, 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

Review by PHATTSKIS

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.
, attached to 1998-04-04

Review by JMart

JMart Sometimes the show's greatness lies in the details. This being one of the most famous shows of all time, I don't think I have to spend too much time setting it up. Right when Birds ends, Trey rips a little chord before putting on the delay loop, which eases into some really sinister space, which keeps building and building. Then Trey turns on this effect that almost sounds like someone electronically yodeling, when then morphs into the yodeling person sounding like they're having a molly-drenched seizure. Riiight when that hits perfect freak out level, only THEN does Fish drop the snare/kick hammer into 2001. It's a tiny, beautiful moment. One that shows how exactly in control Phish were at that point in their career.
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by cleantone

cleantone Just recently transferred my old cassette of this performance. It's not really any different or better than circulating versions by the way. I was going over it in some restoration software. I'm pretty confident that Makisupa Policeman was not performed from this date. Or that the Makisupa Policeman that commonly ends Side A is a filler or remnant of something else. Checking [url=https://phish.com/tours/dates/tue-1986-04-25-outside-bailey-howe-library-on-the-green-uvm/]Phish.com[/url] it's not present. The frequency content is different and it sounds like it's recorded indoors. It's possible an early dub was taped over something else or that this was intentionally spliced on as a filler. [url=https://imgur.com/gallery/duEPHSL]Here[/url] is the newspaper clipping that helped figure out the correct date.
, attached to 1997-07-23

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove Stellar show that caps the stellar opening weekend for Phish's return from Europe. Must hear material laced throughout. Incredible show. Highlights: [b]1) [u]Julius[/u][/b]: After hearing Julius follow the same mold time after time, what a delight this version is! This Type I jam goes from full-on rage mode down to cool, bluesy mode and stays fun the whole time. Mike is particularly excellent in this version, with Page and Trey setting a nice backdrop for his bass riffing. The energy ramps back up for the final coda, foreshadowing the arrival of many more unexpected delights. [b]2) [u]SOAMelt[/u]:[/b] Drops straight into some lite porno funk which is awesome. Didn't know you could f*** to this song. Eventually, the jam begins a meandering journey to the more familiar tension-building dynamics. The journey is worth the effort, because the band finally locks in and raises some spine-tingling moments of anticipation. 3) [u]Possum[/u]: Hey kids, ever heard the phrase "rage tits"? No? Define it in a sentence, you say? Hmmm.... the 1997-07-23 Possum is rage tits. [b]4) [u]Ghost[/u]:[/b] tl;dr: Gravy funk that bubbles over into the the theme song for a baby elephant dying in a mud pit... OK, the jam starts with slinky clav, Mike's snap crackle and pop basslines; the makings of smooth gravy funk. Trey cranks the burner, causing the gravy to bubble from smooth to hyper-groove. The jam persists in this realm for a while (like 12+ minutes?) and its all grade-A bacon fat mixed with flour. Danceable flowing mini-grooves galore. At ~17:30, Trey goes in for the kill, attacking on a theme he had been flirting with. The peak is so good, Fishman literally starts screaming over the funk. After about 2:00 mins of this amazing peak, the jam down-shifts into a slow, plodding funk, with a melancholic feel. Like a baby elephant stuck in a mud pit, Mike's bass notes marking the slogging, plodding steps while Trey and Page are the swirling savannah birds offering pitiful cries of woe. This weird, amazing jam grows in intensity until the plodding becomes thrashing and it ends with an orgasm of weird Page synth effects before Trey's guitar emerges above the din with a great transition to Sample in a Jar. [b]5) [u]YEM[/u]:[/b] tl;dr: very well-played YEM becomes a demented bar mitzvah dance party.... OK, so the YEM proper is well-played and follows the funky pattern we've all come to expect. And then suddenly it's just not that anymore!? Fishman starts playing a simple 4/4 woodblock beat and this is where the jeopardy tease comes in. And jeopardy naturally leads to a Nagila Hava-esque bar mitzvah dance party? Mike takes an astounding lead (which is part of the reason this jam is resembles SOAMule), and suddenly the band starts reciting the "wash ufizzi drive me to Firenzi" refrain over this Klezmer beat. The refrains grow to ridiculous insanity, the beat speeding up, audience clapping along, before ending with a cacophony of noise that is punctured by fractured hits. And now the band is... what in the hell is going on?!? The band is playing... 6) [u]Rocky Mountain Way[/u]: ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY!! GTFO!! The journey getting to this song was amazing and the energy carries over into this awesome cover tune.
, attached to 1994-06-14

