Self, Dahlia, and Revolution’s Over (all Phish concert debuts) featured the Dude of Life on vocals. This show also featured the first performances of Tube, The Asse Festival, Buried Alive, Magilla and Stash.  It also featured the first known performance of Landlady played outside of PYITE, although this is not confirmed. The first Phish performances of Minute By Minute, Paul and Silas, and Goin' Down Slow also occurred at this show. Trey referred to Fish as Zero Man after Tube and both before and after Minute By Minute. Trey said Landlady was indirectly dedicated to the spirit of Carlos and later said Buried Alive was written about a strange dream he (Trey) had. Minute by Minute featured Fish on trombone. Possum featured the first known Secret Language: three Charlie Chan signals as well as Popeye, Oom Pa Pa and Random Note Signals. AC/DC Bag contained Charlie Chan and  I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart signals and the second Buried Alive featured a Charlie Chan signal and two I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart signals. 'A’ Train subsequently included a Buried Alive tease. Sparks was played for the first time since November 5, 1988 (221 shows).
Noteworthy Jams
Teases
Buried Alive tease in Take the 'A' Train
Debut Years (Average: 1988)

This show was part of the "1990 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1990-09-13

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Anybody that's read enough of my scribblings on this website knows that I have a pretty strong post-96 bias; anything before Roxy '93 is pretty much uncharted territory for me, although I have been trying to absorb more early Phish as of late. .net user @leroy asked me to try and write about this show, a pretty historical show in terms of some of the songs debuted, so here goes nothing...

Set 1 starts with the (apparently disputed) debut of the much-missed Landlady, a fine piece of composed music. A very fine (if a bit heavy-handed) Divided Sky and Foam come next, then the debut of Tube (a song I love), and while this version is a bit rushed (they hadn't worked out the pauses before each verse yet, nor the cool windup before the final verse), it's still a fine and sharp version, thanks to Page's nifty solo. The next set highlight (the goofy take on Minute by Minute doesn't count as such) is the debut of Buried Alive, and it's nice to hear that it was fully formed from the start, a bracing glimpse at the firepower the band could summon on stage. The rest of the set is fine, although it's interesting to hear a slower take on Bouncing Around the Room.

Set 2 begins with a Classic Groove, a slow and deliberate Mike's giving way to an upbeat Weekapaug (no wonder the songs were put together - it's a very yin-yang feeling when only Hydrogen separates the two). Then comes a 1-2 punch of debuts, first with the cool jazziness of Magilla, then with the beloved Stash (which sounds weird without the claps), a standard version that still shows the promise the band would fulfill in later versions. After another big-time rarity with Goin' Down Slow, the band whips out a cool OKPC > AC/DC Bag -> Buried Alive Reprise segment, with the band flipping the switch from one to the other with surprising, almost off-putting ease.

Take The "A" Train comes next (I really do miss Phish playing jazz standards), and then a surprise rendition of Sparks that neatly leads into Reba. Reba is a bit more heavy-handed than I'd like, the usual delicate touch the band brings to the jam replaced with a more rock-ish feel, but that might make it worth a listen all on its own. The rest of the show is fine - none of the Dude of Life songs really stand out, but the encore Lizards is very deftly played.

Final thoughts: I get why @leroy likes the show so much - there's much more jazz than you ever hear from the band these days, the energy is as strong as it always is with an early Phish show (with the audience, as well), and there's no shortage of coolness thanks to the debuts and rarities. My quibbles with the show (mainly the era, actually) aside - for instance, there is no setlist flow at all, as though the band threw a bunch of song titles in a hat and picked them out one at a time - there's a heck of a lot to like here if you're any sort of fan of what I now like to call the JEMP Truck sound. Give it a spin - you won't be disappointed.
, attached to 1990-09-13

Review by DemandOpener

DemandOpener Nothing livens up an average 1990 Phish setlist like the infusion of new material! Granted, The Landlady effectively acts as a replacement for Caravan from this point forward until it is joined with PYITE (almost 100% of the time), Tube and Magilla all but disappear by the end of 1991 and The Asse Festival by itself barely makes it through the end of 1990! While a lot of these new songs wouldn't have a lot of staying power past the mid-early-90's (Tube excepting), they are all played fairly well in their debut performance.

