ATO living room (pledge party)
st. lawrence university
cass>NAD 6300 tape deck>midiman p.c. card>wav>soundforge noise reduction>cdwav>shn
funky bitch (fades in midsong)
peaches en regalia
take the a-train>
phase dance (metheny)
good times bad times
skin it back
slave to the traffic light (fades out midsong)
david bowie (just the very end, fades in)
i didn't know **
fee (cuts short due to tape flip)
** first known version
A rare slice of Phish history from outside VT, before they toured regularly. ATO was a very partying deadhead frat, famous for good parties with an emphasis on music. This show may have been the highpoint of a long history of excellent bands at this fraternity (which has since been disbanded and re-formed with new, more 'appropriate' membership, as dictated by the national chapter AND the school - so divergent was this esteemed brotherhood with the general tenets of frat/college idiocy... what a drag. This house was a long-standing oasis amidst the rest of the usual campus frat-guy ghetto).
We hired the band for $1000 on a recommendation from a friend who'd seen them and knew they'd more than fit the bill for our party - he was right in every respect (although they were so mind-blowing that even a bunch of hardcore deadheads were spooked by the ruthlessly cascading nature of it all and had to leave the room, esp. during WHIPPING POST - though it's also worth noting that and at least 10-15 of us never left about a 20 foot radius from the band while they were playing - no way you could've pulled us away from that - we knew right away this band would go far, though I doubt any of us would've predicted just how huge they've become now 13 years later).
This recording was made with the band's blessings straight off the board, but the guy who did it got pretty wrapped up in the party (who can blame him!) and didn't tend the deck as well as he could've, hence low-levels on the master and some nasty tape flips. It seems they played a third set that is not on our tapes anywhere (proven by the existence of TWO "we'll be right back"s on the tapes we DO have). We KNOW they played BOWIE (as just the end of it made a re-flip onto the first set master cassette, hence the fade-in to FUNKY BITCH, the beginning of which BOWIE wrote over), and BBFCM too (which I remember well, as I laughed my ass off!), though this was not on the master and has never been heard since.
Hopefully the band has this whole show in their archive somewhere and it gets out some day - I'm quite sure there may be other songs (we knew nothing of the band at the time except that they came highly recommended by a trusted source, so we have no setlist beyond the tapes). I'm pretty sure Languedoc taped it, as our feed came out of his deck.
SLAVE actually came after Whipping Post in set II, but was paired up with the stranded tail-end of Bowie at the end of DISC1 due to space constraints on DISC2.
I dumped this show into my pc from the original VERY HISSY LOW LEVEL cassette and cleaned it up with SOUNDFORGE's Noise Reduction feature - basically just measured the hiss and removed it from the whole file after many less-than-successful attempts at getting a good EQ with various plug-in's. It helped ALOT and made this show much more listenable, but did create sort of a weird sonic by-product too, esp. during cymbal-heavy sections of the songs. If anyone out there is more expert than me at fixing this kind of thing up, please email me at [email protected]
e.com and I'll get you the original master .wav's and gladly let you have at it - I'd love to get the best-possible mix on this one, for obvious reasons personal AND historic.
Lastly, this is the alleged first known version of I DIDN'T KNOW (according to one of the new Phish compendiums, which, like all others, has this show inaccurately labeled as BURLINGTON, VT). Phish actually drove a few hours from home to our school in upstate NY to play this party for us. I think it was just the band and their white van, along with Languedoc (we were blown away they had guitars made by their soundman!), maybe one girlfriend, and their dog, that little yellow labbish one that's in the LAWNBOY liners - I think you can hear her barking somewhere on this tape). We'd never even heard them before this show, so it was a big eye-opener for all of us, and made many of us fans for life in one fell swoop. A huge highlight for me was being the only one in the room when they sound-checked GOLGI, which blew me away and sent me on an early-evening scramble to recruit friends to come see this great goddamned band! Enjoy.