As Phish worked its way from a Vermont novelty to a national sensation, one venue played a pivotal role in this transformation. Nestled in Burlington, VT, a small club called Nectar’s gave the jam group a stage for its wild antics on a regular basis. The band’s gathering grew with each passing performance, garnering a word-of-mouth following that you just had to see to believe. After 41 (!) years of playing together, the word “Phish” has been uttered by quite a lot of mouths.

The show played on this date in 1988 was typical for Phish at the time, mixing some original music with choice covers like the Allman Brothers Band‘s “Whipping Post” and ZZ Top‘s “Jesus Left Chicago” and “La Grange”. Tons of the band’s classic original songs were already in the mix, including “The Curtain With”, “Alumni Blues”, “Golgi Apparatus”, “Fluffhead”, “The Sloth”, “Fee”, and more.

The third set (yes—three whole sets) opened with the calypso vibes of “Ya Mar”, which led the band to welcome reggae vocalist Jah Roy to the stage for a light-hearted patois improv “Jam” that heavily incorporated the band’s name. They even managed to work in a “Harpua” before closing out the show with “Run Like An Antelope”.

Thankfully, a master recording of the night is available for us all to enjoy. Tune in below, transferred by Jimmy Sellers, remastered by Ben Mohr, and uploaded to YouTube by fromtheaquarium:

Phish – Nectar’s – Burlington, VT – 5/24/88

[Video: fromtheaquarium]

Setlist: Phish | Nectar’s | Burlington, VT | 5/24/88

Set 1: The Curtain With, Rocky Top, Funky Bitch, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Peaches en Regalia, Golgi Apparatus, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, Suzy Greenberg, Fire

Set 2: Jesus Just Left Chicago, Fluffhead > Whipping Post

Set 3: Ya Mar[1] -> Jam[1] > Halley’s Comet[2] > The Sloth, I Didn’t Know[3], La Grange, Fee, I Know a Little, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Corinna, Harpua, Run Like an Antelope

[1] Jah Roy on vocals.
[2] Richard Wright on vocals.
[3] Richard Wright on drums, Fish on trombone.

Notes: Ya Mar and the ensuing jam featured vocals from Jah Roy; the jam contained One Love quotes from Jah Roy and Trey. Halley’s Comet featured vocals from Richard Wright. I Didn’t Know featured Wright on drums and Fish on trombone. BBFCFM contained Flintstones theme teases from Trey. The master recordings confirm this listing as the correct performance order. Many recordings of this show circulate with an incorrect song order, an incorrect date (May 25, 1988) and an incorrect venue (Ian’s Farm, Hebron, NY)