Subject: Fwd: An Asteroid Crashed!!
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 11:00:00 -0400
From: "Douglas L. Wertheimer" Well, here is the 1st of 4 "reviews" of the Island Tour shows. The setlist:

4/2/98 Nassau Coliseum
I: Tube, My Mind, Sloth, NICU, Stash > Horn, Waste, Chalkdust
II: PYITE, Simple, Birds of a Feather*, Wolfman's > Sneakin Sally** > Roget AKA Relax > Twist# > Sleeping Monkey, Rocky Top
E: Guyute
* 1st time played.
** w/ MLBJ hinting
# w/ Also Sprach jamming

One very strong consistency over the four shows, was that the boys opened each set, & encored, with something super-duper. Tube, PYITE, Mike's, Roses Are Free, Tweezer, Birds, Oh Kee Pah, & DwD were the set openers, and the encores were Guyute, Carini>Halley's>Tweeprise, Hood, & Bold As Love. Not bad, eh!

The Tube opener was funkdoobious, as was expected. Trey flubbed the lyrics in Sloth, & maybe NICU (I don't remember). The most noteworthy jam in the 1st set was the 19 minute Stash, which was incredibly dissonant. This is probably my favourite Stash of the past year or so, even though it never really peaked, in the sense that pre-96 Stash's peaked. However, the dissonance was so intense, that this is a must-hear version. First set was 60 min.

Second set opened strongly with PYITE, & proceeded with a boring Simple. I really don't seem to enjoy anything other than Fall 96 Simple's (especially 11/8 Champaign). Oh well. In the 3rd spot was the premier version of Birds of a Feather. This tune is amazing. It is under the influence of the Talking Heads, and has some serious Great Curve potential. For those of you who are also in awe of 10/31/96 II, get ready for this one, it's a doozy!

Wolfman's followed, and was a very nice version, clocking in at ~8:30. The jamming was nothing to write home about, but nevertheless, it was funky & fun, especially the segue into Sneakin' Sally! Sneakin' Sally contained some excellent jamming, particularly the 2 or 3 minutes prior to the segue into the next tune. These minutes contained some very Mind Left Body-ish jamming... it was not as blatant as the tease during the 8/21/93 Salt Lake Bowie, and definitely no where near the glory of 6/18/94 UIC, but the melody was certainly there. It wasn't really a full-band effort, either, but primarily courtesy of Trey. I have heard the Franklin's teasing in the 8/13/97 Star Lake Gumbo, but to me, this jamming is much more obvious.

This jamming led into another new tune, Roget (what's next, Merlot?) AKA Relax, which also has a slightly MLBJ-ish melody. This tune is ok, imo. I have seen a setlist which said that the Twist which followed was "reworked." I do not think this is an accurate description. It was quite jammed out, as basically all of the versions to date are. However, to quote Chico, "the Rocket Ship took off," at the end of the jam. Additionally, the Twist containted a few minutes of Also Sprach jamming. And yes, the Rocket Ship *did* take off ;)

The Guyute encore was a nice end to the show.

All in all, this was a very fun show. I was fortunate enough to dance in the Sweet Spot during both Nassau shows, where the sound was excellent. For those of you that enjoy FOB's, you shouldn't have a problem getting ahold of them, as I counted 3, and there are probably more.

I find it somewhat strange, that shows such as this one, seem almost "normal," in light of the insanity that has been characteristic of 97. This show was not as deep in The Funk as many 97 shows, but it still contained some awesome jamming, which I almost take for granted nowadays! Ah, to be so spoiled!

Please cc me any comments/flames/cookies/thoughts at

Take Good Care...
Disco Saul AKA DJ Saul T. Nutz


Subject: 4/2 Nassau Review
Date: 1998/04/03

Thursday, April 2, 1998
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

set 1:
Tube 8:00pm
My Mind's Got a Mind
The Sloth 8:12pm
Stash ->
Waste 8:45pm
Chalk Dust Torture 9:02pm

PYITE 9:47pm
Birds of a Feather 10:10pm
Wolfman's Brother -> 10:18pm
Jam ->
Sneakin' Sally ->
Jam ->
(Mind Left Body Jam) ->
World Will Spin
Twist Around ->
Sleeping Monkey
Rocky Top Tennessee 11:12pm
E: Guyute

Ok, First let me say, These Guys are Great! I have not seen a show since Hampton '96, yes '96, glad to be back! The funk is now relegated to specific songs and everything is working well!

Let me just give a quick review since it's late... Fish is back in a dress, and short hair, I couldn't tell whether or not Page and Mike still had beards, they may both have shaved. Trey short hair, beard, yellow t-shirt and jeans.

