A Halloween costume contest preceded the second set. Buried Alive included DEG teases and Possum contained Charlie Chan and Oom Pa Pa signals. YEM contained an appropriate Munsters theme tease from Mike; the ensuing vocal jam was based on Night in Tunisia. Tweezer contained Heartbreaker teases. This show was webcast in the weeks following Halloween 1999, as the band did not play on Halloween that year. It was subsequently released in mp3 format via emusic.com.
Teases
Dave's Energy Guide tease in Buried Alive, Theme from The Munsters and A Night in Tunisia teases in You Enjoy Myself, Heartbreaker tease in Tweezer
Debut Years (Average: 1988)

This show was part of the "1990 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1990-10-31

Review by EducateFright

EducateFright As was rather typical for '90, the band's technical prowess really shines throughout this show. All the tunes on the set list with distinctly demanding composed excursions are played with excellent precision. If, for some reason (and I shall refrain from inquiring why) you are on a quest to seek out the best Ass Festival (er, I mean, Asse Festival), then look no further. Well, ok, I haven't listened to all the Asse Festivals that Phish has ever played, but this one sounds pristinely perfect to my ears. Along the same lines, Oh Kee Pah > Suzy is another highlight. If you've never heard a '90 Tweezer, or are already a fan of such things, then you'll certainly want to hear this version. The BBFCFM that appropriately caps off the show (it was Halloween, after all) is also one of the better versions I've heard: it's blessed with an extra dose of horror-show chills, screams, and terrors. I like it!
, attached to 1990-10-31

Review by bmccullo01

bmccullo01 RaedIcculus Tweezer!!! Some serious type 2!
, attached to 1990-10-31

Review by conormac

conormac Show starts off with the classic early era pairing of Buried Alive > Possum. Trey shreds BA to pieces, even though it's a relatively new song, and it's most appropriate being that it's Halloween. Possum (another death song) includes some early secret language signals. Fishman kicks us all standard like, and we're off and running, settling in to a calm groove immediately. The crowd eats up Mike's dramatic vocal rendition. As we enter the jam things start quiet, and you can tell Trey means business from the start, confidently floating over the changes. Each time around, the tension is ratcheted a bit more. Mike is mixed loudly, which is nice for re-listening to this possum, as the driving nature of it really relies on Mike's persistence and reliability. At the 7 minute mark, Trey starts really shredding, and Fishman eggs him on by keeping the rolling going even longer than typical. A great jam, that builds organically with very high energy and confident playing. Perfect start!

After a brief thank you, and the scary sounding scream that Trey does (ya know? like from the ALO of Tweezer? wish he'd bring that back), we find ourselves in The Squirming Coil. The satanic theme continues. This version is well played, Page, and, even more so, Mike (he nails some nice bass fills) really exploring the boundaries of the form, and Trey pouring his heart out into the last guitar melodies. Page delicately brings us to the close, with Mike gently plucking along repeatedly at first, and then Trey slips is with Lizards (more death filled themes for Halloween...spoiler alert...the Lizards died!). The band drops in quickly, making this a fantastically executed segue. The Lizards gets a standard reading, Trey almost stumbling some lyrics, but the band really playing smoothly. Again Mike is just dancing all over everything; just superb playing on his part. Trey (I think, maybe Page) scats along with the piano solo, which is entertaining. Trey restrained (at first) solo part in final part is fantastic, his sustained tone, having matured and smoothed in 1990, on perfect display here.

Breaking from the death theme a bit, Phish jumps into the new tune, Stash, only played live since September of '90. The band is so well rehearsed that it's intimidating. Everyone is in the pocket and just slaying their parts. It's extremely pleasing to the ears. The crowd does not clap with Fish's wood block solos yet, but the 2nd go-round we get some wooing from several audience members, which brings a smile to this phan's face, knowing what maligned wooing has become since the TT. The stash jam is short by today's standards, but wastes no time getting exciting. While the band pushes the sonic boundaries of the form, and adds tension, they haven't quite learned how to lean on those unresolved notes really hard yet, so the jam rolls forward more pleasantly than later versions, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not what we've come to expect from a Stash jam.

Trey hits the closing melodic melodic riff at end and we fall down into BATR immediately. The band readjusts to the change and then jumps into the lyrics. BATR gets the college radio reading here, pleasant, but nothing special. YEM starts up next and the band means business, locking in immediately. Mike's solo is endearing, and the band just keeps the crowd engaged through the whole composition. When we reach the jam, the boys keep it up tempo, really charging forward in this one, each member laying down together perfectly to form a brilliant groove. Page's fills are especially enjoyable, and he reels it up nicely before passing it to Trey, who takes him time building things up. Some say Mike teases Wilson? (I think he's just playing with the groove) and also the Munsters theme, which is topical. Buy the 11 min mark, they are just crushing. The jam peaks, the bass and drums is straight forward, and we are entertained by a vocal jam, pick-pocketing the crowd with this one, and quoting a Night in Tunisia.

