(Submitted to the legacy Phish.net site 1/14/03...)
This was my first Phish concert, Valentine's Day 1991. Lawn Boy had been released recently. I really liked Reba and I thought "hey these guys sound fun; I'll go check out their show". Their album got good review in the student newspaper. Phish were still just an underground college band at this time. I remember seeing neon-colored posters for the concert stapled to phone poles. The show was sold out and a few people were hanging around outside the theater looking for tickets, but I mean literally 2-3. The State is an old theater that had been converted to a movie house but occasionally hosted live shows. In the back there was a table with a young woman selling stickers and white t-shirts and with the rainbow Phish logo. They were also selling Junta tapes and Lawn Boy CDs. The soundboard was in the middle of the theater, in a cordoned-off section of the seats. It was general admission. I spent some time walking about the theater saying hi to friends. It was all very social, and the crowd seemed to be just a big family. Despite the sellout, there were only a few hundred people and you could walk anywhere without pushing, including right up to the stage.
I remember a few songs from this night. ^ÓMy Sweet One^Ô was a great opener in such a small venue. ^ÓReba^Ô appeared a few numbers later. That made my night. Although not yet a Phish connoisseur I was really impressed with the jamming. Trey seemed to go on forever, not missing a note. At the end of the set they played ^ÓGolgi^Ô, which had my friend really excited. He'd been into them for quite a while and this one of his favorite songs. I was impressed with the energy level of the set, and also with the banter between the band and the crowd. You could practically hold a conversation with a band member between songs if you wanted. There was only about 3 feet between the stage and the front row and it was not raised very much above the floor. The fun continued in the second set. As in the first, I only recognized the Lawn Boy tunes but I really enjoyed the show anyway. I clearly remember ^ÓBouncing^Ô. They brought out two trampolines, which Trey and Billy mounted and proceeded to bounce on for the entire song. The stage lights went out, powerful strobes came on, and smoke poured out of a machine. I was really blown away. At times it looked as though they were floating in mid-air. I remember wondering how they could manage to play while jumping. I also remember ^ÓI Didn't Know^Ô. I was impressed with how the crowd quieted down and let them sing. "Landlady" was just cool. I was impressed at this point with the variety from song to song. "Possum" was just wild fun, a great closer.
Other than that the rest of the show is just a blur now. I've never heard a tape of it so I can't comment on the performance. Maybe someday I'll find it. A year later when I first listened to Picture of Nectar I recognized quite a few songs (see set list below). I only wish days like this could have gone on longer because every time I saw Phish after this for the next few years it seemed like the venue quadrupled in size. Well, the more the merrier!
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $750,000 to support music education for children – 210 grants in 43 states, with more on the way.