, attached to 1992-04-16

Review by DemandOpener

DemandOpener Top Phish Show #4. I had been going back and forth debating inwardly whether context mattered when listening to these shows. I decided to take a week off from listening to shows from 1992, and I think it helped tremendously with respect to this show. It is now my favorite show of '92, and by a fairly wide margin. This show had so many gold nuggets you could have started a second California gold rush!

The first set opens innocently enough with a nice Buried Alive > Possum combo. Possum has a fun intro with lots of the customary sign language, and features a great, blistering jam with a scorching hot Machine Gun Trey. Possum was great back in the day, and this is another one that shouldn't be missed. The spreadsheet tape of this show has Mike dialed waaaay up in the mix, and it's awesome to hear him shine in this excellent version of It's Ice. This Ice grooves all the way through and provides some nearly-transcendent dissonance.

Bouncing-Melt-Rift follows, of which the main highlight is some nice shredding as the focus of a funky(!) Melt jam. It's a little different than usual, but I enjoyed it. Trey wins the piano vs guitar duel in Maze, with ferocious playing that at times makes you fear for the life of his poor guitar strings. There's more bending going on here than a 6 AM yoga class! Forbin's > Icculus > Mockingbird is next, and it's a solid rendition of the tale that was mostly utilized to educate the So. California crowd on the story of Gamehendge. The story is a little convoluted, but the Icculus is the shortest version ever and definitely worth a listen. (Note: I listened to this show with someone who is pretty new to Phish, who knew nothing of the Gamehendge saga, and he was blown away. He spent the rest of the night looking up the Gamehendge story and getting wrapped up in all the lore. Awesome!) Antelope closes the set, and this is surely the highlight of the night. This is another contender for Antelope of the Year in a year that was filled with these types of jams. The dissonant, melodic, awe-inspiring beast of a jam must be heard to be believed!

Set two opens up with Sanity, a song that is probably better served in another slot. When listening to this show, however, it was juxtaposed right next to the preceding Antelope, which made it feel more like a breather song. Another breather was needed after the Llama that followed. Anchored by a rock solid rhythm section performance, this version of Llama is absolutely volcanic and features Machine Gun Trey firing at will, as if they were about to take his guns away. Page's piano tinkles signal the start of The Lizards, another song my noob friend was really into as we listened along together.

Mike's Groove was solid, as usual. They were definitely starting to take risks on Mike's by this time, as the customary six minute tune had now been routinely lengthened to eight minutes. This Mike's features balls-to-the-wall tension, if you're into that. As for Weekapaug, well...God bless the guy who decided this mix needed more Mike. Since the bass is so high in the mix, it's really a glorious listen. Incidentally, this version is really interesting. Trey crafts a weird, spacey jam, and a highly re-listenable one, at that. In a sea of Weekapaugs that are decidedly "in-the-box", this one is decidedly "out".

The show winds down with a typical early '92 set two victory lap, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the gorgeous Horn that followed Mike's Groove. This song is an excellent breather in the second set, and I really wish it could make a grand return to the second set on a consistent basis! I have one last chance to sing the praises of this mix, by the way, and it has to do with the high quality of the funky set-closing Suzy Greenberg. Mike is awesome. He's the best. This is a jam-chart version of Suzy IMO.

If I was making my own "Top 100" list, I'd have to imagine this show would be on it. Moreso the first two '92 shows on TPC3.0's Top 100, I feel like this show is the band making a statement to their new Californian fanbase. This is the exact type of show that SHOULD be on the Top 100, a historically relevant show that features transcendent versions of just about everything that was played. Highly, HIGHLY recommended.

My highlights: Possum, It's Ice, ANTELOPE, Llama, Weekapaug, Suzy
My score: 5/5


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