30 Years Later: Phish plays Douglass Dining Hall at University of Rochester, 4/20/91

On Saturday April 20, 1991, when 4/20 was not the national holiday it has since morphed into, Phish performed at the University of Rochester, at Douglass Dining Hall. Presented by the UR Student Union, tickets were $6 for students and $10 for the public.

Show poster, via Amy Baerenklau

Phish’s third ever show on 4/20, the unique venue was named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and went through a complete makeover in 2015. UR alumnus Justin Miller described the show as “stale Froot Loops in the morning, then fresh Phish that night,” an apt take on an era when Phish was certainly nascent and making their footprint on college campuses, and would move on to playing sheds with Santana a year later.

The all ages show hosted a reported two hundred people, who would be treated to Jesus Jones right there the following year on 4/20.

phish 4/20 rochester
photo by J. Adam Fenster

The first set provides standard early 90s Phish fare, ending with the lost acapella song, “Setting Sail,” formally debuted at this show, borne from a “You Enjoy Myself” vocal jam.

Trey welcomed Jon Fishman’s parents and sister to the show prior to the start of Set 2, noting their recent show at Ithaca State Theater on February 14, 1991, where Dr. Fishman’s car was given away to a fan with fun pre-“Sloth” banter. The wide-ranging second set is chock full of songs, with a short and heavy “Tweezer” moving seamlessly into “The Oh Kee Pah Ceremony.”

With graduation a few weeks away, Phish feted the seniors in the crowd with an encore of “Alumni Blues,” including “Letter to Jimmy Page” sandwiched inside, closing out one of their final dining hall performances.

stub via Jay Bianchi

Tune in on Relisten or PhishTracks. Check out Douglass Dining Hall food offerings here.

Setlist via Phish.net

Phish – 4/20/91 – Douglass Dining Hall, University of Rochester

Set 1: Runaway Jim, Reba, Llama, Fluffhead > My Sweet One, The Landlady, Esther > Chalk Dust Torture, Bouncing Around the Room, You Enjoy Myself -> Setting Sail[1]

Set 2: The Sloth, Ya Mar, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil > Paul and Silas, Cavern > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Tweezer > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Sweet Adeline

Encore: Horn > Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues

[1] Debut.

Trey teased Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in Reba. Fish led the band in the debut of Setting Sail, which arose out of the vocal jam of YEM. Tweezer contained In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida teases from Page.

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