, attached to 2011-06-18

Review by wernerd09

wernerd09 My first show ten years ago today ! Thanks for the reminder .net. Can’t believe this night changed my life. Thankful for all the people and memories I have along the way. I haven’t seen an Esther since. I remember 4 guys came on stage took care of business without saying a word and then left. I was hooked. Can’t wait for ten more years
, attached to 1986-02-03

Review by BishopToB4

BishopToB4 I personally quite enjoyed this show. I had to clean the audio up a little bit with an EQ to hear things correctly, but once this was done the show was a good listen. First YEM got a great crowd reaction once it hit the 'Boy Man' funk part, it felt like everyone knew it was a classic already! Antelope was also a fine version. Other than that the others were fine but nothing special.
, attached to 1990-01-20

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove Standard fare show: good songs, played reasonably well, with a couple of standout solos and mini-jams. I particularly enjoy the brief Purple Haze tease during Suzy. I am not a fan of the slow-tempo Caravan, however. I'm sure they've played it faster than this? Anyways, highlights: 1) [u]Bathtub Gin[/u]: Trey's solo at the end is sort of slopped around in the best way possible. Dissonant and off-kilter timing. I'll take it! [b]2) [u]Run Like an Antelope[/u]: [/b]Very strong version, the dissonant build with Trey and Page is great and Fishman's drumming is propulsive. [b]3) [u]Reba[/u]:[/b] The jam at the end of this Reba is really thrilling stuff! Trey soars and his tone is gorgeous, Mike's is booming all over the place. My favorite moment of the whole show. 4) [u]Mike's Song[/u]: Trey holds a note for an extended period of time that flirts with the boundary of "this is going on for way too long" and "this is awesome, keep going!". It helps that Page, Mike, and Fish are going nuts during this part of the jam.
, attached to 1998-11-15

Review by TheFuckinBook_Man

TheFuckinBook_Man Well, this seems to me to be one of the few shows relegated to a lower league after the tour was over. I was there, too, I mean, I enjoyed a good amount of it- but the previous show i saw was their ATL Summer '98 show which was better. And before that was ATL '97. So, that was my knowledge and understanding of what a Phish show is. My first two shows (11/6/96, not a great show except to me and prob some others; then 7/23/97 was my 2nd show. So, i was played some of the greatest real soon, in my own opinion and in the entire phish opinion anus). This show at a cool place I'd never seen a show at, even though I grew up for 30 years in Chattanooga, just 1:45 mins away. The venue was round and felt small once inside, awaiting your legs to actually do some dancin'. I never danced. Unless hammered. I wasn't hammered. I was only on some weed. I went full L ahead at my first show and after constant listening knew i didn't want to see them again on L. I used that drug to go do all sorts of stuff on- a rollerhockey rec league game down south in Chattanooga. HEY WE HAVEN'T HAD A YEAR ROUND ICE RINK SINCE THE MID 70'S! AND THE DAMN CHOO-CHOO TRAIN DOESN'T EVEN TRANSPORT THE PUBLIC ANYMORE! The Chattanooga Choo Choo. Pardon me, y'all. But come down this summer. It's a nice town. This show though, is allright because phish is able to really put in an above average or higher show night after night, so it's like ranking which Trey composition is best. This show was enjoyed by me while I was there more that at any other time. I was happy to see a song from a 1.0 show i attended put on soundboard mixed release- the Mule here. Which is a good one, but the Velvet Sea is just more unique and even the longest one ever. EDIT- Phish released the 7/23/97 show!! I just learned that one. Thank you very much. I work with folks with disabilities and one thing auds don't have is that warm big bass that autistic kids enjoy. Shit, my brother danced when Breath & Burnin rotated on the other day, just cuz it's an album version in this case, but somethin off Live in Amsterdam would do it. After the show the MFMF, Ghost, Driver. Limb By Limb was real cool to hear since it was so new. And the powered up La Grange!! The second set was fun too! Listen to the Velvet Sea! The Stash isn't terrible, and go send Keven a message to please put the Mike's Groove from 11/6/96 on the next Bunny broadcast or official release!! It's amazing music. Again, thank you Phish. And thank you even more phish dot net. See ya on the beach in Jersey ahaahaa!
, attached to 1998-11-04

