, attached to 2018-10-19

Review by nesta

nesta This was my first time at the mothership and I was un sure as what to expect but now I know why they call it the Mothership. I left there with the biggest contact high that I've ever had at a show I woke up with a hangover and I barely even partook myself. The other reviewers did an absolute fabulous job recapturing the Lift-Off and the transportation that I also felt so I will just leave you with my couple of tidbits from my experience. And the best part is I have two more nights to look forward to.
, attached to 1992-03-21

Review by BillZilla67

BillZilla67 This was a really wild show, and the most packed I had ever seen at a show at the Chestnut bar none. It was a clear signal that the rock club era of Phish was about to be over for good. Solid playing on the era standards. Standout is the YEM featuring "Three Blind Mice" in the vocal jam and then Trey trying to get CK to turn down the lights by saying "Lights Out, Lights Out!" at the end.
, attached to 2018-10-19

Review by sagl57

sagl57 Tonight’s show was an absolute heater, top to bottom. Excellent song selection, inspired jams, and incredible energy. The return of Strawberry Letter 23 ignited the crowd right at the jump and the band never let up. Blaze On went deep in the two hole and while Mock Song caught everyone by surprise a bit, it was an unexpected treat, not to mention fun watching Mike read the lyrics off cue cards on the side of the stage. Divided Sky, Roggae and Meat were clear highlights of the first set before Walk Away nearly brought the whole place to the ground. The crowd was just erupting at that point. And then the second set. Boy, oh boy, that second set. An inspired section of improv that felt like nearly an hour, with the 20+ minute Golden Age serving as the biggest launchpad in a string of outstanding jams. Carini > Sand > Golden Age > Twist was the stuff dreams are made of last night. The Shipwreck quotes late in the Golden Age jam transported the mothership to a different dimension. When we are all ready for a breather, Mountains in the Mist did the trick and was played beautifully before Split closed the set with a fiery, psychedelic journey. And if all that wasn’t enough, a pristine Lizards encore showed the crowd that the band was as happy with the first night of this run as the fans were. Incredible show! 5/5
, attached to 2018-10-19

Review by PhillyPhilly

PhillyPhilly Top to Bottom complete fire show. Strawberry letter 23 second time played, surprise repeat from Strawberry BD night opens the Hampton weekend. Crowd goes wild. Blaze On immediately sends the show into Type II territory and rewards with a serious outro jam taking it past the 13 min mark. Smoothly seg-ing into the third Mock Song ever played (with Mike ensuring he does not butcher the lyrics by having a girl hold up cue cards for him). Divided Sky little rough through composed section pre- “pause” , but Hampton fills with lighters and ecstatic screams during the pause, and the band rewards us with a very nice build and peak. Energy stays up for slowed down Roggae which delivers its own satisfying peak, we laugh and laugh and fall apart in a quick well-played Sparkle, and then Undermind delivers a funk injection which carries over to a very funky Meat complete with Mike / Trey close-up duel and what I’m assuming was the most intentionally arrhythmic drum solo of all time. Rift keeps the energy dialed up even if not perfectly played and then Walk Away *blows the doors off* as a head-banging set closer. What a first set and what a fantastic start to the Hampton weekend. Trey shreds the Carini chords to open second set, and it is a powerfully rocking Carini jam that emerges, albeit a relatively brief one, similar (actually v close timing?) to its outing at Camden N2. 2013 Hampton Carini is still champ, but in 2018 we go into a Sand dance party. Straight forward rocking Sand has Hampton moving. And then Golden Age takes the Mothership into space, and our trip is not short, 23 min jam / alien abduction containing dark symphonic beauty and we have our centerpiece jam of the evening and hopefully a sign of further deep jamming this run and this tour. Twist like Carini packs a very solid jam into a shorter package, dissolving into the relatively rare Mountains in the Mist, which is an extremely well deserved and very nice played breather. And then, after a short late-set funky dance party in Meatstick, everyone’s favorite song about *doin’ it*, Phish seals the deal with a Melt closer reaching mind melting dissonant heights before coming to a final triumphant peak and return. Unreal 2nd set, and Hampton pops yet again as Trey strums the opening chords to your The Lizards encore. Trey’s solo was unusually delicate, quieting the crowd and having us savor the moment together, before building to its usual beautiful melodic peak. I could not possibly be more excited for what is in store for the remainder of this weekend and the remainder of this Fall Tour.
, attached to 2018-10-19

Review by hannibal76

hannibal76 Tonight’s second set was like the universe exploded and we all traveled through space shattered to bits along with everyone and everything else just spinning and splitting into smaller and smaller pieces until we’re all just space dust, like a cloud of space dust blowing through the universe—and then somehow, with an encore Lizards, everything came back together again and there we were, on the concrete floor of the Hampton Colleseum, still burning and pulsating from the obliterated trip through space.
, attached to 2018-10-19

Review by jakemaye95

jakemaye95 jumping off of @vinsanity46 i will try to unpack that second set. (i was in attendance.) first of all, it was my first time at the mothership. wow. what an absolutely perfect venue. sound was unreal, crowd was going nuts, kuroda is the king of kings. anyway, to the set. carini gets us started. begins to turn into some type ii, but was quickly abandoned. this was unfortunate, or so we thought. was worried that there wouldn't be deep jamming this set, especially when reminiscing about the Hampton 2013 Carini. Sand follows, and it's a heater. no real type ii until the very end, again a surprise. would it ever come? little did we know... golden age emerges after a brief sand jam. this jam was, in a word, nuts. i haven't had the chance to relisten, but here is what i can remember: at the start, it seemed like fishman was moving toward just stopping, but trey kept pushing it forward. ultimately, fishman began a syncopated, mostly cymbal-less beat, with the rest of the band building insane noise over the top. ultimately, this rose into a massive wall of sound, with fishman still driving beneath. page began to play some Thrilling, Chilling quotes (shipwreck and unsafe bridge i believe) underneath the noise. all the while, some of kuroda's finest work that i've seen in person. i am unsure how this will hold up on relisten. unlike some of the huge jams we've been getting of late --where it seems like the band is in absolute control-- during this jam the band seemed to allow themselves to lose control. at various points it was unclear if it would fizzle out, continue, segue or build to a peak. ultimately, none of those things happened, as the jam somehow smoothly came to its own end and slid into twist. it was a joy to watch the boys really let one loose. truly electric phish. anyway, the twist was solid, nice MitM to follow. love to hear meatstick, and it was a necessary dose of major key joy for this set. SOAM to close--this found the band picking up where the left off in the golden age, really letting it loose. a quality rendition, especially by 3.0 standards. lizards encore is the best. overall fantastic show, awesome start to the run. can't wait to see what they have in store the next two shows!
, attached to 2018-10-19

Review by vinsanity46

vinsanity46 *from the couch* so I can only imagine how much fun this show must've been at the coliseum, but oh man was it something to behold. Opening with an another BD call back, this Strawberry letter 23 was executed superbly and supplied some novelty to the show from the start. The Blaze On to follow felt perfect to keep the fun loving energy going and gave us another excellent first set jam in 2018. Mock Song was a tongue-in-cheek treat being the 3rd time ever played and the Divided Sky to follow had Trey douse the crowd in flawless execution coupled with classic tone and it is not one to be skipped upon relisten. A well placed Roggae opened up in the jam section to deliver an affirming peak that seem to settle the crowd into a brooding expectation for speed on which Sparkle delivered. I always love this song wherever it shows up in a set and I certainly loved it here. The song selection to finish out the first set was lovely and everything was played near perfectly - even Rift! And the Walk Away to finish was a rager to say the least. The second set... I'm still processing. I'll leave that for someone else to unpack. Final word: wow I'm so excited for the rest of fall tour
, attached to 2018-10-17

