This unannounced show was performed under the name “Third Ball.” BBFCFM featured Trey using a Rolling Rock beer bottle as a slide. Scent of a Mule included a Sunshine of Your Love tease and saw Trey on keys for portions. Waste and Character Zero debuted at this show. The opening act was Juan Hung Low.
Jam Chart Versions
Sunshine of Your Love tease in Scent of a Mule
Debut Years (Average: 1989)

Show Reviews

, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

It was June 6th, 1996. I woke up just like on any other day, but before the day was over I'd have experienced a stealth Phish show that would indeed change the course of things to come for me.
I got a call at around 6 p.m., that a friend was on the Phish Bowl back in the Grateful Dead Forum on Prodigy, and got a flash from someone in the band that they'd be playing a secret show that night. I called my buddy, skipped a girlfriend’s high school graduation, and got on the road with nothing but a milk gallon container to piss in and a few tabs of blotter.
We had to rush. By the time we got on the road it was almost 7:00 and we had over two hours to travel from Hartford, CT to get to the Bearsville area.
When we finally got to the bar, we saw a line outside the front that was easily 40 deep. Since I was19 at the time, with no fake ID, my heart pretty much broke as I realized that I was "this close" and now would have to just hope that no one would boot me from the parking lot so I could at least hear the music. That's when I saw some kid climb about twelve feet up and over the balcony that formed the outside sitting area outside the bar. And that’s what I did, too. I snuck in the side door just as the notes of “Split Open and Melt” echoed through the bar.
Trey was wearing a Boston Bruins black T-shirt, and Page and Jon were sunken in the floor on either side of he and Gordon. I didn’t dare buy a beer at the bar; I wasn't getting kicked out for sure. The place was packed with an assortment of old school Phish fans, locals, and those of us that were lucky enough to get in to see our favorite musicians tear it up.
“Funky Bitch”, “BBFCFM”, and the “Scent of a Mule” from Set I were awesome. I still have Trey's Rolling Rock bottle that he used as a slide during the “Mule”... we were that close. “YEM” in the second set was particularly good; other musical highlights were “Bowie”, “Stash”, and two debuts: “Character Zero”, which ended abruptly because "we don't know the end yet" (Trey), and “Waste”.
After the show, the crowd poured out into the gravel lot, and who did we end up talking with but Mike Gordon, for fifteen minutes or so. He talked a lot about the soon-to-be-launched, their plans for Europe, and music in general. What a great guy Mike was that night, he was so thankful for us all coming to their little secret show, and assured the summer tour to follow wouldn't suck. I ended up only hitting Hershey and the Clifford Ball, but I thought about this after: I bookended the summer with Phish's smallest show in years to start, and their biggest ever to end.
God, I love this band.
, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by DRock76

DRock76 This was a very special show for me being from Woodstock, the guys were recording billy breathes for a month or better and they were having a great time. The Lake was absolutely packed that night and I was only able to sort of see them from the porch. This was a really great time in my life...i saw a lot of shows around that time and I'm fortunate for being on that oddessey with everyone who went to the shows with me. Phish has always been so good to us all. It really only happens once in a lifetime that 4 people that talented come together and keep it together for so long. With that said I was really blown away with how fast the word got around for that show....Jesus...I unfortunately lost the copy I had...My friend Dan who really got me into the scene is the maniac yelling highway to hell so they finally just said screw it we're going to do it! Not the best show of all time, but i'm not super critical of their music...I just love the fact that they can take you to a happy place where nobody can jump on your cloud!
, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by dogfacedboyman

dogfacedboyman My friend at the time James Hannon, called me from R.P.I., Rensellear Poly Tech that afternoon where he was taking summer classes and said he heard from another student, Phish was playing a bar in Woodstock that night. I said "no way that is true, I am not gonna drive up there 2hrs for nothing. I was floored when I heard it was true.
, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by watsonb37

watsonb37 Solid show through and through. If you're a zero fan, this is an awesome example of Phish being tight with debuts. The AC/DC set break to Highway is a perfect example of the fun these guys have. Great recordings exist, and not a show to miss!
, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by timhorak

timhorak Review above mentions:

...and two debuts: “Character Zero”, which ended abruptly because "we don't know the end yet" (Trey), and “Waste.”

Minor correction, but it's actually Waste that ends abruptly with Trey saying it doesn't have an ending, not Zero. Only noticed because I'm listening to the show now and wondered if they were debuting those songs. Had to come check the setlist :)
, attached to 1996-06-06

Review by Halloween94

Halloween94 I grew up about 20 miles from Woodstock New York and I remember getting a phone call that day at work from my friend saying that Phish was going to be playing at Joyous Lake that night, she wasn’t even 21, we didn’t have tickets but we went up anyway. Pulled into the parking lot in the back of venue, we see a box truck with Vermont plates, we just hung out on the ramp that goes from the back deck of the bar to the parking lot, the line at the front door was down the street. A few minutes later, the band walks by us loading in their own equipment. I just smile and am speechless ( very rare for me). By show time the bar and the outside deck are completely packed, as soon as the band goes on everybody from the outside deck rushes into the bar and now the outside deck is completely open. I say to the cop that’s guarding the back deck, we’re just sitting here dancing on the ramp can’t we just go over to the deck so we will have more space to dance? Needless to say, he let me and my friend in, no tickets, raging show………. One of the best nights of my life????????????????????????????????????????
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