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To wrap up their mammoth Spring ’91 tour, Phish played one final show on the UVM campus at Billings Student Center in the tiny Cooks Commons cafeteria.  This was billed as an Earth Day show (as was the previous day’s show at Potsdam).  My friend Brooke was organizing the show so we arrived in Burlington early in the afternoon and started helping her set up.  My job was to go get the hummus and bagels for the band room.  This was possibly the smallest show I have ever seen.  The place was PACKED but there could not have been more than 200 people there.  The place was a tiny cafeteria.  It was surrounded by windows but they had covered them all up so people couldn’t see in, I guess.  We set up our taping gear in front of the soundboard which was about 25′ back from the stage.  I think there was only one other tape rig there. As with the previous nights at the end of this tour, the band was primed from two and a half months on the road.  That said, I think everyone was a little tired from the long tour.  Still, you could tell the band was stoked to be home and the show was a good one:

Set 1The Curtain > Runaway JimThe SlothRebaPoor HeartLlamaGuelah PapyrusThe Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg,  TweezerTweezer Reprise

Set 2Chalk Dust TortureBathtub GinUncle PenThe Landlady > Destiny Unbound,The Squirming CoilStashMy Sweet One > The LizardsHighway to Hell

EncoreLawn Boy > Rocky Top

Phish.Net lists Tweezer and Tweezer Reprise as Encore 2’s, but that’s incorrect.  Tweezer was played after Suzy and then they brought the whole crew up to the stage and presented them with personalized bowling balls to thank them for a successfully completed tour.  Apparently, there were some heated bowling matches that occurred throughout the tour.  It was a pretty sweet gesture and once the crew had left the stage, the band closed the first set with a very early version of Tweezer Reprise.  This was a really fun show to attend and a great way to cap off a monster tour.  Of note is the first ever Poor Heart and a great Gin.  After the show, I went back to the band room to clean up the hummus and Mike was there macking on it.  There was pair of Fish’s drum sticks on the table but Mike seemed to be the last guy there.  I asked him if I could grab the sticks since everyone else had cleared out and he just kind of shrugged, so I have the sticks used to play this show in my closet.  The sources of this show that circulate leave a bit to be desired.  The source in the link below has a slightly too slow first set and a slightly sped up second set….I’ll have to grab the masters AUD’s from the Duck and transfer them.  I could not find a lossless source online.

Even with the lacking sources, this Chalkdust sounds good and was a hot way to open the second set:

And this Lizards remains in top 3 of versions I have seen.  It was amazing on this night and possibly the set highlight (which is rare for Lizards!):

Here’s a link to the MP3 source but it’s got some pitch issues.  Still, it’s worth a listen until the better source gets posted: http://www.mediafire.com/?buze652m2s6us


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**Edit to Add:  See the comments  from a reader, the first track may not be from Wendell session.  I am looking into it.  Anyway, I’ll leave the post up so the tracks can be heard, but I might be fully wrong on the source.  Stay tuned!**

**Edit to Add Part Deux:  Please disregard original post.  The first track, now amended to read 1995, was recorded sometime in early 1995, not 1990 as originally posted below.  Thanks to Kevin Hollo for bringing my lack of fact checking to the forefront!  Either way, I think both versions are worth a listen or two.**

Here’s another quickie post from the Wendell Studios session….This is the Strange Design from that session, 5 years before it made it’s debut on stage.  I never realized it was such an old song.  While we’re on it, I’ve included the studio version of Strange Design that was recorded for the Billy Breathes album but was cut from the LP and only made it onto the “Free” CD single… This song really hit home for me on New Years ’95…Other times, not so much, but depending on your mood it can be great (kinda like Waste)…I think the studio versions are pretty interesting (I especially like the ’96 version) and it’s cool to hear the progression…

Studio Version 1995:

Studio Version 1996:

