We left Charleston, IL that afternoon in our friend Dave's minivan; St. Louis was about two hours away. We packed eight people in the minivan and partied the whole way. Normally I would never condone alcoholic road pops, but this time, a.) it wasn't my minivan and b.) I wasn't driving.
We got into St. Louis, found the theater, and parked. There were still tickets on sale at the box office; the place was empty. When Phish finally came out onstage they opened with "Buried Alive", which was awesome. Other first set highlights included a "Stash" > "Kung" > "Stash" and my first "Horse" > "Silent" and "I Didn't Know".
It was the second set though that just was over the freakin' top. The lights went down for Set 2 and the boys hit their mark. Trey stepped up to the mic to say that his friend Roger was here and wanted to come out to ask a question. Roger came out with his girlfriend and asked for her hand in marriage. She said "yes" and the band opened with an energetic "AC/DC Bag". "Just like Roger"....he's a crazy little kid!" Other tasty nuggets in this set included "My Sweet One", "Tweezer", "Mound" and a smokin' "YEM" > "Spooky", but the highlight came from an "Oom pa pa".
My first "Harpua", with Doors and Jetsons teases during Trey's story. "Poster walked on down the hall! Came to a door and said"...".... I want to go for a walk". It was so great. After a set-closing "Runaway Jim", an excellent encore included "Lengthwise", "Contact" (for Roger and Jen on the road of life), and "Tweezer Reprise".
After the show I went out one of the side exits. Their buses were parked right in front of me. As I stood there I looked at the guy standing outside the bus, his pants rolled up like knickers, big hair, drinking a mimosa. He looked familiar. Then I realized it was Mike Gordon. I walked over to him, introduced myself and told him what a great show it was. He said, "thanks".