, attached to 1993-05-08

Review by Fathership

Fathership Yes, the OTHER 5/8 show. This is the last show of an incredibly long spring tour and it ends the trek in fine fashion. This is also the first show I ever listened to; I picked up the LivePhish release on a whim after I started to grow tired of listening to nothing but the Dead. This show introduced me to an entirely new world of music and for that reason it holds a special place in my heart.

A rocking Chalk Dust Torture sets the tone for the night and is very well played, with Trey's solo peaking in all the right ways. From here we move to a strong Guelah Papyrus and onto Rift, a lethal combo that the band opened with quite often those days. From here we move to Mound, a tune that is still growing on me. An average version here, but the boys are clearly building steam and are in exceptional form.

One of my all time favorite versions of Stash is next. The composed section is nailed and the jam takes a menacing turn soon after. Trey sounds incredible here as the tension builds, Fish keeps excellent time with his hi-hat and Page slams on his Piano in perfect rhythm. Trey's wails around 8:25 are everything I love about Stash. Peaking soon after in incredible form (10:08 is just insane), the music descends and soon we smoothly segue into Kung, seemingly out of nowhere. Feedback echoes throughout and soon we EXPLODE from this exceptional Kung and back into Stash, which ends with Trey melting what's left of your face and leaving no loose ends untied. Absolutely exceptional playing from everyone here.

We come down with Glide, which is played well. My Friend, My Friend is also strong, and takes us into another highlight, Reba. Again, the composed sections are handled with care and the jam emerges in a bouncy, groovy form. Trey's playing dances around Fish and Mike's rhythms and Page plays delicately but with purpose. Things soon get very quiet, and it's the Page and Trey show. Trey finds this neat little riff that is actually quite beautiful. The crowd claps along to this repetitive but powerful series of notes and the jam begins to escalate from there. He plays a very similar, but slightly more sinister, version of that riff as the music builds and around 9:50 or so we have liftoff. The peak is astonishing, which is extra impressive since this Reba is relatively short (11:30 if you subtract the whistling ending). Fantastic Reba with whistling taboot. One of my favorites.

Trey thanks the crew and invites the crowd to do some 'traditional dancing' as Page leads Satin Doll, which is very nice, even without the novelty of it being the last ever played. Cavern is a nice way to end this great first set.

On to set two, David Bowie opener. Almost enough said, but I have to mention the brief but very fun Jessica jam in the intro. A little secret language and off we go. A very energetic Bowie soon slows to a snail's pace as Trey finds a seriously heavy riff and repeats it over and over, with the rest of the boys following suit. Like a train leaving the station it slowly builds from a crawl to a dead sprint. When it's really getting fast everyone yells and moans to the music, which adds quite a bit. Soon Trey's above the clouds shredding and the music turns bouncy, descending into Have Mercy. The segues are on point tonight. It's played fine and we return to Bowie (at warp speed) and Trey repeats a long whine over and over before entering the outro segment. Solid Bowie but personally I don't believe it to be must-hear or one of the all-time greats (see: 6-18-94, 7-30-97).

Acoustic Horse is played perfectly and for a long while (I believe this is the longest Horse to date). Silent is pretty average but I actually like its placement here. Ice is next, a song I'm always happy to hear. The jam sounds similar rhythmically to the main theme of the song but Page really sounds great. Check out the descending notes at 5:23. My absolute favorite version of Coil follows, and features a stunning, extended Page solo and a killer blues jam tacked on near the end. It's a bit of a preview of the Crossroads debut to appear later on. Hear this Coil -> Jam at all costs.

The big balls come out next and Trey starts to play one of my favorite Mike's Grooves. Vocals are strong here and we drop into the jam forcefully, with Mike's bass seriously digging deep and Page teasing some organ lines. Trey joins and at 4:08 things get dirty before we settle swiftly into the Mike's Song outro. But things are different this time, with Page laying down some mind-numbing organ and Trey repeating one hell of a sweet riff. My words aren't really doing this justice. Mike plays the bassline to Crossroads and the band takes its time with the segue, something I miss about the old days. A few timing issues don't mar this killer combo. The first solo melts face and the second little jam segment fades into a rhythmic platform for Page to show off, and he does. Really hot stuff for a debut. A return to the Mike's outro, and a nice but standard run through Hydrogen and Weekapaug complete this sweet Groove.

Amazing Grace looks like the closer, but the band picks up their instruments again and slays the crowd one last time with a Weekapaug-esque Amazing Grace jam. Heady stuff, another highlight on this night of highlights. The lone encore is Bag, which is actually exceptional. I really enjoy this short, but sweet, version.

One hell of a bid farewell, this tour finale is everything I've grown to love about early 90's Phish, it's all here. Serious improvisation is backed by humor and fun, and the creativity flows from one note to the next. Get this show.


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