Viva la Phish!

Apr 142004
Authors: Chris Hess

Viva Las Vegas! The words usually uttered by vacationing

retirees and inebriated college students will tonight be yelled by

vacationing 20-somethings and inebriated hippies as the coolest

band in the world, Phish, descends on Sin City.

Tonight, the jam technicians from Vermont will begin a

three-of-a-kind stand at the Thomas and Mack Center on the

University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus. However, those shows, and

how badly I wish I were going, are not what we are here to


We are here to discuss an event in CSU history that marks both

one of the university’s greatest triumphs and one of the

Collegian’s greatest atrocities, for Tuesday marks the 14th

anniversary of Phish’s performance at the Ramskeller, an event

mentioned nowhere in this very paper other than a lone

advertisement taken out by the Ramskeller.

Yes, my phriends, you read that correctly. Rub your eyes a few

more times if you must and read it again, but I assure you it will

say the same thing. On April 20, 1990, the very band that will be

playing to sold-out crowds the next three nights in the city that

never sleeps graced the basement of the Lory Student Center with

its presence, all for only $3.

I have a tape of the show’s first set (which I will gladly

share, simply shoot me an e-mail), and I must say it is somewhat of

a gem. I wish I were there, but I have to admit I was 8 years old

and jamming out to New Kids On The Block (aka NKOTB) in my bedroom.

In my mind, “Hangin’ Tough” was the greatest song I had ever heard

and Jordan Knight and Co. were musical geniuses.

Shame on you 1989-90 Entertainment Editor Michele Corriel. You

covered British hair-rockers the London Quireboys like white on

rice, but no mention of Trey Anastasio and friends … and you

thought you were cool.

Sure, you may use the excuse that Phish wasn’t big enough to

cover and there were more important things to put in the

entertainment section that week. It’s all poppycock!

The Ramskeller gig was at the end of a two-week sold-out run of

Colorado shows AND the band sold out the Lincoln Center the next

night. This was a chance to cover a huge band in the Ramskeller, a

place that now only features bands like Kendrix, and all drinks

were half-price. Balderdash!

April 20, 1990, may have been a dark day in CSU history, but it

was a day of incomparable

gloriousity as well. So, this Tuesday, when you have nothing to

do or are simply procrastinating, take a moment to reflect on what

might have been, had you been in the Ramskeller that evening.

Viva Las Vegas! Viva la Ramskeller! Viva la Phish!




Set 1:

Take the “A” Train, The Divided Sky, Alumni Blues, Ya Mar,

Cavern, Dinner and a Movie, Bouncing Around the Room, Colonel

Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird,


Set 2:

Caravan, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove,

La Grange, Rift, Fee, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > AC/DC Bag, Jesus Just

Left Chicago, You Enjoy Myself

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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