Phish Video Featuring 1990 Performance At The Front Surfaces On YouTube

By Scott Bernstein Dec 14, 2020 8:14 am PST

Video featuring most of Phish‘s first set from May 13, 1990 at The Front in Burlington, Vermont recently surfaced on YouTube. The footage — which includes audio and video worked on by Jon Epstein, Robert Brown, Ben Mohr and Marmar — contains eight of the 10 songs from the evening’s opening stanza and is available via the JamBase Live Video Archive.

Burlington is the city that birthed Phish 37 years ago this month. While Phish’s first “home” venue was Nectar’s, the quartet actually performed more documented shows at The Front. The band made their The Front debut on May 27, 1988 and played their last of 53 shows at the venue on May 12, 1991 as per Phish.net. The Front hosted Phish more than any other venue than New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Phish kicked off the concert with “Bathtub Gin,” a song less than a year old at the time. The quick romp through “Bathtub” was followed by instrumental “The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony,” which bled into “AC/DC Bag.” Next up was a potent “Dinner And A Movie” and a pair of songs debuted earlier in 1990: “Bouncing Around The Room” and “Runaway Jim.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio sang an extra verse in “Runaway Jim” that would disappear forever by the end of the year.

The lone cover included in the newly surfaced video features Phish’s rendition of “Uncle Pen” by Bill Monroe. “Uncle Pen” was also debuted by the four-piece in 1990. Anastasio dedicated the cover to Possessed, a death metal band also formed in 1983. Trey referred to the group as “one of the greatest living rock and roll bands” before drummer Jon Fishman recommended fans listen to Possessed’s Seven Churches album and more specifically the track “Burning In Hell.”

Bassist Mike Gordon fronted Phish on “Uncle Pen,” which featured Mike and Trey performing a synchronized dance. The video also includes a stellar version of “Divided Sky.” While Phish went on to close the set with “Lawn Boy” and “David Bowie,” the newly surfaced clip only contains audio of those songs.

Check out the entire first set with audio only of the last two songs with thanks to all involved in getting the clip into circulation:


00:02:23
00:09:43
00:11:27
00:18:03
00:21:39
00:25:33
00:33:13
00:37:29
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The full Phish.net setlist for the show is below:

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