Depository for my project to listen to every show from 1993 on and live-tweet it. May put other Phish stuff here too, I dunno. Like Phish, this project is best experienced live - on twitter @phishcrit
4/28/94 - WEST PALM BEACH, FL
Back on the road with 4/28/94, West Palm Beach, FL, Sunfest. Another one-setter, this time for a festival. http://phish.in/1994-04-28
4/28/94: Also at Sunfest, acc to @phishnet: Joan Baez, Blues Traveler, Huey Lewis & The News, Los Lobos, The Village People, Ziggy Marley.
4/28/94: And according to this Sun Sentinel article, Sunfest also featured a 6-foot tall Lambchop puppet. #TheHorror http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1994-03-24/news/9403240041_1_sunfest-reggae-festival …
4/28/94: As the first outdoor show of ’94, this is an appropriately wind-blown AUD. Standard Jim Foam opener for the custies.
4/28/94: I can already tell I’m going to be reaching for things to say about this set, so — hey @bizarchive, Dixie tease at 5:47 of Foam.
4/28/94: Still very much in the box, but the band is getting more comfortable with the Disease outro. Trey winding around the progression.
4/28/94: Some 40 minutes into the show we finally get some openish improv in a hard-driving, Page-showcase It’s Ice breakdown.
4/28/94: Magilla gets tossed around in the first segment of Antelope, Trey repeats a nice pattern for the 2nd, before going Hero Ball.
4/28/94: “Thanks a lot, now we’re getting warmed up here a little bit.” - Trey, agreeing with me.
4/28/94: Page keeps it tidy for his Coil solo, and now we’re back into album promo mode with Julius. Sigh, festie sets.
4/28/94: To be fair, Trey kinda slays the Julius solo, with extra-raunchy tone for the era. I mean, it’s still Julius, but it’s a good one.
4/28/94: Sparkle & GTBT is a good high energy pairing to end a set, and also a good way to get it over with quickly.
4/28/94 Final: Imagine Elektra calling Phish and cussing them out for playing Sun Ra in a radio session. This limp show is the result.
4/26/94 - ATLANTA, GA
A quick one for the morning - 4/26/94, Atlanta, GA, Purple Dragon Recording Studio. 2nd radio session of the year. http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-26 …
4/26/94: According to @shapsio, this was a “Live X” show, broadcast live on WNNX 99.7 FM (which is now Rock 100.5, says Wikipedia).
4/26/94: Kind of funny that they would play Atlanta 4/23, go up to TN for two shows, then come back to ATL.
4/26/94: Definitely looking to sell some records here with Sample and Bouncin’. Tape speed a little slow, so it all sounds sizzurpy.
4/26/94: A surprisingly chunky Maze for a radio sesh. Trey plays car alarms and motorcycle revs, Fish goes heavy metal on his kick drum.
4/26/94: More “Write it down” banter in the Disease intro, this time from Trey. Officially a running inside joke.
RT @nolasox3: @phishcrit @shapsio It was (still is?) the “alternative” station in Atlanta. Lots of Pearl Jam, Pumpkins, etc back in mid-90s.
4/26/94: Funny to think that they were courting PJ/SP fans with Down w/ Disease and Fluffhead, but that’s 1994 for ya.
4/26/94: Page using the electric piano instead of the grand really makes these radio sessions feel a lot older.
4/26/94: The tape speed warping during this Fluffhead jam is like a sneak preview of the digital whammy pedal.
4/26/94: And now for the oddity of the session, a cover of Sun Ra’s “Carefree.” I did not know this existed before today.
4/26/94: Interesting…this Carefree sounds like it could be part of a long Tweezer from later in the year. Secret origin of the ADD style?
4/26/94: As @bourgwick noted, sounds like there’s some Hey-jamming going on. Though they were Hey-ing during Fluffhead’s composed parts too.
4/26/94 Final: A standard radio set that abruptly sneaks in a fascinating missing link in their improvisational evolution. Oddly essential?
4/25/94 - KNOXVILLE, TN
Time to give 2013 a rest and get back to 1994. 4/25/94, Knoxville, TN, Civic Auditorium. http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-25 …
4/25/94: What better sign of being in the past than a Landlady opener - the first since July 93 and the first GCH-less version of 94.
