This is the second and last show at the Agora in Cleveland within a year and 57th of the tour. After seeing Phish open for Santana in the summer of í92 I asked my friends about who these guys were and the response I got was, ďIf you see them come around on their own, GO AND SEE THEM!Ē So my college roommates and I piled into the Chevy and went off to the Agora. I think the last time I was there I saw Testament open for Sepultura in í91. That shows you where I was at musically at the time. That metal mentality served me well as I worked my way right up to the front of the stage before show time. Since there are no mosh pits at Phish shows I had an unimpeded view of the band all night, especially Fishman. I am a drummer for the most part so this really floored me. If I reached out far enough I swear I could have grabbed his hi-hat stand, I was that close! What transpired there for the next three hours in front of my pie-eyes was the most enlightening and ridiculous musical thing Iíve ever seen. Iím sure most of you know what I mean. I just stood there, didnít eat, drink, pee, move or even talk to anyone. So here I am almost twenty years later getting ready to go back to Blossom this summer to see where it all began for me and also reliving one of my favorite moments in this life, 4-22-93 at the Agora!
Suzy is a pretty good opener tonight and there seems to be a pause in there during Pageís solo like they are still getting settled in with the monitors. Sparkle was average for this tour and Trey sounds a little off. This continues during Ice. Reba was good, maybe a few off spots, but well-done overall. Chalk Dust rocks as usual, but Trey is still a little off tonight. Esther also shows a few minor problems, but not too bad. The handclaps from the crowd are more apparent in this version of Stash than most of this tour and the jam is just great with a very dynamic ending. Sounds like Trey may have pulled himself out of tune a bit during an average Fee. They fade out and Trey breaks out Rift. This one still had timing problems in the middle, but I didnít know that at the time. Golgi was a good solid closer to this madness.
Llama rips open the second set in blistering fashion, and I remind you Iím right in front of Fish so this is sweet for a metal kid. Bouncing was ok, pretty average and it sounds like Trey screams ďRock out!Ē at the end. ATR was solid and I canít believe the different genres they have taken us through so far. Tweezer lays down the funk and had the slow down ending, which Trey eventually calls off, and starts the Lizards lick. Pretty decent Lizards overall and they just keep coming with heavy hitters. Then the Balls come out and I have lost all hope of understanding at this point. YEM also blew me away, including the Vibration of Life jam, the tramps, and the vocal jam! Who are these guys? Pen shows some bluegrass flavor late in the set. HYHU brings Fish out and I got to see Trey right in front of me on the kit for some great stage banter about Fishís theme song. Love You was funny and the drummer plays a vacuum too??? Tweeprise sums up the rocking second set nicely.
I didnít know it then, but AC/DC was still kind of rare at this point and this one was pretty good for the encore, not great. Then everyone gets shushed for Grace and I still canít believe the talent and the amount of different songs I heard out of the same band that night.
In the grand scheme of things, this tour, their career, this is an average show for the most part and as much as I would love to give five stars for my first real show, Iíve got to go with four.