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Link Monday, 05/03/1993
State Theatre, New Brunswick, NJ

Set 1: Buried Alive, Rift, Weigh > CDTChalk Dust Torture, Esther[1] > SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, Forbin'sColonel Forbin's Ascent > MockingbirdFly Famous Mockingbird -> Vibration of LifeThe Vibration of Life -> MockingbirdFly Famous Mockingbird, Possum, Lawn Boy > Cavern

Set 2: BagAC/DC Bag > CurtainThe Curtain > Tweezer -> Manteca -> Tweezer > Contact > It's Ice > McGruppMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Runaway Jim, BBJBig Ball Jam > HYHUHold Your Head Up > Love You > HYHUHold Your Head Up > Love You > HYHUHold Your Head Up, MSOMy Sweet One, TweepriseTweezer Reprise

Encore: Memories[2], Amazing Grace[2], Highway to Hell

[1] Random Note signal in intro.
[2] Without microphones.

Teases:
· Theme from Star Trek and New York, New York teases in Fly Famous Mockingbird
· Fly Famous Mockingbird tease in Possum
· I Feel the Earth Move tease in Tweezer
· Theme from Woody Woodpecker tease in Weigh
· Charge! tease in Big Ball Jam
· Blue Monk tease in Love You

Noteworthy Jams: Tweezer, Manteca, Tweezer

Average Song Gap: 7.39

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: This show is currently available on LivePhish.com with proceeds benefiting the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Weigh included a tease by Trey of the theme from Woody Woodpecker. The Esther intro contained a Random Note signal. The Mockingbird narration included the Vibration of Life and a teases of New York, New York and the theme from Star Trek from Page. The Possum intro contained a Mockingbird tease from Trey and Tweezer included I Feel the Earth Move teases. Big Ball Jam contained a "Charge!" tease from Page. Love You included a Blue Monk tease from Page and a Page-led HYHU sandwiched in the middle after Fish rambled on with crew introductions. Memories and Amazing Grace were performed without microphones.

Song Distribution:
5 A Picture of Nectar
4 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
3 Rift
3 Lawn Boy
2 Junta
1 Stash
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1993 Winter/Spring Tour."

, attached to 1993-05-03 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

The State Theater in New Brunswick is perhaps the nicest place I have ever seen the boys. Not nearly as funky as the Fox in Atlanta, it is the type of place you would expect see the Philharmonic, not a rock show. It made the Tower Theater we visited the night before look like a complete dump in comparison. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see how nice the place looked as I walked in with my Dad in tow.
It seemed my parents just couldn't fathom why I would travel to see so many shows by the same band ,so I invited my Dad to this show and he loved it! Needless to say, I did, too. It is still one of my favorites.
The "Tweezer"Ě was the first time I heard Phish really take a left turn from the structure of the song. They completely left the typical "Tweezer"Ě jam behind (they were in a groove of playing "typical"Ě "Tweezer"Ěs at the time) and forged ahead, landing in "Manteca"Ě before coming full circle back into "Tweezer"Ě. This may not be shocking to anybody now, but it completely blew my mind at the time, and I was already pretty well versed in things Phish.
While that was perhaps the musical highlight of the show, it was a far cry from my personal highlight. The real magic of this show was the moment the boys absolutely nailed the big "Baby's mouth"Ě harmony in "Curtain"Ě. It was so perfect and beautiful it sent chills down my spine. I turned to my Dad and he to me, both of us grinning ear-to-ear, and I could tell he had the chills, too. This is absolutely my favorite Phish moment, ever. Incomparable!
After the show, I asked him what he thought. He loved it! He recalled how caught up in Beatlemania he had been as a youngster, and said he completely understood my obsession. His one complaint: "they just shouldn't play one note over and over like that."Ě Upon further questioning I surmised that he was referring to the "Melt"Ě jam that featured Trey locking in on one repetitive pattern for a solid minute. He didn't like that!
Score: 7
DollarBill , attached to 1993-05-03 Permalink
DollarBill This is the only show at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, 66th of the tour and better than the last two shows Iíve heard. Very average performance for most of the songs, but more behaved and reserved tonight. The recording was an audience, which left a little to be desired, but Iím always glad to hear something. I didnít hear any real sound problems for Paul and Pete tonight either.

