Debut Years (Average: 1986)

This show was part of the "1988 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1988-12-17

Review by theghost

theghost So this show caught my attention from the "this date in phishtory" thing because a friend of mine (big phan too) was actually playing at the Stone Church while I noticed this. I thought, well I might as well give it a listen. And I'll be damned if this isn't probably the best thing I've heard from the eighties. First, as has been noted, this is a super recording for the time. It sounds like somebody took the time to do this right...maybe even a small multitrack thing...but it's mixed very well at the least.

But then, damn, this is a great performance. If I had to guess without knowing, I'd say this was from a couple of years later. Most of the eighties stuff seems to be bar gigs and parties, and they're mostly all pretty loosey-goosey affairs with clinking beer bottles and chatter with the audience about irrelevant things and inside jokes. They're fun to listen to once for novelty but not much more. This feels more like them trying to showcase their songs at the cleanest level they could achieve. And they did damn well. It's one killer song after another and they all have unique little twists that should tickle everybody who feels like they know the songs inside and out. This is an eighties performance that's worthy of rolling around your car cd player several times....there's true musical value in this one.
, attached to 1988-12-17

Review by jive1twoandlee

jive1twoandlee A damn, damn good set. We may not have the second 2 sets, but the one we have is perfect. The sound quality here is just phenomenal, and every song is played perfectly, down to every last note. Mike is very clear here (which has always been an issue for me with a lot of early shows, you just can't hear the bass!), which is greatly appreciated. The song choices here are great; 88 had some pretty awesome setlists. This is one of those shows that makes you emotional, just so eternally grateful to have these boys in our lives. Love this show and love Phish so, so much. Check it out!
, attached to 1988-12-17

Review by thelot

thelot This first set might just be the perfect starting set for a newcomer to Phish. The sound quality is top notch for the time period and it’s an entire set of Phish originals played note perfect. It’s a shame set 2 and 3 are lost to time. ;) I’d venture to guess this is an On Stage recording or possibly a Matrix…there’s too much room ambiance to be a straight SBD imo.

Although we just have Set 1 to review here I find it interesting that like their gig at Red Barn we see another entire set full of originals. Makes you wonder what the rest of the last show of year looked like. It’s pretty clear after listening to everything up to this point that 1988 was the year Phish truly came into their own. What a treat it’s been listening to everything unfold up to this point! This set is definitely worth a spin if you haven’t heard it before. The quality of this recording alone will bring you back to the Old Stone Church! ;)
, attached to 1988-12-17

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw The only set that is around is Set 1. But don't sleep on it, it's a strong set.

Divided Sky has some excellent execution and power. YEM also does but what else would you expect they played it almost every show at this point. Mockingbird in this era is great as it's fresh and inspired, but also Trey is so young that he is actually able to play all the notes fairly well. Bowie is pretty rough at times but hey he's just a baby at this point!
, attached to 1988-12-17

Review by DollarBill

DollarBill Very crispy recording for 1988, not sure if that was helped during the upload, and this recording is mis-marked on as 11-11-88. Pretty good playing overall. Check this one out, it doesn't take long.
, attached to 1988-12-17

Review by TheEmu

TheEmu Two things about this recording. First, everything is well played but standard, nothing too interesting to report. Maybe the Bowie (which I think somehow got tagged on to 11/11/88 when I transferred it, so ignore that part of my review of that show). Secondly, though, the recording is SUPER crispy awesomeness! I halfway tempted to bump it up to 4 stars just because the recording sounds so good, but I think I will again go three stars here. But if you only like to listen to super crispy sbd Phish, this is one to grab.
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