The jazz teases must have inspired the band, as they next treat us to the jazzy Asse Festival (another new song, played standalone outside of Guelah Papyrus). This short tune leads us to our first bluegrass number of the evening, My Sweet One. Next comes Cavern, which gets some tasty bass fills at the start. No big chord hits from the band, just slinky funk. This version is well-played and satisfying, though Trey is rather restrained on this one, opting not to solo through breaks.

For Set 1 closer, we get Antelope, which is fitting. Fishman adds a more snare driven beat (almost bluegrass mixed with Nawlins rollick) in this intro, which makes it feel unique, if not rushed. Not sure if it works completely, but it makes for a different experience. As we hit the next movement, things are back to the standard fare, and we eventually run through a awesomely maddening jam. The band is really locked in and moving together like a rising ocean. A simply great rendition to end the 1st set!

Set 2 opens with a stand alone Landlady (new), which is energetic and fitting, though not without its hiccups between band members. Up next is Reba, a personal highlight from this show. Again, Mike just kills the bass, bouncing around the melody to perfection. There is a little stumble as the band repeats the last chorus, but nothing major. The difficult parts are played majestically, Trey again vocally scatting along at times (wait...is that Page?). Fishman adds some fun variation in his parts leading up to the start of the jam, though he plays this drum solo part standard style. The jam, while VERY compact, is also very groovy and infectious. I just love how Trey comes out in front, almost like he's teasing some 80s pop song. He builds upon this theme as the band supports him powerfully.

Runaway Jim shows up after, and showcases how Phish can whip a crowd into a frenzy quickly. The vocal harmonies are very nice, and Trey absolutely murders this one (playing more patiently as he builds it seems), and the band works together seamlessly behind him. Full band interplay at its phinest, and another highlight of the evening. The Foam gets thick next, a well-played classic that again showcases Trey's smooth tone (and a few more scats from...Page? It's gotta be Page). Trey's lead work at end is very nice (I still here vocals, man, who is that?). In closing vocals, Mike makes the Foam seem like a horror movie character with his deathly repetitions. An above-average version IMO.

From there, our next highlight is Tweezer. The groove is infectiously funky (for an early version), very danceable stuff. Page's switch to organ in verse is tasteful, and it's entertaining to hear the vox get more and more dramatic throughout the song proper. That theme peaks when Ebenezer comes out of the freezer. The jam begins and Page is leading the way with bluesy riffs. Trey sneaks in with some heavy medal riffing, Mike slapping along to great effect. Led Zeppelin phans will delight in the Heartbreaker teases that start at this point, I know I do! Mike's octave pedal continues to impress as Fishman pushes the band to escalate things. Trey finds a riff he likes and rides it home as the boys envelop him. Fishman urges a big peak with a long snare build and the jam hints at going major, but then retreats to more energetic Heartbreaker teasing. Things slow and growl up to one more solid large peak before breaking to the typical slow it down to a crawl ending, and then refraining the Tweezer riff again and employing there teasey stop short ending of the early 90s. A very enjoyable compact early version of Tweezer.

Phish next lighten things up with Fee, though the boys play this with good energy, hopping and jumping along in wooden shoes. After the traditional harmonic ending of Fee, the classic pairing of Oh Kee Pa > Suzy is up next and doesn't disappoint. Trey sounds fantastic during this ceremony, and confidently jumps into Suzy. Mike slaps around the bass line a bit which helps make this version pop. Both Trey and Page's solos are energetic throughout, Page's 2nd solo benefiting from the funky off kilter comping from Trey, Mike, and Fish ( I think Fish even let's out a "Yeah!").

Next, Zero Man comes forward and graces us with the original "Love You". This song has an Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd feel, which works well when sucking your face with a vacuum. It's Fish, and it's funny, but probably better in person. But, come one, give it up for him! Without wasting too much time, the boys jump into Mike's Groove to close the set. Love the way Trey plays this lead line at top, super smooth. After a laid back rendition of the song proper, the jam takes on a slow brooding quality. The classic walk down to hard rock ending leads into Hydrogen, which is also beautifully executed. Though the tempo speeds up into Weekapaug, things stay relatively calm at the start. The band is really listening to each other, and playing patiently, but some of that break neck speed and energy of a typical Paug suffers at first. But around the 3.5 minute mark Trey starts whaling wildly, and the boys help him out, beginning to take lift off. Machine Gun Trey comes out in full effect, and the jam is it's great self, but the whole MGroove doesn't move mountains like we know it can, and will, only a few short years in the future.

For the encore, Phish brings out Uncle Pen, only the 2nd bluegrass number of the evening. Trey really shines here, and this version is highly enjoyable. Things quickly move from happy and light, to dark and scary when, to close the night, the boys visit Mars, and bring back the furry creature. This BBFCFM is well-played, especially in the Halloween setting. The crowd loves the strange menacing darkness of it all. "Why is he running?!!"

Simply put, this show rules! All songs are well played, Phish's technical prowess is on full display, and their most classic tunes get great readings here (YEM, Tweezer). I really think Trey's tone turned a corner in 1990, and this performance showcases perfectly. 10/31/90 has a firm place in the Halloween set lore. Happy Phishin'!
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