, attached to 1990-02-25

Review by kipmat

kipmat https://forum.phish.net/forum/permalink/1377754112

This show reminds me of the recordings on the Colorado '88 release in a few ways: short but strong setlists featuring rarer material, fun banter reflecting the relaxed atmosphere, and most notably, the sparse audience in attendance. Listening to the recording, one can imagine 12-15 people milling around between the dance floor and the bar, while the band is crowded onto the stage. Shows like this demonstrate what made Phish a great club band; through their music and stage presence, they could turn an ordinary night into an extraordinary one. And if a local taper captures the show as an AUD recording (or surreptitiously patches into the soundboard), a show like this one can develop the band's local reputation.

@DollarBill's review aptly covers the setlist and the highlights, but there are still plenty of surprises to be found in both sets. The absence of chatting near the mics allows us to hear the band talking on stage, and clearly pick out the requests shouted out by members of the audience (and the crew!). My favorite moment: Trey insincerely introducing the "world debut" of Rift, then jokingly asking the crowd, "What song is it that you want to hear tonight?" After the crowd joins in on the joke by shouting "Rift!", you can hear Amy Skelton's voice requesting, "Highway To Hell!" with a laugh.

Also, how precious is that Jessica Jam from the soundcheck? Even though the days of Allman Brothers covers were long behind Phish, the inclusion of that jam at the front end of this recording was crucial in expanding their audience, inspiring many ABB fans to give Phish a try. The band would never successfully play another show in Baltimore (see the setlist entry for 7/19/93), focusing on gigs at The Bayou in nearby Washington DC instead; but 2/25/90 was an easily accessible recording from this era of Phish, and IMO deserves more recognition than it has thus far received.


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