Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY
Set 1: Frankenstein, Sparkle > Simple > DividedDivided Sky, Harpua -> Vibration of LifeThe Vibration of Life -> Harpua, Julius > HorseThe Horse > SilentSilent in the Morning > Reba, GolgiGolgi Apparatus
Set 2: Back in the U.S.S.R. > Dear Prudence, Glass Onion > Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Wild Honey Pie, The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, WMGGWWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Martha My Dear, I'm So Tired, Blackbird, Piggies, Rocky Raccoon > Don't Pass Me By, Why Don't We Do It in the Road?, I Will, Julia, Birthday, Yer Blues, Mother Nature's Son, Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey, Sexy Sadie, Helter Skelter, Long Long Long, Revolution 1, Honey Pie, Savoy Truffle, Cry Baby Cry -> Revolution 9
 Wilson tease and quote.
 Vibration of Death; War Pigs sung; Theme from Barney & Friends quote from Trey. "The Vibration of Death is gone" replaced the usual "The storm is gone."
 Phish debut.
 Phish debut; instrumental.
 Phish debut. Fishman on vacuum.
 Phish debut. He Ent to the Bog was played on a tape in the background. Fishman on vacuum.
 Gilligan's Island theme tease from Mike.
 Stash tease from Trey in intro.
 "Charge!" tease from Page.
Notes: Harpua included the Vibrations of Life and Death. Jimmy decided to put on his favorite album Barney's Greatest Hits, but turned his turntable on the wrong way and started playing it backwards. Fishman then proceeded to sing a verse of War Pigs. Trey subsequently quoted I Love You (a.k.a. the theme to Barney & Friends) before Harpua resumed. Poster was swallowed up into the earth by the Vibration of Death. "The Vibration of Death is gone" replaced the usual "The storm is gone." Prior to the Vibration of Life, Wilson was teased and quoted. A Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon tease (the heartbeats from Speak to Me) was pumped through the P.A. at the beginning of the second set. The second set "musical costume" was The Beatles' The Beatles (also known as The White Album). All of the White Album songs, other than Piggies, were Phish debuts, although Ob La Di, Ob La Da had been jammed or teased on many occasions. Piggies was played for the first time since 11/14/85 (874 shows). HYHU was teased prior to Why Don't We Do It in the Road. Birthday wasn’t sung; Page and Mike noodled a bit while Fishman presented a birthday cake to Brad Sands, who accepted it while wearing a Fishman dress. Cry Baby Cry ended with Fishman on vacuum with Revolution 9 segueing out of the vacuum solo. The background tape playing along with Revolution 9 was Mike’s composition He Ent to the Bog from Phish’s White Tape. The song ended with Fishman stark naked and running around while the band blew bubbles and waved. Good Night was taped from the album and closed the second set. The third set began with a Custard Pie tease, while Bowie contained a Gilligan's Island theme tease from Mike and Antelope's intro contained a Stash tease from Trey. The Costume Contest contained a "Charge!" tease from Page. This show was officially released as Live Phish 13. The soundcheck's Jam was released as an iTunes bonus track called "Glen Falls Soundcheck Jam" and contained a Frankenstein tease from Mike and a May The Force Be With You (The Force Theme from Star Wars) tease from Trey.
This show was part of the "1994 Fall Tour."
Set I: Frankenstein is not a creative selection, but nonetheless, comes nothing short of opening prowess. Great way to set the tone of the night - good rock n roll fun. Sparkle is one of those songs that strays from its format, but always is great fun. Thus, continuing the tone of the night. Standard, but good stuff. Simple sounds really sounds a lot heavier, if you will. Maybe a little sped up too. Once again, fun song and somewhat standard. This Divided Sky really transcends how Phish goes about with the beautiful tempo and volume relationship. What would be a Halloween typical, it really warms up the guys and is a nice change in pace. Again, this song isn't too much of a jam song, but it really feels like one in this version. And then Harpua happened. Halloween vibe manifestation! Great story alterations. The Vibration of Life is it? or is death? Harpua's always awesome, so I'll move on. Julius is standard. The Horse > SITM is standard as well. It's always a good combo, but I feel as though this one is not as good as most due to it being placed after Julius. Jerk of vibe you could say. AND THEN REBA HAPPENED! After the standard set of songs, this one is much more then refreshing. It also is not a premonition of great things. This concert could have been done after Reba. In fact, it Reba were the only song for the whole show, people would not be too disappointed. Well maybe a little exaggeration, but this the best Reba I've had the privilege to enjoy. Surrender to the flow with this one. Golgi brings us back down to earth with some realistic rock, if you will. Not to compare in a bad way, but Reba was extraterrestrial in auditory bliss. Golgi is Golgi.
