Date:    Sun, 7 Dec 1997 21:13:06 GMT
From:    Scott Silton 
Subject: 12/30/93 Show Review (long)


Portland was a nice treat for our group because we could stay at Bowdoin, just
a half hour away.  Getting from Boston to Maine was a cinch; the roads were
clear by morning.  We hooked up with some guests and got to the show no
problem.  Like the Bender show, Portland was GA.  The lines to get into
the venue were long and it was quite cold out.  However, we managed to head in
at just the right time so that we weren't stuck out in the cold for too long
but still able to snag some really nice seats.  We ended up in the stands in
the section just in front of the stage, Page side, fairly low.

The Cumberland County Civic Center is simply a great venue.  Seating at around
10,000, general admission, with excellent acoustics.  I don't believe that the
show sold out, and if it did the last ticket was sold within an hour of the
performance.  Anyone who could have hit this show but missed it... blew it.
So it goes.

Set I:


This is a grand version of Bowie, highlighted by the 2 passes by Aerosmith's
Dream On.  The ending is tight and glorious.  A conspicuous opening if there
ever was one.


A rare and welcome treat.  I suppose not rare any longer with the release of
SS&P, but in any case this version was executed well.


Curtain was also a rare and welcome treat.  One of those songs on my wish list
for the tour that I had enough sense not to be waiting for because I couldn't *
really* expect to hear it.  This version is tight.  And the opening chords to
Sample sound so sweet!  This transition is just perfect.  And this Sample is
great.  I said in the Bender review that comparing Samples was somewhat
pointless, but I was wrong.  This is a hot smoking Sample, one that gives
reason to its being played SO much the next year.


Upbeat bluegrass tune, but nothing special to note.


The Forbin's is really nice, one of my favorite songs (great
drum part).  The narration between the two songs involved the Civic Center
washing out into to ocean so that the fans could surf - a better than average
narration with nice sound effects from the band.  The Mockingbird, however,
 is seriously flawed because Trey flubbed the timing between the 1st and 2nd
major melodic sections.  The band actually has to STOP PLAYING and try to
re-coordinate, and even then they aren't quite on the same page.  The rest of
Mockingbird was fine, but this flub is sad.  The only low point of the night.


A Rift is a Rift.  This was no exception.


This Bathtub doesn't compare to some of the recent monster Bathtubs,
but it still has some interesting improv.  This version caused one in my
touring clan to identify a distinct phish jam type as "deconstruction -
reconstruction".  And that is exactly what happens here.  They break down the
Bathtub until it is totally unrecognizable (hey hole territory), then piece it
back together.  Somewhat akin to a fairly spacy Stash.  My only complaint is
that the 'bottom' of the jam does sound a bit like an exercise.  So just an OK
Bathtub even though Bathtub is always a treat.


Why phish hasn't pulled this one off the shelf in recent years is a mystery to me,
because the a capella Freebirds played in 1993 are very creative, fun, unique
phish IMO.  Although Fish is a little off key for a while (one of the band
members motioned with their hand at the show and he caught on), toward the end
the whole band's crazy scat jam/a capella guitar solo is just out of this
world.  Wow.  Great first set.

Set II:


2001 opened many a 2nd set in 1993, especially in the summer as an opportunity
for Chris to show off the new lights (before Summer 93, phish didn't have the
moving/color changing variety, just stage lamps, strobes, and a few other
goodies).  This version is what people would now call 'standard' because there
isn't any real funked-out jam between passes by the main theme.  Page gets a
few bars at the keys but that's it.  Still enjoyable of course, and the Mike's
that followed...

Wow.  I cannot say enough about this golden hose.  It is a platinum hose.  A 5
carat diamond hose.  An all time great Mike's Song: my favorite, hands down,
on tape or in concert.  Everyone in the band contributes in a meaningful way.
Trying to describe the melody is pointless - you MUST hear it for yourself to
understand its beauty.  And the segue into The Horse is perfectly seamless; a
feat made all the more astounding when you realize that Trey switches over to
an acoustic guitar that was brought on stage by a roadie.


Another song on my wish list that I didn't really expect to hear.  Page's
ascending keys part near the beginning is executed perfectly (on the piano as
it should be ;) and everything is tight throughout.


Another song on my wish list that I really didn't expect to hear.  Wow.
Already a stupendous setlist.  This McGrupp is nicely played (note the choice
drum fills) and Page's solo is better than its usually awesome self.  My 2nd
favorite McGrupp next to 12/31/91.


The Weekapaug is high energy and includes some fabulous guitar shredding by
Trey.  He hits upon a theme from the Mike's Song earlier in this set that,
after hearing it in both contexts, seems more apropos to Weekapaug.  This Week
dissolves into a short but sweet vocal jam segment which segues into the music
for Purple Rain.  Fish takes the stage!

This Purple Rain is very long.  It is an amusing Fishman number, but he wasn't
in control of his vacuum to quite the same degree as the night before.
Compared to most of the rest of the show, this is a tad weak - fun in concert,
but not really interesting on tape.


This is quite possibly played by request: you can hear phans chanting "Slave
Slave Slave" before the opening chords on my dAUD1.

This Slave does not have one of the all time best endings (e.g. 4/9/94,
7/13/94) BUT it does have the all time best build toward the ending.
Absolutely mesmerizing.   And the height of the jam (Trey solo, really) is
quite high.  I was not very familiar with this song when I heard it at the
show, but it blew me away with its melodic majesty - and still does, 4 years


Rocky Top is tight and fun.  GTBT rocks the house down; Trey nails the jam
with a Mack truck.  Wonderful encore!

This is one of the all time great phish shows, hands down.  It has height
(Mike's super hose, also great versions of Bowie, McGrupp, Weekapaug, Slave,
GTBT), a great deal of width (every song except Mockingbird and Freebird
played flawlessly) and a setlist full of phishy candy.  In my experience, it
ranks as one of my 2 favorite concert experiences ever (with 12/31/95 - which
has its own flub during Coil) and is still my favorite phish tape of all time.
 If you don't have this show in your tape collection, get it now.  Your
collection isn't worth talking about without it.

hope you liked the reviews... time to get fired up for NYE 97!!!

sound off: "FLUFFHEAD!!!!!!"