2/14/91 The State Theatre, Ithaca, NY

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Phish in Ithaca.  At the State Theatre.  On Valentine’s Day.  It almost sounded too good to be true.  Those of us who had caught the last show at Smith College knew the band was en fuego.  For the rest of the folks in town, the chance to see a local favorite go from playing our little town bar to our local movie theatre was a no-brainer.  We were stoked.  The State Theatre was a run down little movie theatre right downtown, and most of us had only been there for movies.  I don’t remember any gigs there before this one, but there were some good ones after this (Taj Mahal comes to mind.)  Phish played the State a second and final time on 9/26/91.   Ithaca’s State Theatre first opened its doors on the evening of December 6, 1928 . Originally not a theatre, the building had started out as a security garage and automobile showroom in 1915, but this business moved out in 1927.  You can find out more than you ever wanted to know about the State Theatre here: http://www.historicithaca.org/about/past-projects/state-theatre/ 

The show itself is pretty solid, check the setlist:

Set 1My Sweet OneMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Buried Alive >RebaDestiny UnboundCavernThe Mango SongStashLawn BoyThe Oh Kee Pa CeremonyGolgi Apparatus

Set 2Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug GrooveFoamThe Squirming CoilRunaway JimEstherAlumni BluesBouncing Around the RoomI Didn’t Know,The LandladyPossum

EncoreUncle PenLa Grange

The song selection definitely delivers.  Opening up with the obligatory My Sweet One, McGrupp was an unexpected surprise in the two slot.  The show was packed (even the balcony was pretty full) and most people seemed to be digging it.  I did hear some grumbles from old school fans that were not happy with the move from frat parties and bars to a theatre, but you can never please everyone (nor can you stop progress).  We had met up with the band before the show and my friend Vinnie had given Mike one of those electric plants that dances to the music, except for he had put a fish on top of it.  Mike put it on top of his amp and we could see it jamming the whole show, it was funny as hell. This was the “original” Couch Tour show.  My friend Ben Weinstein, who was at Cornell, directed (live!) the show for Ithaca Public Access so the whole show was simulcast on regular TV for those that did not make it.  The video circulates widely now, but in pretty poor quality.  Even my low gen copies have degraded over time (VHS sucks it).  It’s still cool to have a multi-cam shoot available from this era and considering it was directed live and not edited in post, it came out pretty good.  While the show was not mind blowing, it was still a great time and a good launching pad for the nationwide tour.  After Destiny Unbound (which was a first for many of us), Trey announced that they would be giving away their old tour van to someone in the crowd as they had purchased a new one and had both vehicles at the show.  I, for one, had forgotten about the  giveaway, until during I Didn’t Know when they brought out Fish in a blindfold, turned him around a bunch of times and had him throw the keys into the audience.  I was way in the back, but I will never forget hearing my good friend Toast yell “Yes!” as the keys hit his hands.  You can even hear it on the tapes.  I reached out to  Toast (now a dad named “Eric”) last week and asked him to share his recollections of this all-time classic moment:

“I went to the show with Kellaine and my buddy Sean. I think I had eaten shrooms before the show, my recollection of the show is hazy. I was on the floor with Kellaine when Trey announced they were giving away their touring van. Fish turned his back to the stage and threw the keys in the crowd. I didn’t see them, I just put my hand up and the key fell right into my palm. It took a second to realize what happened, when I did I shoved the keys into my pocket. Then the spotlight found me, they pulled me up on stage, congratulated me, and told me to come see them after the show. The rest of the show is a haze, I was so freaking psyched! I pictured this school bus parked out front of the State that me and my friends could tour around in.

After the show I went backstage with the band. My buddy Adam Fells was working security at the show. Adam, Kellaine and I ended hanging out with the band for a while after the show. The band was really into the novelty of the giveaway or maybe they were just psyched to get rid of the van. They  told me it was the first vehicle they had and it had taken them to every show up until then. They gave me the other keys to the van. No paperwork, just the keys. They joked about returning anything that they left in the van, I promised I would. I had no idea what the van was.

About an hour after the show Kellaine, Sean and I walked out of the State Theater to see an old Dodge minivan parked right in front. The band took one more look through the van for anything they may have forgot, took the license plate off the van and walked off.

I didn’t try to start it, we all went to Micawbers Bar and celebrated with some beers.

After Micawbers we went back to the State to look over the van and get it home. The van had over 170K miles on it (the odometer stopped working at 170K), there were no seats in the back, just a queen mattress. It smelled really bad!

