Easily the best year for many tunes, My Friend is no exception. This song was just played differently in 1994, different from any other year. The energy makes you want to jump out of your skin and the tone it sets in the opener slot lends it along with Runaway Jim as the perfect openers to compliment the style of play in this year. Super pumped up version with a hint of what is going on and what lay ahead this night. A big "hey we're back to Phish" after all the guesting in the ATL!
Hardly a dud in this show, the Maze is stunning and totally delivers the goods. Gin > Jump Monk > Gin, hello how are you? Really delicate Gin with some very sweet playing melts beautifully into Jump Monk continuing the jazzy theme of spring 94. Definitely a moment talked about the rest of the tour. They never really go back into Gin which would have been completely over the top, but they do wrap the sandwich with the Gin theme. Dog Faced Boy and Paul and Silas in a short and sweet way continue the indication that the band has different things on their mind this night. An excellent Slave with multiple peaks closes out this amazing first set.
Further indication of the band looking to shake things up, Demand opens up set II. 21 minutes of David Bowie showcase the jam of the night in this peak Phish version. This Bowie is magnificent, an amazingly patient build to complete combustion, complete with some teases in just an all out 94 jam session. The band calms things back down perfectly with another perfect song choice in Mango as this show writes the book on setlist flow. Way to nail it Red.
For me, another signature song in 1994 was Colonel Forbin. Even today, any time a Forbin pops up in the setlist you know there was something a little extra special on the bands mind that night and how that may have positively impacted the over play or direction of the show. I have always felt that any night with Forbins is a guaranteed good night. Mostly having to do with Trey's frame of mind, if there were to be a Forbins drop there was no better night to do it in April 1994. A real out there Chalkdust into Contact and you may as well call GTBT the encore.
I've went on long enough about this show. Just go listen or re-listen and really really enjoy as it's so much fun.
For EVER we only had Linda Webster's AKG source of this show. Thank you Linda!! We would likely not have heard this show without her. Then however in March of 2013 thanks to Dave Flaschner and Terry Watts, etree guru Jeff Mitchell drops Tom McMinn's uncirculated AKG source on the community. Having not compared and would love someones feedback, I'd give the fresh Jeff Mitchell transfer a spin.
stream 4/24/94 http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1994-04-24
download 4/24/94 http://db.etree.org/lookup_show.php?shows_key=3053
setlist courtesy of Phish.net
Grady Cole Center, Charlotte, NC
Soundcheck: My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own, Funky Bitch (possibly incomplete)
Set 1: My Friend, My Friend, Ya Mar, Axilla (Part II) > Maze, Bathtub Gin -> Jump Monk-> Bathtub Gin > Dog Faced Boy, Paul and Silas > It's Ice > Slave to the Traffic Light
Set 2: Demand > David Bowie, The Mango Song > Julius, Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Chalk Dust Torture, Contact, Good Times Bad Times
Encore: Sweet Adeline