Venue #9: Memorial Auditorium

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(Photo Credit: Matthew Thorson – Seven Days)

Address: 250 Main St, Burlington, VT

Shows at this venue: 11/14/85, 5/16/86

Notable song debuts: Dear Mrs. Reagan

Status: Still standing but barely. The building has been condemned and its future is unclear.

Can you visit it? You can walk around but you can’t go inside.

Memorial Auditorium was a crown jewel when it was built in 1927. It was a great community space for years hosting craft fairs, college basketball games, and concerts from Johnny Cash to Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley to Metallica, and Primus to LCD Soundsystem. It was long believed that Phish never played the big room as they had exceeded the capacity of the room by the time they were playing arenas. The 1985 gig was definitely downstairs in the space currently known as 242 Main. However, the 1986 show has recently been discovered as an opening set for poet Allen Ginsberg. So, Phish may have played Burlington’s largest room after all. Some fans may remember Trey Anastasio Band’s excellent 2 night stand here in the the summer of 2003.

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