, attached to 1992-07-15

Review by Anonymous

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

It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, and my friend Channing and I were trapped in our boarding school's summer session. We were taking AP Psychology so it would be one less thing to worry about in the Fall. Incidentally, Channing passed, and I did not
I was just really getting into Phish. I had a handful of tapes which I listened to over and over. I loved the frantic energy, the thumping bass lines, and Trey's ripping guitar. I heard that Phish was playing Trax, so I went out and picked up two tickets, about $12 each I think. I miss those days! I got permission for both of us to leave campus for the night, and one of the summer school teachers agreed to chaperon us. Thank you Adam! Where are you now?
We drove into Charlottesville and went directly into Trax. Trax is a typical club, two rooms, one with a stage and dance floor, the other room housed the bar and a few pool tables. We talked to Paul as he was setting things up, and saw a few tapers patching into the soundboard. We ran into another friend of ours, and the three of us went right up front to the stage. The stage itself was maybe two feet off the ground, and everyone's equipment was packed really close.
I went crazy when the lights went down and Phish came on stage. Fishman looked like he was wearing a jock strap, but it could have been a pair of tighty-whiteys, and nothing else. It was so cool being about a foot away from them, being able to watch them as they played. They opened with "Glide", a song I did not know, but was a lot of fun. "Oh Kee Pa" flowed into "Suzy Greenberg", and Trey went nuts. "Suzy" used to be such a rocking number. We fell right into the deep hole of "Foam", and it was good. I liked "My Friend", but it was another new-to-me song. "Uncle Pen" was funny and tight. Mike looked really goofy with his rolled up jeans and puffy high tops. "Split Open" was fantastic, and one of the songs I had hoped to hear. The crowd was dancing and moving, jumping up and down. The band was feeding off our energy and put it back into the music. "The Horse" into "Silent in the Morning" was beautiful; I love Page's playing and singing in this song. They rocked into "Chalk Dust," kept things moving right into "Lizards," and closed the first set with "Antelope." Everyone in the room was jumping up and down as Trey sang "Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul."
The crowd was so energized that everyone kept moving around during the break. My friends and I were drenched with sweat but loving every minute. We found some water, and then went back up front for the next set.
"Sloth" opened things up; another new song for me, but it was amazing. I had never heard "Divided Sky" before that night, and I was blown away. The balance between the composed sections and the section where Trey just lets loose has kept me coming back to shows ever since. I swear during the quiet part, you can hear Channing screaming on the recordings! This song is just amazing. "Esther" was beautiful, and is it me, or is this song really sad? It's about a young girl who gets taken advantage by a scary older man, ostracized from her church and town, and ultimately dies. This is just tragic. Trey and Page did a great job carrying that emotion into their playing.
"My Sweet One" is a great tune, helps the band wind down but also pumps the crowd up. "Stash" followed, and this is another of those life-changing songs. It was incredible to watch the band's expressions as they went from one change to the other. Each of them was really concentrating, listening to each other. This song is high energy for everyone, crowd and band alike. "McGrupp," another first for me, was majestic. I have really come to like this song as I hear it on tapes. "All Things Reconsidered" was great a way to unwind before the delightful "Hood" which followed. I still get chills on my neck and arms during the quite part after Mr. Minor is thanked. I can not say enough about "Hood". "Gogli" was a great closer, really rocking and nicely played.
Someone had given me a copy of the March Binghamton show, so we were all familiar with the signals. To my delight, when Phish came out for the encore, they played several of the signals. Trey was teasing "Possum," and he played the Simpson's signal. They all looked thrilled at the immediate response, and someone, Page I think, tried the "all fall down" signal. As I went down to the ground, several people around me jumped back to see if I was okay. Laughing, I got back to my feet, to see Fishman come around from the drum kit with his vacuum. I had heard about this, but this was my first experience with a vacuum solo. What fun! These guys are crazy! After a minute or two of some weird sounding notes from Fishman, Trey started back into "Possum." Fishman waved to us and went behind the kit to start playing. "Possum" was intense, and almost all I could handle. The place exploded as they left the stage, and we all stumbled out into the cool Virginia night.
About 3:00 in the morning, we arrived back at our school.. die hard phans! I know there is a tendency to gush about your first show, and I am following the norm. From other shows I have heard from that tour, Phish was really keeping the level of intensity up and the setlists were fairly dynamic. But for me, this show will always hold a special place in my heart. My younger sister was in Vermont visiting a friend, and I made her promise to go see Phish and Santana play. She went and had a great time, but that is another story.


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