Category: 1991


The thing that sucks about the Phoenix airport is that the rental car facility is like 400 miles from the airport so unless you leave an extra 3 hours to return your car you will miss your flight.  If you leave your wallet in the rental car and have to take the shuttle twice, like I did, you might need 5 hours.  The good news about missing my flight is I finally have time to do a blog post.  The Front is one of the most storied venues in Phish’s history.  After graduating from Hunt’s and Nectar’s, The Front became the band’s home away from home in Burlington.  According to phish.net, the band played The Front a total of 53 times with Nectar’s and MSG coming in second and third with 43 and 31 times respectively.  I was only able to see the last two shows ever played at The Front, May 11 and 12, 1991, but very grateful that I at least saw those.

The venue itself was fairly non descript.  It was right up the street from the Flynn (if I remember correctly).  Walking in, there was a small area where they would check IDs and take money (no advance tickets), and then you would go to the left and enter the actual performance space.  The room where the band played was a dark rectangular room, maybe 100′ long by 50′ wide?  When you entered from the front area, you entered the back of the room on the side, the stage was to your right.  Stage was only about 2 or 3 feet high (knee height) and the ceiling was fairly low too. Definitely one of the smaller rooms I have ever seen Phish in, but not quite as small as Nietzches or The Haunt.  If you went toward the stage there was an exit to a connected (and related?) place called (I think) the Outback, and it was a small bar that also had an outdoor patio.

The first show of the weekend, 5/11, was a 21 and over show so a lot of people couldn’t get in, including The Duck.   There were a bunch of people hanging out on the curb outside that couldn’t get in.   As a result, it’s the only Phish show I ever actually taped as Duck asked me to bring his equipment in since he was only 20 (even back then I was old).  It’s a good thing as I was the only taper in there that night, and in talking with Shaps a few years later, it appears there wasn’t a board tape in the archives either.

I got in there early to set up the gear in the back behind the soundboard and the place was empty.  It stayed empty for most of the first set.  I would guess there were maybe 50 people tops which surprised me as I figured the hometown folks would fill up the venue.  My first Burlington show a couple of weeks earlier (UVM 4/22/91) was jam packed.  I finally got the tape rig going and this is how it went:

Set 1The LandladyLlamaThe Squirming Coil > Cavern > Divided SkyGuelah PapyrusMy Sweet OneFoamTweezerGolgi Apparatus

Set 2Chalk Dust TortureYou Enjoy MyselfPoor Heart > Reba > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg > Tweezer Reprise

EncoreTerrapinBig Black Furry Creature from Mars

A pretty standard Spring ’91 show, and nothing too much sticks out for me.  YEM features Tom Baggot on harmonica and the first set Tweezer is pretty good too.  The highlight for me was the encore, which I have featured below.  The show ended up getting more crowded  by the end, but I would still be surprised if 125 people were there.  I’m pretty sure this is the least attended Phish show I ever attended, even smaller than Sessions at West 54th, which isn’t even really a show so I’ll just shut up.

The encore was my favorite part of this show.  Check out the BBFCFM with “Eddie Van Anastasio”: 

After the show it seems like all 125 people ended up back at Fishman’s house that I think he was sharing with Kuroda.  It was a fun party and I got to sit down on the couch with Trey and make a fool of myself while we listened to the Ninja Custodian demo tape.  Later on when I was in the kitchen, somebody came up to Page and handed him a cheap ass Casio keyboard which he proceeded to goof around on and subsequently brought on stage the following night.  I also smoked hash in Fish’s bedroom which smelled really bad (the room, not the hash).  Good times.

The people I was traveling with were more psyched for the next night, because they could actually get in (this night was All Ages).  This proved to be a way more crowded  show even though it was a Sunday.

