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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Phish 1994: 20 Years Later 04/09/1994 Binghamton, NY

Binghamton.  Often that's all you need to say, but do you mean 3/20/92, 4/9/94 or 12/14/95?  All unquestionably up there with some of the greatest of Phish shows.  The band definitely likes this town and I've always always felt that as well at points, to have something to do with the quality of shows.  Having made only one of these shows, the last one, this one I regretfully sat home and sulked because I couldn't find a ride from Buffalo.  This happened a few times to me as I was with license but without a car and at the mercy of my Mom and Dad letting me take the family truckster.  It wasn't till after the fact I found out a friend I hadn't checked in with pre cell phone days drove down with his girlfriend.  SO close.  So bummed.

4/9/94 is the first arctic blast of 1994.  Settled down and into mid tour form, this show brings many elements into play.  First element for sure is we have another signature song as we did in Penn State the night before with Split.  We have Reba.  A soaring version and easily one of the top of this year.  I consider 1993 to be THEE year for Reba with several absolutely over the top versions including Roxy Theatre and St. Louis offering up a couple of the very greatest versions ever performed.  No reason 1994 can't continue on and serve up the Reba's and as I'll point out throughout this series of reflective looks back, 1994 offers another fantastic take on this song with Trey 100% in his prime and showcasing some of his best chops.  Beautiful build, soaring peak(s!) and what every great Reba should include, Page fluttering throughout.

Not to get ahead of myself, but on paper and in your ears this first set is the one you dream about late at night.  Nuggets: Magilla, All Things.  Jams: Gin, Stash.  Compositions: Rift, Coil.  Sing alongs: Wilson, Fee.  New tune: Julius.  Mike bluegrass: Nellie Kane.  Need we want anything more?  Bathtub is a spectacular version and the key component of the set.  But this isn't even why we are here.

We go from a standard Set II Sample opener, to the Reba, to Peaches, throw the Big Balls to our latest Hoist debut; Demand.  Once we get through all of that and cross that off our list... away things go with the really DARK Penn State'ish hang off the edge of your seat Mike spooking the living DAYLIGHTS out of you Song.  This over age 18 version is not for the faint of heart and may work well for your Halloween front yard displays.  Cactus has scared the living daylights out of me before in person, this time on tape.  Wear a diaper.  SICK.

An absolute high energy and playful Weekapaug complete with vocal jam and more teasing continues the momentum this set offers.  A rare Tela>Slave combo accents the greatness of this show.

So it didn't take terribly long to find 1994 traction.  Not just traction.  5 shows in.  Great show, but we are just scratching the surface.  First week in April is definitely the surface.

Looking forward to 4/10.  My second show and the first of the year I will be writing from the perspective of my attendance.

Go to source for this one is the Dave Flaschner AKG aud transferred by Jason Sobel.  Dave is one of the all time greatest Phish tapers, someone we all owe a beer to.  He's knows how to find the sweet spot, keep things under control around the rig and deliver the goods as he did here FOB.  There is a nice SBD available for set two only.  Disregard Phishtracks notation that the first set is SBD as it is not.

stream 4/9/94
download 4/9/94

setlist courtesy of

Link Saturday, 04/09/1994
Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY

Soundcheck: Makisupa Policeman
[1] Debut.
[2] Vocal jam.

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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

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