This show was a benefit for James Bay, with proceeds benefiting organizations fighting the James Bay hydroelectric projects. Reba contained a Dave's Energy Guide tease from Trey. Weekapaug included Charlie Chan and Simpsons signals and On Broadway teases. Hood contained a Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered tease from Trey. Memories and Sweet Adeline were performed without microphones.
Jam Chart Versions
On Broadway tease in Weekapaug Groove, Dave's Energy Guide tease in Reba, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered tease in Harry Hood
Debut Years (Average: 1988)

This show was part of the "1991 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1991-11-21

Review by TheZink1

TheZink1 Today I received a nice little email from reminding me of how very old I am. It reminded me that today, 11/21/22, is the 31st.....THIRTHY-FIRST!!! ...anniversary of my first phish show. The email reminded me of this show that took place 31 years ago today, and also asked me to review it. This will be my first attempt at reviewing a show 31 years in the past. And obviously, I will forget most of the details. But I'll write down what I do remember from this life-changing experience.

I was a brand-new freshman in college at Clark U. in Worcester, MA. But I guess where this review really starts is at a small boarding school in rural Pennsylvania. At that time, I was a Deadhead. Well, a wanna-be, prep-school hippie, Deadhead, that is. Not from San Francisco, not alive in the late 60s, and had only been to a small handful of Dead shows from 1988-1991. I started early seeing my first Dead show at MSG on 9/24/88 at the tender age of 15. I collected tapes, I partied with my other young prep-school hippie friends, and by our Sophmore year at prep school, we heard our first live recordings of this small band called Phish that was from Vermont. We enjoyed the wacky lyrics about bagging it, tagging it, and selling it to the butcher in the store, but didn't think too much more of it at that time. But by the time we were seniors in High School, we had listened to Junta & Lawnboy extensively. The guitar wizardry was like nothing I had ever heard, and I certainly could not imagine Jerry playing anything like it. Not to mention the off-beat weirdness - a song named "David Bowie," a song about tires on your car contacting the road, a soaring song with incredible written sections and guitar work called "Divided Sky," and a song about running like an antelope....out of control.

All that said, Phish wasn't really on my radar as I finished high school other than the thought "Next year, when I'm in college in Massachusetts, I'm going to definitely check out this Phish band live." In fact, my girlfriend at the time, who seemed to understand the full and awesome power of live Phish before me (I was still under the spell of the Grateful Dead), asked if I wanted to join her to go see Phish at Arrowhead Ranch that summer. I declined. I already had plans to see the Dead with my buddies that summer, and as I needed to work to make money to spend my freshman year of college, I had very limited time off available. I chose the Dead at RFK with my buddies over Phish at Arrowhead Ranch with my girlfriend. Now the Dead show was tasty....Black-Throated Wind, Help>Slip>Franklins>Dark Star and a Stella Blue taboot, just to name a few....but if wishes and buts were candy and nuts, I would have been chowing down all that snack food while camping at Arrowhead Ranch. Oh well...I didn't know!

Ok, back to freshman year of college. As I listened to more high-quality recordings of Phish, I was getting more and more excited to see them live. I had a buddy who attended Tufts U. in Somerville, MA and he called to let me know he got us tickets for the Phish show that was quickly approaching. I had seen 6 nights of the Dead at Boston Garden in September, and those shows were pretty solid, if a little weird (still getting used to no Brent). Not to mention, they were crowded and a bit of a hassle. So my most recent concert memories were of the Grateful Dead a few months before as I approached the Somerville Theater.

I met my buddy and his friend in Somerville. We may have eaten at a restaurant beforehand, or not. I don't remember. But I do remember getting in the line which formed outside the door for this GA show. And I definitely remember taking our spots up front in the 2nd row right in the middle. I want to say this was the only full Phish show I ever saw where there was an opening band, but I may be mis-remembering. Maybe it was just a dude with a guitar that opened. Or maybe no opener at all. Sorry, it's all pretty foggy, but I'm going to keep bravely progressing forward.

The lights go down, the band walks up, and the first thing I notice is just how darn close I am to the stage and the band. The Somerville Theater is a tiny little place that holds 800 people or so. Being in the second row, having mostly only seen big concerts at outdoor venues or hockey arenas, was amazing. There was nothing dividing the band from the fans. It felt like they were right on top of us. I'd been front row for the Dead, and that was more like being in the 10th row at Somerville with the divider, security, etc. So first and foremost, this just looked and felt so much more intimate than any live show I was used to seeing.

