Archive for November, 2011


Gobble, Gobble motherfuckers…..Years before Worcester was the place to be on Thanksgiving, the Capitol Theatre in Portchester (or Port Chester) hosted  some great Turkey Day blowouts….This was perfect for me as my parents only lived 20 minutes from the theatre.  While we never got a 60 minute Runaway Jim or a Wipeout-laden slaughter fest like Worcester, the Thanksgiving shows at the Cap were always a killer time.  Following an opening stint for Blues Traveler on 10/6/90, Phish returned for their first headlining gig on 11/24/90.  This would be the first headlining show of 6 the band would play at this storied venue (plus the 10/6 opening slot show).  I was lucky enough to attend them all.  The Capitol Theatre was a historic venue, having hosted countless GD shows and others in the 60′s and early 70′s.  When I was growing up, it was mostly a movie theatre (I saw the AC/DC movie there.)  Situated right in the middle of downtown Portchester it was a snap to get to by car or train.  It bordered Connecticut so a lot of New England peeps would come, but it was also only a half hour train ride from NYC so there was a great mix of people.  I loved it because I could rock Las Brisas restaurant before the show, and still buy beer after the show (which was a no-go in Connecticut). There was always a pretty raging scene outside the venue and around the train station as well, which was pretty uncommon for the time.   It was fairly small and intimate by today’s standards, and the balcony and the lobby were both always rocking.

11/24/90 was pretty rad.  It was a huge place for Phish, the biggest I had seen them in up until that time, and I would be seeing them 2 days later on 11/26/90 in a venue a third of the size.  It was definitely a leap for them and signaled a change in venue size that would continue to grow for the next several years.  Listening back, the show itself is a bit uneven, but it still has some choice cuts:

Set 1Buried Alive > Possum[1]Foam > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove[2]The Squirming Coil > The LizardsThe Oh Kee Pa CeremonySuzy Greenberg > David Bowie[3] Set 2LlamaBouncing Around the RoomStashEliza > The Landlady > Runaway JimYou Enjoy Myself > Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head UpGood Times Bad Times[4]Big Black Furry Creature from Mars[2] EncoreLawn BoyDivided Sky

Buried Alive->Possum (with major Manteca teases) is a great opener and a mid first set Mike’s had the place rocking.   The first set closing Bowie is probably the set highlight.  Divided Sky in the E2 slot, also caught everyone by surprise.  Check out these cuts from the show:

A  burning early version of  Llama opens the second set and features a Buried Alive tease:


The Good Times Bad Times is way more bad than good and it’s pretty funny to hear the band abandon it and head for the BBFCM….flubs aren’t just for 3.0, kids….:


MP3 of entire show is here: http://www.mediafire.com/?uzgyon8sg5q86

After an awesome spring show at the Cap (4/27/91), the band headed back for what was now an annual Thanksgiving tradition and delivered this show on 11/30:

Set 1GlideLlamaFoamSparkleDivided SkyCavernThe Squirming Coil >BrotherPaul and Silas > Guelah PapyrusYou Enjoy Myself Set 2Chalk Dust TortureUncle PenHarry Hood[1]It’s Ice > Bouncing Around the RoomMy Sweet One > HornI Didn’t Know[2] > Run Like an AntelopeGolgi Apparatus EncoreContact > Rocky Top

Of all the shows at the Cap, this one might be my least favorite, but there is some very decent material including an almost 21 minute YEM to close the first set.

The Antelope from the second set kicks some major ass and contains a very early Simpsons tease:


MP3 of entire show here: http://www.mediafire.com/?cprgmbk1icjdc

I don’t have any ticket stubs from 11/24/90 or 11/30/91 because the Capitol Theatre was always a great place to pull the “I ordered my tickets from Ticketmaster and they never showed up in the mail…” deal….You would give them your order number or show them your credit card receipt and the nice little old lady would take out some blank Ticketmaster ticket stock and hand write the date and show for you and give you new “tickets”.  Then we’d go sell the real tickets or give them to our friends.  For some reason I didn’t end up with any of the handwritten ones in the long run, which is too bad because they were cool.  TM wised up after that, but I remember doing it for 6 tickets on 2/6/93 Roseland and that was the last time.  Anyway, I do have stubs for the next year’s two show Turkey Day blow out which were probably my two favorite shows at The Cap:


There is so much to like about both of these shows.  Almost everything is well played and both of these shows are definitely worth seeking out in their entirety.  The 27th was Jimi Hendrix’ 50th birthday and it was a hot show:

Set 1Rift > Wilson > Divided Sky > Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Split Open and MeltLawn BoyRebaLlama > MoundMemories,Runaway Jim Set 2AxillaPoor Heart > PossumGlide > It’s Ice > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > I Walk the Line > David BowieThe Horse > Silent in the Morning,FahtTake the ‘A’ Train > Cavern EncoreBold As Love

The first set starts out hot builds until a little rest with Lawn Boy.  Best ever Forbin’s>Mockingbird narration?  You be the judge:


Second set starts of with a new track Axilla and features semi-rarities I Walk The Line and Faht.  The Bowie is killer and has some McGrupp and Ring of Fire teases.

