This show featured the debut of Fuck Your Face and the first known Phish performances of Take the ‘A’ Train, Timber (Jerry), The Ballad of Curtis Loew, and Come On (Part One). 'A' Train featured Jeff Friedberg on saxophone. The Fuck Your Face debut was in dispute for many years, though the setlist file seems to confirm that the song was indeed performed on this date.
Debut Years (Average: 1985)

This show was part of the "1987 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1987-04-29

Review by SlavePhan

SlavePhan This is a commonly trafficked show from 87 that made the rounds as a high-quality SBD with three solid sets. It is also one of the earlier shows to be digitized in the late 90s and could often be found online. This show, much like 8/21/87, 9/24/88, and 7/23/88, was widely spread around and is representative of a well-played 80's show with a nice mix of originals and covers. This was Duke Ellington's birthday, and Trey mentions the fact several times.

The second night of their monthly 2-night bookings at Nectar's, Phish opened with Taj Mahal's She Caught the Katy, a song that was one of two Taj Mahal covers the band played in the 80's (Corinna). A very standard Alumni and Golgi follow (the latter being "Duke Ellington's favorite song"). Swing Low, in the prime of its day, is next, but this version lacks the gusto compared to when it closes a show (3/23/87, 8/21/87). Fire returns energy to the set. The second Mike-sung cover of the set, Skin it Back, follows and moves into a very lilting jam that ends up very nicely into Cities. Perhaps the most solid version of Lushington closes the set.

Dog log opens this very short second set (only 45 mins). Melt the Guns is maybe the highlight of the show, as it turns into a driving jam that never returns to the chorus and instead moves to DEG, similarly to 2/13/87. Oddly, this is the last Melt the Guns the band ever played despite it serving as a nice jam vehicle for the band's early days. To celebrate "the Duke-ster's birthday", Jeff Friedberg joins the band for 'A-train'. Next, "Duke Ellington's favorite song by Nancy", Halley's Comet, is played with Trey singing falsetto to make up for the absence of Richard Wright. Halley's cleanly segues into Quinn, which also cleanly moves into AC/DC Bag.

"Don't forget to tip your waitresses and waiters and bartender," reminds Trey at the start of the 3rd set. These words are ingrained in my memory, as my college roomate had his alarm set to this show, and it woke me up countless times early in the morning. A very clean Peaches and Fluffhead are followed by a Trey-shred GTBT. The ultra-rare Anarchy makes an appearance here, which is worth a (short) listen. A slow Makisupa also cleanly transitions into a 9-minute Antelope, which is nicely played. The first Timber ever (with several additional lyrics) follows a standard Boogie On.

While Slave is pretty standard, the band absolutely tears through Sparks. One of the last 'chanting' versions of McGrupp contains a Lushington-like jam. Curtis Loew, which an audience member had been shouting for several times, is pretty good for a debut. The band rips through Come On, the second Hendrix cover of the night; the whole band shines here. A mellow Hydrogen, containing the beautiful second extra jam closes the show, but not before moving into Who Do We Do which ends the show oddly.

One of the highest quality shows you'll find in the early years, this show has many covers (15!!!). This has to be the most covers the band has ever played in one show that isn't a Halloween gig (and actually more than some Halloween gigs!) I imagine that the band had played a lot of their original material the first night (we'll never know since setlists don't exist, nor do tapes), so this night they filled with cover songs.

Anyways, this is a very solidly played extra-clean early show. The Melt the Guns>Cities is probably the finest version of the song and Lushington is also one of the best. This is also probably the best place to find the beautiful lost-at-birth Hydrogen twin jam, as well as a handful of early covers that aren't played anymore.
, attached to 1987-04-29

Review by SplitOpenAndMule

SplitOpenAndMule I just want to add a note about the FYF debut, and sole live performance of the song until 2010. It can be listened to by downloading this show from the spreadsheet.

The recording starts at the second verse. It sounds like it does today, but instead of the "Hi, I'm Bill..." line, Page says "Hi, I'm Page," (which I think is especially funny) and the band immediately goes into the fast-paced ascending riff. But then, instead of the song stopping like it does today, Trey turns on Jimmy Page mode while the rest of the band is silent, essentially playing off of the Heartbreaker solo. Trey's guitar tone sounds exceptionally screechy and bad ass. Mike comes in with the Dazed and Confused bass riff, Trey keeps soloing and the band plays on the Dazed theme for a brief time before closing with a long sustained noise fade out (not sure what else to call it).

