Debut Years (Average: 1986)

This show was part of the "1988 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1988-02-26

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw A very mediocre show even for this era.

This show like most from this era has a setlist full of tunes that they are still in the middle of writing and still ironing out the creases. This is clearly shown during Suzy, Phase Dance, and Fluffhead. Not all of it is bad though. In fact one of the best parts of this show is the pretty seamless segue into Possum. So right there you get the feeling that they are getting the hang of some of the more familiar songs in their sets. YEM although not particularly strong is really becoming it's own by this time.

This source cuts out after lizards so I can't report for the rest of the show which unfortunately has some heavy hitters for this era in it.
, attached to 1988-02-26

Review by BBrods

BBrods 3.4/5

Good show. Nothing over the top, but pretty tightly played.

Set I highlights include GBTB and Possum, where Trey really plays some nice blues licks. TMWSIY > Avenu is always nice as well, and here it's placed nicely after a long YEM jam.

Set II was pretty solid overall. I'm a big McGrupp fan, and although this one wasn't as well played as others from the year, its always a treat having it in the set.
, attached to 1988-02-26

Review by SlavePhan

SlavePhan After getting a few shows in at UVM parties, the band played a show at the Living and Learning Center at UVM, a UVM dorm on east campus. This show was not nearly as spirited as shows from earlier in the month, perhaps because gigs at the Living and Learning center were normally all-ages. A mediocre quality version of much of this show exists on the spreadsheet, but cuts out during the Lizards.

The shortened Curtain opens this show. Suzy is next; it's a particularly slow version which I've always thought detracts from the song, as it works so much better as a pick-me-up, rather than a slow rolling sing-along. The expected YEM follows, but this one features some flubs from Trey during the composition. There's not much to say about the jam, either, as there are several times where the band seems out of tune. It could be the old recording being wavy, but this is definitely one of the weaker YEMs you'll find.

TMWSIY, Bag, and Possum are all short, standard, and don't deserve any special mention, except for the fact that TMWSIY is badly flubbed mid-way by Trey. The last known version of Phase Dance is next, and the band has some trouble keeping tempo. Page definitely has some difficulties and this version is not nearly as crisp as, say, the version from 2/8. Trey does announce the name of the song, though. This set can be summarized by the GTBT. Chaotic and noisy, but this doesn't ever seem to capture the band playing well together.

The second set opening Fluffhead began a streak of using the song as a set-opener. The band would open with Fluffhead 8 times in 1988, more than the total of Fluffhead openers from 1989 to 2011! A short Arrival in this Fluffhead, so nothing particularly out of the ordinary. An out-of-place I Didn't Know features a Fish trombone solo that is without his usual introduction or revelry. The show phases out during Lizards, so I don't know about the rest of the show, which could have been interesting, particularly the Fee>McGrupp.

All in all, this is a extremely standard show, with flubs taking away from some of the composed sections. Additionally, no jams really stand out. As the quality of the sound for this show is mediocre, this is definitely worth a pass. Although this may be the subject of a larger debate, I'll give this show just a lowly 1-star. While the show would be prized by a newcomer for his or her first show, in the long history of Phish, it is totally forgettable from a historical standpoint, doesn't feature anything particularly noteworthy musically, and features particularly timid playing.
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