, attached to 1993-03-18

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

I had a really intense time at the show. It was one of those wonderful nights where you leave the show drenched in sweat. I'm listening to the second set of this show as I type; it's the only set I have on tape from both nights. Without a doubt the first night was also a great show with many musical highlights, but 3/18 was the night for me
The Palace is a nice theater, about half the size of the Warfield, right in the heart of Hollywood. (It's on Vine, and you can see the famous Capitol Records building from the theater). Similar to the Warfield, the floor is carpeted and open for dancing, and the balcony has seats. The show itself was GA, and I found a nice place to get crazy towards the back of the floor on the left hand side.
The show started with an amazing combination of songs. At the time I was sick of seeing them play "Fee" at every show, but I was stoked to see one of my favorites, "Maze", immediately after. It must have been intense (I don't have any clear memories from Set I), because they played "Colonel Forbin's Ascent" -> "Famous Mockingbird" -> "Sparkle"-> "Horn" to follow. The "David Bowie" to end Set 1 was sick.
Set II started with a decent version of "My Friend" that included many "Little Drummer Boy" teases, and then a "Little Drummer Boy" vocal jam. "Split Open and Melt" was an especially tasty version, with a "Staying Alive" tease/jam/theme throughout (yes, I'm talking about the Bee Gees here), and then more "Little Drummer Boy" teases, which turned into a "Little Drummer Boy" jam. The music then stopped, and I got my least favorite song: "Tela"! Like many Bob Weir first set tunes, this song always sends me straight to the bathroom.. Never liked it, still don't.
The "You Enjoy Myself" that follows is full-on, raging jamming: "Old School Phish". Trey and Page both playing at 100%, with Trey laying down a thick, hard lead along great big, Leslie organ sounds coming from Page. There's a "Once in a Lifetime" (Talking Heads) theme to the jam, which finishes with a bass/drums segment. Then the song ends with a crazy vocal jam, and that's where my tape cuts.
"Uncle Pen" was fun but not earth shaking, and so was the "Big Ball Jam". At least it was a blast for the crowd; people pleaded with the band for more when they stopped the first time...its classic! "Squirming Coil" is one of the best versions I've ever heard, Trey simply nails it. The jamming is really tight, the band is definitely playing together. The song then finishes with an epic Page solo piano moment, truly one of those magical moments that make you go back over and over and over again hoping to catch even a second of this type of energy. The "Cavern" that follows is very intense. You couldn't ask for a better way to close out a crazy set.
The encore, "Good Times/ Bad Times", was one of the peaks of the night (out of many, many, many peaks), and it was so good that I have forever compared it to other encores. (You know how that is... "Could this one possibly be as good as that time at the Palace?!"). These days, if I see Phish play an intense show, I feel like they should encore with this song... but I haven't heard them play it in nine years.
All in all, one of the best shows I ever saw the band play.


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