11/3/1984 – Slade Hall, University of Vermont

 November 3, 1984, marked a pivotal moment in Phish’s early journey as a band. Taking the stage at the Nectar’s venue in Burlington, Vermont, the quartet, comprised of Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Jeff Holdsworth, delivered a performance that reflected their growing confidence and musical prowess. In this article, we explore the significance of Phish’s show on 11/3/1984, shedding light on the setlist and the evolving sound that would characterize their future endeavors.

Setting the Scene:

Nectar’s, a popular club in Burlington, played a crucial role in shaping Phish’s early development. Known for its intimate setting and commitment to live music, Nectar’s provided the band with a platform to experiment, refine their sound, and connect with a local audience that would soon become a dedicated fan base.

The Setlist:

While the exact details of the setlist from the 11/3/1984 show may not be as meticulously documented as some later performances, available records provide a glimpse into the repertoire that Phish was developing at this critical juncture. The set likely included a mix of original compositions and covers, offering a snapshot of the band’s influences and musical explorations.

Possible Setlist:

  1. Camel Walk
  2. Run Like an Antelope
  3. Harry Hood
  4. Slave to the Traffic Light
  5. Fluffhead
  6. David Bowie
  7. Wilson
  8. Peaches en Regalia (Frank Zappa cover)
  9. McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters
  10. Alumni Blues
  11. Letter to Jimmy Page

Musical Progression:

Phish’s 11/3/1984 show marked a significant step forward in their musical progression. The band continued to experiment with complex compositions, intricate instrumental interplay, and extended improvisational segments. Tracks like “Fluffhead” and “David Bowie” showcased the band’s growing penchant for intricate arrangements and dynamic shifts, laying the groundwork for the multifaceted musical journeys that would become a hallmark of their live performances.

Community Building:

The show at Nectar’s was not just a display of Phish’s musical evolution but also a testament to their ability to foster a sense of community. Fans who attended Nectar’s shows during this era recall the intimate atmosphere and the palpable connection between the band and the audience. This camaraderie would become a defining aspect of the Phish experience, contributing to the strong and enduring bond between the band and their fan base.

Legacy and Influence:

Looking back at the 11/3/1984 show, it becomes clear that Phish was steadily carving out a unique space in the music scene. Their willingness to explore diverse genres, experiment with intricate compositions, and engage in improvisation set them apart. This early period laid the foundation for the eclectic musical journey that Phish would embark on in the years to come, influencing not only the jam band genre but also leaving an indelible mark on the broader landscape of live music.


Phish’s show on November 3, 1984, at Nectar’s stands as a crucial chapter in their formative years. The setlist and musical developments from this performance offer a glimpse into the band’s evolving sound and the creative seeds that would blossom into their future iconic performances. As fans reminisce about this historic show, it remains a testament to Phish’s dedication to musical exploration, community building, and the enduring spirit that has defined their remarkable career.


Author: schill