The Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
David “ZZYZX” Steinberg was on the Helping Friendly Podcast this week discussing, among other things, this very show. So, in honor of him, I’d like to point out that I have not seen a Buried Alive since 10/29/95. It’s time, Phish. I’m ready for it!! How about opening July 4th with it??
After the Buried Alive, this first set is sort of generic 1994 stuff. I can see why they skipped it on HFPod and dug right into the second set. The Stash is a standout, though. Man, Stashes have been great on this tour!
So, I think it makes sense to address zzyzx’s book here, given that I just listened to this interview. When I decided to do this project it was really because I believe 1994 is the year Phish became Phish. I said as much in my second-ever post here: “Bluegrass. 30+ minute jams. The Halloween tradition. In so many ways, 1994 defined what phish really became.”
On the podcast, zzyzx basically says the same thing. His inspiration for writing the book was not so much that 1994 was the best year of Phish, but that it was a defining year of a band “on the precipice.”
All that said, I started reading the book and had to put it down because it quickly became spoiler-central for my project. The last thing I want is to have a zzyzx-colored predisposition to these shows. I will read it after summer tour is over for me.
Anyway… digging into this second set. I actually can’t believe I’ve never heard this before. Zzyzx says the Antelope was included on a Live-Bait release. Well, I guess I’m a bad Phish head. It’s not ringing any bells for me at all.
It gets interesting really quick, though. Hell yeah! The drop into BBFCFM really sneaks up on you, too. Then the rest of the ‘lope is astoundingly original. Great group improv the whole way… right up until Trey screws up the lyrics!
How they come out of that madness with Sparkle, I have no idea. But they do… and they earn a couple of great “Woohoo”s from some folks very near the tapers section! Sometimes I love AUDs!
This setlist could be a prime lesson to noobs on the difference between “>” and “->.” This second set features both! They definitely start Ice as Sparkle finishes, but it ain’t no “->.” Of course, It’s Ice features another stellar breakdown. This one is sort similar to the last. I’m lovin’ it, though. Page just owned these breakdowns!! Sofa king great!
Then the YEM is pretty standard right up until Trey’s solo which starts out strangely with some oddly sustained notes and builds not to a huge peak, but to a Louie Louie tease before Mike takes over for a short Bass jam. Nothing earth shattering here.
Then there’s one of things I have always loved about Phish… their desire to juxtapose heavy rock with classical beauty. My favorite moment in Fluffhead (besides, of course, the arrival) is when they come out of the fugue and land on a huge rock power-chord. This Amazing Grace sandwiched in between BBFCFM is prime Phish! Beauty and Ugly hanging out in close quarters! It’s one of the big elements that separates Phish from the other bands out there. I love this stuff! I wish I could hear the Grace a bit better on this recording, but that’s nothing new.
What a great second set and encore!
Now I’m listening to the wrap up on HFPod and it’s funny how different people see differently things. The discussion around 2001 is interesting. Not only were the versions from 93-94 really short, but they were, in fact, much shorter than even the Deodato version! And zzyzx doesn’t seem to remember that the introduction of 2001 in 1993 coincided with the introduction of the first “moving” lights in CK5’s rig. He has always matched the sweeping lights with the refrain of 2001. I hate to correct the master, but, then again, he said in the first segment of the podcast that he fully expects that kind of thing! HA!
Thanks for reading.
The Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Set 1: Buried Alive > Poor Heart > Sample in a Jar > Divided Sky, Axilla (Part II) > Rift, Down with Disease > Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, Sweet Adeline
Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope -> Big Black Furry Creature from Mars -> Run Like an Antelope, Sparkle > It’s Ice > Julius > You Enjoy Myself, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Amazing Grace, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars
Encore: Fee > Rocky Top
Notes: Sweet Adeline and Amazing Grace were performed without microphones. Antelope included a Simpsons signal at the beginning and All Fall Down and Oom Pa Pa signals during the jam. YEM contained a Louie Louie tease. The second set kept returning to BBFCFM, as the three verses were completely spread out. Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone.
Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.