Soundcheck: Crossroads, Shaggy Dog, Funky Bitch
Set 2: BowieDavid Bowie -> Jessica Jam -> BowieDavid Bowie -> Have Mercy -> BowieDavid Bowie, HorseThe Horse > SilentSilent in the Morning > It's Ice > CoilThe Squirming Coil -> Jam -> BBJBig Ball Jam > Mike'sMike's Song -> Crossroads -> Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, Amazing Grace > Amazing Grace Jam
 Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Simpsons signal.
 Random Note, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, Get Back signals.
 Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Phish debut.
Average Song Gap: 6.28
Notes: The beginning of My Friend and all of The Horse featured Trey on acoustic guitar. The intro to Bowie included Simpsons, Random Note, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, and Get Back signals and an Amazing Grace tease from Mike. The breakdown in It’s Ice included a tease of one of the guitar lines from Discipline (King Crimson) and a Manteca tease. Crossroads made its Phish debut at this show. Weekapaug contained an Amazing Grace tease from Page and was unfinished. The Amazing Grace Jam was played to a Weekapaug-esque drumbeat.
Songs by Debut Year:
This was my first Phish show: I was a virgin in this culture and by the end of the night I would be hooked for life. It was the spring 1993 tour closer and I couldn’t have asked for a better show. One of my favorites, “Chalk Dust”, opened up the gig and set the twenty-five hundred-plus crowd dancin'. They played a variety of classics right after, including “Guelah”, “Rift”, “Mound”, and “Stash”, but this was not your normal “Stash”. This version started off quite energetically and continued to get even better due to Trey and Fishman’s timely playing. Then they slowed down the jam a bit and started singing the ole’ “Kung” chant. Trey and Mike started singing into the microphone a bit as the ending riff came back to complete the “Stash-> Kung->Stash” sandwich. “Glide” was next, which is now considered somewhat of a rarity. Then Trey pulled out his Martin acoustic to play the intro to “My Friend, My Friend”, which included great drum work from Fishman. After that they got the crowd hopping again with “Reba”, then a very rare Duke Ellington cover called “Satin Doll”, which they played for the whole crew. Trey actually named them all, prior to closing out a great first set with “Cavern”.
The second set had a few treats to say the least. One of my favorites at the time (and now) opened the second set, “David Bowie”. The intro had a couple of secret language cues, the Simpsons signal as well as the “sing a random note” signal. Then out of nowhere the whole band starts jamming on “Jessica” by the Allmans! It never really took off completely but it was clear that the band was having some fun. This “Bowie” goes through a very hypnotic and heavy hard-rock jam to start things off, before it lightens up and fades melodiously into “Have Mercy” and then back into “David Bowie”, completing another fantastic segue sandwich!
A couple of delights came after including an acoustic intro to “Horse”, a great “It’s Ice” and “Squirming Coil”. Then, just as the “Coil” solo ended, the band started to take off in a random jam that got everyone grooving for the Big Balls to come out, as the jam segued in to “Big Ball Jam”.
The crowd was quite adept at getting the three shots, and as they finished the “BBJ” Trey broke into “Mike’s Song”. In my opinion this is a legendary “Mike’s Song”. The energy that poured out of this “Mike’s” was uncanny. Page was happy to be using his new Hammond organ, as was evident from his inspired playing in this “Mike’s”. In the midst of it all, Trey led his three comrades into the old Robert Johnson (more recently Cream/Clapton) cover, “Crossroads”. It was the first time they ever played this one, and they did a pretty good job of it. This segued back into “Mike’s”, thus completing the third segue sandwich of the night, and the rest of the Groove (“Hydrogen” and “Weekapaug”) followed. The “Weekapaug” was followed by “Amazing Grace”, which then led right into an “Amazing Grace Jam”, with the band playing “Grace” with instrumental accompaniment and thanking the crowd for supporting them and for coming to this, the tour closer. The encore, “AC/DC Bag”, was simple but left everyone with a smile on their face. It had only recently come out of hibernation earlier that spring in Atlanta. Although this was my first show, it still remains one of my favorites and a classic Phish performance that all should hear.
The show was awesome for me personally even tho I remember the acoustics being pretty crappy they figured it out after a couple of songs. Since I had just gotten into PH!SH I didn't know any of the songs but really liked what I had heard and then crossroads was played. I knew that and it was among the first of my many epiphanies about PH!SH. Yes, they may play cover tunes but they make them their own and almost always improve on the org song. The AC/DC encore became my favorite live song till I heard Sanity a few years later.
After the show, the friend of the friend wasn't very happy when we arrived on his doorstep with six people. After some commerce between us, he relented and I slept on a strip of carpet in the kitchen. Good times.
The setlist notes do not do justice to this version of David Bowie: You must hear this performance. This show is certainly a worthy Live Phish release, and Kevin Shapiro has also featured the versions of Coil->Jam and Mike's Groove->Amazing Grace on FTA shows.
Chalk Dust opens up the show in a rocking fashion and was well played and so was Guelah. Rift is still loose in the timing from Fishman; they are not locked in yet. Mound also had some problems with Fish’s drumming and was just ok to me. Stash had some rough spots from Mike and Trey, but had a good jam in the middle, then inexplicably it goes into KUNG! Not sure why, but who cares? Glide was pretty good. My Friend had some off spots in the intro, but the song itself was good. Reba was also good for the most part, no real problems along the way. Trey thanks the crew then Page leads them through the last performance of Satin Doll. Cavern makes for a good closer to this average first set.
Ok, now it seems a few people here think this Bowie is special, but I thought it kind of sucked. First of all, I wouldn’t call it a Jessica jam; it’s just a lot of teasing mostly by Page. There was a lot of screwing around and signals and the actual Bowie song was sloppy, disjointed and all over the place. I believe the proof is in the Have Mercy part, which I feel the band only plays when they screw up. Of course that’s just my opinion. Trey picks up the acoustic again for an ok Horse. Silent was ok, but had some rough spots and I think I even heard bad notes from Page! Ice was also a bit off from Trey’s part and the middle jam was weird. Coil also suffered from bad notes and sloppiness and the ending jam was kind of weird. Then the Balls come out… Mike’s was good and rocking, then the jam turned into Crossroads, after last night’s Harpua had a rough version of it. Hydrogen was ok, and then the top of Weekapaug got cut off from an old edit of some sort. Then the jam turns into a ridiculous Amazing Grace jam? The whole thing was sloppy and not that much fun to hear. I guess you had to be there right? Anyway, it was a weird way to close up the tour for my ears.
AC/DC Bag is the lone encore tonight and was pretty well played.
Sorry folks, but to me there is no way in hell that this is a four star show. I wish I could say better things about this one, but I can’t