The jam before Swing Low Sweet Chariot contained a tease of Ramblin' Man (Allman Brothers). Icculus featured Steve Drebber on vocals. David Bowie’s hi-hat intro section included a Streets of Cairo tease from Trey. This show included the first known Phish performances of Funky Bitch, I Know a Little, Light Up or Leave Me Alone, Good Times Bad Times, Little Drummer Boy, She Caught The Katy, and Tush.
Streets of Cairo tease in David Bowie, Ramblin' Man tease in Jam
Debut Years (Average: 1985)

This show was part of the "1986 Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1986-12-06

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks This widely-circulated show is an ideal introduction to The Ancient Ways. The songlist is awfully familiar but this is a band in its infancy; the band's singular collective improvisation didn't reach full flower for the better part of a decade after this date. That said, the dextrous worked-out prog-rock of Phish's 80's material has its own appeal. I'm especially fond of Phish's take on Whipping Post, and the early overcompensatory fun of Sneakin' Sally (which was really a different song post-1997).
, attached to 1986-12-06

Review by DollarBill

DollarBill Another old school show at someone's house? The recording is not all that, but what do you expect from '86? Not only that, but a lot of it is missing. No first set for instance, a lot of set two is missing after Icculus. Still, it's fun to explore the early days.

Nice new covers with Trey on I know a Little, I think that's Page singing already on Light Up, and Mike on Katy. Funny to hear a Ramblin Man jam too.

Mike has a funny vocal style tonight on his song and the jam into Drummer Boy is funny as Christmas is approaching. More good covers lead us to the new Bag, which is not that tight yet. Bowie with the Clod in it is strange at best. YEM is still not all together yet and is very screamy tonight. Dog Log is always nice to hear, then more covers. Strange ending with Prep School unless they played more but don't have the tapes.

Still fun to hear, but nothing too great on this one, for my ears anyway.
, attached to 1986-12-06

Review by deceasedlavy

deceasedlavy There's some confusion regarding the "jam" portions of this show that needs to be cleared up. Both Phishtracks and have erroneously inserted the 6:16 track called "jam" in between Camel Walk and Swing Low--that's not where that goes. That jam emerged out of Makisupa and forms a wonderful bridge between it and Fluffhead. If you listen to it properly you'll discover that it's a completely fluid movement.

This is one of my favorite '80s shows and that little first-set stretch is definitely one of the highlights. Hopefully this "review" becomes obsolete soon...
, attached to 1986-12-06

Review by aybesea

aybesea Continuing my romp through the cretaceous era we reach the landmark 3rd anniversary of recorded Phish. So how does the band sound after 3 years of shows? The strange thing about this show is that it is not as strong as several others from 86, namely 4/1, 10/12, & 10/15. The repertoire is filling out nicely, but the performances are really spotty.

The sound on this is pretty muddy (way too much hiss removal I reckon), but the show is still pretty listenable.

1st Funky Bitch sounds pretty much the same as it does now. Page has a good solo.

Weird intro on this otherwise unexceptional Makisupa.

The Fluffhead here sounds like it is being played on valium... unbelievably lethargic.

I Know a Little is better than bar band quality, but just barely.

Golgi is still missing the intro, and it is played pretty slowly. But, IMO, better than previous outings. This one still needs to bake.

Slave remains the finest song in the repertoire. This thing is simply beautiful by this point.

Why don't they play Shaggy Dog anymore? The more I hear it, the more I like it!

Too bad that the sound is so awful on this... I think it might just be really good. But honestly, the sound has degraded by this point to where it is not comfortable to listen. Anyway, it appears to be a really fine debut of this Traffic number.

At this point, I'm really tired of Camel Walk. It doesn't change much and they play it pretty much every show.

Ah... the jam. Best part of this show and the primary reason to dust if off and give it a spin. This is a very nice, trippy jam that builds toward an ABB thing. I really, really wish that the band would [have and] make available a clean copy of this jam. It's that tasty! And then... it cuts... NOOOO!

What is labeled Swing Low on the tapes is really Ramblin' Man Jam->Swing Low and it's very good. I assume that the previous jam should have wound into this somehow.

Another good Back Porch Boogie. Again I say, bring this one back!

The Mike's here is a bit of a conundrum. The vocals are not quite right, making it less than desirable. However, the jam helps make up for this flaw as it is really spacey and leads into Drummer Boy. Nice!

Decent Whipping Post except for Trey's vocals which are shot. But the jam is good and sometimes that's all that really matters.

The Bowie here is pretty bad. The vocals are way off key, the jams don't work well, and Clod simply doesn't belong. So much for the Jam Charts.

More pitchy woes on YEM as both the vocals and instruments struggle to stay in tune.

Tush sounds like a bad bar band. Even the recently polished and stable Sneakin' Sally sounds pretty sloppy.

I'm not sure why I'm hearing this so much differently than the other reviewers, but I've listened to every tape from inception to this point in order, and I can tell you that this is not one of the better shows. It's a bummer since the set list is so tasty and it marks the advent of year #3 for Phish. Oh well, I know that this story ends happily (maybe not ends... maybe progresses!)

Better luck next time... cue up 2/13/87!
, attached to 1986-12-06

Review by RunawayJim4180

RunawayJim4180 Smoking version of Prep School Hippie. Here's to a bust out in 2011!
, attached to 1986-12-06

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove My highlights:

1) I Know A Little: Energetic, fresh, Trey really gets to shine on some of the licks in this song and nice solo break

2) Light Up -> Camel Walk: The Light Up part of this one-two punch really accelerates into fire breathing energy and is a fun, racuous ride that grooves into Camel Walk, transferring much of the kinetic energy from the Light Up jam into the typical funky breakdown of Camel

3) Jam: "Weekapaug"-esque, triumphant, bold, self-indulgent, fun... all words I would use to describe this brief little jam.

4) Swing Low Sweet Chariot: Oddly, starts off with a sweet Allman Brother's-esque jam before the tune starts

5) Mike's -> Little Drummer Boy -> Whipping Post: Kind of trippy and enthusiastic, goes type II, very fun (DEG teases in Mike's). The Drummer Boy is somewhat demonic, and as mentioned by WaxBanks, there is an appeal to the enthusiasm with which they navigate Whipping Post
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