Phish Unleashes Original ‘Tweezerfest’ At Bomb Factory On This Date In 1994

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On May 7, 1994 Phish brought their 44-concert spring tour to The Bomb Factory in Dallas and unleashed a wild version of “Tweezer” that weaved into and out of other songs. The second set from that memorable set has been referred to as the “Tweezerfest” by fans ever since.

The performance started off innocently enough with a first set heavy on staples and material from the band’s new-at-the-time studio album Hoist. Just the second “Loving Cup” of 1994 began the second set and led into “Sparkle.” Phish then lit into “Tweezer” and delivered over 60 of the finest minutes in the band’s history. A gorgeous “Mind Left Body Jam” was the first detour from “Tweezer” and soon thereafter the quartet busted out a cover of The Who’s “Sparks” for the just the fourth time since 1988.

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A drop into “Makisupa Policeman” followed along with more “Tweezer” jamming and a foray based on a digital delay loop. An adventurous bit of improv featuring the chorus of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” led back into “Tweezer” before Phish made the move for their first cover of James Gang’s “Walk Away” in 30 shows. It would be another 367 shows until the four-piece played “Walk Away” again.

Yet another round of jamming on “Tweezer” saw the band explore multiple themes. Phish would then perform an excerpt of The Breeders’ “Cannonball.” Next, keyboardist Page McConnell kicked off a take on “Purple Rain” that saw guitarist Trey Anastasio move over to drums and drummer Jon Fishman take center stage with vacuum in hand for the Prince classic.

Fish and Trey swapped back to their normal spots after “Purple Rain” and Anastasio led a build to a massive peak that stands out as one of many highlights of the “Tweezerfest.” Once Phish had their fill, the guitarist began “Tweezer Reprise” and his band mates soon fell in line. The night concluded with an a capella rendition of “Amazing Grace” sung without microphones and a “Sample In A Jar” finale.

“We just played Dallas [the Bomb Factory] the other night, and the last 65 minutes of the show were completely improvised,” Trey Anastasio told Michael Snyder of the San Francisco Examiner as part of a feature that ran on May 22, 1994. “It wasn’t planned, but it happened, and we just took off. If it wasn’t for nights like that, I wouldn’t be doing this. I’m not traveling eight months out of the year just to sit in hotel rooms.”

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In 2003, bassist Mike Gordon selected this performance for release as one of four “Mike’s Picks” installments of the LivePhish series. Listen to audio of Phish’s famed Bomb Factory concert from this date in 1994:

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[Originally Published: May 7, 2019]