This was the band’s first major gig in Boston. The Paradise held around 650 people, they didn’t think the band could come close to selling out the room and so refused to book Phish. John Paluska and Ben Hunter, who were managing Phish at the time, therefore rented the room for the evening. John and Ben promoted the gig heavily, including via radio. Tickets were only $5. Tom Baggott, a fan of the band, helped get Burlington fans to the show by Greyhound bus. Not only did the gig sell out, but there were some 200 people shut out (mostly Boston University and Boston College students). I Didn't Know featured Fish on trombone. Alumni contained additional lyrics. Prior to YEM, Trey welcomed his mom, who had come "all the way from Ireland." After YEM, Trey said that they had a special guest that night for the person in the front row that kept requesting that they play Minkin. Trey mentioned that there was a Minkin hanging behind the band and that Minkin was also there that night. There was a subsequent brief Minkin vocal tease prior to Lizards. This version of Sanity was the fast version.
Minkin tease
Debut Years (Average: 1986)

This show was part of the "1989 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1989-01-26

Review by DemandOpener

DemandOpener To my ears, the start of 1989 sounds remarkably like the end of (and really, ALL of) 1988. But that's okay.

This is a very well-played show, and arguably a very important early show in Phishtory. Selling out a 650 person venue is pretty huge, after all! The band proceeds to deliver a very solid show with no noticeable flubs or problems. I imagine that this show must have blown several minds at the time, but there's really nothing notable to be found here for the seasoned listener. The fast Sanity is pretty funny, though. I can't remember ever hearing it before listening to this show.

I guess if you've come looking for highlights, the aforementioned Sanity would be a good one. The Divided Sky also soars pretty high this go-around. The GTBT is explosive, too, for those of us who enjoy shredfests.
, attached to 1989-01-26

Review by thelot

thelot The recording quality of set 1 is superb! Unfortunately Set 2 doesn’t sound quite as good. It’s not terrible but has at least 3 to 4 cassette generations (maybe more) in it’s lineage. This show is of course the legendary Paradise gig. You can tell the band was pumped to be playing a sold out gig in Boston. Great energy throughout the night. Highlights include Alumni, Sanity, Forbin>Mockingbird, Sloth->Possum and Bowie.
, attached to 1989-01-26

Review by Moonruin

Moonruin Definitely an 80's show worth your time. The recording really highlights the energy of the crowd in a way that most of these early shows don't/can't. I think the excitement of playing to a room of 650 people for the first time and outside of Vermont is evident. Overall, a great sounding recording and a well played show with a ton of energy. Seemed like an absolute blast. Also, the fast Sanity is cool.
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