Review by SANITY79

SANITY79 What a solid and fun show! The whole band sounded amazing through out the night besides a little flub in the opening of BOAF, which was played diff than usual I liked the diff take on it personally. But to start off the first big jam of the night was CDT. And they played it with gusto! A nice jam put on it that finished the song close to 17mins. Was it just me or did CK5 give a lot of extra love n light both nights? I thought so. Steam was another great song w excellent tone from Trey. Wolfmans was funky as always w Mike leading the jam. And to end the first set a beautiful version of Gin that went a little exploritory and was the perfect song to end the set. Set II Was Where some serious improv happened. Im a fan after seeing Set your soul free in person n they took this song to the next level. The whole band was in unison all night. The biggest jam of the night was def Mercury! They played the standard song portion perfect and started the jam at the end with some dark funk that took me back to 97 fall tour. Def a noteworthy jam among others. Light was next and it didn't disappoint with another solid performance . There were many more highlights from this show and I too am surprised at the rating. I'm guessing cuz half the people read the setlist and said not a lot of big songs here but if you were to listen to this show from start to finish you would change your mind imop. This show is a sleeper. They even played Rocky Top at the end of a second song encore to give it there stamp of approval as a great show.
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by DrewG

DrewG These were shows #62 and #63 for me, and interestingly enough, they were my first non-MSG indoor shows and my first shows that weren't a New Years run or summer tour. Fall tour, nice to meet you. Tom Marshall, nice to meet you as well before night 2! The room itself was great, feeling a whole lot cozier than its 17,500 capacity would suggest. People were clearly fired up from the get-go—call it tour opener, call it upstaters trying to get over Curveball, call it the surprise banner, really call it whatever you'd like—but this was a rather solid show, tour opener qualifier or not. Moma gets things going with some very fiery Trey-led playing, before jumping into a very fun version of Tube. This one packs a lot into its 11 minutes: crazy alien sounds and synths from Page (more on that later) before kicking into an awesome Trey and Fish led climb that ends with a nice peak packed with a few Mike bombs. Theme was standard, with the > into Free not so much a strange little segue as it was a biffed re-entrance (a lyrics flub in Cities would also show a little rust). Free gets flexible in the Mike funk section, leading to a minute-plus of deconstructed face-to-face riffing between Trey and Mike in the vein of the Camden or Baker's versions of Character Zero. Cool and unique little twist on an old favorite. Army of One and Halley's served as a bridge to the other notable segment of set one, the Everything's Right -> Cities combo, complete with stellar segue. Coming off a summer full of great versions, this Everything's Right delivers the goods, with a serene patient build capped by a nice Trey sustain into some more massive Gordo bombs. Great start. Ghost-No Men-Piper is definitely a nice trio to start on paper and the crowd was definitely into it, but these versions are mostly standard fare with flashes of something great—the 9 to 11~ minute stretch in the Ghost is a good example. After this follows two curious highlights: Twenty Years Later and Show of Life (huh?). Clocking in at just over 14 minutes this 20YL goes to some very surreal sonic spaces in its final 4 or so minutes: weird sludge-y bass, angry and dissonant Trey riffing, Page trying to communicate with aliens via synths, and then a nice slide back into the song proper. Ya know, the dark evil Phish shit people have been begging for. Combined with Kuroda blasting deep reds into the crowd and the entire lighting rig hovering just a pinch above the band—this reminded me of the jaw-dropping Camden Split Open and Melt Kuroda work—the Albany 20YL will almost certainly end up on the jam charts. While Show of Life elicits the standard groans (listen to the 12/31/13 soundboard and hear the guy scream "OH NOOOOO!" at the start of it), this version is really serene, with a spirited vibe and patient playing (very quiet out of the composed section) that serves as an effective counterpoint to the darkness of the 20YL. 2001, Zero and Hood were all high-energy crowd pleasers to send everyone home happy, with 2001 really making the people go loco as always. Fun one, and a good omen for fall tour. Stuff worth checking out: Tube, Free, Everything's Right -> Cities, 20 Years Later.
, attached to 1984-12-01

Review by mikeymelikey

mikeymelikey I’m 39 and just started collecting Phish tapes. This is the first tape I listened to, and it’s a fun and odd listen. I was especially excited about this one because I have never heard Phish this early on. My tape (I say that because I think my tape may be mislabeled) starts Side A with Scarlet and ends with Slave and a band intro. That’s where it veers from the setlist above, and strange enough starts side B with Contact, highway to hell, and YEM (with Yer Blues from Halloween 94 as filler? I’m not joking.). I am not doubting the setlist above whatsoever, I’m just a new tape Phan wondering if these discrepancies are common. Thanks!
, attached to 2018-10-17

Review by coreychung1

coreychung1 I thought this was a super fun show, I dont really understand the rating (3.75 at the moment) but maybe it was a had to be there thing since there was no stream. 1st set was rockin. Warmed up to a crowd control (I am a magnet for that song opener) and right off the bat the band goes into a downtempo CDT. Really got the crowd going, this version is a must-listen, although, it may not stack up to other Chalkdust monsters that have come to the Northeast in the past few years. It is one of the better "finished" versions tho I will say, definitely had some interesting twists and turns in there with a great peak and band interplay. The wolfmans has a nice funky groove and a little extended peak, Mule NICU & gumbo are always welcome, steam was some nice sludgy funk with a good peak, and the gin was soaring as always. Really enjoyed set 1, it plays better than it reads (for those of you questioning whether tn was worth a listen, do yourself a favor & slap it on). Set 2 was good, soul free was good not great. Still not completely sold on that one (although ill bite my lip if they go for another 24min exploration). Highlight set 2 was definitely the Mercury>Light sequence. Real nice funk going into a soaring Light. Trey & Fish were on fire. Trey tone wise was awesome and they chugged along while letting the bass and keys show when appropriate. High energy for the Wilson & well executed slave. A little downtempo Julius got the feet moving one last time and Trey saying "Feels like a hometown show" felt appropriate right before a nice rocky top to cap off the night. That was some quality make up sex. Welcome to fall tour
, attached to 1997-07-26

Review by exiled

exiled About 30 seconds before the Blister jam starts, there is a very brief Crimson and Clover tease (Tommy James, not Joan Jett version) from Trey at 6:22. My guess is it was inspired by the wavy, vibrating sound his guitar makes at 6:13. Mark it .net. Also, not a big fan of the 2nd drummer and YEM>Izabella is great.
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by youenjoymyghost

youenjoymyghost Really strong show for a tour opener. Tube gets the job done early on with fishman driving the jam via his cowbell and later page with his new synth. Perfect drop into the blues section. Awesome tube. Free had a great duel and was an early highlight as well. Everything's right continuing to dominate! Don't really get the hype behind this 20 years later, it definitely had that evil sound everyone loves but over all didn't grab my attention like the Ghost and No Men before it. Ghost had Mike shining with bouncing grooves and was the set 2 highlight for my ears. Take aways: TUBBEEEEE & GHOST highlighted the show. Phall will be great. Keep bringing the heat in the first set boys!
, attached to 2018-10-17

