, attached to 1994-05-13

Review by Super_UK_Phan

Super_UK_Phan To agree with DFB's thoughtful review of 5/13/94 (my first show), the band were very much firing on all cylinders that night. Before commenting further on the songs and playing, a few words about the venue.

Hayden Square is in the middle of an 80's-90's live-work condo complex with an office building and restaurants. Just off the main drag in Tempe, AZ, the actual 'square' is really just the afore-mentioned generic 4-5 story office building flanked on either side by two middle of the road restaurant/bars, both with outdoor patio seating. The 'venue' consisted of temporary wire-fencing opposite the office, connecting the two eateries. In fact, at least one of the restaurants charged $5 entrance into their patio area, as concert was a sell out. The stage consisted of a 20-30 foot paved spot in front of the office, atop maybe half-a-dozen steps that lead down into a grassy bowl area where we stood. I don't remember any fencing or barriers? Bottom line: soul-less venue, but small and mellow.

So, the show. It being my first, I had never heard any Phish music and was, when all said and done, completely 'wowed' by the variety of song type and of course musicianship, and overall dexterity on display. With my 'virgin' ears, the 1st set was effectively my educational orientation to Phish. Runaway dogs? Traffic lights? Friends with knives? Crazy Jewish girls? Oh kayyyy. I couldn't quite get my head around the weird and varied lyrical themes, but I liked it!

The 2nd set was where, expectations properly adjusted by the prior set, I really got into the show (and band). My OMG!, or 'aha!' moment occurred during SOAM, with its interweaving, headspining rhythms. This remains one of my favorite versions ever, which I highly recommend.

The Purple Rain to Free Bird closing run really cemented my appreciation for this band: vacuum 'vocals' (with Trey on drums!), into totally killer Zep cover, then sick/silly/OTT (over the top) a capella Skynyrd. These guys were nuts! These guys are nuts!


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