Hi everybody, and welcome to Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. My guest today on Attendance Bias is the creator of the Phish Stats website and the author of “This Has All Been Wonderful: A Travel Monologue from Summer 1994, the Year Phish Became Phish,” David “Zzyzx” Steinberg. Jeff chose to discuss the Phish show from September 22, 1990 at the Student Union Ballroom at UMass Amherst in Amherst Massachusetts.
When I first discovered Phish’s internet presence, Dave’s statistics website was one of my first stops. As you’ll hear me say early in our conversation, I would become obsessed with checking my stats after every show. I needed to know how in many states or time zones I’d seen the band, how many time zones, what the probability was that I would see “Glide,” my most seen first set openers, my most seen second set openers, and so on. As you can tell by my fact checks at the end of each podcast episode, all of my Phish opinions have to be qualified with some sort of objectivity. Dave’s stats page provided an ever-evolving form of that.
When Dave told me that he wanted to discuss a show from the fall of 1990, I was immediately interested. Of course there’s nothing wrong with more recent shows on Attendance Bias, but it’s important for everyone to revisit the band’s roots, and I never before had the opportunity to sit down for a long conversation with a person who was in the band’s orbit so early on.
So get your hand stamped, say hi to Page at the pool table, and perk up those ears for the secret language as we join Dave Steinberg on September 22, 1990 at the Student Ballroom at UMass Amherst.