Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Happy Memorial Day, everybody. I have listened to todays show. It’s a keeper.. Don’t sleep on another great Ice.
That said, I have guest contributor today! So, while I listened, I did not write. I have enjoyed the freedom to do exactly that!
So, without further ado, here is today’s unedited blog post by my good buddy susep:
A friend in college gave me this show’s second set as one of my first bootlegs. I used to lay in my dorm bed at night, high as a kite and let this music take me out. In hindsight it’s almost funny to look at the second set set list and ask, scary, haunting? For a 21 year old noob with minimal Phish experience, this set was everything I needed. It truly left me paralyzed wanting more. The howl of Trey’s Languedoc coupled with the realization that this was a New England rock band was icing on the proverbial.
Crowd loving it, into Buried Alive Fish loving his bass drum, Trey lurking underneath, nice sustain by Trey early on, Trey holding notes for a very long time. As a new listener of Phish at the time, I appreciated Trey’s use of sustain ala Hendrix. I could hear Hendrix was a big influence on Trey as well. Everyone sounds grand, Paul the maestro, Fish pounds them into Poor Heart a venue that hosted many a good bluegrass show, funny Fish on background vocal, fluid Penn. Trey, Page ripping it up on the ivories, solid opening duo.
Cavern is an interesting choice for the third slot, manic Phish, Mike sounds great in this mix, Trey vocal scat, compact, powerful, Page on his Goff, cavern march, “take care of your shoes!” tripped out ending.
Demand first Hoist tune of the night, “squirming coil beneath your flesh…”, into…
Split Open and Melt more Hoist action if it had segued straight into the jam. Split like Stash contained many killer jams in 1994, super tight Phish, Page and Trey right there during the ascending part before “we breathe deep, in a steam dream”, Trey leads in at 3:58, mathematical Trey early on, Fish sounding killer, Trey and Page taunting one another, band swells, Trey seeking unity, Trey cutting through the middle, Mike thundering underneath, Trey continuing to build off his previous idea, Trey beginning to cut loose, still holding on to the Melt melody, loud scream by Fish near 7:40, more screams, cries, Trey wanting to keep the jam dissonant, holds a long note from 8:22 to 9:11, sounds like he was using something, effect? also it sounded like while the note was sustained he was using his pedal to add a strum or pick like effect, Page adding atonal lines, Fish hits the ride nicely, back to high energy Melt jam, Fish not ready to give up his vocal ’94 esque breakdown, jam quiets with Fish using his snare in between pulses, siren Trey before outro chords, interesting version. crowd loves it. into…
Sparkle nice consonance after the previous dissonance, creative Fish, more variety into…
It’s Ice tight, jam at 4:51, Page all over his keys, funk Trey lurking underneath, ditto with Mike, almost sounds like an early Cars, Trucks, Buses, nice low end action by Page, Trey still funking out on his wah, nice theme emerges, Trey downshift back to Ice land at 7:32, still a nice segue, mellow into…
Catapult this showed up all over the place in ’94. into…
Divided Sky nice release from It’s Ice, Junta material really shines in this Warfield run, love the non musical part, quite a few noobs in the audience for sure, killer Phish in the ascending Methany section, everyone is on the money, nice peaks by Trey, nice shuffle by Fish, great aquatic music into quiet section, very cool Mike, Trey reentry at 4:37, Mike and Page swirling underneath, Fish adding simples, crowd howling, Trey hits the note at 6:44, more quietness before Trey begins his long outro melody, the quiet theme continues before Trey knocks it up a gear, long note from 8:24 to 8:39, Mitch Mitchell Fish, more great sustain from Trey, predictive yet tight and high energy, Page mixing it up with his grand and organ, jam continues to build, final ascent near 12:07, Trey seeking the stratosphere, he hits at 12:45, Page rage in the outro, beautiful, hot.
Sample second nod to Hoist, Trey solo at 3:14, this was his new FEFY, Trey going where he wants to go, Page hanging on to the organ underneath, “thanks. we’re going to take a break, we’ll be right back, we’ll see ya.”
Interesting set, my first listen. Melt and Sky are the big guns, Melt contains a dissonant, intense jam but not completely captivating. Sky is textbook Phish, they bring something more to this reading, a foggy day perhaps? Trey’s long sustain in the Buried Alive opener remind of how captivated I was by these guys.
Listening to Phish was, you didn’t run out to music store to buy their newest album. You listened to Phish music through like minded fans who would kick down a bootleg or two or offer to copy shows for you.
