, attached to 1993-08-20

Review by Masses_Hardware

Masses_Hardware This was the first live Phish recording I ever heard in its entirety, given to me in the early 2000s by a HS buddy who thought I might like it. I was completely transfixed, start to finish, and it remains—musically and sentimentally—the most important show of their long and incredible career to me. Even years after I reset my standard for their early-mid 1.0 excellence with another legendary Red Rocks show on 6/11 the following summer, 8/20/93 will always live in my heart as the first and best.

I can't write as well as previous reviewers about how good this show is musically; it's been said, and I don't need to add more. However, I will simply say that the setlist, pacing, jamming, and overall 'mood' of the show is perfectly executed cover to cover... There are, additionally, two or three 'all-time' best tunes in this show, with the Slave>SOAM most notably occurring in succession. There aren't two consecutive songs in the Phish catalog that better sum up what they are capable of... And in that sense, this show is totally representative of who they are on their best days: Moments of pure, unadulterated bliss, dark and brooding tension, epic breakthroughs and high, soaring peaks, and more: Signaling, teasing, narration, humor, banter, covers, vacuum solos, acoustic guitar, and a capella. Incredible that it all fit into one show.


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