To open up the show Page and Fish kind of fade in on a good Buried Alive. Rift is better in the timing, but still not automatic yet. I always love hearing Weigh. Itís one of my favorite Mike tunes and this one is pretty average for this tour, so was Chalk Dust. Esther gets the official random note signal at the top and proceeded to be good to average playing wise. The rocking Melt had a few off spots, but nothing to glaring. I love Forbinís with its accompanying story, a Vibration of Life segment, and spotty Mockingbird to follow. All were, again, pretty average for this tour. Possum rocked and had a few off spots, but nothing too bad. Lawn Boy actually had a Page solo tonight, not bad, not great. Trey actually seemed to remember most of Cavernís lyrics tonight, and it was pretty well played to close up this average first set.

AC/DC has recently been brought back into the fold and this one was good, not great. The Curtain had a couple spots that couldíve been better, but overall well played. Tweezer was a little loose at times and then we have a mini bust-out with a full on Manteca! After the Tweezer jam Mike goes right into a mid-set Contact? Theyíve done this recently and this one was ok. Ice was also average and had a few rough spots along the way. Hey a McGrupp! This one is a little more rare and it shows as Trey forgets the Page solo section and moves to the end part making this one kind of awkward. In fact Trey doesnít even wait for the last note as he plunges into an average Jim. Then the Balls come outÖ HYHU brings Fish out for band introductions and a funny Love You. He gets back on the drums for a super fast My Sweet One, which was almost too fast for the others to keep up with. The expected Tweeprise rocks the closer spot tonight to sum up a good, but again average set.

Another mini bust-out tonight with Memories, as the crowd gets shushed for two barbershop style songs, Grace being the second. They were both fine. The recently added Highway to Hell rocks out the encore spot, and this one is not perfect by any means, but who cares at this point?

Definitely better than the two previous shows, but not the best Iíve ever heard. As we all know, an average performance from these guys is still great so Iím going with four stars.
Score: 3
andhen2003 , attached to 1993-05-03 Permalink
YES! I'm so psyched I found this review. I just saw Phish for the first time in more than 10 years, so I thought I'd look up some of the shows I saw many moons ago. This was my favorite. My girlfriend at the time worked at the State Theater box office and got me a ticket third row center. Seeing the setlist brings back great memories. Thanks guys!

Andrew
Score: 1
beach , attached to 1993-05-03 Permalink
beach This is a very solid Spring '93 show. Compared to the two prior shows, the playing is much improved. The setlist is a knockout.

The Tweezer in the second set is a must hear. For me it's one of the best '93 versions. In fact, up to this point in '93, I think it comes in second place only to the madness that is 2/20 Roxy Theater.
Score: 1
AHolla , attached to 1993-05-03 Permalink
I originally wrote this review three years ago, on the 20th anniversary of my first show. I wrote it for friends, but have decided to share it here because the show means so much to me. Here it is:

It was twenty years ago today.

Nope- not a Sgt. Pepper reference. Twenty years ago today was my first Phish show. The It was twenty years ago today.

Nope- not a Sgt. Pepper reference. Twenty years ago today was my first Phish show. The State Theater- New Brunswick, NJ. The night that changed my life. Iíve been reflecting on this a lot this week- how much of my time, resources and devotion has been spent seeing, supporting, and most importantly- listening to this band. Itís fair to say that my relationship with Phish is a defining part of my life, for better and (infrequently but it does happen) worse. My brother has said to me at times that some of our favorite memories are around Phish, and I couldn't agree more.

It was my senior year of high school. I had been listening to Phish for the better part of a year before this show, but it was only a few months removed from me learning of their extensive touring, and that they allowed and encouraged fans to tape and trade shows. I was not really into the Grateful Dead at this point, so this concept was foreign to me. Sometime around February of 1993 Lloyd (great man then, great man now) gave me my first tape- July 21, 1991 Set II (Arrowhead Ranch with the Giant Country Horns). This tape- roughly 70 minutes of music impacted me deeply. I heard a band that was having fun, and a band that was doing things to their own music that I didn't think bands would do. I wore out this tape and acquired others, each time knowing this was a band that I needed to see- and soon.

We scoured for the tour schedule (no one had the internet yet or really knew what it was), and found a show that we could go to- Monday night, May 3 in New Jersey. Thank goodness for being a senior in high school with good grades who already had gotten into college. Thank goodness tickets were $17 and not sold out three weeks before the show. Thank goodness Lloyd had a car. Thank goodness that we left early enough to get lost once but still make it there in plenty of time for the show.

