, attached to 1993-12-31

Review by chummer

chummer I have so many things I'd like to say about the music Phish played at this show. Unfortunately they get all tangled up in negative things. Ego, fear, and hyperbole. Instead I'll try to stick to the facts. I've listened to the Reba jam alone hundreds (thousands?) of times. It could be one of my favorite pieces of music I've ever heard.

I'll admit this up front. I wasn't at this show. Or any other shows during this run or anywhere near the era of this run. Hell I hardly even gave Phish a chance in 1993. For this I can only wonder why. You have to be ready to really hear music. I'll also admit I'm a music geek. Big time. Maybe that's two strikes on two pitches but so be it.

I will tell you this however, and feel quite sure of myself. At times Phish could (still can I think) transcend themselves and create music that is way bigger than the sum of its parts. Music they knew was in there if only they could get out of the way. Music as perfect as a Bach partita. As raw as Hendrix but as loose as and free as Miles. As clean and pure as a desert sunrise. As a powerful as a thunderstorm.

It's all there. In just the Reba alone. There's not one wasted note from any of the players. As a musician I can only imagine what it would feel like to play music like this. Such perfect improvised music as in this Reba jam. We could all hope to ever do anything so perfect. I wonder if Phish ever listens back to it. Do they care? Would they hear any of what I hear?

Phish is special for so many reasons but one of those reasons is change. Phish was always changing. They are still changing. NYE 1993, NYE 1995, Fall 1997, Clifford Ball, Big Cypress, and so on. Iconic dates and such different sounding music.

I don't regret many things about my life but I regret not being at this show.


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