Layla tease in Suzy Greenberg, Theme from Mission: Impossible, Theme from Spider-Man, and Mind Left Body Jam teases in You Enjoy Myself
Debut Years (Average: 1989)
Song Distribution

This show was part of the "1994 Spring Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1994-05-13

Review by Super_UK_Phan

Super_UK_Phan To agree with DFB's thoughtful review of 5/13/94 (my first show), the band were very much firing on all cylinders that night. Before commenting further on the songs and playing, a few words about the venue.

Hayden Square is in the middle of an 80's-90's live-work condo complex with an office building and restaurants. Just off the main drag in Tempe, AZ, the actual 'square' is really just the afore-mentioned generic 4-5 story office building flanked on either side by two middle of the road restaurant/bars, both with outdoor patio seating. The 'venue' consisted of temporary wire-fencing opposite the office, connecting the two eateries. In fact, at least one of the restaurants charged $5 entrance into their patio area, as concert was a sell out. The stage consisted of a 20-30 foot paved spot in front of the office, atop maybe half-a-dozen steps that lead down into a grassy bowl area where we stood. I don't remember any fencing or barriers? Bottom line: soul-less venue, but small and mellow.

So, the show. It being my first, I had never heard any Phish music and was, when all said and done, completely 'wowed' by the variety of song type and of course musicianship, and overall dexterity on display. With my 'virgin' ears, the 1st set was effectively my educational orientation to Phish. Runaway dogs? Traffic lights? Friends with knives? Crazy Jewish girls? Oh kayyyy. I couldn't quite get my head around the weird and varied lyrical themes, but I liked it!

The 2nd set was where, expectations properly adjusted by the prior set, I really got into the show (and band). My OMG!, or 'aha!' moment occurred during SOAM, with its interweaving, headspining rhythms. This remains one of my favorite versions ever, which I highly recommend.

The Purple Rain to Free Bird closing run really cemented my appreciation for this band: vacuum 'vocals' (with Trey on drums!), into totally killer Zep cover, then sick/silly/OTT (over the top) a capella Skynyrd. These guys were nuts! These guys are nuts!
, attached to 1994-05-13

Review by Dog_Faced_Boy

Dog_Faced_Boy I would characterize this show as wild, well played, and fun to listen to with well chosen and well placed songs. With the exception of It's Ice, nothing gets too out there in terms of improvisation. However, Runaway Jim, Stash, and SOAM are all very strong "type 1" versions. I also note that although I believe this is an AUD recording, the sound quality is excellent, especially Set II, and I wondered whether it could possibly be a SBD recording or some mixture. So, the show:

Runaway Jim - fiery, well played opener with excellent Page. Straight forward version, but gets the show off to a good start.

It's Ice - this version is one of the most improvisational versions out there, in terms of the jam portion. No Page solo, this has the whole band rocking out with some very experimental if brief jamming. Great transition to:

Julius - a very early version (they only started playing it in April '94), but it is again, well played, Trey is blistering. The energy level after 3 songs is very high.

Mound - great song selection imo. Not really a breather, but after the first 3 songs, the energy at least needed to level off. Well played but nothing jumps out - just a good song in the right slot.

Stash - this is a great, great "type 1" version, shrill with lots of dissonance. Just when you think the jam is peaking and the release is coming, it turns into this growling monster with even more dissonance and tension. After a roaring version like this, a cool down is needed, and we get:

If I Could - here again, I give high marks for song selection and placement. Whereas in later years, a "Velvet Sea" or "Joy" like song would have let too much air out of the bubble, If I Could works well in this slot. The jam/piano solo towards the end is almost "Hood" like with an uplifting feel to it.

My Friend, My Friend - back to the tension and high energy show. Well played, does the job of keeping the intensity up.

Slave To The Traffic Light - I think this version is one of the best out there, seriously. It's got the right balance of power and grace - not too delicate, but enough to offset the incredible peaking crescendo.

Suzy Greenberg - no real surprises here - good set closer with the always dependable Page doing a great job.

All in all, an excellent, high energy, well played first set with great song selection.

Set II

Chalk Dust Torture - what you would expect - serious guitar work from Trey, restocks the energy load to get things going.

Bouncing Around The Room - Not my favorite tune, but it's fine here early, on the heals of CDT.

Split Open And Melt - I really, really like the placement here early in Set II - wish they would do this more often in 3.0. Like Stash, it's doesn't get out into "type 2" territory, but it's dissonant, electrifying, filled with tension. A great conventional version.

McGrupp - I admit to being biased here, because I love McGrupp, but I think this is the perfect slot for a song like this. I don't really call it a breather or let down tune. It's just different and interesting and something like this is needed after that smoking SOAM.

Peaches en Regalia - fire it back up! Enough said, except one more nod to careful setlist construction and song placement.

Scent of a Mule - no wild antics in the Mule Duel, but it's fun and no downer of a song for sure.

YEM - Similar to Stash and SOAM - well played, decent jam, good bass and drums, (I thought) funny vocal jam. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to be disappointed about either.

Purple Rain - Henrietta is always great, and his vocals here are hysterical.

Good Times Bad Times - as expected, well played, great set closer - again I wish they'd play this more often as a set closer instead of an encore - I'd take this over "Character Zero" most any day.

Free Bird - humorous ending to a great show.

All in all - well worth listening to this, especially because the sound quality is much better than I expected. It's not a ground breaking show like Murat '93 or Bangor '94 by any stretch - just high energy, high quality playing by the band at a period when they spent the time to really focus on song selection and setlist flow. My two cents...
, attached to 1994-05-13

Review by theghost

theghost This is a real barnburner of a show. Hot hot hot. I'm not a fan that needs Type 2 to be satisfied, and I love this one in spite of the fact that nothing goes to far away from the typical form. They just tear this setlist to shreds.

The Split is the big daddy in this show. One of the most ferocious versions you'll ever hear. I kind of equate this one with the Stash from 5/19, another mean monster. This one definitely deserves green letters...can't believe they left it out.
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