Review by vinsanity46

vinsanity46 I will pop in here to agree with JakeMaye and also add that (1) the Steam was very scary and dissonant and then dropped back into the 3rd verse sooooo smoothly and (2) this Mercury is maybe my favorite ever. Super dark funk in the jam section which served as a very enjoyable precursor to the bright Light! Very excited to see what the boys bring to Hampton.
, attached to 2018-10-17

Review by jakemaye95

jakemaye95 This was a solid Phish show. Highlight was absolutely the monster first set chalkdust. incredible, must-listen phish, in my opinion. Rest of the set was very good; a fun energy, great song selection (sucker for NICU, the SOAMule was so fun), and some good jamming during wolfmans, steam and gin. Second set was solid. Highlight was the light, which was just a ripping rager. never really quite went type 2, but it was a significant improvisation. the birds transition was obviously horrible, but also it was kinda weird placement. they didn't go deep with it, so it sort of messed with the flow of the set in my opinion. would love to see them take that one for a ride. encore was standard julius and then surprise rocky top. trey mentioned that "these feel like hometown shows," and that makes a lot of sense. the crowd was incredible at both these shows, deafeningly loud at times. such a great environment. overall a quality phish show. don't miss the chalkdust.
, attached to 1995-11-22

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito This show is underrated. Yes, the Rift was cut short. But the Free alone is worth checking out, as discussed below, and is a major highlight. The first set too has some nice highlights. I’ll take CTB to open, thank you very much. The Wilson to follow keeps the energy up. The mid-set Antelope is as good as can be expected for the third song in and this one shows no signs of the band needing further warming up. And then they move into a solidly played Fluffhead. After the opening tunes, I have no issues with the remainder of the set, which are solid but not particularly noteworthy. Back to the Free - this version is the longest to date, which in itself is noteworthy. But length doesn’t always translate into greatness. Here, however, the band keeps things interesting and this version is fantastic, with several distinct segments. While I’m still partial to my favorite version on 6.26.95, this one is a close second even though they’re totally different beasts. The transition into Llama is nice as well. The YEM is fine, but not even close to the version I caught on 12.9.95. The Poor Heart encore is a slowed down version, which is interesting. The band follows that up with the always-welcome Frankenstein. Overall, this is a solid show with an extraordinary version of Free. Despite the aborted Rift, there is plenty to like here and this show seems pretty underrated.
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by jimsleftear

jimsleftear First tour opener for me. Had a blast. The energy in the building was great. If you read nothing else know this: if tonight is an indicator of the band's readiness to play and play solidly and with some energy, it's going to be a great tour. They came out ready to play! Moma and Tube set the funk and pace right from the beginning...band seemed to be having fun. The Everything's Right -> Cities was fantastic and seamless which is always a treat. Crowd was roaring along. Walls of the Cave was fiery and tight. The second set energy from the crowd was still high. The jams were "fine" but nothing mind blowing or crazy. All in all Page sounded great through all of these jams and helped make them special. Show of Life, my first one live, sounded great and was well placed. The jam was excellent. Highlight of the night was Also Sprach which got people really grooving! Obviously Zero is always a raucous singalong and it finished the set well. Harry Hood as an encore was both unexpected and a real treat. Great way to close out the tour opener. PS: CK5's light rig was moving around like a snake, up/down/wavy, all over the place. It was awesome and also a tad bit distracting from up in the 200 section because it would block view of the band at points. Not bad, just in the way. Peace. Have fun out there.
, attached to 2018-08-10

Review by phishyeducator

phishyeducator What a fun night! Having not seen Phish since Pittsburgh last summer, and having never seen them at Walnut Creek before, I was stoked for this show to get going. Stealing Time - Got a blank space where my mind should be! Good opener, with good energy. Funky B - This rocking/bluesy version got us dancing and shaking our bones quite early. Ocelot/Wedge - Glad to hear these two, and they were well played throughout. Wombat - Who doesn't love a good Wombat? Have that! The stage banter at the end was priceless, with Trey's "Gosh, we talking. This is so[i] weird[/i]!" and then watching him dodging the bugs, while Mike talked about his pet locust, got pretty crazy. Guelah Papyrus - Trey, don't sing this one in the higher octave anymore, lol. Totally dig the song, but dug it more when he returned to the lower octave for the end. BOAF/Saw It Again - Birds was pretty cool, and my buddy Matt was hoping for a Saw It Again, so well met! Timber - Ooooh yeah! Good energy and gets a little dark for a few. Limb x Limb - Love love love this song, and was happy to hear it. Short, but well played. Farmhouse - Ehh, the solo was pretty awesome. I do like Farmhouse though, so I appreciated hearing it. More - Great way to end a crazy set. But the craziness was yet to come... Set 2 opens with a playful Meatstick with Trey quoting and doing the Kiki dance, but Meatstick heads into the "jam" of the evening: Drowned. Great, but short, the Drowned jam evolves pretty seamlessly into a NICU that gets stretched out more than normal. Following a good jam out of NICU, they play the newer song Thread. Not really my cup of tea towards the end (only one man's opinion lol), but the real treat followed: Runaway Jim > Antelope > Jim > Antelope > Makisupa > Antelope, YEM! Jim got our butts boogying good, but there was a moment after they slid slick-as-you-please into the opening lick of Antelope where I looked at the setlist I keep on the back of my ticket stub and wondered "Did they really play Jim, or has it been Antelope the whole time?" A little disconcerting at first, but I resigned myself to having wrote it down wrong (y'all know how it gets about 2/3 the way through a show ;-) ). But then they swing hard back into Jim and I wonder if they even played Antelope at all, or was Jim playing tricks on me, haha. But it was soon apparent that shenanigans were afoot, and that the band was having a lot of fun! The Runaway Makisupa-Lope, or Jim-asupa-lope was a TON of fun! And then they cap off a fun set with a very well-played YEM and a scary vocal jam with crazy lights to send us into orbit, only to bring us down gently with a sweet Day in the Life. Man, what a fun show! Our crew couldn't stop talking about the Jim-asupa-lope even early into the next morning. It was a good show with high energy, well-played music, and just enough silliness to keep us on our toes and giggling. This is why I love this band!
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by maxhog

maxhog Average-to-great show on paper, but the music here is incredible. Moma Dance was a high-energy opener and absolutely set the mood for the rest of the night. Tube had some fantastic type 1.5 jamming, Free has a fun Trey/Mike duel (I got flashbacks to MPP1 Martian Monster- WOW!), and the Everything's Right jam soared, continuing it's late-first-set-dominance it has established since Camden2 (speaking of Camden2, I couldn't have been the only one who noticed the strong parallels in tonight's set1 song selection with Camden2's, could I? In hindsight the two sets only share 5 songs in common, but it felt very similar during the show) with the -> to Cities being a huge highlight. Theme, Army of One, Halley's, Cities, and WotC were otherwise standard, albeit very well played. Ghost > NMINML was just as good as you'd think (and maybe even better- they packed a lot into that ~25 minutes. Has NMINML ever been that spacey?). The absolute best jam of the night had to be 20YL; Apparently the band brushed up on their hypnosis skills, as hypnotic is the only way to describe it. If you pick anything to listen to from 10/16/18, make it 20YL. The rest of the show was high energy, very well played- and yes, this includes Show of Life, which actually had some kind of jam on the back end of it. The fact that I can sit here and tell you that relistening to this Show of Life wouldn't be a waste of time should tell you all you need to know about this show. Great tour opener! Excited to see if momentum keeps up throughout tomorrow and into the weekend (and hopefully beyond)!
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by vtspeedy

