9/27/1985 – Slade Hall

On the evening of September 27, 1985, the hallowed halls of Slade Hall at the University of Vermont bore witness to a Phish performance that defied convention and hinted at the boundless creativity that would come to define the band’s legacy.

The first set kicked off with an unexpected and playful start, featuring a “Low Rider Jam” that set a lighthearted tone for the night. The introduction of “Big Leg Emma” and “Wild Child” showcased Phish’s early penchant for incorporating diverse influences into their repertoire. “Back Porch Boogie Blues” and “Camel Walk” invited the audience into a danceable groove, setting the stage for a night of musical exploration.

A notable highlight of the first set was the debut of “Possum,” marking its first known version and offering a glimpse into a song that would become a Phish staple. The set concluded with a fiery rendition of “Fire,” leaving the audience primed for the expansive musical journey that lay ahead.

The second set unfolded with the premiere of “Melt the Guns,” accompanied by a macaroni and cheese vocal jam that showcased Phish’s playful interaction with the audience. The inclusion of “T.V. Theme” and “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” further demonstrated the band’s willingness to delve into diverse genres.

The debut of “Prep School Hippie” added a layer of intrigue, marking its first known public performance. This set was a testament to Phish’s eclectic taste and a harbinger of their future explorations into the unexpected.

The third set opened with “Mike’s Song,” a classic Phish composition that showcased their improvisational prowess. The inclusion of “Dave’s Energy Guide” and “McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters” highlighted the band’s intricate musical arrangements.

The set took an unexpected turn with the inclusion of “Cities,” “Anarchy,” and “Revolution.” Sung as “Sex Mob” and “Dead Cops,” these songs showcased Phish’s early inclination to infuse social and political commentary into their performances.

The night concluded with the crowd-pleaser “Makisupa Policeman,” capping off a performance that left the audience in awe of Phish’s musical prowess and willingness to defy expectations.

As we look back on the show at Slade Hall on September 27, 1985, it stands as a remarkable chapter in Phish’s early journey. The setlist, marked by debuts and unexpected turns, foreshadowed the band’s commitment to pushing musical boundaries and embracing the unpredictable. This performance remains a testament to the ever-evolving creativity that has defined Phish throughout their illustrious career.

SET 1: Low Rider Jam > Big Leg Emma, Wild Child, Back Porch Boogie Blues, Camel Walk, Possum[1], Fire, Slave to the Traffic Light, In the Midnight Hour

SET 2: Melt the Guns[2] > T.V. Theme[3], Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley[4], Prep School Hippie[5]

SET 3: Mike’s Song > Dave’s Energy Guide, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Cities, Anarchy, Revolution, Anarchy[6], Revolution[7], Makisupa Policeman

[1] First known version.
[2] First known version; with a macaroni and cheese vocal jam. Audience shook boxes of macaroni and cheese.
[3] First known version. Audience shook boxes of macaroni and cheese.
[4] Audience shook boxes of macaroni and cheese.
[5] First known public performance.
[6] Sung as “Sex Mob”
[7] Sung as “Dead Cops”


Author: schill