Review by arrows42

arrows42 Was right about dead center for this small show. Cool modern theater, great sound. Being there's no balcony and one big slope, felt like everyone in the place had a good view. Of course the band was tight, it's June '94, Trey was especially going for those mountain climb type runs. I remember being mind altered and folks selling "ReadIcculus" bumper stickers outside. Very little vending scene for a small 1-stop show like this in Iowa. Very fun crowd, you felt like we were seeing the best guitarist of our generation; hey, we were.
, attached to 2017-12-30

Review by TooManyUrkels

TooManyUrkels Finally gave this show a listen today and it deserves the praise it gets. Set 1: Mike's > Gin is all exemplary stuff. They could have just stopped there and I'd have been satisfied. While the downtempo Brother must have been a fun bust-out for those in attendance, I find it a little goofy and awkward on tape, so much so that I'm going to call it the show's low point. YMMV, however. Set 2: Jams on jams on jams. DWD is top-notch long-form 3.0 jamming, going all sorts of places and modulating feels/tempi/key seemingly at-will. The Steam outro jam is my favorite type of Phish - weird, freaky, boundless, arrhythmic abstraction, and is the biggest highlight to my ears. Farmhouse's outro jam is lovely, airy, and quite pretty, as expected. Antelope is powerful, tense stuff - you can really hear the audience get hyped and impend the big buildup to double-time, which elevates the payoff. The boys are really on-point in this one and summarizes the entire set's thesis. Easy 5 stars. This show really feels like it should be a 4.6+ rating, since I think it stacks up against 7/25/17 and other heavyweight 3.0 outings.
, attached to 1994-05-12

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito This show gets off to a fun start with Catapult and Rift. The DWD which follows, while still in its infancy, is a nice early show boost of energy. After Fee, we get to the first major highlight of the show with a knockout Maze. This one is just blazing with frenzied energy. The Foam is fantastic, with the band bringing it down to near silence and then building it back up again with that ‘94 precision. And then we get to the Gin. I’m a huge fan of this song and this phenomenal version is likely often overlooked, since this show isn’t really discussed much or ranked too highly. This Gin deserves more recognition and, after numerous listens, has become one of my favorite early versions for its pep and the band’s collective exploration, leading to a nice finish. The ensuing Lizards and Sample end the set in fine fashion. This brings us to set II. A typical short-for-the-era 2001 opens, leading into a welcome Antelope. I always love when this tune appears anywhere but in its usual set-closing position, and here it serves nicely in the second position. A couple of tunes later we get to another major highlight of the show - Fluffhead - that is really well-executed. Then we get to Possum, which is stunning. I love the Bring it on Home tease (also heard in Fluffhead but this is a bit more extended) and the band is on fire here. Overall, this is a slightly underrated show but with the quality of the band’s playing, together with the highlights, there is enough here to warrant checking this show out.
, attached to 1990-11-06

Review by Svenzhenz

Svenzhenz No a review as much as a footnote to this show. I just learned that my neighbor's band, Machinery Hill, opened for Phish at one of the Cabooze shows in '90 or '91. Not sure if it was this show or both. I'll press for details... A Story he shared was that his band was in their backstage room drinking cheap domestic beers, when all of a sudden Trey came bursting into the room with a 12pk of Heineken under each arm, looking to hang out. Evidently, the trade-up to drinking Heineken for the night made a lasting impression on my neighbor...
, attached to 2014-07-01

Review by TooManyUrkels

TooManyUrkels Showed up mid-way through the first set with the crew. This was early in my exposure to Phish, so was chasing some ALO classics that I got at this show (Stash, BATR namely) and was psyched on that. My mom came too and was stoked on the scene. Listening back, everything is well-rendered in both sets. Set 1 is played pretty close to the chest - no particularly notable jams or renditions to note, but the Fuego tunes sound crispy. Set 2's highlights are the Ghost > Hood trio; unfortunately Mike's > Free was mostly a non-starter in hindsight, although tightly performed. I remember my good buddy, who came to the show despite not really liking Phish, was audibly impressed by a moment in the second set (I don't remember which song) where the boys - and CK5 - linked up on an accented hit amidst some ambling, middling passage of a jam. Good times. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could, but will settle with 4.
, attached to 2013-10-25

