Phish and The Aquarium Rescue Unit were both staples of the early 90s jam scene as members of the first H.O.R.D.E. tour along with Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, The Samples, and The Spin Doctors. Even before this iconic tour, however, the bands were friendly, having shared bills around the country and supported one another in various regions. While many of the individual members of Col. Bruce Hampton‘s Aquarium Rescue Unit have sat in with Phish over the years, it was rarer that the entire ARU would join Phish on stage.
On May 5th, 1993 the Aquarium Rescue Unit did just that, joining Phish on stage at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY, exactly 29 years ago tonight. After a rocking performance that featured some great work on classics like “Stash”, “It’s Ice”, and “My Friend, My Friend”, Phish launched into “You Enjoy Myself” to close out the second set. Instead of the traditional vocal jam that concludes the song, the group launched into a musical jam and welcomed a number of great guests to the stage, including Col. Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring, Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Sipe, and The Dude Of Life. With Jon Fishman on vacuum, the nine musicians went to town on their instruments, inciting a full-on musical celebration.
Listen to this monster jam session below.
Phish — Palace Theatre — 5/5/1993 — Full Show
Setlist: Phish | Palace Theatre | Albany, NY | 5/5/93
Set 1: Rift, Guelah Papyrus, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice > Glide > Maze, Golgi Apparatus
Set 2: Runaway Jim -> My Friend, My Friend -> Manteca -> My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart > Weigh > Big Ball Jam > Ya Mar, You Enjoy Myself -> Jam
Encore: Amazing Grace, Cavern > Take the ‘A’ Train > Cavern Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Unfinished with no vocal jam.
 The Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Dude of Life. Fish on vacuum.
 Without microphones.
Notes: It’s Ice contained a tease of Pop Goes the Weasel from Page and Maze contained Mission: Impossible theme teases from Page. The beginning of My Friend featured Trey on acoustic guitar. Trey dedicated Ya Mar to Sue on her birthday. Ya Mar subsequently included a Two Princes tease. YEM contained a La Marseillaise tease from Page and Yield Not to Temptation teases, did not contain a vocal jam, and was unfinished. The jam after YEM featured The Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Dude of Life, and Fish on vacuum. Amazing Grace was performed without microphones. The soundcheck’s Funky Bitch Blues contained a Funk #49 tease.[Originally published 5/5/18]