Phish — Bob Carpenter Center, University of Delaware — Newark, DE 02.13.1993
I Bowie, Bouncin’, Poor Heart>Ice>Glide>Rift, Stash, Lawn Boy>Maze, Golgi
II Jim, Wilson>Pen, Tweezer>Lizards, Llama, YEM, BBJ>HYHU>Lengthwise>HYHU, Coil, Cavern
E Grace, Reprise
Ah, Delaware… small wonder. This is the first show the band ever played in our fine first state* and one that was in heavy circulation back in the day (along with the visit the following year which still stands as the last time they have played in the state). This is a singular stop as they followed the lines headed south towards the southern run of shows and the three pack at The Roxy which would end up becoming fairly legendary in its own right before they dipped down into Florida for their first shows ever in that state. But we’ll get to all of that in due time. We have this one from The Bob to get through which checks in as yet another solid Saturday night outing for the band and their fans.
First set here kicks off with a swirling Bowie (second time this tour the three songs played here open a show – 2.9 being the other) that sets the mood for the evening before a stretch of tunes get things going in earnest with Bouncin’, Poor Heart>Ice>Glide>Rift all being played with precision and intent. There are elements of that Bowie that you might recognize from later versions such as some from spring ’94. It has a shorter but densely packed jam that gets things started off well. Bouncin’, Poor Heart, and It’s Ice are all serviceable in getting everyone moving but there’s not much of note in any of these songs overall. Glide>Rift comes off quite swimmingly as the crowd gets involved with some coordinated clapping during the pause in Glide. They carry this energy forward into the subsequent Rift as the band plays probably the best version of that song to date on this tour. Then they dip into a nice Stash that gets the crowd amped with some nice T&R and a solid peak in the resolution phase. Page then has a brief announcement from the venue staff that those darned spinners need to keep the aisles clear for safety purposes. A nod to the first show in DE is next with a dedication of Lawn Boy (and this is another one where Trey takes the solo) which heads into a scorching Maze that has some different Trey lines than any of the prior versions from this tour. He is definitely trying out some new things and it pays off at the head of this one. Golgi caps the set and we are catching our breath for a few moments. That Maze, Golgi pairing also capped the 2.9 first set so this show mirrors that one a lot thus far but not for long.
Second set starts out with a fine enough Jim that chugs along before giving way to a very… inside out (if that makes sense) Wilson. The pace is slow, with Page hitting the ‘duh duh’ first here (and we are still a year plus before the crowd would get involved in earnest) and then the song stays relatively mellow with some SL (Simpsons, Oom Pa Pa, Random Note) thrown in at various times. Uncle Pen bridges us to an energetic Tweezer where Trey stays on top of the goings on (there are some hints of a Reprise build at one stage but they change directions before allowing that to manifest) before they head into a well played Lizards. They then take things up a notch with a stampeding Llama where Page takes a big turn before Trey and Fish get it even higher. Llamas were pretty freaking awesome once upon a time. YEM is next and this one’s a keeper with a nice jam including the B&D after Trey takes his solo for a fun romp. Things get interesting when Mike drops in some ‘Lion Sleeps Tonight’ phrasing in the VJ too. BBJ and then Fish for an amusing Lengthwise with some crowd participation (Fish gets the crowd to sing along to his vac solo), a lovely Coil, and then a rough Cavern closer before the [shockingly expected] Grace, Reprise encore (the third such encore pairing already this tour).
Overall you are getting another show of the band hitting stride here though being the fifth show in a row there are signs of some fatigue in this one. Nothing major but a flub here and a missed opportunity there in an otherwise high energy Saturday night affair that is very well received by the college crowd. Keepers from this one would be the Stash and pretty well the Tweezer through YEM sequence in the 2nd. On to the south after a break for the lovers!
*If you didn’t know, now you do. Look it up.
Well, hey, you kept reading! Thanks for sticking around to the end of the post. As a reward, let’s go ahead and put on our stat hats since this one now puts us ten shows into the Spring ’93 tour. By now some patterns have emerged and we have a pretty good idea of what the main rotation will be, at least until they go heavy into Gamehendge about five weeks from now. Let’s go bullets here just to make this more like some kind of informative blog post or something. Most of this information was compiled using the wonderful tools over at Phish Stats.
- In a bit of a scheduling oddity, the band has thus far played every night of the week except Monday, something that would be resolved with the very next show they would play in Chapel Hill, NC and then they would play a bunch of them to catch up with the other, more loved days of the week.
- Half of the shows have been played in New York state, with every other show being in a different state.
- No songs have been played in every show of the tour but two songs (Amazing Grace, HYHU) have popped up in nine of the ten. (Grace sat out 02.06.1993 at the Roseland since it was played the previous night and HYHU sat out 02.07.1993 because REASONS. I don’t know. Go ask the band why. It isn’t like they didn’t have a Fish tune that night). Additionally, Amazing Grace had a long run of six straight shows in which it was performed and HYHU had a long run of five consecutive shows played.
- Five other songs were played in more than half of the shows: BBJ (8), Poor Heart (7), Llama (6), Rift (6), YEM (6). After that it gets crowded, as ten songs were played in half of the shows and another fourteen were played in 4/10.
- Overall, 86 different songs have been played thus far on the tour (by the end of the Spring tour that number would balloon to 140). Of these, 29 were one-time appearances which simple math then tells us 57 were played more than once.
- Five songs have been debuted thus far (Loving Cup, Amazing Grace, Wedge, Lifeboy, Sample in a Jar). This will grow to 30 songs by the end of tour.
- Openers and closers are still fairly spread out between several songs, with the only statistically significant item being that Antelope has closed four first sets (and that includes every version of the song they have played to date.
- More telling is that for encores Amazing Grace has been part of the show coda 8 times (with the other one being a second set closer).
- Total songs played for the ten shows is 263, giving us an average of 25.3 songs played each night. This isn’t inaccurate when you factor in that HYHU often gets played on both ends of the Fish Fun Time segment of the show (and is thus counted in the overall total) but when figuring the average songs per show figure it is only counted once. Fun with stats, huh?
- Both times Suzy has been played have been part of the same show-opening run of songs: Suzy>Buried Alive>Poor Heart. Similarly, both times Bowie has opened the show it has kicked off this sequence: Bowie, Bouncin’, Poor Heart. And you thought the third song bluegrass slot was a myth. This will be even more prevalent as we go ahead.
- The tour has started with two runs shows on five consecutive nights. This will be matched three times: March 24th-28th, March 30th-April 3rd (these two creating another 10 shows in 11 nights run), April 29th-May3rd. It will be bettered twice by a seven show run (February 17th-23rd) and a six show run (April 20th-25th). I am very confident in saying that this will never be matched again, particularly the overall 71 shows in 95 days thing.
I could keep going but that’s probably a sufficient number of useless Phish facts to fulfill my daily (weekly?) quota…