range. It's such a triumphant tune. The march to the summit. We have such positive direction for a moment? Are we sure? Confused,we fall down unsure, until we get back up again and resume our direction with renewed confidence and commitment. I hope this happens once again.
Sand. Of course, what else would they play out in the middle of a oxymoronic city oasis such as this. "I would choose my own religion." It is to be here.
You can heal the symtoms and not affect the cause. Rage side more than holding his own here. Funkmaster P, growling. Rolling it up. Trey soaring. Jon the center, Mike right with him. Trey soars higher still, then he starts to tear it apart. Wrestling the gun from the hand. The Jam goes higher into a sweet "schools out for summer" tease then breaks. Overtones from Page and then it starts up again. Where are we going. Fire up that Clav brother, we swirl together, wondering where it will go. Loopy? Out of the Sand Jam. woo? We attack. Time & Space blend into, woo? No , we go to tweprise.

Possibly the greatest three and a half minutes of any show. My personal favorite rock of all time. This never disappoints. Step into it.

This night is a complete winner. The vibes from the crowd in the room were incredible. So much love you could taste it. The sound crystal clear. The venue dressed to impress.
Then the encore.
Is this what you wanted? So freaking insightful. Leave to these guys to point at the very special relationship, the inextricable bond between the band and the fan. We are different sides of the same coin. A coin that you hold on a table with your index finger, flick it with your opposite index, watch it spin, and hope that it never stops spinning. This is what I want. Not to live In a house that is haunted, but instead to occupy one where you feel our love. Like a happy marriage going on for decades. Ups and downs and spin arounds yes, but a marriage without skeletons or Frankinsteins left in the closet. Thank you Phish. Thanks for the efforts. The sacrifice, the commitment to each other and to us, your fans. Are all our lives enriched?
Score: 1
peoplewhofly , attached to 2014-01-29 Permalink
peoplewhofly --Paper Wheels, Bounce, Lever Boy, In Rounds, Very Far Away = 5 songs never played before live (though two studio solo recordings of Lever Boy have been out for many many years). Even if you do not like the songs initially there is clearly a fountain of inspiration during this past year.
--Also both of my favorite older TAB songs: A Case of Ice and Snow, Sweet Dreams Melinda
--classic TAB covers: Ooo-child
--good modern TAB covers: Clint Eastwood,
--some of the great songs off the best Trey side band album out there (not in terms of jamming, but more catchy strongs songs): Land of Nod, Scabbard
--Goodbye Head: which has more of a powerful and beautiful story of how it came to be, and that makes me hear things unheard I assume (find trey on satellite radio in 2006 singing the beginning of "Goodbye Head" with the songs co-author, his eldest daughter (yes, she can sing exceedingly well)
--the TAB homerun hitter set closer: Push On Till The Day
--some Marley: Small Axe
--a few good hybrids (TAB/PHISH songs): Mozambique, Show of Life(!), Alaska
--older TAB staples: Alive Again, Last Tube, Spin, Wherever you find It, Simple twist up dave, Night Speaks to a Woman
--best encore displaying some of TAB's supporting players vocals (JH's true power): Black Dog

While the first time I heard Bounce and Paper Wheels I was not impressed, clearly this is a very solid, well rounded show, in every way and the ease of getting a high quality sounding copy makes it all the more essential to those, like myself, who document all music Trey creates*.

I give this show a 4/5 because that is exactly what it is for TAB, great well rounded show in many different layers, some very beautiful moments are to be found)

I have phriends (dedicated to the phish) who dont like TAB; I believe they find it hard to swallow something different.
(point in case, Phish could not play Black Dog like TAB, and I think Phish is too big to play Clint Eastwood; TAB jams are never going to be a deep and intricate as Phish gets; then TAB has horns and female vocalists; basically its different).
Anyway, seeing Trey on stage playing new music is always good for me. (TAB does get "hot", (check out Oakland 3/05/11 tour finale).
My last observation is that during this modern Phish 3.0, Trey is writing awesome TAB songs consecutively (Corona, Land of Nod, Travelin, Scabbard, Frost, Architect (if you do not like Architect on the album track down the original studio solo recording or Trey on the Radio (12/6/12)) as opposed to decent songs mixed in with great songs and great covers like TAB from 1999 - 2009 (not that TAB played together all those years (mainly 1999, 2001,2002,2005,2006 (with minimal touring, 2 - 10 shows, in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008)
Score: 1
chrismcguire634 , attached to 2003-02-28 Permalink
chrismcguire634 I think it's worth noting the weight this show carries considering the context. The date was 2/28/2003, many of us sensed the growing wears the band was dealing with both on and off stage and it was believed by many that the best was behind us. We couldn't have been more wrong. On this night they put it all together and gave us a (dare I say) top 3 worthy show and a great tour to follow.

Case and point why I never doubt this band and their ability to deliver a good show on most nights and a religious experience when the moment is right.

