, attached to 1994-06-18

Review by Fathership

Fathership Undoubtedly the better of the two UIC shows of the same year, this is a solid concert containing some legendary, no holds barred, required listening for any fan of Phish.

Wilson is a great opener and this night's sets out to prove that with an inspired version and > into Rift. AC/DC Bag is a shredfest for both Trey and Page, who really make this one soar. Page doesn't put out the fire for the following Maze, which is excellent. Trey plays some ungodly notes here and around 8:45 it's clear that the entire band is feeling IT. This fantastic Maze closes and the wonderful intro to The Mango Song echoes through the Pavilion. I personally love this admittedly standard version, and soon after, the ambient intro to Down With Disease begins. Trey's fingers prance around the fretboard for a wonderfully bouncy and exciting reading of this tune.

The jam in It's Ice is damn good, with Page leading the way in a surprisingly funky (for 1994) segment. One of my favorite Ice jams without a doubt. Fade into Dog Faced Boy, which I always enjoy. Divided Sky begins, a particularly famous performance due to some of Trey's comments regarding the lengthy pause section. It's excellent and, in my opinion, deserving of the hype. Inspired playing from all. Sample closes the set in fine form.

Peaches En Regalia opens set two and is played well, but the real fun begins when the song is over. Repeating teasing of the famous Mind Left Body jam gives way to an all out performance of the tune, which, frankly, is damn incredible. A wonderful homage to the pioneers of the genre as well as an absolute face melter. They nail it and move through a few other movements, all rather dark, with a Fish/Mike breakdown at 4:35 before advancing into Bowie. The ensuing jam is no slouch either, a nice theme is touched on almost immediately and they keep at it (it reminds me of Shakedown Street a tiny bit), and it soon opens up and becomes fierce. The tempo increases tenfold and at 14:40 the rocket takes off, leaving UIC Pavilion way behind. Everyone is on the same page, just playing absolutely pulverizing rock and roll. Trey hits a note that sounds like an airplane about to hit the ground or a literal bomb dropping and then a seamless movement into the Bowie outro, with numerous teases. Hear this Bowie at all costs.

Horn is a nice breather to follow, before a lovely McGrupp begins. With a funk edge, this McGrupp really lets Page shine (this is practically his show) before Tweezer emerges. The song itself just sounds really good, and immediately after the jam begins Trey starts to experiment with a few different riffs, and the band LOCKS IN. Fish keeps a groovy beat throughout, Mike is dropping bombs, Trey is playing an ethereal guitar riff, and Page is complimenting all of them perfectly. The jam moves along at a steady pace and Trey finally breaks the mold with a soaring pattern of sounds that slips into a series of descending notes that sends Fish into a frenzy. Still locked in, it sounds like they could bust out the main Tweezer riff if they wanted to and call it a day, but Page is playing a sweet trio of notes and everyone is moaning in unison; it's clear they don't want to let it go just yet. Trey starts to play a heavy, heavy riff and Mike really goes to town slapping his bass. This is grade A, bad ass jamming here, folks. Trey starts to squeal the highest notes from his guitar and a peak is reached. Special props to Fish for keeping this one steady the entire way through. The jam drops off with the descending Tweezer outro, and a well played Lifeboy provides the necessary R&R.

If the previous jams weren't enough, don't worry, the boys jump into YEM. Phew. The 'note' section is nailed, the 'tramps' section is smooth, and once Trey hops back on, it's tease central. Things get real quiet for a good while and then explode once again when Trey comes out guns blazing. The jam peaks nicely with what sounds to my ear like teases of The Landlady from Page. B & D > Monty Python vocal jam to finish make this a very nice reading of this song. The Chalk Dust that closes the set is laid down and absolutely shredded. A How Many More Times jam gives way to one of favorite Chalk Dust solos from Trey. Insane energy. Bouncing > Tweeprise to cap off this wonderful show.

One of my favorite shows from this year and of all time, it takes no prisoners. A perfectly solid first set with a few highlights gives way to a remarkable second set that truly exemplifies the darker, chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out side of the band, with Bowie and Tweezer being all time greats. Hear those jams, and the rest of this show, like your life depends on it (it does).


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