Friday, 05/27/1994 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Friday, 05/27/1994

Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Another travel day for me meant listening throughout the day but never taking notes or writing until now. Usually I’m writing as I listen, so this is pretty different.

The Wilson features the same sort of late-to-the game chants we’ve heard at recent shows. It hasn’t 100% caught on yet, but it’s getting to be more and more. Good stuff!

After Wilson we drop into the typical 94 “start” with RunJim, Foam, and Bouncin’. No complaints here, especially with a nice-sounding Foam. Then there’s Bowie in the middle of the first set… and it smokes!! I actually just went back to listen again because I really wanted to verify what I was thinking earlier. Yes, it smokes. It reminds me of Fall 95 versions that get almost Stash-like in the jam. Page is just hammering away the whole time with all his might. It’s intense! Amazing Bowie!

Follow it up with another beautiful If I Could! A solid PYITE, and another soaring, but short, Hood. What a set!

Really, though, it’s this second set that brings the whole 3-night run home. Starting with a Suzy that plays like an encore right off the bat, this set is chock full of my favorites! Check out the Reba jam for some more of the intensity we saw in Bowie and Hood of the first set. Then there’s all the craziness that starts with Mike’s Song. From the early prototype Simple to the opera singer to the shaking Mac & Cheese boxes. This is one of those sets that only partially translates on tape, but must have been tons of fun in person. Even if it’s tough to really hear what’s going on the whole time, you really should listen to it. It’s Phish being Phish.

I remember reading about this show on rec.music.phish shortly after it went down. The fan recollections at the time were hilarious. Oh, to have been there for this one!!

Two more shows and I get a week off!!! Thanks for reading.  

Friday, 05/27/1994

Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Set 1: Wilson > Runaway Jim, Foam, Bouncing Around the Room > David Bowie, If I Could, Punch You In the Eye > Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

Set 2: Suzy Greenberg, Peaches en Regalia > My Friend, My Friend > Reba, The Lizards, Julius, Nellie Kane, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Mike’s Song -> Simple -> O Mio Babbino Caro, Possum

Encore: Fire

Notes: This show marked the debut of Simple and the Phish debut of O Mio Babbino Caro. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Nellie Kane and My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own were performed acoustic with guest fiddler Morgan Fichter. O Mio Babbino Caro, a Puccini aria, featured opera singer Andrea Baker singing unmiced. Before Possum, the band handed out boxes of Flintstones macaroni and cheese for the audience to shake along with Possum and Fire. Possum subsequently included a Flintstones theme tease.  

Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-27/david-bowie

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-27/harry-hood

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-27/reba

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-27/mike-s-song

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-27/simple

Thursday, 05/26/1994 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Thursday, 05/26/1994

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.

Set 1

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.

Set 2

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.

 

Thursday, 05/26/1994

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.

 

Key Tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/buried­alive

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/divided­sky

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/also­sprach­zarathustra

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/run­like­an­antelope

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/mound

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/you­enjoy­myself

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994­05­26/good­times­bad­times

 

Wednesday, 05/25/1994 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, 05/25/1994

Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

It’s Sunday, but since tomorrow is Memorial Day it feels like Saturday. I’ve got chores to knock out today… laundry, mostly, but also Phish! Is it a chore? When you must listen just about every day it can sure feel like it. I enjoyed the day off yesterday, if you know what I mean. I got to listen to some vinyl for a change.

But this is a Warfield show, which is special on its own. Phish’s first show at the Warfield (04/17/92) happened less than three months before my first show. My tapes from that show were in heavy rotation for years and years. It is still one of my favorite shows to listen to. If you’ve never hear it, you really must. It just crackles with energy and ends with Trey declaring “This is an incredible room!”

Today’s show marks night one of a three-night stand. This is the first multi-night run of the tour since the Beacon shows on the opposite coast. It must have been a huge relief to the band and crew given the break-neck pace of this tour. Settling in to this great room for 3 nights without packing things up and hitting the road. I think you can feel it, too. Certainly in this first set, it seems like they are holding back a bit. They know they need to fill three nights, so they better take things slow.

Thank Icculus for zzyzx and his daily stats updates on facebook. Without him I would never have known the Curtain carried any special meaning other than “great opener.” Now I can picture the scene: The beautiful curtain opens to reveal the four members of Phish just as they drop into the opening notes of “The Curtain.” Awesome!