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat At the moment this show has a 3.57 rating, which is just wild! This is the coolest Frankie Says that I know of, and the Stash tease in Bowie is delicious. The Gin doesn't reach July '98 levels, but it's plenty good with loads of soaring, whirling shenanigans from Trey... it definitely peaks hard. Runaway Jim, Piper, 2001 second set... really plenty to chew on here. 3.57 ain't make no sense!
, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by timhorak

timhorak Review above mentions: [i]...and two debuts: “Character Zero”, which ended abruptly because "we don't know the end yet" (Trey), and “Waste.”[/i] Minor correction, but it's actually Waste that ends abruptly with Trey saying it doesn't have an ending, not Zero. Only noticed because I'm listening to the show now and wondered if they were debuting those songs. Had to come check the setlist :)
, attached to 2014-07-15

Review by buffalo_716

buffalo_716 2nd set review -- This was a good show. The transitions with BOTT > NICU > Jibboo > Theme From > Meatstick > Fuego > Wedge > Run Like an Antelope aka Fuegolope allowed for one giant collective dance party! Not MONSTER jams - just a VERY solid show with some really fun playing. No major flubs - Phish at the most relaxed ready to take us on a ride - and that they did. Hitting 8 or 9 shows this Summer 2021 and couldn't be happier! Highlights: Down with Disease, BOTT including the transition into NICU & High energy, phishy, silly and well played "Fuegolope"
, attached to 1994-05-29

Review by stardog2012

stardog2012 [b]This was my very first Phish show![/b] I was in my last semester at SF State and really on the bus w/ the GD, getting ready to see 17 Dead shows that summer. But a pal & I were hearing the buzz about Phish and so we went down to the Warfield on May 27 to try to get tix to see them that night. There were no tix to be had, but someone had a pair for 5/29 in Laguna Seca and we were like, phuck it, why not, Monterey isn't that far... I don't remember much about the earlier bands, except that I was not digging 4 Non Blondes and was glad I didn't join my pal in eating shrooms, haha... I hardly knew any Phish songs at this point, so it was pretty much all new to me and I therefore couldn't appreciate the magnitude of a Divided Sky opener, something I would then chase until Magnaball. I membah thinking David Bowie was a very weird song and that the show felt like it was kind of all over the place. It was the acapella Freebird closer and epic 5 song encore that made the biggest impression on me and I dug the GTBT finale. And so I was left feeling like ok, these guys are kinda weird, but they definitely rock... I only saw one more show in 1994 at Kent State when I was back home in Cleveland in the fall and then I saw a handful of summer 95 shows only because they were convenient to hit in between west coast Dead & east coast Dead. I was not even connecting Phish as the Gen-X heirs to the psychedelic rock counterculture throne, not even after Jerry's untimely departure from the planet and the one fall 95 show I saw in San Diego. I was in a spiritual black hole that fall due to the demise of the GD and I just didn't know what to do... But then a friend in Cleveland invited me to join him for the MSG-Woostah run and I was like, "Phish is playing NYE at MSG?!" That seemed potentially significant since I had seen the GD there in '94 and been blown away by the energy from the NYC crowd. And so it was that I was hooked by the Phish on 12/29/95 during the Real Gin jam & then reeled in for life by the Gamehendge Time Lab show where I grokked that the music gods had provided a next generation to carry the torch. I had visions of Bluto Blutarski in my head that night at MSG saying, "Over?! It's not over, nothing is over until we say it is!" Go Phish!
, attached to 1995-09-30

