Albums: Rift, Stash, New Year's Eve 1995 - Live at Madison Square Garden, Live in Brooklyn, At the Roxy, Live Phish 02, Live Phish 10, Live Phish 12, Live Phish 15, Live in Vegas, Still Phishin', High Neighbors: Dub Tribute to Phish, Star Lake 98, Live in Brooklyn DVD, The Clifford Ball, Ventura, Chicago '94, Lullaby Versions of Phish V2
Historian: Craig DeLucia, Katie Bailey (blackeyedkaty37)
Last Update: 2014-01-18
Since its debut during the spring 1992 tour opener, “Maze” has been a solid crowd favorite. Known for its frenetic pace, ear-splitting guitar work from Trey and piano thumping from Page, it has the ability to exhaust the dancing concert faithful while serving as a ferocious jam outlet.
In 1992, “Maze” was a "Type-I" song and was usually placed in the middle of the first set. Still, many versions featured inspired jams. Early favorites include 4/25/92 (with “Oye Como Va” teases) and 11/28/92 (inside of “The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday”). "Maze" was also featured frequently when the band opened for Santana. The song began to evolve in 1993. At The Roseland Ballroom on 2/6/93 it began with an acoustic intro. The strong version on 8/7/93 included whistling during the intro (to compensate for the lack of whistling during “Reba”) and a brief "Stairway to Heaven" tease. Still the song did not tend to stray too far from its structure. In 1994, Trey began to utilize his digital delay loop effect. This effect frequently showed up in “Maze” – see for example 4/8/94. The song also began to surface more frequently in the second set, notably the “Simple” - “Maze” combo from 10/15/94.
By 1995, the song was as likely to be seen in the second set as the first. To many this meant that “Maze” had finally come of age as a jamming vehicle. The wonderful version from the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia (6/25/95) included “Reveille” teases. The song was dedicated to hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux in Pittsburgh on 11/24/95. The band continued to expand the song in 1996 and again showed it respect in Pittsburgh; on 10/18/96, fans were treated to a true "Type-II" “Maze” that is among the undisputed heavyweight champion versions. Then just three weeks later, the second-set opening “2001” -> “Maze” combo on 11/8/96 raised the crowd into an absolute frenzy.
"Maze" – 7/6/98, Prague, Czech Republic
Most fans have noticed that the beginnings of “Maze” and “David Bowie” are quite similar. The band played off this theme on 11/4/98, starting the former but actually playing the latter, and 7/2/97, where Mike began playing “Maze” during a “Bowie” encore. Other notable versions include 12/11/97 (sandwiched inside the near show-long “Down with Disease”), 11/29/98, 9/18/99, and 6/13/00. Two strong post-hiatus versions are 7/12/03 – which is rivaled only by the aforementioned 10/18/96 in terms of exploration outside the norm – and 12/2/03. 2009 performances did little to distinguish themselves from one another, though enjoyable versions can be found from 6/9/09 and 12/29/09.
Summer tour 2010 featured a total of four second set "Maze's." On the tour opener at Chicago's Toyota Park (6/11/10), "Maze" segued out of a beautiful "Light" then dropped into "Ghost" keeping the early dark mood of this set going until lightening things up a bit for the remainder of the set. Later that summer at Berkeley's Greek Theatre (8/5/10), the band dropped "Maze" mid-second set with the shredding sounds of Trey's brand new Languedoc guitar. A week later "Maze" was played at the Jones Beach finale run on 8/17/10 segueing out of a second set opening "Lengthwise" with the recognizable hi-hat cymbal sounds weaving through it announcing "Maze's" arrival.
"Maze" – 8/5/10, Berkeley, CA