4/25/94: Nice taste of ambient Trey over the Jim breakdown, and an extra, embarrassing “woahhhh” from somebody when they come back.
4/25/94: Forcefully tidal Jim jam, with some of those car alarm/slide whistle Trey loops layered into his note flurry.
4/25/94: This installment of the Frustratingly Short Fee Jam is reggae-tinged, and it sets up a pretty rad, true segue into Foam.
4/25/94: Instead of the silent jam, Trey’s Foam solo diverts into a four-way weird noise competition, similar to an Antelope intro.
4/25/94: Mike and Fish menacingly growl “Write it Down!” in the Disease intro, no explanation. Lots of little oddities in this show.
4/25/94: Not sure…does anyone know when Trey’s cast came off? RT @takesunset: @phishcrit is that one of the “broken ankle” shows?
4/25/94: Hard/dangerous to hear Trey’s no-mics banter, but apparently someone is doing an “emotion solo” during Dog-Faced Boy.
4/25/94: Clarification: It was Fish/“Greasy Fizeek” on emotion solo, of course.
4/25/94: Melt starts out jazzy, then jams over a twisted version of the “Under Pressure” riff (turns on @bizarchive signal).
4/25/94: Melt gets kind of messy in the back half. Growing pains as they experiment with a new approach to the jam?
4/25/94: Again with the Curtain > Sample. I thought we talked about this, guys.
4/25/94: Hey MMGAMOIO made it into 1994, giving me the chance to type out my favorite Phish acronym.
4/25/94: Trey, Page and Mike trade some fun, subtle teases of the “Layla” riff in the Antelope intro, keeps going into the 2nd segment.
4/25/94: One of those Antelope jams where they don’t so much stick the landing as shatter both femurs upon impact.
4/25/94: Nice Page solo in Coil, but right in the middle of the set? Then Divided Sky, to continue the setlist shuffle.
4/25/94: This is the first second set Divided Sky of my entire project, by the way.
4/25/94: Speaking of acronyms, how about a BBJ > BBFCFM pairing? What a strange grab-bag of a setlist.
4/25/94: Ha, Phishtracks faded out BBFCFM early, and I thought they were doing Amazing Grace during the BBFCFM pause. Good idea!
4/25/94 Final: A quirky show, but with minuscule jamming and a very illogical setlist. Sixth show in six nights — take a break, Phish.
4/24/94 - CHARLOTTE, NC
Just enough time left in the week for 4/24/94, Charlotte, NC, Grady Cole Center. Their fifth show in five nights. http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-24 …
4/24/94: Off to a very bipolar start with MFMF and Ya Mar. Cathedral-esque echoes on the backing vox, Mike lyrics flub.
4/24/94: I wonder if I’ll get used to the Axilla II lyrics before they revert back to the original (which happened at my 2nd show!).
4/24/94: Trey’s half of the Maze jam momentarily reaching nightmarish sheets of noise territory. Show status: darkish.
4/24/94: This show is definitely lyrics optional. Maybe all the shows and sit-ins of the past week are adding up.
4/24/94: Gin jam covers a LOT of territory. Blues strut, angry deconstruction of the riff, start/stop, soft jazzy landing w/ Jump Monk jam.
4/24/94: The ADD style is still blooming, but that Gin might be as emblematic of its year as the Murat Gin is of Summer 93.
4/24/94: And now a legit Ice breakdown keeps the first set adventurous. Some nice ideas by Page buttressed by scratchy rhythms from Trey.
4/24/94: Whoa, hey there mysterious roar at the start of Slave to the Traffic Light. All sorts of weirdness infecting this set.
4/24/94: That Slave was in attack mode instead of its usual stargazing beauty mode. I approve. Great first set, all around.
4/24/94: Perhaps the “Tequila” tease that opens set 2 is a clue to the unhinged nature of this show?
4/24/94: Tequila tease reprise got this Bowie off to a weird start, but hits upon a rolling horror theme in the 9th minute that’s…killer.
4/24/94: Intense DEG segment gives way to a quieter stretch (vaguely Burning Down the House) and then more, more, more dissonance.
4/24/94: Wow, big power chord segment starting in the 18th minute sounds like Tweeprise’s evil twin. And blammo, straight into the peak.
4/24/94: Even Julius takes a slight dip into dissonance, before quickly reverting back to traditional wankage.