vtspeedy The crowd during pregame was unusually amped, I thought, and I mentioned to a friend that it all had a feeling like the Worcester 2012 tour opener - small Northeast city, classic indoor venue, big excitement. And so it came to pass. Moma Dance opener gave everyone a chance to settle in but there was something extra on offer as it stretched out longer than a standard Moma opener. Ditto Tube - developed a nice jam and with two funk fest openers the crowd was into it. Good Theme and Free pairing followed. For me, the set then sagged a bit with a Army of One, Halley’s Comet, Everything’s Right triptych but recovered with a nice >Cities and WoTC closer with an extended jam out of the Silent Trees segment. I though I heard a Ghost somewhere in Trey’s warmup strums as the band chatted out the second set opener, and there it was. A solid version but not nearly the 11/28/09 version that everyone was immediately hoping the boys would conjure up. Ditto the No Mans Land and Piper that followed - solid but the peaks kind of left me feeling unresolved. I’m always hoping for that rapturous moment when the inexplicable happens. So when they kicked into 20 Years Later, I figured that it would just be one of those shows that never quite got over the top. Bwahahaha. The jam took an unexpected turn and just grew and grew, bigger, darker, scarier, a seething monster that would not be satisfied until it had eaten everyone in attendance. I turned to Kim and said, “ there’s really no way out of this, is there?” Jaws we’re dropping around me. And yet somehow they reined it back in and landed in... Show of Life. Really? I’ll leave during a SoL encore, so much do I not like this trite, smarmy little song. And yet...it worked. We all needed to breath after the monster ride we had just survived, and the jam was actually a bit extended and pretty. Plus out of the outro jam came a raging 2001 and Character Zero closer that let everyone throw down and celebrate being alive. Then to top it of a Hood encore, more of the raging rather than introspective variety, but everyone left the building pumped and excited for rest of fall tour. Couple of side notes. My first show was here, 12/1/03, and this was my 50th. Nice symmetry. Add in that it was Kelli’s birthday and we had a special evening. Second note. The lights. Whoa. We were on the floor and the rig actually extended out a bit over the rail. With Kuroda’s new (since Bakers Dozen) swooping up and down sets there were times we felt as though we were inside the lights. There were some moments when the projector bodies themselves were being lit giving the impression of weird alien spaceship technology swirling over our heads. Waaay much fun.
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by Slewfoot

Slewfoot Grrrrrrrrreat show last night! I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hoping for a good show and a good time with friends, nothing more. Instead I got an incredibly memorable night with both...the first set had a ton of confidence from the get go. I always love Moma as an opener and the Tube that followed let us know we were in for a way above average tour opener. The vibe of the set was similar to the last show I saw - Camden Night 2 - although I thought much better played. Every song felt like a highlight with special mention for the Trey / Mike duel in Free, a super tight Halley’s full of little Trey guitar runs and the Everything’s Right>Cities. The ER Jam felt like a recap of many songs of the first set as at times I heard elements of Moma, Theme and Free in it. Killer...the second set was a nice continuation of the feel of the first set in its smooth, sneaky tone. The Ghost Jam got fun and spooky and NMINML is always welcome. It seemed like Trey was teasing Piper a few minutes before they actually started it. I dug the intro with Trey softly playing the riff underneath the jam and starting to sing the opening lines while still in the ether. The Piper got good and hot for a bit before a spacey, our there 20 Years Later. I can totally see how some people might dismiss this and the Show of Life that followed on paper, but they were full of goodness in that room. The Show of Life had this amazing floating outro jam. Just beautiful. Hear it. The Hood encore was icing on the cake...all in all a very impressive show. It definitely had that 2018 sound to it although a bit sharper and clearer to my ears. Nothing meandered and nothing was too grungy. All felt just exactly perfect. Thank you, Phish!!!
, attached to 2018-10-16

Review by TwiceBitten

TwiceBitten Thought this show had a heck of a lot of heart. The combination of the cancelled Curveball crowd, tour opener energy, super lit Northeastern indoor wookery and that sick looking old school banner ("highest ever") lead to a very energetic crowd for a Tuesday night. This size room is perfect for Phish as no one feels too far away from the action. The return of first set jamming has been a major event in 2018 (and 2017 to a lesser extent). The first night of Fall Tour was no slouch in this department with lengthy type II versions of Tube and Everything's Right (not to mention the Mike and Trey duel in Free). The second set was all butter to me. The opening trio was concluded well with a surprise drop into Piper. Sometimes 20 Years Later puts a damper on setlist flow (to some fans at least), but this version is NOT TO BE MISSED. Far and away the most interesting performance of the song and the highlight of the night. This one had echoes of the Worcester 97 Wolfman's Pentagram Jam. Super heavy shit. Rest of show was delivered with conviction. I thought this was the best tour opener since 6/7/12 Worcester. It's gonna be a great tour folks!
, attached to 2003-01-03

Review by SolarGarlic505

SolarGarlic505 Was on the floor for this, and just wanted to note that towards the end of Wolfman's, there was some commotion on mid floor maybe 20-30 "rows" back in the GA floor, center to stage. Security/police grabbed someone and began to remove him from concert, and thats when they dropped into Makisupa. Priceless.
, attached to 1995-11-28

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito Several shows before the legendary month of December ‘95, I was curious to see why this show seems overlooked and whether it was potentially underrated. The show-opening Stash is certainly a nice start. While nothing close to the magnificent version a few weeks back, on 11.14.95, this is an energetic and unexpected way to open a show. For those keeping count, Stash has opened shows only seven times so it’s a fairly rare treat and this version make me wish they did it more often. (Another underrated Stash-opening show is 7.22.15, which remains one of my favorite shows from that fantastic tour.) Dinner and a Movie follows. Although this was a bust out earlier in the tour, by this point in their career this tune had already become a rarity so this was nice to hear. After BATR, the band treats us to Foam, which is a solid and welcome take. Other highlights of the first set include an excellent Divided Sky, which has a nice jam in the latter few minutes and it seems like the band really gels here. This is followed directly by Guyute, solidly played. A brief 2001 opens Set II, leading into an awesome Maze. Much of the rest of the set is well-played and fun. Additional highlights include an energetic Suzy, Free, and a mid-set Antelope. I really like a lot of versions of Free from this era as the band was consistently stretching the tune out. This is a typical version for the era, which is to say it’s excellent and worthy of a listen. There are, however, more interesting versions out there from this time (e.g., 6.26.95 and 11.22.95). Overall, this is a quality show that is likely overlooked due to the many great shows to follow the next month, plus it lacks any big jams that occurred at many of the shows from this tour. However, there are numerous highlights, enough to warrant labeling this show underrated and worth checking out.
, attached to 1998-08-11

Review by GrantBrown

GrantBrown I broke in my tube preamp on my hifi setup with the Schoeps copy of this show & was amazed at how warm and airy my system had become. Turns out - it was the show. No seriously - this show is ridiculous. When the Wolfman's jam hits, veteran phans know that this is gonna be somethin else altogether. The 4 guys bounce harmonics off of every inch of the venue & they're doing it was style. And the show is LOUD too. The maze - just listen - spaced the F*ck out doesnt even describe it. Runaway Jim 95-esque - case closed playa. Its shows like these - when the guys are edgy and hungry that make their 4.0 star shows seem kinda... well just pretty good. A+++++
, attached to 1998-11-02

