Summer ’93: Stat Breakdown (Part I)

I noticed as I was working on this post that it was beginning to become very long, so I’ve decided to split it into two posts. The second half, with the remaining computations, will go live exactly one week from today on September 28th.

All of my prefatory comments to the Winter/Spring ’93 stats post apply here; namely, that the data I used for all of these calculations comes from what I actually listened to, so any songs that were missing from audience tapes I listened to were also not included here. Unlike that earlier tour, however, no full sets or shows are missing from the summer ’93 tape record, so at most a couple openers and encores are missing from my data set. These small discrepancies between the data I used and the data on, say,, shouldn’t have too much of an impact on these rankings.

In addition to tracking what songs had the greatest impact on the tour (one of the main reasons I find these posts interesting), I’m also interested in how the importance of songs changes across tours. I’ve thus added some notations to indicate how songs have moved up or down in these charts since the Winter/Spring tour. So, for example, (∧2) indicates a song has moved up two spots on the chart since the last tour, (v1) indicates a song has dropped one position on the chart since the last tour, (*) indicates a song that did not appear on the chart during the last tour, and (-) indicates a song is occupying the same slot it did on the last tour. The “delisted” line beneath a chart lists songs that were ranked during the last tour but got knocked off on this tour. The number in parentheses indicates the number of consecutive appearances on the chart before being knocked-off (as I have only done one prior stats post, this number is 1 for all delisted songs in this post). I know this all sounds somewhat jargony, but I think it’s pretty comprehensible once you start reading the lists.

So without further ado, here is my stats breakdown of Phish’s summer 1993 tour!

Most-Played “Songs”:

  1. Rift (∧2) (23 performances – played in 69.7% of total shows)
  2. Hold Your Head Up (∨1) (21 – 63.6%)
  3. 2001 (*) (20 – 60.6%)
  4. It’s Ice (∧1) , Maze (∧1), Poor Heart (∧1), Sparkle (-) (tie – 16 – 48.5%)
  5. Chalk Dust Torture (*), Stash (*) (tie – 15 – 45.5%)

Delisted: Big Ball Jam (1), You Enjoy Myself (1)

Rift songs continue to dominate, as “Rift,” “It’s Ice,” “Maze,” and “Sparkle” all at least maintain their chart positions. “Stash” only barely missed the cut-off during the last tour, and ekes its way in this time. I really do like “Rift,” but after hearing it so many times both this tour and last, and because of the almost complete lack of variance between performances, it’s basically become background noise to me at this point. I wouldn’t mind if they eased off that particular song a bit next tour. I’ll be curious to see if “2001” is as prominent during the next tour, or if its set-opening prevalence will be a gimmick limited to this tour.


This album continues to hold tremendous sway over setlists

Most-Played Songs*:

  1. Rift (-) (23 – 69.7%)
  2. 2001 (*) (20 – 60.6%)
  3. It’s Ice (-), Maze (-), Poor Heart (-), Sparkle (∨1) (tie – 16 – 48.5%)
  4. Chalk Dust Torture (*), Stash (-) (tie – 15 – 45.5%)
  5. Cavern (-), Daniel Saw the Stone (*), The Squirming Coil (*) (tie – 14 – 42.4%)

*excludes Hold Your Head Up and Big Ball Jam.

Delisted: You Enjoy Myself (1), Amazing Grace (1)

Nothing too surprising here, except perhaps the delisting of “YEM” (the song only barely missed the list, making 13 total appearances). “Big Ball Jam” really started to fall out of rotation this tour; making only four appearances each month. It’ll be interesting to see if this “song” continues to fall out of fashion or if it makes a resurgence in ’94. I thought “Amazing Grace” might disappear entirely after its ubiquity during the winter/spring tour, and while the band’s a-cappella “Free Bird” did displace it somewhat, the spiritual still made a healthy 10 appearances.

Shows Rated 5/5: 7/24 (Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts, Mansfield MA), 8/2 (Ritz Theatre, Tampa FL), 8/7 (Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center NY), 8/13 (Murat Theatre, Indianapolis IN), 8/15 (The Macauley Theater, Louisville KY), 8/16 (American Theater, St. Louis MO), 8/20 (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO), 8/26 (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland OR)

I gave more shows a 5/5 this tour than I did during the winter/spring tour, despite the W/S tour containing over twice as many shows.

Shows Rated 2/5 or 1/5: 7/21 (Orange County Fairgrounds, Middletown NY), 7/29 (Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville TN)

I gave the same number of shows a 2/5 or lower during the W/S tour, suggesting that while the W/S tour might not have reached the highest of peaks as often as this tour, it may have actually been more consistent in quality.