The Bold As Love encore was sick as hell.  In honor of Jimi’s birthday, Trey proceeded  to play between his legs, behind his back, behind his head and with his TEETH.  It was insane and unforgettable.   Check it out and imagine Trey playing this with his teeth:


The 28th brought the heat as well:

Set 1My Sweet OneFoamStashEstherChalk Dust TortureSparkleFast Enough for You > All Things ReconsideredMike’s SongI Am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove Set 2Suzy Greenberg > Paul and Silas > Tweezer > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu MalkenuMazeThe Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday Bouncing Around the RoomThe Squirming CoilLove You > Hold Your Head UpHarpua,Golgi Apparatus EncoreContact > Tweezer Reprise

My Sweet One starts things off but is interrupted quickly by equipment issues.  Fast Enough For You, in it’s fourth appearance, is well played as is All Things Reconsidered.  I love Mike’s Groove’s as a first set closer and this one is no exception.  Great way to wrap up the set and set the tone for Set 2.  The set two  Tweezer is awesome and the Harpua brings us back into Fish’s brain. My first Harpua since 5/9/92 and I was fired up.  Trey brought his Grandmother out on stage and danced with her during Contact, it was cool.  All in all, this was an amazing weekend at the Cap and the last time the band would play here.

Check out the Tweezer:


and this dope Harpua:


mp3 of the 27th here: http://www.mediafire.com/?c1xrs62d38wx2

mp3 of the 28th here: http://www.mediafire.com/?6oaua7pw3h2dm

Lossless:

There is a soundboard that circulates of both the 27th and the 28th, but for the 27th, the Neumann FOB is the one to grab: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=539209

There is a U87 pull from the 28th that rocks, but Elliot Byron’s Nak 30o source is also worth grabbing: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=523090

2/9/91 Smith College, Part Deux

Yeah, yeah, I know, recycling a show already.  Well, since I didn’t have time to do a full post, I figured I would post the glorious Harry Hood from Smith College.  It’s always bugged me that I didn’t include it in the original post, and besides, this Hood is so monster, it is more than deserving of it’s own post.  It’s just ridiculous…This Hood can go toe to toe with any Hood from any year and I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the best Hood from ’91, even slightly besting Potsdam.  If you have never heard this, I just don’t know what else to say…..enjoy:

 


12/31/91, The New Aud, Worcester, MA

With all of the hubbub surrounding the coming 2011-2012 New Years run, I thought I would reach back to showcase an older New Years show.  Following the fiasco that was New Years 1990, everyone had high hopes for the 1991-1992 celebration in Worcester.  Couple that with the fact that Phish was coming off a year that saw their popularity  and playing level growing exponentially, we hoped we were in for a biggie.  This show was by far the biggest Phish show to date and I will never forget my amazement when I found myself in a show with 4000 people.  Just a short year ago, that would have been unthinkable.  It just seemed gargantuan at the time.  The New Aud is an old building from the Thirties with giant columns on the outside and ornate fixtures inside (more on those later).  It was a freezing cold night, as we made our way from our hotel which was located in a super sketch part of town.  Funnily enough, the band was also staying at the same cruddy hotel.  The show was a 3 set affair, with mostly typical ’91 song selection:

Set 1: Possum, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, Lizards,Guelah Papyrus, Divided Sky, Esther> Llama, Golgi Apparatus

Set 2: Brother, Bouncing Around the Room, Buried Alive > Auld Lang Syne > Runaway Jim, The Landlady > Reba, Cavern, My Sweet One, Run Like an Antelope

Set 3: Wilson > The Squirming Coil > Tweezer > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

Encore: Lawn Boy > Rocky Top >Tweezer Reprise

First set saw the band finding their groove and learning (with the audience) how to fill a room that big.  Second set highlight was obviously the new years countdown with the fantastic selection of Buried Alive>Countdown/Auld Lang Syne>Runaway Jim.  Considering Buried Alive is one of my very favorite songs, this is one of my favorite all-time countdowns.  The other set highlight is a burning Antelope which kicks into gear after an initial misstep.  The third set was the bomb drop.  Opening with a funny version of Wilson (with the “Fuck You” talkbox keychain) and an oddly-placed Coil, the set proceeded to slaughter faces with an insane Tweezer>McGrupp>Mike’s Groove to finish it up.  The Tweezer set a new standard for Tweezer and I think is possibly the longest one to date at that time clocking in at over 13 minutes.  The Tweezer had the whole venue fully locked in and I felt like  my feet were floating about 6″ off the ground.  Same exact thing happened to me during the Albany ’95 YEM.  The Mike’s Song is banging too, and during that, the winged bird above the stage (see pic below) seemed to multiply and start flying around the stage in circles.  It was sick.  Also of note, this was the first show where they showcased the new plexi-glass backdrop which they used for a few years.  I actually missed the old roll-up melty one, but the plexi one was dope too.  The next day we were leaving our hotel and Phish had parked their van next to ours and were leaving at the same time.  I told Trey how my feet levitated off the ground during Tweezer and he seemed to get a kick out of it.  Maybe he was just laughing at me?  Who knows.