This set features another stellar Stash with Uncle Pen teases and a fun Col. Forbins with a short, location-specific, narration. The rest is fairly tame, though you can certainly sense the energy in the room during the acoustic My Sweet One and a capella Sweet Adeline.

The second set settles in a bit more with Tweezer. At one point Trey is hinting at a Midnight Rider jam, but it’s not really there. It’s just this repetitive pattern that sounds a bit like it. This is a great Tweezer. Not anywhere near even the first section of the Bomb Factory Tweezer, but it’s great… and coming out of it with Lifeboy is perfect, imo. The Maze is solid. The Julius is rockin’… and I don’t care who you are, I love Purple Rain! Close it out with a beautiful Coil. Yessir.

If you’ve been following (or you know me at all) you know I love Sleeping Monkey encores and Tweeprise is always a winner.

Overall, this feels like night one of a three-night stand. There’s a lot left in the tank for the next two nights. Was it a bad show? Absolutely not. There are some great highlights. But it’s a fairly standard 1994 show. Nothing better than ending a show with “Thanks everybody. We’ll see you tomorrow night.”

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned as tomorrow may feature a guest contributor yet again!

 

Wednesday, 05/25/1994

Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Set 1: The Curtain > Sample in a Jar, Uncle Pen, Stash, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Axilla (Part II) > Scent of a Mule, My Sweet One, Sweet Adeline, Chalk Dust Torture

Set 2: Rift > Tweezer > Lifeboy > Maze, Contact > Big Ball Jam, Julius, Hold Your Head Up > Purple Rain > Hold Your Head Up, The Squirming Coil

Encore: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise

Notes: My Sweet One was performed acoustic and, along with Sweet Adeline, without microphones.

Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-25/stash

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-25/tweezer

 

Monday, 05/23/1994 Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR

Monday, 05/23/1994

Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR

 

Is it Friday yet?!?!? I am so done with this week. I’m exhausted. Can’t this shit wait ‘til I’m old? Can I live while I’m middle-aged? It’s funny what this song does for me at 40. I still feel young when I’m listening to Phish, but I feel old when a flight of stairs wipes me out for a few minutes. To be fair, that doesn’t happen to me normally, but this past week I was up in the mountains of Utah for work and the altitude has a way of making a single flight of stairs feel like a day of hiking. That never used to be a problem, but I’ve lived at about 500’ above sea level for the last 20 years and my 40-year-old self can no longer handle high altitudes. It’s the main reason I have not attended any of the infamous Dick’s shows. It sucks getting old.

Sorry for the rant. I’m really happy to be back at my desk listening to Phish again while I work. Chalkdust is a great way to start the day, too. Sample I could do without. Foam “features” some sweet floundering by Trey who gets pretty lost early on but redeems himself with a lovely solo.

The rest of the set has flown by while I’ve been catching up on emails. The Reba is a standout, though. I was sucked-in for Reba. “Typically great Reba” perhaps, but that’s still a great Reba!

Wilson starts the second set… and it takes a while, but some Wilson chanting can be heard eventually in the crowd. Was Trey egging that on? Was it someone in the crowd? HMMMM…

Then Holy Antelope, Batman! I’m only six and a half minutes in and it’s already intense! Then there’s the breakdown section. Trey gets all demon-possessed. Dude, I don’t have any of your fucking SPIKE, man!! Look elsewhere. You’re freaking me out!

If I Could is absolutely gorgeous again! I’m smiling and just thinking about this long weekend that’s about to begin! Is it happy hour yet??

Then the chill section in YEM has some whistling again… Love that theme!! Can’t wait to get to 12/29!!! But back to YEM – Holy Page piano solo, Batman!! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a YEM with a scorching piano solo like that. Fuck yeah!! Then a Trey solo that starts out super low-down and builds like mad with Page on the Rhodes! Hot shit!! Great YEM!! Listen to this! Then the Possum just doesn’t fucking quit. Holy shit!! Great second set!

And, once again, Phish does the good/evil juxtaposition I love with Amazing Grace (with a very quiet and attentive crowd) followed by Highway to Hell. Perfection!