4/24/94: Sure sounded like Page was teasing something (not Tequila) during his first Contact solo. Showtune? Latin? Not my expertise.
4/24/94: One last DEG-esque tangle in GTBT, just for kicks. Then a curfew a capella encore.
4/24/94 Final: A nasty tequila drunk, with 2 deep, dark jams in Gin and Bowie, and spiderwebs everywhere else. My favorite show yet in 94.
4/23/94 - ATLANTA, GA
No shutdowns for the Phish Project. 4/23/94, Atlanta, GA, The Fox Theatre. http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-23/ …
4/23/94: Funky Bitch is the first of 1994 and the first in 42 shows?! Nice Trey callback to the “roller coaster” effect from 4/22 Bowie.
4/23/94: Flipped through The Phish Book this weekend and caught Mike’s quote on how hard it is to play “bouncy” music like Fee. Interesting.
4/23/94: I guess this Fee is pretty bouncy, other than a brief megaphone malfunction. Yet another teasing, 30-second mini-jam at the end.
4/23/94: Trey finds the first jam theme in Stash before they’re even done singing the maybe so maybe nots. Exploring that car alarm drone.
4/23/94: Aggressively percussive ending to Stash, Fish warding off Trey’s attacks by abusing his crash cymbal. Angry!
4/23/94: Fishman banging on the walls of the Disease jam by toying with the beat. A few short detours, most interesting version yet?
4/23/94: The sociability of this SE swing continues with Merl Saunders sitting in on Caravan and singing High-Heel Sneakers.
4/23/94: High-Heel Sneakers revealing Phish’s bar-bandish limpness (at least in ‘94) on an R&B groove. But it’s an earnest attempt.
4/23/94: First Wilson since the Beacon, and the chant has not yet caught on. Need to wait for those tapes to circulate…
4/23/94: Antelope accelerates to bonkers status quickly in the 2nd section, then stretches out the 3rd w/ language and melodic weaving.
4/23/94: Both Mound and Sample getting some serious reverb from The Fox acoustics. Sounds kind of immense.
4/23/94: They are really taking their time on this (oddly mid-set) Hood, both in the intro and the outset of the jam. Breezy.
4/23/94: Very interesting to hear them do “atmospheric” years before they had all the fancy gear to go full ambient.
4/23/94: Microphone-less Ginseng is barely audible, but if you concentrate you can just hear the return of Page’s melodica.
4/23/94: I think Fishman might have dropped a drumstick in this YEM, creating a surprise stop-start jam in the composed portion.
4/23/94: I was just wondering if Trey was still in his cast. Another crowd volunteer chosen for YEM tramps.
4/23/94: Apparently the volunteer failed. Be honest: who among you would be able to do the whole tramps routine if called upon?
4/23/94: Very thorough “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” jam in this YEM, and I have to admit, I always thought that was The Nuge until just now.
4/23/94: Noisy piano duet w/ Col. Bruce after the YEM bass & drums, vocal jam rapidly segues into a Leonard Cohen cover, of all things
4/23/94: So just for the record, we’ve gone from Norman Blake to Rick Derringer to Leonard Cohen in the last half hour. #phishisweird
4/23/94: Oh, and an a cappella version of Skynyrd for the encore.
4/23/94 Final: Combine some of the Roxy’s manic craziness with more “mature” jams in Stash/Antelope/Hood and unintrusive guests. Top notch.
Halloween 2013 wasn’t just an experiment for Phish, it was for one for seasoned fans as well. Listen to enough Phish shows, and you start to experience shows as a form of live time travel, simultaneously hearing a song in the moment while measuring it up against all of its past performances. Perhaps there are people mentally strong enough to truly enjoy a show with no expectations or comparisons. But for me, the continuous comparison of a song to all that comes before is part of the thrill.
Sure, that “Twenty Years Later” from Reading is (theoretically) brilliant in isolation, but all the more rewarding for knowing that this particular song has never done that before. The three Tweezers of fall were all great, but they’re even more impressive when you consider that each one explored entirely different territory. And on and on.
By debuting a dozen original songs in place of the traditional album-length cover, Phish kicked that crutch away from fans like me. For the first time since that first tape or CDR or mp3, we would experience a full set of songs free from the imprint of what came before. It was kind of exhilarating, and it explains why, for now, I keep drifting back to that set instead of diving back into the improvisational highlights of this exemplary fall tour.
