, attached to 1993-08-26

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads My reaction to this show--upon occasion of yesterday's LivePhish.com archival release--seems to say more about me than about Phish. This is an above-average show, even for a month of Phish that pretty much instantiated nightly Type-II jamming, and there's a wealth of Type II on display here. But nothing stands out to me as being highly exceptional, which may be reinforced by the "tale of the tape" whereby the Setlist Team here at .Net has like 6 or 7 jams as "Noteworthy" but none as "Highly Recommended." I think the jamming in August '93--and to many extents from that point backwards down the number line to the beginning of Phishtory--was far less streamlined than we would find in later years, and for that reason, the jams in this show and the surrounding era feel a bit too angularly mathematical to me (or maybe "technical" or "progressive" are better descriptors.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that the groove aspect of the jams doesn't feel very relaxed to me, which can be either a very good thing in that every one is on his or her toes listening and reacting, or which can be a kind of headful to deal with given the highly precise and complex epic nature of a lot of the compositions one finds in this show. I have difficulty pointing to a highlight, in short, though Jesus Just Left Chicago sounds truer to the ZZ Top original here than any other version I've heard. 4-out-of-5 stars.
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