, attached to 1994-05-07

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ 5/7/94 can sometimes feel a bit daunting as a listening exercise. The first set offers some really great standalone tunes: raging Llama opener, common Horn with a rare outro jam, majestic FEFY, an utterly terrifying SOaM that--while still Type I--really pushes the dynamic and rhythmic capabilities of the song's fabric, and very solid playing from the band on everything in between. Set 2 opens with a solid Loving Cup and one of the more frenetic Sparkle's I've heard...then it happens. Tweezer-fest weighs in at over an hour of non-stop playing comprised of multiple covers, teases, segues, and deeply improvisational sections. This is why I call the show "daunting," as a behemoth like this one really demands focused attention and stamina in order to fully appreciate all that's going on. The segments flow together with such impressive fluidity and evolve so greatly that it's easy to lose track of where we are and how we got here. Some of my favorite moments here are the blues jam (sorry, waxbanks), the DDLJ -> Sweet Emotion passage, Page's moment in the spotlight following Walk Away, and the HYHU jam through Tweeprise. Such great diversity and richness of jamming baked in here.

There's a natural comparison to be drawn between the Bomb Factory Tweezer-fest and the 8/14/93 Tinsley Park Antelope segue-fest. Both jams evolve with similar grace, making sure to come back to home base with enough frequency that you know it's still happening. They each work in Sparks, Walk Away, and a reggae tune (Makisupa vs Have Mercy). While I might feel that Bomb Factory comes out on top as more impressive given its length and diversity, it's difficult to say which is "better." The fact of the matter (as is usually the case with Phish) is that you should just listen to and love both.

Bomb Factory is a beast.


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