Review by dr32timmymeat

dr32timmymeat Allusions to ecstasy pervade Trey's banter at the very outset of the Harpua storytelling section. He says, "We're happy to be here at the E Center," with huge emphasis on "E." Wink wink. He doubles down, saying, "What a good place to be. I LOVE this place. I'm in love with this place. I love everyone here, I love everything. I feel so warm and full of love..." Not sure if the crowd picked up on this stuff live but definitely this is straight up drug banter. Oh, Trey!
, attached to 1992-03-13

Review by conormac

conormac A great early show from 1992 (especially Set 1!) and only the 5th show into the Winter/Spring Tour. This is considered one of the bands best early tours, especially as they tear across the west coast in mid-April. But even in March things were heating up. There are debated GOAT versions of Phish classics like Fluffhead and Antelope, and some great readings of newer songs that would eventually make it on the Rift album (Maze, Mound, The Horse>Silent, Rift). The technical prowess of the band is on full display, and they are still playing small enough rooms to indulge in funny stuff like the secret language and Fishman extravaganzas on a daily basis. Phish comes out of the gates strong with the Curtain. It is perfectly played, and sets a great tone for the show. Immediately out of The Curtain comes the SOAM drum beat. At this point, to my ears, you can hear what separates 1991 from 1992. The band seems so relaxed, yet so tight and in the pocket. The sound (system) has improved, and the band just has a fuller sound in general than previous years. For me, it's why I enjoy 1992 so much, cuz it really is the band taking all they've learned from the past 5 years, and combining it into a well-oiled machine. They are still such a young band, but their sound is maturing, even if it takes another year for them to start breaking their own boundaries. Anyway, SOAM is played very tight and as they enter the jam, things heat up. Things stay in the pocket with Gordo really thumping away on the bass line. Trey's maturing, yet still nasty, tone is on full display here, as he builds tension against the band’s groove. At the 6.5 min mark, things start to grow thick under Trey's repeating guitar line, Page hammers away, and Gordo starts walking the bass underneath, until Trey trills to a peak, perfectly in sync with Fish. A great energetic take! Next comes a well-played Poor Heart (albeit a little slower than other, better, versions) and Guelah Papyrus, which is executed nicely, but nothing extraordinary (They sure did like this song pre-94). Up next is Maze which is the first new song of the bunch. This version is played pretty much by the book, but that's fine. Trey and Fish are a little more subdued during the verses, not popping off aggressively each time they hit the lyrics, but as they enter the jam, Trey wakes up and shreds this one in classic machine-gun style, though, in general, it is all a little tentative in comparison to versions to come. However, Maze truly was an instant classic Phish song, even during its debut tour performances, and this version is highly enjoyable, if only for its newness, and it seems, to my ears, like a pleasant surprise for the crowd. The band next treats us to the oldie but goodie, Dinner and a Movie. The song is its great self, with added energy of Trey's screams, and the Ahhs from the crowd are very enjoyable as well. They next jump into an average take on Divided Sky. The crowd shouting Possum during the break is comical, as you wouldn't hear that in 3.0, but back in the early nineties, Possum was a highly requested song, and often played with some of the highest energy of the night. Anyway, the Divided Sky itself is standard good, nothing too special or memorable. Up next is the 2nd new song, this time from Mikey, with Mound. Fishman starts it off, his snare tone sounding great IMO, and the claps from the band/crowd making a meager performance. The band enters, Fish changes the drum beat, and we are off and running through the song proper. The music is fine, but the vocals are still developing at this point (Trey/Page harmonies in particular are not as well-executed as in later versions). The band successfully navigates this difficult tune, and rewards themselves with jumping into, whatdoyaknow, another difficult song! Fluffhead is a definite highlight from set 1, and is often referred to as the GOAT by many. The song is played with both emotion and precision, and the tension built throughout the composition is truly appreciated once they hit the Arrival section, which has some of the best energy release I've ever heard! Though it's Trey that gives us that peak we love (and of course the Yellow Brick Road tease at the close, starting many OZ references), Mike is the MVP throughout IMO. This is a keeper for sure! "Ssssccchhheck it out" for yourself. The band wastes no time and jump right into a historic Antelope, with Mike continuing to tease the Wizard. Trey cues the Simpson tease, and the "Doh!", but the crowd doesn't know what hit them (they may not all be in on the secret language...yet). Antelope continues, and we quickly slide into the Em jam. Things start to get interesting right away, as Page and Trey repeat syncopated notes against each other, with Mike playing the closest thing to melody, and Fishman just slinking along in the back. The jam becomes more tense and especially swirling, feeling like Dorothy herself is getting sucked up into the tornado. At the 6 min mark the swirling nature reaches its climax, with Trey nailing long ascending and descending runs, and hitting a quick peak at 6:40 mark bringing the band back into more standard 'Lope territory. But then surprisingly, as if the storm has cleared, the band breaks down at the 7:20 mark. It's kinda like the end, but not really, cuz someone is chanting/screaming, and then Trey randomly comes back in firing with a highly distorted lead. But, alas, they break it down again, more chanting/screaming, and then Trey treats us to some nice reverse delay/echo parts, the band breaking down around him. We end in a slow yet chaotic jam, with Page playing chromatic organ leads over top. All of a sudden the band starts to speed up, and we are in BBFCFM!! "Oh why?" repeated from Gordo at 1st chorus comically becomes "Hawaii" and then "How are ya?" (in a kinda RI accent), then Trey suddenly cues the band back into the closing part of the Antelope jam. But, of course, the band slows things down again, as if they are going to go to the end of Antelope, but Gordo keeps bringing back the BBFCFM lyrics ("Why do I try to kill you?") Then Trey again brings us back to the 'lope jam one last time, which finds itself into the end of the song proper-like. A Simpson's signal at the end really says it all ("DOH!"). What a mind fuck! A fantastically strange and exciting way to end the 1st set (one of the best of the year IMO). Set 2 opens with some pleasant, jazzy noodling, then Over the Rainbow teasing, adding to the Wizard of Oz nature of this show. Then Trey quickly jumps into Wilson, the rest of the band falling in behind him. More Over the Rainbow teases follow, jabs and stabs by each band member, then the classic Wilson chant. From here, the boys run through a standard reading of Wilson, and immediately dive into Brother. Brother gets a Hawaii reference from Trey before jumping in to shred this solo to pieces. This Brother is not extraordinary, but a very good, high energy version. Up next is The Horse > Silent, which is a new tune at this point, and gives Trey a chance to give a shout out to "Matilda" in Horse. Silent is well played, even if, like Mound, the harmonies are still getting smoothed out, finding the voice that brings us to our knees if you will. Regardless, this song is a great addition to Phish's "slow song" category. After a short break, Phish busts into The Landlady, which gets the crowd moving. The band provides an energetic ending to the tune (with a typical big Fish fill) and lands right in the start of Lizards. The band immediately locks into this version, which goes through the typical motions to much success. The crowd claps fanatically before the final section, which entertains Trey and Fish as they know it will be difficult for them to play along with the clap. The crowd ceases, and we are treated to an excellent rendition to the close. Phish then jumps into My Mind's Got A Mind Of Its Own, which is also a new cover tune, with Mike taking the lead. This one is very well-executed, and seems to me to be a reference to the crazy Antelope from Set 1, and also a hat tip to the Scarecrow from OZ. The 3rd Gamehendge song of the set comes in next. The Sloth features some excellent interplay from the band, as they float through the changes and feels. The reworked version of Rift is next, and is executed nicely. Fun to hear the song change from the slow and misguided infant 1990 versions to the one we know and love today (see http://phishtracks.com/shows/1990-04-28/rift if ya wanna spin the old version). After Rift comes Fishman's part of the show. For this, he picks the "old standard" Love You which is fine, but kinda wished they had stuck with the Wizard of OZ theme and done If I Only Had A Brain, but that's OK. The bagpipe adds to the comedy, with proclaiming "Isn't this a fucking great invention?!" Then he "feels like suckin", so he plays the vacuum over a fun groove. Fish wraps up the tune and retreats to his cold as ice throne. To close the set, Phish picks Possum (satisfying the phans that screamed for it during Divided Sky) and also giving Trey the opportunity to once again explain the secret language (Trey tests the "All Fall Down" signal and no one falls down, so he must explain again). It's a riot to listen to Trey explain all the signals. [i]Too bad[/i] the band got too big too fast and they couldn't see the social experiment truly come to fruition. Trey then jumps into Possum proper. During Trey's solo, he does the Simpsons signal and the crowd joins in. The jam starts build as normal, a Turn Turn Turn tease comes, and according to Trey, the crowd reaction is very weak. Regardless, Trey continues ratcheting up the tension as they move along. The final round is very bluesy and ripping, but not extraordinary, making this an average version made better due mostly to the signals. The encore is Contact > Fire. Contact is unique (and funny quite frankly) with the addition of Mike on accordion during the intro and outro. Trey then rages in to Fire, which ends the show on a very high note, and has the crowd hooting. Trey absolutely shreds it Jimi style to close the night. This is a great show from 1992, a perfect combination of technical prowess and antics. Set 1 especially is a must listen for all fans of classic Phish, with Fluffhead and the Antelope from Mars really standing out as all-time versions. Set 2 is great, but not quite the treat as set 1. Happy Phishin'!!
, attached to 1999-09-28

