This show, at UVM, was the first in a couple of months at the University. Like most UVM shows of this time period, the band was very comfortable with the audience and the show features a whole lot of audience and band chatter. Starting things off, Trey dedicates the show to "what's left of the ozone layer". A trombone-less I Didn't Know opens followed by a standard Golgi. The Lizards is introduced as a song about a "place that people don't visit very often....GAMEHENNNNDGE". Despite the talkative Trey, the next handful of songs don't stand out as anything particularly noteworthy. Lizards and Fee are run-of-the-mill, and Shaggy Dog, by request, slows things down.
It isn't until BBFCFM that this set picks up a bit, fueled by some impassioned screaming for "hardcore" punk. The BBFCFM is short, but gets the crowd into the show and also serves as a vehicle to play YEM. Like the previous recorded show, YEM is played very well, despite it's relative Junta-like-length.
The next few songs are interesting, only in that they feature a young (3-years old) Cameron McKenney, a son of a friend of the band who normally would later be present and on-stage at a handful of spectacular shows (see 4/18/92, 3/14/93, and 11/28/94). Cameron "plays" lead guitar on Suzy, "plays" the bass, pedals, and adds vocals to Ya Mar, and is the writer and arranger of AC/DC Bag that follows. Quite an accomplishment for someone who's not even in kindergarten.
The Bag here is actually a bit of a bright spot in this set, as it speeds up quickly and loudly and slides into an uptempo Possum. This Possum gets faster and faster and faster, an early victim of the band not being able to keep tempo in small rooms where it was hard to hear each other, but this Possum thrives on the energy and scorches to a finish. A fine early version. Curtis Lowe brings things back to Earth, but the Bowie catches the same speeding-up virus, and ends about 2x faster than it begins. The tempo changes catch Trey off guard, so this Bowie isn't as clean as usual.
Like he had done consistently throughout the Spring, Trey narrates a whole bunch before Forbin. This time, Trey says that Phish is actually from Gamehendge - wandering folk musicians spreading the word of the evil Wilson! The Forbin's contains a Marley shout-out and the Forbin's features the band playing the song cleanly and effectively.
Fire is likely the highlight of this show, though, and it totally rips. If you want to hear early machine-gun Trey, this is the place. An awesome version. After Fire, Trey introduces some new material that the band will play in the future, songs that would become some of the most-played songs of the band's career. The band even breaks into an early version of Weekapaug here, which, Trey reveals, was initially named "Marijuana hot chocolate".
In a grouping of songs that seems like closer after closer, the band plays a pretty standard Antelope, a very strong early Fluffhead with great Arrival section from Trey. Antelope seems like a closer here, though, as Trey says "we'll see you at Gallagher's" (the next show they play) while Page asks people to come see them at the Vermont Reggae fest (a date which isn't in the history books). Hood shines here and concludes the show.
Harpua, although attached to most versions of this show and on setlists, is identical to that from the the 3/11/88 show.
All in all, the first Phish Earth day show has a few highlights (Fire, Possum, Hood), but the major reason to hear this show is the band's funny banter. Like much of 1988, the band was comfortable with its audience and in a close enough space to be able to talk back and forth. Musically, though, there are much better shows to hear.