May 26, 2023

Phish: new archival release Spartanburg ‘94

Another archival Phish release is available for streaming and download: 10/29/1994 Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg, SC:

On October 29, 1994 Phish pulled into Spartanburg, South Carolina for their only show there to date – a Saturday night at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, a 3217-seat theater opened in 1951 as the “Showplace of the South” adjacent to Wofford College. Spartanburg was the 19th show on a 46-date tour that crisscrossed the country spanning from Pennsylvania in early October to Southern California in mid-December. The Spartanburg show was the last date before a nearly 900-mile jaunt up to Glens Falls for Phish’s first modern Halloween show where they would introduce their first “musical costume”. Tickets cost $18.50 and the show was sold out, portending what turned out to be exceptionally difficult Halloween tickets. In an attempt to deflect Halloween rumors, the Spartanburg soundcheck leaned on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti’ which got the crowd buzzing before the show even began. Spartanburg set a formidable precedent and recordings quickly made the circuit but this is the first opportunity to hear Spartanburg ‘94 in full fidelity, mixed from multitracks recorded for ‘A Live One’.

Set I highlights included the opener My Friend, My Friend followed by Simple > Runaway Jim > Foam with a Simple callback in Runaway Jim to tie the segment together. A unique combination of Split Open And Melt > Buffalo Bill > Makisupa Policeman > Rift closed an impressive set I with the second-ever Buffalo Bill, the only Melt > Buffalo Bill combination to date, and only Rift ever to close a first set. This sequence left no doubt about the trajectory of this special night. Set II was a barnburner, kicking off with Down With Disease > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkanu > The Man Who Stepped > Sparks – the second ever and last Disease > TMWSIY pairing to date and one of two Sparks played in 1994, adding to the blatant Halloween misdirection and foreshadowing the band’s 1995 The Who musical costume. After a killer You Enjoy Myself, Fish introduced his new (but shortlived) banana dress during Bike. Set II closed with Run Like An Antelope > Sleeping Monkey > Run Like An Antelope – the only time Sleeping Monkey was sandwiched between sections of Antelope. A stunning Harry Hood encore closed a legendary performance and a show for the ages.

Setlist and notes from

SET 1: My Friend, My Friend, Sparkle > Simple -> Runaway Jim, Foam, Lawn Boy, Split Open and Melt[1] -> Buffalo Bill -> Makisupa Policeman -> Rift

SET 2: Down with Disease -> The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday -> Sparks > Uncle Pen, You Enjoy Myself, Hold Your Head Up > Bike > Hold Your Head Up, Run Like an Antelope -> Sleeping Monkey > Run Like an Antelope

ENCORE: Harry Hood

[1] Unfinished.
Trey teased Simple in Runaway Jim. Melt was unfinished. Buffalo Bill was played for the first time since November 21, 1992 (225 shows). Makisupa ended with a BBFCFM tease from Trey and Fish. During Bike, Fish made reference to the new dress he was given that afternoon and wore to the show. Antelope contained a May the Force Be With You tease from Trey.


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