After set 1 I was a little worried we wouldn't get anything new :) My first show since Oct '96 and I'm seeing a setlist from 1994.

Set 1:

started things off smoothly with one of the few funkier songs of the night Tube (this is a song that the funk influences have greatly changed, however not for the better, the rock n' rollish piano solo this song possessed and which made this song great is gone) in place of it was a delay loop jam, followed by a very funk jam, it was Ok.

Seemed like there was very little setlist composed for this show since there were few segues and the band members were talking to one another all night, Trey goes over to Mike, Mike then goes to Fish as Trey goes and clues in Page.

The Sloth was rocking and highlight to this point, however Trey flubbed a lyric towards the middle, the lyric before the nipple lyric.

After NICU, Trey welcomed the crowd and told them the "band was bored at home" so they decided to play some shows, and thanked everybody for coming.

Highlight of the set was Stash, Page tickles the right hand keys after the "don't do that" part (I don't know why that stood out), it then proceeded into this very bass (both Mike and Trey) jam, which began building, and became very tense, you were expecting the soft faint Stash melody to emerge from this, but instead you got the a hard driving Stash solo, that went into another Delay Loop Jam, and then the delay loop jam went into this very nice, melodic beautiful jam that sounded very Close Encounters of the Third Kind - esque. He didn't play the Close Encounters Theme, note for note, but the sound and style was there with different notes, very nice., it really was awesome, if it wasn't for this jam getting the first set on tape would not be essential. Could this have been what some setlists had labeled as Space Jam in the fall? The jam ended and that was that. Stash->jam was very long, tape flips should occur after NICU before Stash. :)

Waste lost the crowds attention, and the crowd began throwing around the glow sticks and necklaces, they even hit some of the band members throughout the night. That's got to go!

Chalkdust Torture was the second highlight of this very standard, solid, professional first set. Trey gets into a two point stance, bends over the guitar and starts wailing the first chords of chalkdust torture, very powerful, almost a perfect version of this song! Trey then says we'll be back in 15 minutes, and states that they usually end [the set] on a low note, so for a "contrast in composition" they will end on a high note, and then of course lets out a screeching note out of the Languedoc, ear penetrating.

Set 2:

Now hear is wear things get fuzzy, not enough paper to describe what I was thinking.

Birds of a Feather, first time played. The first thought that popped into my mind and stayed there throughout the whole song is, this is a Talking Heads influenced song and sounds like, almost exactly like The Great Curve. Trey sings it, and plays that quick guitar you hear in The Great Curve, actually that is how the song begins, just Trey playing that fast guitar lick. The song has I think two verses and the chorus is Birds of a feather flocking outside, they say Birds of a feather a lot, so Trey asked the crowd what they thought the name of that one was, and then he said this one would be on the new album, then tried to make a joke about how seventies radio stations introduce songs by saying "from their fourth album we'll play" however Phish is now playing something "from their next album", didn't go over so well.

Wolfman's Brother started out as usual, led itself into a funky jam that went into

Sneakin' Sally, the whole place knew what it was from the very beginning, this too was played perfectly, flawless, beautiful! This went then into another Jam, in which the lights were placed directly on the people behind the stage, colored swirling lights on the whole area behind the stage, very nice effect! Then that Jam went into another descending type jam, which I know led into a full

Mind Left Body Jam, (maybe I'm crazy) not keys intensive like the GD's but all Trey, and not just a tease, in fill.....then that went into a song that sounded very much like a Jefferson Airplane song (I was thinking it was the original Your Mind Left Your Body song, but since I never heard that song I have no clue). Anyway the song has the chorus "Relax the world will spin besides itself and suck you in" repeated several times, very good also, Trey sings. Very sixties, oily swirly lights kind of a feel to it, that you would see on a hippie documentary, not over exaggerated like Oliver Stone's Doors movie, but you get the feeling.....Phish style sixties.

Twist Around was great, had me boggie-ing throughout, crowd didn't seem to respond (oh, BTW- from Mind Left Body Jam through the World Will Spin song the crowd was silent, like they got hit over the head with a hammer and lost their place for a second or two). The crowd started to pick up in the jam following Twist Around which had nice colored and all white long strobe lights and sounded like the beginning of ASZ, sounded as we were going to get ASZ, but then it never came, the spaceship just landed.

Sleeping Monkey, what have they done to this song, they slowed it down and made it into a nursery rhyme, Fish's singing picked up the crowd, and the Let It Be part saved this song.

Rocky Top was very energetic, got me and the crowd started dancing again! Mike flubbed a lyric.

Stash -> jams
Chalkdust Torture
Birds of a Feather through Twist Around sequence

Final thoughts, Trey sounded great, singing wise he has come a long way, very professional, seems like he's putting a lot of effort into his voice, great job!

