Tuesday, September 14, 2010
April 4, 1994 - Flynn Theater, Burlington, VT
Set 1: Divided Sky, Sample In A Jar, Scent Of A Mule, Maze, Fee, Reba, Horn, It's Ice, Possum
Set 2: Down With Disease, If I Could, Buried Alive, Landlady, Julius, Magilla, Split Open and Melt, Wolfman's Brother, I Wanna Be Like You, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony, Suzy Greenberg
Encore: Harry Hood, Cavern
Most of second set with Giant Country Horns. Debut of Scent of a Mule, Down With Disease, If I Could, Julius, Wolfman's Brother, and I Wanna Be Like You.
I listened to the B&K 4011 source available via the etree link. I can't guarantee that that link is still active, but it was at the time of posting this.
The show opens up with an acapella "Back in my hometown" a snippet also heard at Sugarbush later in the year. The Divided Sky opens up fairly standard. Page does some interesting droning work during the pause with a really nice, well rounded low-end. Gordon sounds low in the mix at this point, particularly as they leave the pause. Trey is a little rough through parts of the composed parts. As they play through there are more noticeable flubs by Trey. As they near the peak of the jam, Trey is much more on it and very far in front of the mix, cranking up the intensity. There is a nice use of distortion to create dissonance. Gordon is now much more out front in the mix and Trey's playing, which has entered lower registers, is less audible. Page does some nice piano work as Trey ratchets up his playing into a more rock and roll style. It sounds like Paul has turned Trey down. Page switches to the Hammond as they head to the finale, then back to the piano for the standard ending. Nice and tight to end the song.
Sample In A Jar follows immediately. Trey's guitar is noticeably low in the mix. Pretty standard version with Trey unable to get the kind of sustain that he normally has.
Gordon does a nice job with the introduction to Scent Of A Mule. Page hits some really nice piano work during the beginning of the harmonic minor breakdown. A little bit of sloppiness during the mule duel. It sounds like Gordon was a bit behind the beat as Trey speeds up the song. Trey is still low in the mix. Nice and tight out of the duel.
Gordon lays down a seriously pulsating rhythm to start Maze. Trey sounds a bit more balanced in the mix now. A bit of a hiccup into Page's solo. Nice work on the organ, lots of trills while Trey and Gordo patiently build up the tension behind him. The organ gets really quiet towards the end of Page's solo and so the hand off to Trey is a bit anti-climactic. Trey starts out with a nice droning piece. He really ratchets up the tension with some high notes while Fishman fills in with a nice syncopation that takes them to a really nice peak. Overall a really nice Maze.
At the beginning of Fee, Trey is a bit off. There is no megaphone in this version. Fairly standard until the ending which sort of trails off sloppily into Reba.
Reba is a bit slower than normal. They nailed the composed part until the transition to the jam which is just a trainwreck. Trey starts to tease Hickory Dickory Dock and the rest of the band picks up on it. Just a bit of the Phishy teases that continue until the end of the set. Trey picks up the pace with a jam that is reminiscent of the theme to Batman, then back to a normal Reba jam. It sounded like Trey wanted to start something but it was just going to be a dead-end. Trey hopped out of the jam and Fishman was a tad late to follow. They come together nicely for the ending. The whistling part gets a bit crazy and they add whistling to the "bag it, tag it" part. A bit of phishiness for sure.
During Horn, Trey adds a bit of heavy metal soloing during the intro part. Otherwise a standard, and thus rocking, Horn.
It's Ice is always nice to hear. I love it when Page sings. The band is a bit sloppy heading into the build up before the quiet part. There is a funky jam by Page on the piano to start out the jam, this leads to some neat syncopation that is reminiscent of the mule duel. This leads to a "Hey Bulldog" jam. Always nice to hear a Beatles tease. Overall a nice It's Ice, made more interesting by the tease.
Possum is a rocking closer, as always. Trey does an interesting descending chord piece during the intro. As usual, Trey builds a nice dissonant part complemented by a descending pattern from Gordon that mimicked the opening pattern from Trey. The whole jam gets really quiet and then Trey ramps it back up again with some pinch harmonics. Trey uses some long notes to build the tension while the rest of the band rocks behind him. As usual, the band is rocking really hard through a fairly standard tension/release jam and then the song ends fairly normally.
Overall, a nice, if not particularly adventurous, first set. The sound on the tape is very good with a nice amount of audience noise, but not overwhelming. There was some noticeable sloppiness throughout the set, but considering it was the first show in 4 months, that is at least partially, to be expected.
