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Link Sunday, 11/24/1991
Webster Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Soundcheck: Memories, Destiny Unbound, Blues Jam

Set 1: SlothThe Sloth, Paul and Silas, Stash, CoilThe Squirming Coil, LandladyThe Landlady > Fluffhead > Sparkle, It's Ice > IDKI Didn't Know > BowieDavid Bowie[1]

Set 2: Tube > DividedDivided Sky, Cavern > MangoThe Mango Song > CDTChalk Dust Torture, 'A' TrainTake the 'A' Train, YEMYou Enjoy Myself, GolgiGolgi Apparatus

Encore: Sweet Adeline[2], Rocky Top

[1] Two Charlie Chan signals and Random Laugh and Simpsons signals in intro.
[2] Without microphones.

Noteworthy Jams: David Bowie

Average Song Gap: 2.85

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

Notes: During the Bowie intro, Trey presented monogrammed bathrobes to the crew for their dedication and hard work, with Chris Kuroda taking a light solo at Trey's request when his name was mentioned. The crowd passed the bathrobes from the stage to the crew. The Bowie intro also featured two Charlie Chan signals and Random Laugh and Simpsons signals. Sweet Adeline was performed without microphones.

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

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1991 Fall Tour."

notio , attached to 1991-11-24 Permalink
Sometime in 1988 my friend Marla said, "You have to see this band, Phish, spelled with a 'Ph.' They're kind of a cross between the Dead and Frank Zappa." I said, "Huh. How's that work?" And she said, "Pretty well, if you like Zappa and the Dead!" That's an unusual combination, and hits two of my favorite musical performers, so I put Phish on the list.

Living between Boston and Burlington meant that I usually needed to travel for music, and though I had email in 1988, this was mostly Before Internet and that meant I didn't hear about Phish shows much.

During September of 1991 the Dead played six nights in Boston, and I saw a bunch of those, staying with friends for some, and commuting back and forth for others, keeping my day job. On one of the rides back home I met Donni, and in the course of the drive learned he was a big Phish fan. Told him what Marla had told me, and he said, "Gimme your number, I'll let you know."

So it came to pass that one day Donni called and said, "Phish at Dartmouth, next Sunday?" And I said, "Sure." I didn't know any of the music, hadn't heard any of it. I went in as a fan of concerts, knowing nothing of the band other than the raving recommendations of several friends.

I think it was Donni, Dave, and I who went together, and it was the first time I'd been to Webster Hall, which was tiny -- a seating capacity of only four hundred people. Open floor, U-shaped balcony with 5 rows of seats around the ring. Webster Hall is now the Rauner Special Collections Library. I think Phish was one of the last shows in the venue.

The show started, and halfway through the first song, The Sloth, I'm thinking, Uh, okay, WTF does this metal band have to do with Zappa or the Dead? I remember the lighting for Sloth being very black and white, emphasizing the metal character.

Then Paul and Silas: Everyone is bopping and I'm like, Ok, I actually like bluegrass, but what's up with the flow here? Where are we going? Maybe I need another smoke?

After Stash I looked at Donni and said, "Ok, THAT was good. More like that."

At the end of the first set -- killer Bowie -- my general reaction was, Excellent musicianship, some great songs, some ok songs, and some stupid filler weirdness that was distracting.

When the second set started I was still getting my bearings during Tube (because YOU MAY LEAVE AND RE-ENTER THE VENUE WITH YOUR TICKET STUB AND A HAND STAMP, WOOT!), but the Divided Sky had my undivided attention, and I remember thinking it was gutsy and rare for a band to trust the audience such that they could have so much quiet early in a second set.

Second set was better than the first, for this newbie. I knew "A Train" and liked their version and that they played it; loved the YEM. Golgi was a good closer. Then back to the Americana sorta-bluegrass for the encores.

Debriefing over a beer, decided that the Zappa influence was about the virtuosity and the hijinks, the Dead influence was about the jamming and flow within the songs. But really these guys are their own thing. Decided I needed to know the songs better to grok the flow between the songs -- because AFAICT it was random. "I could see them again," I said.

Little did I know how many shows I attend (though the Dead kept a lot of my budget for the early '90s) and how much I'd come to love the band's attitude, their approach to their craft, their infectious fun attitude, and their sophisticated non-trendy songs. In retrospect, a great first show.
Score: 1
, attached to 1991-11-24 Permalink
(Published on the legacy Phish.net site many years ago...)

Small is the word.Accoustics were good but totally intimate with bout est.200-300 people.(I've always wondered how you accurately estimate crowds,I only have ten fingers)Things really began to shape up during coil where Page set just the sweetest piano.Then It's Ice(does any one else visualize cracks just shoting through an ice cube in a glass of water when Trey play's th opening?)kept a steady grove into I didn't know.As you heard the crew got there bath robe's while Fisman played the longest Highhat intro into Bowie.(They also invited the crowd to blow their noses on John P. and Chris's as they were passed back.)After the robes the band screwed round with O-man still high hating when Trey hit's these Three notes the band Immediately breaks out in this mentaly unstable laughter,and with ado then came the most mellow version of David Bowie ever known to fauna kind.They get through the opener and then in the first Jam Trey drops the usual and does this repeated lick that is beyond description but very cool.End of first set and I was dumbstruct and thirsty. 2nd set kept the mellow mode,for divided sky had to wait seconds for silence and he was pleased.Fishman get's a splinter and to show he will survive lays down the heaviest base drum into Caverns.(not that has any thing to do with his fingers but he could almost still keep time.) A great jam for everybody in Chalkdust then the smoothest A-train then and I'm going to say it (and maybe regret it) the best You Enjoy Myself ever.(now,now,hear it before I hear bout other's)agian to hard to describe, just it went from ultra quiet guitar&piano solos to explosions and the voice jam it seemed they just didn't want to stop. Enchore had the no mike rendishon(sp.) of Sweet Adaline where they stuck it to chris then rocky top. Why am I bothering to write this?For the same reason your still reading.Go ahead see another show better than this one,I dare you.The great thing is I know you'll find it.Real soon.(I'm Looking too) set I:Sloth,Hall&Solice,Stash,Squirming Coil,Landlay,Fluffhead(!), Sparkle,It's Ice,Didn't Know,(bathrobe dedication),David Bowie. set II:Tube,Divided Sky,Caverns,Mango Song,Chalkdust Torture,A-Train, Y.E.M.,Golgi. E:Sweet Adaline(Memories?),Rocky Top. I'll be looking at Portsmouth,hope to see you looking TOO!
Score: 0

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