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Band

March 1992

Phish’s third studio album and first release on Elektra Records, A Picture of Nectar, hit the streets on February 18, 1992. Armed with a slew of promotional Nectar stickers which can still be found stuck in clubs and tollbooths to this day, Phish launched a national tour. The tour began at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on March 6th and 7th. The Music Hall shows are fondly remembered for the first "Phish Secret Language" instructions, where, during set II of the March 6th show, Trey gave examples of Phish’s onstage musical language. Some of the language signals explained between Poor Heart and Stash were the Homer Simpson "Doh!", the "random note", "fall down" and "Turn, Turn, Turn". The language has since developed as a playful band-audience interaction punctuating occasional shows through the years. Many songs were debuted at this same show, including Rift, Maze, My Friend (which Trey first called Knife), Mound, and Sleeping Monkey. Set II included the first live NICU (Trey introduced it as In An Intensive Care Unit) in its original, slower configuration. Opening with Brother, the next night’s show also featured several premieres including The Horse>Silent in the Morning and Weigh. Some new cover songs were debuted as well, including the Jimmy Dale Gilmore tune My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own, sung by Mike, and Fish’s rendition of Neil Diamond’s Cracklin’ Rose complete with "B-AH" hand clash cymbals. March 7th was also the show where Foreigner’s Cold As Ice became Fish’s "Henrietta" theme music for the first time, replacing the Argent rocker Hold Your Head Up for most of the spring.

On March 11th, Phish returned to the Colonial Theatre in Keene, New Hampshire for their seventh and last show there. Fish introduced a new (and rare) Syd Barrett cover, Baby Lemonade which featured his first bagpipe/Electrolux vacuum combo performance. The March 11th show is also significant for a four song encore which included the tour’s first Sanity. The next day, Phish returned home to Burlington to appear for the first time at the Flynn Theatre. On Friday the 13th, they made their fifth and final appearance at the Campus Club in Providence, Rhode Island during which the band finished the first set with Run Like an Antelope/Big Black Furry Creature From Mars (referred to by some as "Run Like a Creaturelope"). Trey continued his explanation of the Phish Language at this show, giving an example of the "finger scrape" signal and others. The following day the band traveled to New York City for their second appearance at the Roseland Ballroom, where special guest John Popper joined them on harmonica for the two-song encore. The tour continued with Phish’s first performance at Washington, D.C.’s Lisner Auditorium on March 17th. At that show, Fish again experimented with the bagpipes/vacuum routine. On the 19th, the band played the Palace Theater in New Haven, Connecticut and on the 20th, they appeared at the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, New York. The second set at Broome County began with Mike’s Groove followed by Sanity and The Sloth. Trey again explained the Phish Secret Language and during Terrapin, Fish continued his practice with bagpipes/vacuum cleaner interplay and even played some slide trombone during Run Like an Antelope. March 21st found Phish at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Fish performed Cracklin’ Rose with the "B-AH" cymbals, bagpipes and vacuum combined.

After a stop on March 22nd at the Cultural Center Auditorium in Charleston, West Virginia to perform for the National Public Radio program Mountain Stage, the band played back-to-back Virginia shows on March 24th and 25th. The show at the Flood Zone in Richmond, Virginia on the 24th featured Carl "Gears" Gerhard (of the Giant Country Horns) on trumpet for Brother and Cavern, and Fish using the bagpipes/vacuum duo during I Didn’t Know. Phish teamed up with friends Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit (ARU) for a show on the 26th at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Trey helped run the light show for ARU’s opening set, and Page joined ARU on keys for a song or two. The Ziggy’s show is also remembered for the three-song encore during which Trey called Marley out and held her in front of him for much of Harpua. After another North Carolina show at the 1313 Club the following night, Phish arrived in Atlanta on March 28th for their seventh show in that city, but their first at a venue called the Variety Theater. At the Variety, Trey again explained the Phish Language with examples, and the band was forced to perform an all-a capella second set due to flooding in the Theater.

As the fourth and final song of the a capella set ended, Trey promised the crowd "We’ll make it up to you next time" (and they did–see TMIPH February 1993). March ended with two shows in Missouri. The first, March 30th at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, featured a bagpipe/vacuum solo linking You Enjoy Myself to Big Black Furry Creature From Mars. The second was March 31st in Columbia, Missouri. Following the Columbia show at The Blue Note, the band, touring in a custom van, departed for Kansas, Colorado, the West coast and beyond.