, attached to 1993-02-20

Review by n00b100

n00b100 I always wonder what somebody who's just starting their Phish fandom (or maybe came in through NYE '95 or Hampton/Winston-Salem or even 3.0) would make of this show, maybe the most famous seguefest in the band's long and storied history of seguefests, a show so beloved that it almost justified the release of the Roxy run all by itself. Now, I will say that I kind of wish that the Phish of 1994, or even of six months later, had played this setlist, as they'd not quite reached the point where their jamming was complex and in tune enough where everything would flow together like one piece of music; the rougher stuff in this set is pretty darn rough (the actual Hydrogen is brutally out of tune, they don't so much segue into Have Mercy as pretend somewhere in Weekapaug that that's what they were playing all along, MMGAMOIO sounds very out of place), and I have never, ever liked Trey's (there's no other way to say it) dickishness in Mike's Song, where he basically says "nah, you guys keep playing the song we're actually supposed to playing, I'm gonna slap some random shit on top and see what it sounds like". I imagine I'm in the minority on here, but I would take any 3.0 Mike's Song over this one in a heartbeat; at least there I know what song I'm meant to be listening to.

That said, the stuff that works absolutely and totally *works*; I mean, this show would not have had its reputation for over 20 years if it didn't. The Tweezer is one of my personal favorites, with its weird Das EFX quotes (funny how much more organic it sounded here than a similar rap venture 11 years later...) and brilliant Low Rider/Walk Away jam; Glide is a legitimate treat, and so packed with energy; the Weekapaug itself is a great one, as Have Mercy is a treat no matter what the circumstances and the Rock & Roll All Night jam is hilarious; HYHU gives us one of the truly rare segues *into* Hood, which is indeed as lovely and superbly peaked as its reputation. Ultimately, the weak spots pale in comparison to how much fantastic music is in this second set, a strong contender for the best set they had played up to that point in time. The first set...well, maybe you'll play it more than I have.

So yes, hypothetical Phish fan that I made up at the start of this review, you may be put off by how different the jamming style is, or how many damn teases pop up in the set, or Reba showing up in the second set, or how they just *rip* through songs throughout the show. But you will also be drawn in by the sheer atomic energy of the playing throughout, by how well they tie in some of those segues (seriously, everything in that Tweezer is perfect), and the overall experience of the whole set from top to bottom. And hey - maybe you'll want to give '93 a deeper listen. That's worth listening to this show all by itself.


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