This was my first Phish show: I was a virgin in this culture and by the end of the night I would be hooked for life. It was the spring 1993 tour closer and I couldn’t have asked for a better show. One of my favorites, “Chalk Dust”, opened up the gig and set the twenty-five hundred-plus crowd dancin'. They played a variety of classics right after, including “Guelah”, “Rift”, “Mound”, and “Stash”, but this was not your normal “Stash”. This version started off quite energetically and continued to get even better due to Trey and Fishman’s timely playing. Then they slowed down the jam a bit and started singing the ole’ “Kung” chant. Trey and Mike started singing into the microphone a bit as the ending riff came back to complete the “Stash-> Kung->Stash” sandwich. “Glide” was next, which is now considered somewhat of a rarity. Then Trey pulled out his Martin acoustic to play the intro to “My Friend, My Friend”, which included great drum work from Fishman. After that they got the crowd hopping again with “Reba”, then a very rare Duke Ellington cover called “Satin Doll”, which they played for the whole crew. Trey actually named them all, prior to closing out a great first set with “Cavern”.
The second set had a few treats to say the least. One of my favorites at the time (and now) opened the second set, “David Bowie”. The intro had a couple of secret language cues, the Simpsons signal as well as the “sing a random note” signal. Then out of nowhere the whole band starts jamming on “Jessica” by the Allmans! It never really took off completely but it was clear that the band was having some fun. This “Bowie” goes through a very hypnotic and heavy hard-rock jam to start things off, before it lightens up and fades melodiously into “Have Mercy” and then back into “David Bowie”, completing another fantastic segue sandwich!
A couple of delights came after including an acoustic intro to “Horse”, a great “It’s Ice” and “Squirming Coil”. Then, just as the “Coil” solo ended, the band started to take off in a random jam that got everyone grooving for the Big Balls to come out, as the jam segued in to “Big Ball Jam”.
The crowd was quite adept at getting the three shots, and as they finished the “BBJ” Trey broke into “Mike’s Song”. In my opinion this is a legendary “Mike’s Song”. The energy that poured out of this “Mike’s” was uncanny. Page was happy to be using his new Hammond organ, as was evident from his inspired playing in this “Mike’s”. In the midst of it all, Trey led his three comrades into the old Robert Johnson (more recently Cream/Clapton) cover, “Crossroads”. It was the first time they ever played this one, and they did a pretty good job of it. This segued back into “Mike’s”, thus completing the third segue sandwich of the night, and the rest of the Groove (“Hydrogen” and “Weekapaug”) followed. The “Weekapaug” was followed by “Amazing Grace”, which then led right into an “Amazing Grace Jam”, with the band playing “Grace” with instrumental accompaniment and thanking the crowd for supporting them and for coming to this, the tour closer. The encore, “AC/DC Bag”, was simple but left everyone with a smile on their face. It had only recently come out of hibernation earlier that spring in Atlanta. Although this was my first show, it still remains one of my favorites and a classic Phish performance that all should hear.