My initial love for Phish, outside of the interesting and intricately played songs, sprang from my appreciation for the story behind the music of the Gamehendge saga. Read the f@king book! And while I very much enjoyed their music I wasn’t a concert going enthusiast and I didn’t realize what I was missing by not seeing these guy “live” in concert.
Prior to heading to Nantucket in May 1992 to work for the summer, I received a package from a close friend containing a Denon 12-pack sleeve of tapes from Phish’s triumphant April 1992 California run of shows. This “fresh” Phish was a goldmine back in a time when obtaining live music, or any real-time tour info for that matter, was not nearly as instantaneous as it is today. I listened non-stop to these shows and got a good sense of the current repertoire of songs along with the high-level of jamming Phish was bringing nightly.
These tapes only heightened my anticipation of attending my first Phish show. Finally, I was going to hear Phish in the “live” setting after spending the past few years listening to their music via live tapes and studio CDs/tapes. Phish’s opening set for the incomparable Santana was less than 50 minutes, but they still managed to convey the essence of their music through the song selection. The sum of which was a tight, well-played set.
All Things Reconsidered started things off jazzy and nicely
Possum naturally rocked out in a big way
It’s Ice strongly followed with the usual Page led spacey section
Sparkle kept the mood fun and energetic
Stash is solid and menacing enough
The Squirming Coil beautifully showed off Phish’s talents
Runaway Jim is the perfect set closer and is a spirited rocker worthy of a listen!
But while the music sounded great something was missing. The show just didn’t feel complete. And it’s because of this feeling that I initially didn’t count this show as part of my stats since I felt a one set show didn’t fully capture the essence of Phish.
However, Great Woods did totally capture the vibe of the perfect venue for having an exceedingly and extraordinary good time. These were the days when the party ruled the lots and not the cops. Nothing really beats a great summer concert at a shed on a beautiful day. And we had so much on the lawn!! (Sidenote: SPAC 1994 would be my second, and last, time on the lawn sans festivals at a Phish show. I know, I’m missing out
Despite seeing hundreds of concerts since this Phish/Santana show, the day still holds up as one of my best show-going experiences. Our crew completed an epic 24-hour round trip excursion off Nantucket Island to Great Woods and “back on island” early the following morning, and got to work on time. No sleep ‘til...
I never expected my Phish journey to take me to such amazing places both physically and spiritually so many times!
Thank you Phish!!!!