UIC Pavilion, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Soundcheck: All Things Reconsidered, How Many More Times, Poor Heart
Set 2: PeachesPeaches en Regalia > BowieDavid Bowie -> Mind Left Body Jam -> BowieDavid Bowie, Horn > McGruppMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Tweezer > Lifeboy > YEMYou Enjoy Myself, CDTChalk Dust Torture
 Three Blind Mice, Dave's Energy Guide, Voodoo Child, and Purple Haze teases.
 Frankenstein and How Many More Times teases; Monty Python "Spam" vocal jam with We're Off to See the Wizard quote. Vocal jam also contained Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque quote.
 Full band tease of How Many More Times.
Notes: The Mind Left Body Jam's melodic theme (like the MLB theme from Grateful Dead jams) bears a striking resemblance to Marvin Gaye's and Tammi Terrell's You're All I Need To Get By. Bowie (after the MLB Jam) included Three Blind Mice, Dave's Energy Guide, Voodoo Child, and Purple Haze teases. YEM included Frankenstein and How Many More Times teases, as well as a Monty Python “Spam” vocal jam with a We're Off to See the Wizard quote ("Oz" was changed to "Spam"). The vocal jam also contained a Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque quote. Chalk Dust subsequently contained a full band tease of How Many More Times. This show was released as part of the Chicago '94 box set.
This show was part of the "1994 Summer Tour."
“We were at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. And we were playing “Divided Sky,” and we got down to this quiet part where it gets silent. And we were getting quieter and quieter, and then became silence. And I had my eyes closed, and I could feel the crowd, and I started to — because improvising is, you`re trying to translate the — what`s out there already, greater pattern of things. And sometimes it feels like it`s coming through the hole, and you couldn`t play a wrong note if you tried; you`re just floating.
And at that moment, you are in the middle of it, and I started to see those colors, like I`m not kidding, floating around there, and I realized that I could almost — it was silent, but I could see what we were translating. And as soon as I could see them, I started improvising, but I didn`t play anything. I did everything in the sense of improvisation, except for the actual notes, and as soon as I did it, the whole place erupted. It was like, whoa, and just tears started rolling down my face, and it was at that moment that I knew that it was truly bigger than me. It. You know what I mean? There were probably a lot of moments like that, but those two just come to mind. It was amazing.”
Phish in 1994 seemed to make a habit out of playing insane second sets that make people go "how the hell did THAT work?" and turning them into classics (Bomb Factory, of course; 7/13 and 11/30-12/1 also leap to mind); this might very well be the best of them, and as a fervent Bomb Factory fan it hurts my heart to say so. Peaches kicks things off in seemingly normal fashion, and then things, as they say, take a turn. Bowie appears to be in the offing, but then Trey starts up my favorite moment of 1994, the Mind Left Body (Bowie?) jam, and good gracious is it a fantastic, joyful few minutes. Then Bowie kicks back in, and it's a damn fine version, full of weird teases (Hendrix, sure, but 3 Blind Mice? Really?) and crazed, atonal jamming - maybe my favorite Bowie of them all, when the MLB Jam is taken in. Horn and McGrupp are nice mid-set palate cleansers, and then we get into the *real* meat of the set. Tweezer immediately slips into this really beautiful minor chord groove before the band says "fuck it" and pushes the "hose" button, reaching the rock and roll noise nirvana they would practically make a science 18 months later, before the jam peters out (in a funny manner, to me at least) and they head into an uplifting, lighter-waving version of Lifeboy. Then comes a *punishing* YEM, which starts deceptively quietly before gunning the engines and just ramming maximum intensity riff-driven jams down our throats, then gives us a truly, truly goofy "Spam" vocal jam. Chalk Dust, ferocious as always, closes out the set, and Bouncing > Tweeprise sends everyone home happy. Well, happier.
1994's the year that everything really changed for Phish; this is one of the shows that showed us how far they'd come, during one of the greatest 7-day spans in the history of the band (the OJ show and 6/22 were all in that span - how ridiculous is that???), before Halloween and A Live One moved them to a different level. You want to know what the wild and crazy kids of mid-90s Phish were all about? Here's an excellent place to start.