, attached to 1992-12-04

Review by kipmat

kipmat https://forum.phish.net/forum/permalink/1377827296

It's generally accepted that there is no need for Phish to tour as heavily as they did in the early 1990s. They have earned name recognition in the music industry, as well as the reputation for being one of the most lucrative live acts ever. But every monument needs a pedestal, and Phish clearly made sure that they were building their careers on a firm foundation.

The Fall '92 tour schedule was hectic, setting the pace for the next two years: 21 shows in 25 days, traveling over 4000 miles to 19 cities; a grueling schedule by even the most road-rashed tourhead standards. From one perspective, Phish didn't need to undertake this whirlwind run to the Midwestern U.S. and back. They had already toured for 2 1/2 months the previous spring, then spent the summer as a support act for several high-profile artists and festivals, then recorded and mixed an album of really, really difficult original material in the fall. (Trey's face in the band photograph included in the Rift release is an illustration of exhaustion). With a record deal already inked and a new album in the can, most bands would have used the final weeks of the year to take a break from the road, focusing instead on music videos and publicity appearances, attempting to maximize their public visibility.

Wisely, Phish and their manager Jon Paluska had recognized that this was not the most effective path to success for them. Instead, the band went out on tour again. Their contract with Elektra provided for no monetary support from the label for tours, but the band knew that touring was the best way to expand their audience. Phish wanted to improve their PA and lighting systems, and add a grand piano on stage, and travel in a tour bus with sleeping accommodations instead of a riding in a van and doubling up in hotel rooms. So they ground out this tour, playing shows for likely around $2,000 a gig, and put their profits back into the organization, believing that this strategy would pay dividends in the years to come.

As for 12/4/92, it's one of those shows where the listener must dig a little for highlights. The first set is a "Fall 1991 special" until FEFY and Maze bring us up to date, and Trey's Forbin's>Mockingbird story is a good one (evidence that Trey wasn't lying when he claimed to be a submarine in Time Turns Elastic). Bowie contains secret language but Possum does not, which is exceptional for 1992, and there's a goofy "Aw f***!" signal in the Hood intro, plus a "Milk!" exclamation from Trey at the end. And don't forget to check out the show reviews that explain why Trey cracked up during Cavern, and subsequently asked everyone to "try to be cool" before the second set!

And there's another unidentified tease - check out what Page plays on the B-3 at 7:30 of YEM. I'd really like to know what song he is teasing - anyone?


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