, attached to 1993-08-16

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Yet another excellent show from August '93. Both sets from this show feature some really iconic jamming, producing a few truly historic versions of some of Phish's best tunes. A 13-minute Possum in the second song slot demonstrates just how comfortable the band has become with the newly regular Type II jamming, weaving in and out of the true Possum jam with impressive agility thanks to the band's ability to feed off the ideas of one another. After a stock-standard Horn, we get one of the best Reba's I've ever heard. For all the more prototypical Reba jams I've heard (and trust me, I love every single one), it's really refreshing to hear one of the earlier iterations that really strays from the steady Lydian groove with such tactful evolution. Trey smoothly leads the band through a few different passages to explore various energies and moods before bringing us right back to Reba for a blazing finish. Foam and SOaM continue the Set 1 trend: every other tune slaps. The transition to the silent jam on Foam is fantastic and gives Fishman a peaceful moment to just groove out. And PLEASE go listen to the last couple minutes of SOaM: every single member of the band is on fucking fire here, following Trey's lead through some terrifying descending riffs that start higher and higher up the fretboard each time. Fishman is a beast here. With a Squirming Coil that at times achieves both serene delicacy and determined confidence, ending on some more emotionally complex chords, we conclude first set for the ages.

In Set 2, we start to see some telltale signs of where the band is in its development. A sweet Mike's Groove with Faht meat kicks things off, and both ends get their share of Type II action. Mike's jam is heavily reliant on the syncopated riffs, harmonic dissonance, and fragmented groove jamming that is so typical of this earlier era, done extremely well but lacking in some of the more heavily developed ideas that would become commonplace in years to come. Weekapaug moves through several distinct sections, including trading fours with Fishman's drum solos, a Gypsy Woman jam, a somewhat sloppy I Wish groove, and a subdued moment that almost resembles the intro to Pebbles and Marbles. All around awesome Mike's Groove. From here, we get some solid but typical performances to fill out the rest of Set 2. As much as I love the tunes they choose, their placement in the set is indicative of the band's still-developing approach to setlist construction. A few Rift tunes, Poor Heart, Big Ball Jam, and 'A' Train kill some of the grand, experimental momentum the band had developed throughout the first set and the Mike's Groove. GTBT picks the energy back up a bit to close, but I'm left wanting a little more jamming. Still a ripper of a show, though.
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