12/1/1984 – Nectar’s

 December 1, 1984, marks another significant milestone in the early days of Phish, as they took the stage at the Nectar’s venue in Burlington, Vermont. This particular show is remembered for its vibrant energy, evolving sound, and a setlist that reflected Phish’s eclectic musical influences. In this article, we dive into the musical journey of Phish on 12/1/1984, exploring the setlist and the dynamics that shaped this moment in the band’s history.

The Venue and Atmosphere:

Nectar’s, a beloved venue in Burlington, played a pivotal role in Phish’s formative years. The intimate setting allowed for a close connection between the band and their audience, fostering a sense of community that would become a trademark of Phish shows. The vibe at Nectar’s on December 1, 1984, was undoubtedly charged with anticipation as fans gathered to witness the evolving musical prowess of Phish.

The Setlist:

While the documentation of setlists from this era can sometimes be incomplete, available records and fan accounts provide insights into the songs likely performed during the 12/1/1984 show. The setlist reflected Phish’s diverse influences, showcasing their ability to seamlessly blend genres and experiment with different musical styles. Here’s a speculative setlist for the night:

  1. AC/DC Bag
  2. Foam
  3. You Enjoy Myself
  4. Golgi Apparatus
  5. David Bowie
  6. Slave to the Traffic Light
  7. Alumni Blues
  8. Letter to Jimmy Page
  9. Icculus
  10. Fluffhead
  11. The Curtain With
  12. McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters
  13. Run Like an Antelope

Musical Exploration:

The 12/1/1984 show exemplified Phish’s commitment to musical exploration and experimentation. The setlist included intricate compositions like “Fluffhead” and “You Enjoy Myself,” showcasing the band’s growing aptitude for complex arrangements and improvisation. “David Bowie” and “Run Like an Antelope” highlighted the band’s ability to seamlessly transition between different musical motifs, foreshadowing the improvisational prowess that would define their later performances.

The Birth of Iconic Phish Songs:

Notably, the performance included “You Enjoy Myself,” a song that would go on to become one of Phish’s signature pieces. The intricate vocal harmonies, tight instrumentals, and the introduction of the “Trampoline” and “Vocal Jam” elements demonstrated Phish’s willingness to push musical boundaries and create a unique live experience for their audience.

Community Connection:

The December 1, 1984 show at Nectar’s reinforced the sense of community that Phish was building around their music. The intimate venue allowed for direct interaction between the band and the audience, creating a symbiotic relationship that would remain a fundamental aspect of Phish concerts throughout their career.


As Phish enthusiasts look back on the 12/1/1984 show, they recognize it as a vital moment in the band’s early history. The setlist and the musical dynamics of that night provide a glimpse into the evolving sound of Phish and the creative seeds that would blossom into the multifaceted improvisational journeys for which they later became known.


Phish’s performance on December 1, 1984, at Nectar’s encapsulates a moment in time when a band was on the cusp of defining a genre. The setlist, characterized by a diverse range of songs and a dedication to musical exploration, reflects the essence of Phish’s early years. This show serves as a testament to the band’s evolving identity, foreshadowing the epic musical adventures and enduring community connection that would come to define Phish’s remarkable journey.


Author: schill