Highlights: Reba, Divided Sky, Harpua -> The Vibration of Life -> Harpua
Set II and Set III: The White Album is a genius album, but wouldn't it be a little too slow paced for a Phish Halloween show? The answer is NO! This part's a tic to review, but what I can say most confidently is that this was an extremely fun, high energy cover. The White Album, in my opinion, is not one album that should be considered being covered. It is so distinct, so exploratory, so diverse. It requires to be played with great ambition. The one band that could have a chance to make it an energized crowd pleaser live would be Phish. And guess what? Phish nails it directly on the head. Covers should not be note for note renditions, especially in the case of this album. Phish plays this album with an upbeat, electric pep that is played for the majority of their originals. Let me say that compared to the Phish cover, The White Album seems lethargic and run-on. In my opinion, this is the best Halloween cover to this date.
Highlights: Dear Prudence, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Rocky Raccoon, Helter Skelter, Revolution 9
Set IV: Opening with a 13 minute rendition of David Bowie, this set does not let up. With 3 hours of music already played, it's a wonder that the guys played arguable the best original music they had played all year up until that point. David Bowie is fantastic and feels like a great transition from the costume back to the original stuff. Mike gets funky in this one. Bouncing Around the Room is one of the standard un-jammed songs, but I'm sure gives the guy a much needed slow song. Slave is one of the best versions I have ever heard. Any version of this song brings pure bliss to the listener, but this one is a gradually building masterpiece that almost steals the show from Reba. Rift is next, and really didn't appeal to me all too much because I was still in disbelief of the Slave. Maybe it wasn't that it appealed to me, but it really wasn't the foremost thing going on in my head. Sleeping Monkey is another slow one (3 in a row), but I have no problem with that. It's a really nice version as it is most of the time. The only problem I can think of is how less drawn out Page's organ sounds than other live versions after Fish's solo. Alas, not perfect, but pretty darn good. Poor Heart picks up the energy again. Great Phish bluegrass to get you pumped for what's to come. Antelope is one of the monsters played in this show that can be listed as one of the greats. Not Type II jamming, yet it's so solid that I cannot find any missed notes. Those versions are quite underrated.
Highlights: David Bowie, Slave, Antelope
Encore: After 2 minutes of zealous cheering, fans were rewarded with a singing of Amazing Grace. I really don't know how to review that, but it is a small treat. Then the finalists of the costume contests are presented. I won't review this musically. It is pretty valuable groovin' though. The Squirming Coil rarely disappoints. Everything is standard until the awe-inspiring piano solo from Page to close out the show. Amazing finish to an amazing show.
Overall: If you're a newbie to Halloween shows, this is what you should start with. It's one of my favorite Phish shows overall and has a great costume. It's over 4 hours of good old fun for Icculus' sake! Wowzers! If you've been listening to these costumes for a long time, I still suggest you to re-listen. Musical genius is subtle at times and can be easily missed when listening casually.
My Rating: 4.9/5.0
While we did not know how momentous this show would be, we knew we were in for something special – the musical costume. Although we had three cars we could have chosen from, me and my three buddies chose the one in which many things did not work – including the speedometer and, as it turns out, the gas gauge… This choice was made, of course, by the willingness of the driver to drive, and we did not want to quibble with such small items as “working condition”.
