Winter/Spring ’93: Stat Breakdown

For all of the following calculations I only used data from songs/shows I actually listened to, so the early March show and the first set of the Montreal show for which there are no circulating recordings are not counted. Also not included are songs that were missing from the tapes I listened to (thankfully, not too common a problem). These statistical anomalies should more or less disappear for any future stats post, because the tape record for subsequent tours is more or less complete.

With that caveat aside, the following are some interesting statistical observations from Phish’s longest ever tour.

Most-Played “Songs”:

  1. Hold Your Head Up (57 performances – played in 82% of total shows)
  2. Big Ball Jam (53 – 76.3%)
  3. Rift (41 – 59.0%)
  4. Sparkle (38 – 54.7%)
  5. It’s Ice, Maze, Poor Heart, You Enjoy Myself (tie – 36 – 51.8%)

Four Rift songs make the top “five,” reflecting the ubiquity of the album’s songs on this tour’s setlists.

Top 5 Most-Played Songs*:

  1. Rift (41 – 59.0%)
  2. Sparkle (38 – 54.7%)
  3. It’s Ice, Maze, Poor Heart, You Enjoy Myself (tie – 36 – 51%)
  4. Amazing Grace, Stash (tie – 35 – 50.4%)
  5. Cavern (34 – 48.9%)

*excludes Hold Your Head Up and Big Ball Jam.

I’m actually surprised that Hold Your Head Up wasn’t played at more shows. As it stands, the HYHU “song” was played at 82% of shows I listened to on this tour. I’m curious to see how this evolves over the next couple years, and whether they stop playing this theme gradually or suddenly. It does not surprise me that almost every song on these lists was played at least more than one of every two shows; given the size of the band’s repertoire in 1993 many songs were on heavy rotation. However, running the numbers it did surprise me that the jam-focused Stash beat out other, more concise and seemingly ubiquitous songs played on this tour like “Guelah Papayrus,” “Chalk Dust Torture,” and “Golgi Apparatus.”

dtznza1

Average Show Rating by Month:

  • February: 3.524 (21 shows)
  • March: 3.619 (21 shows)
  • April: 3.65 (20 shows)
  • May: 4.286 (7 shows)

No surprise here, it reflects my overall feeling of the tour trajectory that I discussed in my debrief post.

Shows Rated 5/5: 2/20 (Roxy Theatre, Atlanta GA), 3/14 (Paul Wright Gym, Gunnison CO), 3/22 (Crest Theatre, Sacramento CA), 4/14 (American Theater, St. Louis MO), 5/3 (State Theatre, New Brunswick NJ), 5/6 (Palace Theatre, Albany NY), 5/8 (Field House, Durham NH).

Shows Rated 2/5 or lower: 2/10 (Smith Opera House, Geneva NY), 3/24 (Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa CA)

It’s pretty impressive that I thought only 2 shows of the 70 I reviewed were “off-nights” that had little to offer a listener.

Best Rated Multi-night Stands:

  1. Palace Theatre (Albany – 4.5 avg. – 2 nights)
  2. Roxy Theatre (Atlanta – 4.333 avg. – 3 nights)
  3. Newport Music Hall and Tower Theatre (Columbus/Philadelphia – 4 avg. – 2 nights)
  4. Roseland Ballroom, Tipitina’s, The Palace, Warfield Theatre, Roseland Theatre (New York/New Orleans/Hollywood/San Francisco/Portland – 3.5 avg. – 2 nights)
  5. Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor – 3 avg. – 2 nights)

Poor Ann Arbor. Every other multi-night stand on this tour resulted in at least one great show.

Number of Shows Appearing as Show Highlight*:

  1. Weekapaug Groove, You Enjoy Myself (tie – 24 times featured as show highlight – 34.5% of total shows)
  2. Stash (23 – 33.1%)
  3. Mike’s Song, Tweezer (tie – 17 – 24.5%)
  4. Reba, Run Like an Antelope (tie – 15 – 21.6%)
  5. David Bowie (14 – 20.1%)

*excludes I Am Hydrogen, which only was ever listed as a highlight for being part of a great sequence.

No surprises here, I feel. I should note that I found “Harry Hood” to be a highlight of every show it was played at, but the band only played it during 11 shows. “Hood” was a rare treat on this tour.

