New To Circulation: Missing Phish Set From 1992 Surfaces

By Scott Bernstein Aug 13, 2016 7:05 am PDT

On April 4, 1992 Phish played their first-ever show at Balch Fieldhouse on the campus of the University Of Colorado in Boulder. They would return for their second and last-ever (to date) concert at the multi-purpose arena the following March. While recordings of nearly every set Phish has performed since 1992 circulate, a tape of the second set from the quartet’s Balch Fieldhouse is one of the few that doesn’t. Late last month, an audience recording of “Harpua” and today the taper has posted the entire second set and encore.

The taper, who goes by geoffgeoffygeoff, has shared his recording on YouTube and has plans to upload FLACs to soon. His recording is not only the first of the set to circulate in fan circles, but there’s not even an official recording of the set in the band’s archives. Here’s the notes from the page on the show, “This was an all ages show at the 3,800-capacity C.U. Field House. Acoustic Junction opened. There are no tapes in the archives nor any known audience recording of set II. This setlist was compiled from circulating fan sources and [former Phish tour manager] Andrew Fischbeck’s notes.”

Fischbeck’s notes weren’t perfect as for decades the wrong setlist has circulated. With the surfacing of Geoff’s recording today, we can now correct the historical record. A fun “Mike’s Groove” starts off the show with a particularly cool moment coming towards the end of “Weekpaug,” when bassist Mike Gordon starts screaming the “Me No Are No Nice Guy” lyric from “Mike’s Song” following a scorching solo from Trey Anastasio. A spot-on “Glide” comes next and while the setlist that Fischbeck shared lists “My Sweet One” after “Glide,” it’s actually “My Friend, My Friend” in the five spot. “My Friend” was a mere one month old at this time. While the setlist that has circulated for decades says the set continues with “Tweezer” and “The Squirming Coil,” the recording shows us the order is actually reversed.

The quartet was clearly in a frisky mood on this night, adding accents and screams at random places including during the verses of “Tweezer.” Trey starts the “Tweezer” jam with an unusual riff and his band mates quickly follow along. Anastasio starts to vary the riff as Gordon offers counterpoints while building tension throughout the jam. Fish’s powerful drumming helps the foursome build to a frenetic peak ahead of the old school “Tweezer” ending. The drummer then heads to the front of the stage for a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” between and instrumental intro and outro of Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice.” While the “old” setlist for this show had “My Friend, My Friend” coming next, the tape illustrates “Buried Alive” actually followed the evening’s Fish song.

Phish’s second set at the University of Colorado rolls on with a “My Sweet One” that sees Mike accent his singing in unusual places. After “MSO” we finally get the “Harpua” that we reported on in detail a few weeks back when it surfaced. A romp through “Cavern” closed out the second set as originally thought. The evening’s encore featured the recently debuted “Sleeping Monkey” along with the high-energy “Tweezer Reprise.”

Be among the first who wasn’t there that night to listen to the second set Phish played in Boulder on April 4, 1992:

Revised Setlist

Set Two: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Glide, My Friend My Friend, The Squirming Coil, Tweezer, Cold As Ice > Cracklin’ Rosie > Cold As Ice, Buried Alive, My Sweet One, Harpua, Cavern

Encore: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise

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