Nellie Kane, which was performed acoustic, and Sweet Adeline were performed without microphones.
Jam Chart Versions
Debut Years (Average: 1989)

This show was part of the "1994 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1994-12-08

Review by andrewrose

andrewrose I wasn't at this show (I had seen my first a few months earlier back on the East coast in my hometown of Montreal), but set one was one of the first tapes I wore down in my Walkman going to and fro from school as a teenager. I don't remember how I got it, though I think it was a fairly well circulated, good sounding tape, in the days when such a thing existed. I hadn't heard this show in years until I remembered out of the blue tracked it down; I think I actually lost the tape in said Walkman when it was stolen out of my locker during a high school dance. But I digress.

This is a great, fun show. They played a LOT of shows in 94, and by December Trey was doing absolutely obscene things on his guitar and the band was locked-in. You don't need to peruse that first-set setlist too much to figure out it was a special night. The Simple->Catapult->Simple is no novelty; there is some very interesting and engaging jamming in there. If you're a fan of a blisteringly well executed Maze, Scent, or Lizards, please give a listen. I'm not as familiar with Set II, but I'm pretty sure both the Possum and Reba get the silent jam treatment, with the latter also getting soft and spooky, and spanning almost twenty minutes. Maybe not as good as the one I saw on 7/6/94 back in Montreal, but again, I digress; I've still never been to San Diego.
, attached to 1994-12-08

Review by kipmat


When I'm rating shows, it's a challenge for me to avoid being affected by song choices in the setlist. I'm inclined to give a show the benefit of the doubt if it includes a few of my favorites, which introduces the human element and skews the ratings. But everybody has a personal list of Phish songs that elevate a show's status from good to amazing, just because they were included. And Reba is likely on a lot of fan's lists.

Reba is a multi-part musical composition written in 1989, but ask any bro and they'll tell you that the song features many characteristics that equate with their own feminine ideal. She is complex but uncomplicated, in turns child-like and mature, intelligent and unpredictable, pensive and raucous. The four gentlemen who attend to her may occasionally stumble, but would never besmirch her name, and others pursue her for days and nights, only to find their efforts were in vain. The Reba from this show is one of my all-time favorites, for the astounding majesty of the jam.

Even so, Reba is an unlikely "tent-pole jam"; one could count the number of second sets carried by Reba on one hand. Thankfully, there is much more to enjoy from this show. Since 2018, Phish fans have been blessed with first sets of high quality, containing excellent jams and noteworthy bustouts at nearly every show. 12/8/94 contains a wonderful first set, bookended by rarities and overflowing with strong playing. '94 Jedi Trey levitates the audience during a dissonant Maze and a rollicking Possum second set opener, and then pins the audience to the wall like the Gravitron during Bowie. A well-balanced SBD brings out all the nuances of this superlative show from the tail end of the Fall '94 tour.
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