This recording starts abruptly right before the guitar comes in for Down With Disease. The band also seems to start abruptly as they are not in sync to start the song. The song is slower than a modern version. There is also some slight digi-noise just prior to the jam. The jam is nice, if a bit standard, never really going out there, but then it really didn't start going out there until later. They end the song nicely with the typical coda.
If I Could slows things down considerably considering the set just got started. It just doesn't seem like its time for a breather yet. The harmonies are a bit off prior to the piano breakdown. The whole band exhibits a great deal of patience building the jam, not rushed at all. They nailed the ending and the crowd response was very positive.
Here come the horns with the intro to Buried Alive. Trey seemed a bit tentative during his composed part and the beginning of his solo. Much better the second time through.
I absolutely love The Landlady with horns. Trey plays some nice runs prior to the beginning of the composed part. The band sounds really tight with the horns. Nice sax solo, but then Carl Geirhard on trumpet just blows the roof off of the place. The ending gets a little botched and they just aren't together.
Julius starts up immediately after Trey gives a shoutout to the Giant Country Horns. The harmonies are off again prior to the jam. The jam is driving, as always, and must have been a treat for the audience, seeing so many debuts. Not a super long jam, but it does rock all the way. Trey kind of scats around the ending and there is a nice barritone sax part during the ending. Huge crowd response to this one.
Magilla starts with nice work from Page, then a little drum breakdown, then in come the horns. Nice trombone solo. Band is vamping nicely. Fishman's solo is a welcome treat, though its mainly on the snare. Nice, tight ending.
Melt sounds cool with the horns, though they are pushed way back in the mix. The main part of the song is solid leading into the jam. Trey heads down low to create a droning effect while Page goes high on the piano with some trills. Fishman plays some funky beats, throwing the rhythm all over the place. The horns come in with ascending fills. Trey goes high, but is still droning, horns still doing fills, tension rising, Trey chases up the fretboard as Fishman starts intimating the triplets to bring the jam to a close. The horns pick up on Fishman and the jam comes to a satisfactory conclusion. Nice Melt, not as crazy as it can get, but really, really nice all the same.
Wolfman's starts off with a heavy bass line. Nice horn parts. Trey is heavy on the wah pedal. Nice fills by Page during the bridge. The song kind of breaks down in the middle heading into the outro vocals, seems tentative. Neat horn/guitar interplay during the ending. Band speeds up the ending gradually, eventually to a frenetic pace and they switch to an Alumni Blues jam. The song ends in a chaos of blowing horns and hammering drums.
This flows straight into I Wanna Be Like You, which is a great Louis Prima song from Disney's Jungle Book. A local band, Polka Boy, does a great cover of it too. If you're ever in Indy go see them! Fishman's vocals actually sound decent here. Vacuum solo, of course, then some creative scatting to end the song. The band is clearly having a blast at this point.
Trey starts Oh Kee Pa really, really quietly. No horns for this number. Standard, quality performance leads right into Suzy. Interesting sax part to lead off the jam into Page on the piano for the first interlude. Barritone sax hands off to Page again, more forceful jam out of Page this time. Nice breakdown into Trey introducing the horns. There's a HYHU jam in the middle of the introductions.
After the encore break, Trey comes out and talks about the NCAA title game being tied between Duke and Arkansas. Nobody seems particularly interested. Trey talks about getting back on the road and that, with the exception of the New Years Run, they hadn't been on the road in 8 months. Harry Hood then starts with Gordon laying some serious bombs. There is a secret language tease, ie Trey signals the secret language, but they don't actually go into a secret language. There is, however, a fairly extended introduction to the song, with Trey doing some interesting work in the upper registers. There is a bit of sloppiness heading into the jam before the "heavy" section. Searingly lyrical leads by Trey lead this version into a lovely bliss. The band is clearly pumped about being back on the road, if just in their hometown.
Cavern gets people pumped up after Trey announced that Arkansas won the national title. Horns are back for Cavern, at least the trumpet is at first, blowing at intervals. There is a long pause before Trey adds alternate lyrics about the brothel wife slashing him on the tongue. Ouch! What's with Phish and slicing things (especially on the nipple)? All the horns come in for the big ending.
Nice encore for sure. Overall, an enjoyable show, if not particularly out there. Lots of sloppiness, which I chalk up to the 8 month layoff and a number of debuts.
The B&K source is excellent. Good definition throughout the sonic range, not a lot of audience noise and generally warm sounding.