Roxy Theatre, Atlanta, GA
Set 2: Wilson > Reba > Tweezer -> Walk Away -> Tweezer > Glide > Mike'sMike's Song -> MMGAMOIOMy Mind's Got a Mind of its Own -> Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen -> Vibration of LifeThe Vibration of Life -> Kung -> HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove -> Have Mercy -> WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove -> Rock and Roll All Nite Jam -> WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, FEFYFast Enough for You > BBJBig Ball Jam > HYHUHold Your Head Up > Terrapin > HYHUHold Your Head Up -> HoodHarry Hood, TweepriseTweezer Reprise
Encore: Sleeping Monkey
 Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Simpsons signal and, towards the end, a freakish jam that included an Iron Man tease from Mike.
 Woody Woodpecker theme tease.
 Low Rider jam and Straight From the Sewer quotes from Trey.
 Tweezer teases.
 Minor lyric changes, three different Tweezer teases, two different Wilson teases, and other teases of Reba, Lizards, and Stash.
 Not played in its entirety.
 Entrance of the Gladiators tease from Mike.
 NO2 quote from Mike.
 Chorus sung by Jay von Lehe.
 Band intros and lots of chatter from Fish, prompting a hurry-up HYHU tease from Page.
Notes: The Horse featured Trey on acoustic guitar. This long version of Wilson included a Simpsons signal and, towards the end, a freakish jam that included an Iron Man tease from Mike. Reba included a tease of the theme from Woody Woodpecker. Tweezer had a Low Rider jam and Straight Out the Sewer quotes from Trey. Glide subsequently included Tweezer teases. Mike’s Song featured minor lyric changes, three different Tweezer teases, two different Wilson teases, and other teases of Reba, Lizards, and Stash. During Hydrogen before the Vibration of Life, Mike teased Entrance of the Gladiators. After Kung, Mike quoted NO2. The Rock and Roll All Nite jam was for fan Jay von Lehe, dressed as Kiss’ Gene Simmons, who the band brought on stage to sing the song’s chorus. Terrapin featured band intros and lots of chatter from Fish, prompting a hurry-up HYHU tease from Page. Fish also performed a lengthy vacuum solo during this tune. The HYHU outro segued into Hood as Fish and Trey switched places. Neither Have Mercy (first since Halloween, 1986, or 668 shows) nor MMGAMOIO were played in their entirety. Walk Away was played for the first time since November 2, 1991 (159 shows). This show was released as part of the Phish At The Roxy box set.
This show was part of the "1993 Winter/Spring Tour."
No review can do justice to this experience, but I'll try. It was my 22nd birthday, and the night of the first Phish.Net gathering, so the atmosphere for me was particularly giddy. But anyone there at the time would have been thrown by the relentless spontaneity.
The second set of this show is routinely listed among "must have"
recordings. There was magic in the air starting with the first set the previous night. But mere minutes into this set, it was clear that things were going a step higher. It is perhaps the most debated of Phish setlists, with so many overlays and reprises that any two fans probably list it differently. For its time, the twists and turns were religious. A cadre of diehards, front and center, scrambled with pens and scratched their heads trying to keep track of the setlist. One Matt Laurence ultimately gave a blank stare and tossed his paper into the air.
The show so stood out from others of its time that its popularity inflated its status for many years to follow. (The availability of high-quality soundboards furthered both the popularity and the status.) In retrospect, the improvisation was relatively tame, and the energy (as conveyed on tape) was higher at other shows of the same era.
Granted, many aspects of Phish shows (and life generally) are impossible to record. But the site of Fishman naked, or the band exploding a drumkit, are imaginable. For anyone who has seen Phish in recent years, the mystique of restless song shifts is probably more confounding than compelling. But for anyone who was there that night, or who saw shows or has heard tapes from that era, the flow is laudable. It wasn't the best Phish show ever, but itwas one of the best ones to experience - a beautiful buzz.