Set 1Chalk Dust TortureBouncing Around the RoomDinner and a Movie >StashThe LizardsThe Landlady > Destiny UnboundLlamaFee > Foam,Runaway Jim

Set 2David BowieBathtub GinPoor Heart > The Curtain > Golgi Apparatus,MagillaMike’s Song > I Am HydrogenWeekapaug GrooveThe Squirming Coil > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > AC/DC Bag > Rocky Top

EncoreRun Like an Antelope

I really like this show.  For one, it features Dave Grippo throughout and it’s well played with some funny moments. Landlady>Destiny is  one of my favorite combos and every time the played Landlady in ’91 I was pulling for the Destiny.  Add a horn to Destiny and I’m a happy boy.  Llama also featured the Truth and it too is a barn burner. I’ve featured both of those below.  Second set also had some great stuff.  The Dude of Life came out during Mike’s Song to sing some alternate lyrics which just served to confuse me, but I was super psyched to see Page bust out the Casio from the previous night’s party.  Good stuff for sure.  This would be one of the last shows I would see before the just announced Horn Tour so I made sure to live it up during the final 5 tracks (saw The Marquee and Salisbury the next weekend).  Probably why I don’t remember too much from this show.  I do remember we had to drive back to NYC right after the show to get the Duck to work on Monday morning.  That part kind of sucked but I am pretty sure Duck did all the driving.

Destiny Unbound is one of my favorite tracks.  Add Dave Grippo and you’ve got one of my all-time favorite versions.  

Llama with the brass is great too: 

Lastly,  here is the Mike’s Groove with DOL on vocals and Page on the aformentioned Casio during H2.  Grippo kills it on the Mike’s too: 

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5/10/91 Colby College, Waterville, Maine

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This was a really fun show.  We got to the venue super early in the afternoon and it was a beautiful sunny day on campus. We got there and met up with the promoter of the show who was a student and lived in a teepee back up behind the venue in the woods.  It was a sweet teepee and we hung out there for a good part of the afternoon.  I always thought it was cool of Colby to let a student live in his own teepee on campus.   Earlier in the day, on the way to the show we were listening to a tape we had called “Private Party ’87”.  It was also labeled by some people at the time as 1/1/87. It turned out later to actually be the widely circulated and classic Ian McLean’s Farm show from 8/21/87.  We were listening to this on the way to show, blazed I’m sure, and the McGrupp comes on.  At about the 5:30 mark in McGrupp the song changes to what I was positive was a 1987 Chalkdust Torture jam.  Listening back now it is a little bit of a stretch but not entirely.  An hour or so after we get to Colby I find myself standing next to Trey at the urinals.  Being the loudmouth I am (and the noob that I was) I tell Trey all about the “Chalkdust” jam in the middle of McGrupp.  He just kind of looks over and says, “Huh? Chalkdust and McGrupp…” and walks off.  That night, what do we get during the middle of the second set but a McGrupp>Chalkdust!  The Duck and I bugged out!

Check it:

Set 1David BowieCavern > Ya MarDinner and a Movie > The SlothThe LandladyBathtub GinBuried Alive > The LizardsPossum

Set 2Golgi ApparatusHarry HoodWilson > Poor HeartFoamMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Chalk Dust TortureHold Your Head Up > Love You >Hold Your Head UpMike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

EncoreTake the ‘A’ Train > Highway to Hell

Pretty much a dream setlist in my opinion, I mean it’s almost irresponsible of the band to play that many sick songs back to back!   The venue itself was very cool.  Super small with a wrap-around balcony off the floor and a higher one that Duck attached his mics to.  Bowie is one of my favorite openers and this one has a long drawn out intro.  At the time it seemed like the longest intro ever.  By the time Golgi started the second set we were out of our heads and needed some fresh air.  The Duck and I headed outside and laid on the ground outside of the venue listening to the music and watching the stars spin.  It was during Harry Hood that one of two girls walked past us as they were leaving the show and uttered the uber-classic line “I wish they would play some music you could dance to.”  We majorly cracked up for a good five minutes and headed back in for the rest of the show.  It was shortly thereafter that they dropped the McGrupp>Chalkdust and of course I made sure to take full credit for it.  The rest of the second set was awesome and I remember the Weekapaug bass intro being particularly nasty.  Back then an A-Train>Highway to Hell encore was just another day at the office for the Phish but we still soaked it up for all it was worth.  A great night and worth a listen for sure.  That night we all camped out before driving to Burlington for the last ever shows at The Front.  Sleeping in a field under the stars (which were still spinning) was an amazing way to finish the night even though we woke up with soaked sleeping bags and freezing.

