Tag Archive: chalkdust


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

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To wrap up their mammoth Spring ’91 tour, Phish played one final show on the UVM campus at Billings Student Center in the tiny Cooks Commons cafeteria.  This was billed as an Earth Day show (as was the previous day’s show at Potsdam).  My friend Brooke was organizing the show so we arrived in Burlington early in the afternoon and started helping her set up.  My job was to go get the hummus and bagels for the band room.  This was possibly the smallest show I have ever seen.  The place was PACKED but there could not have been more than 200 people there.  The place was a tiny cafeteria.  It was surrounded by windows but they had covered them all up so people couldn’t see in, I guess.  We set up our taping gear in front of the soundboard which was about 25′ back from the stage.  I think there was only one other tape rig there. As with the previous nights at the end of this tour, the band was primed from two and a half months on the road.  That said, I think everyone was a little tired from the long tour.  Still, you could tell the band was stoked to be home and the show was a good one:

Set 1The Curtain > Runaway JimThe SlothRebaPoor HeartLlamaGuelah PapyrusThe Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg,  TweezerTweezer Reprise

Set 2Chalk Dust TortureBathtub GinUncle PenThe Landlady > Destiny Unbound,The Squirming CoilStashMy Sweet One > The LizardsHighway to Hell

EncoreLawn Boy > Rocky Top

Phish.Net lists Tweezer and Tweezer Reprise as Encore 2’s, but that’s incorrect.  Tweezer was played after Suzy and then they brought the whole crew up to the stage and presented them with personalized bowling balls to thank them for a successfully completed tour.  Apparently, there were some heated bowling matches that occurred throughout the tour.  It was a pretty sweet gesture and once the crew had left the stage, the band closed the first set with a very early version of Tweezer Reprise.  This was a really fun show to attend and a great way to cap off a monster tour.  Of note is the first ever Poor Heart and a great Gin.  After the show, I went back to the band room to clean up the hummus and Mike was there macking on it.  There was pair of Fish’s drum sticks on the table but Mike seemed to be the last guy there.  I asked him if I could grab the sticks since everyone else had cleared out and he just kind of shrugged, so I have the sticks used to play this show in my closet.  The sources of this show that circulate leave a bit to be desired.  The source in the link below has a slightly too slow first set and a slightly sped up second set….I’ll have to grab the masters AUD’s from the Duck and transfer them.  I could not find a lossless source online.

Even with the lacking sources, this Chalkdust sounds good and was a hot way to open the second set:

And this Lizards remains in top 3 of versions I have seen.  It was amazing on this night and possibly the set highlight (which is rare for Lizards!):

Here’s a link to the MP3 source but it’s got some pitch issues.  Still, it’s worth a listen until the better source gets posted: http://www.mediafire.com/?buze652m2s6us