, attached to 1991-09-26

Review by Glide_hi_hat

Glide_hi_hat This was my first show. A little over a month into my freshman year of college, and 5 days after my sister's wedding - the first really big milestone in our family outside of graduations - I started a thirty year on and of love affair with this band.

The musical highlights are far superior at my third show, 3/20/92 in Binghamton, but one thing in particular stands out thirty years later.

But first, some context. I was a first year percussion major at Ithaca College, and our professor was the marimibist and composer Gordon Stout. It was our weekly rep class the week after this show, and a grad student got up to play a marimba piece composed by Gordon called "Elegy." He dedicated it to Miles Davis, who died two days after this show. At the school of music, all anyone was talking about was Miles Davis, and I think Gordon was sick of it, so before the grad student started playing, Gordon butts in and says, "I'd rather have you dedicate it to Dr. Seuss. Hey, it's my piece..."

Miles Davis hadn't yet died on 9/26/91, and clearly Phish owes a debt of inspiration to him. His "the hardest thing is to sound like yourself" is huge for them.

And yet, I can't help but feel that in some ways Dr. Seuss is an equal if not greater influence. Clearly Jon Fishman was feeling that in the 1st set closing Bowie with his chanting, almost howling, "Dr. Seuss" counterpoint. It's actually fairly poignant, as poignant as a chant of "Dr. Seuss" by a guy wearing a donut mumu during a song with the lyrics "David Bowie, UB-40" can be.

Anyway, Dr. Seuss and Miles Davis died 4 days apart in September of 1991, and in the middle of that I saw my first Phish show. Two artists who changed what children's books and jazz music, respectively, could be, and one band who keeps changing what live touring music is and can be.


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