, attached to 1994-05-02

Review by Culture_Czar

Culture_Czar This was my first show. 17 years old and had to borrow my older brother's ID to get into the ages 19 and up venue. The bouncer knew it wasn't me on the ID (which put me right at age 21), but the line to get it was a million miles long and he seemed more interested in moving things along than hassling me so he just said "behave yourself" and waved me in.

Onto the show! This was a perfect first show for the total n00b that I was. At this juncture, I didn't own any live tapes and I only owned the five studio albums. They opened with a Pink Floyd cover in deference to the fact they'd attended a Pink Floyd show the night before on their off night in Birmingham (I guess they don't miss Sunday shows either.) A roaring Melt showed up next as my first true taste of live Phish. Glide, Divided Sky, Foam, etc. are definitely the songs you want when you don't know their vast catalog. Suzy Greenberg was brand new to me and it was super exciting riding that huge wave of energy in a place that small.

As much as I dug the first set, the second set is where I truly fell in love. Opening with a fast paced tune about a dog? Sign me up! Mound and Reba were two of my studio favorites and it was great to see those tunes live. "Lizards" is when the switch truly flipped for me. I had no idea music could sound like that. Who were these damn wizards? I was losing my mind and I was sober as a judge. After some Page schmaltz on Lawn Boy, they went into Mike's Song, another new tune to me. Oteil finally came out to join the band on stage. We saw him walking through the parking lot and he was waiting in line behind us with his bass slung over his soldier (I think he was eventually ushered in a different entrance.) It was super fun in the moment seeing him do the trampolines with the band, but it doesn't hold up all that well on tape. Later in my fandom, a "Cavern" encore would probably disappoint, but it was just what I wanted at the time.

I've listened to this show a few times over the years, but listening back to it today, exactly 26 years later I appreciate it on a higher level than I did back then. This is the perfect 4 star show IMO: good setlist, tightly played, a few surprises. Nothing that makes it an all-timer or anything, but a damn solid night of music and one that certainly hooked me for life.
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