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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:

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

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

10/6/90, Capitol Theatre, Portchester, NY

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….

MP3 of the whole set can be found here:  http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335caa2023efe0b11bc67

Not sure if that is the soundboard or the AUD, both circulate….By the way, $16 for a ticket was insane for this time period but BT had to pay for their fancy bus….

11/26/90 The Haunt, Ithaca, NY

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.

Set 1: Landlady > Runaway Jim, Sloth, Reba, Buried Alive, You Enjoy Myself, Paul and Silas, David Bowie -> Mo’ Better Blues -> David Bowie

Set 2: The Divided Sky, Makisupa Policeman, Llama, Uncle Pen, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Wilson, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove, HYHU > Whipping Post > Hold Your Head Up, Fire

Encore: Contact, Highway to Hell

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):

The first encore of Contact is pretty worthy too:

MP3 of the whole show is here:  http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca0ec1e67c75b556f4

Could not find the lossless on etree, but it should be coming up soon for Project ’90….

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: