, attached to 1991-09-28

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

I had heard quite a bit about Phish before my first show at The Rink in Buffalo, NY. As a relatively active participant of rec.music.gdead, I had seen their name and read various comments about their performances. In fact, my first Phish show should have been at Nietzsche's on 4/19/91 (my twenty-first birthday!), but I foolishly opted for the local Dead cover band that night. Perhaps due to the great summer tour with the Giant Country Horns, events like Arrowhead Ranch and Amy's Farm, and the increasing popularity of Picture of Nectar, Phish had become much better known in the Northeast between the spring and fall of 1991. Whatever the reason, nobody I know went to the Nietzsche's show -  everybody was heading to the Rink that night.
The Rink is (was?) an actual roller-skating rink located near the corner of Main and Amherst in uptown Buffalo. The show had been heavily promoted. Phish posters hung everywhere on campus and the place was packed. I estimate that the crowd was about four to five hundred people. The parking lot "scene" consisted of four or five VW buses parked side by side. I did meet a group of tour-heads who had been on the road with the band for a few shows. Interestingly enough, they said they were from Oregon.
Musically, the song that stood out the most to me was "Foam", which to this day I believe may be the best single-song representation of the Phish sound. While my memory of the show itself is pretty hazy, there were several interesting things that occurred. The band gave an award for the longest distance traveled to a Phish show (Palo Alto, CA, to Amy's Farm in Maine), a record which I'm sure has since been eclipsed thousands of times. Trey rollerbladed around the rink during "Weekapaug" and subsequently leveled an innocent bystander, and they did the Phish show standards (trampolines, barbershop quartet numbers, "BBFCFM", etc.) that have won over crowds since the beginning. All in all, this made for a great first Phish show, but perhaps the thing I remember most is how the band was just hanging out on the rink after the show, playing with Marley and enjoying all of the good vibes.


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