, attached to 1993-12-31

Review by DriedupGoliath

DriedupGoliath This just might be my favorite show of all time. At the very least, it's my favorite pre '95 show. I'm a big Phish fan (or at least that's what I tell myself) but I'm far more predisposed to listen to post '95 Phish (especially '97-'98, my two favorite years...I'm a fan of the funk) However New Years '93 destroyed any pre conceived notions I had about this era of Phish. Phish absolutely destroyed the Worcester Centrum on this day/night.

LLAMA kicks the show off with a huge bang. Page tears this one apart. I've never been a huge fan of GUELAH PAPYRUS but this is a very solid version. STASH is in typical beast mode, one of my favorite songs in Phish's repertoire. This is the first song in the show where Trey really lets loose as he builds and releases the tension of the jam very nicely. Mike steps up for GINSENG SULLIVAN, a typical but enjoyable version. REBA is the improvisational master that it was born to be. Trey pretty much nails the tight composed section. PEACHES EN REGALIA is yet another thread of the multi-colored covers tapestry that Phish has weaved throughout their history. You'd have to guess that among all the other diverse songs and genres Phish has covered, they'd have to play Frank Zappa. This is a great version that dissovles into the wackiness of I DIDN'T KNOW. This song never really made an impression on me until listening to this show. It's a great version, complete with Fish in his vacuum-playing glory. RUN LIKE AN ANTELOPE was short but incendiary, and featured Tom Marshall singing the first lines he apparently ever wrote for Phish. Is there a better set closer in Phish's repertoire than Antelope? Not many come close.

The second set is defined by a continuous segue-fest that could hold up in any era of Phish. TWEEZER kicks the set off in very funky fashion. Although short by the gargantuan standards that Tweezer would begin to set the next year, the jam is melodic and exciting, and is cut off far too early before seguing into HALLEY'S COMET. The second of two Richard Wright tunes of the night, this Comet features nice singing by the guys, but is merely a transitional tune before quickly seguing into POOR HEART. Out of all of Mike's bluegrass tunes, I will always prefer his original bluegrass song about his stolen 4 track player. There is a segue into a wild, thrilling IT'S ICE. Page sounds great on the vocals, and the musical onomatopoeia section (the part where the song literally falls through the ice and sinks to the bottom) seems flawlessly nailed to me. Fish begins the segue to FEE a little early, but the rest of the band catches up to play his quirky little favorite. The megaphone versions of Fee always outshine their megaphone-less counterparts for me. There is a great, almost genuine segue into the great, simple, bluesy rocker that is POSSUM. Unlike some later years versions of the song, the song's length is justified and doesn't seem drawn out. The set could end and I'd die a happy man. However, Page steps out from behind the boards for LAWN BOY. A typical version, but even typical versions are great. YOU ENJOY MYSELF is the barnburner it typically was in this period. The composed section (my favorite composed section in Phish's entire repertoire) is flawlessly executed. The jam is pretty standard, but still quite incendiary. Mike takes a short but subtle-as-a-sledgehammer bass solo before they go into a very long vocal jam. The length is again justified as it all sounds great. An absolutely amazing set, leaving me to wonder how Set 3 could possibly hold up.

Set 3 isn't quite as good as the set before it, but it contains one of the single greatest moments in Phishtory. We will get to that later. The New Year's countdown leads to an instrumental combo of AULD LANG SYNE and DOWN WITH DISEASE. They jam the traditional song to ring the New Years in with by going into the outro jam of Down with Disease, the first time any part of the song appeared in a Phish show. As far as I know, the only other New Years show where Phish songs debuted was the comeback 2002 New Year's Eve Show (which debuted Seven Below, Waves, and Walls of the Cave) The set opens up with an angular, angry version of SPLIT OPEN AND MELT. Melt took a turn for the better in 1993, and really began to stretch out into uncharted jam space. THE LIZARDS was great, and featured the always welcome unflubbed lyrics by Trey, and the ending simply soared. SPARKLE will never be one of my favorite songs, but this version is good by Sparkle standards. It leads directly into SUZY GREENBERG. This Suzy is slightly stretched out, and features a great piano solo by Page, Leo, the Chairman of the Boards. CRACKLIN' ROSIE works surprisingly well, considering Fishman isn't the world's greatest lead singer. The lighthearted antics of Fish's turn at the mic lead into what is probably the greatest version of HARRY HOOD ever played. This is the aforementioned "one of the single greatest moments in Phishtory." Some versions of Hood kinda go through the motions in the opening segments, before lifting off for the final jam. This version of Hood, however, simply shines throughout every note. The reggae section before the first lyrics is typical, but the composed section after the first lyrics is nailed with both precision and emotion. The darker section right before "Thank you Mr. Miner" is absolutely destroyed, and might tear your speakers apart. But the real money of this version is of course in the final, soaring, blissful, balls-to-the-wall jam. This is one of Trey's shining moments on the electric guitar. No matter what mood you're in, when they climax with "You can feel good, good, good about Hood", I dare you to not break into a shit-eating grin over the journey you just undertook with your favorite band. This Hood is the reason why I listen to these 4 shaggy, dirty guys out of Vermont. TWEEZER REPRISE is expected, but closes the show in fine fashion.

GOLGI APPARATUS is a little rough but is still the classic encore song. AMAZING GRACE closes the show beautifully.

This show is in my top 5 favorite Phish shows of all time. I also have it in amazing sound quality, which helps. Do everything you can to listen to this show. You won't regret it.


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