Honestly, though, this show goes downhill after the first performance of Stash. The songs become really sloppy, and after turning in below average versions of AC/DC Bag and a song called Goin' Down Slow, the group decides to experiment with some truly *terrible* segues between Bag, Buried Alive, and 'A' Train. They actually hurt my ears they were so bad.

Following this unfortunate sequence, the band plays an average Reba, and three more debuts with The Dude of Life on vocals, Self (which sounds a lot like an early take on Chalk Dust Torture and is definitely worth a listen), Dahlia (which probably could be defined as "listenable" at best), and Revolution's Over (a song that clearly has a little Zeppelin/Who influence and isn't half-bad).

Overall, the show is definitely worth listening to because of all the debuts, but if you're looking for great versions of any standards from 1990, you're better off looking elsewhere. 3 stars.
, attached to 1990-09-13

Review by SplitOpenAndMule

SplitOpenAndMule I was very excited to hear the first known and recorded secret language signals in this Possum, and can only imagine the crowd must have been flabbergasted as the band broke into abrupt changes throughout the jam. (Secret Language has yet to be explained, as far as I'm aware.)

Unlike DemandOpener's review, I loved hearing the Bag>Buried Alive>A Train segues, but I can understand the other perspective. Digging into it further, I realized what was going on, and thought it might be helpful to explain it on this setlist page for anyone who likes to understand the tricks behind the magic. The key is the "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" signals, a signal I hadn't been aware of before. At the end of Bag, Trey plays the Charlie Chan signal, which indicates a secret language cue is about to happen. He then plays the rising and falling "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" riff, which is played to indicate that a new song is on deck and about to be transitioned to. To tell the rest of the band what song it is, Trey plays part of the song, and then band abruptly drops into it. This works uncannily well when, at the end of Bag>Charlie Chan>"I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" signals, Trey plays the Buried Alive riff, and the band immediately breaks into Buried Alive (I call it reprise, since it's the second of the show, and a shorter version). That's the first known "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" signal, and I think it's incredibly cool. During that short Buried Alive, however, things get messy.

Trey plays the Charlie Chan signal (think: secret language is coming), followed by the "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart"signal (think: a new song is coming), followed by the first few notes of The Landlady. At this point, Trey thinks everyone is ready, so at the end of a measure of Buried Alive, he starts The Landlady, but it seems the rest of the band didn't know what song they were going into or how to get there, so things just kind of slow down and space out. Trey, ever quick on his toes, quickly plays another "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" signal followed by the 'A' Train riff, before the band all seamlessly kicks into 'A' Train on the 1. I can see how it's cringeworthy, but I think the band plays it off really well, and they all hop aboard the 'A' Train, none the worse for wear.

As for the rest of the show, I think it's pretty standard 1990 Phish, which is to say simultaneously incredible and mostly unremarkable in light of the rest of Phish's live canon. In this show, all the debuts are very exciting to hear, especially a zesty Tube and extra energized Paul and Silas. Goin' Down Slow is a great cover I'd love to hear them bring back, and perhaps to mark the specialness of the song and secret language debuts: Sparks is played. It is a special show.

For the last three songs of the second set with The Dude of Life on vocals, Phish is a different band. They're more like a, well, Phishy version of a Brit-Punk-Grunge band. After accepting that, I enjoyed Self and Dahlia (especially the outro sort-of vocal jam on the latter), and The Dude's comical drawn out exit during Revolution's Over. 3 stars for playing, 4 stars for history.
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Mike Gordon: February 21, 2018
8 hours ago
The Crescent Ballroom

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