Just noticed that you don't have any reviews of shows before May of '89. I guess I'm getting old...so here's what I remember of my first Phish show, my freshman year at UVM.
March 16th was a typical Burlington winter day - cold, cloudy and with a tit-freezin wind blowing off the lake. My friend Howie and I were walking back through East Campus when he pointed out the flyer for some band playing at our ES-100 classroom. Since both of us were broke as usual, and since our meal cards would probably not be accepted, we cruized over to the Living and Learning Center to see if maybe we could help set up and get in for free.
About 4pm we walk up to the yellow truck parked outside room 115, where a short, somewhat shaggy fellow (Howie tells me he's the drummer) is attempting to pull an amplifier off the raised deck. We introduce ourselves and ask him if he need help, which he could obviously use in the 20 degree chill. "Can we, like, help you guys set up for tickets tonight?"
"Yeah! Whatever you want...Just tell the dude up front you were here earlier" he says, or something to that effect.
So, we spend the next half hour moving drum kits and amps and a really large pastel backdrop, which I guess they had just picked up. Three hours later we make the hundred-yard trek from Millis Hall to L&L, a quick one since the temperature had by now dropped into the teens. By this time, a pretty good line had formed for this "downtown" band, since most of the East Campus residents like myself were still under-age, and restricted to the occassional all-ages show at the Front.
"Uh, we're the guys who helped set up earlier..." Howie tells the unfamiliar face.
"We came down and helped set up, and the short guy said we could get in for free" I add.
"Whatever, just get out of here" he snaps, probably thinking we're trying to scam out of paying the five bucks.
The show was packed, with probably 350 people in the room that was more suited for 150. Even though it was freezing outside, it was a jungle inside. About half way through the first set, a sweating Trey announces that special treats will be available at the set break. Then during Y.E.M. he holds up a box of graham crackers and a bushel of oranges, winking at the crowd. I think it was after "I Didn't Know" that he made the official announcement that they had gallons of water, oranges, and graham crackers at the set break. By this time the steam leaving the hallway windows was creating it's own weather system outside, or so it seemed by the clouds billowing out of the frosted glass
Sure enough, the treats were spread as soon as the lights went on, and a big ripe orange was thrown my way. It was the best orange I'd ever eaten, or so I thought at the time, but what to do with the rind? Chuck it, of course. The room soon was covered in sticky orange rinds and cracker crumbs, and the water was soon being used for bathing more than drinking.
As for the music, I don't remember much. I think I thought most of it sucked at the time, as it was my first show and everything except "Good Times, Bad Times" and "Walk Away" was strange and unusual. Now eleven years later, and it's a sick set. I'm still looking for a copy...