Throughout 1994-1995 we see “2001” start to slightly evolve. The band plays around with set placement, as they give the song some fun loving treatment and a touch of funk. During these two years, “2001” is still primarily used as a celebratory opener, or a high energy song bridge to keep a set rocking. With some fun playfulness and important set placement, we get some of our first noteworthy versions.
In 1994 “2001” begins to appear less frequently compared to 1993, the year it debuted. In fact the show gap for “2001” from 04/21/1994 to 05/08/1994 is 14 shows (second longest ever). This is a far cry from the every show, debut explosion in 1993.
Here are some notable versions from the two year stretch:
06/17/1994 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
Kicking off the second set from the historic “OJ” show, this version is pure comedy. It sets the tone for one of the most fun shows in Phish history. It is not the tightest version, nor does it feature any serious jamming, but damn it is just so fun.
07/16/94 Summer Stage at Sugarbush, North Fayston, VT
This is actually the first time ever that “2001” does not open a set. Instead it is sandwiched right in the middle of the famous Sugarbush Comet “Harpua.” Coming out of “Harpua” the intro is badass and it works perfectly. There is some excellent work from Mike in this version.
10/15/1994 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Pelham, AL
This version has a crazy intro, where Trey says he “feels like farting” and Fish states “I bet Trey thinks this has gone on too long.” There is an awesome “Flashlight” (Parliament Funkadelic) themed jam. Check this one out, it will get you dancing.
12/06/1994 UCSB Events Center, University of California-Santa Barbara, Goleta, CA
This has one of my favorite intros with just the right amounts of pace, tightness, and rock. It is a good representative version of Fall 1994.
11/19/95 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
The first version to unanimously receive at least a 3 (out of 5) from my “2001 Jam Chart Panel.” It is a turning point that features the first real sort of improv jamming for “2001.” There are Hendrix style sounds from Trey during the improv and later some heavy Fish work. Trey flies the mothership around throughout. Great early version.
12/30/95 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
This is high pick for panel member Emil (of Emil’s Tabs). If you want an early, tight, rocking, fire layden version… this is a great example. It explodes out of Caspian.
Hope you enjoy these versions as much as our panel has. 1996 is a year that breathes new life into “2001.”
Post coming soon!