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Phish.Net Review Archive

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Here are the 15 most recent reviews submitted

imdano , attached to 1999-07-09 Permalink
Good call on your part. This is a well-above average show from a year that was actually pretty damn good across the board. I think there are some all-time great shows from December 99; both Portland dates, 12/7 and 12/8, stand out in particular, and of course Philly night two. I also think very highly of 12/3 set II. To me, the attribute shared by all the shows that were great from 99 is "lazy funk." Set II of this MPP show (also set II from Mansfield 7/13) really settles into that sound. Trey isn't shredding but laying deep into the groove. They aren't searching for a peak, specifically, but really getting comfortable in some excellent, moody funk. You have to like that sound, but if you do, '99 has it everywhere. Oswego set I lives in this world, however I think it is because it was soooooo unbelievably hot on that blacktop that the band, along with the audience, was just sapped of energy. 7/9 is a highly listenable show though, top to bottom. The set I Divided Sky is another nice moment-the jam is much more group oriented and mellow than is typical.
To piggyback on your point, Andrew, I would say this is EASILY one of the best Mikes out there (acknowledging that its a highly subjective matter). I am usually quite disappointed when, instead of digging into the groove and getting funky, the Mikes jam just flails away at shred-fest cock rock. I would say that basically every Mikes since 3.0 began has been that type. 7/9 Mikes is a must hear for those who prefer to get down (I would also nominate 7/1/00 as a heavyweight in this category).
This is a show that you can put on for a long drive and never skip a tune. It is very balanced and listenable despite being highly improvisatory. 99 doesn't get enough cred but there are some real gems
Score: 0
phishymike , attached to 1994-10-20 Permalink
This was my first Phish show (actually second, but the first was at at SunFest in West Palm Beach, FL and they only played one set). I'll admit, the setlist may not look stellar, but this show was extra special to me and my crew. The Mahaffey Theatre in St. Pete, FL, from what I recall, is a tiny, yet gorgeous venue. I recall it being decorated with lots of red and gold; it definitely didn't feel like a Phish show as we walked inside. The ushers were all elderly women who were very sweet to us and we returned the kindness. I believe they debuted "Golden Lady", by Stevie Wonder at this show due to the ushers and gold decorations of the theatre.

I felt like the band was extremely focused at this show. I recall watching from the first few rows and it was like they were so tuned in that it almost didn't matter that an audience was even listening. I don't mean this in a bad way at all. I just noticed a lot of non-verbal communication among the entire band throughout the show. The highlight of the first set for me was the Split>Kung>Split, Esther. The second set was superb due to the Maze, McGrupp, Rift, Hood. Although they were doing the Foreplay/Longtime thing a few times during this tour, it was a treat to see the boys play completely acoustic, without mics. Fishman was absolutely hysterical on the washboard.

Great venue, great group of phriends on an amazing night in St. Petersburg, Florida. Thank you PHISH!
Score: 0
n00b100 , attached to 1998-11-21 Permalink
n00b100 And now, only 3 years later, my thoughts on Night 2:

Set 1: Probably the more fun of the two Set 1s from a pure song selection standpoint (although my favorite bit of either Set 1s is Rock & Roll Part 2), featuring an absolutely searing BBFCFM, very nice versions of Divided Sky and Foam, and the surprising bustouts of Cry Baby Cry (which has never been seen again) and Nellie Kane (which has). You could stick this first set onto a Summer 2012 show and nobody would be the wiser.

Set 2: Opening with Sabotage (my God, Trey has to work to sing this song; imagine how Adam Horowitz had to feel singing this damn song every night?), the band kicks into one of their wilder set-long Mike's Grooves. A growly and low-key Mike's Song gives way to Simple, and this is one of the most famous of Simples (IMO, the most beloved version between Vegas '96 and Dick's 2014), a utterly gorgeous version that doesn't stray too far beyond Simple's boundaries but serves as the finest version of the "usual" Simple jam (actually, it reminds me a bit of Hydrogen in how relaxed and delicate it is). The rest of the set doesn't have much to speak of, although that Free -> Ha Ha Ha -> Free is weird enough to hear at least once, and the Weekapaug is played at 300 mph like it's 1993 all over again or something. The encore is as charming as you would expect from the description.

