The second night of their monthly 2-night bookings at Nectar's, Phish opened with Taj Mahal's She Caught the Katy, a song that was one of two Taj Mahal covers the band played in the 80's (Corinna). A very standard Alumni and Golgi follow (the latter being "Duke Ellington's favorite song"). Swing Low, in the prime of its day, is next, but this version lacks the gusto compared to when it closes a show (3/23/87, 8/21/87). Fire returns energy to the set. The second Mike-sung cover of the set, Skin it Back, follows and moves into a very lilting jam that ends up very nicely into Cities. Perhaps the most solid version of Lushington closes the set.
Dog log opens this very short second set (only 45 mins). Melt the Guns is maybe the highlight of the show, as it turns into a driving jam that never returns to the chorus and instead moves to DEG, similarly to 2/13/87. Oddly, this is the last Melt the Guns the band ever played despite it serving as a nice jam vehicle for the band's early days. To celebrate "the Duke-ster's birthday", Jeff Friedberg joins the band for 'A-train'. Next, "Duke Ellington's favorite song by Nancy", Halley's Comet, is played with Trey singing falsetto to make up for the absence of Richard Wright. Halley's cleanly segues into Quinn, which also cleanly moves into AC/DC Bag.
"Don't forget to tip your waitresses and waiters and bartender," reminds Trey at the start of the 3rd set. These words are ingrained in my memory, as my college roomate had his alarm set to this show, and it woke me up countless times early in the morning. A very clean Peaches and Fluffhead are followed by a Trey-shred GTBT. The ultra-rare Anarchy makes an appearance here, which is worth a (short) listen. A slow Makisupa also cleanly transitions into a 9-minute Antelope, which is nicely played. The first Timber ever (with several additional lyrics) follows a standard Boogie On.
While Slave is pretty standard, the band absolutely tears through Sparks. One of the last 'chanting' versions of McGrupp contains a Lushington-like jam. Curtis Loew, which an audience member had been shouting for several times, is pretty good for a debut. The band rips through Come On, the second Hendrix cover of the night; the whole band shines here. A mellow Hydrogen, containing the beautiful second extra jam closes the show, but not before moving into Who Do We Do which ends the show oddly.
One of the highest quality shows you'll find in the early years, this show has many covers (15!!!). This has to be the most covers the band has ever played in one show that isn't a Halloween gig (and actually more than some Halloween gigs!) I imagine that the band had played a lot of their original material the first night (we'll never know since setlists don't exist, nor do tapes), so this night they filled with cover songs.
Anyways, this is a very solidly played extra-clean early show. The Melt the Guns>Cities is probably the finest version of the song and Lushington is also one of the best. This is also probably the best place to find the beautiful lost-at-birth Hydrogen twin jam, as well as a handful of early covers that aren't played anymore.