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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Phish 1994: 20 Years Later 04/20/1994 Lexington, VA

Has the to tour hit Winston-Salem yet?

Virginia Horse Center.  I remember this show for a few things.  One is the big YEM with DMB sit ins. The other is what I remember as being told that this was a really strange venue.  Like a Horse barn, but my memory is sketchy.  The other is that there was a really cool Mike interview done by a writer from Unbroken Chain magazine.  Unbroken Chain was my favorite Deadhead publication around this time, more so than Dupree's or Relix, run by Deadhead and fellow VW bus owner Dave Serrins.  I got to finally meet Dave in Deer Creek 7/2/95.  Great guy.  It was cool as can be to see them do a Mike feature seeing there weren't really any "jamband" magazines then, just Deadhead magazines.  It's been years and years since I've read the interview as I have it buried in an attic crate, but I do remember Mike talking about his evolution as a bass player.  If you really think about Mike's playing, I truly believe while he was not a big impact player in 94, his bass playing post 92, basically through 93 and really in 94 took a huge leap.  He really started becoming a force in driving jams, creativity and overall talent.  All setting the stage for PLM in 97 when I think we all can agree that the change to the Modulus sound and being turned up in the mix was an enormous boost to his confidence.  I remember him speaking of seeing other bass players who were better than him, and him wanting to continue to work hard to get better.

This show is a bit of a snoozer.  Not much to say about the first set.  I've talked a lot about Runaway Jim and how much I love it as an opener this tour, but this version really limps.  I did relisten to the Stash a couple times.  There's probably not a 93 or 94 Stash not worth a couple back to back listens.  Virginia Horse Center deserves some top tier votes though.

Standardly insane 12 minute Lope deserves mention and your attention in a really neat early set II spot.  Shows some life in the set.  All hopes for the Hood to bring this show up fail miserably.  This Hood never gains any traction and really just fizzles into nothing.  My favorite YEM of the tour with the DMB guests.  Very melodic and I really love the horns.  True keeper.  Very danceable.  Signature type version, as in like the Albany YEM, you will know this one when you hear it.  Oh and props to Dave for taking his turn on tramps.

Onto Winton-Salem where the madness ensues.

A couple good sounding AKG sources from this show.  Possibly the same source, I have not done an AB comparison but I would stick with the modern day Watts/Sobel transfer.  This source is FOB but does not suffer from any crowd noise.  My guess (if it's not mislabled) from the sound is they were likely *just* FOB and were in a comfortable enough spot where they could run a high stand with no fears of Amy busting them in the horse barn.  Just my speculation.

stream 4/20/94
download 4/20/94

setlist courtesy of

Link Wednesday, 04/20/1994
Virginia Horse Center, Lexington, VA

EncoreHighway to Hell
[1] Trey sang some verses through megaphone.
[2] Dave Matthews, LeRoi Moore, Boyd Tinsley, Carter Beauford, and Steffan Lessard. Fishman on vacuum.
[3] Dave Matthews, LeRoi Moore, Boyd Tinsley, Carter Beauford, and Steffan Lessard.

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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


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