, attached to 1991-12-31

Review by zzyzx

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.


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