Biggest “Bust-Outs”:

  1. Have Mercy (674 shows since last appearance)
  2. Halley’s Comet (475)
  3. Satin Doll (417)
  4. Punch You in the Eye (415)
  5. Makisupa Policeman (322)

I consider “Halley’s Comet” and “Punch You in the Eye” to be quintessential Phish songs, so it was good to see them revived on this tour. And while “Makisupa” might not be quintessential, I certainly enjoy its brand of goofiness. I hope it makes an appearance or two this summer. Noticeably absent this tour: “Slave to the Traffic Light” did not make a single appearance. I assumed this song never dropped of Phish’s rotation at any point, but clearly I was wrong. I’m now wondering if it will make an appearance in 1993 at all.

Most Common “Mike’s Groove” Interlude (29 total):

  1. I Am Hydrogen (24 – 82.8%)
  2. The Great Gig in the Sky (3 – 10.3%)
  3. Multiple song sequence (2 – 6.90%)

The multiple song sequences are from the 2/4 and 2/20 shows. For this list I only considered songs that appeared between the band playing “Mike’s Song” and “Weekapaug Groove.” There were a couple instances on this tour where “Mike’s” was played without “Weekapaug” later making an appearance.

Longest Songs of Tour:

  1. You Enjoy Myself (May 5th, Albany NY) – 32:33
  2. You Enjoy Myself (April 3rd, Vancouver CAN) – 27:11
  3. You Enjoy Myself (March 28th, Arcata CA) – 26:05
  4. You Enjoy Myself (April 24th, Potsdam NY) – 26:04
  5. You Enjoy Myself (April 22nd, Cleveland OH) – 25:38

I sense a trend here. I wonder if any song not named YEM will crack this list during the summer tour.

ntonsfh

Average Venue Capacity (by month):

  • February: 2011.4
  • March: 1746.6
  • April: 2107.2
  • May: 2818.3

The venue size remained relatively consistent across the tour. Some very small venues in California (under 1000 capacity) bring down the March average.

Most Played Debuts:

  1. Amazing Grace (25 performances – 36.0% of total shows – First Time Played: 2/3/93)
  2. Sample in a Jar (14 – 20.1% – 2/4/93)
  3. Loving Cup, The Wedge (tie – 8 – 11.5% – 2/3/93)
  4. The Great Gig in the Sky (7 – 10.1% – 3/18/93)
  5. Lifeboy (5 – 7.19% – 2/3/93)

Top Show Openers:

  1. Buried Alive (11 times played as show-opener – 15.9% of total shows)
  2. Chalk Dust Torture (9 – 13.0%)
  3. Llama, Runaway Jim (tie – 7 – 10.1%)
  4. Golgi Apparatus, Suzy Greenberg (tie – 6 – 8.70%)
  5. The Landlady (5 – 7.25%)

Top Set 1 Closers:

  1. Run Like an Antelope (23 times played as first set closer – 33.3% of total shows)
  2. David Bowie (16 – 23.2%)
  3. Cavern (13 – 18.8%)
  4. Golgi Apparatus (9 – 13.0%)
  5. Possum, Runaway Jim (tie – 3 – 4.35%)

Less diversity among set 1 closers than openers. A fierce battle between “Bowie” and “Antelope.”

Top Set 2 Openers:

  1. Axilla (10 times played as second set opener – 14.3% of total shows)
  2. Runaway Jim (8 – 11.4%)
  3. Chalk Dust Torture, Wilson (tie – 5 – 7.14%)
  4. Llama, My Friend, My Friend, Rift, Suzy Greenberg (tie – 4 – 5.71%)
  5. AC/DC Bag, Golgi Apparatus, Loving Cup, The Landlady (tie – 3 – 4.29%)

This list reflects the band’s strategy on this tour of opening the second set with a relatively concise composition (“Axilla,” “Chalk Dust,” “Wilson,” “Llama,” “Rift,” etc.) before diving into something with greater compositional or improvisational heft. The sole exception to this would seem to be “Jim,” which often featured an impressive guitar solo from Trey.

Top Set 2 Closers:

  1. Tweezer Reprise (14 times played as second set closer – 20.0% of total shows)
  2. Cavern (11 – 15.7%)
  3. Golgi Apparatus (7 – 10.0%)
  4. Amazing Grace, Possum, The Squirming Coil (tie – 5 – 7.14%)
  5. Big Black Furry Creatures from Mars (4 – 5.71%)

Top Encores:

  1. Amazing Grace (24 times performed as encore – 37.3% of total shows)
  2. Sweet Adeline, Tweezer Reprise (tie – 11 – 16.4%)
  3. Good Times Bad Times (10 – 14.9%)
  4. Carolina (8 – 11.9%)
  5. Fire, Rocky Top (tie – 7 – 10.4%)

If there’s any stat you would like to see that I didn’t post, just drop a comment below. As long as I can compute it with the data set I built, I’ll include it in a follow-up post responding to any requests I get.

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