[Welcome To Weekly Catch With Osiris! A weekly series brought to you from the team at Osiris. Each Wednesday we're going to bring you a historic Phish show from that week with some commentary. Our goal is to go beyond official releases and well-known shows to bring you some of the overlooked gems throughout Phish history. If you like what you find, we'd encourage you to check out the assortment of podcasts at the Osiris! This week's catch comes from Michael Shield of Across The Margin.]
Welcome to another installment of the Weekly Catch with Osiris where, yet again, a Phish show from the Spring of 1993 is highlighted. Truth be told we — and any Phish fan who loves the playful, balls-to-the-wall (still a saying?) nature of Phish in ‘93 — could talk about the grandeur and antics of the band during this period of time for days on end. But, personally, what I love specifically and most intensely about this era are the “Split Open and Melt” versions which were played. Each version is unique in its own right, driven, often sinister, and pointed and concise (relative to Phish of course!), in a way that toys with momentum and the beat which is at the heart of a song.
One of these raging, early “Melts” were played amid a stout first set at the first night of a two-night stand at the famed Warfield Theater in San Francisco, California on March 26th. This particular “Melt” blasts off at four minutes and twenty seconds (insert your own personal 4/20 joke here) into the song and the sonic madness that is unleashed upon fans was with a ferocity and vengeance usually reserved for adversaries — and the rest of the ride is a whirlwind of swirlinging peaks and wails. Warfield’s “Melt” is a model example of the heights the song was reaching at the time, and listening to ‘93 “Melts” repeatedly in my formative Phish years explains my steadfast bond to this classic mindfuck of a song.
To state the obvious, the mid-first set “Melt” is only a part of the story in regards to Night 1 at Warfield ‘93. The second set that occurred this evening is vintage Phish. Two Phish staples provided the anchors for a tremendous grouping of songs. One was a blistery “Tweezer” that climaxed again and again in a series of synchronic peaks, and the other was a “You Enjoy Myself” that was equal parts blues and funk, and fascinating in its patience and airiness, until it’s dramatically not. True to form for the band at this time, the night was awash with antics and fun, from vocal jams to a “Big Ball Jam,” to Simpson's signals, unto a Fishman song in the form of a howling rendition of Pink Floyd’s classic “The Great Gig In The Sky.” Remarkable to note was that this performance was only the first night of this two-night Warfield run, and the second night held within it a bevy of magic in its own right (check the euphoric “Reba” and the fierce as fuck “Bowie”!).
In hindsight, this evening at the Warfield in the early 90s could be simply looked at as just another playful, unpredictable, and entirely captivating night for Phish. The two night performance in the bowels of the legendary theater exhibited plainly all that is great about Phish, and the unique powers that they wielded. It would be a safe bet that more than one San Fran old-school Deadhead became a convert during the run and forevermore worshipped at the Church of Phish. In contemplation of all the sonic mayhem that occured, it is no wonder Phish were on the verge of playing to packed houses in much larger venues and approaching a level of play that would mark ‘93 (particularly Summer) as a pivotal era in Phistory.
Thanks for reading and hopefully you're enjoying this series. Another Weekly Catch with Osiris will be up next week!
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March 27, 1993
25 years ago
Set 2: Buried Alive > Halley's Comet > It's Ice > Bouncing Around the Room, Chalk Dust Torture, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin' Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Poor Heart > Golgi Apparatus
 Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Fish on trombone.
 All Fall Down signal in intro.
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