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Link Thursday, 09/20/1990
Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA

Set 1: LandladyThe Landlady > BagAC/DC Bag > Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Asse FestivalThe Asse Festival, CoilThe Squirming Coil > MSOMy Sweet One, DividedDivided Sky, Magilla > Oh Kee PaThe Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > SuzySuzy Greenberg > Possum[1]

Set 2: Funky Bitch, Stash, Uncle Pen, Tube, Lawn Boy > Tweezer[2] -> Buried Alive > Tweezer[3] > McGruppMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > HYHUHold Your Head Up > Love You > HYHUHold Your Head Up, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope[4]

Encore: LizardsThe Lizards

[1] Two Charlie Chan signals, Oom Pa Pa and How High the Moon signals.
[2] Charlie Chan and I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart signals.
[3] Charlie Chan and Random Note signals.
[4] Three Charlie Chan signals and How High the Moon, Tritone Down and Oom Pa Pa signals.

· Heartbreaker tease in Suzy Greenberg
· Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind tease

Noteworthy Jams: Possum (highly recommended), McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Run Like an Antelope

Average Song Gap: 6.48

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

Notes: Suzy contained Heartbreaker teases from Trey and Page. Possum contained two Charlie Chan signals, and Oom Pa Pa and How High the Moon signals. Tweezer included two Charlie Chan signals as well as I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart and Random Note signals. Antelope contained three Charlie Chan signals and How High the Moon, Tritone Down, and Oom Pa Pa signals. Prior to Love You, Mike teased the theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Some recordings that circulate with this date are actually a compilation of performances from this show and the following night.

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

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1990 Tour."

DemandOpener , attached to 1990-09-20 Permalink
DemandOpener Like much of 1990, I feel like much of this show can be sufficiently absorbed by simply taking any of the songs played during the year and listening to them in the evening's setlist's appropriate order. Phish was building a fanbase and as such, they rarely left the type-1 jamming box they so frequently occupied. A lot of fans (myself included for the most part) consider the early days of Phish mostly inessential for that exact reason, but there are still some interesting things going on here, and this is one of the top-tier shows of the year.

Exhibit A: Setlist flow. One common complaint of early Phish is that they had no concept of how to construct a setlist with proper song flow (occasionally complained about to this day!). This setlist is definitely out of the ordinary for the time because of how well the songs fit together. There is nothing jarring at all about song placement in the first set, and the Magilla through Possum to close the set is an excellent run of well-played tunes. In an era where type II jamming was still at a premium, setlist flow is markedly important, and they nailed it here.

Exhibit B: The Tweezer/Buried Alive sandwich. Um, what? This may be one of the first examples of Phish just ripping into a song right in the middle of another, and it must have been mind-blowing at the time. It works surprisingly well, although perhaps a bit jarring at first. The return to Tweezer is excellent, and Trey brings it to a satisfying conclusion with a fiery finish.

Exhibit C: The secret language has started to emerge by this point in 1990. After a lengthy break from playing shows, the band had written something like 15 new songs and developed a strange, new system of teasing whatever they wanted whenever they felt like it. Trey peppers many of the songs with Oom Pa Pas and countless Charlie Chans. The Tweezer and Antelope are definitely worth a listen for fans of the "ludicrously out of place" musicality.

Exhibit D: Check out this McGrupp!!!!! Unbelievable work from Page!

A soundboard quality recording from 1990 with a lot of well-played favorites with great setlist flow and a couple of bonafide highlights in Tweezer and McGrupp equals 4 stars from me. Give it a listen!
Score: 1

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