Check out the “bucket of lard” Mike’s Groove: 

Also check out the McGrupp from 8/21/87 with the purported/imagined “Chalkdust” jam.  Even if it is not a Chalkdust jam, it’s bitchin’: 

The Duck had borrowed our friends DAT deck and Schoeps and got amazing pulls of this night and the following two.  Of course, his mom threw them away by mistake (my mom only ever threw away my 10th  row Halloween ’96 tickets).  I still have the analogs and should transfer them but at this point there are not a lot of great AUD sources for this show (that I know of).  The soundboard is OK, but a little sterile in my opinion.

MP3 (sbd) can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?qxyc8mediyy96

9/28/91 The Rink, Buffalo, NY

Seems like a zillion years since my last post.  Not to worry, I’ve got some good stuff on deck coming soon.  Been a crazy busy summer, so the blog was left twisting in the wind a bit.  Just figured out Twitter too (thanks LawnMemo), so you can follow me now at @backinmydaynet and be alerted when I get a new post up.  Just a super quick one today to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Rink show in Buffalo (and get some new blood up on the blog):

Set 1The Landlady > Bouncing Around the Room > Chalk Dust TortureThe Squirming Coil > My Sweet OneStashEliza > Foam > BrotherGolgi Apparatus,Memories

Set 2LlamaGuelah PapyrusSparkleCavern > Run Like an AntelopeLawn BoyThe LizardsPoor HeartMagillaMike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

EncoreContact > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

A pretty classic show, this one is most well known for being the show where Trey rollerbladed through the audience  during Weekapaug Groove. I couldn’t find any pictures of The Rink and don’t have a stub for this one because we helped carry equipment in to get on the list.  However, through the miracle of the interwebz, you can peep the venue here. We had hit Ithaca on the 26th and the Warehouse the night before (with Glide debut) and this was third show we had seen before I turned around.  The Duck continued on to Cleveland.  We got to The Rink around 11AM so we could help the band load in the equipment in exchange for a spot on the guest list.  In fact, I almost took Page’s finger off trying to push the load ramp into the back of the JEMP truck.  Glad that didn’t happen!  We were there so early, there wasn’t much to do.  I went across the street to a bowling alley to play some pinball and Gordo came in to use the pay phone.  I remember staring at him like a mental patient, he probably thought I was maniac.  Anyway, we got back into the venue for soundcheck somehow and sat on the floor in front of the stage playing Pocket Boggle while the band soundchecked.  Sometime during that afternoon, Trey had borrowed some Rollerblades from a fan at the show and was trying them out in the rink and outside in the parking lot.  I forgot about it until later in the show.

The Rink was exactly that:  A classic olden times roller rink.  Pretty nondescript (inside and out) with your basic snackbar and maybe a few games.  That was it.  No bleachers or anything.  You walked in, and the stage was right on one end of the rink (by the entrance) and the whole floor was the rest of the rink.  It was a pretty big rink and the whole back half of the floor was pretty empty.  It was kind of run down, but it was actually a pretty awesome venue.  I don’t remember a ton from this show and need to give it a good listen (shoulda listened to whole thing but wanted to get this post up).  They gave Henry from Palo Alto an award for traveling from California to Amy’s Farm the month before (longest distance traveled to a show).  Funny thing, is after that show, I never saw him at any others except NYE 91, I think.

