Tag Archive: 1992

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There’s been a lot of chatter on the interwebz this last week regarding the upcoming New Years run at MSG with everyone getting their lottery results on Wednesday and subsequent slap in the face from TicketBastard on Saturday.  Hope you all had better luck than I did!  Back in olden times, New Years tickets were not always as hard to come by because  every year the New Year’s show was generally played in the biggest venue they had played to date.  1992 was no exception when the band held their NYE show at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena which with a capacity of 6300 was a big venue for the band.  I purchased a ticket on the day of the show at the box office for $24.50 (roughly the price of a cocktail at MSG!)

Matthews Arena was/is your typical ice rink/basketball stadium but it carries its fair share of history:  Opening in 1910, Matthews Arena (formerly Boston Arena) was the first home of the Boston Bruins (pre-dating the old Boston Garden) and is in fact the oldest indoor hockey arena still in use in America.

1992 was a groundbreaking and solid year for Phish and after a great November and December tour they wrapped it all up with a killer New Years run.  The first two shows at the Palace in New Haven are classics in their own right and the night before’s show in Springfield (with the epic Timber Ho! bust-out) is an all-timer.  After three great shows it might have been understandable if the New Years show wasn’t up to snuff, but the boys delivered what I feel to be a great, somewhat underrated show:

Set 1Buried Alive > Poor HeartMazeBouncing Around the Room > Rift >Wilson > Divided SkyCavernFoamI Didn’t Know > Run Like an Antelope

Set 2Runaway JimIt’s Ice > Sparkle > Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > My Sweet One > Big Ball Jam > StashGlideGood Times Bad Times

Set 3Mike’s Song > Auld Lang Syne > Weekapaug GrooveHarpua-> Kung ->HarpuaThe Squirming Coil > Diamond GirlLlama


The 1992 NYE show upheld the 3-set tradition that started the year before and continues to this day (thankfully).  As we were going into the show, they passed out some leaflets with some new secret language symbols that were to be used throughout the show to confuse the folks listening at home on the radio (show was simulcast on WBCN).   Opening up with Buried Alive (always a good sign), it is a fairly straightforward version that switches gears into a Poor Heart that picks up steam after an initial gaff in the beginning.  Maze follows and delivers the goods.  1992 was the year of the Maze and there are so many great early versions from this period.  Other set highlights include a typically good (read: great) vintage Divided Sky, a really sweet Foam, and my pick for set highlight, the Antelope closer which is a rager.

The second set opens with a great Runaway Jim, a song that really started coming into it’s own in 1992.  After a typical It’s Ice>Sparkle combo the band starts the centerpiece of the set, a twenty-minute Forbins>Mockingbird during which they hoist Brad Sands above the crowd dressed as the Famous Mockingbird.  A very good version with a cool narration that makes this one worth checking out for sure.  The rest of the set is good too with a tight Stash and wraps up with a raucous Good Times Bad Times.

At this point, I could have left happy, but then I would have missed the Mike’s Song opener.  When Mike’s opens a set, it’s a treat.  When it opens a third set, it’s even more awesomer.  Especially on New Years.  I think this is the first modern-era Mike’s that was played without Hydrogen in between Weekapaug, instead substituting it for the New Years Countdown and Auld Lang Syne.  The Mike’s is short but sweet with Trey telling the audience to make the most of the last minute of the year.  People were getting the fuck down.  Auld Lang Syne is well played and the celebratory Weekapaug is just pure cream.  I love the transition between the two as well.  As if this was not enough, it’s followed up by Harpua>Kung>Harpua?  Really?  It was my first Kung ( I was a noob once too)  and the first version in over 400 shows.  I was pretty delirious.  This is followed by a gorgeous Squirming Coil with a sweet Page piano outro that is enhanced with some very pretty guitar lines from Trey.  From out of the ashes, the Dude of Life bounds across the stage pushing a lawnmower as the band goes into the Seals and Crofts classic, Diamond Girl.  I for one did not know it was the Dude of Life because he was dressed up as an old man, but it was pretty cool, in a comic relief kind of way.  Llama closes the third set and the band comes back for a Carolina>Fire encore that sends everyone out smiling into the night.  This is a very solid New Years show in my opinion, and it is a little bit overlooked.  In listening back to this show for the first time in long time for this post, I realized that it is packed with quality playing.   After the show, I had the greatest falafel I have ever had in my life (surpassing Mamoun’s even) from a truck outside.  It was so bomb.  The next day as we were driving around looking for an open restaurant we popped on WBCN and they were replaying the whole simulcast so we got to listen to a soundboard of the show the very next morning.  While not at all a big deal by today’s standards, we were totally bugging (and psyched)!  Of course everyone had taped the live feed or the simulcast as well so this show was widely available in high quality directly after the show.


Here is a link to a lossless audience source (Neumann RSM 191’s).  I have never heard this one but downloading now.  Seed comes from KS so I am guessing this one sounds good.


An MP3 of the great sounding matrix is here:


The first set Antelope is a burner:

Also, check out the Harpua>Kung>Harpua:

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.