Cheers!
Score: 1
notio , attached to 1994-03-05 Permalink
My first Phish show was in 1991, and then I saw a few more in 1992 and 1993. I was working in Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College, and there wasn't (and still isn't) a lot of live music locally.

I forget if it was my Phish-buddy Donni, or me, who first saw the flyer, but one of us called the other, because Dave Grippo was playing with this band, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe, and we knew Grippo had been involved with Phish, or Trey, or something.

Our general attitude was, "Well, it's a live band, with good players, in town, on a Saturday, and some of the Phish guys might show up, because... well who knows, but Panarchy is cool, and the Phish guys are local (less than 90 minutes), so why not?" I was pretty sure Trey or someone would show up, just because the musicians were so good, they knew each other, and it's a tiny, mellow show, something of a rarity for Trey in 1994.

I think one of us knew someone at Panarchy, or an advisor, or something. Panarchy is a coed fraternity house, well-known for artists and their usual bohemian tendencies. We got there early, and found whoever it was we knew by walking around saying Hello to anyone who was around, and eventually got a "house tour" ("Here's the private beer fridge, help yourselves.") and proceeded to hang out pre-gamming for the show.

We went down to the living room a little while before the show while the band was setting up. Being experienced concert-goers we wanted a good spot -- little did we know that there would only be 20 or 30 people there, and the room was maybe 30' x 40' so it's not like there was going to be a bad spot...

Maybe ten or fifteen minutes before the show, Trey walks in with his guitar, alone, says hello to the guys, handshakes and hugs, and starts setting up. Donni and I high-five and settle in, which is to say, stand a little further apart to take up a little more room for dancing.

We're talking about a fraternity living room, with hardly anyone there, some residents eventually coming down from their rooms to see what's up and check out the scene. It was EXTREMELY mellow, with smoking and drinking allowed during the show, and for the most part people took great advantage of this comfortable scene.

They played for a while, took a break, and played some more. There was no cover charge, but I think Panarchy passed the hat for future shows or at least beer money, during the break.

Trey played the whole show. I don't remember what they played, but that Cosmic Krewe stuff is musically pretty far out there. I mixed live audio for Sun Ra a couple of times in the '80s, and that's the overall direction of the music. I don't recall Trey singing, but my memory is hazy, because smoking and drinking were allowed during the show... :)

It was one of those nights where we left saying, "Not going to see something like that again in this lifetime." Between the intimate house venue, the listen/dance/party atmosphere, and a collection of stellar world-class musicians twenty feet away, it was very memorable as an event, even if the details are lost to the ravages of time.
Score: 1
notio , attached to 1991-11-24 Permalink
Sometime in 1988 my friend Marla said, "You have to see this band, Phish, spelled with a 'Ph.' They're kind of a cross between the Dead and Frank Zappa." I said, "Huh. How's that work?" And she said, "Pretty well, if you like Zappa and the Dead!" That's an unusual combination, and hits two of my favorite musical performers, so I put Phish on the list.

Living between Boston and Burlington meant that I usually needed to travel for music, and though I had email in 1988, this was mostly Before Internet and that meant I didn't hear about Phish shows much.

During September of 1991 the Dead played six nights in Boston, and I saw a bunch of those, staying with friends for some, and commuting back and forth for others, keeping my day job. On one of the rides back home I met Donni, and in the course of the drive learned he was a big Phish fan. Told him what Marla had told me, and he said, "Gimme your number, I'll let you know."

So it came to pass that one day Donni called and said, "Phish at Dartmouth, next Sunday?" And I said, "Sure." I didn't know any of the music, hadn't heard any of it. I went in as a fan of concerts, knowing nothing of the band other than the raving recommendations of several friends.

I think it was Donni, Dave, and I who went together, and it was the first time I'd been to Webster Hall, which was tiny -- a seating capacity of only four hundred people. Open floor, U-shaped balcony with 5 rows of seats around the ring. Webster Hall is now the Rauner Special Collections Library. I think Phish was one of the last shows in the venue.

The show started, and halfway through the first song, The Sloth, I'm thinking, Uh, okay, WTF does this metal band have to do with Zappa or the Dead? I remember the lighting for Sloth being very black and white, emphasizing the metal character.

Then Paul and Silas: Everyone is bopping and I'm like, Ok, I actually like bluegrass, but what's up with the flow here? Where are we going? Maybe I need another smoke?

After Stash I looked at Donni and said, "Ok, THAT was good. More like that."

At the end of the first set -- killer Bowie -- my general reaction was, Excellent musicianship, some great songs, some ok songs, and some stupid filler weirdness that was distracting.

When the second set started I was still getting my bearings during Tube (because YOU MAY LEAVE AND RE-ENTER THE VENUE WITH YOUR TICKET STUB AND A HAND STAMP, WOOT!), but the Divided Sky had my undivided attention, and I remember thinking it was gutsy and rare for a band to trust the audience such that they could have so much quiet early in a second set.