When 30 miles or so from the venue the car started to sputter and my friend noted that while he could not be sure, he thought he might be out of gas, the import of our vehicular decision hit home. Had we actually come this far just to miss the big show? This was Halloween, remember, and we were all dressed up freaky people in the middle of up-state farm-country. Someone had the brilliant idea that we could go door to door looking for gas, so we pulled over and split up down the country lanes in search of fuel – two gas station attendants, an Asian Restaurant waiter/Kung-Fu Master, and an Iron Maiden fan replete with sketchy mustache (back of the closet/thrift store costuming at its best). Despite it all, we found a farmhouse with a gas pump and people willing to help us out with at-cost fuel and a jerry can. Somehow, we were quickly back-in-business. I often wonder what the people thought and what we would have done if not for them. Look honey – a nice Kung-Fu boy walking down the road in the dark needs some gas! I supposed we would have hitched, but four young men at night on Halloween – in an area where you don’t really see hitchers – may have made for a tough sell.
In any case, we made it there, and parking near a “Wilson’s Shoe Shop” seemed an omen of sorts – good or ill, who could tell? We were Fish-side partially obscured, so we went walking for a better view. Frankenstein – with a masked Trey – really tore through us, and filled the arena with an intense dark energy. Sparkle, however, reminded us that Phish was really just playing with us and wouldn’t necessarily drive those sufficiently prepped over the edge. Simple followed the same bouncy vibe Sparkle started and we found a nice spot in the back of the arena where we could take in the whole spectacle. Simple ran into a spacy ambient-type jam which was at times beautiful, but contained a few discordant tones which hinted at things to come and strangely wound down like a toy running out of steam. This was one of these nights when the band was totally in control of how you felt, and you were at their mercy to do with as they willed.
Divided sky was a breath of fresh air, and I had the feeling if we just stayed in that moment forever – the delicate post-pause Tray -Mike interplay over organ and drums – then all would be right in the world. Of course, like all moments in time, this one was transient, and we moved towards the finale – Page driving upwards with piano and Trey taking us on a journey to somewhere we knew but simultaneously to someplace new. The climax to Divided Sky is always special, and this one definitely brought us to the top of some great mountain – or was it a cliff?
Which, of course, it was, as Phish dropped us into a dark place they had opened up with Frankenstein, and we were quickly reminded that this was Halloween and none of us were going to just have a nice time – this was to be an experience and there was no escape. This was all the more poignant as I, and I am sure many others, had a cat Poster Nut Bag, and Harpua never ends well for felines. When the vibration of life was transformed to the vibration of death, and Barney’s greatest hits to War Pigs, I fell for it and thought we were in for a Black Sabbath, but we were suddenly dragged back to Harpua with Jimmy watching poster get sucked to the depths of hell. Jimmy gets over it, as we all should, with some honky-tonk piano, and the next sequence Julius > Horse > SITM don’t seem very substantial – palette cleansers if you will – compared to what we have just been though. At just over an hour in, it felt like we had been at it forever and we knew we had a ways to go.
Reba started as was its wont, and was played perfectly through its scripted parts – building and releasing tension with perhaps a bit more urgency than normal. Around seven minutes (according to my CD and not my memory…) it starts with a loose funky jam and we know that this is something special, and around nine minutes it drops off to such a sparse jam that a gentle breeze could blow it away. Then it gets weird at 11 minutes then picks up speed into the standard Reba mold. Definitely one of the great readings of the song, but made all the more incredible by contrast to the Halloween vibe and the energy of that night – which was bursting through the rafters – as they manage to lay down a spare almost sentimental number as if they had all the time in the world. And then, just because they could, they hit a crisp Golgi and – see you in “19 minutes”…
We were still wandering around when we heard the DSOTM heart start beating and just as the potential import was setting in, it cut to Ed Sullivan and I knew it would be the Beatles. Back in the USSR started and finished before we really could adjust to what we were about to hear and Dear Prudence came to chill the whole scene out. For the first time we decided to go to our seats and relax. I must say that “The Beatles” was (and remains) one of my favorite albums, so this was akin to an old friend coming over to chill. There would be a few songs that could potentially take off (e.g. Helter Skelter, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps) but in general I was feeling – “The Beatles”? Really? Can that even be played live – it was certainly never meant to be – what will they do with it? Some of my friends not really familiar with the album just had that – What the F – glaze. With Glass Onion they opened up another possibility – alternate lyrics – a game that I could listen for, but I think the “I told you about Guyute the Pig” lyric was pretty much the only real change up until the “and if she could only hear Cactus” change in Honey Pie near the end.
