, attached to 1991-10-13

Review by Pholy

Pholy I have an odd story about the North Shore. I went to that show with a bunch of friends I'd met through work at a restaraunt around the block from the venue. One of them had given me the first phish boot I ever owned, about a week after the first show at evergreen from my first post. This tape was the first set of 5-15-1988. The first tape. Ah, what a thing.
The dude who gave it to me had some vaguely dismissive things to say about it, and seemed particularly to think that the Bag>Possum transition (check it out!) sounded very China>Rider-ish, and that they were "ripping off" the Dead. I tend to agree, but I liked it. A lot.
He was one of the people who came with my gf and other friends to the North Shore, and if you listen carefully, you can hear him call for Possum in the pause before the blat-boom in Wilson, to the amusement of Trey and everyone in the front of the house. Around 4:30 catches the build up and unfortunate call-out.
After the show, as we were walking out, we overheard some other attendees laughing about my friend, "Like, dude, they played Possum last night!" The wierd combination of disdain, envy and humiliation visible on my buddies face is hard to forget.
That all aside, My girlfriend and I had the privilege to witness this show from about 15' away from the stage, standing on a bench at the side of the venue, so that I could see over the heads of the crowd. A perfect, unobstructed view of the show. The stage was small, and so they had set up in the more standard drums-in-back setup you'd see other bands use. This put Trey in front, flanked by Mike on my side and Page on the other. Trey was throwing off energy like a supernova. I can still remember clearly the looks of amazement on peoples during the jam in Reba, and thinking very distinctly that we were hearing the best band in the world.
The rest of the show, with the off the cuff Gamehenge journy was like they had decided to fill us in on the hints of story we'd gleaned from Lizards and Bag off the Beecher Hill Farm tape. It all was made clear and we laughed and danced and shook our heads at the hugeness of it all.
Not to mention the second set's span from the RAGING Llama, to Fishman's antics and band intros, to the closing fear-inducing Bowie.
It was a peak experience of my life, and while the few shows I saw after this were some fantastic shows, none had the magic of this one.


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