, attached to 1993-04-10

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Rift was out and Phish was returning to Chicago! Earlier that spring I had received my copy of the Phish Update by mail and saw they would be returning to Chicago to the 5000 seat (standing) Aragon Ballroom in April, followed closely by a night at the tiny American Theatre in St. Louis. I got tickets to both, but first things first.
My friends and I headed downtown for the Aragon show and, to our surprise, the line was enormous. We waited, the buzz from the beers slowly fading, and got inside right as the opening chords of "Runaway Jim" echoed through the corridors. My overwhelming excitement took hold, so I started to speed up my pace and try and get as close as possible. The Aragon was pretty full at this point.
Phish raged on. Next came "Weigh", "Sparkle", "Split Open and Melt"; damn, they were rocking. I decided to go upstairs to see if I could find a better view. I ended up on Fish's side looking across the stage. Fish, of course was up front with the rest of the guys. The first set ended with a raging "Bowie".
At setbreak I went downstairs, ran into my brother and his friends. It was his second show and he was going the following night to Iowa City to another killer show, but that is his story. We puffed down and I told them I was headed up front for the second set. I had lost all my friends at this point and really wasn't looking for them. I was on a mission: front row.
I wormed my way ever closer, to right between Trey and Mike. The show was general admission so I wasn't taking anyone's spot, per say. They came out for the second set and Fish from his drum kit opened Set II with "Lengthwise", which led to a blistering "Maze". I admit I was smoking oneys right in front of the stage, in total bliss
I watched Trey's fingers that whole set, which included "Bouncin'" and "Glide". Then came their balls (big balls that is), tossed right over my head, bouncin' all around the ballroom's dance floor. Just plain crazy-nuss! After the shots were made (I think we got three out of four baskets sunk), the familiar beats to "Mike's Groove" started. Mike started to sing the opening lines, to which Trey would reply, "He's singing his song" or "This is his song" between Mike's lyrics. Insanity became more insane as Fish moved to center stage again with vacuum in tow while dry ice fog and lights completely covered the band and stage.
Then something familiar. "What is this?", I thought to myself. Then I realized it was the familiar sound of Pink Floyd. I asked some younger kid next to me, "What is the last song on the first side of Dark Side of the Moon?". He didn't know. It would come to me later with a flash: "Great Gig in the Sky", that's it. This lead to a killer "Weekapaug".
As if this show wasn't enough, at this point Trey introduces Sugar Blue to join them onstage for some good ole' Chi-town blues. He walked onstage to stand right in front for me. I could read his backstage pass sticker that was stuck to his thigh. They rocked through "Funky Bitch", "Help Me" and "Hoochie Coochie Man" before letting Sugar Blue stay onstage for a rockin' "Cavern". After a standard encore of "Amazing Grace" and "Good Times/Bad Times", I was ready for St. Louis a couple nights later.


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