It must have been a hot night at The Front, as references were made to a large fan cooling off the crowd. The band even encouraged the audience to take their shirts off; Trey went as far as to promise that Fish would get naked if the audience did! Wilson was performed in a heavy metal style. Trey teased Sailor's Hornpipe in Hydrogen. BBFCFM contained teases of Auld Lang Syne and the Bonanza theme from Trey.
Jam Chart Versions
Auld Lang Syne and Theme from Bonanza teases in Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Sailor's Hornpipe tease in I Am Hydrogen
Debut Years (Average: 1987)

This show was part of the "1990 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1990-01-28

Review by westbrook

westbrook This is a nice show. Suzy works well as the opener. SOAM is played much slower than it would be played in later years, but this short version is fine. I like the following combo of Tela>Fluffhead a lot. La Grange is pretty good, featuring nice playing from Trey. The placement of Carolina is a little odd, but it's a fine version. The set gets another does of Gamehendge in Col. Forbin's Ascent>Fly Famous Mockingbird. Communication is a fun cover. Oddly enough, this was the third day in a row that it was played, before being shelved for 83 shows. The heavy metal style Wilson to open the second set is real nice, a highlight of the show. Antelope is typically shredding. Then, we get some humorous banter about the heat in the room and Fish telling the audience to take their clothes off. This is only the third Bouncing Around the Room ever played, and there are a few minor lyrical mistakes. Caravan is ok. The fourth ever Squirming Coil is good, albeit with much shorter piano solo than what the song would eventually feature. There's a nice jam in YEM. Bathtub Gin is par for the course for this period. The set-ending Mike's Groove is another highlight of the show, particularly Weekapaug Groove. The double encore of Lawn Boy and BBFCFM features the band playing back-to-back songs of completely different styles. There's a nice SBD recording of this show on the spreadsheet. I'm giving this show 4 stars.
, attached to 1990-01-28

Review by thelot

thelot Much better recording for night 2 at The Front! Beautiful SBD available for this one!

Suzy cuts in missing a second or so. Good version of Split Open. This pairs nicely with Tela. Fluffhead keeps the energy up. Another excellent version of La Grange tonight. Forbin > Mockingbird is always welcome. Communication Breakdown closes out a decent first half.

Wilson opens set 2 tonight with the same arrangement as last night. This leads into a fiery Antelope. Some funny stage banter follows Antelope regarding how hot the room is. Fishman says “I think it’s time for everybody to take off their clothes, it’s just getting to warm in here. The only way we’re gonna be able to deal with this is removable of clothing and turn the sprinklers on.” Trey: “if you guys take off your clothes Fish will I swear…if you do it he will!” lol Bouncin’ does a good job at cooling the crowd off. Caravan never gets old for me. Another fantastic version. Coil continues the new song streak. The piano outro slips nicely into YEM. YEM is electric tonight! Amazing version! Even the vocal jam is top notch. This slides nicely into Gin. Mike’s Groove wraps up set 2. Groove absolutely slays once again! Lawn Boy, BBFCFM is the perfect one two punch to close things out. Solid show tonight. Amazing recording! Other than the minor cut to start, there’s literally zero flaws. The taper even included the house music after BBFCFM! Good stuff!
, attached to 1990-01-28

