Big Birch Concert Pavilion, Patterson, NY
Four more shows before I get a huge break from the blog until fall tour… Listening to every show like this has been a task. I’ve enjoyed most of it, but it has taken a lot out of me. I can only imagine how the band feels as they wrap up a tour like this. They’ve gotta feel it. These home-stretch shows start to take on more meaning. They’re playing so well, part of them must not want to stop. But then, they’ve traveled coast-to-coast in a bus with shows almost every night. They’ve got to be exhausted at this point. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
This show is something else, too. Set 1 is so very tight. Nothing too crazy, but everything played with fire. Even I Didn’t Know is surprisingly good. I’ve heard Fish blow that trombone in all sorts of ways. This solo is downright musical!!! Where the hell did that come from? The set is capped off with a really intense Melt. Leave ‘em wanting more, right? It worked for me! I’ve got yard work to do and there will be no more Phish for me until it is done!! Talk about incentive…
Got it done. It’s 99 degrees out there. I haven’t sweat that much in years!! I am showered and back at my desk now, though. I’m ready for this one!!!
Set 2 starts out with a seemingly normal Possum… but the end of the Possum gets, shall we say, “loose?” Mike misses a cue and then the whole thing just falls apart in a pool of band-humor. What happens next just has to be heard to be understood. The Cavern/Wilson thing is pretty crazy. The best part is hearing the crowd doing the “WILSON!” chants in the background. Then they’re all singing along with “Can you still have fun?” and the final choruses of Cavern… they’re right there with the band like this is how it always goes. Awesome!!
The NICU that follows is fairly uneventful until the end, too. It fades into this jam that sounds like they’re going into something but they end up in Tweezer which is nothing like the little jam in between. It’s at this point that you really start to understand that this Set 2 is gonna be special throughout…. and it is!! The Tweezer is out there and the segue into Julius sneaks up on you out of nowhere… fantastic!!
Then back into Tweezer?? Are we back at the Bomb Factory again? This is the shit!! These guys are playing with abandon… BBFCFM… Mule… BBFCFM… YAAAAHOOOO!!! WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!! Tweezer again… Mound out of the madness… Holy crap. If you’ve never heard this show, you really must. I know the Bomb Factory gets a ton of press… and it should. It’s a bit tighter than this one. But this show is so loose and fun. I’m rambling about it at this point… and that’s fitting because this show is all over the place… like they are rambling… Not sure how else to write about it but to write in style of the show… all over the fucking place…
Listen to THIS Set 2 TODAY… Start to finish… Seriously…wade through all the craziness… Just to get to the Slave!! It’s a beauty!! And you’ve gotta earn this one. Seriously! The build is nuts! Fish just drops the beat completely for a while. Whew! There it is… we’re back in it!! Wow! Serious… Slave… is… serious… MIKE!!!
OK… if you’ve really read this far, I am impressed… this is not my finest work of writing… too many “…” throughout… but I really don’t know what else to do. I’m not editing! Today’s journey has been rewarding on its own merit.
Thanks for reading!
Big Birch Concert Pavilion, Patterson, NY
Set 1: Buried Alive > Poor Heart > Sample in a Jar, Foam, The Mango Song, Down with Disease > Fee -> It’s Ice > Fast Enough for You, I Didn’t Know, Split Open and Melt
Set 2: Possum, Cavern -> Wilson -> Cavern > NICU -> Tweezer -> Julius -> Tweezer -> Big Black Furry Creature from Mars -> Tweezer -> Mound, Slave to the Traffic Light > Suzy Greenberg
Encore: My Sweet One > Tweezer Reprise
Notes: Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. I Didn’t Know featured Fishman on trombone. Wilson was played to the tune of Cavern. Tweezer contained Woody Woodpecker theme, I Wish, and I Know a Little teases. BBFCFM was unfinished and played bluegrass style to the tune of Scent of a Mule. Trey teased Slave throughout Suzy Greenberg.
Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-07-13/possum → then seriously just listen through to the end. What else are you doing right now? Nothing that will be as rewarding as listening to this set of music, I guarantee that!!!