, attached to 1994-06-22

Review by Penn42

Penn42 It seems every eight months or so I dust this show off and give it a spin in hopes that I will recognize it’s brilliance. About two weeks ago, as I was driving home for the holidays, I threw this show on. My family is a 2 hour 45 minute drive away, the perfect amount of time to listen to a show, and on December 23, 2014, this show got the nod. Unfortunately, I’m still unconvinced that it deserves it's legendary status.

There’s no single glaringly bad element that stands out in this show. Coming at arguably the peak of Phish’s musical precision, the overall sloppiness of this show is perhaps the most negative trait worth noting. The brilliant thing about ’94 is that the trademark infectious energy that characterizes it trumps most any other negative qualities. But to me the slop is just a little too consistent throughout the show, specifically the second set, to really ignore. I wouldn’t even call myself a stickler when it comes to slop. If you've read my review of 10.21.14 you know I excuse the slop at the end of Birds with no qualms, but that slop is an isolated incident and not part of a slop-suite.

Many say the second set segues are ingenious, spontaneous, humorous, and energetic. I wish I had such good adjectives to describe them. The Mike’s Song centerpiece just sounds very disjointed. The constant sloppy segueing sounds like it’s trying to make up for directionless and uninspired jamming. That’s the major difference between this show and a show like the Bomb Factory. The segues from the Bomb Factory are arguably just as unexpected or disjointed, but they’re a compliment to, not a replacement for, awesome jamming. To my ears that isn’t the case with this show.

Truth be told: '94 is my favorite post ’97 year and I’d actually really like to love this show. It has *that* energy and a great song list, but in the end it just doesn’t come together for me.


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