Believe it or not, Phish used to play on the West Coast and in the Northwest. In early spring 1993, Phish toured up and down the coast–including four straight shows in Oregon. The second show in Oregon, on March 31, the day after they debuted Psycho Killer, features some playing that captures early ’93 very well. These shows showcased men on a mission– to blow minds.
Set 1: Runaway Jim, Foam, Sparkle, Split Open and Melt > Mound, Punch You In the Eye, Sample in a Jar, Reba, I Didn’t Know, David Bowie
Set 2: Lengthwise -> Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, Uncle Pen, Harry Hood, Big Ball Jam, It’s Ice > You Enjoy Myself, Harpua, Chalk Dust Torture
Encore: AC/DC Bag, Sweet Adeline
The show opened with the classic duo of Runaway Jim > Foam. You can tell the show is going to be clean and crisp right off the bat, judging to how on point Trey was towards the end of the opening jam. While the following Foam isn’t quite up to snuff with other versions from the era, he throws in some good trilling leading up to the end.
Split Open and Melt, gosh do I miss you. Phish could grab an audience by the balls and whip them around with the way they used to play this epic song. Trey’s chops out of the gates swim perfectly over the intertwined piano and bass. Trey brings the jam to an extraordinary high, blazing right into the finish line. Listen just to get a feel for how powerful and in-control Trey used to be. His control was unmatched.
I really enjoy listening to the early versions of PYITE. Like everything they played in this era, they crushed it. Again, Trey’s control over his guitar through all the composed parts is fantastic. This, along with a lot of early versions, features a sped-up speed–especially in the Landlady segment.
The set was so powerful it needed 2 massive highlights to anchor it to the shore in Portland. The first highlight was SOaMelt, the second would be what closes the first half, David Bowie.
After the improvisational opening and after the composed section, Trey sets his feet firmly in the ground and starts violently swaying. Trey blasts load after load of his rock star man milk all over the crowd’s face as he prepares to enter the end of David Bowie (the song; that was worded poorly). Trey ends the set with a bang. As the house lights come on, everyone was in search for a damp towel to get the gunk off their face.
The second set opened with the first performance of Lengthwise that wasn’t contained within a HYHU. This version also started the Lengthwise > Maze combo that the song is now well known for. The audience at the Roseland Theater helped bridge the segue from Lengthwise into Maze by singing the lyrics as Fish eerily started his hi-hat for Maze. Maze wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but Trey was quite impressive again.
The latter half of the show also contains one of my favorite Harry Hoods ever. The intro contains a Simpsons signal and a Pink Panther tease. The jam is gorgeous. Trey’s guitar turns into an Olympic gymnast by all that he puts it through. He pushes his guitar to the limit with the types of notes he plays after one another, bending string after string. Beautiful stuff.
It’s Ice ends with an interlude that later became the ending to Axilla Pt. II. The Axilla Pt. II ending popped right into an interesting YEM. The jam was centered around a couple powerful chords started by Trey. The following vocal jam also used these chords as its base.
Harpua is 20 minutes of silly story telling and teases before ending things with a punctuating Chalk Dust Torture and encoring with AC/DC Bag and the slow a capella, Sweet Adeline.
This is a fun show that’s truly electric. This is certain to jumpstart your weekend, even if it’s just to help you warm up if you’re in the northern/Northeast states. Enjoy!