What I do remember (and maybe it just overshadows everything else) is the Weekapaug.  I was in the back and there was a ton of space, literally half the rink was empty and we were rocking out to Mike’s Song.  After Hydrogen, they went into Mike’s bass intro to Weekapaug and it just kept going on and on.  I wasn’t really thinking about it, just enjoying it, but came to realize that Trey was lacing up his Rollerblades.  All of a sudden, as soon as Weekapaug started, there was a handheld spotlight going through the crowd.  The next thing I knew, Trey was whizzing by me, like 2 feet away!  It was sick!  He was going in and around all the people while wailing on the Weekapaug.  We couldn’t believe it, it was so surreal.  At one point he bashed into a girl right next to me and you can hear it on the tape, but for the most part, he just kept skating around and around everyone while the rest of the band was laying it down from the stage.  It was almost like a dream, you could have literally reached out and touched (or tripped) him.  It was so cool.  They also did an awesome thing during Big Black Furry Creature where either Mike or Trey had their legs hanging down from the rafters while the other person was on the ground with their legs in the air going the opposite way.  That was very cool looking as well.  All in all, it was a really fun show.  I am going to spin the whole thing during my road trip tomorrow, and maybe I will report back with other highlights.

Until then, here is the Rollerblade Weekapaug Groove:

The whole show can be downloaded here (MP3):

http://www.mediafire.com/?qgerdib0l641w

While we were leaving town we stopped a gas station and the girl at the register asked if we were in town to see Jesus Jones.  I still get a laugh out of that…..

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…..

8/3/91 Amy’s Farm, Auburn, ME.

Amy’s Farm.  Hard to believe it was twenty years ago.  It’s one of those ones that seems like yesterday in some respects, but in many other respects it seems like a lifetime (or two) ago.  We first heard about Amy’s Farm  at the Arrowhead Ranch shows in July.  Trey made an announcement from the stage, but I don’t remember hearing it.  I do remember walking through the parking lot and seeing a handbill attached to every car windshield, including mine (I also found another one waiting in my mailbox when I got back from the show) . It was a no-brainer.  All we had to do was finish up the Horn Tour, take a little breather and head up to Maine.  We headed up to the site the day before the show after spending most of the morning around the beaches of Portsmouth, NH.  It was a beautiful NH/Maine summer afternoon as we headed up the Maine Pike to Amy’s horse farm.  We pulled in around 4 or 5 and had a pick of places to set up camp, there were only a handful of cars there when we arrived. When you pulled in, the house and barn were just on your left as you entered. We immediately took a right into a large field and went down the slightly sloping field to where it  ended at a flat spot ringed by trees.  There were a ton of places to camp: along the trees like we were or on top of one of the many rolling hills that dotted the field .  There were a bunch of these little hilltops that you had to walk across to get to the stage which was a few hundred yards from where we set up our tents.  More of our friends arrived in the early evening and we had a pretty decent crew of about 5 or 6 tents and maybe 15-20 friends by morning.  Hard to say how many total folks had arrived the night before, but by the morning of the show, cars were starting to pile in and set up camp.  We were up pretty early as it was bright, sunny and hot by 10AM.  My earliest memory of show day was Amy coming up to our campsite on horseback and collecting a few bucks from everyone to re-seed the fields.  We gladly paid and told her how stoked and thankful we were and how awesome her land was.  It was a beautiful, rolling hills horse farm in the middle of Maine, and the weather was absolutely perfect.  We hung around the campsite until noon or so and made the 5 minute trek over the hills and through the woods to the venue.  The venue consisted of the stage in another field, with trees ringing the whole area.  There was a giant water truck spraying people (ala 8/27/72) and a few vendors including this couple who had this seitan booth where they were selling these insane seitan wraps. Wonder whatever happened to those guys.  The whole vibe of this show was possibly the most laid back of any Phish show I have ever attended.  People were just milling about, making friends, doing bong hits 3 feet from the stage, generally just soaking up the sun and atmosphere. There was no security, police or even real event staff- zero, zilch, nada.  I am sure there was a first aid booth, but beyond that, this show seemed like a giant keg party with a stage.  We were all sitting about 10 or 15 feet from the stage, with tons of room while Mike, Page and Fish are just walking around  by the stage talking to people and getting ready to go on when Trey comes cruising in from the back of the field on his Harley (no helmet) and rides right up to the stage.  It was bad ass.  He hops off and after a few minutes they all amble up on the stage and they start of with that classic Wilson intro from Amy (which is partially cut off on some sources):

