In the months preceding fall of 1990, Phish concluded a late spring and early summer tour of the South and East with the "Last Show ‘Til Fall, An Outdoor Explosion With Phish" at Townshend Family Park in Townshend, Vermont. They spent a short time recording "live in the studio" at Wendell Studios in Massachusetts, and by early fall had written and rehearsed many new songs. The band’s second album, Lawn Boy, was released on September 21 on Absolute A Go Go Records. Phish fans were beginning to meet and discuss the band on the Internet (via e-mail and Usenet news), forming the nucleus of what would evolve into the Phish.Net over the course of the coming year.
To support the release of Lawn Boy, Phish booked a dozen dates in the North East, beginning with a show on September 13 at the Wetlands Preserve in New York City. It was at this show that the band debuted some of the new original tunes they’d developed, including Tube, The Asse Festival, Buried Alive, Magilla, and Stash. They also began playing a Flatt and Scruggs cover, Paul and Silas, which would become a live standard during the coming decade. Phish was joined at the Wetlands by the Dude of Life for the debut of a number of his tunes as well (which would later be featured on the 1994 collaborative album Crimes of the Mind). The Dude’s Wetlands appearance is notorious for his on-stage nausea, spawning the oft-quoted warning "better get the bucket!".
Later shows on the September ’90 tour featured the premiere of a variety of other songs which have since become live rarities, such as Destiny Unbound (an original by Mike never released on any album), Gumbo (a Fish original; a live version with horns was released in 1995 on A Live One) and Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca, which later appeared on <I>A Picture of Nectar</I>. The elusive Minute by Minute (a Doobie Brothers song) was also unveiled in September, sung by Fish at the Colonial Theatre on September 15, 1990. The September shows included appearances at several venues which were staples of Phish’s tour itineraries in that era, such as the Colonial Theatre in Keene, New Hampshire, home town shows at The Front in Burlington, and two all-ages shows at the Somerville Theatre on the 20th and 21st of September. The Friday, September 21 Somerville show was the official "Lawn Boy record release party" (advance tickets cost $10.00). This tour was also the first where tapers were obliged to rely on microphones to make their recordings; soundboard patches were no longer provided due to tapers having taken the liberty of unplugging vital equipment in attempts to connect to the sound-mixing console.