Review by TooManyUrkels

TooManyUrkels I was at this show with a close friend. My first time dosing in an arena, bugged out a little but had a great time. Late-night Worcester post-Phish is a weird scene, especially so whilst spun. We accidentally went the wrong way coming out of the DCU and ended up by some theater crowded with what I thought were attendees of a Juggalo convention. Strange vibes but made it out alive. Listening back to my attended shows, this one comes off as a collection of thicc type-1 renditions from top to bottom. Definitely not a bad thing for a Friday night, but not super engaging in hindsight. This show is what 3 stars ratings are for. Highlights: The Curtain With, Waves > Carini, and the encore
, attached to 2012-09-01

Review by TooManyUrkels

TooManyUrkels Set 1: Despite the Antelope opener and Tweezer, I's call this set fairly conservative; finely rendered nonetheless. Set 2: Everything you've heard and more. I came expecting fireworks from Light, but ended up liking GA > Caspian more. How bout that. Also, this Mike's > Weekapaug should absolutely be on the chart. Tremendous set.
, attached to 2019-07-10

Review by Midcoaster

Midcoaster Man, that first set is SOLID. I was working, but I cranked up the LivePhish recording and simply lapsed into the "zone." At the same time, I was able to bob up at moments (Mmm, Stash, ::radar opens:: :) Many other songs, too; I mean . . . ). Overall, what I notice is (I dare say) "swagger." This is solid, swinging music, feet firmly planted on the gravity beat. Even Party Time is hammeringly tight with a side of bouncy fun. If one is apt to quibble over a stumbled note or finger change, I say, "Boo!" The amount of nights I had epic fails as a fan demonstrate that I would never have that much composure on a Dionysian stage. Not only that, but the switch from old to new is definitely palpable well past 50. Let me tell ya, I used to pride myself on pulling out names for faces, in person or conjuring from afar, with seamless ease context to context, no matter the, ah, melt. Now? Um, let's say I have to "change gears" once in while: downshift climbing after a long flat to forget. Transitions aren't what they used to be. The second set spaces that Phish can open and conjure exemplify their ability to transcend limitations and squeeze beauty from a steel and concrete arena. For that matter, Ruby Waves clocks in well under 8 minutes but dissolves into a searching jam reinforcing my belief that new material often inspires inspired playing. The Seven Below that follows rings in a fully modern Phish. (Chalk Dust and Piper being the only 1.0 not including encore.) I dig that. I'll say the obvious: Fans who are not fans of this show are not fans of the GOTF and other new songs. That's all. Phish's playing is ON POINT. Page has a lot of the funk wobbling, and Mike sounds good in this mix. Fishman was better than ever in 3.0, and Trey is downright laser-eyed at moments; don't let the foot pedal trickery fool you. I mean, Chalkdust hits a fork in the road and never looks back. I could see how headbangers wouldn't like it. If you're a space cadet, though, this is worth the wile.
, attached to 1994-06-11