Review by pub1tzu

pub1tzu Well, it's about time I review this show. This was my 60th show, and it was in my transplanted hometown of the SF Bay Area. This show wasn't even 2 months after Jerry Garcia passed away on August 9th, so being at the home base of the Grateful Dead with a ton of Deadheads in attendance, there was many many songs and moments that were either overtly or tongue in cheekly referencing Uncle Jer'. You've likely heard this epic show, and maybe seen snippets of the video on YouTube or even that one glimpse from NYE 2003 when they had the video montage during set break. One important note(to me) They've gotten my name wrong and spelled wrong all these years. Understandably, as it's a strange name. I believe, in fact, like Tigger, I'm the only one. PüTzu is the correct spelling. Pronounced POO-TZOO. That being said, I'm going to start by sharing my unique tale from that day. And maybe add more to the tale over the years. My show started long before anyone else's show that day. I used to sell a lot of glass in the parking lot, however on September 30, at Shoreline, I decided that there were more important things to do. I was showing some pieces to some folks in the lot when my friend Greenpeace Mike came out from his cave in the backstage area and found me working as usual. He asked me if I had wanted to play Page a game of chess. I’d been after Page to play me for a couple of years so, I said, “Yeah!” Mike told me, “Come on.” So, I closed the case of glass, and excused myself and followed Mike to the backstage entrance. When we got there, he told me to meet him back there in 1 hour. So, I went back to the lot and told the clients that were checking out the glass that I was closed, went and put away my glass case, and hurried back to meet up with Greenpeace Mike. When I arrived he led me inside the big wooden doors to the back-stage area of Shoreline. It kinda felt like the big castle doors opening up to let me inside. We bee-lined it to the sort of “hang-out” area for the band-members where John was playing Ms. Pac-man. Mike and Page were sitting on one side of a table with a chess-board on it and Trey was just kinda pacing about. I said hey to everybody, but John’s attention was taken by Ms. Pac-man, then I sat down on the couch across from Page. A lot of folks thought that I made a horrible move. I have played chess for nearly 50 years, and I play chess like I live life, from the hip. I only thought I was playing an innocent game of chess. After the three moves, Trey had been pacing around, watching the game, Trey came over and said, “That’s good.” I said, “Huh?!” Trey said, “Oh, you don’t know what’s going on.” I said, “What?!” Trey said, “Oh, You don’t know what’s going on,” and pulled me out of my seat and took me to the front of the stage and showed me a giant velcro chess board. He proceeded to tell me that they were starting this chess game against the audience, where the band would make a move at the beginning of the show and a different member of the audience would make the move for the audience each night after set break. I was like, “Wow, cool.” So, Brad showed me around and told me how things would go, and how I wasn’t supposed to cross certain lines and where to stand. Then I was dismissed, and told to meet Brad at the beginning of the show. I ran outside and told everybody I knew not to be late for the show. I didn’t tell a soul why. I wanted it to be a surprise. And a surprise it was. I found out later that many of my friends were seeing their first Phish show, and then I went and got up on stage. This was the first time, but wasn’t to be the last time I would get onstage with the band. So then the moment came, and the show began. Phish opened the show with the always eerie, My Friend followed by an instrumental version of Jefferson Airplane’s quintessential psychedelic tune, White Rabbit. During the My Friend and the start of the White Rabbit Jam, I was on the risers stage left. (Jerry’s side) The jam kinda thinned out and Trey began to explain what was going on to the audience. Phish are all big fans of chess, and spend a lot of time on the road doing battle at the chessboard. They would be challenging the audience to a game of chess on this national tour, with one move played at each concert. I was invited onto the stage during the White Rabbit Jam. Having moved from the side of the stage to the front row, all I had to do was climb onto the stage. And there I was, a little nervous to say the least. Trey called me out to the front of the stage to meet the audience. With 20-something thousand in attendance, a large percentage good friends of mine, there I stood on the front edge of the stage at Shoreline, home of the Grateful Dead, in my Jerry Garcia postage stamp shirt, hands folded in front of me like a little kid. But on with the game… The game began with keyboardist and vocalist Page McConnell making a very normal move 1.e4 (1.P-K4) and then I responded, some have said, “sensibly, with 1…e5 (1…P-K4). Then Page played one of his favorite opening moves, 2.Bb5!? (2.B-N5) which is the unorthodox opening known in some circles as the Portuguese Opening. I responded with another reserved move, 2…Nc6 (2…N-QB3), and Page’s next move was, 3.Nf3 (3.N-KB3). The music continued with Reba, Uncle Penn a touch of Antelope, and then an acoustic rendition of Blue and Lonesome dedicated to Jerry Garcia, with Sample in a Jar closing out the set. But for me, the night was to become a strange psychedelic journey into the draw-bridge that was coming down between The Grateful Dead and Phish. I was wandering around backstage for a little while when I saw this woman playing basketball with a young boy, perhaps her child. Not really knowing what I wanted to do next, I sure didn’t want to leave the inner sanctum of Shoreline’s backstage area with Grateful Dead emblems and iconography everywhere, I watched them play horse for a minute and then asked them if they were with Phish. “Nope, Grateful Dead,” she replied. And that was all I needed to make my night complete.
, attached to 1992-12-06

