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Link Friday, 12/09/1994
Mesa Amphitheatre, Mesa, AZ

Soundcheck: Higher Ground, Frankenstein, The Old Home Place, Funky Bitch

Set 1: Llama, Foam, Guyute, Sparkle > IDKI Didn't Know, It's Ice, If I Could, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

Set 2: Wilson > Poor Heart > Tweezer, McGruppMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Julius > BBJBig Ball Jam, HYHUHold Your Head Up > Cracklin' Rosie > HYHUHold Your Head Up, YEMYou Enjoy Myself, SuzySuzy Greenberg

Encore: I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome[1], Foreplay/Long Time[1], TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Acoustic.

Teases:
· May The Force Be With You tease in Run Like an Antelope
· Slave to the Traffic Light jam in Tweezer

Noteworthy Jams: Foam, Run Like an Antelope (highly recommended), Tweezer (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 5.64

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

Notes: Antelope contained a tease by Trey of May The Force Be With You (The Force Theme from Star Wars). Tweezer included a Slave-based jam. I’m Blue I’m Lonesome and Foreplay/Long Time were performed acoustic.

Song Distribution:
4 A Picture of Nectar
2 Stash
2 Hoist
2 Rift
2 Junta
2 The White Tape
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Lawn Boy
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

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

Jklinow , attached to 1994-12-09 Permalink
Sweet 94 show. This tweezer is super experimental. I would rate this tweezer as one of my favorite of the 94 experimental tweezers along with bozeman(11/28/94) bangor(11/02/94) and 11/23/94. This one is super jazzy and goes through many spacey sections. However, the space is very different from other tweezer space sections. they're very active and engaging. Between the space is intense and fast pace jazzy-bluesy-fusion. It culminates with a full on Slave jam. This is a very intense tweezer and i think its a must hear for any tweezer fan. Also the Antelope is great and has a number of Star wars teases.
Score: 2
dscott , attached to 1994-12-09 Permalink
Excellent show!!! Strong improv in It's Ice. Extended jamming on the Star Wars theme during a wild Antelope, which also features the "Suck the deer shit from the inside of this hole" lyric. Wilson is especially wicked and snarly. Tweezer is a twisted, evil excursion: skull-scratching whisper/chants, an odd dance-themed vocal segment, funky interludes, guitar features, a spooky organ segment, intentionally "off" jamming, a soaring Slave peak jam, and finally a crunching return to the Tweezer theme. Nice! Big Ball Jam includes a mighty fine minute-long drum solo. YEM is on the ordinary side, but still quite pleasing.
Score: 1
n00b100 , attached to 1994-12-09 Permalink
n00b100 This is one of those shows that you don't really hear about until you've been a Phish fan for long enough; they played a LOT of shows between 1990 and 1995, and the Really Famous Shows tend to suck up all the energy in the room. To me, Phish in '94 essentially peaked by December 1st; still, this is an interesting show with one of those big, crazy Tweezers that you've probably heard about.

Set 1 is pretty standard stuff until It's Ice brings a Page showcase (with some weird noises from Trey and Mike for added zest) and then Antelope absolutely gouges a hole into the atmosphere with a *vicious* jam, ferocious and churning as it slides into dissonant Type II territory, Fish (?) yelping along as the band spirals down a rabbit hole. They eventually do make their way back to the usual Antelope jam (and Trey gets his showoff trills), but this is otherwise pure uncut insanity, almost akin to BBFCM, with Fish and Mike not so much driving the jam as grabbing it by the scruff of its neck and heaving it forward. They don't really transition into Rye Rye Rocco - the jam sorta stops and they all go "oh, right, Rye Rye Rocco" - but it's made up for by Trey's improvised "suck the -"...well, you're better off hearing for yourself. Antelope was something else in the mid-90s, and this is a fine example of the form.

Set 2 is not particularly noteworthy, with the obvious exception of the Tweezer. Things get weird right out of the gates, as Trey goes to that gun-the-engines riffing he liked so much during this period and the tempo just goes all over the place like the jam is wet paint bleeding out. They never really go into a proper Tweezer jam, instead moving into a clanging mid-tempo jam (and chanting something I can't really make out), Page's piano playing making me uncomfortable as I listen along. The jam falls apart and we enter Bowie-like space, feedback wailing as Fish thwacks the toms and Mike inserts random notes. This fog builds as we get band members just howling into their mics, and Trey's guitar comes charging out of the mist as he starts riffing away, but this doesn't last long as he switches to fast chords and Fish picks up on it and things speed up again. To be honest, this rock section sounds a good deal like the first rock section, and my patience is slightly tried, but Page goes to the organ and starts spitting out jazzy notes, leading to a slower, atonal jam, the band trying to mash free jazz and blues (via Fish's beat) together. The jam dies away again (I mean, they just bounce from idea to idea like a demented game of hopscotch) and we get a more contemplative (and, again, feedback-drenched) space, until they head into the Slave jam. And calling it a Slave jam is no lie whatsoever - I mean, Fish adjusts his beat to what he usually does in Slave, and it builds exactly the same way. This is certainly cool to hear (and it's arrived upon relatively organically), but...I mean, I *know* what a Slave jam sounds like, y'know? It doesn't last too long, though, as the Tweezer theme slides back into the picture and the band winds down the jam into nothingness. This is (like the other big Tweezers) anywhere between exhilarating and *exhausting* music, but the good stuff is damned good (like the other big Tweezers!).

Final thoughts - a two-song show, but two songs that really paint a picture of what 1994 was all about. Phish in 1994/95 were all about pushing the envelope to their absolute limits, and like any artists that attempt to do this, you're going to get greatness and you're going to get sub-greatness. But the greatness here really shines, and both Antelope and Tweezer deserve their reputations.
Score: 1

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