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Link Tuesday, 05/24/1988
Nectar's, Burlington, VT

Set 1: Curtain WithThe Curtain With, Rocky Top, Funky Bitch, AlumniAlumni Blues > LTJPLetter to Jimmy Page > AlumniAlumni Blues, PeachesPeaches en Regalia, GolgiGolgi Apparatus, Sneakin' SallySneakin' Sally Through the Alley, SuzySuzy Greenberg, Fire

Set 2: JJLCJesus Just Left Chicago, Fluffhead > Whipping Post

Set 3: Ya Mar[1] -> Jam[1] > Halley'sHalley's Comet[2] > SlothThe Sloth, IDKI Didn't Know[3], La Grange, Fee, I Know a Little, BBFCFMBig Black Furry Creature from Mars, Corinna, Harpua, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

[1] Jah Roy on vocals.
[2] Richard Wright on vocals.
[3] Richard Wright on drums, Fish on trombone.

Teases:
· Theme from The Flintstones tease in Big Black Furry Creature from Mars
· One Love quote in Jam

Noteworthy Jams: The Curtain With (key version), Jesus Just Left Chicago (key version), Whipping Post (highly recommended), Ya Mar (highly recommended), Jam (highly recommended), Run Like an Antelope

Average Song Gap: 9.23

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Richard "Nancy Taube" Wright (Guest), Jah Roy (Guest)

Notes: Ya Mar and the ensuing jam featured vocals from Jah Roy; the jam contained One Love quotes from Jah Roy and Trey. Halley’s Comet featured vocals from Richard Wright. I Didn't Know featured Wright on drums and Fish on trombone. BBFCFM contained Flintstones theme teases from Trey. The master recordings confirm this listing as the correct performance order. Many recordings of this show circulate with an incorrect song order, an incorrect date (May 25, 1988) and an incorrect venue (Ian’s Farm, Hebron, NY).

Song Distribution:
3 Junta
3 The White Tape
1 Lawn Boy
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1988 Tour."

SlavePhan , attached to 1988-05-24 Permalink
SlavePhan My recording of this show is limited to Whipping Post plus the hilarity that is set 3. This is an interesting listen and has a few elements that may be worth a once-over.

The Whipping Post here is quite long (20+) which was typical for the time. However, the wild jamming that the band had been doing in '87 and '88 seemed to be beginning to coalesce every once in a while, and there are some parts of Whipping Post here that are in that direction. Particularly, there is a moment when the band drops down and Trey is playing with a fader pedal (eerily similar to when he does it in the 3/13/93 Antelope), and another moment where Fish leaves some space and things turn a corner. It's much more focused than some earlier Whipping Post's (although for 80's Phish, that's not saying that much).

By far, though, the Jah Roy guest spot in Ya Mar is the high point of this show. Who is Jah Roy? He's a player in a (still existing, apparently) Vermont Reggae band called Lamb's Bread. I imagine that they shared venues with Phish in the early years and so Jah Roy made a few guest appearances (see 10/31/86) and this is one of them. Toward the end of Ya Mar, the band gets into the reggae beat that they had previously been playing in Makisupa (for instance, see 8/21/87 Mouse House) and Jah Roy comes out of nowhere to start singning. He sings about all sorts of things and Phish, he breaks the song to scream out "How is everybody feeling!" (a la 8/13/93), then tells the band to 'break it break it'. It really ruins the flow of things and he tries to get the band to calm down and teach them about the elements of reggae, he rambles about Nectar's, 'business', breaks into 'One Love', and drum and bass as the foundation. It's pretty amazing, really, and I wonder what the band was thinking. I also wonder if Trey made fun of this hilarious ramble when he yelled "Bass and drum bass and drum" during future YEMs.

Nancy makes an appearance for Halley's Comet in this one too. His screeching/singing is particularly atonal in this one, especially at the end, but the band picks up and moves into a Sloth (still missing the building section). Fishman's introduced here as Moses Heaps, Dewitt, and Brown as per the time. The Corinna here is a nice break after the slightly wild 'I Know a Little'/BBFCFM combo. Harpua is dedicated to Tim Rogers and is one of the better examples of the 'standard' story.