Review by Lifeboy444

Lifeboy444 Cool Jim to start the show. Awesome 1st set. Highlights are Foam, My Friend, Coil, and Antelope. 2nd set was also good, but not as good as the 1st. Stash had a nice, dark jam. Highlights of the 2nd set are Stash, Bathtub, YEM, TMWSIY, and the extra long Lenghtwise. The encore was special. Super creative doing Possum into The Vibration of Life(which itself is a fun listen), back into an energetic Possum to end the show. Overall, pretty great show. Possum!
, attached to 1989-11-10

Review by Lifeboy444

Lifeboy444 A good show overall. Highlights of the first set are Melt, Suzy, Divided Sky, AC/DC Bag, and La Grange. La Grange was full of energy and an amazing closer for the first set Highlights of the second set are Harry, Bathtub Gin, The Lizards, and Possum. The best of the encores is Antelope, which made for a nice closer for the show. Overall, a pretty good show with some great standout tracks.
, attached to 1998-08-03

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat I LOVE 98 shows, especially this stretch of 98. That said, this show kinda can't get out of its own way. Moma Dance has 2 very messy moments. Axilla is noticeably choppy too. (And I don't mean like "Oh Trey hit the wrong note," I mean they aren't together.) Gumbo is great, as mentioned elsewhere, LxL is good, it seems like we're on our way... but no. Hold Your Head Up > Bike > HYHU... just really bogs things down.
, attached to 1993-05-08

Review by Midcoaster

Midcoaster Reba is a beast to behold. It isn't just the fact that Trey brings everything down to a whisper and then back up to a wailing away blast off. It's that Mike's bass line underneath is a slippery funk with phased timing weirdness that holds everything together in some groovy psychedelic funk lounge manner. Wow. It was good to be young, even though we couldn't live.
, attached to 2004-09-18

Review by play_it_leo89

play_it_leo89 What a phenomenal way to open the second set! A hulking, multi-headed beast of a Mr. Completely, that, by the end, will have you believing you're listening to James Brown. Everyone gets a chance to shine here. There's really something for everyone. Add to that a hell of an interesting segue into the TAB debut of a wonderful horn-filled Stash that has the feel of the late '70s Doc Severinsen-led Tonight Show band ("...and heeeeeeeeere's [i]Johnny[/i]!"). This show is an absolutely spectacular treat.
, attached to 1995-06-19

Review by TooManyUrkels

TooManyUrkels Call me a plebeian if you must, but I was turned onto this show - as I'm sure many of us were - by the DAAM broadcast during the thick of the first COVID lockdown. Like most phans, I love '95 but this show flew way under my radar for standout shows from that year, but was super into it on first listen. Now that it's on LP+ I've since listened again detached from the filmic accompaniment - and yea, it really stands up. Theme, Bag, Reba, Simple, Bowie, YEM and Possum are the standouts. Flubs in Rift and RLAA as others have noted. Nothing so bad that it throws the show off. I'll leave it at that I think, but I'll urge anyone reading this review to check out Trey's lick from 6:59 - 7:02 (per the LP+ timing) of this Theme. Very tasteful stuff. I guess I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could but I'm going 5/5, flubs and all.
, attached to 2009-06-06

