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Review by Mikesgroover
Of course, I had to indulged in some mushroom tea with my friend in his Bleecker Street apartment. I also invited a girl I didn't know very well but I hoped to date to accompany us to this show. Did we bother to tell her we'd drank some tea beforehand? Nah, that would have been too easy. Was my enhanced state evident on the tape, of course! The show itself, alas isn't as musically memorable as the experience. It remains an entertaining show where the exuberance of the New York City crowd was in evidence throughout the night.
Jim and Foam are high-energy and typical of the era, with precision playing from Trey. The first New York City performance of Disease shows the song still finding its footing. The second performance of Demand goes right into Split Open and Melt, just like on the Hoist album. This confused me at the time as I thought Demand was just some weird spoken-word intro to a very average Melt. Other than Demand, there's nothing in this first set to set it apart from others of the era.
The one truly outstanding moment of the night is during The Antelope, is a furious example of 1994 tension>release and contains the one truly outstanding moment of the night -- a particularly furious peak from 8:00 to 9:20. Unfortunately, it's one of only a handful of high-energy moments in this second set.
The second-ever Mule is a fast-paced romp, with the crowd attempting to clap to the beat during the slower middle section before it speeds up. YEM is a very standard version, until Trey asks for a volunteer from the audience to take his place during the tramps segment. Despite stressing that people should only raise their hands if they knew the entire trampoline routine, the guy who ends up getting to do it totally fucks it up.
From the YEM vocal jam through the two acoustic, no-microphone tunes you get about 15 minutes of no playing, which let some of the gas out of this set. The band wanted to play with the acoustics of the venue, but the audience could have used a little more high-energy playing at this point. Exuberant, yet straightforward Slave wraps things up.
To wrap up the story, in my out-of-it state I managed to dump the contents of my backpack, including my date's wallet, underneath the seat before departing. We realized what had happened at the Subway station and had to convince security to let us back in the venue to retrieve them.
Take the 2001>Antelope for a spin if you're in the mood for some fine '94 style tension>release. And don't drink mushroom tea if you're going to try and impress a date to a Phish show.