Trey sang verses through megaphone.
 Without microphones.
Stash contained Cannonball teases. Antelope included Mystery Achievement teases from Mike. Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. YEM contained a theme from Mission: Impossible tease from Page and a theme from Shaft quote from Trey. Halley’s segued out of the YEM vocal jam. Adeline was performed without microphones.
So this was THE show for me. I'd seen them in Maine in early '89 and loved them but wasn't sure if they'd go beyond regional. I moved to Austin in 1990 and wasn't sure if I'd ever see them again, but sure enough, they came in October on their way to Colorado and played a quick one setter. I met Mike and asked how I could get some of their music. He said he had Lawn Boy cassettes for sale, but didn't have any CDs. He told me that Waterloo Records had the CDs, so I waited until the next day to get one. Could have had a tape passed to me by Mike but had to get all prissy about the digital thing.
The next year, I'm standing out in the rain at Liberty Lunch reading a sign that said "Show cancelled due to leaking roof...see you next summer"
I look for them all summer...nothing. Years later I find out they got the Santana gig and didn't get to Texas. Bummer for '92
'93 I book a big ski trip with friends for spring break. Find out that they're coming the day after we leave. They end up following us around Colorado, unbeknownst to me.
'94 I've got all the CDs through Hoist. THRILLED to see they're coming to the Backyard. Gush to friends, talk a few into going. Somewhat apathetic friends poke around and make me late, but I assumed there would be an opening band so no big deal. We get to the lot and see quite a few out of state plates but no vending/tailgating of note. We get out and I hear this throbbing beat coming from the venue. I start saying I don't know who this opener is but they sound good. Eventually it occurs to me that this IS Phish, I just didn't know the song (RJim). I start to fast-walk, with my friends going WTF what's your rush. Anyway, we "bubble" into the venue during Foam. And off we go.
Listening back, the Jim is short but hot. Trey kind of loosens up with some sharp shredding and finishes strong. Foam through Rift was very crisply played but nothing unusual. DWD was the first jaw dropper. They've gotten pretty comfortable with it by this point, and this is my favorite of '94. Trey REALLY rips this one. He rips a lot of them but this solo almost sounds composed. Perfectly phrased and he does this awesome double line effect...hard to describe but amazing. Any brass players remember the Carnival of Venice exercises in the Alban's
books? Kind of an obscure comment but I've got to throw it out there.
And then Bouncing hits! Well, it was what it is, but I'd never heard it live and I loved it. 4 minutes well spent. To be honest, I'd take a Bouncing at every show. Takes no time, hooks the noobies, and it's just fun.
Next jaw dropper was Stash. This Is a great month for Stash and this one really delivers. The lights were finally out and they launch into the jam fiercely with the Cannonball riff from the night before and then blast off from there. This was group improvisation like I'd never seen and left me stunned again. Give this Stash a listen if you haven't.
A very sweet Coil ends the set. Everyone left the stage and Page gave a beautiful walk-off solo.
2001 with all the lights and fat bass started me right back up again. I'd never heard their version and I loved it. It flows into...
ANTELOPE! This one's no secret but this was the earthquake that shifted my world. Probably the most intense musical experience of my life. A musical dab if you will. At one point deep in the jam, a breeze came up and Trey was hunched over his guitar, slackjawed in the white lights. I think there might have been drool...completely possessed. Gotta hear this one!
Ice was excellent but in the box...great Page. Fee ended with Mike using a glass of milk (soy?) as a slide. Julius was another wow moment. Fish and Mike were really swinging it, and Trey went shredding again. Hot Cavern...these small songs are ripping too. YEM had some great moments too but wasn't a real highlight in this show. During the Nirvana section, Kuroda blasted out an enormous amount a fog and then shone a search light beam back and forth a few feet over people's heads...very eerie. The vocal jam dissolved into the opening of Halley's in a way they rarely if ever did again for some reason. Such a natural segue. Halley's was quick but featured another enormous blast in Trey's solo. Without missing a beat (literally), they land on the opening notes of GTBT which was of course was shredded. Adeline was another little touch and Golgi was great to hear for the first time.
I went to more adventurous shows but I don't think I've ever seen them this sharp since. Just a rip-snorter of a show with no fiddling around. From here I plunged deep into the insanity that many of you know...there's no way I'll ever get this band out of my blood.
I promise I'll never write anything this long again. This show was so special to me that I had to spill it all out. Give it a listen...it's good stuff.
