Phish – Warfield Theatre – San Francisco, CA 03.26.1993
I Maze, Sparkle, Foam, PYITE, Fee, ATR, Melt, Fluffhead>Divided, Cavern
II Wilson>Jim>Mound, Tweezer, Horse>Silent, BBJ>YEM, Oh Kee Pa>Suzy, GGITS>HYHU, Reprise
E Grace, Rocky Top
Following Santa Cruz, Phish settled in at The Warfield in San Francisco for a pair of weekend shows that have all of the earmarks of ’93 Phish. The first of these shows was the Friday night affair which was the second time the band played this venue after being here for a memorable show the previous spring (one that I recommend checking out as well). This being the 39th show of the tour the band is very loose and comfortable, taking their time throughout and engaging the crowd in various ways as is their way. So let’s dive in, shall we?
The first set starts off first with a little nod to one of Fish’s friends who is doing a cross country bike tour (from Seattle to DC) in support of AIDS research. Then we get one of those somewhat rare Maze openers that just kick off the energy so well, even with this version being somewhat short in comparison. Getting geeky, this is one of only 11 total show opening Mazes ever — and one of only 25 times it opened any set as it has never been encored oddly enough in almost 300 appearances. The subsequent Sparkle is kinda almost not quite but sorta of the FMS variety before we get a very clean run through Foam, as the band is now fully warmed up and raring to go. Next they cleanly take on PYITE which is something considering the shakiness of this tune over the course of this tour. Fee and ATR get us to the first true highlight of the show when they drop a breakneck speed Melt that stays primarily inside the sandbox. This is definitely one to check out though as Fish and Trey are going for it with aplomb. The balance of the set is largely what you’d expect out of Fluffhead>Divided, Cavern as the energy stays high and the band plays the crowd as they head into the break. This set is a lot of warm up fare but solid in its own right though there isn’t much to take away from a true highlight perspective.
That would change a bit in the second set though. After coming out hot with Wilson>Jim>Mound (and definitely check out the Fish rolls in the start of the Jim jam) they drop into Tweezer for the first biggish vehicle of the night. This one stays largely within the framework of the song but gets pretty crunchy and boisterous in doing so. They bring things down after this for Horse>Silent and Trey has a bit of an issue with the tuning on Horse but whatever. BBJ then gets us to the next highlight here which is YEM and this version is one of those ones you don’t hear a lot about but that stands up as a solid example of the band playing one of their prototype songs true to form. Honestly, when you think of the classic songs in the Phish canon and hear them played very well YEM is up there as one of the very best and this version is a very nice clean take in that vein. There is also some Mission Impossible phrasing to be found here if you like that sort of thing. Next up is that classic pairing of Oh Kee Pa>Suzy and for this one Good Time Suzy is on display, bringing her dancing shoes along for the ride. Then there’s the third ever Great Gig in the Sky for Fish Fun Time before the Reprise closer you’d expect here. Grace and Rocky Top are the encores and it is time to rest up for the next night.
This show is a top to bottom well played concert without a lot of big highlights but no real low points either. The band is playing with great energy and acumen at this stage of the tour and they are encountering crowds who are engaged in the music on a nightly basis. This show pales a tad in comparison to the one that follows – and perhaps that’s a bit due to the band’s settling in here for the weekend – but it is worth the listen, perhaps in tandem to its brother from the next night. Your takeaways here are the Melt, Tweezer, and YEM. Next up is the Saturday night hit parade from the same venue!