The Palace Theatre was a cool place to see Phish. I didn’t make it to this show but got to see the monster show the next night in Binghamton (post forthcoming). I did see the last two shows at the Palace in December and have some cool stories to share about those shows in a later post. Anyway, all New Haven shows were rad because you could hit Frank Pepe or Sally’s for pizza pre-show (or hunt for records at Cutlers) and you could rock Mamouns after the show…Food aside, New Haven has always brought out the best in Phish. Even though I did not attend this show, I have always been a fan of the “Andrew Jam” from the soundcheck….Named for then tour manager Andrew Fischbeck (who was always really generous with putting me on the list), this jam is pretty well known….for those who have never had a chance to check it out, here you go. Good stuff if you ask me…..
Tomorrow being 10/6, I figured I would throw up a quick one from the first time Phish played the Capitol Theatre. I’ll get more into the significance of the Capitol Theatre when I showcase a full, headlining show from this venue in the future. I first went to the Capitol in 1982 or 1983 when I went to see the AC/DC Let There Be Rock concert film, which did indeed rock. This was a somewhat “hometown” show for me as my parents lived right over the border in Connecticut. My friend Jeannie worked at Utopia (local head shop) where they had a Ticketmaster outlet. She got me the first ticket out of the computer (check it out above), front row center. Stoked! Unfortunately, this was not a headlining gig and Teh Phish was opening up for Blues Traveler. It’s interesting to look back at the paths each band has taken, but at this time, BT was the hottest thing going on the jam band scene (to most people) with Phish and Spin Doctors battling it out for second. Funny how things change…..Anyway, this was pretty hot for a one set show and they closed with the debut of the Popper/Anastasio tune “Don’t Get Me Wrong”. A pretty straight-ahead rock tune, they only did this one three times…
Check it out:
A pretty cool rocker, but nothing insane….gets kind of funky halfway through and ends with a pretty slick vocal jam and a trombone squawk from Fish. Not a bad start to a venue they would be headlining (and destroying) only 5 weeks later on 11/24. The Blues Traveler set was pretty decent too as crowd energy was high and they hadn’t burned everyone out on their set yet….
Yikes…Been a really long time since the last post….Just when I thought I was recovered from the Gorge Rock and Roll, I got walloped by the Denver run….Anyway, I’m almost back to normal and I have a ton of good stuff on deck….Where to start with The Haunt? A classic venue if ever there was one. Along with Keene, NH and Northampton, MA., Ithaca was becoming a home away from home for the band around this time. Phish played The Haunt no less than five times in 1990. While I was lucky enough to live 5 blocks away during this time, I only caught the last two, 10/1 and this one, which ended up being the last time Phish would be able to play such a small place in Ithaca. I’m calling capacity of the old (it has since moved to a larger room) Haunt at 250-300 max. When Phish came back in February for the State Theater show, there was at least 3 times as many people in attendance. Admission for the Haunt shows was always $5, no advanced sales, just line up and hope you make it in. By the time they had come back for the fifth time, the secret was out and people were being turned away. I tried to find some pictures of the old venue (as is customary with this blog), but could not find any anywhere on the net, only pics of the new one (which looks way wack in comparison). The original Haunt was just a little kind of house located right downtown at the back of a wide alley, which made for a good hangout before and during the show. This is what it looks like now:
As you can see from the size of the building, the place is/was freaking teeny. It is probably the smallest place I have ever seen Phish except maybe Nietzches in Buffalo or Club Quattro in Japan. I would be really surprised if 300 people could fit in there. You would walk in and be immediately facing the bar. There was a small back area to the left and if you went right, it was about 100 feet to the stage and only about 50′ wide. When Phish played there, the place was jam packed. It was just a hot, hot, sweatbox and the kids in Ithaca around this time were going insane for Phish, as you can hear on the tapes. It kind of reminded me a little bit of the Front but was a good deal smaller. The best part about the Haunt was that they hosted some national acts ( a lot of reggae) and because of that, they had an amazing sound system. It was so loud in there, just in your face with nowhere to run, kind of like CB’s because you were just packed in so tight. In fact, I think CBGB was very close to size of the Haunt, so if you ever went there, you get the picture. The stage was about 3′ tall, if that. You could just stand there with Trey’s guitar two feet from your face and blow huge weed hits in his face. It rocked.
There is a lot to like about this show, I mean look at that fucking setlist…..Highlights include an early Manteca during the great YEM vocal jam (the original YEMteca?) and possibly my favorite Bowie intro ever. It’s short, but I could listen to the Mo’ Better Blues section of that intro on a loop for-flippin-ever. The shows at the Haunt were always about the energy, so hopefully some of it comes through on tape. There is a great Schoeps source taped by Dan O’Neil, but copies of it that circulate widely are a fairly high gen. Still, the sound is pretty good, just not as good as the copies we got the week after this show.
Check out this HYHU->Whipping Post->HYHU which features some great drumming from Trey and some shitty (but uber-rare) guitar playing from “Bob Seeger” (who’s original vacuum was on it’s last legs):