Listening to Phish was hand to mouth except it was tape to ear. This next set was one of my first bootlegs of any band.
whistling, clapping, Trey lets everyone they’re ready with an atonal riff in, Fish drops in at :37, 2001 – my first one via bootleg, Mike adding some trippy notes, Trey’s dissonant expressions continue until first lead in, nice groove, pre funk Phish, to my noob ear this was nirvanic, break at 2:50, 17 seconds before next stanza, in 2 years this space would expand to 4 minutes and beyond, solid outro with trippy fiddle Trey into…
Antelope – Mike and Page talk(musically) in the intro, nice Fish, Simpsons signal at 1:48, nice build into the jam at 2:13, nice sound here, jam kicks down a gear at 2:45, sonic Trey, they lock into an almost metal sounding groove, Trey leads out of it, nice hook up with Fish and Mike, nice bend and feedback by Trey, jam reminds of 1Dec.1994 Split, Trey very fluid in this space, Trey takes the band on a collective ‘lope groove beginning at 5:25, nice Fish, Mike contributing to a Phish march of sorts, Trey modulates back into ‘lope, back to their previous jam space, Page comping intently leading to their full band return, ascending Chalk Dust esque ascending bends, Page hitting the keys hard, full band thrash, Trey tries shutting the door with effects, utilizing his ’94 effects setup, my gear shift was definitely set to a higher gear after hearing this tune.
Fluffhead – nice release after the last jam, Trey very Broadway in his constructions esp near 6:00+, love the section near 7:27, Fluff funk, long note by Trey at 13:00 to 13:20, great way to cap off a solid version. Love Trey’s harmonic coda before the final chord.
Down with Disease – third Hoist tune of the night, liquid Mike, Phish power anthem, “stealing all my lines…” Trey kicks into his outro solo at 3:15, jam begins in earnest at 3:45, straight type I rippage, this is when they would jam over the chorus chords with minimal changes, nice showcase for Trey, Page firing away, able to reach Trey’s higher sonic palette, Trey still firing away his outro riff, good “in support of the new album” version.
Mound – another unique first for me, blues beginning before dissolving into something other, ska like Trey, nice Page on the Goff, Mike throwing down hard after last chorus, Trey easing in, serene Page, full band serene, nice Page accentuating outro, solid Fish ending. Kick ass version!
Tapers murmuring, the band gathers up front for a bluegrass number, “nice tits!”, “hey we’re gonna be mellow, its cool.” – Audience
Ginseng Sullivan very faint, Mike on vocals, washboard solo, Page bass solo, ends at 3:01, nice!
“Right about now we’re going to ah, we’re going to do this special dedication, we’re going to feature Mr. Greezey Fizeek, himself, we’re going to let him do the ah, the solo on this next tune but this is a special kind of solo, Greezey Fizeek will now attempt to do an emotion solo, nose with drawl, so here he goes now, Greezey Fizeek on emotion…” Trey
Dog Faced Boy – Fish standing with a balloon and a sad face?, fourth Hoist nod, love the album and this version. They go back to their electric instruments, you can hear Trey signal, 1, 2, 1234 into…
You Enjoy Myself – my first live version heard after Junta before ALO, great interplay, punctual Mike, Nirvana at 1:21, Trey or Mike sounds like a bell, Mike, dog whistling, scary vibes, Fish accentuates his cymbal, Trey release, Page showcase, Mike bass showcase before they drop into E – D – A progression, nice heavy E, F, Page building underneath, nice Fish rolls as Trey hits breaks away, brilliant tone on Trey’s axe, nice full band into Boy!, Man, God, Shit. These sparse yet true lyrics was just what my 21 year old consciousness warranted at the time of reception, trippy Mike with Page, nice funk Trey, accompanying nicely, this is it folks, peak Phish!, Page still in stride, Trey hinting, Page still in the zone, YEM Maze, Trey drops in at 11:02, yummy Trey, Trey takes his lines down, Mike follows into a fast paced bass/drums, Trey continuing to solo quietly, hits the release 12:36, slowly builds off that both in intensity, volume, nice Fish, Trey slicing it up, hitting higher peaks, Trey continues his onslaught, Mike and Fish at 15:25, liquid bass and drums, kudos to Paul for a killer HOF sound, strong version.
Amazing Grace – a capella,
Good Times Bad Times – a killer Zeppelin to close my first bootleg? It reinforced everything I loved about this band from Vermont. Trey easily executing Jimmy Page’s lines and then some. Mike spot on also, Trey hitting some nice peaks, Trey building tension like a good Stash or Split, still pushing the envelope, Maze like peak by Trey, more fury from Trey before he absolutely nails Page’s note, sick cover.
Overall a very good Phish show with good variety. While certainly not as raw and exciting as it was 20 years ago on tape, this show still holds up nicely with a few strong highlights that anchor its return. These include the Buried Alive opener with extended Trey sustain(was he bored?), beautiful Divided Sky especially for such a small venue, the 2001 > Antelope, Antelope is smoking and a cooking Mound. The centerpiece for me is YEM. So good in so many ways. Great Thursday night in SF in late May 1994.
Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Set 1: Buried Alive > Poor Heart > Cavern, Demand, Split Open and Melt, Sparkle > It’s Ice > Catapult > Divided Sky, Sample in a Jar
Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Down with Disease > Mound, Ginseng Sullivan, Dog Faced Boy, You Enjoy Myself, Amazing Grace
Encore: Good Times Bad Times
Notes: Antelope contained a Simpsons signal. Ginseng Sullivan and Dog Faced Boy were performed acoustic and, along with Amazing Grace, without microphones. Ginseng also featured Fishman on washboard.
Setlist Courtesy of Phish.net.