, attached to 1993-07-29

Review by kipmat

kipmat https://forum.phish.net/forum/permalink/1378210505

"[1993 was] the year Phish could do no wrong... Phish was so creatively and musically compelling and they were taking crazy risks. Before 1993 it had seemed to be a very practiced, concise show that flowed real fast and didn't necessarily have any huge improvisational moments. All of a sudden there were huge improvisational moments everywhere. You'd get some of that in 1992 and throughout the early years, but in 1993 the growth was obvious." - Kevin Shapiro, Phish: The Biography, p. 113

The growth that Kevin Shapiro describes seems to refer primarily to August '93, a month so venerated that some may not be aware that the Summer 1993 tour began on July 15. The band's performances during July were tighter than they had ever been, and they were making the jump to playing outdoor amphitheaters with larger capacities, but some of the playing is marked with the ambivalence that the band has shown whenever they have found themselves playing to larger audiences then they have been accustomed to. The "homecoming" show in Stowe, VT on 7/22 is notably bogged down by rain, and the 7/27 Richmond > 7/28 Charlotte run at the end of the month appeared to be a swoon. It would take a venue down-sizing in Tampa on 8/2 for the band to fully break out of their rut, and once they brought back Slave To The Traffic Light at the Cincinnati Zoo on 8/6, Phish was airborne once again and reaching for the improvisational heavens.

7/29 may be missing the ground-breaking hey-hole jams or segue-fests that make the best of the August shows so compelling, but the seeds the band had planted can be seen sprouting from the ground before blooming a couple of weeks later. One interesting aspect of Summer 1993 is how the band started sneaking in teases from more random sources; on this night, the three-note riff from Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning" is not only teased in GTBT, but becomes the basis for a wicked jam in YEM. @SlavePhan's show review mentions other setlist oddities including Mike's yodeling in Funky Bitch, Trey's whispering at the beginning of Maze, and a rare segue out of Bouncing Around the Room instead of the familiar ending. We are also treated to another mind-melting Trey narration during Forbin's > Mockingbird, Trey's bizarre dedication during Daniel Saw The Stone, and what might have actually been a double encore. This show is easily overlooked because there's just so much music played during August '93 that demands to be heard first; but if you have heard all that and want some more, this show is a lot of fun to revisit.


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