, attached to 1993-08-14

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ The past few days I've been going on a self-led tour of August '93, and I was very happy to have some additional context behind my re-listen of the Tinsley Park show. The first set of this show has some pretty stellar moments among a ripper Divided Sky that foreshadows its '94 glory, a dark and dreary Page-centric It's Ice breakdown, and a SOaM that has all four band members exploring melodic and rhythmic space. Dotted between these are some rock solid performances of a few of my other favorite Phish tunes.

Set 2 better captures the ethos of the Type II Phish that was really beginning to bloom at this point. Starting off with a launchpad Also Sprach, the "Antelope-fest" jam that makes up the meat of the set is a must-listen for any Phan looking to study the band's early interplay and exploration. It isn't even four minutes in when the band enters Type II territory and sets off an evolving behemoth of a musical journey. There are a number of excellent sections throughout the entire performance, all laden with creativity from each member of the band, and each transition exemplifies impressive agility and syncopation. As others have pointed out, this could be considered the spiritual predecessor to the 5/7/94 Bomb Factory Tweezer-fest jam due to the gnarly segues, the presence of Sparks and Walk Away, and the vast sonic ground covered from end to end. Without trying to sound like I'm forming an indictment of this performance (I most certainly am not), I'll call out that this jam sequence seemed to have a bit of a shorter attention span that that of Bomb Factory, flipping between segments a little more quickly and flippantly.

The efficiency of the Antelope jam makes me forget that there's still plenty left to Set 2. In addition to a few sweet standard selections and a goofy Purple Rain, YEM stands out as another set highlight. Still representative of the August '93 setting, we get plenty of teases of other tunes and readily re-imagine the baseline YEM groove following Page's solo. Overall, a super fun show that--along with a number of others--captures the band entering its next major phase of development.

P.S. If you're listening on Live Phish Vol. 7, it is definitely worth checking out the filler material. The Great Gig Mike's Groove from 8/11/93 offers further examples of the band's riffing off one another as a simple pattern established by Mike early in the jam follows the band for several minutes and Trey's rhythms inspire Fishman to pivot the groove in a few different directions before -> Great Gig. The supplemental Stash from 8/15/93 is a favorite of mine from this era. In contrast to some of the more capricious jams from summer of '93, this one builds on itself and evolves with extreme patience that challenges one to delineate distinct sections. Around 11:00, the band aligns on a fantastically optimistic mixolydian groove full of rhythmic and melodic elements reminiscent of Mango Song. The less-organized blend back into Stash plays extremely well.
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