Today was one of those days I’ve loved this project. There is no way I’d have listened to this show today if it weren’t for this project.. and I’ve loved it!! Great show. Happy listener!

Thanks for reading. Take some time to remember why we have an extra day off this weekend and enjoy it! Remember, you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. Also, take a cab if you need.

Monday, 05/23/1994

Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR

Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Sample in a Jar, Foam, Fee -> Maze, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Julius, Reba, Cavern

Set 2: Wilson, Run Like an Antelope, If I Could, Sparkle, Punch You In the Eye, You Enjoy Myself, Possum

Encore: Ginseng Sullivan, Amazing Grace, Highway to Hell

Notes: Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. The YEM vocal jam included quotes of Psycho Killer. Ginseng Sullivan was performed acoustic and featured Fishman on washboard.

Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-23/reba

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-23/run-like-an-antelope

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-23/you-enjoy-myself

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-23/possum

 

Sunday, 05/22/1994 Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sunday, 05/22/1994

Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

First and foremost – Happy Birthday Sun Ra!!! 100 years ago Saturn gave us it’s greatest export!! Second, I should say, it’s great to be back home! Third, I wish I had this soundcheck! Machine Gun??? Hell yeah!

Show opens brilliantly, imo. Demand>Sloth! Rock and/or Roll!! Then Divided Sky?? Yes.

Remember when Trey just took his time in that one section of Divided Sky? Before the “pause” became a thing he just really took his time. I miss those days!!! I really do.

Then there’s the Glide pause. This one is crazy long and finishes with a joke. See, when they do it once like that it’s funny. The predictable pause in Divided at this point is too much (though I was definitely adding to the screams at Hampton in 2009).

Here’s another great Melt for your enjoyment! Wow. It gets out there fast, but only for so long. Great, though! Followed by a solid Fluff and another acoustic mini-set. This one I can hear a lot better than the last. Great banter before Dog Faced Boy, too. Love it.

The second set opens with an interesting DwD. Trey steps back for a bit and lets the others shine before returning to his typical soloing. Pretty cool considering how similar they’ve been the last couple of weeks.

The Ice features another really cool breakdown segment. While it’s led by Page as usual, it’s Mike that really makes this one interesting with his octave effect. Dig it!

Then the McGrupp is really beautiful. During Page’s solo, the band starts to build but ducks back down for another round of quiet Page-time. Wow. A really nice moment for Page here!!

When they drop into Tweezer I can’t get over how out-front Mike’s bass sounds. Slappin’ away during the verses he just sounds great. What a great Tweezer, too. I know I’m fluffing like crazy tonight, but I mean it. Maybe it’s just because I’m happy to be home, but I’m loving this show!

The Slave is beautiful, too. They drop it down as quiet as I’ve ever heard a Slave. It’s amazing they build it as fast as they do. It never seems rushed at all, but it clocks in under 10 minutes.

Finally, I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times. I love Sleeping Monkey!!

Thanks for reading.

 

Sunday, 05/22/1994

Vogue Theatre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Soundcheck: Dog Log -> Machine Gun -> Dog Log, Bluegrass Tune, Poor Heart, My Sweet One (unmiced)

Set 1: Demand > The Sloth, Divided Sky, Glide, Peaches en Regalia > Split Open and Melt, Fluffhead, My Sweet One, Ginseng Sullivan, Dog Faced Boy, Axilla (Part II)

Set 2: Down with Disease > Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Tweezer > Lifeboy > Rift > Slave to the Traffic Light > Tweezer Reprise

Encore: Sleeping Monkey

Notes: Glide was humorously introduced by Trey as “Whoomp! There it Is,” referencing a then-popular dance club song by Tag Team. My Sweet One, Ginseng Sullivan, and Dog Faced Boy were performed acoustic and without microphones. Ginseng also featured Fishman on washboard.

Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-22/divided-sky

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-22/it-s-ice

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-22/tweezer

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-22/slave-to-the-traffic-light

 

Saturday, 05/21/1994 The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA

Saturday, 05/21/1994
The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA

So, today wasn’t quite as crazy… I had some time to listen in the hotel room before heading out for my meetings and I have time now in the afternoon to finish up.