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove Everything in this show is played extremely well and with metric tons of energy. I will list a few highlights here, but this is a show that is worth listening to in its entirety because the band's execution on every song is phenomenal! Every song has some nuances in dynamics, rhythm, Mike's bass booming bass lines, Trey's inspired solos... If I had to say anything negative about this show, it would be that many of the jams don't go into Type II territory. However, this means that this Red Rocks outing showcases the pure ecstasy of Type I jams to the fullest degree. OK, enough pre-amble, here are my highlights: [b]1) [u]YEM[/u]:[/b] Hot F***! The energy up to this point is soul electrifying! Mike is funky, plunky bass boom, Page is crystal clear jazzy baby grand, Fishman is tight and syncopated snaps and pops, and towards the end of the jam segment, Trey is face and mind mauling alike. Mike really shines in this jam (and throughout the show really). He will thump the eyeballs right out of any listener's funky little head. So phenomenal... This is a go-to example to show someone "How YEM is supposed to sound". Strap in for a high octane ride. Maybe wear some adult diapers. Also, the transition into "Rift" from the vocal jam is quite cool. 2) [u]It's Ice[/u]: The funk breakdown here is just great 3) [u]Stash[/u]: Soars and peaks galore. Great Type I version from a band playing in its prime [b]4) [u]Run like an Antelope[/u]:[/b] Segues masterfully from a funky 2001 opener with thrilling and impressive delight. This antelope rages hard! The whole band is a freshly oiled engie, settling into some nice grooves with Trey and Mike meshing like PB & J (Trey = Jelly, Mike = peantu butter, obvs). Right before the "Aye aye rocco", Fishman picks up the beat and PB/J build to some insane frenetic energy. Incredible Type I Antelope. 5) [u]Fluffhead[/u]: Worth the listen because of how well the band is playing. Mike is little bunny foo foo, bopping people on the head with those bass notes. [b]6) [u]Split Open & Melt[/u]: [/b] The chaos and tension ins this version is wild. I love Mike's dissonant basslines that straddle a tightrope of melody while Trey's guitar effects grow on a razor's edge. Page also shines during some of the peaks, like a drowning man who briefly surfaces to gasp precious air before plunging back below the surface. Probably the closest to Type II the band gets in this show, its a sharp and stellar gut punch. Again, listen to the whole show. I agree with others who say this is a perfect show to give a newbie to help them unravel the amazingness of this band.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by iceee

iceee This was my third Phish show following the Went and Assembly Hall - little did I know what was about to transpire. The six-minute segment in Tweezer between 13:00-19:00 is in my opinion the greatest improvisational moment the band ever produced. This new "churning" jam style had been developed over the previous few weeks and hit a peak during Tweezer that is indescribable. The Palace became a rocket ship with all engines firing on all cylinders, as the band shape-shifted through Tweezer, culminating in the devastating descending phrases from Trey around 18:15. Interestingly, the lights remained static throughout almost the entire jam, leaving the music front and center. After 90+ shows I've never recreated the feeling those six minutes gave me.
, attached to 1998-12-29

Review by JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96

JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96 Set 1 Highlights: Punch You in the Eye > Horn, Split Open and Melt Set 2 Highlights: Free > Limb by Limb > 2001 (Standout Version), You Enjoy Myself Rock and Roll kicks off the second night of the 1998 NYE Run. Trey in particular has some octane playing for a show opener. Funky Bitch keeps the Garden rocking next. Funky Bitch is one of my favorite two-hole first set songs, if only for the crowd pop once the drums kick in every time. Punch You in the Eye comes sliding out of the loudspeakers next and features a slightly extended, and built-up intro. From here, the band transitions perfectly into Horn. This transition really makes clear the potential of Horn's positive effect on the flow of a show. By nature of it's guitar-only intro, it's difficult to pull off a perfect transition into Horn, leaving it almost always faced with a , before it. Check out this transition, total butter. My favorite bluegrass cover, Ginseng Sullivan keeps the perfect setlist flow going. The darkness to Ginseng's quirky, levity emerges next with the drum beat of Split Open and Melt. This version is particularly wide-ranging with Page in the spotlight throughout. Brian and Robert gives everyone a much needed breath of air and is pretty perfectly placed. Two songs I'm not super up on continue the set, Guyute and My Soul. An a-capella Free Bird closes the set in perfect fashion. A very well put together set with a couple of highlights definitely worth checking out. A nice, slow and heavy Free opens up the second set. The tempo of this Free was really jarring to me at first but certainly served the version well in the jam. A very strong Limb by Limb continues the set with both Trey and Page in the spotlight throughout. What comes next is almost beyond words. The intro to the 2001 that follows is some of the most incredible ambient music I've ever heard from this band and transitions into the 2001 drum beat in a way that I can't recall hearing before. The 2001 itself is an absolute smoker as well with a great CxP tease from Trey. A concise rendition of Boogie On Reggae Woman follows up the barnburner of a 2001. The Grandaddy Phish song, YEM, closes up the set in explosive fashion. This version is awesome and sees both Trey and Page allowing a lot of room for Mike and Fish to get funky early in the jam. An extremely rare Divided Sky encore closes out an epic continuation of the run.
, attached to 2003-01-04

