Phish — Liberty Lunch — Austin, TX 03.06.1993
I Llama, Horn>Curtain>Melt, Mound, PYITE, Bouncin’, Maze, Golgi>Jim
II Rift>Tweezer>Reba, Paul and Silas>BBJ>FEFY, YEM, HYHU>Cracklin’ Rosie>HYHU, BBFCFM
E Adeline, Poor Heart>Reprise
Here we have the second show of two in Texas on the run through up towards Colorado and eventually the West Coast on a tour that is really starting to amp up quite nicely. Tonight’s show feels like a bit of a throwback to the bar band days (though this venue held close to 1,000) with a slightly sloppy feel that might have arisen from the patronage or could have just been one of those nights along the course of the tour.
First set kicks off with a rocking Llama (and most tapes out there cut in to this with the sound improving greatly by the end of the song). From there we get a three pack (Horn>Curtain>Melt) and everything is played well, particularly the Melt which is a raging little beast version that goes off the rails for a bit with Trey taking charge from the start. A fine enough Mound comes next followed by an extra stanky PYITE. Nice to see considering this song has been just picked up again this tour and seemingly alternates with Landlady. Bouncin’ gets us to Maze which is pretty fiery yet in the box. Pay particular attention to Page in this one. Golgi>Jim caps the set (nice peak on the Jim in particular) and we are off to setbreak. Nothing major to note in this set really but a good rocking bar-type set that’ll get you moving for sure.
Second set starts off with Rift>Tweezer and this Tweez is fairly straight forward with Trey working his shred out on top of everything. We do get the slow down ending which is always nice. Honestly, the tapes of this one don’t really help as it is kind of hollow and very low on the bass so you lose Mike a lot of the time (and Page to a lesser degree). Anyway, that gets us to Reba which is a nice little version with a good Trey soloing in the jam before an odd P&S>BBJ>FEFY trifecta. I get the bluegrass to big ball jam combo as they often pair BBJ with MSO or another of the speedier, grassy tunes but the drop into FEFY afterwards is always a bit of a head scratcher. Granted, they only did it five times ever out of the 73 times BBJ was performed, but considering that four of these are on this tour it kind of keeps coming up in my mind. There weren’t a whole lot of ballad-y type tunes in the repertoire back then so perhaps it was just a way to slot in the cool down ballad. That leads to a biggish mid-set YEM that really cranks up the energy level in the room before Fish Fun Time kinda robs that as he laments HYHU, forgets the second verse to Rosie, and rants about it all quite hilariously. Trey then fires into BBFCFM and we have our closer for the night. Adeline is funny to listen to for the drunk chick on the tape decrying the ‘god damn barbershop quartet’ before a decent (and somewhat extended) Poor Heart brings us to the expected Reprise and the encores are over and we are on our way to Santa Fe!
You could call this one a Saturday Night Special, if those existed back then. The playing is fine enough but they definitely seemed to be playing a bit to the level of the crowd – and I say that with all due respect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this show but not a whole lot to take away either. Maybe check out the Melt, Reba, YEM, along with the funny Adeline crowd thing but otherwise save your energy for the Colorado shows to come. There’s a couple of doozies headed our way…