Review by Shadowfox0

Shadowfox0 I would love to hear Trey be so bold as to ask only WOMEN to take their tops off Men w man tits must keep their shirts on. If you have a good body, ok you men can take your six pack out but nothing like the only Boots guy at Dicks. No one including women wanna see that shit. . .believe me. . .my wife says men will never look attractive naked. A boner helps a little bit but not w other women naked around that is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I am actually surprised the Great Went went off without a hitch or sexual harrassment or rape accusations or shit maybe there were. . .I did not become a fan till 2001. . .a bad time to become a fan if I wanted to see them live right then. My first show was in Cinci 2003 night 2 was so so good it hooked me instantly. Night one got me on the line but I got away and had to hear Tube funked out and the Harry Hood from night one and 2001 got me going but the Weekapaug alone w not Mikes into Piper is a must listen I still go back and listen to that one often. . .it is a must on any LiveBait sampling mix tape.
Now onto this show. First great show of 1990. An underrated year in my opinion. The band started to grow up a little bit in 1990. The shows in 1983-87 are for the most part skippable. There are debuts that any real fan must listen to just to say they heard the first ever. Like Rift they used to sing slower and it sucks. . .that one was improved greatly by speeding it up and changing lyrics a bit. Same w Esther. The old lyrics are terrible they sound like they were improvised on the spot and that is never good w lyrics. . .great w music but not w lyrics. The new and improved 1989 version from the 87 version was miles better and she dies so it got more morbid but better. She gave the puppet back in the original and that does not have the wit or sarcasm or bad joke nature that Trey usually has in his songs. He loves to make fun of us the audience and we are in some ways Esther the one that dies. Trey is not the kindest person in the world but he is humble and for a rock star that is rare. He pretends to be mean w snarky jokes but the 2 versions of him BOTH are actually quite nice. He fakes the badass mean OZZY persona and when on heroin he really was a jerk and aloof and much like the Brian and Robert dude. . .and still is in many ways shy like myself which is good. He never let glory go to his head which I admire. He is a man of great character. The band has lasted from 12-2-1983 added Page in 1985 and the rest is amazing history of a band that is like Super GLUE. . .they are stuck together in the best possible way.
Any Col Forbin's these days is probably the rarest song that is still in rotation but barely. Along w Harpua perhaps being even more rare. Icculus is a bit less rare recently. But back then the Mockingbird showed up more because Trey liked to talk more as a young man. Now when he plays the middle part between Forbin and FFM he sometimes goes right into Mockingbird w no narration at all anymore. He is getting tired of the old songs it feels like at times. But Fluffhead came back strong at Hampton 2009 and I was worried it was gone for good after what now may have been a joke (mike says no) I think it is really Trey who alone decides what they play but they would never admit that to the masses. This Fluff was rocking and played to perfection and that is like Glide Coil or Weigh or MFMF songs that are really hard to play or like Squirming it is not hard the whole song but the guitar solo parts at the beginning and middle are very intricate. Horn is sorta hard but not in comparison. I love Tela I wish they played it a bit more but then maybe it would lose its charm somewhat.
I love the old style WIlson It is one of only a couple examples of the original version being better. . .another is Axilla . .. I prefer the other lyrics A tangled web from Baltimore that is such cool lyrics I am from MD. I lived in Cecil County from birth to Thanksgiving 11-16-2016. I moved to OH and never looked back because of prior crimes that did not follow me because they were Misdemeanors. First song I ever heard live was Wilson at Cinci a very well played version worth a listen to 2-21-2003 But I LOVE Phish's attempt at Heavy Metal. Killing in the Name of will never sound like Rage but they did their best to hit those drums as hard as Fishman can . . .sadly it still sounds like Zepplin or Marley more than Hendrix or Ozzy but points for effort. Free is an example of a song that got better live w more performances. 1995 Free's I avoid every one of them unless it says it is jam worthy because I know going in it will be a muddy mess like the end of SOAM but without the 3 note lick that brings it all back home in SOAM. Free is just a mess in 1995 which is a shame because what a hell of a year. I never hear anyone talk about how Free went from Crap to Crunchy w that bass guitar solo at the end instead. Whether it was Mike or Treys idea. . .it is pure gold and made Free the rockstar song it is since 1996 late early 1997. early 1996 it still sucked if i recall . . .I skip all before 1997 so I cant remember when they started playing the ending correctly.
Suzy is a great opener It will always remind me of the 1st live release Boomington NY is a classic show that opened w Suzy. But the placement of some of these songs on this night were not ideal for me . . .Slave in the middle of a set does not work for me . . it only works as a show opener set 1 or 2 closer or the best placement 3rd encore spot. Similar w Squirming Coil. Page cannot be on stage alone only playing piano if they know they are going into another song. . .the other band members remain on stage and play a few licks here and there or Trey will tease the next song and it loses the purity of what PIANO is meant to sound like. He reminds me of the best like Bruce Hornsby Rocketman himself Goodbye to the Yellowbrick road Elton John Butch Taylor one of my personal favorites (Buddy Strong will never match the talent of Taylor - Buddy just plays Church Organ w NO i mean ZERO range)
Not a great encore 2 very short songs like 2 to 4 minutes tops combined even is less than a good Phish tune like Hood or Slave something to end w a bang even a short one like Waste of Bold as Love or Bittersweet Motel Anything but Lawn Boy. It reminds me of what I thought at the time was to be my last Phish show and the last 2 set show of theirs EVER In hindsight that turned out to either be a lie or more likely just a change of Trey's mind once sober. Opiates change brain chemistry so when he said what he said in that letter to the phans and on Charlie Rose he meant it. . .but he was not himself. 2 versions of me explains a lot in hindsight. And now we know he should not even have been around Rose because he is a pervert and in jail now I think.
4.0 is a perfect rating for this show. Not a perfect show but for 1990. . .no dust on the wheels. They were playing well and opening up their catalog of amazing songs w the release of Lawn Boy I believe
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