This show was an Earth Day concert at UVM and took place outside the Bailey Howe Library on the Green. This performance previously circulated with the dates April 15 and April 29, 1986. Trey introduced the band as the “Bob Dylan Band” before they began a jam that led into a short All Blues (the first known Phish performance; it was only about a minute long). Dog Log was dedicated to all of the dogs that were running around, including Marley the Wonder Dog (Trey's dog). Possum included a Help on the Way tease.
Help on the Way tease in Possum
Debut Years (Average: 1985)

Show Reviews

, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by aybesea

aybesea I'm continuing to listen to all of these early shows in order, something that I would urge all of you to do. This show has pretty muddy sound quality, but the performance is remarkably sound. My notes:

Bag is infinitely better than last show (4/1), but still has a long way to go.

DMR is easily the best one yet. I wish that they'd bring this back as Dear Mrs Trump!

PSH is quite the jam in this show. Too bad the sound is so muddy or this one would make it onto my regular rotation.

Slave is wonderful! The first really good early Slave I've heard. This one is ready for prime time.

Makisupa continues to be its own, goofy self. If you like this track now, you'll like this track then. Performance is fine, maybe even better than now because it's fresh and ever so reggae. But Trey forgets (how do you forget made up words?) many of the words. Unfortunately there is a nasty cut before the end.

Have Mercy is a really tight rendition but without any notable jams. I wish that they'd play this more often as it is an infinitely better song than Makisupa.

All Blues is, of course, a treat just by being there. It is brief but one heck of a lot of fun.

Possum is still incredibly immature and sounds more like a shuffle than the raucous rocker that we have embraced. Aside from the words it's pretty much a whole different song.

The YEM here is a lot of fun to listen to... particularly the addition of 2nd guitar and the lack of the keyboard fills. It sounds to me like Jeff is playing a 12 string and that makes the instrumentation quite expansive. In some ways it's the same song, while in others it's an entirely different affair.

Well worth listening to!
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by TwiceBitten

TwiceBitten Pretty cool to hear this, the last recording with Jeff Holdsworth on rhythm guitar. Show starts out with a jammed out AC/DC Bag then ventures into some Grateful Dead territory and continues with two solid renditions of early songs long gone from the repertoire. How sick will it be when they bust out Prep School Hippie one of these days? Slave is has some shredding and Makisupa has a nice mellow solo. Tape maybe cuts or maybe they segue into Have Mercy? Possum has some banter over the intro from Jeff before he takes over with some alternate lyrics with the band doing backup. It's really interesting hearing the two guitar version of YEM. There's definitely some cool stuff going on. Anarchy: "we've been practicing for this all week." Camel Walk will always be one of my favorite Phish songs. IT coulda been a hit in the 70s for the right band. Trey is doing some wigged out whammy bar stuff at the start and Jeff gives a little spoken intro and then he kills it on the vocals. The tape is pretty hissy, but I love listening to these early shows. It's pretty remarkable that we have them.
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This show is pretty straightforward and inline with most of the shows from this era. One big exception is that the YEM from this show is far stronger than any other before it. The song had grown a lot in just a few weeks and it's pretty fun to listen to on this recording.

The only other interesting aspect of this show is it's really the last widely circulated show with Jeff Holdsworth still in the band. So it is fun to romanticize him playing Possum and Camel Walk for the last time as an official member.

Besides that a pretty forgetful show. But check out the YEM if you want a great early glimpse into the song that would become the most iconic in the bands catalog.
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by SplitOpenAndMule

SplitOpenAndMule Sounds like a fun, laid back afternoon/early evening. Not especially tight, but not too sloppy.

Prep School Hippie has a full-on mash-up with Not Fade Away that's pretty creative and a whole lot of fun. They come out of the jam into the "I can't wait til I'm 21 / to dip into my trust fund" refrain at 4:40. At 4:50, Mike and Trey (or Jeff) start teasing NFA, and then they sing the PSH refrain entirely to the melody and chords of NFA. Trey is cracking up all the while.

In Quinn, Mike forgets the lyrics of the third verse, prompting Trey to introduce him to the crowd; the music stops for a measure, then comes right back in. All in good cheer.
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by cnlforbin

cnlforbin This particular show might not always get the spotlight it deserves, but let me tell you, it's an absolute hidden gem. In my book, this performance stands out as one of Phish's finest from their early days. What really strikes me is how they had all settled into their groove with the songs. But what truly makes this show shine? Those seamless transitions that feel smoother than butter.

Right from the opening notes of "Bag," there's this slow and groovy vibe that immediately hooks you. Mike's bass steps up to the front, asserting its presence in a way that sets the tone. They take their time, letting the music breathe and evolve before sliding effortlessly into "Dear Mrs. Regan." Kudos to them for nailing that transition so flawlessly.

Now, let's talk about the playful moments in "Quinn." Sure, they let their goofy side show, but what they manage to do is turn that energy into a jam that flows seamlessly into "Slave." It's like watching a masterful puzzle coming together in real time.

"Have Mercy" is a standout too. Having had a few live renditions under their belt at this point, you can practically feel their comfort with the song's vibe. And those vocals? Trey approaches them with such tenderness that you can't help but be drawn in.

And the icing on the cake? A killer "YEM." Yeah, that's right. A noteworthy aspect is the added guitar layer on top of it. You can't help but wonder about those rumors - did Jeff leave because the complexity of the songs was becoming too demanding? Food for thought.

Speaking of Jeff, this show truly showcases his integration into the band. He doesn't feel like the odd one out anymore. In hindsight, he had often seemed a bit constrained, a Phish amidst unfamiliar waters. But not on this night. This performance represents his apex with the band - he's in his element, harmonizing like an old friend.

In fact, it's not just Jeff; the entire band exudes a sense of comfort. That's precisely what makes this show a standout from the early days. Even "Alumni Blues," a familiar tune in these early sets, bursts with energy. Only bummer? It gets cut off at the end.

It's a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in an era where shows like this are immortalized. This kind of brilliance deserves to be preserved for posterity, and in that sense, we're truly blessed.
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by cleantone

cleantone Just recently transferred my old cassette of this performance. It's not really any different or better than circulating versions by the way. I was going over it in some restoration software. I'm pretty confident that Makisupa Policeman was not performed from this date. Or that the Makisupa Policeman that commonly ends Side A is a filler or remnant of something else. Checking it's not present. The frequency content is different and it sounds like it's recorded indoors. It's possible an early dub was taped over something else or that this was intentionally spliced on as a filler. Here is the newspaper clipping that helped figure out the correct date.
, attached to 1986-04-25

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove Can't say I'm a huge fan of this show/recording... not really sure why, many of the songs are performed fairly well. It's just lacking a lot of the magic for me. However, there are some highlights:

1) AC/DC Bag: This jam has a little bit of fat on the end! Unfortunately, the cool intro from the previous version (04/01/86) isn't here, but they give this one an extended Type I treatment which has some momentum before fizzling into Dear Mrs. Reagan

2) You Enjoy Myself: The first YEM to really stick the Boy/Man/God/Shit transition. Trey has some pretty ferocious playing the during the jam (ferocious for this era).
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