Great Antelope to close for the time with a fantastic last 5 minutes or so. It is absolutely fantastic tension and release with a DEG-element. Although there's no glistening Trey at the end, this is a very solid Antelope, especially for 1988. Good stuff.

Overall, this section is a 3+, special guests, some nice 3rd set playing, and a beautiful early Antelope.
Score: 4
n00b100 , attached to 1988-05-24 Permalink
n00b100 As somebody whose biases are tilted strongly towards the late-90s and 3.0, it's both bracing and strange to go back and listen to shows like this one, where Phish is basically a working band bashing out yet another 3-set show (God, the number of 3-set shows they played in their younger days!) during their seemingly endless residency at Nectar's rather than a group of millionaires playing to tens of thousands in sheds, arenas, and the occasional soccer stadium across the US. The bracing part comes from the almost hyperactive energy of their performance, which wasn't yet as tightly controlled as it would be in 1993 or as streamlined as it would be in 1997, but just radiating off of the stage with each performance; it's quite obvious, even at this early date, that bigger and better things lay ahead for the band. The strange part comes from the setlist - songs like Harpua, Whipping Post, and Alumni Blues, major rarities by the end of the decade, are just part of the songbook here, with even some of the longest-settled jam vehicles like Tweezer and DWD nowhere to be found.

Having given Colorado '88 a spin or two, I was pretty familiar with the repertoire and the playing style Phish had developed by this point in their evolution, and this particular performance is more of an example of the theme, rather than an outlier. Nothing goes particularly deep - the good stuff (via the setlist color-coding) is as good as described, but mainly in the sense that they feature good tight playing, rather than any sort of massive improvisation, as they hadn't gotten to the point where they were creating new music instead of just playing around with the music that was already there. The Whipping Post, 26 minutes long, is essentially a Type I Whipping Post, and more of a showcase for Trey's fiery soloing than their improv usually provides. Which isn't a bad thing, by any means - Trey really *rips* all throughout - but later Phish had more shades to it than "26 minutes of bashing out Southern rock" and "15 minutes of slowed-down blues", and this show doesn't really capture that.

With that said, there is still all sorts of pleasures to be gleaned from this tape - the Curtain With is exemplary, Whipping Post does smoke (even though it runs on a tad long), the Ya Mar -> Jam is wacky and wild, and even an early Antelope is still an Antelope worth hearing. Much of Phish's 80s stuff can come across as curiosity pieces, but the best of what they played during that decade (like in Colorado '88, which is well worth your time) is totally worthy of your attention. This is the closest you can get to a time machine with this band we all so much, so why not pay the fare and ride the ride?
Score: 3
MiguelSanchez , attached to 1988-05-24 Permalink
MiguelSanchez i only have part of this show, but the part i have is great. basically, i have set 2 plus yamar. jjlc was pretty solid. the fluffhead is well played. it's does not quite have the flow that it would have in another 2-4 years, but for '88, it's good. then trey really rocks this whipping post. this is a nice long one, with a very deep bluesy, rock jam. the third set starts with one of my all time favorite yamars. jah roy turns this one into a full on reggae party. with some fun ad libbed rhasta gibberish, this one really takes off, and they give jah roy room to really do whatever he wants. good fun. i wish i had the rest of this one, it has some very sharp early playing.
Score: 1
Wazoo , attached to 1988-05-24 Permalink
Wazoo Cool show - especially set II if you are into long songs (3 songs 15, 15, 26 = 56 minutes). JJLC has a really slow groove - made more humorous by the Mike quip afterwards that they want to "slow it down a bit". Fluffhead finishes well, and Whipping Post really burns - even if the vocals can be painful (negligible really, by the percentage of the time the song is instrumental).

The Set III has the fun and ballyhooed Ya Mar, but for me, the second set is where its at.
Score: 1

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