Review by life_boy

life_boy I really, really love this show. I wasn't sure if I would even listen to it at all due to the low rating and how uneventful people said it was but I decided to listen straight through Early Summer 2009 and I'm so glad I did. People complain about it but Set I is just a great summer set, IMO. Great flow and mix of songs. Faulty Plan is a great opener and I love Nothing both as a song and in the 2-spot. Great BOTT and this Taste is up to 1.0 standards. Everything is there to put a smile on your face and that's how I feel with this whole show. Beautiful -7, Fluffhead, and Heavy Things. Then the Hood>Possum, Bug closer is just tremendous. Not everything has to be about Type II insanity. Sometimes its nice to just sit back and go with a bunch of well-played songs that feel like a breezy summer evening. Overall, the whole show just has a great, laid-back vibe that I just love. So, if you're willing to set aside the rating bias and just sit back to a fun summer show, give this one a try. Worth it.
, attached to 1991-04-27

Review by MarcReyn27

MarcReyn27 30 years ago today...hard to believe. One of my first tapes, I think I literally wore it out. So much to say, but I want to focus on this Reba. As a previous reviewer said this is an extremely under-rated version. Trey is soaring with a tone that is beautiful and "weep-inducing", and he just keeps pushing this forward to new heights. Mike is playing all over the place in a fantastic melodic way and nicely high in the mix so you're able to key in on him. Everyone is absolutely tight and SO in the pocket - intently and psychically linked to each other but doing their own thing. One of those versions you need to relisten a few times and focus on each individual member just to hear their contribution. There is a moment at 8:37 that literally gives me chills each time I listen. This is Phish at their finest.
, attached to 1995-06-19

Review by JMart

JMart Obviously this show is getting bumped hard due to being featured on DaaM as well as archival release. Listened to the whole thing yesterday. The whole thing is pretty darn awesome, but I'd like to make special note of the Reba here. First, the first six minutes are played basically perfectly. Like, seriously I don't think they missed a note. The jam starts out innocuously enough, fairly patented Reba fare. Then, around 7:30, Mike and Page hit a weird jumble of notes. Trey immediately notices and follows them down into a very swift minor key transition. From there, Mike takes up a nifty bass line, which Trey and Page echo. This blossoms into a neat little bop rock aside, which lasts for about two minutes, before sliding back into the Reba jam proper. This moment is everything that is right with Phish in 1995. Also, it is Trey who messes up the landing at the end of Antelope, not Fishman.
, attached to 1986-10-31

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove I prefer the show before this one (10/15/1986), but this first Halloween show is not too shabby. First known version of Bowie, first recorded version of Melt The Guns. There are definitely moments that make the listening worthwhile. Here are my highlights: 1) [u]Slave[/u]: Short & sweet, but Trey's glittering '86 tone really makes the ending of this Slave shine. [b]2) [u]Melt The Guns[/u]:[/b] Love the original, and this cover tune seems perfect for Phish's vibe. Unfortunately it didn't stay in the repetoire. However, it does fluidly 'melt' into one of Phish's most beloved cover tunes… [b]3) [u]Sneakin' Sally[/u]:[/b] When has this song not been a smoke show? It seems like all these early versions rock. Trey's lead is confident, and the whole band is a little groove maker [b]4) [u]Jam > AC/DC Bag[/u]:[/b] The jam the precedes the bag is kind of simple. Trey noodling over Fishman. However, the build-up immediately preceding the transition to Bag is pretty hot and the ensuing Bag is also very hot. I think the jam was the engine revving up to unleash. [b] 5) [u]Bowie[/u]:[/b] First known Bowie, the arrangement is pretty much the same we've come to know over the years, although there is one notable difference with a tempo shift and slightly different melody. Kinda neat. As far as the jam goes, freaking smokes! Honestly, it makes me happy that from day 1, Bowie has been a juggernaut. 6) [u]Alumni Blues[/u]: Another early Phish tune where the band has the raging blues down pat. Some heroic rock band energy here. Both Trey and Page scorch.
, attached to 1991-11-09


