, attached to 1993-12-31

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd This was one of my favorite shows (still is) when I first started listening to Phish around '04. In comparison to my first SBDs (Coventry) I couldn't believe it was the same band! This show set me off on a '93 kick, which I forever hold in the highest regard, particularly August (and my other personal favorite from the era the Zoo show).

I had a pretty crisp AUD that sounded great.

They opened with Llama, which was an amazing version and so fast and tight.

Guelah Papyrus is a good tune, and I still always look for this one. Classic early 90's tune.

Stash was in the 3 spot and gave us our first taste of improvisation. This version is relentless and full of wild tension with a great release. Very strong, if not truly exceptional.

Ginseng Sullivan was unplugged, which was cool, but didn't get a great treatment in the AUD I had.

Reba was up next and this jam was superb. It's not the longest version and doesn't deviate much, but the playing is very crisp and the jam peaks wonderfully. I love this version!

Peaches is always a treat.

I Didn't Know gives us some humorous Phish and then they close with a scorching Antelope. This version is very frenetic and fiery. Excellent closer.

Overall first set - this is pretty close to immaculate. Excellent song selection and some fiery jamming in Stash, Reba, & Antelope make for a classic early 90's set I.

Set II opens with Tweezer! Well, this version isn't the absolute best, although I would argue it's underrated. I consider it a fine version with a nice tense, hey hole type jam, a big ol' release, and a cool old school style breakdown ending. Definitely a good version to my ears.

Halley's>Poor Heart keeps the setlist flowing and the energy high.

It's Ice> Fee> Possum is an excellent mid set run of tunes. All are well played, with some signaling in It's Ice and some fine jamming in Possum.

Lawn Boy is a well placed breather and a nice Page moment.

YEM closes the set out in excellent style. This is a very well jammed version and helps bring this set to the next level. Boy they could play this one back then!

Overall set II is another great set. The construction of the setlist is excellent, with a nice opening jam, and energetic middle section highlighted by a scorching '93 Possum, and closing with a fine YEM. Plenty of jamming and fan favorite tunes. Lots to enjoy.

Set III opens with ALS, which resolves into the explosive (and now ubiquitous) DWD jam solo section. What a moment that must have been. It's a very energetic opening.

They keep the momentum going with Split Open and Melt, which doesn't really touch the August exploratory version, but is still very crisp and well jammed, despite being on the shorter side. Plenty of fun.

The Lizards follows the energetic opening in fine fashion. Excellent placement and certainly a phan favorite.

Sparkle>Suzy brings the energy level up and HYHU>Craklin' Rosie is a good laugh.

Harry Hood is the penultimate song, and for me, this is the finest version ever played. To be clear it's straight ahead and not a type two exploratory behemoth. Nevertheless this is perhaps my all-time favorite Trey solo. They execute the song proper in fine fashion and then drop into a delicate opening jam where Trey plays an immaculate Auld Lang Syne melody. They follow this with a patient and purposeful build into a frenzied, yet completely controlled peak that seems to soar to several peaking moments. It's truly sublime.

Tweezer Reprise ends the set in energetic fashion.

A well played Golgi and a nice Amazing Grace fit the encore slot.

Overall Set III is excellent. Another very well constructed set that keeps the listener engaged. Trow in a strong jam in Melt and a TRULY SUBLIME Hood and there's another winner!

Top to bottom this is such a satisfying show. The setlists are very well balanced (you're only complaint could possibly be that there's not enough slower, contemplative tunes?). The big jams really deliver and all the songs are well played. It's a true '93 showcase. The only reason to knock the show is perhaps there's no jam on the level of the August '93 big boys.

4.5/5 classic.


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