Phish Make Their Debut At Famed NYC Venue Wetlands Preserve, On This Day In 1989 [Listen]
On March 4, 1989, a young band called Phish played their first show at the famous Wetlands Preserve in New York City. Despite an interesting, high-intensity “Mikes Groove” and a quality “Run Like An Antelope,” 3/4/89 was a relatively standard 1989 performance, not often discussed as a particularly significant show from a musical standpoint. However, the show marked a significant milestone in the band’s evolutionPhish was born and raised in Burlington, VT, a city they would call home during their formative years as a band. But while they are undoubtedly a “Vermont band,” there is arguably no other city as closely tied to Phish’s success than New York City. In 1989, after several years honing their crafting Vermont, the band begin break out of their hometown market, playing shows across New England and New York state. After their successful debut at Wetlands, the band would return to the “activist nightclub” four more times in ’89 and three times the following year, bolstering a fervent new fan base in the Big Apple. Over time, the band would outgrow the club, transitioning to bigger rooms in the New York market like The Marquee, Roseland Ballroom, The Capitol Theatre (Port Chester), The Beacon Theatre and, by the end of 1994, Madison Square Garden.These days, the iconic New York City arena has become Phish’s de facto home court: They’ve played there more times than any other venue, and frequently end their years there with a four-night New Year’s run. This summer, Phish will play an unprecedented 13-night residency at the Garden, bringing their total show count at the venue above 50 and solidifying their place in the pantheon of NYC live music legends. There’s no denying that the relationship between Phish and New York City has been a fruitful musical partnership, and it can all be traced back to one night–28 years ago today–at 161 Hudson Street in TriBeCa.You can listen to (nearly) full audio of Phish’s premiere at Wetlands Preserve in New York City on 3/4/89 below, courtesy of YouTube user fromtheaquarium: Setlist: Phish | Wetlands Preserve | New York, NY | 3/4/89 [via phish.net] Set 1: Take the ‘A’ Train, I Didn’t Know, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Fee, Golgi Apparatus, Good Times Bad TimesSet 2: Possum > Fluffhead, The Lizards, Run Like an Antelope, Contact Fish on trombone.I Didn’t Know featured Fish on trombone. Lizards contained a tease of the I Dream of Jeannie theme from Page. The second set list is incomplete, and only goes through the end of the recording above.