Lights go out and they start Chalkdust Torture. I had never heard the tune before, but the solo and intensity was blowing me away. Will this shreddy peaking guitar solo never end???!!?? But end it did and they immediately started Bouncin', which I knew. Everyone around me was bouncing up and down, smiles plastered, and I was loving how loud, engulfing, and intense this experience was in this little room. After Poor Heart, Geulah Papyrus was played, which I had never heard before, and really stood out to me as a super cool song. The thumping bass, the lyrics about expanding exponentially like some recursive virus, and the vamping while Mike and Trey did this little shuffle dance that ended with a kick right as they slammed a note. This was so cool!!! Jerry and Bobby never do any little choreographed shuffle dances during tunes! The rest of the set were mostly songs I knew and just kept hitting wave after wave as my smile grew larger and larger. Foam! Split Open and Melt! Esther!!! I LOVE ESTHER, such a weird, dark little song. Then they closed the set with Mike's>Hydrogen>Groove. I remember thinking I am Hydrogen was such a bizarre, lilting, off-beat, but beautiful little section. And the Weekapaug closer was super intense....kept going and going....and then they reprised it - twice!! Trey going "Thanks so much, we'll be right back." Then "No really, we really appreciate you being here, thank you so much!" And I was thinking, is this for real??? These guys are SO good but also THIS MUCH WACKY FUN?????

I have way less memories of the second set. So perhaps, things were kicking in by then. But it was a solid, well-played show throughout. Wilson, Hood....I remember thinking It's Ice was a cool song sung by Page that got pretty weird. And the man Who Stepped>Avenu>Man Who Stepped was perplexing in a good way. Jams, odd off-beat songs, weird lyrics, crazy antics and so much energy on the stage. I do remember them doing secret language, but I wasn't in on the secret yet. So the random "D'oh!!" coming from the band....and crowd??? Was really strange and trippy to me. And I specifically remember the band did an "Asshole in the front row" signal. There was a large man in the front row, who would turn away from the band and look back at the crowd, was kind of loud, and wasn't playing close attention to the band. He was sort of making a scene about himself. I remember, the guy was hamming it up and looking away from the stage, when the band played the 'me and my arrow' riff, then all stopped and pointed at this asshole in the front row. I didn't know the secret language yet, but I think everyone around this dude picked up on what the band was laying down. Which was hilarious to me.

I was a young, full of energy, smart-ass, music-loving college kid who was ready for something new. Phish fit like a glove. From that day on, Dead shows played second-fiddle to the most important live band in the world...Phish. I spent the rest of my college years and beyond seeing as many Phish shows as possible. My only regrets are the Phish shows I didn't go to.

Thanks for the reminder of my first show,!
, attached to 1991-11-21

Review by Anonymous

(Published on the legacy site many years ago...)

Well, I think Rich pretty much said it all but I'll add my $0.02 anyway. Trey did indeed arrive at Mike's Pizza, and at first I did not recognize him with the buzz-cut. I was thinking to myself, "Gee! that guy looks almost like Trey ..." When someone else grabbed me and said "THAT"S TREY!" So Shelly went over and spoke with him while the rest of us kinda peered across the restaurant making silly faces and waving like maniacs. When Shelly returned she announced that Trey was doing an interview (where will that appear, I wonder?) or some such, but promised to come say hi to us when it was done. So I gamely sat there, resisting the urge to go get on line at the Theatre, until he popped over. He seemed highly bewildered by our presence, but pleased at the same time. He eventually wandered off clutching a bag of chicken sandwiches which he claimed were "great".

First set was hot. I didn't know half the songs so I won't post a list either. What I am given to understand was the "Mike's Groove" medley was amazing. I had forgotten what a transcendant experience a Phishshow could be. And this is only my third. Second set was also excellant, though less transporting than the first. I was pleased to hear "Tweezer", which they played at the first two shows I went to, and I find it an absurdly pleasing song. The a cappella "Memories" & "Sweet Adeline" and the end were really neat, and were followed by a ripping "Golgi Apparatus". I hope Pandion made it out to Riverside after the show and didn't get stranded in Park Street Station. Further on this note: If anyone is going to a Boston/Cambridge area show in the future and needs crash space let me know, since I got some room on the floor - I've fit at least 2 people on it previously and could probably fit more if need be.

There it is pretty much. Look forward to Dartmouth on Sunday!
, attached to 1991-11-21

Review by DollarBill

DollarBill Reba was still a little wierd, Esther has lots of secret language, and Weekapaug has a hilarious triple ending.
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