Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Episode 21: Guest Pick - Phish 11.16.91 Washington, DC

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. This week we have another guest pick, this time from our friend Scott. We had a great conversation, and we discussed and played Phish 11.16.91, from Washington, DC. The setlist and Listener Notes are below. 

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Scott tweets from @TourTweet. He started listening to Phish in the late '80s/early '90s, and he has a really interesting and unique perspective on the band, its history and the music. Although this show we discussed was his first official show, Scott mentioned his first "IT" Phish moment, from this "Harry Hood," Charlottesville, VA in July of 1992.

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Listener Notes—Episode 21: Phish 11.16.91 Washington, DC

When we were discussing this show with Scott, the first word that came to his mind when describing Phish's music in 1991 was "relentless." Brad and I feel like that's a perfect word to describe their playing from 1990-1993. 

The first four songs are just absolute fire: from the opening "The Landlady" through "Uncle Pen," "Wilson" and into "Runaway Jim," you can hear how aggressively Trey is playing and how proficient he's becoming with this style of guitar. This show is worth listening to just to hear the shredding that some people argue is missing from 2013 Trey. 

1991 was also a year of debuts and early tinkering with Phish songs that eventually became classics. In this show, 13 of the 23 songs played debuted in either 1990 or 1991. Check out this show for early versions of "It's Ice," "Stash," "Tube," "Chalk Dust Torture" and "Horn."

And on "Horn." Scott made a compelling argument for why he loved this version of the song. He talked about how the show was so small and so intimate that during "Horn" you could hear the vibration of Trey's solo notes off of Fishman's snare drum. It's almost unconscionable that Phish was a bar band of this level of talent and potential 1991—and as Scott said, everyone knew it then. 

You can hear this level of potential in the "You Enjoy Myself" jam—it's groovy, funky, and well-executed. A song and a band well ahead of its time. 

Lastly, Scott pointed out that a lot of friends and family of the band were present at this show. You can tell that's the case through all of the joking, banter and, we think, the song selection. This band was on a serious upward trajectory in 1991. We hope you enjoy this show—relentless musically, but intimate and humorous too.


Phish 11.16.91, The Bayou, Washington, DC

Set 1: The Landlady, Uncle Pen, Wilson > Runaway Jim, It's Ice > Sparkle > Fluffhead, Foam, Stash, Ya Mar, Cavern

Set 2: Tube > My Sweet One > Bathtub Gin, Brother, You Enjoy Myself, Horn > Chalk Dust Torture, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up, Llama

E: Glide, Rocky Top

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