The more I think about it, the more I think the 9/27/87 show is mis-labeled and is really the 2/20/88 show at the same venue.
The reason this makes sense is three-fold:
Firstly, on what is labeled the 9/27/87 show, the band plays a full composed Fluffhead. But the band hadn’t put Fluffhead together until November of that year (1987). Why would the band play a fully composed Fluffhead, but then a few shows later play The Chase, Who Do We Do (2x), and Clod all outside of Fluffhead? That doesn’t really make sense. It would make more sense for the band to slowly incorporate those songs into Fluffhead, and once they got it to click, keep it that way. Granted, there was a weird period in the fall of 89 when the band split up fluffhead a bit, but for the most part, after 87, Fluffhead was played in its entirety with almost no gaps. Having a weird date outside of that time period to have the full composition making each part a debut doesn’t make sense. It makes much more sense that the full Fluffhead was instead played on 2/20/88, when the band had in fact put it all together.
The second reason is the appearance of Phase Dance. The band played Phase Dance 4 times. 2/7, 2/8, 2/26 (all of 88) and 9/27/87. Notice how convenient it would be for Phase Dance to be played on 2/20/88? That’s right – it just doesn’t make sense for the band to play a song once in September, then play it 3 times in a row in February. During this period, the band would play a cover and keep it in rotation and either play it out, or drop it altogether. They needed material and they kept what worked and dropped what didn’t, quickly. It makes much more sense that the 9/27 gig is really the 2/20 gig.
Finally – Junta has always been said to be recorded in the winter of 1988. Take my previous statements about the Junta-similarities in this show, and it matches up with another period when we think the band recorded Junta.
Besides all that, the shows are at the same venue and the band doesn’t even know if the songs are in the correct venue. The only source is from Mike’s videos. The included BBFCFM on his video and on phish.com which isn’t present on 9/27 could be from the missing set that no one has a copy of. Really, the only way to know would be to see Mike’s videos – but I think we can just use basic logic and go ahead and chalk this up to a mis-labeled tape. Only magnetosphere could weigh in…he’s the one who has the masters.
The only annoying part is it rips a hole in all my review of the show…and the junta discussion fodder I wrote…ohwell…