Friday, 07/08/1994 Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts, Mansfield, MA

Friday, 07/08/1994
Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts, Mansfield, MA

I must first admit that this weekend was the first time I faltered from my path. When I set out to listen to 1994 as it happened 20 years later, I thought it would be difficult. I figured I’d miss a few along the way. While I missed posting a few while I traveled to Israel for a wedding a few weeks back, I didn’t skip out on listening. I listened to each show faithfully. Well, my streak has officially ended.

I listened to Old Orchard Beach last week on my way to SPAC. It’s an amazing show that my good pal Birdman attended with his kid brother (it was kid brother’s first show!). Birdman committed to write a guest blog post about the show. Instead he let me and all of my readers down by ignoring his assignment. Boo him when you see him next.

Then we got to this amazing lakeside cabin which we shared with about 20 Phish-head friends for the SPAC weekend and discovered no WiFi or even cell service!! What a great break from the everyday to not be reachable by cell phone, though!! It was an amazing weekend with great people and great Phish shows. If you missed it, I feel sorry for you. It was that good.

But, I faltered. I did not listen to the two Canadian shows. I’m familiar with them. They are amazing shows with crazy bust-outs and great jams. I will try and go back to them this week if I can.

In the meantime, I am listening to this classic Great Woods show today! It’s the first of two nights at the first major amphitheater Phish was able to sell out (a year earlier). It’s the last full Gamehendge set the band ever played. I suspect that “ever” to stick around, too, unless they really surprise us with a Gamehendge set for Halloween in Vegas this fall… complete with the Twyla Tharp Dance Troupe??

I’m not sure how NO2 fits into the Gamehendge saga, but it seems to set the tone for this one, doesn’t it? If nothing else, this Gamehendge was a gift for the Northeastern folks who really made Phish a big band. Every Gamehendge before this one was in a small out-of-the-way place like Nectars or Olympia, Washington. The Great Woods Gamehendge set literally tripled the number of Phans who could forever claim to have seen the full saga live. Truly a gift.

Unfortunately, I was not at this show. I have not seen a live Gamehendge. I have heard all of them over the years, though. This one seems to be the only one with a crowd that is noticeably (and loudly) into it. The few in the middle all seemed to be played to really attentive and quiet crowds. The 3/22/93 version, in particular, is played to the most attentive Phish crowd I’ve ever heard. This one, though, is played with fire to a crowd on fire!

Then there’s the second set… an epic throwdown of a set. I mean it!! This Reba. This Stash. This YEM-Frankenstein sandwich. This Julius. Whew!!! Phish brought the heat!

Just for a moment, I’d like to discuss this Stash. If you’ve been reading my blog you know I’ve been sort of counting down to this Stash for the last few weeks. It’s my hands-down favorite version, and perhaps a top-ten-ever jam for me. It’s not that long, but it is so very good.

I could keep writing, but this post is long enough… listen to this show today!! Listen to it again another day. Make it part of your regular listening patterns for a while. Get to know it. You’ll find new things to love every time you hear it.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 07/08/1994
Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts, Mansfield, MA

Set 1: Llama -> NO2 > The Lizards > Tela > Wilson > AC/DC Bag > Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > The Sloth > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Divided Sky

Set 2: Rift > Sample in a Jar, Reba, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav > It’s Ice > Stash, You Enjoy Myself -> Frankenstein -> You Enjoy Myself, Julius > Golgi Apparatus

Encore: Nellie Kane > Cavern

Notes: The first set included the complete Gamehendge saga, including narration between songs from N02 through Divided Sky. NO2 featured Fishman on vacuum. Reba contained Manteca teases and did not have the whistling ending. This version of Stash appears on A Live One. Mike teased Frankenstein during the bass and drums segment of YEM.
Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

Key tracks:
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-07-08/llama (then listen to all of Gamehendge)
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-07-08/reba
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-07-08/stash (then listen through Julius)

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