In the middle of their 47-show U.S. tour in 1994, Phish stopped at the University of Missouri on a Tuesday and blew the roof off the place, and phans will now be able to relive the classic show in high quality with a new LivePhish release.
The “Buried Alive” opener comes in flying with a brisk transition to a clean and excitable “Poor Heart,” followed by a beautiful, vocally top-notch “Horn” > “Foam.” In addition to that hungry-energy unique to ’90s Phish, this show is extra special with its heavy doses of bluegrass thanks to the band’s five-day intensive training sessions not long before this show with Aquarium Rescue Unit’s Jeff Mosier.
The band’s infatuation with bluegrass at the time is clear as day in the second set; a raging “Big Black Fury Creature From Mars” ends acoustic and leads into a “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome” > “Little Tiny Butter Biscuits” > “My Long Journey Home” before resolving into an exceptionally patient “Bowie.” And the “Lizards” encore? Sprinkles on the icing on the cake.
The show was recorded by Paul Languedoc to digital multitrack and was mixed/mastered by Jon Altschiller. The sound quality is crystal, and even the crowd noise is a nostalgia overload, putting the listener in an intimate small auditorium setting with the band that is now gearing up for their return to Madison Square Garden for a four-night New Year’s run.
The new release is available through LivePhish and the LivePhish App. Tickets for this year’s MSG shows are available today at noon EST through Ticketmaster.