, attached to 1993-08-14

Review by n00b100

n00b100 An absolutely ridiculous show, one of the best shows of Phish's game-changing month of August 1993, and a show thoroughly deserving of its LivePhish status. Just a couple notes, in lieu of a full-on review:

1. It's actually kind of nice to get a Melt that doesn't go into full-scale teeth-grinding dissonance (the 7/13/14 Melt is nastier than this one!), but instead provides a surprisingly nearly melodic jam thanks to Trey's soloing that makes this one stand out a bit more from the usual psychedelic/dirt-nasty Melts of the mid-90s.

2. You can, I think, actually consider the Antelope here as a trial run for the fabled Tweezerfest of 5/7/94, as out of a *wild* Antelope jam (the Dixie tease leading into a surprising classic-rock jam) the band puts together a beautiful little run of segues that include a few of the ones we get in the Bomb Factory show (Sparks, Walk Away), while not sparing any of the usual ferociousness we associate with Antelope from this era. The fun thing about this jam, of course, is that we get the Antelope ending to top things off, kinda like a Playin' jam sandwich from those other fellas.

3. To draw another Dead parallel, the other interesting thing about this show is seeing the Phish of the mid-90s, before 1997 brought on the four-song second set era, having no problem plugging in a few "song" songs in between the big jams. A Mound/Coil/Daniel Saw The Stone run is nothing to sneeze at, certainly (who doesn't like those songs?), but that's 20 minutes of 2nd set real estate with nary a jam to be found. Think of it as their Big River/Toodle-oo tendency, if you'd like.

4. This is a prototypical pre-94 YEM (when, IMO, YEM really turned a corner before its 1995 peak); you've got teases up the wazoo, a Smoke On The Water jam and goofy Speed Racer jam, and energy for days (more of the manic rock kind than the nasty funk kind, of course). The slide into Purple Rain is the icing on the cake.

5. One last thing to consider about this show - how much it illustrates the way that Phish evolved. August 1993 really captures the group with one foot in the early-90s (manic energy, a billion quotes and teases, lots and lots of songs) and the other in the 1994-95 era (leaps into the void, exceedingly clever and nigh-perfect segues, better setlist flow); the extraordinary thing is that a group right smack in the middle of its evolution from one to the other managed to churn out so many great shows while making that transition. You get the weirdness to spare of a show like 8/6, astonishing jams like the 8/26 Reba, and the combination of the two in shows like 8/13 and this one. We're over two decades past and these shows are still beloved and still gaining new fans every day, and it's very easy to see why.


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