Review by Abe_Froman

Abe_Froman Fun show. The band was having a great time, sounds like the audience was too. Dance party extraordinaire to kick off the show, with Wolfman's, Sneakin Sally and Tube. Lovely Velvet Sea and Harry Hood to finish set 1. Opening set 2 with three new tunes was....interesting. They're all well played, and the crowd seemed to be into them, but, yeah....that's the beauty of live music. Sometimes it holds up, sometimes not so much. That back half of the set though, good stuff. Slow, slinky Tweezer, Makisupa, standard/great Chalk Dust, and a BIG YEM. Last outdoor show of the year, til Big Cypress that is. Glad they eventually made it back to Oak Mountain. 4 stars!
, attached to 1991-12-31

Review by conormac

conormac A great old school NYE show and a hint of what was to come in the future. Nothing [i]absolutely[/i] ground breaking here, but some great takes on Phish standards with the added energy of crossing into a new year. Apparently this was a much bigger success than the previous year NYE show, and the crowd gets treated to a good one. Not quite the craziness of NYEs to follow, but great nonetheless. Note: Page is mixed loudly throughout, which makes for a different experience at times, especially Stash, Tweezer and Mike Groove. Possum opens and the band dips their toes in to make sure the water is warm. By the 5.5 min mark, Trey is trying his darndest to blow the roof off in song #1, and nearly does at the 6 minute mark. Man, what a start, and the crowd is immediately stoked. Foam in the 2 slot is a typical (maybe safe) play, but the band plays it very well, Trey employing a staccato style during his solo, and then is really growing by the end, which is fun and interesting. Sparkle is up next, and Trey uses his new cursing voice box for the first time. At this point its just confusing. Sparkle is straight forward otherwise, well-played, though not at break neck speed and borderline out of control like later versions. Next the boys jump into Stash. After shaking the rust off in the intro, the band locks in nicely. Page shines with dramatic comping behind Trey's stellar leads. At this point, the band has learned the tricks that make Stash a great far out jam, filled with tension and peaks. We get both in spades here, and the boys really push the boundaries, making the first truly standout tune of the night. The Lizards visit us next, and it is a fine version, well played and enjoyable, and Page adds a little extra to his piano breaks. They slip in to Guelah Papyrus next. The band struggles a little to settle in. Page's organ playing is tasteful, but the bands timing is a little off at first. Luckily, the Asse Festival portion is played nicely, and the song concludes energetically, but this is the low point of the set IMO. Trey takes the time to dedicate Divided Sky to Chris Dainty, which is a heartfelt moment. And, of course, DS pulls at the heart string on its own, so the next 12 minutes are pure Phish bliss, setting the bar higher and presenting the 2nd true highlight of the night. Trey shines for last 3 minutes, dancing around the peaks and egging his band members on, Fishman finally setting him up for the last big peak with a strong snare fill. At the 11 min mark, Trey is soaring, as good as it gets IMHO. We join the circus in Esther, and Trey once again uses his cursing voice box, this time clearly saying "Fuck You", which gets a reaction from the crowd. Trey then tells the crowd that it was a Christmas present. Nice one. Esther gives Trey another opportunity to play a classic soaring sustained guitar lead, after kinda struggling through the middle section. It's a fine version, but the Llama that follows is from another dimension. Page comes roaring out of the gate in the intro, and the band is immediately locked in step. Page again smokes his organ solo, using a lot of chromatic runs to build tension, and, by the end, he is just wailing. He switches to the piano and Trey steps up to the plate. His solo is like a high powered drill to the chest; the energy is off the charts, but none of it sounds nice, very unsettling, even when he does reach the peaks And the valleys, they are just ridiculously demented. Leading up the 4 minute mark, Trey is a man possessed, and its great. Our 3rd highlight, in the first set! Call the exorcist after this one! A typical closer in Golgi is fine. Nothing crazy, just a great tune played average good, Trey and Page playing around with timing in the middle instrumental section. It's different, and works OK. The set ends after the energetic chorus refrain, and Trey thanks the crowd, but I'm still reeling from the Llama as set 1 comes to a close. Brother makes an appearance to open Set 2 at about 11:45pm. Mike slaps the bass energetically, and the organ swells above. Getting to the 2nd verse, the band stumbles a bit, but quickly locks back in. Apparently Trey's 2nd cousin, and someone twice removed, joins him as he enters the jam. They help bring back the nastiness from the Llama for a bit, not quite as chaotic, but twisted for sure. The crowd roars at the end, and then the girls in the crowd cheer (maybe some guys too) for the start of Bouncin'. It's an interesting call with less than 10 minutes until midnight, but I guess it was important to play a shorter song, so they could prepare for the countdown coming up quickly. Buried Alive opens next, and Trey announces that they have about 2 minutes until 1992. He jumps into the lead, then teases Auld Lang Syne the 2nd go round. It works nicely, but not as smooth as some other teases in later years (NYE '95 Paug is my fave). Trey then counts down to HAPPY NEW YEAR and the band crashes into Auld Lang Syne proper. For the new year, Phish chooses Runaway Jim, a song that shred 1991 to pieces consistently. Things start all normal-like, but then Trey finds a riff at the 5 minute mark, which helps him ratchet the energy to a long sustained note. The jam continues to pick up momentum, then ends, of course, with a fiery performance from Trey and Fish in particular, the trill at the 6:30 mark making for an exciting peak. Its a great way to honor 1991, in straight Machine Gun style. With 1991 behind us, Phish jumps into The Landlady, allowing the crowd to salsa dance with their date. Fun stuff, with Fishman really driving towards the end, but it's not til Reba that we get some more truly inspired play. Starts as normal, close to the studio version tempo. Everyone is playing well, and the lyrical part of the song, roll along nicely. The composed section is also well-executed (par for the course in '91...well '92). Fish's drum solo is precise, and the boys land in the jam smoothly. The crowd is ready, and Trey takes his time getting in. By 8 minute mark Mike is ready to drive, and he urges Trey to pick it up, playing impressive bass fills through his octave filter. This leads to the first intersting moment of the jam, as Page decides to ratchet up the tension, which eventually breaks with a peak around the 9 minute mark. Trey