"I treat every minute like an hour and then it seems like a year has just flashed by again. Twenty years later, I'm still upside down."
December 31, 1991 was Phish's third New Year's Eve gig and their largest show at that time with a stated capacity of 4,000. It took place in the ornate Art Deco "New Aud", built in the 1930's seemingly for just such a purpose with an open floor sans chairs and a wrap-around balcony. Tickets to the band's first 3-set NYE celebration were $16.50 and the show was sold out with fans traveling great distances to celebrate the end of another great year of Phish. This was the band's only stand-alone New Year's Eve show and the only three-set NYE show where the new year fell during set II.
The band had recently signed with Elektra and had been working with engineers Kevin Halpin and Jon Altschiller on their third album, A Picture Of Nectar. Jon was also a taper and self-proclaimed Phish freak. He taped the show to two separate sources (both DAT) - audience with mics at the FOH position and a soundboard patch from Paul Languedoc. Two decades later, Jon, now the full-time livephish.com remote engineer, combined the tracks to create the matrix master for the New Aud release. Mastered by Fred Kevorkian, this unique source is a proper document of a classic show, combining the qualities of both recordings and harnessing the stunning music and electricity that characterized this special performance.
The three-set New Year's Eve show became a hallmark of Phish's years to come - a ritual that has occurred nearly every year the band has been active. The New Aud celebrates more than three hours of Prime Phish and is a perfect 20th anniversary view inside this formative show. "It's a small world, but we all start out small."
- this show featued the debut of "The Minkin" - a paint-on-lexan (plexiglass) backdrop created by Marjorie Minkin that the band used in various forms for years
- Sparkle, Esther and Wilson included cursing commentary from The Final Word - a keychain Christmas gift Trey was playing with onstage
- during Bouncing Around The Room, superballs fell from the balcony
- Weekapaug Groove included a tease of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
- Lawn Boy included a tease of jam/on "The Christmas Song"
- recorded and mixed by Jon Altschiller at Chiller Sound (assisted by Danielle Warman)
- mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Kevorkian Mastering
- post-production by Kevin Shapiro
- read essay by Kevin Shapiro