, attached to 1994-10-25

Review by PhishMarketStew

PhishMarketStew Usually when a Phish tour comes to a close I try and stay away from the music that's just been created, at least for a little while. It's my way of distancing myself from the post-tour giddiness that inevitably occurs, especially after an All Time Tour like Summer 15' has proven itself to be.
So here we are, a mere half day after the closing notes of MagnaBall. For some reason it was 1994 that spoke out to me when I sat down at work. I won't argue, 1994 is a Hall of Fame year for Phish, chock full of gnarly jams and melodic explorations. It's really a wonderful summation of all that Phish had been working towards since the bands inception.
My usual method is to hit the Jam Chart here on the .Net and just randomly pick a show. So that's what I did and this show is what I got.
Talk about luck.
I've seen a lot of Phish shows in Atlanta. It's the city closest to me that Phish seems to play every year, even though it's still 6 hours from my home in Jacksonville,FL. And Phish always kills in Atlanta. Even the off nights give us great music.
I was a little surprised to see that the venue was the Atlanta Civic Center, I'd actually never heard of it. I busted my brother(a lifelong Hotlantian) a text to get a little background on the venue.
Built in 1967 and seating 4600 the venue was constructed in what was known as the Buttermilk Bottom Slum. Hmmm, ok.
It would be Phish's only show at the venue.
Lets get to the music.
The 1st Set is vintage mid-90's Phish.
Fee, Llama, Horn & Julius get the party started and are all played as well as expected. A Horse > Silent combo makes an appearance and does it's thing.
The SOAMelt that comes next is yet another in a long line of bad to the bone 94' Splits. 1994 has been called the Year of the Antelope, Year of the Hood & Year of the Melt. For my money each moniker works well. I love almost every Split I've heard from the year.
This one stays within normal Melt boundrys until about 10:35 when Mike and Page being a kind of duel with one another. This goes on for a few minutes until around the 12:50 mark when Trey decides to go Heavy Metal all over everyones ass.
Mike gets heavy, Trey turns on that gritty mid 90's tone and slows down the Melt riff, turning it into a faster Sabbath sort of thing. It's really really cool and Fishmans accompaniment is spot on. That leads Trey into a nice outro solo and the band takes the cue and proceeds to wrap up the song which leads into....
The Lizards!
One of my favorite Phish songs, without a doubt. Treys solo at the end is one of the most lovely things I've ever heard, really wish it got more play these days.
This version is executed nicely and all is well in the land of Gamehendge. Sample closes out the short set and we're off to Setbreak.
Mikes Song opens up Set 2. A short punchy version with no 2nd Jam. Instead we get Simple. I've got no beef with Simple and this one is also short and to the point. The call next is Mango and nobodies ever complained about that, I hope. Up until this point we've got a pretty standard 1994 Set 2. A pretty "standard" show really. But then Fish cues up 'Paug, Page throws down some chords on the baby grand, Mike starts slapping his bass like he's writing an acid rock version of the Seinfeld intro and the Race Is On!
A brief foray at around 5:15 leads into some heavy Mike/Page action. Trey steps in soon after with some sweet digital sounding licks. Mike and Page hammer away trying to find something that works. Trey settles in on some of that low tone 94' action, the stuff that Mike loved to lay bass lines over. All of sudden it sounds like we're in the middle of a Bowie Jam.
Sometimes in 94'-95' Treys virtuosity had a tendency to overwhelm the rest of the band, resulting in a lot of one sided jams. Not tonight. Everyone keeps up nicely. At about 8:35 we get some weird vocals thrown into the mix, further accenting the Bowie feel of the Jam.
Page and Fish are keeping everything of this Earth though.
Trey and Fish decide to pick up the speed around the 10min mark and now it sounds like we're in a Tweezer Jam. Love Love Love how fast these guys used to change gears. And then....Boom!
Right back into 'Paug, easy peasy.
The end of the Jam doesn't really pick. It actually gets deconstructed a little and then just sort of peters out with some nice Space and ->'s into.....
Yerushalayim Shal Zahav!
Most Excellent.
Phish doesn't do the Hebrew stuff much anymore, save for the recent Avenu bustout at MagnaBall.
Some nice Space at the end of Zahav gives way to Fishmans woodblocks which signals the start of...
Love this 2nd Set.
A traditional reading of Glide comes to a full stop, the 1st of the set.
Next up is the always welcome Axilla. Noteworthy for slowing down at the end and producing an actual -> into Jesus Just Left Chicago.
Damn, this set is chock full of tunes that have all but been shelved for 3.0. I love this song and wish it would take the place of some of the more often played songs these days, cough cough, Wolfmans, Moma.
Every version of JJLC kicks ass and this one is no exception. The band finishes the song proper but at the end they keep it rolling and Fishman cues up Big Ball Jam!
The Big Ball would mostly disappear after 94' so it's nice to hear one of these final versions.
Fishman tomfoolery is up next in the form of HYHU. Notable for a quite funny take on If I Only Had a Brain the segment is vintage 90's Phish. No complaints here.
And really, it wouldn't be badass 90's Phish Set without that old road hog the Possum showing his teeth somewhere. He closes out the tonight and does so in fine form with teases of Zeppelins The Rover & Kashmir woven throughout the Jam. Magilla is also teased. I love when Phish teases things, it still happens nowadays but you have to really listen for it usually. Back in the day it happened nearly every show. Oftentimes the teases were a little forced but not in this Possum. All the teases/mini-jams are very organic and don't sound the least bit forced.
Bravo Possum, wish they would have more fun with this song now.
Foreplay/Long Time starts the Encore and it's always welcome.
Golgi closes the night out and send Atlantas grateful phans out into the hot southern night, full of phish and vinegar.
So in summation, while this show doesn't contain any of those big keynote 94' Jams it does feature precise song selection/placement, spot on delivery by the entire band and some really cool jams scattered throughout in the Melt, Paug & Possum.


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