, attached to 1994-11-22

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

It was a cold night in November. Really cold. But what was about to go on inside the Jesse Auditorium in Columbia, MO was enough to make anyone forget about the wintertime weather outside. For some reason, this was a tough ticket and I think mostly this was due to the intimacy of the venue itself. Or maybe the previous show in Madison, which was one of the few times I have seen the band leave the stage after the encore, only to be forced back out by the crowd for a true second encore of "Fire".
Whatever it was, this Columbia `94 show is one of my favorites from that era. After a week of having Rev. Mosier onboard, this was the first show back with just plain Phish. A "Buried Alive" opener right out of the gates set the tone for the evening immediately. Short, sweet, and fierce. And that may sum up most of the first set. It was short and sweet - but it definitely had some fiery moments. A "Foam", "Guyute", and a "Disease" all in the first set was quite nice. This set ended on a soft note with "Sweet Adeline", but that only meant one thing: look out for the second set.
And look out was right. This "Funky Bitch" set opener still, to this day, is one of the most explosive, cohesive, and out there jams I have ever witnessed (A great filler choice by Mike on his recent Live Phish picks). Granted, there was plenty of this type of explosiveness during the Fall of 1994, but this version of "Funky Bitch" was outrageous.
I'm pretty sure everyone downstairs and up on the balcony was busy picking their jaws up off the floor during the breath-catching "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav". The "Cry Baby Cry" was a tremendous treat, especially for all of the Midwesterners who didn't make it out to Glenn Falls on Halloween. Then a "Curtain" and another Beatles tune, "Blackbird". Need I say more? This set was played with such inspiration and you could see it beaming from the stage. A rare "Runway `Jeff'" was followed by a strobe-light-enhanced, Trey-running-around-like-a-maniac, CK5 mind-melting "Furry Creatures".
At this point, I think everyone inside was ready for another breather and a few of the tunes they learned with Rev. Mosier were played again to bring things back down. Things were going so smoothly at this point that they decided to take an audience request, and "Harry Hood" was the tune selected. This is a gorgeous version and again, the inspirational playing continued. To be honest, they could have left the stage right after "Hood", but they decided to give us a rocking version of "Highway to Hell", complete with an evil red lighting scheme by Kuroda. A very appropriate way to end this fiery set. A beautiful "Lizards" was played as the encore and when the house lights came on the room was just full of smiles.
A funny side note about this show, the student group that put concerts on at the university had no idea who Phish was and they all took off early for Thanksgiving. After the place had cleared out a bit Brad got on the megaphone asking for volunteers to help break down the stage and load the semis. We sprinted from our balcony spot and ran outside behind the stage to volunteer. We were the last two people that signed up for this gig, and what fun it was. Got to thank Mike and Trey for such an incredible evening of music and spent the next few hours freezing while rolling gear up into the semi. I'll never forget being handed a bank deposit type bag, with a piece of tape on it that read, "Page's Piano Bolts" as we were asked to take apart the grand piano. That was a trip. And for our help they gave everyone the old white logo T-shirt and a ticket to any upcoming show. Brad, whatever happened to those bus tubes you were talking about?
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