Final thoughts: I'd said Night 2 is better musically, but it's really just because of the Simple, a gorgeous jam that's well worth seeking out. I don't know that either Hampton '98 show is anybody's favorite once you've gone past the neophyte stage, but they're definitely worth breaking out if you want a good ol' time with The Phish From Vermont.
Score: 0
n00b100 , attached to 1993-08-14 Permalink
n00b100 An absolutely ridiculous show, one of the best shows of Phish's game-changing month of August 1993, and a show thoroughly deserving of its LivePhish status. Just a couple notes, in lieu of a full-on review:

1. It's actually kind of nice to get a Melt that doesn't go into full-scale teeth-grinding dissonance (the 7/13/14 Melt is nastier than this one!), but instead provides a surprisingly nearly melodic jam thanks to Trey's soloing that makes this one stand out a bit more from the usual psychedelic/dirt-nasty Melts of the mid-90s.

2. You can, I think, actually consider the Antelope here as a trial run for the fabled Tweezerfest of 5/7/94, as out of a *wild* Antelope jam (the Dixie tease leading into a surprising classic-rock jam) the band puts together a beautiful little run of segues that include a few of the ones we get in the Bomb Factory show (Sparks, Walk Away), while not sparing any of the usual ferociousness we associate with Antelope from this era. The fun thing about this jam, of course, is that we get the Antelope ending to top things off, kinda like a Playin' jam sandwich from those other fellas.

3. To draw another Dead parallel, the other interesting thing about this show is seeing the Phish of the mid-90s, before 1997 brought on the four-song second set era, having no problem plugging in a few "song" songs in between the big jams. A Mound/Coil/Daniel Saw The Stone run is nothing to sneeze at, certainly (who doesn't like those songs?), but that's 20 minutes of 2nd set real estate with nary a jam to be found. Think of it as their Big River/Toodle-oo tendency, if you'd like.

4. This is a prototypical pre-94 YEM (when, IMO, YEM really turned a corner before its 1995 peak); you've got teases up the wazoo, a Smoke On The Water jam and goofy Speed Racer am, and energy for days (more of the manic rock kind than the nasty funk kind, of course). The slide into Purple Rain is the icing on the cake.

5. One last thing to consider about this show - how much it illustrates the way that Phish evolved. August 1993 really captures the group with one foot in the early-90s (manic energy, a billion quotes and teases, lots and lots of songs) and the other in the 1994-95 era (leaps into the void, exceedingly clever and nigh-perfect segues, better setlist flow); the extraordinary thing is that a group right smack in the middle of its evolution from one to the other managed to churn out so many great shows while making that transition. You get the weirdness to spare of a show like 8/6, astonishing jams like the 8/26 Reba, and the combination of the two in shows like 8/13 and this one. We're over two decades past and these shows are still beloved and still gaining new fans every day, and it's very easy to see why.
Score: 0
hughie46 , attached to 1993-12-30 Permalink
this is the show that has taken my friends and me AWAY time after time. the one. it must be important to quite a number of people.

the first set is wonderful. classic early 90s perfect playing and shininess... sick fun.

the second set is one of phish's masterpieces. space disco in to a magnificent, unbelievable mikes song.... and from there, language fails to do justice. its the magic. not to mention a stunning slave, with graceful inspired full band melodies and an ending that can melt the roof of a car.
Score: 1
jakechyllenhaal , attached to 1993-12-30 Permalink
jakechyllenhaal A cassette of this show absolutely, without a doubt, 100% changed my life one spring 1997 night in a Baton Rouge hotel room. I liked this show a lot when I first heard it a while back and had even seen the band live but that night with the lights out; I understood the whole "Phish" thing.