Review by JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96

JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96 Set 1 Highlights: Llama, Roggae (Standout Version), Maze, Split Open and Melt Set 2 Highlights: Mike's Song > Mountains in the Mist > Weekapaug Groove (Standout Jam) > What's the Use? > Down with Disease -> Fast Enough for You The final night of Phish's return from an over two year hiatus roars out of the speakers with one of Phish's best opener in Llama (2/2 across openers with last night). This version gets the show started in an aggressive manner before the band drops into Boogie On Reggae Woman which is met with a great crowd response. Boogie On sees the band flowing into a slightly extended funky jam. An absolutely wall-shattering Roggae comes next and I can't even put how pretty this one is into words, just listen to it. A rocking Maze shows up next and gets the Coliseum audibly rocking again. Standard versions of Anything but Me, Ya Mar, Saw It Again and Bouncing follow before one of my favorite set closers rears it's gnarly, dissonant head: Melt. This version of Melt is an excellent set closer and gets into some very chaotic space beyond the Melt jam itself. Overall, an interesting set with fantastic bookends and some great and meh in between. Rock and Roll kicks off the final set of the Run and gets and extended Type-I workout before dropping right into Mike's Song. This is an unusual Mike's Song that struck me as pretty gnarly in terms of Trey's phrasing and it completely excludes the usual ending and transitions into the second jam only briefly as an ambient bridge into Mountains in the Mist. I'm usually averse to having a non-Simple/H2 song in the middle of Mike's Groove but something about how gnarly that Mike's felt to me and how well done that transition was made it perfect. An absolutely earth-crushing Weekapaug Groove comes next and starts oddly with Trey strumming the riff by himself before the rest of the band joins in. This jam is just so fckn wild, the way the band keeps their insane momentum while adding in levels of dissonance in this one just blows me away. Oh, and also it briefly drops into space before the Coliseum takes off with What's the Use. The perfect flow continues with a late-set Down with Disease that segues beautifully into Fast Enough for You. After a minute or so of spacey effects (seems to be one of those cool > filled shows with lots of ambience between songs) Fishman drops the 2001 drum beat and the whole place just goes absolutely bananas. 2001 closes the set with Trey thanking everybody for coming out. Friday shows up in the encore and this is one song that I really am not a fan of. I'm sure they were excited to play it but I'll skip Friday. Overall, a tale of two sets to be sure. Check out this New Year Run! There's a lot more gems than you may remember!
, attached to 2003-01-03

Review by JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96

JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96 Set 1 Highlights: Tweezer, Pebbles and Marbles*, You Enjoy Myself* (*Standout Version) Set 2 & Encore Highlights: Wolfman's Brother > Makisupa Policeman, Possum*, Contact* (*Standout Version) Night two of Phish's return to Hampton Coliseum begins with the opening riff of Tweezer sneaking out of the speakers. This Tweezer is a wonderful, extra-funky version that you can tell got the crowd rocking immediately. Tweezer slides into a perfectly placed and well-played Theme from the Bottom after a strong peak. After a minute or so of silence, Fish kicks into the drum beat of Foam and you can tell already that this set is going places. Foam itself is very well played and you can tell they spent some time really practicing that song. The debut of Pebbles and Marbles, one of my favorite "once a year" songs, comes next. This version absolutely smokes and you can hear just how excited the band was to play it as they go into the jam. The final seven minutes of the song feature some really explosive, (don't throw rocks) DWD-esque playing by Trey. The band takes a couple well deserved minutes to catch their breath and figure out what to play next. The return of YEM serves to be the perfect decision until...it all falls apart in the intro. Trey has some hilarious banter about how they had practiced the song and how disappointed he is. They give it another go and immediately, you could tell that Trey was internally really pissed that they blew that song of any as an intensity that prevails throughout the whole version. The George Takei vocal jam is pretty funny too and I'm not a big fan of vocal jams. Definitely worth checking out even beyond the novelty of the initial trainwreck. Overall, I loved this set and it is my favorite of this New Years Run by a pretty considerable margin. I feel like it serves as the precursor of some of the very well-crafted 2003 first sets (7/9, 2/20). Birds of a Feather begins the second set in straight ahead, high intensity fashion. A super slinky Wolfman's Brother comes up next and features and an extended version of the normal Wolfman's jam with a very strong peaked tacked on before dropping into a fun, spacey Makisupa Policeman, complete with Trey shouting out the everyone's favorite Waffle House that's right across from the Coliseum's entrance. The next segment leading up to Possum didn't do much for me. Possum closes out the set in rocking fashion with Trey repeatedly striking at the peak, a very fun version. Contact opens up the encore and features a must-hear, extended funk jam before dropping into Tweezer Reprise to close out the night. Overall a great show with a little bit of a lag in the fourth quarter. Absolutely must-hear first set though!
, attached to 1998-12-28