There is not much for me to say about the quality of the music in this set. It was well done, and certainly entertaining at the time, but in the end not something that it really makes sense to listen to (as opposed to the original) outside of the “check out what they did” listen. The theatrical aspects of the thing, however, are another matter. From that perspective “look at what they are doing” was much better than “listen to what they did”. While My Guitar Gently Weeps did not disappoint – although it was none too extended – but Don’t Pass me By was the first place where things got interesting. Rather than playing it straight, they made it into a pepped-up number with a bluegrass-type beat and high-lonesome-harmonies (and yelling).
Birthday was another strange moment - Mike played a slow super-creepy version of the melody (du-du-du-du de-du de-du) over and over while a birthday cake was presented. I can clearly hear what they are saying now, but at the time I really thought they were saying it was “Satan’s Birthday” while another friend was convinced they were inviting him on stage for his birthday (NB it was not his birthday). Helter Skelter was another interesting version – especially the ending where in place of Ringo screaming we get a sweet harmony on the “I’ve got blisters on my fingers” line. In a bit of a surprise, they actually stretched out Cry Baby Cry with a nice solo, but again nothing too radical. Revolution 9 was great. Not great as in I will listen to it regularly, but great as in “How do you do it?” – Oh, that’s how. You don’t recreate it, but rather evoke the spirit of it. Not something to listen to, but the snippets of dialogue from the original, Mike and the Cymbals, and Fish in the ultimate anti-costume it was truly the psychedelic performance piece it was meant to be. Now that that is over – is there actually another set?
After a brief Physical Graffiti tease that was over before it started – 2 double albums, why not? They hit hard and tight with David Bowie, which get dark and spacey 5 minutes before Mike and Co. start to really drive it home from 7 minutes through the end without letting up – with the last 4 minutes in the bend your mind category. Oh yeah – this is why we are here. This is the real stuff. Bowie was deep and put us back under, but Bouncing breaks the spell. It is a good transition, however, to Slave, which is a beautiful version and perhaps required a Bouncing reset of the mind to properly set the table. This Slave, like the best Slaves, builds a slow euphoric crescendo, until the release (of the green light?). Rift is solid, but remarkable only in that the band has the stamina at this point in the night to keep the relentless stomping number at the pace it deserves.
Sleeping Monkey, however, felt just about the pace for the hour. I was pretty exhausted at that point – emotionally and physically – and home on the train seemed to be the best way to go - much better than getting in a questionable car, with a questionable driver, for a five hours’ drive in the cool upstate early morning air back to Geneseo. Poor heart was crisp and seemed like the “wake up and get the blood flowing song” for people about to head out into the night. A short set it would have made, yes, but who could blame them?
This, of course, was not what the band had in mind, and there were two monsters plus a costume contest to go before the night was finished. When they start to dig into Antelope after the intro and the stash tease, at around 2:40 in, you can tell that they still have a lot in the tank. Had we been thinking about the drive home? Trey is killing it, up and down, moving forward and dropping back. It has that great Mobius-strip-type sense of always going somewhere but never arriving and somehow ending back where you started. At five minutes in he is just messing with your mind like at any moment the vibration of death is coming back to suck us all down to visit Poster in hell. Then at 8 minutes it all pulls back and we are off to a straight finish to the song and the set.
