, attached to 1989-08-19

Review by david_bowie

david_bowie 27 years ago today. Damm. Happy anniversary to me.

This was the first time I saw this amazing band and I was blown away. It was my sophomore summer (a required, but delightful semester) at Dartmouth College. There were probably only about 1500 students on campus. Phish already had quite the following in Burlington, and I had heard of them, but alas had not had the chance to check them out. We had a couple of tapes and Junta floating around the house, but the Dead was still the shit during this era.

It was like pulling teeth trying to get folks to leave the comfort and free flowing beer of our fraternity basement on a hot Saturday night to go to a *free* concert. The action was already in progress when a few of us ambled in. Back in those days, Collis, which still serves as the Dartmouth student center, contained a small cafe and a dance floor more suited to a high school band. No way there were 300 ppl at the show. It was more like 80-100. I remember thinking how sad it was that such talented musicians were ripping it up for such a small, subdued crowd. There were a few "followers" shaking their bones, but otherwise it was pretty lame crowd.

Despite the turnout, I reveled in the goofy energy and raw power of the band, especially my new guitar hero. Honestly, I still prefer this era of Phish to the self-indulgent, tripped out, incessant noodling of 96/97. The Bowie, the following comedy act led by Fish, as well as the Mike's Groove to end the first set, all left a permanent impression on me. I recall 2nd set trampolines, during YEM I believe. I left this show thinking, "What a friggin talented and crazy band! Too bad they are so out there. They'll never make it big." LOL. A few New Years shows later, the Santana and Horde tours, Jerry dies, and the rest is Phishtory.

In the early days, the p fish did not need much of an audience to have a good time.


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