Civic Center, Philadelphia, PA
Set 2: SuzySuzy Greenberg > NICU > Mike'sMike's Song -> MangoThe Mango Song > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, Contact, Llama, HYHUHold Your Head Up > Love You > HYHUHold Your Head Up, CoilThe Squirming Coil
Encore: Bold As Love
 No whistling.
 Vocal jam.
Noteworthy Jams: Weekapaug Groove
Average Song Gap: 9.59
Notes: Julius included a Buried Alive tease by Trey. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Weekapaug Groove contained Cars Trucks Buses, Auld Lang Syne, and Little Drummer Boy teases as well as a vocal jam.
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "1994 NYE Run."
I had been listening to Phish for about 3 years, but never got to a show before this one.
It was incredable seeing these guys live and still cant get enough of them. Great set list....
Typical high power Weekapaug jam->Suzy Greenberg-esque style of jam->creepy noodly jam->vocal jamming->machine-gun hose->circusy video-game type jam->monstrous Little Drummer boy jam->return to Weekapaug.
They hit so much in this jam, it's crazy. The only down point is really the weird spacey jam between the vocal jamming and the Litte Drummer Boy jam. Listen to this immediately. Now. What are you waiting for?
This was a pivotal year for the band, and in particular this was the end of a year that would see them go from being a small theatre band to a mega act - the days of seeing them in small clubs were over, or soon to be over. By this show, $5 covers had become a thing of the past. The band had graduated from 23 East to the Mann, to The Civic Center & Spectrum in just 2 year span. They were getting big, you could feel it in the air and this show has a "big room" sound, kinda "echoey" if you will. But the acoustics are good, listen to Page bounce the keys off those old walls - beautiful. First we get a strong Mound, before Mounds became rare. And it's time time time.
Simple was still a relatively new song back then, and you can tell the band was having tons of fun with it - they jammed it hard, very early in the show. Julius rocked, so hard, w/ a Buried tease as indicated in the notes. Gin was nice, bouncy & got a little trippy, album version Bouncing, Axilla II (hello! what a rarity!) in one of its last appearances to date, Reba version has an extended nice jam with Trey, Fish and Page going at it pretty heavy. DFB was a needed cool down after that hot Reba, and one of my faves, It's Ice, came out hot as usual and has a spooky ending to the jam out w/ a nice page solo at the end, very different than I've ever heard, and while it's not a staying power jam it certainly breaks this song up from it's more traditional versions. Antelope closes it out, a particularly quiet start followed by a particularly strong intro to the "fast" portion of the song (clearly a miss in my initial review). It's a strong Antelope, but most of them are - not the best ever, I don't think, but a very good one. It stops on a dime for Rye Rye Rocco, so perfectly. 4 "new" songs in the 1st set, all '94 debuts and all sounding great.
We open set 2 w/ that little Suzy Greenberg, nothing overly special about this version except the ending is drawn out more so than typical versions. NICU, felt like a new song but had already spent 2 years in rotation by this show - I remember it being a post show highlight, but really it's a pretty standard version. nothing special (other than it being a '94 version, anything from '94 is going to be special on that year alone). Mike's is nice, some nice early interplay from Trey and the jam gets a little dark w/ a cool build up going into Mango. A nice soft version of Mango becomes upbeat and upon completion, a Christmas present wrapped in a Weekapaugh Groove. A nice, long jammed version complete w/ a vocal jam, some clownish spookiness, I fondly and distinctly remember Trey shredding the Little Drummer Boy, it translates onto the recording as well as I remember it being so special - more than a tease, it's a full on 1+ minute shred that actually gets a little evil at a point before jumping back into the Groove. Like many hot shredders, they are followed by a cool down song - enter Contact (yes we will). Back to the shredding, a 2nd set Llama is hot but not anything over the top. Fish hates HYHU, and so do I as I think it broke the momentum of a hot show... maybe they just needed a breather. Apparently I am not the only one, you can hear someone in the crowd say "not Purple Rain, jesus"... haha, many calls for Cracklin' Rosie but Fish delivers Honey Love You well, after a bit of indecision. He also introduces the band, including trey "Dr Seuss" on the drums. Closing it out is Coil, with a long & beautiful Page solo that lasts several minutes. Bold as Love encore was a treat, but not anything overly special about this version.
In all, pretty much anything from the early 90's is going to be special - but pretty much everything this band does is special. I have grown to appreciate them as a mega act, as much I enjoyed them as a smaller venue band. This show, to me, reflects the jumping off point for Phish as a mega act, and having attended was a privilege.
Great version of It's Ice here too, very tight. Straight into a sexy Antelope. Good closer.
Second set speaks for itself. Mike's > Mango Song > Weekapaug? Yes please. Llama is always fun, and I'm always happy when a Coil closes the set. Bold as Love is pretty epic.
5/5, straight up
Onto the show... highlights for me included Simple, Gin, Axilla, Ice (always!) and although I LOVE to Run Like an Antelope, I don't recall anything special about it. 2nd setters Mike's was good, yes the Drummer Boy was way cool near Christmas, Contact was neat-O too. I was dead ass sober at this show, for what it's worth, and honestly the show itself really doesn't stick out as being anything special - although I distinvtly remember during the show I had this erie feeling like I wouldn't see Phish again for a very long time... not sure where it came from, the scene or maybe just turbulence in my life at the time, anyway I was right, it was 15 years before I got back on the train. WTF was I thinking?
I had primarily been going to hardcore shows back then, so I wasn't surprised when someone jumped on stage, ran around and then stage dove -- I learned very quickly that this was not acceptable behavior at a Phish show, as the first three rows around me parted like the red seat and that poor bastard dropped like a stone into the folding chairs. Pretty hilarious.
My friend Kate asked if there was a song I wanted to hear. I really had only heard Hoist at that point and saw some of those songs at the Mann, so I said Axilla Pt. II. She kinda laughed and said "They never play that," in a manner indicating that she wasn't too big on that song.
I've not been anywhere near that close since.
First set features a decent Reba and a real deal rager of an Antelope. Set II opens with Page really pounding the keys for Suzie. NICU follows and I love listened to my AUD tape for the joyful crowd reaction. The Mike's that follows has a jam that has the feel of organized chaos. The few seconds between the end of Mike's into Mango is one of my favorite transitions the band has played. Page does a good job with Mango. The Weekapaug that follows is my all time favorite 'Paug. This type of improv was the appetizer to next night's Bowie. There are many different entertaining parts to this jam. Reviewing the individual parts of the jam is not necessary. Listen to it and hopefully like what you hear. The Contact/Llama/Coil that follow are just gravy.
I got this show from a guy who claimed to have been there, 20 rows back tripping. Intense show for that.
I was nearly 18, my sister was a senior at nearby University of Delaware and my cousin a freshmen at Penn. I had been listening to some studio stuff via my cousin but man I was green.
My main memory of the scene was pre-show outside by the fountains or something. A high-school friend of my sisters who had made the full on wook transformation was french-kissing her dog. That left a mark for sure.
As far as the show goes, it's hard to remember what it was like at the time. The only crystallized moment I have, which is so clear to me today, was the Little Drummer Boy jam in Weekapaug. The familiar sound of a Holiday song amidst the insanity of that jam was an anchor for me. I could feel the collective swell of recognition was the whole crowd caught on.
Looking (and listening) back, the Simple in the first set has one of my favorite super short type I jams. And that Mike's Groove! What an introduction to the band.