Set 1Wilson > FoamRunaway JimGuelah PapyrusLlamaFeeThe Squirming Coil > Poor Heart > The SlothThe Divided SkyGolgi Apparatus

Set 2The Curtain > RebaChalk Dust TortureBouncing Around the RoomTweezerEsther > CavernI Didn’t KnowYou Enjoy Myself[1]Rocky Top

Set 3StashYa MarFluffhead > Lawn Boy > My Sweet OneThe LizardsBuried Alive[2] > Possum[3]

EncoreMagillaSelf[4]Bitchin’ Again[5]Crimes of the Mind[6]

Encore 2Harry Hood.

The show seemed to go on and on.  We would go back and forth from the campground during the show or during the breaks…Went back with my girlfriend to knock boots in the tent during YEM, which was the first and only time I ever did that during the actual show.  You could hear the band perfectly in the tent.  I’ll also never forget standing next to the stage 3′ from Fishman and yelling out Harry Hood a half-second before they went into it for the 4th and last encore song.  Shit was sick.

After the show we all walked back to the tents.  I got punched square in the face by a biker guy, and strangely enough didn’t even feel a thing.  That night these two twins with a Dead cover band called Double Dose played their set in the campground.  I remember a pretty decent Lazy Lightning.  The last thing I remember was trying to go sleep in my tent and the people next to us were BLASTING Terrapin Station (the studio album).  It was kind of a drag, and I think I finally passed out during Sunrise, thank god. The next morning we woke up and it was a torrential downpour.  Not just a little drizzle, but practically sheeting. Our tent was filled with a ton of water.  We just threw all of the wet gear in the car and got out of there as fast as we could.  It was quickly turning into a mud bath.  We got onto the Maine Turnpike and we can barely see through all the rain, even with the wipers on high.  Who pulls in front of me, but Trey on  his Harley, braving the storm with a passenger (his girlfriend/wife?) on the back.  All I could think about was that he was going to crash and I was going to run him over and Amy’s Farm was going to be the last show.  Seriously.  I pulled over to the next lane and slowly pulled ahead, all the time thinking I was going to hit him.

Amy’s Farm is not a show I really ever listen to, and my fond memories of it are primarily based on the friends, setting, scene and just the whole amazing experience of it, rather than the music.  In listening to the show for the first time in years for this post, I realized there are some really solid musical moments.  The Divided Sky is amazing, and a great sounding soundboard of that track was just released on here: http://www.livephish.com/music/0,638/Phish-mp3-flac-download-Live-Bait-Vol-05.html

The first set combo of Squirming Coil->Poor Heart->Sloth is also super worthy and gives a good feel for the tone of the show.  Too bad there are not better sources around for this show….

The whole show can be found here in MP3:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca9f442a52014860c9

and the lossless is here:

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=515155

Also check out Parker’s great Amy’s Farm 20 year article here:
http://blog.phish.net/1312213059/amys-farm-twenty-years-later

Set 1: The Curtain > Runaway Jim, Foam, Llama, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg > Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu >The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, Frankenstein

Set 2: Chalk Dust Torture, Guelah Papyrus > The Divided Sky, Flat Fee, Paul and Silas > Lizards, Stash, HYHU> If I Only Had a Brain > HYHU, You Enjoy Myself

Encore: The Landlady

It’s been a while since my last post, but I do have some good stuff coming up.  I initially had a different show from ’93 in mind for this post, but this week being the 20th Anniversary of the Horn Tour, I decided to go for something with the brass.  The Horn Tour was highly anticipated when they announced it in late May and it did not disappoint.  I saw all of it except for 3 shows and every night was a treat to attend.  Berkshire Performing Arts Center was the third show of the tour which started with a free afternoon show at Burlington’s Battery Park.  The second night was at the Colonial Theatre in Keene, NH, and then this show, which was the night before the 3 set blowout in Townsend, VT.  It was a great start to the tour, especially since all the shows were relatively easy drives through beautiful countryside.  Also, the Horn Tour was the first tour where there were multiple groups of people doing the whole tour. Previously, people were doing strings of shows in 1990 and Spring  1991, but nobody was doing whole tours.  The Horn Tour changed that, in part because it was in the summer, it was fairly short (14 shows), and it stayed on the east coast. It was also due in part to the fact that the band’s popularity was snowballing.

