, attached to 1994-06-17

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm glad this show has gotten the archival-release treatment. I remember trading for this show early on in my phandom, and enjoying it quite a bit more then than I do now. It may just be my state of mind, or perhaps at 17 years and a week after my first show, I'm approaching "jaded oldbie" status. The manic energy on display is interesting, but I'm a little bit too old to really be able to get inside like I might once have. And I've always been more of a listener and music appreciator than just an out-and-out fanatic about Phish--which is not to say that I don't like machine-gun Trey ('cause I do!), or that seguefests aren't fun for me (check out 7/27/14 for a more recent one that really satisfies my musical ear.) I just think that sometimes the experimental, risk-taking nature of Phish led them to entertain themselves at the possible expense of kind of, I don't know, dumbfounding the audience? While not deliberately excluding them from the fun, in retrospect things like the Secret Language signals and things like that don't strike me so much as impressive tools for expression, as much as they strike me as deliberate gimmickry that seems designed both to invigorate the show experience but also to perpetrate a sort of juvenile pranksterish vibe that I'm growing to view with distaste. There's great music here, no doubt--though I think something's off with the LP SBD mix, maybe too much crowd noise--and I will probably listen to this show again just because Phish will always have a place in my soul, but this snapshot of the band from Summer '94 showcases a side of them that cropped up often enough that most times I'd rather listen to a sincere attempt at group-mind improvisation in shows with long jams and/or segued sets--yes, Fall '97, I'm looking at you--wherein the emphasis is upon some novel emotional thrill or resonance that seems obscured by quasi-adolescent piss and vinegar here. As @Icculus would say, "2 cents."


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