A Phish show is not just about the show- itís about getting there. Itís almost like youíre traveling to a secret that those who know, know. If I mention Phish to people who donít listen to them, I get some stock answers, like- ďOh- aren't they a drug band?Ē or people make assumptions about me and my lifestyle. Iím not going to deny that there can be (and increasingly more through the years) some shady activities and characters at Phish shows, but if you define your experience and your attitude just based on that, youíre missing out.

On May 3, 1993 all I wanted to do was hear my favorite band play music.

Going to the show in Lloydís car was myself, Darren, and Andy F. Andy F. didn't have a ticket, but got the last one at the box office and ended up with some ridiculous orchestra seat. Lloyd, Darren, and myself were sitting in the balcony, a few rows up. The State Theater remains the smallest venue Iíve seen Phish in, but when itís your first show itís still the biggest.

Another thing about Phish shows is that they bring people together. I have had more random run-ins at Phish shows than anywhere else. Sometimes I donít learn about these run-ins until months or years later. On this night Mike - one of my closest friends from a college I had not yet started was also at his first show. Mike gave me for my wedding an amazing gift- a framed ticket stub from the show (I stupidly lost mine).

I had spent a lot of time trying to imagine what the stage would be like. I also did not know which band member was which. In May 1993 they had four albums out- Junta, Lawn Boy, A Picture of Nectar and Rift. The problem was that although the liner notes had pictures, none of them said who in the band was who. My first surprise of the evening was learning that they didn't have the traditional band staging- that they were lined up in a horizontal row- from left to right: keyboards, guitar, bass, drums. The first of many things learned that night.

Before the show began I saw a taper setting up a microphone rig at the front of the balcony. I eagerly approached him and asked if I sent him tapes later on if he would send me a copy of the show. He said yes. He did follow through too. Tapers are generally an incredibly honorable group.

Then the lights went out.

I wonít do a song by song detail of the show, though I encourage you to listen to it. Phish just released the show as part of their Live Phish series at livephish.com, with proceeds from the sale going to support Sandy relief efforts in New Jersey. Here is what I have to say about the show:
ē Everyone says that their first show was amazing, and mine was no different.
ē The only two songs I did not know were the first one (Buried Alive) and one in the second set (McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters).
ē The lights!
ē Trey! (I play guitar and worship him.)
ē The narration in the first set where they told us they flipped the building and took us to Gamehenge. Phish (and especially Trey) are expert storytellers, and they know how to keep a crowd rapt with anticipation.
ē Ending the second set with Cavern, which was my favorite song at the time. I did not have any live tapes with Cavern and was not sure that they played that song in concert. The balcony shook during the chorus, and I was as happy as I could be at a Phish show.
ē In the second set, Tweezer with an ďI Feel the Earth MoveĒ jam that went into Manteca and then back into Tweezer.
ē Fishman!
ē The first two songs of the encore- completely a cappella; no microphones. Everyone got quiet and was able to hear the band.
ē The closing song of the encore- Highway to Hell!

The music was amazing. The band was tight and could turn on a dime. They explored, they jammed, they had fun- and thus, so did I. I didn't want it to end.

After that show, things were different. Some people have life changing moments happen instantly. Mine happened over the course of three hours, but it happened. I needed to see more of this band. I bought a t-shirt (which is lost- the one of caricatures of the band on the back with Page holding a pitch pipe). I cursed that I wasn't going to be able to make their summer shows. I waited anxiously for tapes of the show so I could relive the night.

I've gotten so used to instant gratification in the internet age. The last Phish show I saw was on December 30th at MSG. It was up online, available for download by the time I got home. Back in 1993 if you wanted a show, you had to send someone tapes in the mail (Maxwell XLIIs with the MaxPoints with a SASE), and hope that they would send the tapes back. When you copied tapes, no high-speed dubbing. Label things correctly. Treat these tapes as historical documents- show them respect and dignity so that when our ashes are dug up in a thousand years they will know that on the Gregorian calendarís date of May 3, 1993 a kick ass rock-and roll show was played.

I could write a lot more about Phish, the music, and myself. But I canít right now. Iím older, have more responsibilities, and it becomes harder and harder to work Phish in to my life. Donít get me wrong- theyíre my favorite band, and as long as I think theyíre making the best music of anyone out there, I will still see them and listen to them; itís just harder now. But today I've got the memory of a lifetime- Iím going to listen to my first show, and remember what started it all.
Score: 1

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