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Link Sunday, 05/06/1990
Toad's Place, New Haven, CT

Set 1: Possum > Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Uncle Pen, Reba, Tweezer, Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Set 2: Fee, HoodHarry Hood, Esther > BowieDavid Bowie, Terrapin, Jägermeister Song, YEMYou Enjoy Myself[1]

[1] No vocal jam.

Noteworthy Jams: Harry Hood, David Bowie

Average Song Gap: 4.6

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Reba was dedicated to Widespread Panic. After Trey thanked Widespread Panic, the band played a brief jam with a Spanish-style feel (for about 30 seconds) before Jägermeister. The management stopped the band in the middle of YEM, so there was no vocal jam. During the tramps jam in YEM, Trey jumped off the stage.  The opening act was Widespread Panic.

Song Distribution:
4 Junta
2 Stash
2 Lawn Boy
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1990 Tour."

zzyzx Phish.net Staff , attached to 1990-05-06 Permalink
zzyzx Author's Note: This review was written originally in 1993. I have since seen better Bowies. In fact I saw a better one later that year.

Ah, for a more innocent time... I arrived for this show during Widespread Panic's soundcheck. I went inside to check it out and hang out with the tapers. So not only did I get to play ocarina on the stage while Widespread was checking (only their percussionist could hear me and he didn't think that it was totally horrible :@), but since they never kicked us out we all got to see the show for free.

The show itself was during the Sunday of finals week at Yale. So the turnout was abysmal. Only about 50 people bothered to show. So during Widespread's set, Trey was just hanging out. No one really harassed him either. WSP played for about 45 minutes and then Phish came on.

The show opened with Possum. It was a ripping version. The introduction was much shorter than it is nowadays, but the peak in the
jam was much higher. Finally it ended and they went into Bouncing. They had changed a line since my last show. All of a sudden they were singing about the "Sweet sound bouncing 'round." I wasn't expecting that. Neither was I expecting Uncle Pen; this was the first time I heard the "bouncing duo" as I nicknamed this pairing. After a Reba dedicated to Widespread, I got another first, my first Tweezer. Of course, it would have been hard for me to have seen many Tweezers, as this was only the second one on the east coast. During the jam, Trey did a lot of really sinister style laughing. I enjoyed the song but was not blown away; little did I know how important this song would become. They brought the set to a close with Mike's Song. By the time Weekapaug had ended, I had three exclamation points by it.

During the break I went to talk to Claw Me Down [1]. He was offering to give away Junta with every purchase of Space Wrangler. He also gave me a rainbow Phish shirt for "Going above and beyond the call of a fan." (I would prove this next week buy driving 120 in a torrential downpour to see a show at Pearl St.)

Second set started with my first Fee in a while. Then came my first Harry Hood. I had one on tape at the time, but this version was much better. After it ended, Trey called it, "A little ditty about milk." and played Esther. Then came Bowie.

The David Bowie that was played this night is still probably my favorite version. Mike played a bass line in the beginning of the jam that was to become the theme of the song. Both Mike and Trey came back to play it quite a few times. When they had played with that as much as they felt like, they shifted gears and went for the energy. They got it. I was grinning ear to ear when during the closing chords Henrietta was introduced. While the Terrapin that was played was nice- I've never seen Trey so into playing drums- it was when it was over that the show started to get seriously weird.

After leaving the drum kit, Trey stepped up to the microphone to thank us. He then said, "We're going to do one more number now. And we'd like to thank Widespread Panic one more time. Let's just hope that they don't ply us with Jagermeister like they did the last time we played with [them] after the gig." Fish interrupted with, "Yeah, just to get us drunk." They played a very brief Bolero jam then "Thank you. We'll see you next time."

Well, no one belived them, so they tried another way to play their "one more number." Mike started playing a funky bass line. The
others soon joined in. While I was busy trying to figure out what they were playing, they started to sing. It went like:

Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister?
Jagermeister all night long.

Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister
Gimme some Jagermeister?
Jagermeister all night long.

They then started jamming. Someone (Trey?) continued to sing the verse until the song came to sudden end. Fish said, "That could go on forever." The crowd cheered and started singing the verse, inspiring a brief Jagermeister reprise...

Then we finally got the "one more number"- You Enjoy Myself. But the weirdness wasn't over yet. While on the trampolines, Trey literally jumped off the side of the stage. When I asked him about that after the show, he said that he had been trying to do that for a while, but we all thought that he had hurt himself.

Because it was a Sunday, Toad's Place had to close at 1 AM. Phish had given themselves enough time to finish the set, but they got
sidetracked a bit there towards the end. So in the middle of the jam, the manager goes up to Page and tells him to stop. After
another minute of jamming, Page finally gets Trey's attention. So this Y.E.M. has a unique ending; they sing the mystery line one time and stop. No vocal jam at all. It was just one more piece of weirdness in an odd night...

[1] 2009 note. Bob "Claw Me Down" Smith ran the merch table from the time of my first show until the end of this tour. He got the nick due to his weird way of giving handshakes.
Score: 6
Roofless_Sheds , attached to 1990-05-06 Permalink
Roofless_Sheds this show is Grade A pre-'93 Phish, and serves as both the tape i give to curious newcomers when they wonder what 'early' Phish sounds like, and the show i force doubtful jaded vets to hear when they feed me a bunch of rubbish about how 'dispensible' 1990-92 Phish is.

one glance at the setlist should be enough to get any fan excited. SO many 'big jam' songs... and what's better, every one of them is totally nailed. Hood and Reba are their sparkling, transcendant selves, while Possum, Bowie, Mike's and Weekapaug each rage face with an unfamiliar youthful abandon.

this Tweezer warrants special mention. it was only the fifth or sixth time played in front of an audience, and the jam is spectacular, somewhere between the knotty avant-metal of '93-94 and the legato Hendrixian grind of '96. however, some listeners may be put off by what i can only describe as one of the band members WHINING into his microphone through the majority of it, a rather unpleasant wounded animal sort of noise. after the song ends, a sheepish Fishman mentions, "That one was called The Tweezer Song... I think."

the rest of the show is filled out by technically-challenging crowd pleasers like Uncle Pen, Esther, and (a refreshingly vocal jam-less) YEM, each slaughtered in turn. The Jagermeister Song must be heard to be understood - i DARE you to try and wipe the grin off your face while you do so.

i'm going to paraphrase something i read on the fantastic Hidden Track blog a while back... every time i go back and listen to early Phish, i expect it to sound WORSE in a way, but it never does. it merely sounds DIFFERENT, just as any true artist simply exploring another period in their own artistic evolution. it's enough to make one wonder... maybe these guys just always had IT!

outstanding sound quality throughout (direct from the spreadsheet) is icing on the cake.
Score: 1

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