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Permalink Posted by ColForbin on , attached to 1993-12-30
ColForbinI was a 16 year old kid when I scored tickets to my first ever Phish show. I was pretty into the band at this point, had all the albums and even a couple live tapes (7/24/93 being the one I remember most fondly). A bunch of friends at high school had seen Phish earlier at one of the HORDE tour shows, and I was insanely jealous, so going to this show in Portland was a huge deal to me. I remember it being a really really cold night (and in fact the historical weather data from that day backs me up - it was in the teens). But what I really remember was the people - I had never seen such a collection of folks that looked quite that interesting in one place. My friend Jake and I were kind of flabbergasted to be honest. Not that we didn't have a couple hippies in our high school, but the style there had a bit more grunge to it. The change in human scenery really made me feel like I was entering a different world, a special one, a secret society initiation rite, etc. Turns out I was right.

Getting into a show in 1993 involved nothing more than a cursory search, and since it was so cold, we went in way early just to take it all in (and also, being 16, we weren't going to hang out at a bar or anything). The anticipation I felt at this show was something I'll cherish forever - any song they played was going to thrill me, because I was finally seeing Phish live! I had no idea what had been played the previous couple of nights, and in fact had no idea what a Phish concert even looked like - there were no videos available.

Now, I have listened to this show so many times that I can't really remember how I first reacted to the music. I remember being thrilled at David Bowie (which still ranks among my favorite versions, especially fiery). The Forbin's narration was just awesome to me - I had nothing like it in my limited tape collection and I thought it might be a unique thing that I was seeing for the first time. Freebird is a novelty tune that I love, but thinking about it, it is a novelty tune that they put a lot of effort toward. The lights during 2001 just blew my mind. The Mike's Groove is just spectacular with an awesome Weekapaug vocal jam. Purple Rain might be my favorite Fishman cover. This show just hit all the right buttons with my newbie self - a great mix of songs I knew and songs I didn't but that were awesome and made me want to get ever more tapes.

Listening to the show today, it is just amazing how tight they are, how well Trey nails some of the tricky runs in Mockingbird, they way they feel so damn locked in. Whether it really is or not, things like Rift feel a good 10-20bpm faster than today, like Trey wanted to show off how fast he could play. Classic, classic stuff, and available as a SBD online in the usual places, so there is really no excuse not to grab it.
Score: 3

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