That surely tips my hand about what side I’m on in the great Phish community civil war raging over the “album” choice, but let me just emphasize: I’m all for it. Few things about Phish fandom give me as much joy as trying to guess the Halloween album, and all the conspiracy theories, clue-hunting, and essays that go with it. But in the end, the actual performance of the album is less important than what the chosen album says about Phish at that point in time.
Halloween shows are a checkpoint in Phish’s evolution. The White Album came when they were still finding the balance between avant-garde experimentation and popularity. Quadrophenia marked their newfound comfort as a big-gesture arena band. Remain In Light is the most important of all, of course, setting their sonic course for the rest of the decade. Loaded was the dark side of rock and roll success, hissing out from underground. Exile was a celebration of survival, Waiting for Columbus was comfort food.
Wingsuit is renewal. Choosing to play songs from a not-yet recorded album is a much-needed stop at the gas station, a recharge to keep this crazy Phish thing going for another batch of years. It couldn’t have come at a better time. The music this summer and fall was at a higher level than I ever could have hoped they’d reach in this era, stunningly consistent and consistently stunning. The lack of new material hardly interfered with this joyful experience, except maybe for a little tickle in the back of my throat. On paper, setlists and song rotations were getting suspiciously predictable. That didn’t mean much when the performances within were so rich, but it also felt like the narrative was tapering off, perhaps heading for a full stop on the nice round number of 30, at this improbable late-career peak.
But all that was, of course, yet another Phish prank. There were new songs the whole time, they just weren’t ready to share them with us yet. After Halloween, it looks silly to have thought that they were winding things down, or were trapped in a nostalgia cage. After Page’s New Year’s Eve speech, they’ve barely mentioned the anniversary from the stage, and it appears there won’t be any special shows honoring the occasion. It’s been about the future all year, it just took a little Halloween sleight of hand to reveal the right framing.
(It’s also crazy to think that the well-oiled jamming on display throughout 2013 could have happened without these between-tour songwriting sessions. So even if you’re not feeling the new songs, if you fell in love with a show or a jam this year, you should still send the new material a thank you card for existing.)
To zoom in a little closer, here are a few early thoughts on what I think are the most fascinating new songs, and what they might mean for the future of Phish.
Waiting All Night
I’ve watched with some interest and no small amount of dread as Trey goes through his plaid-shirt “hipster” phase. In theory, Phish finding inspiration (and cover material) in indie rock sounded great to me – after all, I was one of the ten dudes freaking out when they sloppily played “Gold Soundz” back in ‘99. And yet there was Traveler, an album I disliked as much for what it said about modern indie rock as for what it said about Trey’s solo work. Working with members of The National encapsulated everything I feared about how an “indie” influence could go wrong – putting the emphasis on atmosphere over songs, getting stuck in midtempo ballad purgatory, writing and delivering lyrics with beard-stroking weightiness.
Some of that unfortunate influence still creeps into “Winterqueen” and “Amidst the Peals of Laughter,” my least favorite of the Wingsuit songs. But then there’s “Waiting All Night,” which is absolutely the best possible synthesis of Phish and indie rock. As the astute Wyllys immediately called on Twitter, there’s a strong Yo La Tengo influence running through the song, so much so that I didn’t immediately believe it (I spotted Stereolab, which is probably also in the DNA somewhere). That watery Page organ, the monotone backing vocals, the springy bassline, that little ascending, Tropicalia lick at 1:10 — all carry the fingerprint of late 90s indie in all the right ways. It sounds like Trey (and the rest of the band) finally grasping the core of the genre, instead of just the surface trappings, and I’m interested to see if it’s just an anomaly, or a legit new direction for the band.
As I tweeted that night, I expected a lot of things from new Phish material, but catchiness was not one of them. Nothing from Joy was really earworm material; in fact, a lot of it seemed (purposefully) melodically flat. Arguably the stickiest songs – “Gone” and “Liquid Time” – were shunted off to the outtakes record and hardly ever played. But after the double punch of “The Line” and “Monica,” it was clear that Phish-pop was back in a big way. Not since “Heavy Things” have they so clearly targeted singalong territory, and both of these songs are a hell of a lot more vibrant than the limp shuffle of their ancestor.
