, attached to 1984-12-01

Review by Dunwoody

Dunwoody This is a fun one historically speaking, but legitimate highlights are fairly few. The Scarlet Fire Fire is a fun idea with some good playing, but sounds a bit flat to me (my recording starts at Scarlet, so I can't speak to what came before). Makisupa is already the Makisupa we know and love, less the "keyword." This version features some extra-reggaey echo effexts that give it a bit more of an authentic feel, but you know, still a bunch of college dudes in Vermont.

Slave is already in pretty much the form we know today, except that Page isn't there. The red light sections are not as heavy as now, and instead have sort of a bluesy psych feel; the green light sections are nearly non-existent until the jam starts. It's a nice version, though certainly lacking the huge peak we know today.

Spanish Flea is really just background mysic for band intros, including the intro of "Wolfman" Mike Gordon.

The Don't Want You/Cities/Drums run is the real meat. Don't want you is strong, and the segue into Cities is seamless. The Cities itself doesn't bring a ton to the table except some funny improvised lyrics, but the Drums that follows is a beast. It's clear that Fish (and Daubs) absolutely can do big solos when wanted, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again today in the right setting.

Skippy and Fluff are noteworthy mostly for historical value. Skippy's a goofy little tune that eventually became McGrupp. It features the Dude doing some yelling and quasi rapping, and clearly is a delight for the crowd. Fluff is in roughly the same form as today, but obviously without Travels and with some different lyrics.

The Eyes starts out super slow, which is consistent with other Phish performances of the song. It's a solid performance, but brings little of the Phish touch to it -- it's Dead through and through.

Most of the value in this show is historical, but check out the Don't Want You through Drums for some solid early Phish.


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