, attached to 1986-10-15

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove This may be the first truly great Phish show I've encountered since starting from the beginning of their recorded history. This is in part due to the quality and relative completeness of the recording However, this nice recording also reveals a band that is finally mastering its craft. There is a tightness in the playing throughout, the trademark sense of humor matched with sincere energy and musicianship, and then there is just the novelty of hearing a lot of these classic Phish tunes & covers in their first incarnations. I am going to list my highlights, but please don't let this make you think you can safely skip any parts of this show. I could honestly rave about almost every part of this show, it smokes from start to finish:

1) Skin It Back: The first known version of this cover slays. The whole band is really locked in and tight during the jam, keeping the energy high throughout. Trey really soars on top of Fishman's propulsive beat. Great early Phish jam which segues cleanly into…

2) Cities: Slick pairing with Skin it Back, a back-to-back funky little one-two punch for ya. There isn't a jam, but the execution is thrilling

3) McGrupp: This early version of McGrupp has a mesmerizing sense of growing dread due to an atypical, hypnotic melody Trey is playing over Page's beautiful chords. The tension builds with spine tingling fervor until it explodes on the "He looks too much like Dave" line. The jam afterwards is definitely driven by Page, with a more typical McGrupp feel.

4) Lushington: If you haven't heard Lushington, do yourself a favor. Listen now, this rendition is great. You'll no doubt recognize segments that would later be fully incorporated into Fluffhead, but Lushington has its own character and is a great tune. Still hoping for that bust out in 2021!

5) Sneakin' Sally: Worth the listen for the exuberant, early 80's energy that they bring to this funky cover tune. Nice vocal jam taboot.

6) Quinn->Mike's: The Quinn part of this pairing is fun and gets stretched out a bit, but its really the Mike's you want to hear. It's like they built up and stored the energy from Quinn's, segued subtly into Mike's Song, and then as soon as the jam on Mike's Song starts they just unleash. Trey's playing is insane, and he and Fishman display some great syncopation, especially towards the very end of the jam. Do not skip.

7) Harry Hood: Heroic peak in this one. Perhaps one of the best Hoods to date. Trey changes his tone as he moves back into the end of the song, giving a nice effect leaving his virtuosic soloing

8) Run Like A Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe shenanigans aside (highly amusing), Trey gets cosmic on this one! His tone is like a celestial siren, laying prophecy amongst the chaos of Mike/Fish/Page's meteoric collisions. Amazing peak and best antelope (well, cantaloupe) up to this point! This or the Mike's Song may be my favorite jams of the show.

9) Clod: Sure, its just a segment of Fluffhead, but its slowed down and the vibe is completely different outside of Fluffhead. A little more chill, a little jazzier, and whole lot more drama. Great end to this stellar show!
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