The “Cut Your Hair” backing vocals, college basketball subject matter, and uplifting solo segment of “The Line” are immediately lovable. But I’m even more obsessed with “Monica” – and not without some caution. This thing pops like a single, friends, and while the idea of a rock single is pretty archaic in 2013, it’s worth considering the possible implications of that fact. Probably the last time they’ve managed to package the Phish sound into such a radio-friendly (speaking of archaic) package was Bouncin’, which forever holds an uncomfortable relationship for fans.
But as with Bouncin’, don’t mistake the hummable peppiness of “Monica” for simplicity. The vocal and instrumental parts are intricately interlocked – it sure sounds like they practiced this one more than any other song in the set. The subtle change in the chord progression in the third verse that sticks around throughout the final section is a nearly subliminal hook. As much as I like how this song sounds with the acoustic setup – particularly Mike’s standup bass and Page’s chintzy electric piano – I would kill to hear them jam over that progression instead of hitting the a capella ending. This song has two very different paths ahead of it; let’s see which one they choose.
The wildcard in the rumors swirling around this next album, confirmed by the Playbill liner notes, is their new collaborative approach to songwriting. It’s kind of amazing that it took them 30 years to try it out, given that their primary talent lies in spontaneous, democratic composition. But obviously songwriting and improvisation are two very different things, so nobody knew what to expect from a Phish song with four cooks in the kitchen.
The answer, at least from what we’ve heard so far, is weapons-grade Phishiness. The two most obviously collaborative songs, “Fuego” and “Wombat” are giddy with shared vocals, cut-up in-jokey lyrics, unpredictable musical swerves, and ample room for expansion. “Fuego” will drop smoothly into the rotation, but “Wombat” initially struck me as just too much…too much, man. My webcast feed couldn’t even handle it, cutting out between the Abe Vigoda name-drop and the Abe Vigoda cameo.
But the more I listen to it, the more I love it. It’s so damn weird, weirder than any band has a right to be in their 30th year of existence (weirder than any person should probably be at age 30). I’m not sure they need another funk jam vehicle in the catalog, but it’s a particularly sinister member of the species, and repeatedly uses a 50-cent vocabulary word for extra credit. Certainly it’s no weirder than Tube, and no dumber than Ghost, and much less embarrassing than Fish rapping “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.” I’ll happily take an entire album of clumsy references to marsupials and Barney Miller spinoffs instead of Traveler leftovers and Little Feat tributes. Long live the wombat.
Overall, I’m really excited to watch how these songs are woven into future setlists, and how they stretch and grow from the newborn state we heard in Atlantic City. I care a lot less about how they turn out in the studio, to be frank – part of my aversion to Phish’s studio work is that it feels wrong to freeze any of their songs in amber, or at least to accord the recorded versions any higher status than a random version played in a first set in some New England minor-league hockey arena. We finally have some new children in the Phish family, let’s wait and see how those wobbly first steps work out.
4/22/94 - COLUMBIA, SC
4/22/94, Columbia, SC, Township Auditorium. We’re safely back in a DMB-free zone, everyone. http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-22 …
4/22/94: Missed Uncle Pen due to a Phishtracks glitch, but I’m sure it fit right in with the highly caffeinated start to this show.
4/22/94: Nellie Kane makes it 6 of 7 songs under 5 minutes to open this show - and the exception (PYITE) is really two songs. So punk.
4/22/94: Kind of sloppy Divided Sky increases the average song length, but maintains the raucous mood. Of course this show was a Fri night.
4/22/94: In a set that really needed to take a deep breath, Bowie jam to the rescue. Dark themes bubbling to the surface.
4/22/94: Trey slices through the atonal storm with a thrilling roller-coaster riff around 9min in that is quickly sucked back into the murk.
4/22/94: Roller-coaster effect returns in the big finale, looped? What a fantastic Bowie! And at the end of such a hum-drum set…
4/22/94: I either just realized the piano in Suzy’s verses is very Werewolves of London or Page is making a subtle allusion in this one.
4/22/94: Julius really sticks out stylistically from other material in this era. It’s something about the walking bass, or the “swing.”
4/22/94: Reba and Tweezer back-to-back like an apology for the song-heavy first set.
4/22/94: Tweezer increasing in complexity before our eyes. Several themes and rhythms (& one Mancini tease) explored in rapid succession.