Best Rated Multi-night Stand: There were no multi-night stands on this tour! 33 shows, 33 venues. That compares to 10 separate multi-night stints during the Winter/Spring tour.

Biggest “Bust-Outs”:

  1. Free Bird (569 shows since last appearance, date of bust out: 7/15)
  2. Who Knows (510, 8/9)
  3. Sparks (392, 8/2)
  4. La Grange (310, 8/2)
  5. Dog Log (283, 8/2)

“Free Bird” reappeared in a major way this tour, making a total of 13 appearances, but was more or less nothing but a gag (giving the crowd the what of “what song is it you want to hear?”, but not the how the crowd expected). “Who Knows” was fun, but short and unfinished (to the point that I debated considering just a tease). “Sparks” and “La Grange” are always awesome, and I was glad to see the latter make more than one appearance. “Dog Log” is one of those quintessentially quirky Phish songs that I always enjoy hearing. While it may not have been one of the top 5 “biggest” bust-outs in terms of shows since last appearance, certainly the most important bust-out of summer ’93 was the return of “Slave to the Traffic Light.” “Slave” made two stunning appearances in August, after being absent from the stage since 1991.


“What song is it you wanna hear?”

Most Common “Mike’s Groove” Interlude (7 total):

  1. Leprechaun (*) (2 – 28.6%)
  2. Faht (*), Ginseng Sullivan (*), Multiple Song Sequence (∧1), The Great Gig in the Sky (-), Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (*) (tie – 1 – 14.3%)

Delisted: I Am Hydrogen (1)

“I Am Hydrogen” dominated this category last tour, but in a complete about-face, was not played once this entire tour. Instead, the band kept things varied and played something different in this slot just about every Mike’s Groove. This might be the one slot I actually enjoyed “Faht” in, as it worked well on 8/16 as an ambient interlude between epic performances of both “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug.” I also particularly enjoyed the acoustic “Ginseng” on 8/24. The multiple song sequence is from 8/2, and the setlist for that Mike’s Groove was: “Mike’s Song -> Sparks > The Ballad of Curtis Loew > Rift, The Squirming Coil, Weekapaug Groove.”

And hey, at least “Leprechaun” is #1 in something, right?

Top Show Openers:

  1. Buried Alive (-), Llama (∧2), Chalk Dust Torture (∧1) (4 times played as show opener – 12.1% of total shows)
  2. Rift (*), 2001 (*), Wilson (*), Runaway Jim (∧1), AC/DC Bag (*) (2 – 6.06%)

Delisted: Golgi Apparatus (1), Suzy Greenberg (1), The Landlady (1)

Eleven other songs were all played once as show opener. In order of appearance, these are: Daniel Saw the Stone, The Landlady, All Things Reconsidered, Funky Bitch, Contact, Split Open and Melt, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Lengthwise, Sample in a Jar, Axilla, and Divided Sky.

As you can see, I will only be considering songs that were featured in this spot at least once for these lists. The only “2001” show-openers were during one-set shows. I’m happy to see “AC/DC Bag” slowly moving towards its classic (IMO) spot. Otherwise, nothing too surprising here.

Top Set 1 Closers:

  1. Cavern (∧2) (10 times played as set 1 closer – 30.3% of total shows)
  2. David Bowie (-), The Squirming Coil (*) (4 – 12.1%)
  3. Golgi Apparatus (∧1) (3 – 9.09%)
  4. Runaway Jim (∧1), Run Like an Antelope (∨3), Daniel Saw the Stone (*) (2 – 6.06%)

Delisted: Possum (1)

Six other songs were all played once as set 1 closer. In order of appearance, these are: You Enjoy Myself, Possum, La Grange, Suzy Greenberg, Chalk Dust Torture, Crimes of the Mind.

It really felt like “Cavern” dominated this slot, so I’m not surprised to see that reflected by the numbers. “Coil” continues to make mid-set appearances, but also is becoming increasingly comfortable here. “Antelope” slipped quite a bit due to it becoming a second-set mainstay, instead of being an almost exclusively set one affair.

Okay, that’s enough for today! Another 1000+ word post will be incoming in exactly a week as I continue to dive into the numbers behind Phish’s summer ’93 tour.


This entry was posted in 1993, Debrief, Summer 1993 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Summer ’93: Stat Breakdown (Part I)

  1. Pingback: Summer ’93: Stat Breakdown (Part II) | Undecided, undefined

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