Sadly, The New Aud has fallen on hard times and is now used to house all of  Worcester’s court records going back to 1900.  What as shame.  As you can see, the place was really nice inside and a very cool place for a show.  Check out all the court records and the cool bird thing that flew around for me:

This Tweezer is not under the radar by any means, but if you have never heard it, you are in for a treat.  If you have not heard it in a while, it deserves another listen:


MP3 of the whole show is here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca58e06906cd39ec0f

Lossless not currently on etree, but possibly coming soon…..

4/23/93 Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

This was a good show.  Pretty small for the time, it was held in the school gym/basketball court.  I had caught the beginning of this tour, then some of the middle stuff in Colorado and this was the first one back on the east coast for me.  Again, this was another marathon tour that started in the beginning of February.  Almost 3.5 months, culminating with the masterpiece that is 5/8/93 (Hi Carlotta!).  This show was the “Spring Fling” concert for Colgate and as such, there were a wide variety of attendees, only about half of which were Phish heads.  I do remember getting into this show was one of the greatest squish-fests of all time.  I think I may not have even had my feet on the ground when I was crushed through the door.  Same thing happened to me for Pink Floyd in ’87 at Giants Stadium, but that’s to be expected at a stadium show, not a Phish show on a college campus.  By the time we got in, we were mostly all the way back on the floor, which was still really close to the stage.  Phish was basically playing under where one of the basketball hoops  would be and the back of the floor was pretty much the other hoop.  It was small and packed. This was not the kind of college basketball arena you would find at a larger university, it was a small gym.  Incidentally, the Dead played this same room in 1977 which is pretty unbelievable.

Set 1: Runaway Jim, Weigh > Sparkle, Split Open and Melt, Fluffhead, My Friend, My Friend> Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, Lawn Boy, Chalk Dust Torture

Set 2: Golgi Apparatus, MazeThe Ballad of Curtis Loew, It’s Ice > Paul and Silas > Big Ball Jam, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove[3], Hold Your Head Up > Lengthwise >Hold Your Head Up,The Squirming Coil, Highway to Hell

Encore: Fire

The first set is very well played but fairly pedestrian.  Highlight for me was an acoustic guitar ending to Fluffhead that lead into the acoustic intro to My Friend, My Friend.  It’s butter.  Second set starts with a typical Golgi that launches into a pretty smoking Maze.  After Maze came the first show highlight for me, the rarely played Curtis Loew.  I had seen 106 shows up until this point and had still not seen the Lo-Lo.  It was my white whale.  Obviously, I was freaking the fuck out when they played it.  Great, great version too with Page giving it his all vocally…  And, unless you count the Big Cypress Soundcheck (which I do, and don’t), it was the only time I have ever seen it in  320 shows. A very  well-played version  of  It’s Ice follows with the EZ-gliders which was always pretty cool.  All Spring ’93 It’s Ices are choice IMO and this one doesn’t disappoint.  Worth seeking out.  I was enjoying this show for sure and honestly could have left happy after the Curtis Loew.  Next, we get a Paul and Silas which is pretty much my cowboy tune of choice.  After a ball jam we get to the meat of set, a sweetly placed mid-set Mike’s.  The Mike’s has a killer intro and the Hydrogen is money, but the highlight of this is by far the Weekapaug.  It is the the pinnacle of the show for sure and one of my top all-time Weekapaugs.  There are so many great ones out there, but this one goes places I have not heard before or since.  Do yourself a flavor and check it out below.  The rest of the show does not reach the heights of the Weekapaug, but it is still great.  Mimi Fishman comes out (as was an upstate tradition) and does a great job playing the vac with Jon on Lengthwise which also has some funny banter, and then a Coil and Highway to Hell to close the set.  During Highway to Hell, Mike picked up some of the team cheer signs (We Win In Our Gym for example) and held them over his head for most of the song.  It was then I realized that there is no bass part during the verse section of Highway, he only plays during the chorus.  Huh.  Fire topped it off nicely and we all left happy for the short drive to Potsdam for the next nights show at Clarkson.  All in all, this show has some very good playing and is definitely worth downloading and digging into.

At the very least, this Weekapaug Groove is a must-hear:


(Edit to Add:  The file for the Weekapaug keeps going missing for some reason– I am working on it and re-posting as it happens….sorry…If it’s gone, check back later, it’s worth it!)

For fun, here’s my one and only Curtis Loew:


MP3 of the whole show is here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335caa5253c9a0cc788a6

Lossless version is here (thanks Superfreakie!): http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=549664

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