I got through the end of Stash before heading out this morning. What a great start to the show. RunJim, Foam, Guelah!! Perfect way to start my day! The DwD is about what they all seem to be at this point in tour. Great little jam, but they’re all about the same right now. Oh well.

Really, the standout this morning was Stash!! It’s getting harder and harder to describe these great versions. Every one from here on out is probably gonna make the highlight reel, if you know what I mean. 1994 is simply THE year for Stash.

Getting things back up and running in the hotel room this afternoon with the Coil… yes! I love it mid-set. I can picture Trey and Mike kind of hiding over behind Fish’s drum kit to give Page the spotlight for a minute. Then Trey must have felt the Page love when he decided to start up Tela. Does it get any better? If I were at this show, somewhere in the middle of Tela I’d have that “Is this really just the first set” thought-cycle. I’d probably even have that “Can you believe we’ve only seen one set so far?” conversation with the folks around me after Llama. Ha!

The second set opens with the very welcome Dinner and a Movie. I really hate Sample… but it leads to Bowie, so we’re good. This Bowie jam starts out really sparse… slow, but sparse. Trey plays a little Cat Scratch Fever theme for a second. Perhaps not enough to warrant a mention in the notes, but I heard it. Then it kinda slips into a more typical Bowie jam from there, but “off” sections are really out there. Great Bowie!

It’s not mentioned in the notes, but Trey’s “jamming” in the Big Ball Jam is definitely based on Smoke on the Water. It’s funny… and on this recording you can definitely hear the crowd cheer as audience “sinks” the balls into the “basket” formed by Trey, Mike, and Brad.

Another rockin’ Julius, though nothing out of the new ordinary. Then Fish sings one of his own favorites, Bike. I know this because the one time I spent a little time in conversation with Greasy Fizeek he told me as much. He’s the one who loves Syd Barrett tunes… especially Bike! And who doesn’t love a little banter?

Then there’s this Hood. It’s a bit longer than recent versions. Not much, but a bit. The jam starts out really nice and light (as it should), builds slowly and deliberately, and peaks brilliantly. Greatness. Man oh man. Hoods like this made me love this band from the beginning. I do declare!

Close out with a solid Bold as Love. Yes, I will. Another great Phish show from the Spring of 1994. This one really holds up 20 years later, too.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 05/21/1994
The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA

Set 1: Runaway Jim, Foam, Guelah Papyrus, Down with Disease > Mound, Stash, The Squirming Coil, Tela > Llama

Set 2: Dinner and a Movie > Sample in a Jar > David Bowie > Contact > Big Ball Jam > Julius > Hold Your Head Up > Bike > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, Amazing Grace

Encore: Bold As Love

Notes: The Bowie intro contained a Sample tease. Before Harry Hood, Fishman and Trey acknowledged the crowd’s varied requests but noted that they couldn’t understand what songs people were yelling for. Fishman responded by screaming incoherently, mimicking what the crowd noise sounded like to him on stage. Trey noted that the band had been playing all night and wanted to give the audience a chance to perform. He counted off to the crowd, who responded with assorted clapping and cheering. Fishman jokingly remarked “you guys haven’t played that in so long.” Hood contained Across the River (Peter Gabriel) and Odd Couple theme teases.
Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

Key tracks:
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-21/stash
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-21/david-bowie
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-21/harry-hood

Friday, 05/20/1994 Campus Recreation Center, Evergreen College, Olympia, WA

Friday, 05/20/1994
Campus Recreation Center, Evergreen College, Olympia, WA

Ok – so, I’m on the road for work. I was in Powerpoint Hell from 7:30am straight through till 6:30pm. We even ate lunch in the room. No break. Brutal.

I managed to listen to the first set of this show in traffic to and from the meetings and dinner, etc. By the time I got back to the hotel it was 10pm and I had a ton more to listen to. This project became a major ordeal today. I really don’t want to do it.

That said, I really enjoyed the ballads in the first set!! If I Could & Fast Enough For You both sounded so nice! Plus the Maze and Gin are both worth hearing. The Gin, especially. I love the way it fizzles in the end only to get one last shot at the melody to finish up. Classic Gin!! I really couldn’t hear the acoustic segment for shit in the car. Oh well. I’m not going back to listen. I’m too fucking tired.

