, attached to 1989-12-31

Review by DollarBill

DollarBill Ah the first New Year’s Eve show in Phish history and the last show of 1989 was a pleasure to hear, though the continuing tape speed issues throughout remind you that it was still the ‘80’s. It seems a lot has changed since the beginning of ’89, some covers have been removed, Gamehenge material has lessened, new Lawn Boy material has taken their place in the set lists, new equipment has been purchased, and the boys are really staring to hone their signature sound down to what we know and love.

The Fishman tuxedo story was great to read as IDK starts off the show. I have seen pictures. I though it was a little ambitious to play YEM next and it was rough at the top, but the post tramps jam was really great and the vocal jam was good too. Oh Kee Pa was good going into a decent Bag, though we lost Mike in the middle somewhere and then the rocking end unfortunately gets cut off because Trey had to start the count down to 1990. Auld Lang Syne was pretty awful, but that doesn’t really matter. Antelope had some rough spots, but the jam was good. Gin was ok and then inexplicably fades out, so there’s no ending jam. Change of tape source as Lizards included more tape hiss and was played ok, but had a weak ending. Fun announcements from the band before they urge everyone to grab a partner and dance to a well played Satin Doll. “Page is going to sing you a love song.” A rocking Highway to Hell closes up first set nicely. YEM was definitely the stand out for that set.

New tape source again as Mike gets the first half of the next set with his Song, which was good; Hydrogen was pretty spirited tonight, and Weekapaug was well played before an average Ya Mar. Melt and Fee were pretty good, but not great. Divided Sky started off ok and the ending jam wasn’t locked in to my ears and then the tape faded out again. They are taking chances and learning how to jam, but it just didn’t pay off tonight. Golgi was a good closer to this average set.

Mike also gets the encore spot tonight with a fitting Contact to send everyone on into the night.

It’s not too bad of a show overall, but its not five star by any means either. I’ll go three stars because of the YEM jam and the tuxedo story.


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