, attached to 1993-12-31

Review by Larry_Hood

Larry_Hood Though it may not have the title of "Greatest NYE Show Ever" that phans usually give to NYE '95, 12/31/93 has long been argued by many avid listeners as the true great New Years show. Its really a difficult argument to make either way you look at it. Sure NYE '95 was the climax to the greatest single month in the bands history (11/94 I would give close second) and the marked the point where Phish really stood apart from the rest of their musical peers. However it could be argued that 12/31/95 would not exist if it were not for the precedent two years earlier, as the band ushered in '94 by rocking the Centrum into musical delirium thanks to our good friend Harry Hood.

Set I features an amazing Stash that concludes with a slight tease of the Roundabout theme. After Ginseng Sullivan we get a nice serving of Reba. I'm actually surprised at the lack of mention this Reba ever gets because although the jam is short it is fiery and features a whistled out ending. The set closes with a scorching Antelope the like of which youd expect from Phish a la '93.

Set II is probably where this show lacks compared to NYE '95 in that the Tweezer is short and despite the transitions through songs nothing feels overly exploratory or mind melting. However the set does end with YEM which kind of saves it from futility in my mind. This is a superbly jammed out YEM that sets the stage well for Set III.

After the ball drops and the band plays the customary Aud Lang Syne things get moving, and in a big way. They band begins to play DWD. Though it has become one of the bands most popular tunes many fans arent aware that this three minute lighting strike is the first DWD ever played! It is an absolute perfect way to kick of an amazing set. After DWD the band was clearly focused and made mince meat of every tune in their way until only one adversary was left: HARRY HOOD. I will have heard many a Hood in my day but to me this will always be the greatest version of the song bar none. Intro is standard if not a little drawn out but after a screaming distortion section the jam begins with Trey playing a beautiful Aud Lang Syne tease. From then on the song is pure ecstasy with the final 3-4 minutes featuring some of the most exciting guitar work I've ever heard. Trey fully hoses the crowd for the final 2 minutes and by the time the theme comes in your left with goosebumps. Perhaps my favorite piece of Phish ever!

The concert is an essential for any serious Phish fan and the Harry Hood is arguably the best ever. The concert is also a must for having some of the best AUD tapes ever recorded imo. Get it now and you'll feel good.


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