Amazing Grace was nice, especially since nobody ruined it by screaming prematurely as would often happen. The long-promised (and largely forgotten) costume contest was set up with a nice Mike-Fish funky groove with Page dropping some 70’s riffs over the top, while Trey worked the “applause-o-meter” to determine the winner. Of course, you can’t end on a costume contest, and the farewell gift is squirming coil. The selection was perfect and they nail it. Listening to it, however, I can’t help but anticipate the closing Page solo. This “moment” is perhaps the most ingrained in my mind from the night – everyone gone and Page just playing a beautifully heartfelt solo. From that moment on, I have always lamented that Page has never released an experimental solo classical-jazz-type album a-la Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau. I am sure his work could stand up, but as of yet, it remains to be seen.
Rather than drive home, we just parked at the side of the road and slept. Not sure how all four of us managed it, but once it was proposed, there was no other option. We decompressed and deconstructed the show in our minds, but that feeling of the ending solo lingered as we drifted off and wondered if we would be able to find a nice breakfast place in the morning.
Inside was nutz too, If you wanted on the floor it wasn't hard and Lots of people crammed in like sardines. They came out and trey had a cloud on his head. They busted into Frankenstein and everyone started rockin'...It was cool
The White Album is a great classic and they did a really good job of it. Not to complain, but it isn't always easy to groove out to. Eyes were popping out of skulls when fishman whipped out his weiner. Can remember standing there like WTF!? The Antelope ripped hard...
The costume contest was really cool. They had announced it in the Schvice and watching it manifest was really somethin. There were some good ones,, Wanna say some chic was like Tela with the multibeasts and another dude was like all in blue it was a good costume but memory is failing. The winner was a mounds candy bar.
General Admission. Very laid back. I could go anywhere I wanted. Getting close to stage was even easy. First set was amazing. The Reba and Simple were standouts. The Reba chill is simply phenomenal. The Harpua, my 2nd one, was so much fun.
The White Album was great too. It was Brad Sands' birthday, so for Birthday, they brought out a cake for Brad. Brad was dressed as Fish. I remember Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey being a bit jammed out. Wish they played it more often. Seeing Fish totally naked for Revolution #9 left the whole venue speechless for about 5 seconds. Seriously, you could hear a pin drop when he pulled off his dress / muumuu. Mike was absolutely mortified.
3rd set was great as well, but not as powerful as set 1 and 2. The show ended at 3 am!!!!!
I believe I saw the Dude of Life after the show (but I might be confusing it with 10/31/95), who had brought me backstage that summer at Great Woods (Gamehendge run, see my review for that run for a whole different story). I asked him if he had an extra pass again, he didn't. It didn't matter though, because I wound up winning the Greenpeace raffle, and went backstage anyhow. As I write this I only now just realized the fate of asking the Dude for a backstage pass, and then winning it at Greenpeace. They called like 10 names before they called mine. Right before they called my name, I suddenly realized I was going to win. I then see my high school friend, Tim Kelly (we both went to SUNY Plattsburgh, and yes I was at Clifford Ball too), and bring him backstage with me. Fish and Mike were there. I had a piece of Brad's birthday cake. I was dressed as Mrs. Pizza Shit. Fish gave me the strangest look when he saw how I was dressed. Imagine a guy wearing a yellow dress that is too tight, with a pizza box around his neck, with fake turds on every corner. That was me.
The backstage scene was totally uncool, and completely different from Great Woods backstage, 7/9/94. It was elitist at 10/31, lots of young tour heads who were not nice to me. Mike and Fish were unapproachable. We left after a beer or two and some cake. On the other hand, backstage at Great Woods consisted of myself, and strictly old school Phish family and band. Amy was there, Big Phil as well. Maybe 10 people in total. They were so nice to me, and I met the whole band (only a hello to Trey, and then he was ushered off to talk logistics with the Dude about his appearance the next show at SPAC). I was also backstage at Beacon Theater in April of 94, and that was pandemonium. Great Woods was the best band experience I've had. Fish told me stories about the origins of Weekapaug Groove.
Enough digressing, 10/31/94 is still one of the greatest Phish memories I have.
I feel like this was the last truly intimate Phish show I saw (Sessions at West 54th on 10/20/98 doesn't count, but I was there too). That 1994 NYE run they sold out MSG. Something about 10/31/94 was small and magical.