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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

11/22/92 Bailey Hall, Ithaca, NY

Of the 35 or so shows I saw in 1992, this one ranks near the top. People were fired up for the Fall ’92 shows because the whole summer tour was 45 minute sets opening for Santana with only a handful of headlining shows. This was a hometown (at the time) show for me and the venue was a 15 minute walk up the hill. It was snowing a little bit that night and there was a pretty good crowd outside on the steps and surrounding area. I had an extra ticket and traded it for a sweet batik that I still have. The venue was also sweet and we were in the middle of the floor for the first set. The crowd was pretty pumped the whole way through except for Ben Weinstein who screamed “Put Suzy on the backburner” in between songs when the crowd got quiet. Even back then, kids were hating on repeats. Incidentally, Ben also happens to be the guy that directed the 2/14/91 State Theatre video for public access TV. This show is pretty well known for the Tweezer and the Eleanor Rigby YEM but there is plenty of other good stuff too:

Set 1: Buried Alive, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Fee -> Maze, Reba, Sparkle, Horn, All Things Reconsidered, Bathtub Gin, Sweet Adeline, Run Like an Antelope
Set 2: Axilla, My Friend, My Friend, My Sweet One, Tweezer -> Big Ball Jam -> Tweezer, Tela, You Enjoy Myself, Faht, Golgi Apparatus
Encore: Bold As Love, Carolina, Tweezer Reprise

For the second set we moved back a little bit and then I went into the hallways for the Tweezer through YEM until the debut of Faht, which was cool.   The hallway at Bailey Hall was great, there was a ton of room and you could hear perfectly. The encore was great, especially for my friend Tracy who really was leaving for South Carolina in the morning, and because Bold As Love made another appearance after being played earlier in the week for the first time in forever.  We were always calling for it in ’90 and ’91 but never getting it so everyone was stoked when they brought it back after a 300+ show gap or something crazy like that.

So anyway, Fee->Maze is  a classic combo that the band played often, especially in ’92. The versions from this show are both winners and the transition between the two is seamless. The megaphone reappeared in the tour opener earlier in the week after a 2 year layoff, and they brought it out again at this show. The first time (and last time before this tour) it had appeared was at the 10/1/90 show in Ithaca which I’ll be posting about in the future. The Maze is just freaking blazing.  Give it a listen:

MP3 Link for the whole show is here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335cae79030095f9a8df0

Also, even though the ticket clearly states “And Special Guest…” there was only one band that night.

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

6/17/90 Wendell Studios

When I started this blog yesterday, I thought 1) I probably wouldn’t post every day. 2) I probably won’t post shows in chronological order and 3) I’d try not to post tracks from shows I did not attend.  That said, I also figured I better get some more tracks up here quickly or it was going to be a pretty boring blog.  So, in chronological order from the show I posted about yesterday, here’s a show I did not attend.  Not only did I not attend it, but it’s not even a show.  The day after the Townshend show, the band headed down to Beantown for a recording session at Wendell Studios.

From that session, here’s an early version of Rift:

and great version of A-Train:

You can find a lossless version of the entire session at: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=7210  There is a bunch of other great stuff on there….

6/16/90 Townshend Family Park

Might as well kick off this blog with a track from 21 years ago today, which also happens to be my first show.  Townshend Park was a great place to see a concert.  Surrounded by green mountains with a river running through it, the place was simply beautiful.  People were tubing down the river the whole show, and if you didn’t have the $9 to get in, all you had to do was wade across the river and you were in.  On site camping and mini golf added to the awesome factor.  Weather was great and so was the show- 3 sets starting around 2PM and ending before sundown (no lights).  I think there were probably about 600 or 700 people there, which was a big show for the time.  The band played up on this weird little porch thing that I thought was going to collapse during Good Times Bad Times.  A highlight of the show is this set two closing Antelope.  Check it out:

Download the whole show here: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=e64969679d601a07ab1eab3e9fa335ca7a3901c2f382e00a

Handbill from the show....