Fish on trombone.
 First known Phish performance.
 Intro had three Charlie Chan signals, an Oom Pa Pa signal, two Random Laugh signals (one from Trey and one from Mike), and a How High The Moon signal. Fourth Charlie Chan signal in song itself.
Suzy Greenberg, Magilla, Possum, and Golgi all contained Chariots of Fire teases. I Didn't Know featured Fish on trombone. David Bowie featured multiple Chariots of Fire teases, both in the intro, which featured the first known Phish performance of Mo' Better Blues, and in the main song itself. Bowie also contained three Charlie Chan signals, an Oom Pa Pa signal, two Random Laugh signals (one from Trey and one from Mike), and a How High The Moon signal. Bowie later contained a Dave's Energy Guide tease and another brief attempt at How High The Moon from Trey as well as a fourth Charlie Chan signal. Possum also contained a Destiny Unbound tease.
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)
Over the years I've tried to cultivate the reputation of a fan who follows the rules. If the band says not to do something, I try not to do it. However this hasn't always been the case. In my early days I was a bit of a rebel. If you need proof of my evil ways, you only need to look at this night, the night that I snuck into a Phish show.
In my defense, it wasn't completely my fault. When I was driving the 120 miles from Bard to Amherst (ah for the days where that seemed to be an incredibly long distance to drive to see a band!) I wondered about ticket availability. Even back then I was pretty paranoid about things going wrong, but I wasn't too worried. I mean, who ever heard of a Phish show selling out?
I have seen many tough tickets over the years. Many of the New Years' tickets have been difficult, especially the return from Hiatus show. I nearly got shut out of a show in the Capitol Theatre. Tickets for the Halloween concerts were tough to come by. Nothing though - not even 3/6/09 - was worse than this night. I could always compare later ticket problems to earlier ones. Nothing prepared me for my first one. Moreover, this was just a student event. There weren't people who had an extras that they were hoping to trade for the next night or something. Anyone who had a friend bail just had to ask another dorm mate.
So there I was, shut out of a Phish show. Admittedly, this wasn't the biggest tragedy ever. This show was held inside of some sort of student center building. The concert was just in a big room inside it. Since people were going in and out of it all night, they kept the doors open. The difference between being inside the show and outside the show was pretty technical. There was a line on the floor that marked the difference.
Even though I could hear the show just fine from "outside", I wanted to actually see the band. My salvation here was twofold. While dancing around, someone inside the room got my attention and handed me a ticket stub. Believing (mistakenly) that you needed both the stub and the hand stamp to get back in, I turned to a security guard. By coincidence a friend of mine from Bard was one of the people responsible for preventing people from getting in. She took her job seriously. So seriously did she take it that she grabbed a magic marker and drew something on my left hand that vaguely resembled the stamp. During "My Sweet One" I walked around the room. I showed the stub and fake stamp to the person who was checking. While doing that I got the real stamp on my right hand. My Jedi Mind trick worked! Ironically, I spent quite a bit of the rest of the show "outside" to get some space, but it was okay then, for I was no longer shut out.
So I sacrificed all of my moral standards in order to see this show. Was it any good? Actually, yes. This was probably the best Phish show I saw in the entire year. Six of the new songs for this tour were played ("Stash", "Landlady", "Asse Festival", "Destiny", "Buried Alive", and "Magilla") and they were all really good. "Stash" especially stuck in my head. This was my first time hearing it, so I named it after what I thought the repeated line at the end was, "Maybe So My Love." I was only off by two words.
Two things make this show stand out over most 1990 concerts. The first is the repeated "Chariots of Fire" motif. Everyone loves the "Wipeout" and "Moby Dick" sets, right? Well this is the same idea only much earlier. The recurrence helps give the night a connected feel.
The bigger highlight though is the "Bowie". This is a serious jam.
Most Bowies from this period were twelve to fourteen minutes; this one clocks in at nearly twenty. From the long intro (be sure to notice the early Secret Language) to the extended jam, this is a rare case in this time period of Phish taking a song out a bit.
A copy of this show (along with 9/20 and 9/21) has started to circulate on Bit Torrent. I highly recommend this show, especially if you have little from this time period. You get to hear the original slow-down ending of "Tweezer", an early version of "Stash", and get a great "David Bowie" as a bonus. How could you go wrong?
The first set on this was fairly promising, with strong and tight versions of Divided Sky, Suzy, Wilson, Landlady, and a really nice Magilla (especially Mike's solo). The easy highlight of the show is the 19 1/2 minute Bowie with Mo' Better Blues and lots of signals, teases and tension. Strong, above average first set, especially with that long jam to cap things off. Alas, the second set is merely OK. Tweezer is alright, Possum has its moments, and Page certainly does a standout job with his solo in The Lizards. But nothing to match up to the promise of the first set. If I could hand out partial stars, I'd probably give this show 3 1/4, but instead I'll just go with three. A decent three stars, though, and the Bowie is worth a listen.
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