, attached to 1988-05-24

Review by SlavePhan

SlavePhan My recording of this show is limited to Whipping Post plus the hilarity that is set 3. This is an interesting listen and has a few elements that may be worth a once-over.

The Whipping Post here is quite long (20+) which was typical for the time. However, the wild jamming that the band had been doing in '87 and '88 seemed to be beginning to coalesce every once in a while, and there are some parts of Whipping Post here that are in that direction. Particularly, there is a moment when the band drops down and Trey is playing with a fader pedal (eerily similar to when he does it in the 3/13/93 Antelope), and another moment where Fish leaves some space and things turn a corner. It's much more focused than some earlier Whipping Post's (although for 80's Phish, that's not saying that much).

By far, though, the Jah Roy guest spot in Ya Mar is the high point of this show. Who is Jah Roy? He's a player in a (still existing, apparently) Vermont Reggae band called Lamb's Bread. I imagine that they shared venues with Phish in the early years and so Jah Roy made a few guest appearances (see 10/31/86) and this is one of them. Toward the end of Ya Mar, the band gets into the reggae beat that they had previously been playing in Makisupa (for instance, see 8/21/87 Mouse House) and Jah Roy comes out of nowhere to start singning. He sings about all sorts of things and Phish, he breaks the song to scream out "How is everybody feeling!" (a la 8/13/93), then tells the band to 'break it break it'. It really ruins the flow of things and he tries to get the band to calm down and teach them about the elements of reggae, he rambles about Nectar's, 'business', breaks into 'One Love', and drum and bass as the foundation. It's pretty amazing, really, and I wonder what the band was thinking. I also wonder if Trey made fun of this hilarious ramble when he yelled "Bass and drum bass and drum" during future YEMs.

Nancy makes an appearance for Halley's Comet in this one too. His screeching/singing is particularly atonal in this one, especially at the end, but the band picks up and moves into a Sloth (still missing the building section). Fishman's introduced here as Moses Heaps, Dewitt, and Brown as per the time. The Corinna here is a nice break after the slightly wild 'I Know a Little'/BBFCFM combo. Harpua is dedicated to Tim Rogers and is one of the better examples of the 'standard' story.

Great Antelope to close for the time with a fantastic last 5 minutes or so. It is absolutely fantastic tension and release with a DEG-element. Although there's no glistening Trey at the end, this is a very solid Antelope, especially for 1988. Good stuff.

Overall, this section is a 3+, special guests, some nice 3rd set playing, and a beautiful early Antelope.


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