Phish — Pike’s Peak Center — Colorado Springs, CO 03.09.1993
I Jim, Foam, Bouncin’, Maze, Esther>Divided, Glide, PYITE, IDK, Antelope
II Axilla>Rift, Tweezer, Reba, Lawn Boy, Mike’s>H2>Weekapaug, Horse>Silent>BBJ, HYHU>Terrapin>HYHU, I Walk the Line, Coil, Reprise
E Grace, Rocky Top
So after the one (mythical) show in New Mexico the band headed up to Colorado for a small run of shows starting in The Springs. This is the 26th show of the tour (in just 35 days, no less — and now practically 2/3 the way across the country). The band is definitely quite warmed up by now, hitting their stride just in time for the warmer weather of the western climes. But first there are mountains to be conquered.
The first set here starts off with a rather patient Jim where they don’t just dive right into the jam after the lyric section but give it a few more bars. It is a nice change of pace and sets the song up for a deserved payoff in the end. Foam follows with capable version that sticks the ending rather nicely. Bouncin’ gets us to Maze and this one goes to eleven. Both Page and Trey get to work on this one in their respective solo spots. The always welcome (to me, not my wife so much) Esther (with random note SL) is next before a decent Divided, Glide, and PYITE all which are just fine and dandy with the crowd really seeming to enjoy themselves even through the SBD. IDK gives us more of that Fish nickname fun and the trombone solo before a ripping Lope (with Simpsons SL and a little playfulness from Trey in the intro as well as an All Fall Down SL at the breakdown) closes shop for the set. All things told this is a solid affair that would be a better Tuesday than most of us could hope for these days.
The second set kicks off with the Axilla>Rift pairing which really fires things up but hey why not get it higher by throwing Tweezer out there next? Trey is clearly feeling it on this one which I will definitely say you should check out. They take this one out pretty well right away, first playing with the Tweezer theme before Trey just goes ahead and lays down the Julius lick (listen again. It is definitely there at around 6:40 and on for a bit) which Mike picks up on and they deconstruct (a full year plus before the song would be debuted) before heading into more abstract ground and then circling around to the ol’ slow down ending. Nice ride. I recommend. Oh and then they bring our girl Reba out for a quite interesting version. Trey is all over the first half of the jam and then he holds Note for the back half (about 2 and a half minutes) which allows Page and Fish to go nuts for a bit before the whistling. Pretty different than typical with that. Another one to check out here for sure. Then we have a respite for Lawn Boy (Trey gets the solo here) before a nice Mike’s Groove. This is notable because this show once again throws off the standard format of Tweezer/YEM show followed by Mike’s Groove/Junior Vehicle show, much like the 02.20.93 one from The Roxy that is so heavily lauded for obvious reasons. This Groove has some playful bantering in the early Mike’s section before they drop into the jam (which takes a unique turn for a bit before heading into familiar territory and the drop towards H2). H2 does what it does before a rocking Paug gets the joint really going once more. They capture some nice space early on in keeping it slower then ratchet things up for a smoking close. Horse>Silent>BBJ is next, then Fish Fun Time for Terrapin (complete with a Star Trek tease from Page after Fish asks the balcony crowd if it looks like the mothership down there) before a stand alone I Walk the Line aaaaaand the tape is done! WTF! C’mon, man!! Eh, the setlist shows Coil, Reprise to close with Grace, Rocky Top in the encores so maybe nothing to worry about here but STILL. and the show notes on .net mention some ‘tenor’ in the crowd (i.e. a wook) singing The Eleven a capella prior to Grace which would be interesting to here for humor if nothing else, but alas and alack… Oh, and Trey also supposedly told a ‘rowdy member of the audience’ (again, wook) who’d been threatening to stage dive all show to go for it. So that must’ve been fun for him.
Let’s sum it up, shall we? First show in Colorado for the year is a solid affair with a receptive crowd and a band clearly feeling it. Just another example of the band showing their love for Colorado. The playing is overall pretty darn good and we have a couple of solid takeaways here. I definitely recommend that Tweezer, Reba, and the Mike’s Groove. Lope is fun too but nothing too crazy and Jim and Maze are better than decent if you are sticking around for more. I wouldn’t kick this show out of bed for eating caps. If you are looking for a full spin maybe you could do worse than this one.
Next stop is Vail a full three days later (!!!) for a tease-ful affair from Eagle County. Even Phishies need to get their spring skiing in when in ‘Rome’ I suppose…