is then primed to soar, and proceeds to rev things up until Fishman cuts things off (a bit too soon IMO) and the band lands together at peak. The whitelisting ensues, and we bag, tag it, and sell it again. Cavern comes next, and Fishman adds a little extra spunk in his beat. But Trey dances around the chords a few times, and just when ya think the band is gunna lock up, Trey stays out. It doesn't really work, but that's OK, cuz Pages queue to the lyrics is tasteful. Trey continues his long dragged out notes through the instrumental breaks. He also forgets some lyrics, which is comical, but doesn't help the relistenable quality of this version. After a quick jaunt through My Sweet One, we close the set with Antelope. Bluegrass fans like me will enjoy the Nellie Kane tease in the intro, but will cringe when the band stumbles into the next part. Trey tries to make up for it buy playing what sounds like the Cities chords over the band, but it doesn't really pan out. They eventually make their way to the Em jam. It's hard for them to get settled from the start, and the jam kinda meanders for a bit. At the 5 minute mark things grow more tense and interesting, but the band isn't 100% locked in like other versions from this era. That being said, the build up at the 6.5 minute mark proves successful and the band hits one really large peak before breaking down to the final section. Trey plays some different chords in the Marco E part, which kinda works, but not really. We go through the motions, and the crowd agrees to reset their gear shift, and lets out a huge cheer as the boys close the 2nd set. A below average version of 'Lope for the era, really nothing special. Ultimately, the 2nd set is short (about 50 minutes), which is OK, being that an absolutely stacked 3rd set is coming our way. Fishman starts with Wilson with just his kick drum, but Trey takes over and gets the band started. He also uses the cursing voice box again, and third time the charm. The voice is very clear now since its used in the breaks in between Wilson hits. It also works on another level, cuz Wilson IS a "Fucking Jerk". And this makes me realize, there is a connection to Trey using the voice box in Set 1 as well. First during Sparkle as it was a gift ("she buys a gift"), and during Esther, cuz fuck that doll is evil. Oh Trey, you so clever. The Wilson chant from the band starts and soon we are into the song proper, Trey shredding the guitar parts with fury. The breaks come around again, and again Trey nails the voice box. Wilson ends in typical fashion, and the opening notes of Coil come forward. A standard reading here, average good, and a chance for new year's introspection and reflection during Page's extended outro. But the Tweezer that comes next elevates the energy back to party time. Trey starts the riff, and the band slowly slinks in gently. This Tweezer starts as normal, but gets a little extra mustard in the jam, and ends at roughly 13 minutes, taking its place as the longest jam of the evening. The band moves as one, and even though spend the majority of the middle part of the slowly building tense music, it works very well due to their patience. Trey is also back in the mix allowing the other guys to stand out, which also helps make the sound more cohesive. Around the 9 minute mark, the band starts chanting, which adds to the menacing feelings of the jam. It's very improvisational at this point, especially for the era, and Trey focuses on creating distorted soundscapes, and allows Fishman, Mike and Page to lock in to a straight rock groove, though, eventually, Fishman retreats back to the Tweezer beat, and Trey revs some Pete Townsend style chords over Page's echoing piano. They lock into hit the classic ending before Trey can take us to the next level. But what this jam lacks in a pick peak, it delivers in dynamic group interplay. A few years later, when the band learns to combine both, is when things really start to amaze. All in all, it's an interesting and above average take for the era. McGrupp emerges out of Tweezer, and is a great juxtaposition of beauty after the previous jam. Despite a few stumbles (Page struggles a bit with chords during the verses), this version is well-played. By the time we hit the instrumental section, the band is humming along again, and Page delivers a nice solo, kind of reminiscent of the end of Coil. The Mike's that immediately follows again brings something a little extra. The song proper is tight, yet laid back. The 1st jam is pretty standard good for this era, Trey sustaining 1 long building screech, and Page really utilizing his organ's full potential. But when the 2nd jam ensues (pretty sure because the band stumbles after the classic Mike's build up) something is a little different. The band gets very punchy as Fishman retreats to his closed hi-hat. Trey joins in supporting Page as he continues to crush the organ. This section hints at what Phish would learn to do with the Mike's jam in later years (more groove, and less screech). After this pleasant section, the band hits the walk up build again, this time with even more gusto, and continue on to the proper ending. Great stuff, and a clear highlight from the 3rd set! Hydrogen is beautiful, the crowd urging the band on, then and we quickly dive into Weekapaug. I really like Mike's bass solo here, with Page gently backing him up. Trey enters and we're off and running. Trey settles on a lion sleeps tonight quote for a while. When he abandons that theme, things start to peak back to standard Paug shredding territory. The band is locked in as ever, building a large foundation over which Trey can soar. Around the 4 minute mark, things really start to rage, Trey absolutely shredding, but it doesn't sustain, cuz by the 5 minute mark we are winding down to the ending refrain. A very powerful (albeit short) version that has a [i]larger[/i] sound quality then versions from 1991. A great exclamation point to the final set! Before the encore, Trey gives Mike's Mom a "new hand" for her new artwork acting as the stage backdrop. Fishman urges Kuroda to do some things with the lights so the band can see what it looks like in action. The Ooos and Ahhhs from the crowd are entertaining. For music, Phish chooses Lawn Boy, which is perfect in this setting. Page is my MVP for the night, so letting him croon a little is appropriate. Trey plays the Christmas song during his solo, which fits surprisingly well and is played perfectly, and is in honor of his favorite Christmas gift, the cursing voice box (LOL!). Next up is Rocky Top, which gets the crowd dancing again. And of course, out of the cheers comes the Tweeprise, and it blows the roof off one last time, just like when they started with Possum. People cheer and everyone goes home. What a night! This is classic old school at its finest, nothing too outrageous to be found, but very well executed set lists. If you enjoy early Phish, the archival release of this NYE show is a must. Rage on!
, attached to 1990-10-31

