September 1991

The months leading up to Fall of 1991 were busy for Phish. The summer was dominated by relaxed outdoor shows and special events such as the Giant Country Horn tour (see TMIPH July 1991) and Amy’s Farm (see TMIPH August 1991). During the summer, the band had begun recording A Picture of Nectar and Crimes of The Mind (The Dude of Life and Phish) and management was beginning to work out details of a recording contract with Elektra Records. Meanwhile, plans were made for a national fall tour beginning in September and continuing through all of October, November and into December, when the tour would end in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

September 1991 marked the beginning of Phish’s second national swing in less than six months and their first shows in southwestern states such as New Mexico and Arizona. The tour began with the band’s sixth performance at the Colonial Theatre in Keene, New Hampshire on the 25th. They came out of the gates with the premiere performance of Brother which was soon followed in set one by the debut of It’s Ice. The band closed the set raucously with Landlady > Caravan > Reba > Possum. Set two featured the first performance of Sparkle, followed by a special guest appearance of Giant Country Horns member Carl "Gears" Gerhard for horn-accompanied classic Cavern and ZZ Top cover, Jesus Left Chicago. The encore was All Things Reconsidered, played live that night for the first time followed by Big Black Furry Creature From Mars. The tour had begun with a bang.

The next night Phish played Ithaca’s State Street Theater where set one closed with David Bowie during which the band transposed "Dr. Seuss" over the "David Bowie" lyric. Set two featured Landlady > Destiny Unbound followed by Mike’s Groove. The band closed the show with an encore consisting of Poor Heart sandwiched between barbershop quartet standards Memories and Sweet Adeline. After a short drive, the band performed the next night at The Warehouse in Rochester, New York. Set one featured Buried Alive, Esther and Tweezer; the second set contained Split Open and Melt, The Mango Song, Dinner and a Movie and Oh Kee Pah Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg. For the encore, the band broke out another new song from A Picture of Nectar: the vocal showcase Glide, which combines four separate time signatures from Fish-one for each limb.

On September 28th, Phish (or at least Trey) literally "rolled" into The Rink in Buffalo, New York where they awarded the "Longest Distance Traveled Award" to friend Henry Petras before beginning the second set honoring him for making the trip from Palo Alto, California to Auburn, Maine for the Amy’s Farm show the previous August. Set two opened with Llama, contained a middle-of-the set Antelope and closed with Mike’s > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove. During Weekapaug, Trey donned rollerblades and skated through the audience while playing his (wireless) guitar. The encore was appropriately Contact followed by the month’s second Creature.

The following evening, Phish performed at the Agora Ballroom, a small room that seated approximately 800 attached to Cleveland’s historic Agora Theatre. Set one of the Cleveland show featured classics like Divided Sky, I Didn’t Know and You Enjoy Myself. Set two opened with an evil Brother followed by the rarely played instrumental from A Picture of Nectar, Eliza, The Sloth and a set-closing David Bowie. September wrapped up on Trey’s birthday with a show at a tiny bar in Athens, Ohio called The Dugout. After September, Phish continued the tour, playing twenty shows in October including a Halloween celebration in Colorado Springs. The band played nineteen more concerts throughout the country in November, ending the month at mainstay Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. After four more shows in December, the band capped 1991 fittingly with a three set blowout on New Year’s Eve at the New Aud (Worcester Memorial Auditorium) in Worcester, Massachusetts.