Tuesday, 12/28/1993 Bender Arena, American University, Washington, DC

Tuesday, 12/28/1993
Bender Arena, American University, Washington, DC

I decided to prime the pump of this ambitious project by kicking it off with the last 4 shows of 1993. My thinking? First, I am excited to get started and prove to myself that I can do it no matter the circumstances. Traveling to NYC for the NYE shows this week is the first test of the logistics of listening and posting to the blog while life happens around me.

Mostly, though, I have always thought of this epic NYE run as more of a kick-off to 1994 than a summation of year preceding it (which NYE runs tend to be… for instance, I consider 12/31/95 an exclamation point on the year). The fall of 93 saw zero shows as Phish headed to LA to record Hoist. While they didn’t play any new songs on the run, they did begin 1994 with the DwD Jam that would become a mainstay of the Phish repertoire.

So, if this NYE run isn’t technically in 1994, I’ll just call it a prelude and feel good about it.

If you did this run, you remember the snow that blanketed every road you trudged to get through it. People always said Limestone felt special because you really had to “want it” to make the trek. Well, this run was the same. The blizzard made the entire run a feat of perseverance with the greatest of rewards for your efforts.

The run kicks off with this show that seems pretty straightforward on paper. The first Peaches of the 90’s (a nod to Zappa who had passed at the beginning of the December) sets the tone quite well. I have to admit I did not recognize Peaches at the time. Everyone’s a noob once!

The entire first set flows… no sign of rust. There’s a fiery SOAMelt that builds much like the jam tacked onto Demand from Hoist. The rest is classic early 90’s Phish. The playful Ya Mar is so much fun I had to “get down” a bit in my seat as they played. The Possum infused with Kashmir is another fun one. Fun as hell, I say!

Set 2 starts innocently enough with Sample but dives headfirst into a great YEM after that opener. Again, what stands out most is the flow and fun they bring here. Some rocking out with the Sloth and Highway to Hell, but plenty of time for introspection with The Lizards and a beautiful Hood.

All in all, a great show and a great way to kick off the run and my new blog.

20 years ago today I was a 19 year old, wide-eyed, dumb, kid with less than two years of driving a car under my belt doing some of the toughest driving I’ve ever done to this day. Now I’m 39 and embarking on a project that may be the dumbest thing I have ever attempted. Wish me luck!!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 12/28/1993
Bender Arena, American University, Washington, DC

Set 1: Peaches en Regalia > Poor Heart > Split Open and Melt, Esther > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg > Ya Mar, It’s Ice > Fee > Possum

Set 2: Sample in a Jar, You Enjoy Myself, My Friend, My Friend -> The Lizards, The Sloth, Fast Enough for You > Uncle Pen, Harry Hood, Highway to Hell

Encore: Memories, Golgi Apparatus

Notes: For the entire New Year’s Run, the stage was set up as an aquarium, complete with sand, seaweed, rocks, and a giant clam. Suzy included a Tweezer tease and Possum included a Kashmir tease. Peaches (first since June 23, 1989, or 558 shows) was likely played in memory of Frank Zappa, who passed away a few weeks before. Subsequently, SOAM included Peaches teases. Ya Mar included an Auld Lang Syne tease and Hood included a Simpsons signal. Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. My Friend started out with Trey on acoustic guitar and did not contain the “Myfe” ending.

One thought on “Tuesday, 12/28/1993 Bender Arena, American University, Washington, DC

  1. cleech74 says:

    Good luck on your project. Looking forward to following along.

    That said, 12-28-94 is one of three shows I had intended on attending, but it didn’t quite work out. The other two were Wolftrap 1993 (which was sold out, due to the Pier Six Baltimore being cancelled due to poor ticket sales, I think). Had tix to Pier 6, and was informed the day of the Wolftrap show, that it was cancelled. Went looking for tix, but got shut out.

    Anyhow, the blizzard kept us from going to Bender Arena. I remember being home from college on winter break, and being super pissed about my friends and I making the decision, not to go. Pretty sure there was some parental influence on our descision. We were all 18yrs old. Oh well. I did happen to catch the bulk of shows I attended, during the 1995-96 years. Some killer venues and sets, I have seen.

    Just realized, I also had tix to Jazzfest 1996. But a friend of mine passed away from an opiate overdose, a few weeks before the Fest. On 4/20, of all days.

    I know, sb/tldr. I’ll follow along at home, and look forward to your project. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

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