, attached to 1993-03-25

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

This was to be the last of five West Coast shows for me. After the show I was to drive straight to Los Angeles and then get on a plane and flew to Maui, so I decided to really blow it out. Everyone was excited for another Santa Cruz show, so there were many local pre-show gatherings. I don't remember when I actually made it inside the Civic, which is a wooden floored auditorium that holds 2200 people, max. I have no idea how many people were at the show, but I think it was sold out. We got there before the first set started and landed at the top of the seats on Page's side. Our group took over the entire area up there, which fortunately had windows because the entire auditorium turned into a sweatbox for this show.
This is another epic Santa Cruz show; as one reviewer at the time said, it was "one for the record books". Everything is played exceptionally well, and as a bonus there's a Gamehendge narration thrown in. The show starts with Trey on fire during "Chalk Dust". "Possum" is the next peak of the set, followed by a crowd-pleasing "Bouncing Around the Room". The rest of the set is great and closes with a monster "Antelope". They start the song as an "Ob-la-di - Ob-la-da" (Beatles) tease that the audience sings to, and then build up to an incredibly intense peak. This is one version that must be heard to be believed. The band then took mercy on the drenched crowd and gave us a set break to relax and gather our energy for Set II.
The music during the second set just gets better. The band and the audience are all on fire, and the band opens the set with an explosive "Axilla". Things get crazy again when Trey starts "Colonel Forbin's". What ensues is one of the most hilarious Gamehendge narrations I've ever heard. At the time I was actually really upset at Trey for talking at the audience for what seemed like years to me, instead of playing music. But, listening to the recording now, I can appreciate the funny story/rant. The introduction to "Icculus" is classic, with Trey screaming "Read the book!" with the other guys singing behind him. The set ends with an epic "Mike's" > "Hydrogen" > "Weekapaug", followed by a crowd-pleasing "Golgi".
People were pretty out of it when the show ended, so I did what I could to find people and say "Bye" before running out of the auditorium and driving to LA I was exhausted after five shows in eight days, but some of my friends were just starting tour and planned on doing the S.F. > Vancouver run, in addition to Santa Cruz). All of the shows I saw during the tour were good, and the Santa Cruz Civic was easily one of the best.


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