Review by JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96

JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96 Set 1 Highlights: Stash, Taste Set 2 and Encore Highlights: Carini* > Wolfman's Brother* (*Standout Jam) Quinn the Eskimo (Standout Version) -> David Bowie, Been Caught Stealin' Phish comes roaring out of the gates with Axilla to open up the 1998 New Years Run which dissolves ever so disgustingly into Stash. This Stash goes through its usual motion through the song as the band gets to their first chance at some improvisation of the run. This Stash is interesting in that the band doesn't take any time to be delicate in the jam and play loud and dissonantly from essentially the start of the jam, which is capped off with a particularly strong peak. Farmhouse shows up next and causes my first raised eyebrow of the show which is quickly eased with a stunning version of Taste. Page is, as Jerry Garcia once phrased it so well, playing like his life depends on it throughout this version. Trey's solo is no slouch either. Taste is followed up with the three song acoustic portion of Sleep, Albuquerque and Driver. They did these three acoustic a pretty good amount of times in 1998 and it's definitely worth checking out if you've never heard it. Albuquerque in particular is one of my favorite Neil Young songs and I really wish this one shows up in a show sometime soon. Quick versions of Tube, Golgi Apparatus and Good Times Bad Times wrap up a set that is just over an hour. Overall, an okay set, the Stash and especially Taste are worth revisiting. The evil beast that is Carini rears its head as the second set gets underway. The jam takes an in-your-face approach initially, unlike the major key transition that we often see in 3.0, before moving into a somewhat cerebral, yet eerie, soundscape. The true highlight of this portion of the jam is Fish's playing and how he always keeps the train moving and pushes the band into a rocking groove on the back end. Seriously, put some headphones on because this jam is holy-shitballs good. Speaking of holy-shitballs good, so is this Wolfman's Brother! After an extended take on the usual Wolfman's jam, the band moves into a more minimalist funk groove that grows increasingly scary as Trey and Page build up an ambient wall of fog around Mike's winding basslines. The jam closes out with Fish alone tapping out the final drum beat. I am a huge fan of when they allow a big eerie jam to close out proper without transitioning immediately to a song. There's something about how extended those moments of "WTF just happened" feel before the next song starts after a real skullcrusher. Strong versions of Birds of a Feather and When the Circus Comes show up next and give the audience a chance to get down again and then take a breath. A very nice, slightly extended take on Quinn the Eskimo shows up and to everyone's surprise dips into a hazy delay loops after its usual solo. A very familiar hi-hat beat emerges from the haze and a strong Bowie is the choice to close out the set. This Bowie sees Trey in particular adding some Stash-esque flourishes to his solo and is worth giving a spin. The band comes back out for the encore and slam into the opening chords of Been Caught Stealin'. The crowd reaction to this on the AUD recording is awesome and if you've been to MSG, you can just imagine how much that building was bouncing during this. Overall, two very different sets with a short, somewhat lackluster first set and an ambient monster of a second set capped off with a ridiculously fun encore regardless of whatever flubs may have been present.
, attached to 2001-10-27

Review by A_Buddhist_Prodigy

A_Buddhist_Prodigy This was a fun show at a great venue in Denver. We ended up getting invited backstage after the show and met Fishman. It was incredibly awkward! There were some hyped up fanboys and Fishman just looked annoyed and bored. We talked just a little bit and left. I don't know if was the folks there or he was just worn out and uninspired. That's my Fishman story . . . not a good one, but hey it's something!
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