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Link Tuesday, 12/31/1991
Worcester Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA

Soundcheck: It's Ice, Reba

Set 1: Possum, Foam, Sparkle[1], Stash, LizardsThe Lizards, GuelahGuelah Papyrus, DividedDivided Sky, Esther[1] > Llama, GolgiGolgi Apparatus

Set 2: Brother, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Buried Alive > Auld Lang Syne > Runaway Jim, LandladyThe Landlady > Reba, Cavern, MSOMy Sweet One, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

Set 3: Wilson[1] > CoilThe Squirming Coil > Tweezer > McGruppMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Encore: Lawn Boy > Rocky Top > TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Voice box that uttered curses.

· Nellie Kane and Earache My Eye teases in Run Like an Antelope
· The Lion Sleeps Tonight tease in Weekapaug Groove
· The Christmas Song tease in Lawn Boy

Noteworthy Jams: Stash, Llama (highly recommended), Tweezer (highly recommended), Mike's Song

Average Song Gap: 12.1

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

Notes: Divided Sky was dedicated to Chris Gainty, who was seeing his first show since a car accident had left him in a coma five months earlier. Trey played with a voice box on stage that uttered curses during Sparkle, Esther, and Wilson. Antelope contained an Earache My Eye tease from Page and Nellie Kane teases from Mike. Weekapaug included Lion Sleeps Tonight teases. Prior to the encore, Trey mentioned the new Minkin painting Mike's mom had given to the band. Per Fish's request, Chris Kuroda subsequently used different lights on the painting. Lawn Boy featured Trey playing The Christmas Song during his solo. This show is available as an archival release on LivePhish.

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

Songs by Debut Year:

, attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
(Originally published on the legacy site many years ago...)

If anyone can stand any more comments on NYE, here's my $0.02:

First, the show was amazing. And the crowd was also pretty cool. The costumes and "creative formal attire was really excellent." We stood next to Santa Claus! And some guy was dressed up like Waldo from those Where's Waldo books. When I went up to the balcony to visit some friends, we played a live version of "where's waldo." No scroll.

Second, I met a few netters. It was good to put these anonymous names with faces finally. I used my real name when I introduced myself though, so I'm not sure how many people recognized me!

Third--and this really shows how cool the band is--Phish did a dedication in the first set just befor the divided sky. Trey said, "We'd like to make a dedication to someone who's had a tough last five months or so. Chris Gainty, if you're out there, this is for you." Here's the story behind that. Chris (who lives in Paxton, near Worcester) actually introduced me to Phish back in 1988 sometime. He's been a fan for a long time, and has been to a lot (25+) shows. Well, he got hurt really badly in a car crash this last October (five months, three...what's the difference), and was in a coma for about three weeks. Well, he finally came out of it and is now walking and well on the road to recovering fully. But sometime during that ordeal, a friend of a friend of a friend of his wrote to Mike Gordon (whom this person went to school with) and asked if Phish could maybe do something to make him feel better--send a tape, visit, a card. Well, NYE was Chris' first outing since the accident, and Phish gave him his present: a dedication. What an excellent band.
Score: 4
, attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
(Originally published on the legacy site many years ago...)

Just got back from NYE show... I didn't keep a setlist but they played just about everything you would expect (i.e., no big surprises... I think they had this one pretty much figured out before they hit the stage). Not to say that's bad.. the show was killer! They were really on fire.

The "New Aud" is a pretty cool place, great dance floor, unfortunately no alchohol sales (but you could buy some non-alcoholic brew for only $3.95!!) I was near the soundboard during the first set and the sound kind of sucked, couldn't hear a word being said (what did Trey say during a song break in the first set???)... but after that I moved up front and the sound was fantastic!!!

High points for me included... divided sky (1st set), runaway jim, and the entire third set... the most incredible Mike's Groove I have ever heard. The jam in Mike's song was driving! This was a very sizable chunk of the third set. Forgot 1st encore, second was rocky top (yay!) and then tweezer reprise ended the show.

Wierd points: I thought Antelope (2nd set) was pretty strange, halfway thru the beginning part Trey started doing the end part (y'know the chords where they are singing "run run run run run run run run"), and it was otherwise generally wierd. Squirming coil (3rd set) was pretty strange too, but sweet! And it took about three or four tries to get started on Esther, which was killer (one of my favorite tunes ;-} (And what was that thing Trey was doing at the beginning of Wilson? Some kind of little digital voice thing saying "fuck you fuck you" ... he was getting a big kick out of it).

Anyway, to sum up... hot show, great performance, no skeletons from the closet.
Score: 2
, attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
(Originally published on the legacy site many years ago, after being posted on 1/3/92.)

Yes, the New Year's Eve show was intense. The first set, maybe set and 1/2 was only mediocre, but things definitely picked up after that. The new lighting and sound systems were absolutely used to the max, and the new Minkin painting is stunning - depending on the lighting Topher uses on it, it can resemble a startling array of different images and colors. Incredible.

Did anyone think that the light show might have been just a TAD overdone? I loved all of it, but at the end of the show when the fog started billowing out again and all the lights went on and the siren lights started spinning, it seemed like something approaching and Iron Maiden concert (I'm assuming, never having been to one). Just an observation; I certainly liked ALL of it.

Well, the boys have hit there first major coup in "the big time." This was the largest venue they've ever played, I believe, and the sold out show was a roaring success. I particuarly liked Trey's Aul Lange Syne over Buried Alive 2 minutes before midnight (and how about those confetti cannons!). Excellent. Simply excellent.

The only way it could have been topped (besides them having played something a bit more obscure and surprising than just McGrupp, which, for those who do not know, is NOT a new gamehendge song - it is the ORIGINAL gameghendge song, the one from which all others sprang. Don't ask me why they didn't include it in the Thesis) is if they had let me bring the PhishNet shirts into the New Aud and hand them out. But, as many of you discovered, no such luck. So as a result, I am going to start sending them out ASAP (tomorrow and Saturday, whatever time I can snatch), and they will be to you as soon as is humanly possible (given the limitations of the US Snail Mail service).
Score: 1
zzyzx Staff , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
zzyzx (Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

It was cold this day - not merely chilly, but cold. I think the high was fifteen degrees or so. And since my friends had forgotten to get me a ticket (Phish selling out a show? Come on!), I got there at around 9 AM. Sure, that helped me to get my ticket, but I was nearly frozen by the time doors opened. So I sat around, watched the people with their First Night buttons try to convince the venue that this was a First Night event, and waited impatiently to be let in.

Oh yeah, the show: The fall tour was a revelation of sorts, featuring longer jams and different arrangements. So I didn't know what to expect from the NYE show.

The first two sets were okay. "Brother", a song that could either be boring or intense was quite intense this night. I was still madly in love with "Sparkle" then, so that was a treat. "Buried Alive" was the last song of 1991, which kind of bookended the year, since it was played as the first song of the year too, having been played following "Auld Lang Syne" during the previous New Year's show.

The highlight of the show was easily the third set. Yeah, it was short, but it was really nice. Trey came out with one of those little insult boxes (you push a button and it says an insult) and it swore at us during the "Wilson" intro. Then as "Tweezer" was ending, I got a song I thought I would never see "McGrupp". An exciting (for 1991, at least) "Mike's" > "Hydrogen" > "Weekapaug" sent us home happy.

This show is kind of a "cusp" New Year's show. It was much more of a big deal than the `89 and `90 World Trade Center shows (especially the abysmal 1990 show), but it does not quite compare to the goofy stuff, song breakouts, and extravangazas that would start in `92. If you like Phish's playing from this period, you'll probably love this show.
Score: 1
Banksphish , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
One of the Top 5 Phish shows of all time in my humble opinion.
Score: 1
willet43 , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
Having these soundboards released recently has me reading these reviews. One thing that I didn't see pointed out as that after the lights went up after Tweezer Reprise, a horrible dog-whistle type sound blasted over the PA. Clearly an attempt by the band to jack with the crowd, and it worked.

