Show #31: 10/14/1987

Wednesday, 10/14/1987
Hunt’s, Burlington, VT

Set 1: Peaches en Regalia, Take the ‘A’ Train > You Enjoy Myself -> Golgi Apparatus > Slave to the Traffic Light > The Chase[1] > Fluffhead -> Dave’s Energy Guide > Possum

Set 2: David Bowie, AC/DC Bag > Divided Sky > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Clod > Makisupa Policeman

[1] First known performance outside of Lushington.

Always interesting that not much is known about what Phish did for almost an entire month. There’s only 3 known shows between the last review and this show and one of them was found to actually be from February 1988. This got me very flustered as I thought I had missed a show and listened to the wrong one in prep. Fortunately that was not the case.

This tape is incomplete. Phish.com has “TMWSIY>Malkenu>TMWSIY” opening again but I’m not sure that is accurate and the “Peaches” opener on Phish. net makes more sense. The keyword for this show is “flow”. The band doesn’t take many breaks between songs, which is interesting for an 80s tape from a bar. The show also has a lot of segues. It almost seems like they’re learning proper construction at this gig. The tape drops into the middle of “Peaches en Regalia” and while the quality is about a B-/C+, it still captures the feeling well. A great “Take the A-Train” follows with fine solos from Trey and Page; excellent bass work by Mike here. A tight early “YEM” follows. the band really sounds dialed in on this one and it hits all the right notes. No real bass and drums or vocal jam here as it segues into “Golgi”. Mike’s all over this “GolgI” with really bright notes filling out the tune and the band just nails it. The last chord of “Golgi” is used as the first chord of “Slave to the Traffic Light” keeping the set moving. The “Slave” is pretty standard but interestingly, it does not peak or end, opting to just go into “The Chase”. “The Chase” gets closer to being in “Fluffhead” by leading into at least as the rage of the set continues. “Fluffhead”s well played if nothing else but it does have a tape anomaly at the 7:30 mark that dampers the amazing segue into “Dave’s Energy Guide”. It’s right as Trey plays the line and you can hear the band’s hard transition but the power is lost in the degradation. “DEG” then slows down and rolls into the rollicking groove of “Possum” played at a faster pace, more fitting of modern versions. “Possum” is also marred early on by a hot mic, making it hard for Mike to sing the verse. “Possum” grooves hard and when finished, Trey announces a short break. But the wall-to-wall music of “A Train” through “Possum” is impressive and shows how hard the band was firing at this point. Amazing.

Set 2 opens with “David Bowie”. This is a classic “Bowie”, again showing the high caliber the band was playing at for this show. After a pause, we get the 2nd “song suite” of the night. Trey introduces “AC/DC Bag” as “Hold Your Head Up” jokingly and then we get the funky intro riff to “Bag”. This “Bag” is pretty groovy if standard with excellent work by Page. During the ending, it gets cut short as Trey rips into “Divided Sky”. Still the shortened version, the band plays it at top speed uncharacteristically AND also plays underneath the chant lyric, which is odd and obviously did not stick. Replacing the last chord seems to be a theme of the evening, as if Trey wanted to play a set like the “Abbey Road Medley” as once again, he forgoes the end of “Divided Sky” to play the opening riff of “McGrupp”. “McGrupp” is short with no jamming and also goes right into “Clod”. Nothing flashy in “Clod” but it sounds good before dissolving into “Makisupa Policeman”. “Makisupa” begins to get weird but the tape cuts out before blast off. All in all, a very tight show with great playing. I don’t know if fans today would enjoy it due to a lack of jamming but the band was on fire. Next, the second ever Halloween gig.

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