The van had no plates, and I had no papers saying it was mine. It took a jump-start but the engine turned over and started. Driving from theater back to our house was a long winding uphill drive, almost immediately I knew there were major issues. The van wouldn’t shift out of first gear. Turning was as bad, and the van swayed back and forth as we climbed up Hudson St. I later found out both sway bars were broken, the transmission was shot and the engine was running on two cylinders.

Here’s a partial list of the items I found in the van:

Several books – Sean has them all, don’t remember what they were
half oz of leaf shake
lots of clothes
sage
picture of Fish from Senior Prom w/ date

The van sat for weeks at our house on Kendall. I couldn’t register it, it could barely drive and I wasn’t about to pay for insurance. Summer was coming, we would be moving out of the house and I need to find something to do with the van. If I had I the foresight to put the van in a storage unit, I would have done it. I’ve been told I should have done that a thousand times. But I didn’t. I sold the van to a farmer who was going to use it to carry hay on his farm so it didn’t need to be registered (yeah, kills me), but he had the cash, I needed to move the van, and I sold it. I got $600 and was happy. I could buy some weed, pay some bills and start packing up for summer tour with the Dead.

A few weeks later I received a hand-delivered summons to our house on Kendall Ave. I was being sued. I guess the farmer didn’t think the van was worth $600 and wanted his money back. The problem was, I had spent the money. I tried explaining to the farmer what had happened but he was pissed and wanted his money (understandably). The funny thing is I actually drew up a contract when I sold the van stating the van was of unknown origin and included a bunch of other declarations, and it held up in court!

For a while I had copy of the show from later that tour where my buddy Al told Trey I was being sued and he announced it at the show.  Trey said something to the extent, “remember that guy that won our van, he sold it, spent the money on weed and is being sued.” Pretty accurate.

For the next few years I would go to shows and tell the crew I had stuff from the van I needed to return to the band (like they said!) and I got in (and backstage) to many shows.

It’s been twenty years and I still regularly have people ask about the van. I guess it’s my 15 minutes of phame which I have always been grateful for having.”

I remember being out in front of the State when the band was getting the rest of their stuff out of the van and we were all out there congratulating Toast.  I remember them walking away and then Trey coming back and saying he forgot something and going under the dash and getting a bag of brown stems and seeds.  We were all like “homey, we’ll hook you with the good” but he just laughed and left with his schwag.  While the show is not one I go back to listen to, it conjures up a ton of great memories.  We skipped the next night in Keene (mistake) and headed straight to NYC for the 2/16 show which is deserving of it’s own post in the future….

I couldn’t find a copy of the audio being seeded on etree and there is not one on the google mp3 spreadsheet either sooooo……I am going to post a video.  Below is the Destiny Unbound, after which, Trey talks about the van giveaway:

The video of the whole show (at least what circulates) can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvhCw7LG-7E

1/28/90 The Front, Burlington, VT.

This isn’t a show I attended, but it was one of the earliest tapes I had.  This was one of the very first shows that both sets circulated widely as a soundboard.  Usually we had one set or the other, so it was great when the soundboard of the complete show came around shortly after the show.  Unfortunately, the analog tapes we got back then sounded better than the multi-gen source that ended up getting digitized years later.  Since it is coming up on the 22 year anniversary, I wanted to do a short post to highlight a track I wish they would bring back.  I will do a complete review of the Front when I showcase a show that I attended there, but here is the setlist from this night:

Set 1Suzy GreenbergSplit Open and MeltTela > FluffheadLa GrangeCarolina,Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Communication Breakdown

Set 2Wilson[1]Run Like an AntelopeBouncing Around the RoomCaravanThe Squirming Coil > You Enjoy Myself > Bathtub GinMike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove

EncoreLawn Boy > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars[2]

Obviously a hot setlist and this show is worth seeking out.  It was one of my favorites back in the day and showcases a band in transition (tons of youthful energy, not too much polish). Some good olden times banter too. Of note is the first ever “heavy metal” Wilson to open the second set and a very early (3rd ever version) of Bouncing Around the Room.  It is the first set closer that got me to put this show up, Communication Breakdown.  Only played four times (three of them in a row from this week) they tear through it.  While it is definitely a little sloptastic, they make up for it with raw energy.  You know the pit at The Front was popping off when they dropped into this one.  Check it out:

MP3 of the whole show can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?lcc0nv3p5dt5r

2/6/93 Roseland Ballroom, NYC, NY


I freaking love this show for some reason.  I think it is super solid throughout.  Third show at Roseland and the best of the four times they played there in my opinion.  Could have been the four-way  paper (well, you can’t just eat a part of a strawberry, right?), but the tapes support my claims.  In my opinion Roseland is a pretty meh venue with poor sightlines and a kind of generic feel but it is certainly a historic venue having hosted some of the greats back in the day (Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Glen Miller).  Found out while doing this blog entry that Roseland was originally opened in Philly in 1917, but relocated to NYC in 1919.  Huh.  My first time at Roseland was seeing The Kinks and Cyndi Lauper on 12/31/84 which was a pretty rad New Years show for the time (for a fifteen year old).  I had also been to the 3/14/92 show the year before.  The night before (2/5) was pretty good and featured the just brought back Punch You In The Eye.  I also caught my first Lovin’ Cup which had debuted earlier in the week.  The 2/6 show has some great stuff.  Somewhat pedestrian setlist, but lots of surprises and standout versions:

Set 1Golgi ApparatusFoamWilsonMy Friend, My FriendMazeHorn,Divided SkyLawn BoyThe WedgeBouncing Around the Room > Run Like an Antelope

Set 2Chalk Dust TortureMoundStashSweet AdelineAll Things ReconsideredMike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug GrooveLifeboyUncle PenBig Ball JamHold Your Head Up > Lengthwise > Buried AlivePossum

EncoreFire

First set started out innocently enough with Golgi, and was pretty well played.  Set highlights are Divided Sky and The Wedge (which was brand new and my first version), but it is not until the set-closing Antelope that we really got a hint of what was to come.  Antelope is sick.  I was basically worthless by the time they came out for the second set.  I planted myself on the edge of the tapers section and instead of my usual freaking out, I just stood there and stared at the stage drooling on myself. Really.  I distinctly remember wiping my own drool off of my chin and chest during Lifeboy.  Chalkdust gets things going and then we have one of my favorite versions of Mound.  It’s an excellent version.  By the time they all the surrounded the microphone for Adeline, it looked to me like their heads kept rolling off of their shoulders over and over.  It was pretty cool.  All Things Considered is very well played as well.  I love the Mike’s Song and the extra effort and alternate lyrics make this an all-time version.  The Hydrogen is great and features the “walking through the fog” bit that used to be so killer.  Weekapaug rips.  Possibly the set highlight.  Next up is the second Lifeboy and by this time I was on another planet.  As they kept saying the God never listens lyrics (which I was hearing for the first time), I kept seeing Trey as the devil, horns and all, coming out of his red hair.  It was unforgettable. Next up is a solid Uncle Pen with a great Mike solo and smooth playing throughout.  Gordo shines on this version.  When they started Lengthwise, the whole crowd held up lighters (prompting some funny banter from Fish) and it was very cool to see.  The whole place was a sea of flame.  Super dope.  As they wound down Lengthwise, they push this giant covered box out onto the stage.  Nobody knew what it was.  As they started Buried Alive, the box started to move around and as they enter into it full blast, it is uncovered and we see Popper in his wheelchair (from bike accident) and when he rises up from the wheelchair and starts to blow, the crowd went nuts!  Awesome song for Popper to play on and another set highlight. Possum with Popper was cool as well.  We got some more shenanigans during the encore with some “fake” flubs from Gordo who is promptly replaced by Noel Redding for Fire.  Sick!  This second set is monster and well worth seeking out if you have not heard it.  I listened to it for the first time in a long time while doing this review and it still delivers.  Big time.  This was a killer night.  After this show we went down to the Wetlands to see Shockra and Fish came out and made a surprise appearance on stage with the vacuum, which was cool.  Left there around 4AM and since the strawberries were still kicking, headed to an insane Lalalandia party in Brooklyn that was still going strong (really strong) when we left at 7AM….Epic night…..