Page seemed non-existent the whole night, the piano gets lost in big jams, it's there at quiet moments, but they should turn him up a little. It was all Trey's night, lots of talking by Trey to the crowd and to the band, I don't think they had much of a setlist tonight!

It's late, this may be all gibberish, don't feel like proof-reading... Thanks for the time!

Peace, Kaz


Subject: mini-review: Phish, 4/2/98, Nassau Coliseum
From: (Ted Kartzman)
Date: 1998/04/03

It was so much easier to get to the Coliseum than we thought, no problem to get over the Triboro, and the Grand Central was moving for the most part after LaGuardia. Made it from Fort Lee in one hour. I hope we can say the same thing about tonight.

Lot scene was weak for the most part (expected, I mean it was Long Island). Cops everywhere, busting all the fifteen year-olds (there were a lot of them) drinking their Bud Ice in cans. There was a decent pizza place across the street, with a pseudo head shop next door. Picked up a new onehitter (glass).

My only complaint of the night was not music related. That arena REEKS. It really smells bad, like old sweaty hockey gloves that are kept in a trunk. And the ridiculous SINGLE ENTRANCE for the GA floor tix. Who was the genius in charge of planning that one? Once the floor was totally bumrushed, we grabbed two seats three rows off the floor, Page side.

OK, on to the show. Tube opener. Not a single complaint about that. Plenty of minor screwups, Trey shaking the rust off from sitting home playing with Eliza and Isabella for three months. Could the funk be back? We waited to see if that would be the case. Followed by My Mind's Got a Mind, Sloth, and NICU, all short and sweet. After those four songs, you really got the feeling this four show run was going to be just like a New Years Run, where they throw you choice nuggets that aren't in heavy rotation (I always feel that way about Sloth). So, since we got didn't get the Reba during this past NYE Run, I'm looking for it tonight (or tomorrow, but not Sunday). The Stash that followed was really pretty cool, breaking new ground (for Stash, anyway). Never finished Stash, just mellowed out into Horn, which was great to hear. [Now, in the same vein, give me Knife tonight!] Waste was next, and I thought Trey's guitar part at the end was great, as usual. Chalkdust was standard, but rocking. They left the stage after playing the worst high-pitched feedback noise I've ever heard. Not an extremely impressive first set, but not disappointing either. It was clearly going to be all about the second set.

And it was. Great PYITE. The crowd always loves the intro, and the little Trey-Mike latin dance in the middle. Once Simple started, our section went pretty nuts. We had been waiting for the first bomb of the set, and it was fabulous. The jam had those gorgeous mellow melodic lines that have been in many previous Simples. It was nice and extended, and flowed pretty smoothly into Birds of a Feather, a debut. I thought that song was good, typical Phish tune, catchy melody, repetitive chorus. Not an "instant classic", as my dad would say, but definitely has potential to develop into something well above average. Wolfman's confirmed that the funk was back on the attack, just like the solid 97 versions, but better (obviously), since it segued into Sneakin' Sally. "That's twice now in the last three shows", as Leo announced to the crowd as the funk got deeper, now up to my waist. Could my old friend Sally really be back in the rotation? Could be the best idea I've heard in a while. Great extended funk of Sally was brought down after a nice jam into what I'm claiming was a Mind Left Body Jam. Go to the archives and check 6/18/94 after Peaches, before Bowie in Set II. The Mind Left Body Jam is basically three chords, also played by the Dead (I have it on shows from 12/2/73 and 6/28/74. If I'm wrong, flame me, but I think I'm right. Unless that was the intro to "Relax, guy" or whatever that other new song was called that was next. I just called it that because they repeat "relax the world will keep spinning and [something] will suck you in..." (and also for the implied reference to Canada's two biggest stars). It was a pretty cool song, not great, kind of spooky, good vocal work from DJ Neon Cellgap. That tune faded out and segued into Twist Around, which was the best version of the three I've seen, and better than any I've heard (Utah inclusive) because of the crazy "alien porno" jam that came out of it. Wild jam. The lights during that jam were on levels never before seen by me. The lights are intended for mature audiences only, and were freaking kids out! Twist was the jam of the night, hands down, and the alien jam turned into what many thought would become 2001, with Fishman making some amazing sounds with that familiar 2001 beat. But Zarathustra was not to be, and they sent all the NYC commuters home on the train with the Sleeping Monkey. A standard Monkey, followed by a nice Rocky Top, hopefully dedicated to the 'Miques of the Tennessee women's hoops squad. The Guyute encore was obviously pleasing (beats Bouncin'/Golgi any day, and was played well.

Recap: Good first set, great second set. Get the second set tape, with the Stash as filler. See you tonight (or tomorrow).


