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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Phish 1994: 20 Years Later 04/08/1994 State College, PA

Penn State.  That's what you said when you wanted to talk about incredible versions of Maze, Split Open and Melt, McGrupp, It's Ice and David Bowie.  Particularly Split Open and Melt.  One of the most underrated versions ever played and one of my personal favorites which I believe to be a top 5 all time version.

After a truly remarkable first set, one filled not only with choice song selection but blistering renditions and very tight playing, the band came out all business for set II.  A pure 1994 Split with some hints of a year prior when it was one of the MVP tunes of spring 93, this time though with full on 1994 bliss.  Driving, peaking, dipping, turning, playing, spooky, dark, exploring, some more drive and Trey bringing it all the way back home.  Great great version of Split and a definite go to spin when you need the complete package.

Some absolute stunning work from Page on this McGrupp that was I believe to have been directly impacted by the Split before it, into another benefactor It's Ice.  True stand out version number two of this show.  The band is really sharp and highly tuned up really capable of anything at this point in the show.  Anything.  What you get is a really fun Digital Delay Loop that is the signature of this version and helps to completely front load the meat of this set.

Don't bail though, a well deserved breather in Sparkle, the pre 4/10 Hood which is pretty straight forward run through version and nothing really spectacular or defining.  A version though that has hints of Trey's inner desire to take this tune to the very next high high level it would in fact get to a couple nights later and many more times during the year.  Another gasp for air, then a top shelf Bowie stamps this 4/8/94 as the first big gunner of 1994.  Dark and spooky like the Split and really like this entire show, the Bowie does not let go.  Enjoy your over 13 minutes of encore space containing Contact>BBFCFM when you thought you were going to get off easy.

Fun fun show.  Top shelf renditions of many tunes.  Bold execution.  The band is playing 1,000,000 miles per hour and completely grabbing control of this tour and the direction they planned to take it.

A new day has dawn.   Listen and rejoice, as there's not much time to enjoy this one.  Onward to Binghamton.

For many years a very nice Neumann RSM190 source has circulated providing most of us our source of this show.  An unauthorized set I soundboard also circulates via someone who took an unwelcome patch at the board, and as recent as 2009 Jason Sobel circulated a FOB NAK source which I don't believe I have sampled but have filed away.  No fears though as the aud's don't disappoint.  Play it loud on an open stereo for the greatest impact.

stream 4/8/94
download 4/8/94

setlist courtesy of

Link Friday, 04/08/1994
Recreation Hall, Penn State University, State College, PA

[1] Mimi Fishman on cymbals
[2] The beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
[3] First ever Digital Delay Loop Jam.
[4] Mimi Fishman on "1-2-3-4".

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Recordings available on the Live Music Archive:

Recordings available via Bit Torrent on etree:

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A few of my reviews from years past:

Phish 10/7/94 Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, PA

Phish 11/4/94 Onondaga War Memorial, Syracuse, NY

Phish 11/29/03 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA


Edited and published Page 683:

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