The BPAC is apparently gone now as I could not even find a single picture of it online.  I guess it turned into the National Music Center in the mid-nineties, but it looks like it is now defunct, probably surpassed by the beautiful (and outdoor shed-type) Tanglewood which is only a mile or so away.  I am pretty surprised because this was a great venue from what I remember.  I don’t remember too much from this show however, because they had a closed concession stand  in the hallway with a beer tap.  Even though the tap handle did not have the thingy on top saying what kind of beer it was, we pulled it down and ice cold beer flowed out.  It was some kind of crappy Bud Light or Miller or something, but we didn’t care, we drained that thing by intermission.  Practically the only thing I remember of the show itself was the Curtain and If I Only Had a Brain (which I always love, they should bring it back).  The rest is a little hazy!  It was a cool little venue though, went out and up from an orchestra pit, no balcony.  It would probably hold 1500-2000, but there was definitely less than 1000 at this show.

Musically, there is a lot to like about this show.  Almost everything is solidly played (except for Trey’s botch in Divided Sky after which he jokingly calls it the “jazz version” ) and the show is certainly worth a download.  The link to the MP3 of the entire show can be found here (the lossless on etree currently has no seeders):

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca22b44ee4b419fd6d

The horns bring something to special to a lot of the tracks, I especially like the Avenu Malkenu and the Split, but I didn’t pick those to showcase here.  From fairly early in the first set is a great Alumni Blues which we had heard as the soundcheck at Battery Park, but this was the official debut with the GCH.  This song is made for the horns:

Speaking of made for the horns, this first set closing Frankenstein is tasty as hell and features a bad ass vocal jam taboot:

4/21/91 SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY

The Winter/Spring ’91 tour was a marathon tour that started in the beginning of February and went through mid-May.  63 shows in all.  I was lucky enough to catch a bunch of them, the silver-lining in temporarily flunking out of college.  By the time the band made it back to the east coast at the end of April they were a well-oiled machine.  The gig at SUNY Potsdam was part of the school’s Earth Day Festival and the “Suggested Donation” to get into the show was $5.  They also had free veggie dogs which was rad because I had just become vegetarian a month earlier when out at the Colorado shows (involving a bloody Whopper, but I’ll save that story for my 3/13/91 posting).  We showed up early and helped the band unload their truck and then ate a bunch of fake hot dogs and hacky sacked.  The Barrington Student Union  was a pretty non-descript hall, big and square, almost like a gymnasium.  It was actually pretty big and after all the frat boys and curious onlookers left after the first set the whole back half of the place was open.  During Bowie we were running across the back of the floor as fast as we could and were seeing how far we could slide in our socks.  Unfortunately, the show did not start off so well for me.  We had stashed our stuff under the riser for the soundboard/lightboard and were waiting for the show to start.  In all of my infinite wisdom, I decided to blaze one in the middle of the room, with all the lights on and only about 200 people in the show.  I was sharing the bowl with an unnamed crew member who may or may not have been running the lights and was just about to pass it back when I felt a tap on my shoulder-

Busted.....