You can skip the first set without regret, but if you fall in the middle of the TMBG/Ween/Phish fandom Venn diagram, Set II is pure uncut musical cocaine. This one's in line with later experiments like 5/7/94 II (the essential Bomb Factory Tweezerfest), though the breadth-to-depth ratio is at the high end here, so caveat emptor. It's an official release, but high-quality SBD recordings have circulated for 16 years and should still be readily available.
anyway, the first set here is very well-played, but it is nothing out of the ordinary for 1993. weigh and sloth are nice treats. foam is very sharp, and trey is right on in possum, fluff head, and the divided sky. the real fireworks start in the first set. this is a particularly strange version of wilson. after a some what disjointed/hard rock type jam they dive into reba. this is a really nice exploratory reba, but it is merely a precursor to the mayhem to come. this tweezer is not the longest in the world, but it sure does rock. fishman is really funky. it also includes a nifty little "straight from the sewer rap." this quick, focused jam quickly turns into walk away. after page belts out a killer walk away, they drive right back into tweezer. this is my favorite glide. they dip some major tweezer teases all over this one. then they cranked up the mother of all wild mike's songs. i love the tweezer bass line in the intro to this mike's. most of the phish songs teased in here are listed above, but they way they weave it all together is genious. finally, they give you a nice breathe of fresh air with a hydrogen>vibration>kung>hydrogen run. this finally builds up to a killer weekapaugh that dives through have mercy and rock and roll all night before dipping into fefy. this song usually doesnt do it for me, but it fits really well after all that mayham. the rest of this set is pretty standard fare. the hood is good, but compared to what they had already played in this set...
great show. if you don't have it or have not heard it, you have no idea how good phish really is.
Golgi, Foam and Sloth are well played. Possum is a wank fest and has a little feedback towards the end while the sound gets settled in. Weigh had great energy tonight, right into a well played ATR. Divided had some more feedback and a few tentative spots in the ending jam. Multiple thank you's followed. The Horse was ok with minimal feedback. Silent still has its troubles getting Fishman in on the right beat. Fluff was much better than the last one I heard, still a few spots here and there. Cavern makes for a good closer for a solid first set.
Wilson is spirited and starts the real foolishness of the night. Mike seems to miss a spot in the middle. Maybe this sets off the teases? The first three minutes of Reba are good, and then some rough parts, a reasonably well played middle, a rocking solo section and an inexplicable ending. Weird, at best. Tweezer is sloppy, but funky, and really starts the song sandwich out. Walk Away was well played. Glide was strange, but ok. Mike's is really sloppy, all the while making fun of Mike that it's his song. Blah, blah, blah...tease, tease, tease... Kung is well done! Trey is out of tune for Hydrogen. Weekapaug is another mess. Huge bust out with Have Mercy. FEFY was pretty well played after all that madness. The balls come out. Terrapin is long and it’s funny that Page teases HYHU to get him moving. Hood is pretty good, although Trey still seems to be out of tune, maybe because his guitar got cold while he was on drums? Tweeprise is expected as this circus comes to a close for the night.
Monkey is another mini bust out and has a few rusty spots in it. Otherwise, it’s a great way to send everyone home for the evening.
You can't stop the energy of this show, but having said that, it is a really sloppy second set. Some good moments, and some not so good to my ears. I was very tempted to give this three stars for all the screwing around. I'm sure if I was there, I would have nothing but fond memories.
Set 2 is truly bizarre. It starts out strong: Wilson is infused with extra enthusiasm (Trey SCREAMS some of the lyrics), and there is a great sequence of psychedelic silliness before the BLAT BOOM. I like the transition into Reba, and the Reba solo is one of my favorites for the pliable interplay between band members. Tweezer -> Walk Away -> Tweezer is also quite memorable: while the transitions are good, more than anything it won't be easy to forget the atypical “straight from the sewer” rap. The ensuing Tweezer-infused Glide works well as one of those early-'90s “woah, are they really... really?” moments.
At this point in the show, it's clear that the band is in an especially playful mood... Still, it would be hard to predict what comes next. I must say that I really don't like the Mike's Song segue-fest. The Vibration Of Life / Kung / N2O mishmash is pretty cool (the audience sounds eerily silent during the “STAND UP!” segment). However, the majority of the Mike's Groove (up to FEFY) is a derailed train that the band mercilessly drives deep into the ground. Many of you will disagree with me or present reasons that this sequence is great despite the sloppiness (or perhaps FOR the sloppiness), which is fine. It just doesn't do it for me. To my ears, Mike and especially Page have a very hard time following Trey's sharp and discordant changes. I'm glad that the band got this out of their system early on.
Every serious fan ought to listen to this show, if only because the first half of the second set is quite strong, and the Mike's Groove exemplifies a kind of outlandish abandon that is rare for this band. You might like it... apparently a lot of people do.