IF for some reason you haven't heard this show and like this band. . .whoo boy. . .
Score: 1
HighNote , attached to 1995-07-01 Permalink

Superb SBD/AUD matrix recording. Going back to these '95 shows while I await the summer tour to start. This show is above-average for the summer tour.

Overall - 8.5/10

1st Set

YA MAR - Great opener - one of my favorite choices for the opening slot. Upbeat, as always, and especially tight solos from Trey and Page, with melodic interplay and staccato from Trey (7:00 mark). 8/10

LLAMA - Absolutely rips. Fast pace and well-performed. I don't love this song but I appreciate the skill involved to play it and this version is impressive. Typical type 1. 7/10

IF I COULD - One of the first Phish songs that I heard and fell in love with. This version contains a unique intro and a gorgeous type-1 outro. Trey's voice sounds nice a raspy here, Page fills in and the chorus sounds on point with the harmony. The piano/guitar portion at 4:21 is especially beautiful. 9.5/10

A.T.R. - Standard fare. Well-played. 8/10.

IT'S ICE - Dark, eerie version. Tension and suspense fill the "under the ice jam" and Page reaches for the murky ambiance. One truly can feel the ice jabs from Pages keys here at 7:10 - I think I hear Fishman on the vacuum for a bit too, very cool. 9.5/10

PRINCE CASPIAN - Only 3 min here.

SPLIT OPEN & MELT - 17+ min beast here. Up tempo - the boys play this tune much faster than in the 3.0 era.

Score: 0
trow30 , attached to 1997-06-27 Permalink
Nice start to the set, really. Wilson -> CDT was nice, high energy. Stash kept to the point. In a tour of Tastes, this wasn't my favorite. Nothing really too off the charts or too special here. I liked the set list for sure but if you're looking for something deeper, you may want to skip on this.
Score: 0
Palmer , attached to 1998-07-17 Permalink
Palmer I have overlooked this show in the past, the Gumbo and Divided Sky in set one is ellegant and well performed. I like the funky breakdown gumbo transforms throughout, from slow motion to full speed before returning to a nice smooth closing. Set 2 is one long jam, 2001 25 mins of pure 1.0 phish play > Mikes > trey improv jam > weekapaug > zero was classic, nothing more here than sure brillance.
The mikes is the highlight for me, my favorite version.
Score: 0
hardua , attached to 1991-04-27 Permalink
This was my first show and there are so many ways I could take this thing. We'll start with a little history. I became aware of phish in the early fall of 1990 when my buddy Skills gave me a copy of Junta on tape. He wrote the track list on the lines and then carefully drew the phish logo in the middle. A month or two later, another buddy saw them open for Blues Traveler (same venue, 10-6-90). He couldn't stop raving about what he saw that night.

Based on two those events, I started seeking out the music. Access was very limited back then. As I mentioned, Junta was out. Lawn Boy with the Fee bonus track was also released. And then there were bootlegs. Those were even harder to find. And when you did find them, the sound quality was miserable (dudes calling out for songs plus beer bottles clanging) and the songs were always labeled incorrectly. For a long time I thought "harpua" was called "hardua" because that's what my tape said.

As for the show, it was a lot of fun- mostly young kids running around without a care in the world. I remember holding up my ticket for Golgi, seeing the vacuum come out and hearing Alvenu Malkenu (at which point I turned to Skills and said don't we know this number?).

With the benefit of time, this site, and the ability to stream shows, I can put my experience in perspective. I'm grateful that I got in when I did and have been able to ride it out for almost 25 years. It's like seeing the Dead in 1970 and then going to 1995.
Score: 0
gingerphish , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
This was my 3rd Phish show and only one of the fall tour. What a good choice though. Thought I'd leave a few comments after only really "getting" Phish shortly following this show and now having the chance to go back and listen. I'm from Philly so I took a bus up to Boston to meet with a friend. Nothing more satisfying that an incredible show that you have to travel to get to. Makes it seem like you had to work for it.

