, attached to 1993-03-17

Review by Mikesgroover

Mikesgroover Phish was still virtually unknown in Southern California in the spring of 1993. I was attending USC and talked a friend into coming along to the Palace, a club that held less than 1,000 people and was not sold out. In fact, we strolled in a few minutes before showtime and casually found a spot a few rows back. Elektra was promoting Rift at the time and there were posters plastered everywhere of David Welker's cover art. I carefully removed one from the wall, grabbed a pen from the bartender and scrawled the setlist on the back of the rolled up poster.

Unfortunately, the first set was somewhat sabotaged by sound system issues, forcing a mid-set a-cappella Amazing Grace to give the sound techs a chance to work out the issues. A frenzied Antelope and nice version of It's Ice are the high points of the first set.

Second set gets off to a raucous start with the still new Axilla, followed by a Reba that was a bit shaky in the composed section, with a briskly-paced jam section that ends a bit abruptly. The second version of Jesus Left Chicago after a two-year absence,with it's multiple California references, was welcomed heartily, and Page shines brightly on this version.

Mike's Song is tight and rocking, but hardly stands out in a year of great versions. Trey tosses out a few noticeable teases of Heartbreaker during Weekapaug before they break it down into a full-on Lively Up Yourself jam, complete with Trey playing the notes of the verses. Great Gig was a typically great had-to-be-there Fishman experience, complete with extended vacuum solo and smoke machine effects.

A solid night for 1993, and the Mike's Groove is worth a listen, but the following night is a far superior performance.


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