Notes: The Old Home Place and Foreplay/Long Time were performed acoustic. While Mike tuned up for Foreplay/Long Time, Trey talked about the fact that the Bangor Auditorium and Nectar’s are both on Route 2, so the band had been playing on that road for eleven years. This version of Tweezer appears on A Live One. Trey teased Stairway to Heaven in Suzy Greenberg and Possum contained I'm a Man (Spencer Davis Group) teases. The second Old Home Place in the soundcheck was acoustic.
This was my first concert ever, and I was 16 years old. My best friend (RIP) and I went, and didn't know what we were in for. We are from a small town in Northern/Central Maine and made the one hour trip south in my old LTD station wagon. We brought one jay which we smoked in the car before we stood in line. It poured rain the entire time, but we were bewildered by the scene. People came up to us with all kinds of goodies that we of course had no money for. Ended up with some sweet spots on the lower bleachers which bounced the entire show. Everybody on the bleachers was super-friendly.
As far as the music goes the moments I remember most were the opener, which I had never heard before so I thought cheekily that they were saying "Suzy Greenbud." Axila and Sample stood out because at the time Hoist was one of my favorite albums. Tweezer struck a chord with me as well. Sorry I can't elaborate on the music more, but I was young and basically in awe at the whole experience.
This was more of a personal account rather than a concert review, but thanks for letting me share this experience.
The Tweezer is the centerpiece of this infamous show, and was included on 'A Live One' as the big Disc Two F*CK YOU jam. Like most of Phish's long pre-1996 jams, the Bangor Tweezer contains a far amount of dicking around - to my ears they still had trouble going deep with their improvisations back then. The result is a jam that's intermittently thrilling and soporific. It ends spectacularly, with a quick hurdy-gurdy groove transforming into a bit of a Sparks jam and exploding back into the Tweezer theme, and there are plenty of entertaining micro-improvisations in the middle ten minutes. But it wasn't until late 1996 and (especially) early '97 that Phish developed the patience that characterized their great improvisations.
This, then, is ADHD rock - dazzling pyrotechnics, ostentatious chops, and lots of cerebral mini-jams that manage to be both (1) short in duration and (2) oddly trying to one's patience. Weird for a 2-minute improvisation to have outstayed its welcome, but...
That said, it's a monumental rendition of this mainstay tune, and every Phish fan should hear it - if for no other reason than to help make sense of the vastly more coherent, emotionally serious music that the band was making just three years later.
This version of Possum (with extensive chordal weirdness that's traditionally been labeled 'Mind Left Body' jamming) sort of has the same problem/virtue: Trey has all these neat ideas about bringing the music up and down and all around and goofily deconstructing the Very Idea of a Blues Solo, etc., etc., and what you get is a version of the tune that's viscerally exciting and impressive without revealing even a split second of emotional depth or honesty. The band's technique in those days was positively inhuman, and 'inhuman' isn't exactly the cardinal virtue for a blues performance. Right?
But you gotta admit this too: no other band does quite what Phish does, and that was true in 1994 too. This is astonishing music: giddy high-wire ensemble playing in some weird dialect of Rock, smarter and in some ways wilder than anything else going. When they locked into a song they could perform miracles, even then. And back then they very specifically wanted to do just that. They're into other stuff now - love, death, mere living - and so the music goes deeper than ever, but is less likely to impress the music school kids. If that's your standard than enjoy this marvelous exhibition.
If you think bitter truth and ecstatic melancholy are more important to music than the blinding wizardry on display in this show, go see Phish next time they're in your town.
Well, and keep this tape too. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.
Truely my first PHISH show, after listening to Lawn Boy and enjoying the groove as well as a faster pace from the Grateful Dead I jumped into the car to drive to Bangor with 4 other friends to witness my first live PHISH show at the Bangor Auditorium...
Stories abound from this show and my Maxell 90 aud2 tape in the garage reminds me of the innocence we viewed PHISH back in those days... Geeze that was fun!
What a show on a cold night in Bangor Maine, we stumbled upon a glorious spot on the floor about 20 feet from Page and let the music cascade down on us as we bounced and grooved with Suzy, Stash and Scent of a Mule 1st set. Awesome I thought and this is WAY more fun than a Dead show!!
2nd set Tweezer knocked me into a new belief system!! Trey and Mike went back and forth for 20 minutes of Wickedness. The house came down during Lizards from what I recall and I could not believe these 4 musicians put together a wicked a capella encore..