10/6/89 Paradise, Boston, MA
Charlie Dirksen, San Francisco, CA
Unfortunately, the tapes of this gig don't circulate, and I haven't heard it since it occurred. Many of my friends had aleady seen plenty of Phish shows (Molly's in late '88, numerous Paradise shows in '89..) by this time, but I had never gone because I was stubbornly and arrogantly into the Dead. I'd heard Phish on some hissy tapes back then (while at BC), but I wasn't sold. Two of my friends, Jon and Rick, compelled me to go to this gig, and I wound up having the best Bar Band Experience of my life up until that time. Since I can't use tapes to jog my memory, though, this isn't going to be much of a review.
If you haven't been to the Paradise, it is a small room on Comm Ave in Boston next to BU, and holds a couple hundred people at most. I don't recall anyone outside looking for tickets (it wasn't sold out), but I do remember that the Paradise wasn't full that night. There were a lot of people drinking beer over by the bar and talking during the ENTIRE gig (i.e., there were a lot of people there just to party who weren't interested in the music ... sound familiar?). I remember that Fishman dedicated SOMETHING to one of his relatives, because it was that relative's birthday. I recognized a couple of the songs they played, but not by name, and they didn't play YEM (before this show, it was the only song that I knew and really enjoyed). I vaguely remember the use of trampolines, which I found amusing. I was also close enough to the stage to touch Fish's vacuum, which I remember being there, but which I strangely can't recall being used.
Fish, for what it's worth, was (if memory serves) wearing his smock and goggles, which struck me as odd (how silly of me). I had a great time at the show with many college friends, and thought Phish was the best bar band that I'd ever seen. I nevertheless had NO IDEA that, within a decade, I'd be seeing them at venues like MSG and The Gorge for sold-out consecutive nights! You could tell, though, back then, that the band also had no idea that they'd be incredibly successful. They were too busy modestly creating brilliant music, having fun and winning hearts.