Back in the early age of the internet, and before widespread use of cell phones, fans would usually have to wait until the next morning to find out what happened at a concert. I have three vivid memories from undergrad when, while I was sitting at a computer, I felt myself filling with excitement and joy in reading what had happened the night before. One was March 20, 1995, when I read on rec.music.dead that the Grateful Dead *finally* played Unbroken Chain to close the previous night's first set in Philadelphia (stories were coming back that a few chosen fans held up their cell phones for friends; others rushed to use pay phones at setbreak -- it was a big deal). The next was November 1 of that same year when I walked from Studio near the Pantheon to one of the only computer labs in all of Rome, just north of the Vatican, to find out that Phish played Quadrophenia for Halloween. The third was in the Fall of 1996, reading about Phish's famous "M" set from St. Louis, complete with Mean Mr. John Popper (just a week after seeing my fourth and fifth shows).
Fast-forward seventeen years to yesterday morning, when I woke up to hundreds of messages on my phone in the form of Tweets and GroupMe posts describing what had gone down just a few hours earlier in Tahoe. If I had stayed up, I could have even listened along to the Tweezer by means of a fan's stream from the show. Instead, I quickly downloaded the show and was able to listen to the eighth-longest song Phish ever played twice before I even got into work. And by early morning, I was up to my fourth listen (compared to seventeen years earlier, when I was resigned that I would have to wait weeks -- or months -- before I could even hear a note; I remember anxiously awaiting for a tape Vine or Tree for that Dead show . . . ).
Immmediate gratification is a luxury. It also allows you to experience music in different ways. Yesterday, I decided to take notes during my fourth listen to try and chart the 36-minute journey of the Tahoe Tweezer. The music really is stunning, and I wanted to immerse myself in how the band actually progressed over the course of the song. I really don't know enough music theory to match this up with the wipe-board diagram that has been floating around [ed. See below], but I wonder where some of the "moments" below match up with those key changes . . .
[ed. All timings based on the Live Phish release.]
5:06: First hints of leaving the grips of Tweezer
6:47: Great little melody from Trey, quickly picked up by Page
8:00: Opens up with those repeated notes from Trey . . .
9:20: Some cool harmonics (?) from Mike as they drift off into space
10:43: Audible cheering from the crowd as the band continues in the space vein [ed. Thanks to the YouTube video that has been posted, I have matched this to a moment when Kuroda turned off the overhead lights to simply back-light the band]
11:20: Trey slowly repeats a riff, Mike repeats a note, Fish on cymbals . . . and the pace begins to quicken
12:52: Mike and his foot bell
13:15: Really picks up as the band plays off one another into a bit of a more "driving" jam
14:40: Focused jam, all in step
16:30: Mike starts with this fuzzed-out effect on his bass while Trey holds a sustain, Page on piano
17:50: More riffing from Trey
18:10: They all drop out with Page holding a chord on the organ; more openness
19:45: Trey starts in with this pretty riffing (Major scale?); first really beautiful section of jamming, gentle; lots of piano
22:30: Trey starts working on a new theme, with focus; just playing off the beauty of a few minutes before; builds, repeats some notes, Page working the piano, and Fishman is throwing in fills
23:40: Great Page moment as he continues on the piano and starts this organ "flourish" [ed. Thanks, Syd]
24:45: Mike really starts to let go with the "Meatballs" [correct use of the term?] matched by more organ from Page
26:20: A melody just appears out of no where, with every band member on board; really quite something to hear, almost like a Gospel hymn
27:23: The band slows down for its start-stop, elicting the "Woos" from the crowd; last for about 30 seconds before it builds back to the hymn again
27:58: Massive Trey-gasmic release [ed. Thanks, JD]
28:20: Start-stop "Woos" again, and then repeats
30:40: Another change of direction, signaled by some chords from Trey that almost sounded like a new song; band quickly runs through themes, one sounding like the Scent "Russian" section before latching onto an upbeat melody
32:50: Kind of transitions into a bit of a funky Tweezer theme right before the start-stop "Woos" kick in again; more funk than hymn this time
33:24: Changes to more blues-rock vamp by Trey
34:10: Can't you see?
35:08: Oh, hello Tweezer; complete with start-stop "Woos"
36:47: "The sky is burning in this lonely land"
No matter how you choose to enjoy this music, just make sure you do.
Tahoe Tweezer "Roadmap," thanks to @mikehamad
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March 27, 1993
25 years ago
Set 2: Buried Alive > Halley's Comet > It's Ice > Bouncing Around the Room, Chalk Dust Torture, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin' Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Poor Heart > Golgi Apparatus
 Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Fish on trombone.
 All Fall Down signal in intro.
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