11/14/1985 – Memorial Auditorium Basement

 In the hallowed depths of Memorial Auditorium Basement in Burlington, Vermont, on November 14, 1985, Phish embarked on a musical journey that transcended the ordinary. This unique performance, marked by acoustic experimentation and an eclectic setlist, showcased the band’s early propensity for pushing musical boundaries and hinted at the diverse sonic palette they would later explore.

The evening commenced with an acoustic rendition of “Slave to the Traffic Light,” possibly accompanied by a female vocalist, setting an intimate and contemplative tone. This stripped-down version offered a fresh perspective on the beloved composition, allowing the audience to revel in the subtleties of Phish’s musicality.

Phish then delved into the first known version of “Hurricane,” an acoustic cover that demonstrated the band’s willingness to incorporate diverse influences into their repertoire. The atmosphere shifted with the debut of “Makisupa Policeman,” featuring a playful interlude of “Piggies” before returning to the whimsical conclusion of “Makisupa Policeman.”

A percussive interlude, possibly featuring guest appearances by Marc Daubert, members of The Joneses, and others, marked the transition into an acoustic rendition of “Alumni Blues.” The set took an unexpected turn with the debut of “Dear Mrs. Reagan,” showcasing Phish’s early inclination to engage with socio-political themes through their music.

The acoustic experiment at Memorial Auditorium Basement on 11/14/1985 was a testament to Phish’s versatility and their desire to challenge the conventions of live performance. The stripped-down arrangements and unexpected covers provided a glimpse into the band’s ever-expanding musical universe.


  1. Slave to the Traffic Light (Acoustic) [Possible female vocalist accompaniment]
  2. Hurricane (Acoustic) [First known Phish version]
  3. Makisupa Policeman (Acoustic)
    • Piggies (Acoustic)
    • Makisupa Policeman (Acoustic)
  4. Drums [Possible guest appearance by Marc Daubert and others]
  5. Alumni Blues (Acoustic)
  6. Dear Mrs. Reagan (Acoustic) [First known version]

Author: schill