2-14-91 - State Theater, Ithaca, NY

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Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 19:26:01 +0000
From: Jason Racey jasonracey@hotmail.com
Subject: 02/14/91 review

This was my first Phish concert, Valentine's Day 1991. Lawn Boy had been
released recently. I really liked Reba and I thought "hey these guys sound
fun; I'll go check out their show". Their album got good review in the
student newspaper. Phish were still just an underground college band at
this time. I remember seeing neon-colored posters for the concert stapled
to phone poles. The show was sold out and a few people were hanging around
outside the theater looking for tickets, but I mean literally 2-3. The
State is an old theater that had been converted to a movie house but
occasionally hosted live shows. In the back there was a table with a young
woman selling stickers and white t-shirts and with the rainbow Phish logo.
They were also selling Junta tapes and Lawn Boy CDs. The soundboard was in
the middle of the theater, in a cordoned-off section of the seats. It was
general admission. I spent some time walking about the theater saying hi
to friends.  It was all very social, and the crowd seemed to be just a big
family.  Despite the sellout, there were only a few hundred people and you
could walk anywhere without pushing, including right up to the stage.

I remember a few songs from this night. ^”My Sweet One^‘ was a great
opener in such a small venue. ^”Reba^‘ appeared a few numbers later. That
made my night.  Although not yet a Phish connoisseur I was really
impressed with the jamming. Trey seemed to go on forever, not missing a
note. At the end of the set they played ^”Golgi^‘, which had my friend
really excited. He'd been into them for quite a while and this one of his
favorite songs. I was impressed with the energy level of the set, and also
with the banter between the band and the crowd. You could practically hold
a conversation with a band member between songs if you wanted. There was
only about 3 feet between the stage and the front row and it was not
raised very much above the floor. The fun continued in the second set. As
in the first, I only recognized the Lawn Boy tunes but I really enjoyed
the show anyway. I clearly remember ^”Bouncing^‘.  They brought out two
trampolines, which Trey and Billy mounted and proceeded to bounce on for
the entire song. The stage lights went out, powerful strobes came on, and
smoke poured out of a machine. I was really blown away.  At times it
looked as though they were floating in mid-air. I remember wondering how
they could manage to play while jumping. I also remember ^”I Didn't
Know^‘. I was impressed with how the crowd quieted down and let them sing.
"Landlady" was just cool. I was impressed at this point with the variety
from song to song. "Possum" was just wild fun, a great closer.

Other than that the rest of the show is just a blur now. I've never heard
a tape of it so I can't comment on the performance. Maybe someday I'll
find it. A year later when I first listened to Picture of Nectar I
recognized quite a few songs (see set list below). I only wish days like
this could have gone on longer because every time I saw Phish after this
for the next few years it seemed like the venue quadrupled in size. Well,
the more the merrier!

02-14-91 State Theater, Ithaca, NY
1: My Sweet One, McGrupp, Buried Alive, Reba, Destiny Unbound, Cavern, The 
Mango Song, Stash, Lawn Boy, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony-> Golgi Apparatus
2: Mike's Song-> I Am Hydrogen-> Weekapaug Groove, Foam, The Squirming 
Coil, Runaway Jim, Esther, Alumni Blues, Bouncing Around the Room, I 
Didn't Know, The Landlady, Possum
E: Uncle Pen, La Grange

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