Second set was better than the first, for this newbie. I knew "A Train" and liked their version and that they played it; loved the YEM. Golgi was a good closer. Then back to the Americana sorta-bluegrass for the encores.

Debriefing over a beer, decided that the Zappa influence was about the virtuosity and the hijinks, the Dead influence was about the jamming and flow within the songs. But really these guys are their own thing. Decided I needed to know the songs better to grok the flow between the songs -- because AFAICT it was random. "I could see them again," I said.

Little did I know how many shows I attend (though the Dead kept a lot of my budget for the early '90s) and how much I'd come to love the band's attitude, their approach to their craft, their infectious fun attitude, and their sophisticated non-trendy songs. In retrospect, a great first show.
Score: 1
JOEYL4A5 , attached to 2011-05-27 Permalink
JOEYL4A5 this is a ridiculously underrated show in general and a ridiculously underrated first set in particular.

set 1 is dynamic, intense, and filled with purposeful; set 2 is fun, wet, wild, and brilliant.

Tweezer: technically short, I know, but by design, I think, and not for any other reason. I'll say this: it doesn't "feel" like a "standard" Tweezer, it has all the energy and tell-tale signs of an absolutely filthy, gorgeous, 30 minute monster... and I think the band recognizes this and makes a creative decision to apply the breaks - which is what, in my opinion, leads to the much talked about seamless segue into My Friend, My Friend.

I could write about this show all night but I'll content myself with just getting those quick thoughts on the short Tweezer off my chest.

If you haven't listened to this show, GIVE IT A LISTEN.

If you haven't listened to it in awhile, give it a re-listen.
Score: 1
pabalive , attached to 2014-07-04 Permalink
pabalive I went to this show on a complete whim. Had no plans of attending at all until about 3:00 on the day of the show when my long time friend told me he had an extra and was going. Since it was raining in CT, I decided there would be no 4th fireworks with the kids so might as well..might as well and I am so glad I did.

Tons of great energy in the show and you could tell the band could feel it as the Jim>46 Days was really strong. Melt also managed to get out there, but, damn that song is still a shell of its former self.

The goods are obviously in the 2nd set. I was hoping to see Fuego and sure enough I got FUEGO!!! Wow! I knew that this tune would have potential to get out there into type 2 land this is the first and still the best version that went to the outer limits...after a gorgeous jam they bring in the Disease and this sent the crowd over the edge. Disease founds its way into slinky Twist which smashed headlong into a raging Light...after an hour of intergalactic travels i found the bathroom when the band found Theme. The rest was pretty much standard fare for 3.0 era. But, that hour of music in the second set was some of the most creative music I have heard from the band in 140 shows.
Score: 0
Sunny , attached to 2014-10-31 Permalink
Sunny the #2 for this show means the song was a debut but "the dogs" was played the night before so its not a debut, that should be changed hopefully an admin sees this. but by far i think this show 100% deserves a 5 star rating for this halloween 2014 show is this what you wanted?
Score: 0
winebibbing , attached to 2014-10-17 Permalink
winebibbing This show absolutely rips. Songs like Free, Roggae, Carini and Wingsuit each feature guitar that shred my mind. As for jams, the Carini>Plasma will for sure go down as a big milestone of Fall '14.

A three-song encore to open the tour? Can't ask for much more than that! I love Quinn the Eskimo as a closer, but I really would have liked to have seen that Wingsuit as an anchor in the first set. I love a Coil as a set closer but what I would have liked even more than that would have been for Poor Heart to open the show. Waiting All Night has been my least favorite part of this year's shows so I definitely wasn't pumped to have it open the tour, but such is life!

Also, after going back and listening to the Crosseyed here, does anyone else get a hint of a "Your Pet Cat" tease at the 7:00 mark?
Score: 0
Shae_Dougall , attached to 1989-10-07 Permalink
Shae_Dougall First of all, the sound quality of the tape is sublime. Seriously...one of the best tapes from 1989. Sadly, the quality of the audio has one major detractor that many other lesser-sounding shows do not have: It fails to mask the slopfest that plagues the occasional 1989 Phish show.

The Ya Mar is okay, but it all mostly unravels after that. The Mike's Groove in particular is a complete mess and the Suzy is loose and sloppy. Fee contains numerous vocal flubs, and segues awkwardly into an almost-jazzy La Grange, which is interesting and is actually worth a listen. The show closes on a standard run of songs, and despite an egregious cut and some nice bass notes from Mike right before LTJP, there's not a whole lot else to say about this show.

Maybe it's a result of listening to all these 1989 shows in a row, but I'm definitely ready for the band to move into new territory in 1990. I know it's all historical context, but there's a reason the 'early days' shows aren't all in heavy rotation. It's because they're not all that great. There are some gems, but this is not one of them.

Going with 2 stars here.
Score: 1
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