, attached to 1991-07-12

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Every once in a while it's fun to return to the summer '91 shows with the Giant Country Horns. Most of my Phish listening focuses on '93 and beyond, as I believe is the case for most Phans. By turning back the clock to earlier shows, we get some great tunes that fell out of regular rotation as well as some that stuck around as staples but sound distinguished this early in the band's development. Throw in the Giant Country Horns with some nice solos and excellent arrangements and you've got yourself a show that stands out from the usual listening.

As a 3.0 Phan, I began my exploration of the catalog relatively late in the band's career. By chance, Spotify directed me to 7/12/91 for a couple versions of tunes that would help form the foundation for the rest of the journey, namely AC/DC Bag and Mike's Song. Though these two performances are obviously a little different from the songs' typical styles, I fell in love with each and to this day still miss the call and response between Trey's vocals and GCH on Bag's chorus. These two biggest hitters from this show feature some really excellent playing by Trey, who was really beginning to heat up his chops at this point.

The rest of the show features some strong versions of other tunes (especially David Bowie and Gumbo), and plenty of interesting horn accompaniment that breathes fresh life into the usual repertoire. Aside from the aforementioned, I feel that the Landlady, Cavern, Golgi, and Suzy Greenberg really glow up with the addition of GCH. In addition, the jazz tunes Flat Fee, Donna Lee, and Moose the Mooche fit excellently into the set for some diversification (perhaps even better than some of the acoustic bluegrass tunes prevalent in '93). A couple final shoutouts for Tweezer, where I was really impressed with the incorporation of additional horn riffs on top of the already busy and intricate rhythms produced by the core 4, and Frankenstein, which did more truthful justice to Edgar Winter with the brass (even if Page's synth was absent). All around, this is a very fun show from a unique period for the band. It's fun to imagine what some other later Phish tunes may have sounded like had GCH remained a more integral part of the band's career, though I guess TAB sort of gives us a taste of that.
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