It was so cold outside that everyone was wearing very heavy jackets. It was so hot inside that everyone shed their jackets and piled them in the far corner of the dance floor. After the show, with that horrible noise blaring over the PA, it was utter chaos for a mind-altered crowd to sort out the mess. The frustrated staff was trying to herd everyone out to no avail.

And great show by the way. Still the best one I have been to.
Score: 1
, attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
(Originally published on the legacy site many years ago...)

Well, the NYE show was outstanding. It was only my second show, and quite a treat. After the opener (possum) I turned to a friend of mine (his first show) who had a huge grin on his face and said "And that's only the first tune." I really enjoyed the light show, especially the strobes near the end and the lights shinging on the disco ball sending little eyeballs of light zooming around the Aud. The siren lights didn't really do it for me, though. The painings were really cool. By the third set, which I thought was by far the most intense, I was almost too tired to dance! A note on the jumper: (a friend of mine saw most of what happened) Evidently, the guy (dressed in a pregnant nun costume) was playing bongos somewhere in the corridors when security came along. He dropped the drum and ran down the hall then up the stairs to the balcony (sending at least on guard sliding on butt). Once in the balcony, he moved to the railing and when the guards came towards him, climbed over the rail and hung there until they were on top of him, then dropped to the floor (making his escape, I guess). I hope noone was hurt when he fell. Other than that, i thought the whole thing was sort of funny. Not that this is the sort of thing that should go on at Phish shows, but I enjoy seeing security guards outfoxed. Earlier in the show, the guy had passed us and mumbled something about what he had for sale which is probably why he ran in the first place. Opinions as to whether this sort of thing belongs at a Phish concert will probably vary greatly, but all in all, it added to a great night of Phish and Phun.
Score: 0
DollarBill , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
DollarBill Good show, worth listening to. Wilson is priceless with the cursing intro. Great way to end 1991.
Score: 0
pettrout , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
First show. Made an incredibly lasting impression - still seeing them almost 20 years later. Best storage unit I've ever seen.

[btw, I think the cursing "digital/vox box" thingy may have been a Beavis and Butthead talking keychain? It also said "fucking jerk!", 2x.]
Score: 0
HotPale , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
HotPale PETTROUT...Good guess on the key chain; however, (Beavis and Butt-head is an American animated television series created by Mike Judge with Texas tie-ins to Judge's later show, King of the Hill. The series originated from Frog Baseball, a 1992 short film by Judge. After seeing the short, MTV signed Judge to develop the concept.[3][4] Beavis and Butt-head originally aired from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997) - Wikipedia

With this information it highly unlikely to be what you suspected although we do know that the boys do have a way of time travel. I believe the little insult box was a small black plastic device and plainly marked...this show took place when I was in 6th grade + I def. owned one of those little insult boxes for a brief period in 5th grade until it was confiscated by my doubt to probably play with it @ the faculty meetings, but that's neither here nor there...I've been trying to find out the name of the damn toy for quite some time w/ no luck...I've tried the internet...maybe I need to dig deeper...for some reason "The Eliminator" comes to mind as a possible name, but I don't think I'm quite right! Can anyone help a nostalgic brother out?
Score: 0
dashaze , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
dashaze its called "the final word" .... so glad i bought this show
Score: 0
Alexanderhoye , attached to 1991-12-31 Permalink
Compared to the New Years Eve party the year before in Boston, which was a dud, this was a top notch show and one of my favorites. The Worcester Auditorium was really set up beautifully and had an elegance and class that the night deserved. The crowd was dressed to the nines and there was a vaudevillian flare to entire event. I'm really curious to download the MP3's as my memory of the show was that it was flawless and super high energy. There was a lot of dancing at the shows around this time, but this was really night up there.
Score: 0

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