Yet Another Amazing Visit from Phish

UIC Pavilion - Chicago

November 25, 1994

First Appeared in The Music Box, January 1995, Volume 2, #1

Written by John Metzger


Phish returned to the UIC Pavilion to celebrate Thanksgiving, and what a show it was! The first set was loaded with choice Phish nuggets, including rip-roaring versions of Reba and Split Open and Melt. The group totally pushed the limit on each of these songs, whipping the crowd into a psychedelic dancing frenzy. The low point for the crowd came during a surprise Esther which the audience surprisingly did not seem to enjoy. Never-the-less, I was quite happy to hear it, and while not terribly danceable, it was pristine. In stark contrast to the Phish show at the UIC Pavilion in June, only one song (Julius) was performed from the latest studio effort Hoist.

As the lights dimmed for the start of the second set, everyone wondered what Phish would return with, having played a number of their most popular songs during set one. Surprise, surprise the band launched into Also Sprach Zarathustra, more popularly known as the Theme from 2001.

About a third of the way through the second set, the band hit an unbelievable peak and proceeded to work its way through a very long, space-filled, psychedelic, swirling jam. The best way to describe this is to mix the best versions of Victim or the Crime and Corina that the Grateful Dead have ever performed, add a lot of space, and serve it up Phish-style. As if that wasn't enough, the jam culminated in Harpua and a lengthy story-telling narration from Trey Anastasio. This particular account revolved around Harpua, a boy named Jimmy, a cat named Poster Nutbag, a piercing scream of anger and hatred, and a great green cone of love. This of course started a war between the band and the audience, with the weapon being those green glowlight sticks. Strange!!

The second set wound up with a killer Weekapaug Groove, Jon Fishman's vacuum solo during Purple Rain, and a scorching Run Like an Antelope, that seemed as if it would never end. Unfortunately it did, and for an encore, the band whipped out Led Zeppelin's Good Times Bad Times. What a show!!

Hoist is available from Barnes & Noble.
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Copyright 1994 The Music Box