This show was Phish's first public gig in New Jersey and featured many references to the state. Trey started the show by saying he was born and raised in New Jersey. Before Uncle Pen, Trey said that this was sort of a dream come true for him and Page, who grew up in New Jersey, adding it was the first time they'd ever played in the state.  Trey said "we'll do a little song here that brings us back to our New Jersey roots here... it's an old Bill Monroe song." Mike added that it was "a song about Pendleton Vandiver, Bill Monroe's uncle. It's true. He's dead." Stash was played by request for "Big Phil" Muller, and was preceded by Fish playing the Charlie Chan signal. Fish said "he wrote it," Trey said "probably because I wrote it," and Mike added "I think it sucks. Essentially." Regarding Stash, Trey said "I collaborated on this song writing the music end of it and the lyrics were written by another native New Jerseyian, Tom Marshall, who isn't here tonight, unfortunately, because he's gotta be at work tomorrow programming computers." Fish added "for his dad" and Trey responded "My dad, he works for my dad. Keeping it all in the family here." Stash and La Grange contained Buried Alive teases. Prior to Landlady, Trey said they were going to play it in honor of their first gig in New Jersey. Mike introduced Destiny Unbound as a song he wrote about his Uncle Pendleton Vandiver. Prior to Buried Alive, Trey asked for a show of hands from the sparse crowd as to how many people in the room were actually from New Jersey and said "we're going to play a song that we wrote that we think captures the spirit of New Jersey," calling it "New Jersey And You, Perfect Together," which is the state's tourism slogan (a joke he later referenced in Golgi and Contact). Trey encouraged the crowd to "sing along when the chorus comes, just like it's a big commercial, because we'll be filming this for the next New Jersey commercial." During I Didn't Know, Trey introduced Fish as "Zero Man" and the song's lyrics were changed to Pardon Me "Zero Man." Before Contact, Trey introduced his dog Marley as "the 5th member of the band who doesn't usually get as much recognition... and we're going to play Marley's favorite song -- at this moment in time."
Jam Chart Versions
Buried Alive tease in Stash, Buried Alive tease in La Grange
Debut Years (Average: 1988)

This show was part of the "1990 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1990-10-07

Review by Flubhead

Flubhead According to the Pharmer's Almanac, there were only 12 people at this show! I love these Fall 1990 shows; they were exploring a bit more than in the Spring. Jumping ahead to the Set II highlights, Tweezer is stretched out ever-so-slightly with a meltdown at the end. So much frenetic energy at work here, they're really aggressive at this show. This is some of my favorite early 90s stuff, they were kicking a lot of ass and having fun on stage in 1990.

Like a previous reviewer said, I don't think people give 1990 enough thought, but there's hidden gems everywhere in this period - the Destiny, Forbin's>Mockingbird>Asse Festival combo is the highlight of this show for me. Destiny has a jamlet that's actually kinda neat and they really tear through the Mockingbird. The jam in Mike's is a nice treat too.

The mix on is pretty muddy - does anyone know of any other sources? I doubt that there could have been any tapers there, given that the audience was essentially the size of a baseball team. Still, I'll recommend a whole lot of shows form October 1990, and 10/7/90 is a good one that immediately comes to mind when I think of this month.
, attached to 1990-10-07

Review by TheEmu

TheEmu This is a pretty good, loose, and chatty show. It sounds like a VERY small crowd, and Trey talks a lot about how it's their first time playing in New Jersey. Check out the decent early Stash with Buried Alive teases at the end, good La Grange, and excellent, mean-ass Tweezer. A fun show with an appearance by the Mar Mar! Three stars, IMO.
, attached to 1990-10-07

Review by dreamed_a_dream

dreamed_a_dream very fun, energetic show. lots of jersey talk, which as a jersey guy is fun to hear. nothing mind blowing but everything is well played. great flow to the sets. the mikes groove has a little something extra. enjoyable tweezer. trey shreds the good times bad time. im a sucker for 90, and i dont think enough people listen to these shows. this is a good show for the era, definitely worth a listen. check it out. classic phish
, attached to 1990-10-07

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Solid '90 show that's just as much fun as it is musically strong.

