Reflecting on my first show more than six years after the fact, I have to include a fairly humorous anecdote about our adventure to the Georgia Theater. As four of us where anxious to leave Clemson and get down to Athens, we had to wait for our friend and designated driver to arrive with his new wheels. Tic-toc, tic-toc... Finally Rob pulls up in his new Saab that ol' Pops had rewarded the EE major with for his strong academic performance. Five freaks in a yuppie car come toolin' into Athens about an hour before showtime, and as we're rounding one of the last corners before the public parking area, Rob smacks a curb and deflates a tire on his brand new car. He decides to fix the tire now so we don't have to deal with it after the show. Up strolls a local hobo who calls himself Clark (also the name on his hat, and the county we're in) who offers to lend a hand but can't since he only has one. Clark states "i'd like to help, but az yawll cin see... only got one arm. So I'll play a little tune for yaz," and proceeds to pull a harmonica out of his pocket and starts wailin' the blues. Already a little tweaked, I about lost it and had to leave before laughing in Clark's face.
As we stroll up to the entrance, I notice the marquee reads "Phish & The Giant Country Horns". I figure its an opening act. Not quite. The addition of this three piece brass section literally blew me away. To this day, it was one of the hottest live concerts I've ever witnessed!
Its important to understand my exposure to Phish prior to seeing my first show. My roommate's girlfriend's brother had sent us a 60 minute tape of the Lawnboy LP. That's right, you could actually hear the needle hit the vinyl. That means my familiarity was with tracks like Reba, Antelope, Split Open,etc. Of course, they had also just released "A Picture of Nectar" a couple weeks earlier, and I had never heard anything like it. Chalkdust was to become the summer school '91 anthem. Tweezer was wickedly wierd and so damn funky. Cavern being a rocker, too. So any way...
Set I: Chalkdust. What a rockin' tune to open a show. Reba. Quite righteous. My sweet One-so much fun!
At this point I went to get another of the gargantuan 32oz. drafts the bar served. "and the foam, keeps getting thicker..." Maybe I was a little wacked - I almost fell into my cup of beer - but I couldn't stop laughing during this tune. All funked up. Suzy Greenberg. More hilarious musical antics. i am already claiming this as the best concert I've seen! TMWSIY->Avenu->TMWSIY This was a wild jam-nice melody turned intense and back to the nice melody. Bouncin'. Hey I'll admit, I liked this song at one point. Golgi. I think I actually held up that ticket stub (what a geek).
Stash. people were dangling them and sparkin' up as soon as the lights went down. Dinner and A Movie... and those horns are killin' me. You Enjoy. I had only heard rumors of the trampolines, but to see them jam while tramping was too cool. Funky Bitch was so damn funky. And did I mention the 'bitches'? This town has some really sweet southern bells who dig good music! Squirming Coil. More good stuff. Tweezer. What can I say... it was so hot and yet it was so cold. Really tight and super funky.
A three song encore?! lawnboy is a nice bit to mellow to at the end of a dazzling performance. But wait there's more! They really had created a monster; Edgar Winter woulda been proud. Split Open and Melt to close? Unbelievable.
Like I said, this was one of the greatest shows I have ever witnessed. And the horns were such an integral part of creating some of the most brilliant rock-jazz-funk - whatchamacallit. Whatchamacallit? PHISH!