I love Jim openers. After the night before I'm sure this was a nice light groove they could lay into . It sounds beautiful. The crowd is pretty quiet.
but once the JAm start all you hear is Fish flying all over the place and Page's fingers buggin out like this is a third set from the Bomb Factory. Trey is content to just ride the train typical of the 94 sound. I've been trying to come up with a name for it .SonicTrain Rock. FlyingBuilding Funk. This is a great example of it. Santana famously called trey a hose watering the phans. He sparys all over this one and the bend is as tight ( but loose) as you could get. Great opener. The crowd level is markedly different.
When Fish starts Foam there whistles from those in the know but its obvious its not a northeast show. You can hear a pin drop during the orchestrated parts . Once page starts to jam its like they're at the Blue NOte. or in Europe. Page finishes and Trey rightly brings the band to complete silence lol hilarious. they come back and they just sound so
pretty. The end is fantastic for Foam.
Again though the place is quiet in between songs.
Axilla gets the place rockin. Was the first song I ever heard Phish play live 6/28/95 but it was part two, which I like better because of the line "The weapons in they're hooves revolved!" so dramatic and detailed.
Very interesting Mike intro to DWD. Trey takes rock star status . Instead of laying into the flying hose of music frame they get into in 94 his guitar is clearly in the forefront of this jam and we benefit. Trey goes nanners. Lets us know who's who and what's what. The crowd shows love and they take us into bouncing that gets recointion from the crowd
Stash is starts and it was cute to hear the 20 or so people who clapped during the song!
This stash jam starts like none I've ever heard. I remember hearing on a 93 tape trey remarking how he liked that the audience was nice and quiet. The band immediatley takes trey's theme and you can tell we're going on a ride. Mike and Trey shine here but the band is bouncing off the walls . They show why they are the masters of tension and release. Fish doesn't go nuts but uses his cymbals to gently push the song. Mike has a bass episode in the middle which is fun. you forget what song they're playing and then an atom bomb is dropped or more like sprayed on you the last like 2 minutes and you here stash in there. and then "MAybe So, MAybe Not".
laid back 2001 starts the second set. The crowd you sense is finally giving the band some spiritual energy. Its repaid with am Antelope.
Trey lets this one come to him. Riding that 94 SONICTRAIN . when he takes the jam over its with a purpose with Mike. They both are trading licks and its awesome. Trey and Mike are in the same octave its almost like two basses while fish keeps the beat steady and dance worthy. Then they turn left. It gets to that computer funk jam. Repeated figures over Fish. Ear candy for Antelope fans. Mike teased something you could tell ( Mystery Achievement Isee lol) then trey changes the rhythm and then back to running. at about 10 minutes in I had earvisions of the Campus Club 3/31/92 BBFAntelopes From mars. If you ever heard that Antelope imagine that crazy franticness without the band stopping to say the words of BBFCFM. At 12 min you're on a Guyute type ride back into the Antelope theme but on steroids and crystal meth. Its ice and fee are cool the rest of the show could be its own classic set on paper
Julius. You know trey is going to murder this after what he did to Stash, Antelope,DWD. This period to me is marked by how Trey recognized how large their sound had gotten and that if he just sat back and was a gentleman about it they could take the top of your head off.
Cavern cool. YEM!! the crowd is still quiet while they are playing but this is a different quiet. This is rapt attention.
This is BEautiful music. Trey changes the voice on his guitar for the solo during the orchestrated part. Never heard him do that before.
Very interesting jam. Again Trey brings the band to silence then he hits a pedal and we get a nice little funk groove. but thats about it. HAlleys is short and sweet.
GTBT one of their best covers. lots of energy. if you'd been listening to them in 93 you know they tear this apart so I'd be pumped to hear what they are gonna do to this song on this night. They did not disappoint. At one point Trey and Mike let us know they are of one mind. then trey and Fish let us know. then trey and Page's organ and then back to all four bouncing around your brain. sick . 3 stars cuz crowd level was weak and some sloppy stuff
I recall this show being rather exceptional, but unfortunately it's entirely overshadowed by the previous night in Dallas. The Backyard is a beautiful venue. Err.. well, it WAS a beautiful venue. In 1994 it was off in the hill country surrounding Austin. Now it's a big intersection with a massive mall. The venue was "moved" to a new location.
In any case, the weather was perfect and the show was super, with really high energy and terrific jamming. I remember the GTBT having the entire audience grinning and dancing.
I didn't see the Dallas "Tweezerfest" show, but have certainly heard it on tape throughout the years. Austin is a different thing of course, but the show was strong.
Would love to find a nice crisp recording of it if anyone knows of one.
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