Divided Sky is the strong opener that it typically is from this era. I really enjoy the string of songs Uncle Pen - Destiny Unbound. Each has fantastic execution as well as some fun banter before Uncle pen and The Landlady. But that's not the only highlight of this first set. Weekapaug is straight fire and La Grange is textbook "Machine Gun Trey".

I feel like the 2nd set is slightly weaker than the first. Tweezer is pretty strong, I didn't know is fun. The Lizards is played top notch and great. GTBT continues the Machine Gun Trey action were La Grange left off.

Overall a slightly above average 1990 show. Nothing crazy or new, but standout playing throughout.
, attached to 1990-10-07

Review by kipmat


"Ten years ago, the last thing I wanted was a home base. I loved living completely on the hoof and found the idea of home limiting. Now I'm experiencing the opposite. Living my life that way was actually becoming more of an energy sink than an energy source. When I go on tour now, after recharging my battery at home, I have a lot more juice than I used to." - John Fishman, from The Phish Book, p. 119

Traveling can be tiring, whether for a show, a vacation, or to visit loved ones, but at least it's one trip; going on tour for 3-4 months at a time like Phish did in 1990 can be a disorienting experience that causes one to become emotionally and physically exhausted. As Fish mentions above, being able to enjoy the comforts of home can be a healing balm for much of that exhaustion. The band had been using family homes as temporary bases of operations for playing gigs for a few years at this point, and on this night Trey and Page were finally able to play a show in their home state of New Jersey.

The recording is a clean AUD (despite some bad feedback during set 2) from a period where not that many AUDs survive. On Tom Marshall's Under The Scales podcast from 9/3/2017, @Big_Phil Muller talks about having taped this show and how it was a special show for the band, despite being performed for a minuscule audience. The setlist features a nice cross-section of the band's repertoire at this time, along with a couple of bang-bang song transitions like Buried Alive > BATR and Golgi > GTBT that were typical of this era. I also like this early Tweezer with snatches of "Will It Go 'Round In Circles" from Page and "Don't Get Me Wrong" from Trey, and a bonus travelogue from Trey during the last chorus of Contact. This is a goofy, casual, entertaining show, summed up by Trey's banter at the beginning of the recording: "How's everybody feeling tonight?"
, attached to 1990-10-07

Review by thelot

thelot Hot damn what an amazing audience recording available for this show! Not sure why it’s listed as a SBD?? Possibly an on stage recording. There are some flaws but it really doesn’t take away from the show. The recording really captures the intimacy of this performance!

Surprisingly this is the first time Phish played in New Jersey. A dream come true for Trey and Page! lol The band is extra chatty this night! The show kicks off appropriately with a rock solid Divided Sky. Mike discloses that Uncle Pen is about Bill Monroe’s Uncle, Pendleton Vandiver. It’s sounds like he’s making a joke but it’s actually true. More fun banter precedes a solid Stash with a cool little Buried Alive tease. Before Destiny Mike discloses that it was a song he wrote about his Uncle Pendleton. lol There’s a brief introduction of the Mockingbird out of Forbin. No mini Fish solo tonight preceding The Asse Festival. You could hear a pin drop during Page’s Coil solo! This lands into a decent Mike’s Groove. Diesel La Grange to close out set 1.

Some more fun Jersey banter precedes the first Buried Alive opener.
Rockin’ Tweezer! Pardon me Zero Man! Fine versions of Lizards, GXBX and Golgi round out set 2. Before starting up the encore Trey discloses that the 5th band member of Phish is actually Marley! A fun Jersey infused version of Contact is dedicated to the Mar Mar. Unfortunately, there’s some cd skipping sounds in the background towards the end of Contact. New Jersey and You working together!
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