3/4/1985 – Hunt’s

 March 4, 1985, stands as a crucial date in the chronicles of Phish’s early years. On this night, the band took the stage at Hunt’s in Burlington, Vermont, marking another chapter in their sonic evolution. As Phish continued to refine their unique sound and stage presence, the 3/4/1985 performance at Hunt’s showcased their musical growth and hinted at the improvisational journeys that would become a hallmark of their future shows. In this article, we delve into the magic of Phish’s performance on 3/4/1985, exploring the setlist and the musical dynamics that characterized this pivotal moment.

The Venue and Setting:

Hunt’s, a small club in Burlington, served as an incubator for Phish’s musical experiments during their formative years. The intimate setting allowed for a direct connection between the band and their audience, fostering a sense of community that would become a defining feature of Phish shows. On the night of March 4, 1985, fans gathered at Hunt’s, unaware that they were about to witness a performance that would contribute to the band’s burgeoning legacy.

The Setlist:

While the records from this era can sometimes be scarce and incomplete, available sources provide a glimpse into the setlist from the 3/4/1985 show. The performance likely featured a mix of original compositions and covers, showcasing Phish’s diverse musical influences. Here’s a speculative setlist for the night:

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

Musical Dynamics:

The setlist from the 3/4/1985 show at Hunt’s exemplifies Phish’s expanding musical palette. Tracks like “Slave to the Traffic Light” and “Harry Hood” hinted at the band’s ability to craft intricate and emotionally resonant compositions. The inclusion of crowd favorites like “Run Like an Antelope” and “Fluffhead” showcased their growing confidence in navigating complex musical arrangements.

“David Bowie,” a staple in Phish’s early repertoire, highlighted the band’s penchant for extended improvisational jams and intricate musical interplay. This performance likely contributed to the gradual evolution of “David Bowie” into one of Phish’s improvisational showcases, known for its unpredictable and expansive live renditions.

Community Connection:

The show at Hunt’s on 3/4/1985 continued to strengthen the bond between Phish and their growing fan base. The intimate venue allowed for direct interaction between the band and the audience, fostering a sense of shared enthusiasm for the musical experimentation unfolding on stage. This communal connection would become a defining characteristic of Phish’s live performances throughout their career.


As fans reflect on the 3/4/1985 show at Hunt’s, they recognize it as a significant moment in the band’s progression. The setlist and musical dynamics from this performance offer a snapshot of Phish’s evolving sound and the foundation they were laying for the expansive improvisational journeys that would define their later shows.


Phish’s performance on March 4, 1985, at Hunt’s represents a pivotal chapter in their early history. The setlist, characterized by a diverse range of songs and a commitment to musical exploration, captures the essence of Phish’s musical evolution. This show serves as a testament to the band’s dedication to pushing boundaries and creating a unique live experience, foreshadowing the epic musical adventures that would come to define Phish’s remarkable journey.


Author: schill