This show marked the inauguration of a weekly series of musical performances at this venue named “Carmel’s Coffeehouse” in memory of Trey’s paternal grandmother, Carmel Musco Anastasio. Air Mail Special contained a Theme from The Brady Bunch tease.
Theme from The Brady Bunch tease in Air Mail Special
Song Distribution

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-01-24

Review by curtiss

curtiss I was a senior at SUNY Potsdam. It was January of 1996. I first started listening to Phish as a Freshman and attended a handful of concerts since then. My friend and I had a buddy that went to the University of Vermont. He called us and told us that Trey was playing with a few other guys at this tiny little church on campus and that they just sold about 100 tickets and he purchased 1.

Not having a ticket didn’t stop us and on the 24th my buddy and I drove up to the campus of UV. We arrived about 4 hours before the show began. We finally came across this extremely small building that was a church they were converting to a small coffee house.

My buddy and I looked in the window, saw the church pews, and tried to open the door and it was locked. The altar was about 30 feet from the small window we were looking in and it was facing directly at us. No one was around, but we figured that if we didn’t move from the front of the door, eventually we would, at the very least, be able to see them play and maybe hear a bit.

After awhile some people stated showing up, mingling around. We chatted, but didn’t move. Then about 2 hours before show time we saw the musicians walking around. Trey, Fishman, Jamie Masefield, and Stacy Starkweather. Now we were pumped.

Close to show time, people who had tickets began to show up. They were let in by the guy at the door who told us that it was sold out and that he was sorry. The sun started to go down and the show was getting ready to start. All 4 were sitting on the altar with candles all around them and everyone else was sitting in the pews. Crazy scene.

Again, very tiny place. I was about 30 feet from Trey and I wasn’t even in the building.

We heard them begin the first song, Billie’s bounce. We could hear. Sounded nice. They began to play Magilla. Sweet, I recognized this song! 30 seconds in it happened.

The “usher” opened the door and said 4 people who were on the “list” didn’t show up. “You, you, you and you follow me.”

We followed him in and since the pews were all full we went right up to the foot of the altar and I sat, indian style” on the floor at Trey’s feet listening to the music. I was floating.

4 songs in they found us a seat.

Afterwards they invited us all to the back for refreshments. There were cookies, juice, coffee, etc…we were waiting for the band to come back and hang and chat. It seemed like we were waiting a long time. I decided to go back into the church area with my buddy. There, all by himself, was Trey breaking down his equipment. My buddy, Tom and I walked right up and proceeded to have a 30 minute conversation with Trey.

Trey spoke to us like he was just a normal dude. We were shooting the breeze about music and bands just like we were all old friends hanging at the bar. What a great dude. Fishman came out to and chatted for a bit, but he was less talkative.

My buddy took a few pictures. (this was before cell phones, by the way). He had a camera. Trey signed my ticket, told us he really appreciated us coming, shook our hands and we left.

Amazing experience. What a quality, genuine man. No ego to him at all.

We floated home to Potsdam.
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