PHATTSKIS This was my first actual PHiSH tape to receive in a trade back on spring Grateful Dead tour 1992, and is still a favorite. I had heard them on the lot in Cal Expo summer 1991, and then in some random encounters across fall tour, but this was my actual first PHiSH tape. Several things about the show stand out to me: my favorite song is on there (Foam), the great acid-grass of Sparkle, great pairing of Tube>YEM, and barbershop quartet of Sweet Adeline, which was my first hearing of that stuff. The second set is for sure a great set as well top to bottom, and there was some secret language in Possum. Well played, this young band impressed me and I gave that tape many listens over the years. Great way to get to acclimated and not overwhelmed with this new band (to me) at that time. My first show didn’t come until 2/18/1993, but I jumped in full steam in summer
, attached to 1998-07-02

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat This YEM has a really strong Reba 7/6/94 vibe... that soaring, climactic sense that is as much emotion as it is music. The sort of feeling that comes not from an overwhelming number of notes getting churned out by a hyperactive Trey solo (not that there's anything wrong with hyperactive Trey solos), but instead a harmony across the four of them. They all seem to step back and, as a result, everything paradoxically gets elevated. It's great.
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by mancubism

mancubism Love for Stash -> Free >Jam -> Piper Rocking Stash through 13:00 - reminds us it doesn’t take them long to go deep in a set. Anchors the Q3 through Manteca teases around 8:00, with consistently strong syncopation & collaboration, ultimately rock star domination. Sharp smooth, buttery tone shift by Trey at 13:00, passes the mic to Mike, Fish keeping it afloat into sublime bliss at 20:00, inevitably and unavoidably into the only Free for Fall 97. They don’t wast time getting back into the groovy (moo-vy) funk that we heard in set 1 Funky Bitch & pre-darkout Wolfman’s. Strong finish to Free - showing us their ability to just kill even a rare song that tour -> lush coda giving us breath & pause after that workout. Delicate into Trey & Page on point opening up a lovely Piper. Perfect ending, another lush coda. What a fun romp all around.
, attached to 1989-05-26

Review by mancubism

mancubism Standard, well-executed set up thru Mike’s Groove. I’ve only heard Fast Sanity a few times and those seemed sloppy - but this one is tight & funky. Nancy singing Halley’s with them makes a silly song sillier and still they rock it. Interesting to hear this ending to Sloth - before the counting up to “onze!” And can we keep talking about this YEM? Great buildup to BOY, straight out of Washa Uffizi Page lays a quiet jam and you can just feel Trey itching to take over. Page has no problem with that. Trey’s off the hook, all the way through. I’m telling you - Trey went back & listened to this jam when writing My Soul & Guyute. So good. Talking all about their new songs, playing with the audience, the bet you didn’t notice our new gear rant before Lazy Lester - messing around and having fun. This is the banter you love. They’ve always loved communicating with the audience. Not a shabby Lazy Lester taboot! Early intro for Mango that they eventually scrapped for Trey’s melodic intro - good choice. Similar to the Sloth outro in set 1. On Relisten Mango fades out, then back in on the steam dream part of SOAM. The first Gin ever (“you heard it here first!”) - has a kind of From the Bottom from the top / limb by limb by limb vocal outro. Cool to hear their excitement about this new batch of songs - they never really stopped writing after releasing Junta More great banter from Trey tying Antelope to playing hockey - being a musician and pro hockey player sometimes not being very different. And teasing the audience before Golgi (“We won’t play it if you stay, but we will if you go”) - lots of playing around with timing of the Golgi melody too - all over this show are traces of Trey’s ability to take the songs to the next level. Set 3: Slave has a powerful minimalism that builds the tension in the first half - maybe from a slight misstep, then Trey jumps in with a weird fuzzy filter that sounds out of place, which Mike’s co-opts around 4:30-5:00. And then the song ends with heavy & deep organ & bass, lifted by Trey’s fire jamming - on par with this show’s theme. Nice spots for Mike & Page in FB & Cutis - Mike sticks with the fuzz & Page sounds like he’s had a fifth of wine singing lead. Cute riffs from Trey. Trey wants Molly’s hat for Possum. They’re all pretty loose at this point. Trey gives Possum the Johnny B Goode treatment. Mike gives the vocals the ....loose treatment. The only logical encore is Practical Song - prescient, singing about goods shortages years in advance of COVID
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by islandtour1998

islandtour1998 first ever show. 17 years old, behind the stage (for Craig). a novice phan at the time, somehow knew most songs being played, but spent most of the night in awe at the entire scene. had no idea such a thing existed in which fans were so committed to celebrating a band. opened my eyes to a whole new world. enjoyed every second, especially seeing trey and mike on trampolines. highlights for me included yem, theme from the bottom, soam, dwd set 2 opener and ya mar (although not a phish original, one of my favorites). lots of other awesome moments in there as well. some serious funk, esp. in the second set. great times with a great buddy. i remember going to school the next day with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and bragging to classmates about the show.
, attached to 1994-04-11