Review by conormac

conormac Show starts off with the classic early era pairing of Buried Alive > Possum. Trey shreds BA to pieces, even though it's a relatively new song, and it's most appropriate being that it's Halloween. Possum (another death song) includes some early secret language signals. Fishman kicks us all standard like, and we're off and running, settling in to a calm groove immediately. The crowd eats up Mike's dramatic vocal rendition. As we enter the jam things start quiet, and you can tell Trey means business from the start, confidently floating over the changes. Each time around, the tension is ratcheted a bit more. Mike is mixed loudly, which is nice for re-listening to this possum, as the driving nature of it really relies on Mike's persistence and reliability. At the 7 minute mark, Trey starts really shredding, and Fishman eggs him on by keeping the rolling going even longer than typical. A great jam, that builds organically with very high energy and confident playing. Perfect start! After a brief thank you, and the scary sounding scream that Trey does (ya know? like from the ALO of Tweezer? wish he'd bring that back), we find ourselves in The Squirming Coil. The satanic theme continues. This version is well played, Page, and, even more so, Mike (he nails some nice bass fills) really exploring the boundaries of the form, and Trey pouring his heart out into the last guitar melodies. Page delicately brings us to the close, with Mike gently plucking along repeatedly at first, and then Trey slips is with Lizards (more death filled themes for Halloween...spoiler alert...the Lizards died!). The band drops in quickly, making this a fantastically executed segue. The Lizards gets a standard reading, Trey [i]almost[/i] stumbling some lyrics, but the band really playing smoothly. Again Mike is just dancing all over everything; just superb playing on his part. Trey (I think, maybe Page) scats along with the piano solo, which is entertaining. Trey restrained (at first) solo part in final part is fantastic, his sustained tone, having matured and smoothed in 1990, on perfect display here. Breaking from the death theme a bit, Phish jumps into the new tune, Stash, only played live since September of '90. The band is so well rehearsed that it's intimidating. Everyone is in the pocket and just slaying their parts. It's extremely pleasing to the ears. The crowd does not clap with Fish's wood block solos [i]yet[/i], but the 2nd go-round we get some wooing from several audience members, which brings a smile to this phan's face, knowing what maligned wooing has become since the TT. The stash jam is short by today's standards, but wastes no time getting exciting. While the band pushes the sonic boundaries of the form, and adds tension, they haven't quite learned how to lean on those unresolved notes really hard yet, so the jam rolls forward more pleasantly than later versions, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not what we've come to expect from a Stash jam. Trey hits the closing melodic melodic riff at end and we fall down into BATR immediately. The band readjusts to the change and then jumps into the lyrics. BATR gets the college radio reading here, pleasant, but nothing special. YEM starts up next and the band means business, locking in immediately. Mike's solo is endearing, and the band just keeps the crowd engaged through the whole composition. When we reach the jam, the boys keep it up tempo, really charging forward in this one, each member laying down together perfectly to form a brilliant groove. Page's fills are especially enjoyable, and he reels it up nicely before passing it to Trey, who takes him time building things up. Some say Mike teases Wilson? (I think he's just playing with the groove) and also the Munsters theme, which is topical. Buy the 11 min mark, they are just crushing. The jam peaks, the bass and drums is straight forward, and we are entertained by a vocal jam, pick-pocketing the crowd with this one, and quoting a Night in Tunisia. The jazz teases must have inspired the band, as they next treat us to the jazzy Asse Festival (another new song, played standalone outside of Guelah Papyrus). This short tune leads us to our first bluegrass number of the evening, My Sweet One. Next comes Cavern, which gets some tasty bass fills at the start. No big chord hits from the band, just slinky funk. This version is well-played and satisfying, though Trey is rather restrained on this one, opting not to solo through breaks. For Set 1 closer, we get Antelope, which is fitting. Fishman adds a more snare driven beat (almost bluegrass mixed with Nawlins rollick) in this intro, which makes it feel unique, if not rushed. Not sure if it works completely, but it makes for a different experience. As we hit the next movement, things are back to the standard fare, and we eventually run through a awesomely maddening jam. The band is really locked in and moving together like a rising ocean. A simply great rendition to end the 1st set! Set 2 opens with a stand alone Landlady (new), which is energetic and fitting, though not without its hiccups between band members. Up next is Reba, a personal highlight from this show. Again, Mike just kills the bass, bouncing around the melody to perfection. There is a little stumble as the band repeats the last chorus, but nothing major. The difficult parts are played majestically, Trey again vocally scatting along at times (wait...is that Page?). Fishman adds some fun variation in his parts leading up to the start of the jam, though he plays this drum solo part standard style. The jam, while VERY compact, is also very groovy and infectious. I just love how Trey comes out in front, almost like he's teasing some 80s pop song. He builds upon this theme as the band supports him powerfully. Runaway Jim shows up after, and showcases how Phish can whip a crowd into a frenzy quickly. The vocal harmonies are very nice, and Trey absolutely murders this one (playing more patiently as he builds it seems), and the band works together seamlessly behind him. Full band interplay at its phinest, and another highlight of the evening. The Foam gets thick next, a well-played classic that again showcases Trey's smooth tone (and a few more scats from...Page? It's gotta be Page). Trey's lead work at end is very nice (I still here vocals, man, who is that?). In closing vocals, Mike makes the Foam seem like a horror movie character with his deathly repetitions. An above-average version IMO. From there, our next highlight is Tweezer. The groove is infectiously funky (for an early version), very danceable stuff. Page's switch to organ in verse is tasteful, and it's entertaining to hear the vox get more and more dramatic throughout the song proper. That theme peaks when Ebenezer comes out of the freezer. The jam begins and Page is leading the way with bluesy riffs. Trey sneaks in with some heavy medal riffing, Mike slapping along to great effect. Led Zeppelin phans will delight in the Heartbreaker teases that start at this point, I know I do! Mike's octave pedal continues to impress as Fishman pushes the band to escalate things. Trey finds a riff he likes and rides it home as the boys envelop him. Fishman urges a big peak with a long snare build and the jam hints at going major, but then retreats to more energetic Heartbreaker teasing. Things slow and growl up to one more solid large peak before breaking to the typical slow it down to a crawl ending, and then refraining the Tweezer riff again and employing there teasey stop short ending of the early 90s. A very enjoyable compact early version of Tweezer. Phish next lighten things up with Fee, though the boys play this with good energy, hopping and jumping along in wooden shoes. After the traditional harmonic ending of Fee, the classic pairing of Oh Kee Pa > Suzy is up next and doesn't disappoint. Trey sounds fantastic during this ceremony, and confidently jumps into Suzy. Mike slaps around the bass line a bit which helps make this version pop. Both Trey and Page's solos are energetic throughout, Page's 2nd solo benefiting from the funky off kilter comping from Trey, Mike, and Fish ( I think Fish even let's out a "Yeah!"). Next, Zero Man comes forward and graces us with the original "Love You". This song has an Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd feel, which works well when sucking your face with a vacuum. It's Fish, and it's funny, but probably better in person. But, come one, give it up for him! Without [i]wasting [/i]too much time, the boys jump into Mike's Groove to close the set. Love the way Trey plays this lead line at top, super smooth. After a laid back rendition of the song proper, the jam takes on a slow brooding quality. The classic walk down to hard rock ending leads into Hydrogen, which is also beautifully executed. Though the tempo speeds up into Weekapaug, things stay relatively calm at the start. The band is really listening to each other, and playing patiently, but some of that break neck speed and energy of a typical Paug suffers at first. But around the 3.5 minute mark Trey starts whaling wildly, and the boys help him out, beginning to take lift off. Machine Gun Trey comes out in full effect, and the jam is it's great self, but the whole MGroove doesn't move mountains like we know it can, and will, only a few short years in the future. For the encore, Phish brings out Uncle Pen, only the 2nd bluegrass number of the evening. Trey really shines here, and this version is highly enjoyable. Things quickly move from happy and light, to dark and scary when, to close the night, the boys visit Mars, and bring back the furry creature. This BBFCFM is well-played, especially in the Halloween setting. The crowd loves the strange menacing darkness of it all. "Why is he running?!!" Simply put, this show rules! All songs are well played, Phish's technical prowess is on full display, and their most classic tunes get great readings here (YEM, Tweezer). I really think Trey's tone turned a corner in 1990, and this performance showcases perfectly. 10/31/90 has a firm place in the Halloween set lore. Happy Phishin'!
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