4/22/94: Nice little double-time Psycho Killer right before the theme returns too.
4/22/94: Longtime followers know Lifeboy is not my ballad of choice, but that was a good place for a cool-down, and it’s not too dreary.
4/22/94: Unusual Jim placement bodes well, and breakdown gets a bit weird, but the jam opts for triumphant. Nice trio with Tweezer>Lifeboy.
4/22/94: Starting to wonder if Fishman has ever even seen The Jungle Book?
4/22/94: Page’s Coil solo flirting with the five-minute mark, longer than most of those first set songs. Heavy on the usual sparkling runs.
4/22/94: Aww, the traditional Carolina appearance by Page’s pop. Fish joins in on the father-son ragtime piano duet with his washboard.
4/22/94: Phish fans, to their credit, never fail to go crazy for an old dude singing “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey”
4/22/94: Dr. Jack even getting a little Tom Waits on the back half of this Bill Bailey.
4/22/94 Final: Evolution of the ‘94 ADD improv style is back on track in Bowie, Tweezer now that they’re the only jamband in town again.
4/21/94 - WINSTON-SALEM, NC
Now resuming 1994 service until Fall Tour. 4/21/94, Winston-Salem, NC, Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-21/ …
4/21/94: Chalkdust, Sparkle and Foam welcoming me back to the past with a warm, spirited, kind of predictable embrace.
4/21/94: Half-hearted attempt at “Dixie” in Trey’s Foam solo makes me think we need a community term for failed teases.
4/21/94: Plenty of sound, plenty of fury, not much signifying in this Melt. Has it lost something in the jump to basketball arenas?
4/21/94: Hearing Lizards reminds me how nice it was to get that one towards the end of a rough weekend in Chicago this summer.
4/21/94: The summer tour intermission was helpful in delaying my psychotic break from hearing Disease every damn show.
4/21/94: There have been many opportunities for Page to get all emotional on the piano keys this set (Foam, Lizards, If I Could).
4/21/94: It still clocks in under four minutes, but something about the ambient intro to this 2001 felt deeper than usual for the era.
4/21/94: The 2001 > Maze that opened this set appeared to set the course for dark spaces, but Fluffhead is ruining those plans.
4/21/94: Jamband scandal! Dave Matthews not invited back on the tramps for Mike’s, audience volunteer chosen instead.
4/21/94: Mike’s 2nd jam settles into a quiet, creepy heartbeat, laced with horror organ. Hydrogen returns to the middle…with lyrics?
4/21/94: Acc to @phishnet, those lyrics (“I walk awakening on the misty fields of forever”) have turned up in 6 versions of Hydrogen. Huh.
4/21/94: Thought we were headed for the first proper Mule duel during Page’s “difficult” solo, but nope, no Trey response.
4/21/94: These arena-sized Big Ball Jams are getting shorter and shorter - only 2:19 on this one. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
4/21/94: Can’t help but note Possum, only getting played once every 6-8 shows in spring 94, sounds way fresher than modern-day versions.
4/21/94: Jeez, a no-mics Amazing Grace in the 14k-capacity Lawrence Joel Coliseum? And somehow the taper caught it.
4/21/94: Now for the obligatory superjam with DMB, which of course follows traditional superjam protocol of Drums > Jam > Dylan Cover.
4/21/94: After 2 consecutive shows with them, I can almost hang with these DMB jams if not for the sax (and, yikes, Dave vox on Watchtower).
4/21/94: Pretty awesome Trey solo in Watchtower followed by what sounds like Boyd Tinsley sawing a log for 3 minutes.
4/21/94 Final: A second night with DMB threatens to infect the band with jam-less mediocrity. Escape! Before it’s too late!
4/20/94 - LEXINGTON, VA
Squeezing one last ‘94 show in before Summer Tour. 4/20/94, Lexington, VA, Virginia Horse Center. Horse Center? http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-20/ …
4/20/94: The Virginia Horse Center really is an equestrian campus. Has to be the weirdest venue of ‘94 so far: http://www.horsecenter.org/About.aspx
4/20/94: The lengthy breakdown returns to It’s Ice. Galloping piano in the lead with the other three contributing occasional weirdness.
4/20/94: Two back-to-backers in this show already, Julius and Rift. Weird to see a non-Hoist song get the consecutive show treatment.
