Tag Archive: Bowie


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The summer of 1992 was kind of a dry one for the fans.  The band made their first foray into Europe opening a host of festival dates for the Violent Femmes and then came back to the US as the support act for Santana on their national tour (after some HORDE dates).  Besides three headline shows in VA, the Coach House was the only other full, two set Phish shows we got to see.  The Santana tour was decent and had some good/great moments (Stowe rules as does the Exodus from Finger Lakes), but for the most part the Phish sets were way too short and the 30-40 minute sets left little time for exploration.  I saw a bunch of the Santana shows and while I fully appreciate Carlos and company, I think I saw enough Santana to last me a lifetime.  No doubt that the guy is the man though.

I flew out to California to see my first Phish birthday show at the LA Greek Theatre and was then planning on heading to the Dead shows in Eugene.  I hopped onto the plane, opened my USA Today and saw that Jerry Garcia was sick and the shows were canceled.  Major bummer.  At this point, I did not know the Coach House show was going on.  I hit the Greek Theatre show with my friend Cliff and it ended up being pretty solid.  Phish (who NONE of the California Santana fans knew) played a good set and I particularly remember jamming out to the Tweezer.  I think I was the only one in the venue dancing.  All the Latinos were looking at me like I had three heads.  Between the Santana and Phish sets I ran into Kuroda on the way to the bathroom and he told me about the Coach House show that was happening two days later– I was stoked!  The Santana set ended up being decent too– John Lee Hooker came out to play  “The Healer” with Santana and it was pretty epic.  I was hoping at some point Trey would come out and wail with Carlos and John Lee but no such luck.  It was still a great birthday show.  Better than Coventry but not as good as The Lemonwheel…..

Two days later, Cliff and I drove down to the Coach House from his place in Santa Barbara.  On the way there I totally  hit this old man with the car and knocked him down in the crosswalk, but that’s a whole other story.  His wife was screaming but I think he was OK.  Sorry.  We got to the Coach House around two in the afternoon and there was already a pretty good crowd of California heads.  Talked to the folks from the venue and they told me the shown was fully sold out.  I begged and pleaded and pulled the “I came all the way from New York” bit, but they didn’t go for it.  I ran into Andrew the tour manager and gave him the whole sad sack bit and I was in +1.  Thanks Andrew!  We milled about the parking lot a bit and I ran into Trey and started talking to him about the Santana tour and stuff….Interesting fact (to guitar players, I guess) was that we were talking about Carlos and his tone (he used a Boogie too, just like Trey at the time).  Trey told me that Carlos had turned him onto some Russian amp tubes (Sovtek) and he was trying them out for the first time at this show.  I like to think I can hear a slight difference in Trey’s tone but can’t be sure.  I am pretty sure he went back to his old tubes shortly thereafter though, but who knows.  It was still about two hours from showtime and Cliff and I needed to find some supplies.  We met the scuzziest looking guy in the lot and he hooked us up with some sperms.  Cliff was a little wary of the scuzzy guy so we met up with some preppy kid who gave him some recycle symbols.  Surprise, surprise, the sperm knocked me on my ass.  The recycles from the preppy kid were fake.  Yeah scuzzy guy!

The Coach House was a pretty small place that hosted a lot of dinner theater but they moved all the tables out for the Phish show.  The place was packed and I would guess there were maybe 400 people or so there.  Ninja Custodian opened up with their fun brand of rock.  I had seen them in Burlington and did not know they had recently moved to LA.  Ninja Mike is a funny dude, so I always liked seeing them.  Their set was decent and not too long.  Phish came out with both guns blazing and you could tell they were psyched to finally play a headline show.  The setlist sounds as good as it looks:

Set 1Buried Alive > Poor HeartThe LandladyRebaRiftWilsonAll Things ReconsideredFoamMy Friend, My FriendBouncing Around the RoomDavid Bowie

Set 2Suzy Greenberg > It’s Ice > Tweezer > Esther > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug GrooveHorn > Hold Your Head Up > TerrapinHold Your Head UpTake the ‘A’ Train > Somewhere Over the RainbowCavern

EncoreThe Squirming Coil

The show itself has a lot of nice little twists and turns.  Just about everything is really well played and has a little something extra.  The Buried Alive opener was hot, natch, and the Poor Heart has some really cool stuff inside of it too actually.  Landlady is “for Carlos” and the Reba jam is a must hear.  Rift is also one of my favorite all-time versions and the Wilson is also a unique version.  Really, the whole first set is dope, ending with a solid Bowie.  A lot of the California crowd were pretty new to Phish at this time and were just sort of finding their groove with the band.  I think nearly everyone was a convert by the end of the first set.  The second set is solid too with Tweezer and Mike’s leading the charge.  Ninja Mike sits in for Terrapin, prompting some good banter and although everyone was yelling “Flintstones” for some reason, a short Somewhere Over The Rainbow gets dropped on the crowd.  The previously mentioned sperm had me bugging the whole show but one thing I remember being so funny was when they played the All Fall Down Signal.  Just as Phish had originally planned it, when they played it, I dropped to the ground.  All of the people around me started crowding around me, asking me if I was alright and someone went to go get security to help me.  It was pretty classic.  Not a very under the radar show, but a classic nonetheless and worth revisiting if you have not heard it in a while.  The drive home was very amusing and we made it back to Santa Barbara in one piece.  Since the GD shows were cancelled we hiked into the Los Padres for an awesome camping trip and ate the rest of the sperm.  It was a great time for sure.

The All Things Reconsidered is dead nuts on:

 

The first set closing Bowie is the goods too:

That is just a small taste though.  If you have never heard this show, check it out for sure, it’s a worthy listen.

There are a lot of sources floating around for this show, including the soundboard.  I got an amazing Schoeps source after giving blanks to a guy after the show.  It was his first show and he taped over some GD masters (Vegas 92) to get the Phish pull.  I had forgotten all about it and they showed up at my door like 3 months later. Sounded killer, I should probably transfer them.  Anyway, this MP3 source sounds pretty good too though:

http://www.mediafire.com/?cr244hyyid6vq

This lossless source would sound decent but it is a hair too fast.. Only lossless source being seeded now though:

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=547692

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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