Photo via Phish’s Facebook page
Phish have reached deep into the archives for their next Dinner & A Movie webcast and will stream their 67-minute second set from a May 1, 1989 concert at Northampton, MA’s Pearl Street. The gig took place in the club’s Universal Joint basement space; Phish performed at Pearl Street seven known times between May 1, 1989 and May 10, 1990. The groups former manager, John Paluska, attended college at nearby Amherst and the region of New England where Pearl Street is located was a favorite stop in the band’s early days. This is the first time official video of the performance has been released.
An announcement from the band reads:
On May 1, 1989, Phish played the Universal Joint in the basement of Pearl Street — a club in Northampton, MA located downtown at 10 Pearl St. in a space subsequently known as 10 Below. It was an all-ages show with $6 tickets and an extra $2 charge for those under 21. This was a formative time for Phish, who were just about to release their first official studio album, Junta. This Tuesday’s Dinner and A Movie features a 67-minute Set II from that night, and marks the first time it has ever been shown publicly. Page offers up his recollections below, as well as bringing us this week’s recipe for a classic burger, plus a pasta salad and millet cakes.
For this week’s beneficiary, we have teamed up with NIVA, the NIVA – National Independent Venue Association. NIVA’s mission is to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States. These entertainment thumbs are critical to their local economies and tax bases as employers, tourism destinations and revenue generates for neighboring businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and retail. Independent venues exist in every state across the country; they were the first to be closed, they will be the last to open. For more information, please visit https://www.nivassoc.org.
A Note from Page:
As I recall, the video for this show came into being rather spontaneously, without too much forethought or planning. As we were setting up our gear, in a basement club in Northampton, MA, we were approached by a well-dressed, diminutive gentleman. As best I can remember, his name was René. And he was there to pitch his video idea to us. For a nominal fee he would shoot the band’s set with one camera, artistically. He spoke with a French accent, almost spitting at us in a kind of broken English, with an urgency that was quite compelling. As his pace and volume increased, he kept saying it would be “avant-garde.” And the more times he said “avant-garde” with that thick accent, the more I believed him.
Needless to say, he got the gig. And we got the video.
The audio was recorded by our friend and former manager, John Paluska. The audio and visual sat in our vault since 1989, but had never been properly synched up (the videotape lacked audio). Jared Slomoff did a great job matching them up, so you all could enjoy it this week. According to Kevin Shapiro, we have used all the existing audio, but there are still a few audio pauses and hiccups along the way. Our apologies.
Rene’s use of the fisheye lens, the “negative image” effect, the odd angles and abrupt movements…I’m not sure it all adds up to “avant-garde.” And, at times I wish he would settle down. But, he went for it, and there is no denying that Rene’s camera work brought a certain excitement to the overall shoot.
After watching some of the video, I looked to see what sort of shows we were playing back then. It was a really fun time for us. We were starting to get gigs every month around the Northeast at clubs and colleges, and still playing regular gigs in Burlington at The Front and Nectar’s.
This video captures some of that youthful energy that is nurtured and developed in small clubs like this one all across the country. Some of the places we played are still around, but many clubs are just barely hanging on now, which is why this week we are proud to be supporting the National Independent Venue Association. #saveourstages
This is the third show from Phish’s “1.0 era” that the quartet has unearthed as part of their Dinner and A Movie series; the first was their July 21, 1997 appearance at Virginia Beach, VA’s Virginia Beach Amphitheatre and the second was the group’s June 19, 1995 performance at at Noblesville, IN’s famed Deer Creek. The rest of the group’s Dinner and a Movie offerings have been from their recent “3.0 period.” Page McConnell’s dinner pairing recipe, featuring a burger, pasta salad and more, is available here.