4/20/94: Stash jam starts with a rapid panic attack pulse, does its usual air raid siren thing, then finds a psychotic shuffle resolution.
4/20/94: Trey banter reveals that DMB opened this show. We were bound to reach this point eventually.
4/20/94: “Sunshine of Your Love” teases from Page and Trey starting at 3:14 in Suzy. non-urgent cc @bizarchive, who I know is busy today.
4/20/94: Poor Heart set opener for the first time in almost exactly a year (4/18/93). Just needed an appetizer for Antelope, I guess.
4/20/94: Fresh coffee, this fiery Antelope, pre-holiday and opening day jitters really making me a ball of nerves here.
4/20/94: Good to see Magilla still in rotation on the other side of the horns shows. Paul & Silas makes this set a genre sampler platter.
4/20/94: Trey just worked a brief digital delay loop riff into this Big Ball Jam, instantly making it my favorite Big Ball Jam.
4/20/94: Mike using his watery DWD pedal at the onset of the Hood jam, making things even more shimmery, like a hot day.
4/20/94: Brief stumble on the way to that Hood peak, but it still hit the spot when it got there.
4/20/94: Trey gets to the “Floyd is dead” chorus in Fee too early, laughs, appends “not dead yet.”
4/20/94: That piercing smooth sax can only mean one thing — DMB has joined in on this YEM. Gonna bite my tongue for the next 10 minutes.
4/20/94: Thankful for Fish’s vacuum keeping it weird with the DMB dudes on stage. Carter Beauford doing a solid Fish drums impression too.
4/20/94: I will admit that the DMB YEM hung together way better than the ARU YEM from 5/5/93. #acronymoverload
4/20/94 Final: Another merely decent show with a strong Antelope, Hood, and a better than expected DMB-crashed YEM. No Horse, ironically.
4/18/94 - NEWARK, DE
Summer tour is so close I can smell it (ew). 4/18/94, Newark, DE, Bob Carpenter Center, University of Delaware. http://t.co/Ws4nCNHCXX
4/18/94: Pretty standard open to the show, so I looked up Bob Carpenter - he was the Phillies’ owner from 1943-72. #themoreyouknow
4/18/94: Quick Buried Alive tease at 4:48 in Julius. My tease-spotting game is on point lately. (cc @bizarchive)
4/18/94: Julius is noticeably looser than the stiff versions at the start of tour. Hoist material breaking in like a baseball glove.
4/18/94: Melt w/ a couple minutes of noisy goodness, but reined in pretty fast. Would’ve been a strong ‘93 version, but it’s ‘94 now, baby.
4/18/94: First audible Dog Faced Boy, after the no-mics version at the Beacon. Basically Trey solo.
4/18/94: AC/DC Bag, with the weird ascending part at the end, is one of my favorite Phishy set closers.
4/18/94: OK, what did you Delaware people do to deserve 2001 > Sample?
4/18/94: Perhaps it’s the songiness, perhaps it’s the arenas, but these ‘94 shows feel really short, fast-paced.
4/18/94: Just as I type “fast-paced,” Gin jam hits an uptempo stretch. Nice unison melodizing from Trey and Page. Lots of riff callbacks.
4/18/94: I’m glad the Gin jam a la Sparkle approach wasn’t permanent, but that was a nice, unique version with a well-stuck landing.
4/18/94: Shoutouts to Trey’s wife *and* grandpa in Ya Mar. It’s a family affair in Delaware.
4/18/94: First Mike’s since before Trey’s ankle injury, and his call for volunteers reminded me that Mike’s once had a tramps section. #n00b
4/18/94: Always happy to hear TMWSIY sub in for Hydrogen. First time since 8/7/93.
4/18/94: Back-to-back Diseases for the third time this year already. Still no drift from the main theme, though I like Page’s piano comps.
4/18/94: Fish’s I Wanna Be Like You one-man show is getting odder and odder. “I didn’t know monkeys played vacuum cleaners, King Louie!”
4/18/94: Haha, “one-legged” drum solo from Trey, followed by a one-finger bass solo from Mike.
4/18/94: Cavern closer leaves the Mike’s Groove unfinished. Did they forget? Is it impossible to play on one leg? RI/DE rivalry?
4/18/94 Final: A songy show with some setlist swerves. Wind sprint Gin is the most memorable piece. Hi. I’m in Delaware.