10/30/1985 – Hunts

 On the eve of Halloween, October 30, 1985, Hunt’s in Burlington, Vermont, became the enchanted stage for a Phish performance that would transcend the ordinary. This special night at Hunt’s, marked by a mystical setlist and groundbreaking debuts, showcased the band’s early experimentation and hinted at the musical alchemy that would define their legendary career.

The first set opened with the inaugural notes of “Harry Hood,” marking its first known version. The ethereal melodies and intricate instrumentals set the tone for a night of musical exploration. The audience was then treated to the debut of “Dog Log,” a quirky and playful composition that added a touch of whimsy to the set.

“Possum” and “Slave to the Traffic Light” followed, displaying Phish’s ability to seamlessly shift between genres and moods. The energetic “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” had the crowd grooving to its infectious rhythm, setting the stage for an evening of surprises.

“I Wish” and “Revival” showcased the band’s versatility, with covers that added a soulful and celebratory vibe to the set. The debut of “Prep School Hippie” further demonstrated Phish’s willingness to present new material to their audience, a tradition that would continue throughout their career.

The setlist took a festive turn with “Alumni Blues,” featuring lyrics that playfully referenced pumpkin pie, setting a fittingly autumnal mood. The pumpkin theme continued with the familiar chords of “Letter to Jimmy Page” before returning to the upbeat conclusion of “Alumni Blues.”

Closing the set with “Skippy the Wondermouse,” Phish left the audience in awe of their ability to seamlessly blend intricate compositions, improvisation, and a touch of whimsy into a cohesive musical narrative.

As fans look back on the October 30, 1985, show at Hunt’s, it’s evident that this performance was a harbinger of the band’s future brilliance. The setlist, punctuated by debuts and unexpected turns, showcased Phish’s commitment to pushing musical boundaries and embracing the unpredictable. The intimate setting of Hunt’s provided the perfect backdrop for the alchemical fusion of creativity that unfolded that night, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those fortunate enough to be in attendance.

SET 1: Harry Hood[1], Dog Log[2] > Possum, Slave to the Traffic Light, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, I Wish, Revival, Alumni Blues[3] > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Prep School Hippie, Skippy the Wondermouse

[1] First known version.
[2] First known public version.
[3] Lyric referenced pumpkin pie.


Author: schill