Busted!  Ugh…They asked me for ID, but it was in my wallet under the soundboard riser.   They sent an officer back to the venue and actually got my buddy DJ Bagel Boy (aka The Duck) to climb under the riser and get it for them.  The other officer brought back my wallet and ID and they asked me why I was in Potsdam (“To see a band..”), where I was staying (“Not sure yet…”) and how much money I had with me (to make sure I wasn’t a vagrant).  Then they let me go on $20 bail with a notice to appear in court.  I made it back to the show during the blat-boom part of Wilson which I though was pretty good considering. There is a whole other story about going back for the court date, but that’ll be in my 5/2/91 post someday. Anyway, back to show.  This show is hot from start to finish:

Set 1: Golgi Apparatus, Rocky Top > Wilson >The Divided Sky, Foam, My Sweet One, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > AC/DC Bag > Tela, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sweet Adeline

Set 2: Possum, Fee, The Landlady, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Llama, Uncle Pen, Harry Hood, Cavern

EncoreI Didn’t Know, David Bowie

Pretty much every song has something to offer and first set gets hotter and hotter, peaking with a great Weekapaug before closing the set with a pretty Adeline.  The second set has some great stuff and everyone was stoked to get a very rare (for the time) Gamehendge narration between Forbin’s and Mockingbird in honor of Earth Day.  It was after this show that the Forbins->Mockingbird narration became fairly standard practice when the combo was played.

I couldn’t decide whether to pick the set 2 ending Harry Hood->Cavern or the I Didn’t Know->David Bowie encore for this post, so I am picking all four tracks.  The Harry Hood is one for the ages and one of my top five versions.  Cavern is not a song I usually care too much for, but if they played it like this every night, I probably would:

We were all highly stoked on the show to this point, and the I Didn’t Know->Bowie was just icing on the cake.  I Didn’t Know features an always welcome trombone solo from Fish and the Bowie cranks:

MP3 of the show can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335cacbcbfb25037fe580

Lossless version is here: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=544253

Ahhhh…Smith College.  An unforgettable show to attend.  John Greene Hall itself was an amazing venue: Built in 1910 with giant sandstone pillars and ornate fixtures inside and out, we soon learned that the venue sounded as good as it looked.  Unfortunately, the surviving (circulating) sources leave a little bit to be desired.  Still, the energy shines through on the sources we do have and any loss of fidelity is easily made up for by great playing and a solid setlist:

Set 1:The Mango Song, The Sloth, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Runaway Jim, Foam, Guelah Papyrus, My Sweet One, Tweezer > Reba, Chalk Dust Torture

Set 2Golgi Apparatus, Buried Alive > Fluffhead,The Landlady, Bouncing Around the Room,Harry Hood, Cavern, Let’s Go > Love You[1] > Let’s Go, The Squirming Coil, Llama

Encore: Lawn Boy, Suzy Greenberg

Encore 2: Contact, Rocky Top

When the band comes back for a second double encore, you know they’re feeling it.  The crowd was feeling it too and can be heard bouncing off the walls for nearly every track, even the new ones.  The place was rocking big time.  Northampton has always been a Phish stronghold since the very early days, so this show was bigger than most– this was one of the earliest hall shows as the band was only then just starting to move out of the bars and into bigger venues.  Capacity is listed at 2000 people, but while the show seemed packed to the gills, I can’t imagine there were that many.  The night before in Portsmouth was a lot smaller.  I had a hard time picking out tracks from this show-  while there are no out of the ordinary versions, the whole show is just jammed with energy and showcases an intimate and old school New England vibe that was harder and harder to come by as the years went on.  This show was down home for sure. The Harry Hood in particular is worth the price of admission.  The band was definitely making progress, and we drove the 5 hours back to Ithaca happy campers.

Check out this killer Buried Alive->Fluffhead from the second set.  Buried Alive was still fairly new and Fluffhead had not been played in a fairly long for the time gap of 18 shows.  You can tell people are stoked.  The strobes during Clod were insane (IMO, only 3/20/92 had sicker strobes).  Later on in the tour, the strobes would get crushed and not make another appearance until Spring 92……..anyway, I think this one of the best Fluffheads out there (and the Buried Alive is dope too):

The best sounding source I have heard is this one: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=522286 but currently there are no seeders.

The mp3 of the entire show can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca4a4b86629cfbad20