Phish Delivers Barn Burner At The Forum In Binghamton On This Date In 1992
If I had to make a list of the five Phish shows I’ve listened to most over the past 20+ years, the quartet’s performance from this date in 1992 at The Forum in Binghamton would most certainly make that list. The band’s March 20th, 1992 show in the Southern Tier was a scorcher from start-to-end and may just be the pinnacle of Phish’s early days as a national touring act.
The highlights are numerous and come from the get-go as guitarist Trey Anastasio‘s machine gun skills are on full display during the “Reba” that followed the “Wilson” opener. Anastasio was in a wild mood throughout and throws in plenty of banter and even changes the “Brother” lyrics to reference the large space between the band and audience as an “alligator pit.” Spring ’92 was also a high point for “Rift” as Trey unleashes inventive solos throughout each take of the song during the run with Binghamton a shining example. The guitarist also stars on first set renditions of “Fluffhead” and “Run Like An Antelope.”
Phish’s second set at The Forum in Binghamton features a dream setlist with a performance to match. An old school “Mike’s Song” > “I Am Hydrogen” > “Weekapaug Groove” suite kicked off the second set on this night and the “Weekapaug” contains some of the most ferocious riffing from Trey I’ve ever heard. The Vermonters show off just how tight they were during these road warrior days by stopping on a dime and throwing in a few measures of a waltz within “Weekapaug.” Up next is a weird and awesome take on “Sanity” with band and crew members names shouted out as part of the intro and a crazy vocal jam at its conclusion.
Spot-on versions of “The Sloth,” “Mango Song,” “Cavern” and “Uncle Pen” lead into a beautiful “Harry Hood.” Keyboardist Page McConnell‘s interplay with Anastasio in “Hood” helps push the guitarist to glory. Drummer Jon Fishman has his turn up front for Syd Barrett’s “Terrapin” which was bookended by covers of Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice” as the band liked to do instead of “Hold Your Head Up” in Winter/Spring 1992. Fish utilized electric bagpipes instead of vacuum on this night. “Possum” came next and saw the foursome teach the crowd their “secret language” which was on display during the “Weekapaug.” In a cool move, Phish – though playing “Possum” – used portions of “David Bowie” as a sound bed for the language instructions. The group then said farewell with a “Lawn Boy”/”Fire” encore.
If you want an example of Phish at their tightest, you need to hear this show. Listen to full show audio of Phish’s visit to Binghamton from 24 years ago today thanks to From The Aquarium:
[Originally Published: March 20, 2016]