Review by qushner

qushner One is supposed to review one's first show, after all. At 15 years old, this was the night that changed my life. Now middle aged, I return each year with older ears, a bit more critical, and also better able to appreciate the ups and downs of an evening with Phish. Despite whatever sentimental attachment I've got to the show, there's not really much to distinguish it from any number of other shows on this long, strange, in-between tour. Not quite polished, but decidedly graduated from the clubs they'd regularly haunted as recently as two years prior, Spring 1994 strikes me as a tour that casts about for an identity. Sometimes, Phish tries to ride its new material, and with varying degrees of success. Julius, for example, works quite well, pretty much from the beginning, and I think what later became known as the Julius Syndrome developed quickly: every version is the best version ever: this was certainly the case on this night at UNH. Other songs, most obviously Disease and (especially) Wolfman's, really had no idea what they were, and they fit awkwardly into the repertoire. When not working out the new stuff, Phish would fall back on their old habits: as the tour bled into May and June, the narrations and inside jokes piled up, but they didn't seem to work nearly as well when the band could no longer make out the faces at the back of the room. This show really is a tale of two sets. The first set is a run-of-the-mill 1994-vintage first set—but it's hot, top to bottom. The cool-down song is Glide, and that tells you what you need to know. Nothing here is necessarily a "must hear," but you could do far worse than to spend an hour listening to this set beginning to end. The two jazz tunes, which would be abandoned by year's end, both work here. Trey's solos on both are fiery and fluent. Though he'll never be confused for a "real" jazz guitarist, he follows the changes with confidence and dives down a few harmonic rabbit holes, building an admirable amount of tension using notes, phrasing, and the occasional double stop—not the delay, phase shifting, and loops that would eventually become his calling cards. Each of the proper Phish songs that round out the first set includes a canonical Big Phish Peak. Again, nothing revolutionary here—just what you'd expect/want to hear on any given night at a generic mid-'90s Phish show in some forgotten hockey arena. I thought I heard the tubes in Trey's amp gasping for breath after Divided. The second set, for better or for worse, also happened. Nothing quite comes together, though it's not for lack of trying. Maze... happens. Forbin's and Mockingbird do, too. The playing is good enough, and there have certainly been shows with poorer song selection, but the fire that filled the first half of the show has gone missing. Even the Mockingbird Trey leads, which are melodically competent, feel a bit forced. In the end it's a mishmash. An unearned psych-rock peak in Maze. A long narration in a too-big room (before this was rare enough to be Something Special). A recent single that you'd be forgiven for never having heard on the radio. An [i]a capella[/i] tune. A Big Ball Jam that was fun at the time (one big ball landed on my young head), but they realized they'd grown out of a few months too late. A perfunctory YEM. An apology of a closer in Suzy—at least we'll send you home smiling. Nothing's wrong, but nothing's quite right either. All together, this show has tremendous meaning to me, and I look forward to hearing it each April. But my older ears have learned to appreciate the show for what it was: just another Monday night on another long tour. I hope that you'll give it a listen. If you wander away at setbreak, I won't hold it against you.
, attached to 1997-07-01