Then I’d like to tell you I enjoyed the Antelope, but I’m just not in the mood. I always love Weigh, though… no matter my mood. And this Wolfman’s is pretty great. Trey ends up holding a note way too long at one point, but the whole jam is interesting. Why oh why did they put this song away for so long? It was so good so early in its life.

The drop right into Rift would really piss some folks off in the 3.0 era. It’s funny. I don’t really remember Rift annoying me until way later in its life. I can’t say the same for Sample in a Jar. It already bugged me at this point.

Enough ranting. It’s YEM time!! Interesting YEM, to say the least. From Trey just seems a little off throughout. He’s playing out key, but with purpose! Then the whole thing seems to end for a moment before the bass and drums jam.

Good show. Not the best. But then, I’m exhausted. Maybe my heart wasn’t into the listening tonight.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 05/20/1994
Campus Recreation Center, Evergreen College, Olympia, WA

Soundcheck: Can You See Me, Surfing Jam, Magilla (fast version), Demand (x3), Blues Jam, Blues Jam -> Low Rider -> Jam

Set 1: Fee > Maze, If I Could, It’s Ice > Bathtub Gin > Fast Enough for You, Scent of a Mule, Dog Faced Boy, Carolina, AC/DC Bag

Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope > Weigh, Axilla (Part II), Wolfman’s Brother > Rift, You Enjoy Myself

Encore: Chalk Dust Torture

Notes: Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. Bathtub Gin included a Lion Sleeps Tonight tease from Trey. YEM contained an Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da jam and the vocal jam was based on Low Rider. Dog Faced Boy was performed acoustic and, along with Carolina, without microphones.
Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

Key tracks:
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-20/if-i-could
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-20/wolfman-s-brother
http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-20/you-enjoy-myself

Thursday, 05/19/1994 Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, OR

Thursday, 05/19/1994

Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, OR

If New England is Phish Country, what is Eugene? I’ve never actually been to Eugene, but my babysitter growing up went to college there and she was the hippiest hippie I’ve ever known. I’ve heard a lot about this town. Seems like the perfect place for a Phish show, to me.

Show starts out really fun with the Halley’s>Llama. Poor Heart features some serious fire from Trey… it’s funny to me that Poor Heart is so loose here. I feel like it was locked into a note-for-note same-same rendition by the summer of 1995. But these 1994 versions just feel a lot looser.

Stash is an obvious early highlight here! It’s funny hearing “Woo!” where we eventually would settle in on the clapping. I’ve never been a clap-during-Stash guy. Not that I’m against audience participation, but I miss Fish’s little fills in Stash, so I refuse to clap. Anyway, this Stash jam gets good really early. It eventually locks into a pattern similar to the version on A Live One, but it gets there in a very different way. It starts with these large patterns that just start getting tighter and tighter… Almost like figure skater who starts with larger circles but gets faster and faster as she pulls her arms and legs in closer and the centrifugal force speeds her up. Great Stash!! Seriously great.

The rest of the set is pretty solid Phish stuff. I love to hear Mango in the morning! Can anyone explain why Trey gives a shout out to CK5 at the end of Cavern? Was it his birthday or something? The last thing Trey says is “Topher, we love you.”

The meat and potatoes of the second set is the Mike’s Groove, for sure. The Mike’s Song is stellar. The classic H2>’paug always makes me happy. The ‘paug is short but sweet and starts the I Love Lucy theme that pops up a few times. Good stuff. Lots of fun.

The Lizards has a pretty unique section during Page’s lovely solo with Trey playing some staccato chords. Cool. You don’t expect anything radically different in a Lizards. Man, I love this song!!

Julius has really settled in at this point. But it still rocks every time. The Hood, much like the recent Slaves, is short but great. They really take their time in the mellow start of the jam before a pretty quick build. Gorgeous.

The rest of the show is gravy. I always loved the acoustic segments without microphones in person, but I hate not being able to hear them better on tape. Oh well. If you weren’t there when they were doing this regularly, you really kinda missed out on one of the things that made Phish special. Sorry!

And a Fire that is FIRE! Thanks for reading. Have a great week, folks.