Super hard to pick a track from this show, every track from the second set is worth showcasing.  Since I have yet to feature a Mike’s Song in this blog (!?!), I’m gonna go with the Mike’s>Hydrogen>Weekapaug, it’s an all-time favorite of mine.  Enjoy:

Also, check out this Buried Alive. It rules face:

There is a new source for this show that popped up recently, an Elliot Byron source no less.  If you are into having the lossless version, get it here: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=518582

For lossy/MP3 (not Elliot’s) go here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?87b87qfv1by9m

12/31/90- World Trade Center, Boston, MA



This show was kind  of a bust for a few reasons.  That said, it is a New Years show so it does have some historical significance.  That said, it kinda sucked.  The New Years run in ’90 consisted of the 12/28 show at the Marquee in NYC (which I saw), and a 12/29 show at the Campus Club in Providence (which I skipped).  Both shows are pretty hot by 1990 standards and I think each were longer than this one.  That is my main gripe with NYE 1990– it was disappointing to say the least that the ENTIRE show was 2 hours long.  Two sets, one hour each. Grrrrrr……I definitely blame Chucklehead, “the opening band that would not get off”.  A local Boston funk band, we knew them from the scene and they were known as a “decent” funk band, but their set went on and on and on.  And on.  It was almost comical.  I want to say they played for two hours, it was redic.  So that was strike number one.  The venue itself was a non-descript event hall (still is) and was just a big room, no seats, with some bars in the back.  I stayed at the bars for most of Chucklehead getting primed for teh Phishes.  The show itself was pretty crowded but it was barely sold out.  When we arrived an hour or so before doors, there were kids lined up waiting for the box office  to open so they could get “day of” tix…..I doubt that is happening this year (or has since).  This was also the site of the first “real” Phish NYE, the band having played here the year before on 12/31/89 (DJ Bagel Boy’s first show as a matter of fact.)  Also, the ticket called for “Creative Formal Wear Requested” but most people ignored that.  The band did get dressed up though and there are some good pics around of that, I think some are in The Phish Book.  So, non-descript venue, random crowd energy and an opening band that would not stop was not exactly setting the stage for a bomb drop. It’s kind of ironic that the actual poster for the gig is a picture of a trainwreck.  Still it was not all that bad.  At least there was a bar.  Still, I can’t fault the boys, they gave it their all (as usual).    The playing is actually pretty decent for the most part, it was the venue that blew.  Here’s the set:

Set 1: Suzy Greenberg, Divided Sky, I Didn’t Know, The Landlady, Bouncing Around the Room, My Sweet One, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove -> Auld Lang Syne, Buried Alive > Possum
Set 2: Golgi Apparatus, Stash, The Squirming Coil, Runaway Jim, Magilla, You Enjoy Myself, Rocky Top, Hold Your Head Up > If I Only Had a Brain > Hold Your Head Up > Run Like an Antelope

What’s that you say?  I forgot to add the encore?  Ummmm, actually, management turned the lights on during the middle of Antelope and ended the show.  Yes, that’s right.  A two set New Year’s show with no encore.  The flyer says 2AM.  2AM my ass.  The first set clocks in at a cool 55 minutes. The second set tries to break the 1 hour mark and does so by about 30 seconds.  You could tell the band was pretty disappointed. I know I was.  Still, the playing contained in those two hours was good with some inspired parts and some of that special New Years energy sprinkled throughout.  For instances, the Runaway Jim was the best one to date in my opinion.  I’ll also take If I Had a Brain any time I can get it, and believe it or not, Magilla was a highlight.  I have a feeling they will be bringing that back soon.  At least they should if they know what’s good for them.  The YEM is mucho bueno too….

Unfortunately, the source that widely circulates is a little sped up.  I have normal speed tapes on analog, but this one is a tad fast.  Still, worth a listen for sure and sort of representative of the tapes we would get in olden times.  Sometimes too fast and sometimes too slow but we were happy to get what we could:

Here is the NYE Countdown->Auld Lang Syne (recorded version, only time they did that)->Buried Alive->Possum.  I think there is a tape flip between the ALS and Buried Alive because it is super abrupt, but the Possum is a ripping 9 minute version:

Here is the Magilla, I am hoping they dust it off soon:

And here is the Jim which reaches some lofty heights by the end:

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

3/19/92 Palace Theatre, New Haven, CT.

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…..

Here’s the Lullaby from the same soundcheck:

MP3 of the whole show and soundcheck here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca563a7a121bc6c248