Review by caswell318

caswell318 I saw this show and the following night at the Paradiso. Tickets were sold out long before the band got to Europe. Everyone had mail ordered. But randomly I met some guys that spent the day before hanging with the band at the Grey Area and they wrote down their names and added them to the guest list. So at the door, they said their names and were let in without tickets. they handed theirs back to me and we all went in. Ive never seen a venue like the Paradiso in my life. Its beautiful. small. intimate. the sound was amazing. And then the sets they played those two nights... the recordings dont entirely capture it all. The sound was so heavy. The bass ripped through your chest. it wasn't crazy loud, but they were pushing so much sound. Its hard to explain. Its like they dropped all the amps from a huge venue in a little place and turned it down to sound right, but you could feel everything. And there were maybe 1,500 of us in there. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? YOURE ON THE BACK OF THE WORM! I tried to explain this to my friends for years and no one really understood. And just tonight I went looking for a recording of that night and realized it was released as a part of a box set. Seriously one of the best shows Ive ever seen. So lucky I got to see it and feel it in person. I wish I could go back.
, attached to 1992-03-27

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito This show is loaded with energy, especially in the first set, and to my ears it’s somewhat underrated. I will admit a little bias towards this time period as I caught my first show just 13 days prior to this one, and then saw a couple of others later that May. And while there were numerous better shows this tour, this one still has some things that are worth checking out. Llama is one of my favorite classic openers and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s a rager and sets the tone, leading into a great Reba. This is a fantastic 1-2 opening sequence. An upbeat Paul & Silas leads into The Sloth, a song I always love catching. Page does some nice organ work on this one. The band seems fired up. Divided Sky follows, and they play this one with the same high-energy and intensity as the songs preceding it. Once again, Page’s playing is noteworthy here. Guelah and Maze are more high-energy playing by the band and, at this point, this set is pretty stacked. Antelope is the perfect, fiery closer to the set, containing some a We’re Off to See the Wizard tease that is well-placed and leads to a nice peak. The Mike’s Groove to open the second set was solid. There are some fun vocal antics during Weekapaug but overall it seemed that the there was a slight dip in energy after set break. Also, intentional or not, the band’s segue into Hydrogen and then Weekapaug was unusual and interesting. MSO is notable for the numerous signals contained within. The Gin D&M Magilla Hood run in the middle of the set is a nice sequence. Although the Gin is pretty short, it’s welcome here. Both D&M and Magilla are tunes that have been basically shelved but both were fairly common back in those days. Still, they’re both really nice to hear and are really well played. Next we get a respectable, solid Hood. The show ends with an entertaining Love You and Golgi, followed by a pair of a capella tunes for the encore. This is a fun, solid show. I liked the first set more than the second but overall this comes across as a show that’s a bit underrated.
, attached to 1996-07-06

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove Check TheEmu's review, pretty spot on. As far as an opening set of music to a crowd that may be unfamiliar with Phish, they did a great job of playing everything well and with energy. As far as essential Phish, however, this can safely (and for good reason) be put on the backburner. Highlights: 1) [u]Reba[/u]: Well played, straightforward, and reaches a nice, if standard, peak. 2) [u]Maze[/u]: Mama mia, rage city! Wish I knew what that Italian crowd was thinking! 3) [u]Hood[/u]: Nice build and peak where Trey holds on a note for an uncomfortably beautiful amount of time
, attached to 1989-05-14

Review by Reelife_Tom

Reelife_Tom Sunday, May 14, 1989- was planned to be in the Southwest area quad and called The Southwest Spring Concert. (Not Campus Pond as noted above) but moved to parking lot due to heavy rain. There were skydivers that parachuted into the show... I was a member of the Southwest area concert committee and I contacted John Paluska yo get Phish to play at this show. I helped coordinate their contract...I got the band's autographs (Fishman signed his “John Hancock- since I asked for their :”John hancocks) and photos of them on stage. They opened up for (!) Canned Heat. Other performances were by The Incredible Casuals & Atlantic Steel Drum Band.
, attached to 1998-07-17

Review by TooManyUrkels

TooManyUrkels No matter how you slice it, this show deserves 5 stars and to be rated at least a 4.6 overall. Legit just came to leave this review and drop 5 stars here when I noticed it fell below 4.6. Absolutely filthy the whole way through. Set I is a blast top to bottom. Ya Mar > Sky are where the jams lie and each one is as thick and chunky as they come. Set II is legendary for a reason. Just nonstop groove. Fishman's the obvious MVP here. Pocket so deep. How this show hasn't been released on LivePhish yet is beyond me. I'm pining for sweet remastered audio of this iconic show.
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