, attached to 1988-02-24

Review by EducateFright

EducateFright My download from The Spreadsheet is an aud of substandard quality (not surprising for the time period... I wouldn't classify it as unlistenable). At times Trey is rather low in the mix; conversely, Page is quite high in the mix, contributing to the spaciness of YEM, Hood, and other tunes.
I found myself focusing on Fishman during YEM – naturally, he's not yet the best drummer in rock (evident in some standout sloppy fills sprinkled here and there), but he IS on his way.
The Wilsons from this period are quite bizarre – they're loose and funky in a brooding sense. The “breakdown” section of this Wilson features Page aggressively laying down the minor chords while Mike obtrusively focuses on the lowest notes he can produce.
From Peaches on, set 1 is actually quite tight. Slave is strikingly good! The same can be said of Bowie: the high-hat intro segment puts a smile on my face, and the improvised section gets off to a great start (too bad the tape cuts out near the end).
I wasn't too impressed with Mustang Sally and the guest vocalist, but what can I say? This is "Phish, the bar band" after all. Following Mustang, the guest vocalist moves to the drum kit, and Fishman is on trombone for Sneakin' Sally. The resulting sound is distinctly unusual for Phish... and totally forgettable.
The Harry Hood that closes the show is a highlight, but not enough to save this show, which remains a far-cry from being anything close to “must hear” material.


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