Coming out of the gate with Party Time you know it's going to be a fun show. At the time a lot of these songs were unknown to me, but I was dancing my ass off none the less. Speaking of, BOTT was down right groovy, one of my favorites to hear first set or later in the second. Really set the tone for a funky night. I love this Gin. Their out of whack vocal jam is experimental, different and challenging with everyone going weirdly off beat even though they do get lost sometimes. You can hear Trey kind of laugh this off and continue on to deliver an awesome, energetic solo. Stash is Stash maybe getting a little weird at some points. This Bowie is awesome. If you listen right when they break down into the jam section, Trey switches to a nice minor chord progression and Page lays down a really dark piano line in response. It's only for 2 measures, but I was floored by this communication.

Obviously listen to this Drowned. WOW. Switching from rock modes to blissful peace, its right up their for contender of best jam of this tour. (10/29 Disease still takes the cup for me) Light never fails to disappoint and this one takes the time to step out of its normal dark territory and get a little rocking and funky which I love. Sand equals more funk and the place erupts into one giant dance party. Mike's is average as it usually is with 3.0, but I love the No Quarter even if is a little sloppy at points. One of my favorite Zeppelin songs and continues with the overall dark undertone of this show. This Weakapaug has one of my favorite Mike openers. He's going crazy on his infamous line and ascends the scale at the perfect time to enter the groove. I was a little weary of Fishman giving up the sticks especially on Boogie On, another one of my favorite dancing tunes, but Dennard brings it back on Possum.

Wrapping it up, probably my most listened to 3.0 show from 2013 besides 7/27 and maybe 10/29. Being my transition into truly understanding Phish, this show will always have a special place in my heart.
Score: 0
theothr1 , attached to 1997-11-29 Permalink
theothr1 revisiting this show, while exposing myself to some dreaded spring-cleaningish house chores, for the first time since about a month or so after said show occured...Dan, i absolutely LOVE your review...especially given the jet-fueled, post-show immediacy in which it was written...which also happens to be the reason (hahaha, and i realize it matters not one bit) i will forgive you for calling this a standard version of Foam*...that is all

*- without question, one of the top 3 performances of all-time
Score: 0
dutchbug , attached to 1987-03-06 Permalink
dutchbug I keep imagining what it was like to see these folks at Goddard...just being at this little school in VT and seeing this band just KICK IT. Even if Phish never went on to be famous, I'd be pretty into this tape. These kids are just so full of talent.

What's funny to me is that this is the SAME BAND that became so huge. I mean, some aspects of changed, but more have remained the same. Like the Dead, they kind of just plunk on doing the same thing regardless of how big they get. That's how to inspire true cult-like devotion from your fans.

Check this one out.
Score: 1
bigswede , attached to 1991-04-12 Permalink
This was the show that put me over the edge. This was my 3rd show and the band had come a long way since the 3/31/90 show at the Rathskeller student union in Madison, WI. My buddy and I helped load their gear into the Barrymore earlier that day when we got a call from a friend working at the Barrymore, and in exchange they offered to let us tape a soundboard of the show. I brought my home stereo dub deck into the venue and they plugged it in, set the levels, and even flipped the tape for me. I now converted it to digital and this show continues to floor Phishheads ever time I pull it out and crank it up. They filled the Barrymore with dry ice smoke, got out the mini trampolines and proceeded to freak the hell out of all of us with strobe lights. This is a show I will never forget and one of the best of my lifetime. The raw sound from Trey's guitar is epic!
Score: 0
bigswede , attached to 1990-03-31 Permalink
My first show as well. I remember standing in front of Trey and losing it. This was a free show in the student Union at The University of Wisconsin. Myself and about 50 others enjoyed this experience and they came back in November of 90 to play the Great Hall. I wish I would have taken some Pics, and wish I could remember the setlist. Dam. Those were the day.
Score: 1
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