Jim – This is a nice short, frenetic Jim that serves well as a show opener. I really like what Trey does during this with nice complements from Page’s trailing keys.
Golden Lady – Nice, groovy Stevie Wonder song.
Poor Heart – The juxtaposition next to Golden lady is hilarious. Page fires away on the keys in this one.
Guelah Papyrus – Someone in the forum once said that they think Phish was much more technically proficient in 1994 than in the 3.0 era. While it is desirable to argue that statement, this Guelah would be good evidence for the person’s claim. It is perfectly played while retaining the energy and fierceness that 3.0 Guelah’s don’t have.
SOAMelt – Nothing too amazing here, but a thrilling SOAM nonetheless. From 5 minutes on is where it gets interesting and very fast-paced. Around the 6:35 mark I believe Mike teases Simple. I may be incorrect, but it sounds eerily similar to me.
Kung – I was almost disappointed when SOAMelt transitioned into this because the former was about to get exciting. Oh well, I can’t stay upset when there’s a Kung playing.
SOAMelt – Oh wait, SOAM isn’t over! I forgot this is the year of sandwiches, and I don’t have any problem with a Kung sandwich on SOAMelt bread!
Esther – Oh boy do I love Esther. This is one of my favorite purely compositional tunes. It also includes a fun random note signal as well as a Simpsons signal.
Julius – Trey shreds the hell out of this song starting at about the 4:50 mark. Eventually the jam gives rise to a chaotic, slow-paced drum fill which ends in a climactic jolt of energy by Fish and Trey. A short, but truly sweet type I.
Guyute – Something about the short pause between “scampered quickly out of range” and the next segment really wows me. This goes for the pause between “I hope it happens once again” and its succeeding segment as well. It seems so simple, but it’s one of those little things you come to appreciate about Phish. The ugly pig doesn’t disappoint here.
Golgi – Golgi is Golgi.
Lengthwise – Sweet start to a set!
Maze – The transition from lengthwise to Maze is cool with the guys still chanting “when you’re there, I sleep lengthwise, and when you’re gone I sleep diagonal in my bed” as the signature high hats begin. An overall well-played maze.
McGrupp – McGrupp is a great tune. 3.0 needs more McGrupp!
Rift – Also one of my favorite compositional songs. The vocal work in combination with phenomenal lyrics is always something to be taken away by.
Hood – This Hood is built up extremely well. Around the 12 minute mark is when the bliss begins! 13 minutes in, a darker progression begins with a more rock-oriented feel. The band will roar in loudness then quiet down, then roar in loudness again, only to quiet down and return to Hood’s main theme… for a bit. Near the 16 minute mark it quiets down completely with only Fish playing the high hats. Then Trey mimics the rhythm of Fish. The two swap playing until slowly Mike and Page join in building tension when Trey starts ripping the hell out of the main Hood theme. At around 18:10 the Trey treatment begins and doesn’t stop for the remainder of the song. I’m not very good at describing jams like these, but let’s just say you can feel good about this Hood. Highlight for sure.
Nellie Kane – Played acoustic, and if you ask me, it’s not as good as electric. Still, it’s Nellie Kane and is warming as can be.
Foreplay/Long Time – Wow! I’ll take the Phish acoustic version of this over Boston’s original any day. The harmony is a lot more natural and clear than the original. This is a super cool way to cool down after the monster Hood.
Chalk Dust - Once again the juxtaposition of songs in the setlist in 1994 was genius, and this is no exception. CDT being the wall of energy it is works perfectly coming out of an acoustic pair. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – half the genius of Phish from 1992-1995 was setlist brilliance and no other era rivals that genius. As for the song, it should be assumed that Trey shreds it like always, but other than that there’s not anything spectacular. It is very short-lived.
Sample in a Jar – You know that thing I said about 50% of Phish’s genius in this era being setlist brilliance? Yeah, maybe it’s a bit less. After a show that feels like it was missing one good jam, Sample aggravates me a bit in this slot. Of course I don’t expect a hose YEM or anything, but c’mon. Not even a tasty little Cities? Can’t complain too much, though.
Set 1 – SOAMelt -> Kung -> SOAMelt, Jim
Set 2 – Hood, Foreplay/Long Time, Maze
Overall: This show was borderline awesome. It had the setlist, energy, and goofiness, but missed something. It had a great jam in Hood, but outside of that there was nothing to get lost in. My verdict: a fun and appeasing show with a decent amount of IT to offer, but not well-rounded enough to merit over a 4-star review. 4/5 stars.