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!
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,
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