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Link Friday, 06/17/1994
Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI

Soundcheck: Nellie Kane, Instrumental Jam > The Wedge, Funky Bitch

Set 1: Runaway Jim[1], Foam, Glide, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, If I Could, PYITEPunch You In the Eye > GinBathtub Gin, SOAMuleScent of a Mule, Cavern

Set 2: 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra[1] > SampleSample in a Jar, Poor Heart[1] > Mike'sMike's Song[1] -> Simple[1] -> Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, Harpua -> Kung -> Harpua[1], Sparkle > BBJBig Ball Jam > Julius > Frankenstein

Encore: Sleeping Monkey > Rocky Top

[1] O.J. reference.

Teases:
· Theme from Mission: Impossible tease in Mike's Song
· Simple quote in I Am Hydrogen
· Nellie Kane tease in Weekapaug Groove
· Simple and Voodoo Child (Slight Return) quotes in Harpua

Noteworthy Jams: Split Open and Melt, Bathtub Gin, Mike's Song (highly recommended), Simple, Mike's Song (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 5.81

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

Notes: This is the infamous “O.J. Show,” played on the night of O.J. Simpson’s Bronco chase. 2001, Mike’s, Jim, Simple, Poor Heart, and Harpua all included references to O.J. Mike’s Song also included a Mission: Impossible theme tease and Hydrogen included Simple quotes. Weekapaug contained a Nellie Kane tease from Mike. Harpua included a Simple quote and Voodoo Child tease.

Song Distribution:
4 Stash
4 Hoist
3 A Picture of Nectar
2 Lawn Boy
1 Rift
1 Junta

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1994 Summer Tour."

waxbanks , attached to 1994-06-17 Permalink
waxbanks The first set is fine mid-'94 stuff, sure, but every Phish fan needs to hear the second set, which peaks with an extraordinary Mike's, embryonic Simple, gorgeous H2, and manic energy powering every note. The O.J. hijinks are priceless. 'WILL HE MAKE IT?!' Weird that such a dark event prompted such a ecstatic night of music, but that's Phish for you: before 1997ish they were a relentlessly *sunny* band, as this show demonstrates. Give it a listen; grab 6/22/94 for dessert!
Score: 8
bouncin7 , attached to 1994-06-17 Permalink
bouncin7 PHISH witnessed fans in the first several rows dropping like flies from heat exhaustion during the craziness of set II. Mostly girls. One of them to drop was my friend's girlfriend. I mean literally just dropped to the ground and TREY kept jamming. I don't know how PHISH coped with the heat that night and witnessing their own fans face down dropping. I assume PHISH had AC blowing at them somehow? How did they cope with the heat? If it was 107 at Deercreek 6/28/12, it must have been 117 the night of 6/17/94. To say it was like an oven would be an understatement. But here is the catch, no matter how hot it got in there that night, PHISH was hotter. I was front row. The energy they were putting out was one word - one word - SUPERNATURAL HEAT! I was awe inspired then just as I am now listening back to the SBD. Electric. Inspired. Excited. Determined. Mindbending. That is how I would describe them on stage that night - just raging and laughing ear to ear at Eagles Ballroom. It's not a big room Eagles Ballroom. Think of a big ballroom. Capacity is 1,500 in there. I think there were easily 1,700. A hot summer night in Milwaukee made hotter by The Phish packed and sweaty and the legendary OJ Simpson and his nasty deadly behavior. Frankenstein is right! Magical is PHISH. Harpua!
Score: 6
TwiceBitten , attached to 1994-06-17 Permalink
TwiceBitten Simply put, this is one of the most fun filled Phish shows out there. Don't pass up the first set as it contains a great SOAMelt and cacophonous Bathtub Gin. The real meat is in the second set, and while the O.J. stuff is funny, the funniest stuff to me is in Trey's narration during this extra long Harpua, which features a Hendrix jam. He just really lays the whole story out and is clearly having a great time just talking to the crowd. The song part of Harpua is particularly menacing to boot. The Mike's Groove is totally crazed and features Simple weaving it's way in and out, even during Hydrogen. None of the jams get super far out there, but the boys don't let up and deliver a set for the ages. Set II is available in soundboard and sounds fantastic. Fantastic all around really.
Score: 1
jimbob420 , attached to 1994-06-17 Permalink
This was probably my favorite show ever. After sneaking in and spending about 90 minutes hiding in a stairwell before sneaking through a set of double doors to get into the venue, this was a show I will never ever forget!!!!
From the completely random OJ references (which nobody in the audience knew what was going on at the time), to the great set list and encore, to the condensation pouring down from the ceilings in the restroom during intermission. This was truly an awesome show.
Score: 1
n00b100 , attached to 1994-06-17 Permalink
n00b100 I wrote out and deleted three different drafts of this review before settling on this one - it's almost like Phish's version of Last Year at Marienbad or Gravity's Rainbow, in that it defies any sort of reasoned critique in a way that I'm not sure any other legendary show does. I mean, if you step back and look at it from a subjective standpoint, it's a show that's constructed much more like a 92-93 show in its setlist and doesn't get anywhere as knotty and insanely deep as you'd expect from a 1994 show (compare to 7/16, or anything in the fall, or the Bangor/Bozeman/Bomb Factory/Big Birch Tweezerfests), is inextricably tied to a historical event that could age the show in a way other shows aren't, and (much like 7/21/13 II, which I don't think *anyone* likes nearly as much as this show) boasts a Harpua as its longest jam. You might see a show like this and think to yourself "yeah, they played about 15-20 shows like this in the early '90s", and then move on.

And yet here I am, talking about a show that's probably more beloved than any of the Tweezerfests I mentioned, a show sporting one of the healthiest ratings on .net, and a show that people still talk about fondly to this day. When people talk about 1994 as one of Phish's great years, they are most assuredly including this show in that opinion. It's a classic show, it always has been, and it always will be.

The main reason for this? It's so damn *fun*. I mean, it's one thing to read the reviews about how upbeat and energetic this show is, but it's another thing to *hear* the show, the snarky OJ references already populating the 2001, the wild first draft of Simple that leaks into IAH, and the melodic firepower of both Mike's and Weekapaug (to say nothing of the Gamehendge-inflected Harpua), and be amazed at how much power the band put into their performances back then, before they properly harnessed it in 1995 and then dispersed it in new and exciting ways in 1997. There's still a lot of early 90s in this show (particularly Gamehendge), but with even more skill and ability than even a year ago, as the band were continuing to mature on stage. Once you get past the OJ stuff, that's what really remains - a band having as much fun as they ever had on stage, while showing just how far they'd come in such a short period of time. I'd say that makes this show worthy of its reputation.

Also, try not to laugh at "Run, OJ, run!"
Score: 1
montaigne , attached to 1994-06-17 Permalink
My 1st show. It was so hot in this little venue, two of my five friends passed out from heat exhaustion.
I must have been taking care of one of them during the second set- I did not see the big ball jam.

Oh yeah- why are these guys talking about OJ?
LOL!
Fun stuff.
Score: 0

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