It's only about two minutes of Phish history, but I thought it was worth sharing for anyone that wants to hear some of Trey's Jimmy Page influence.
, attached to 1987-04-29

Review by Golgiappa789

Golgiappa789 A few weeks ago I put into place an idea I've had for years now. Figure out a way to listen to Phish through the years. It's a hard task to tackle with so much out there but I began roughly in '91. Some shows I've been chosing randomly, other's on recommendations. To say I found this show randomly is an understatement. I decided to start moving to '92 but after a bit of searching to see which direction I should take, I found myself in Possum song history, which lead from one thing to another, which eventually lead me to a song called "Melt the Guns". I've never heard of it before and watched the video under the song history and noticed that this show 4/29/87 was a recommended show mentioned by the previous show review. And then I found myself 3ish hours later, have listened to the whole show.

I think the previous review pretty much sums this show up perfectly, but what I wanted to add was a perspective of someone who is not new to Phish, but new to trying to navigate the waters of early Phish and what these shows have to offer. I've learned a TON from listening to this show and looking up the song histories. To start, It's pretty cool to know that this show is maybe one of 4 or 5 quality recordings from this time and used to be one of the original circulating tapes that was passed around in the day. That's the first thing that drew me to this show. But the fun doesn't stop there...

I was amazed at how many covers you can listen to. Regardless of the reason they played so many that night, it's great to be able to trace covers back to these early shows that are still played to this day. Some of my favorites like Boogie On, Peaches, Quinn, Cities, and it goes on. To see how many got left behind only after a short few years is equally interesting. But on to brand new things...

Melt the Guns... First time ever listening to it and first time I've ever heard of it! This kicks off almost like any other phish song. Quirky, fun, multiple things going on at once. But where it really takes off is the nice jam that forms towards the end leading into Dave's Energy Guide. If you listen to the jam and transition, you can hear hints of how they sound and still play today. For the time, I don't know if this was exploratory or coincidence, but it's a real good listen if you want to hear that sound.

Other songs I drew to for this show was McGrupp, Lushington, and Who Do? We Do? For anyone in need of an early Phish lesson, this shows got it. Lot's of lyrics in McGrupp with a HUGE ending, very tight and exciting. I finally fully get the Lushington Dicks Gag, and to see parts of Fluffhead all over the place in early shows really puts a spin on how the songs developed in the first place.

With that, I'm probably headed back into '91 to finish up Amy's Farm and probably move forward to '92. I'm not sure yet how they stack up against other early shows, but for quality and song selection I'm gona rate this show a 4 of 5. I'm kinda new to show reviews, especially from this time, before my time, but I look forward to the shows to come! If you get a chance to listen to this show, enjoy.
, attached to 1987-04-29

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove My favorite part of Set I is the song selection, particularly the back half starting with "Fire". Set II has the hypnotic Melt the Guns -> DEG, and a heartfelt cover of Take the 'A' Train with nice sax accompaniment, Set III bring the meat. First Timber! Makisupa->Antelope rages! First Curtis Loew, only Come On (Part One), and first Fuck Your Face! Specific highlights:

1) Melt the Guns -> DEG: I love the "Melt the Guns" cover, the jam on it gets a little winding and noodly, and then the transition to the hypnotic, extended DEG is a guaranteed recipe for psychedlia mania!

2) Take the 'A' Train: First known performance, and beautiful rendition with the addition of the saxophone player. Happy birthday to Duke Ellington indeed! :)

3) Run Like An Antelope: The transition in from Makisupa is nicely executed, but an otherwise rather standard antelope

4) Timber: Dark and noodly energetic jamming. Very nice first outing for this tune, and familiar to how it is played to this very day

5) Come On (Part One): Shred fest, too bad this is the only time they've ever played it

6) Fuck Your Face: First version, no mention of the "Sucking in the Seventies" LP - just a short "Hi". Additionally, there is the briefest "Dazed & Confused" tease. Overall, the song as we know it today is pretty much in place, i.e. its bizarre and it freaking rocks!
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