Thursday, 05/19/1994

Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, OR

Set 1: Halley’s Comet > Llama, My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart > Stash, The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Down with Disease > The Mango Song > Cavern

Set 2: Sample in a Jar, Sparkle > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, The Lizards, Julius, Big Ball Jam, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

Encore: Ginseng Sullivan, Nellie Kane, Sweet Adeline, Fire

Notes: Mike’s Song contained teases of Today (Smashing Pumpkins) from Trey. Weekapaug, Big Ball Jam, and Hood included I Love Lucy theme teases. Ginseng Sullivan and Nellie Kane were performed acoustic, without microphones, and featured Fishman on washboard. Sweet Adeline was also performed without microphones.

Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-19/stash

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-19/mike-s-song

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-19/harry-hood

 

Tuesday, 05/17/1994 The Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA

Tuesday, 05/17/1994

The Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA

 

Saturday morning… I just had the strangest thing happen. I started listening to this show and just as Maze was finishing up I heard the music echoing in way I have never heard before. I could not figure out what was going on, so I paused the show to see if it was on the recording or what… It was my iphone ringing in the other room! My ringtone is the closing section of Maze. HA! It’s a great ringtone if you want it click here: iphone version or mp3 version.  

Back to the task at hand. Great start to the show. First set is chock full of spaces for Page to shine on his birthday. Suzy brings the piano heat, Maze the Pay Jorgan heat, SOAMule more piano heat, and Coil to close out!! If that didn’t clue you in that it was Page’s night, then the Happy Birthday tease in Trey’s Maze solo should have. If not, the Coil slaps you in the face with it!!

But that glosses over the non-birthday highlights of the first set. If I Could is beautiful once again. The acoustic segment is very cool, if hard to hear on the recording. Melt is intense. And Coil is near perfect until it’s spoiled by the birthday celebration. Classic Phish, really.

Second set opens with a scorching RunJim with Trey messing around with the Wah pedal for an interesting segment. Very cool, indeed.

Then there’s the Tweezer. Let me say this: when I was in middle school (during the Nancy Reagan “just say no” era) and had no reason to think anything about drugs was funny, I was given two tapes that became staples of my Walkman for years to come. One was License to Ill (full of drug references) and the other was Cheech and Chong’s Greatest Hit. I know this Cheech and Chong tape like the back of my hand. I can recite the thing if you like. So, needless to say, this Tweezer is instantly one of my favorite Tweezers of all time. Not because of the Tweezer, but because of the Earache My Eye!! HELLSYEAH!!!! It’s not like they really play the song, but Fish does sing the lyrics, so it totally counts. Either way, I love this shit! Then they come out of that segment at lighting speed before bringing it back down to the Tweezer slow-down ending we all know and love, only it doesn’t really end they way you expect. It almost goes into a little blues jam until Trey starts up Lifeboy (which is also really lovely with a long slow build and beautiful piano work from Page) Great Tweezer, indeed.

The set closes out with another really short but great Slave. Then they send ‘em home with Highway to Hell. Can’t complain one bit!

Thanks for reading.

 

Tuesday, 05/17/1994

The Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA

Soundcheck: Jam, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own

Set 1: Suzy Greenberg > Maze, Mound, If I Could -> Scent of a Mule, Ginseng Sullivan, Dog Faced Boy, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil

Set 2: Runaway Jim, Glide > Tweezer -> Earache My Eye -> Tweezer > Lifeboy, Uncle Pen, Big Ball Jam > Sample in a Jar, Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head Up, Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Highway to Hell

Notes: Ginseng Sullivan and Dog Faced Boy were performed acoustic without microphones. Ginseng also featured Fishman on washboard. Page’s piano solo in The Squirming Coil was cut short when Trey brought out a birthday cake for Page and attempted to lead the audience in a round of Happy Birthday. Similarly, Maze included Happy Birthday teases. Tweezer included the Phish debut of Earache My Eye.

Setlist courtesy of Phish.net.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-17/maze

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-17/tweezer-earache-my-eye-tweezer

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-17/lifeboy

 

Monday, 05/16/1994 The Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Monday, 05/16/1994

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.

Monday, 05/16/1994

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.

 

Key tracks:

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-16/stash

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-16/run-like-an-antelope-big-black-furry-creature-from-mars-run-like-an-antelope

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-05-16/it-s-ice