This show was part of the University’s Earth Day festival. Divided included a DEG tease from Trey. The Mockingbird narration gave a brief recap of the Gamehendge saga. I Didn't Know featured Fish on trombone.
Dave's Energy Guide tease in Divided Sky
Debut Years (Average: 1987)

This show was part of the "1991 Winter/Spring Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1991-04-21

Review by swank

swank This isn't really a review, more of a reminiscence. Hope that's okay!

I was a sophomore at Potsdam at the time. I had seen Phish several times before then, and had been turning a lot of friends at school and at home on to the music. So I was stoked to find out that the school's Environmental Club was working to convince the College to pay for the whole thing and make it a free event. And they succeeded. The school paid for the gig, and no admission was charged for anyone, even non-students.

So, this show was up in the Multi Purpose Room on the second floor of our little student union building. I remember I helped unload Phish's truck, and got to hang around backstage for a while. I remember playing with Trey's dog Marley, running around the floor of the room while the real crew set up the stage. At some point close to the show I ditched all that and went to hang with my friends in the crowd.

I don't remember much detail about the actual show itself, but I do remember having a great time. This was back in the day when I hadn't yet seen a single low energy Phish show. I had seen some Dead shows that blew my mind, but then a few that didn't, and was disappointed in that. Then I started seeing these Phish shows and every single one of them was a least as good as the one before. My mind kept getting blown, and this show was no exception.

Well, because the show was free, word got out, so even though Potsdam College is small and the town is small, the place was pretty packed (at least for little old Potsdam). The school was caught by surprise by the fact that this was a REAL rock show. Big sound, big crowd (for Potsdam), big fun. No meaningful security presence, no tickets, lines, check-ins, pat downs. Just waltz right in and prepare to boogie. It was awesome! Some guys I knew brought a beer ball right in to the room (remember those?). Yeah, it was a fun scene.

Of course security had a fit. I don't remember any trouble that night, but the school did call the Environmental Club organizers in front of some judicial/review board and reamed them pretty good! I think it was mostly about beers (and beer balls) in the MPR, and maybe pot being smoked. I don't remember what punishment was doled out, but I'm pretty sure they thought it was worth it!

Can't believe that's almost two decades ago now...backwards down the number line and twenty years later, eh?
, attached to 1991-04-21

Review by skr213

skr213 My first Phish show. I was playing in a little band in Potsdam called Fathead Minnow and we played a bunch of Phish songs (AC/DC Bag, Mike's Song, YEM [without the complex parts!!]), but I hadn't seen them until this show. Really fun night. "Swank" (another reviewer) describes it perfectly (and we must know each other pretty well because I have almost the same story, so we were definitely a part of the same group of friends). Yes, the Environmental Club actually got suspended for a year because of the show. It was ridiculous. Per the reviewer who read Peter's book - yes, he was part of our whole crew as well (in fact, I'm "Shasta" in his book) and I spent much of the night with him. Potsdam is a super small world, so it's funny to look back on that show now and see things in a different context.
, attached to 1991-04-21

Review by Phishphan5389

Phishphan5389 I read about this in a book called "growing up dead" about a teen following the dead in the 80's. After the dead scene was ruined by the new heads in the 90's, the author turned to Phish. He attended this show and said it was great, and that the future of jam bands was deffinetly not over. There was much hope. Long live Phish!
, attached to 1991-04-21

Review by 71802VT

71802VT Another reminiscence that starts with reading the Schvice in my buddy's kitchen in Albany NY and realizing that John Paluska put the phone number to Dionysian Productions on the back page. Logically the next thing to do was say, 'fuck it, I'll call them!' As a member of SUNY Potsdam's Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) I told John we were putting on a huge Earth Day event incorporating all four colleges in the North Country area. We were organizing a big event and were looking for a closing act. He said it fit perfectly into their tour schedule. A week or so later he sent me a contract. All I needed to do was find someone to sign it, get some money to pay them, and Phish would play at my school. By this time, I had several shows under my belt. I think I was among the first people that started following them around who didn't directly know them. Regardless, I knew how awesome it would be if I could pull it off. So, I set out trying to get the $3,500 needed to book them by approaching the school's Student Government Association (SGA). After my compelling testimony, that did not mention weed, shrooms or copious amounts of alcohol, that outlined how appropriate the band would be for an Earth Day celebration, SEA received a check from the SGA for $2,500. Fuck, we were short a grand. So, off to Clarkson University's Student Government Council I went. After more compelling testimony, another check was issued to the SEA in the amount of $1,000. We had the money but the question of who should sign the contract remained. Once again, the prevailing logic of ‘fuck it’ took course. I signed the contract, stuck it and the payment in the mail and waited for them to show up.
That really was about it. The College Events staff set up the stage like usual and handed me the keys to the Student Union where the band was to play and went home as the show was on a Sunday evening. The guys showed up in their Chevy van pulling their gear. Marley smelled better than they did. They were road haggard and looked ridden hard. We fed them good food with an icy barrel full of nice beers.
Birds of a feather. Those of us who knew, knew what was coming. It was epic. And then the cops showed up. Oops! No one with any real authority from that tiny little school in that tiny little town knew that the biggest jam band of the 90s was going to launch full throttle that evening. Hippie kids were everywhere. The show was free, I wasn’t going to stand around collecting money. We had no plans for security, that wasn’t even a thought. The cops took one look and knew they were outnumbered and overwhelmed. It didn’t take them long to decide they wanted nothing to do with this freak show. Then, the Building Manager showed up with a little minion dude. It started to get tense when all through set-break the Building Manager ranted and raved about laws and policies being broken and that he was going to shut down the show. The band’s road manager, I forget the guy’s name and I don’t think he’s with them anymore, did his best to quell the Building Manager by saying “It’s rock and roll, man! What do you expect?” Despite the road manager’s best effort, he didn’t help. But then, Paul Langeudoc came to the rescue. Paul distracted the Building Manager with an actual safety concern that fell under the Building Manager’s responsibility. Paul drew his attention to one of the main electrical subpanels. It was the panel the band plugged all their equipment into. The subpanel was wired incorrectly. As the safety issue was discussed, the guys blasted off starting the second set with the best Possum I’ve ever heard. The place erupted. And with that, the Building Manager shook his head and walked out looking a bit dejected. The rest is Phish history, I guess. The SEA was suspended for a year from participation in the SGA and the following Monday the electrical subpanel was repaired. So, if you have any electrical problems call Phish!
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