, attached to 1994-07-13

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ This is one of those shows that I’m happy to have on AUD; half the reason I love it is for the hype of the crowd. Hearing the folks who were there react in real time to this stellar performance really enhances the listening experience and drives home the communal feeling that says “god damn we love this band.”

First few songs open up strong, especially the chaotic Buried Alive opener. ‘94 is rife with strong Foams and this version is no exception; listen for the nice moment of suspension alluded to in the jam chart description because it makes for an excellent springboard into the rest of Trey’s solo. Mango Song, DwD, and Fee perfectly capture the crowd energy I mentioned, especially as Trey delivers one of the strongest Type I DwD solos ever and the whole room belts Fee (this DwD is actually off the fucking hook--please for the love of god listen as Fishman goes ballistic). It’s Ice gets a tasty little underwater jam a bit more unique than some of the other ‘94 funky iterations, and I love the trombone version of I Didn’t Know as a reprieve from Fishman’s vacuum. SOAM closer is a heavy jam to finish with a nice rhythmic beginning that takes off into outer space by the finish. Fishman is on another level in this one.

Set 2 is one of the best sets of Phish I’ve ever heard through and through. Every song is noteworthy. After opening with a biting and thrashing Possum that plays in the road for a full 14 minutes (despite several would-be-fitting opportunities to wrap things up), the band moves onto one of the coolest surprises they pulled off in ‘94 with a juke from Cavern into upbeat funky Wilson--again listen for the crowd here. Even cooler than the ->Wilson is the subsequent ->Cavern that Trey uses to surprise both band and audience. Really awesome stuff. NICU is played with more emphasis than usual on certain rhythmic aspects and has an atypical, raucous outro that bleeds into Tweezer. The Tweezer->Julius->Tweezer->BBFCM->Tweezer->Mound is a wild ride full of twists, turns, and shock. Transitions in and out off Tweezer are pulled off expertly, and the Tweezer bits themselves are full of awesome moments (especially the I Wish and upbeat rag portion between Julius and BBFCM). BBFCM is a little easier on the ears in the bluegrass style, and gets quite an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Cacophony gives way to a strong Mound with a cool harmonic intro. After all this, it's hard to imagine the band has more left in the tank to deliver, but by golly they do. This Slave is probably the best version to date thanks to an especially long ascent to the peak that leaves plenty of room for contemplation. Mike fills this one in phenomenally, while Fishman expertly toes the line between soft but energetic. The peak is glorious. The band has earned a rest, but instead they pull out a rocking Suzy complete with Slave teases.

After a My Sweet One > Tweeprise encore, what are we left with? After writing this review, it dawns on me that this may be my new favorite Phish show of all time. I'm hard pressed to think of many others out there that deliver the same level of consistent, creative, energetic, and tight play. It's funny, too, because it doesn't include any of my five favorite Phish songs (Bowie, Reba, Gin, YEM, Hood). But damn man, this show is undeniably stellar and certainly belongs in the hall of fame and on everyone's must-listen list.
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