Phish To Release 2 Shows From 1993 As ‘St. Louis ’93’

What elements make the best Phish archival releases? Obviously first and foremost is the quality of the music played by the quartet. Was Phish on fire that night? Did they play special versions of songs or tunes they don’t usually perform? Another huge factor is the sound quality of previously circulating recordings of said show. Do soundboards already circulate? How do audience recordings of the show sound? On both accounts Phish’s new archival release, St. Louis ’93, is a home run.

St. Louis ’93, which is due March 31 and currently available for pre-order via Dry Goods featuring instant downloads of “Possum” and “Maze,” collects official recordings of Phish’s two 1993 stops at the American Theatre in St. Louis. Both the April 14 and August 16 shows are fantastic and previously circulating audience recordings were unimpressive to say the least. The six-CD set comes from an extremely busy year in Phish history and a very important one. Phish was in the process of moving from theaters to amphitheaters and was starting to employ the “Type II” jamming that became a hallmark of their sound. Fans in St. Louis were treated to two very different concerts in 1993, but each was filled to the brim with highlights.

By April 14, 1993 Phish had been on the road for over two months and were ridiculously tight. After a fairly straight forward start to the show, the band lit into “Stash.” Their cohesiveness was on display throughout the wild “Stash” that featured elements of “Dave’s Energy Guide” and a pair of excursions into the spoken word “Kung.” Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman overlaid the first “Kung” chant over a mashup of “Stash” and “Dave’s Energy Guide” before the guitarist led his mates back into the “Stash” jam. The fun wasn’t over yet as Trey yelled “From The Hills!” during the end of “Stash.” Mike Gordon started spouting German as another “Kung” chant followed “Stash” and is chanted to the tune of “The Horse.” Anastasio threw a bit of “Pinball Wizard” by The Who into the mix, while Fish screamed “We MUST stage a runaway golf cart marathon.” The whole “Stash”/”Kung”/”The Horse” madness was worth the price of admission alone.

The second set began with Anastasio bringing up his old friend Roger Holloway who proceeded to propose to his now-wife Jennifer. Roger is namechecked in “AC/DC Bag,” so it’s no surprise Phish opened the second set with the tune and you can hear Trey crack up as he sings “just like Roger he’s a crazy little kid.” The quartet then played the fitting “My Sweet One” in honor of the love birds before embarking on a potent “Tweezer.” Later in the set Phish worked “You Enjoy Myself” into a cover of “Spooky” by Classsics IV and back again ahead of a crazy “Harpua” about dreaming that featured a slew of teases. Even the encore on April 14, 1993 was eventful as it began with a rare “Lengthwise” and included a “Contact” dedicated to Roger and Jen.

Phish would return to the American Theatre four months later on August 16, 1993 for another wild concert. August 1993 was one of the best months in Phish history and all you need to do is listen to the “Reba” from the 16th to hear why. Other highlights from the back end of St. Louis ’93 included a wacky “Possum,” the only “Mike’s Song” > “Faht” > “Weekapaug Groove” sequence and an inventive “It’s Ice” unlike any other that wound its way into “My Friend, My Friend” in unusual style.

Listen to a track from each show off St. Louis ’93:

[Tweezer]

[Foam]

St. Louis ’93 Tracklist

Disc: 1

  • 1. Buried Alive
  • 2. Poor Heart
  • 3. Maze
  • 4. Bouncing Around The Room
  • 5. It’s Ice
  • 6. Stash
  • 7. Kung
  • 8. Stash
  • 9. Kung
  • 10. The Horse
  • 11. Silent In The Morning
  • 12. Divided Sky
  • 13. I Didn’t Know
  • 14. Golgi Apparatus

Disc: 2

  • 1. Roger’s Proposal
  • 2. AC/DC Bag
  • 3. My Sweet One
  • 4. Tweezer
  • 5. Mound
  • 6. Big Ball Jam
  • 7. You Enjoy Myself
  • 8. Spooky
  • 9. You Enjoy Myself

Disc: 3

  • 1. Harpua
  • 2. Runaway Jim
  • 3. Lengthwise
  • 4. Contact
  • 5. Tweezer Reprise

Disc: 4

  • 1. Axilla
  • 2. Possum
  • 3. Horn
  • 4. Reba
  • 5. Sparkle

Disc: 5

  • 1. Foam
  • 2. I Didn’t Know
  • 3. Split Open And Melt
  • 4. The Squirming Coil

Disc: 6

  • 1. Mike’s Song
  • 2. Faht
  • 3. Weekapaug Groove
  • 4. Mound
  • 5. It’s Ice
  • 6. My Friend, My Friend
  • 7. Poor Heart
  • 8. Big Ball Jam
  • 9. Take The ‘A’ Train
  • 10. Good Times Bad Times
  • 11. Amazing Grace
  • 12. Rocky Top

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