Jeez, I always say it's going to be a mini-review, then it ends up taking me an hour to write...


In on 4 Apr 1998 16:16:57 GMT,, (ThisGJord) posted:

Ok...I have to say that I do not know EVERY Phish song out there, so please bear with me...

Thursday Night: After driving 2 hours, thank god we weren't late, we made it to the venue, Then finding out there was no alcohol being sold inside made me very upset, It's a funny, but long story aboyut how I got my friend down to GA without a ticket, he even got a wristband too, but I won't go into that now...Tube was really cool, I only heard it like 1 or 2 times before. My Mind was kinda silly, but cool. Sloth was starting to get teh place rocling and then NICU!!!! Whoa baby!! Stash was cool, but they played it at the last hsow I was at(12-30-97!!!), as well as Chalkdust which follows a very cool version of Horn and a melodic Waste!! End Set I...

I spent the entire show sober, but I was fried later b/c of second hand smoke...really weird. I was running around on the floor with balloons during hte break and then Punch You In the Eye!! Simple was great to see and the jam that came along with it was cool. I was really impressed with Birds of a Feather and then Wolfman's Brother!! Please, I called Sneakin' Sally that night!! Relax was kind of a trippy song. I listened to it on the ride home, and it was very hypnotizing... I have to say the highlight was Twist Around...especially teh light show!!!! You had to be there,,,SLeeping Monkey was ok, I never really liked that song too much, but oh well! Rocly Top had teh place going nuts and then Guyute was killer!!!! Yes, I called this too!! THe band sounded really great on Thursday and on Friday...

Thursday was amazing, bvut Friday...tehy let me down! Please, don't yell at em and tell me how great of a show it was, I was there and formed my own opinion. It was my birther's first show and he vows never to go this really good for first time fan goers????? I don't think so!! If you agree with me on Friday's show, I'd love to hear why you thought it wasn't good...


In on Sat, 4 Apr 1998 18:05:25 EST,, slateman posted:

Only my 2nd and 3rd shows, I was fortunate to get to both of the Nassau shows, and I must say that I was amazed. I don't know every song, actually, there are quite a few that I still don't know. Hopefully that doesn't taint the validity of this review...

The first night was amazing, some of my favorites, Stash, Chalkdust, PYITE!!!, and the new Birds of a Feather, were all awesome. I've only heard PYITE a few times, and the first time I saw the band it was completely new to me. It really affected me a lot, I loved it. Having heard it a few times on tape since, it never caught my attention as much as it did the first time, until tonight of course! And Birds of a Feather was just a lot of fun. Especially the jam, just loved it...The closer, Guyute, is very unfamiliar to me, and I must admit, I was lost during that song. Ah well...


Subject: 4.2.98 review

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 05:38:04 EDT

From: Dave Cal33

Four two thoughts

anticipation stretching like warm pavement from philadelphia to long island. summer feeling of open window bare arm car radios. heads gathering juice at highway rest stops. expected scene gathered outside coliseum. hopeful anxious echoing calls of want.

barely seated on blue sticky floor before roar of crowd and crash of sound. tube opener unexpected and powerful foreshadowing future nights. ninety seven thick funk middle section which continues to develop stretched out before giving into trey licks. crowd is in something of a frenzy from the beginning. my minds got a mind follows, my favorite of the standard bluegrass songs and still something of a treat. as is sloth. muscular but a bit brawny and slow witted. force in place of finesse maybe. the energy level is high for all involved and erupts again with the start of nicu but meanders as the elasticity of the music lessens. yes, a lack of tightness. symptoms of the time off? me think no. symptoms of the band praticing solely through improvisational means. a good thing to say the least. anyway, trey welcomes and thanks the crowd before beginning stash. a sick sick stash with a composed sounding jam that I thought contained elements of "time"(lille, champaign) but was later revealed to be a bit of roget/relax/lucyorwasthatfrankie. apparently an attempt to segue into it, complete with faint lyric beginning, that transformed into horn. Well placed though I ached for more of what preceded it. Followed by waste and then chalkdust which began in a feverish llama style and then settled into expected 97ish chalkdust. set "ended" twice on low note w/ well deserved fishman intro) and then high note, for contrastual purposes.

Solid and feeling assured of a big set to follow. Stash seemed a taste of things to come and I ignored those lamenting "sloppiness", contributing it to a culture that prides itself on exposing and denouncing flaws.

set two stepped onto the scene with a sound that will never fail to alarm anyone monitoring my blood pressure. the punch you intro. extended but not to the jawdropping length I forever anticipate, this was a solid beginning. followed by a melodious simple that mades its way with ease to the intro of birds of a feather. The guitar intro having some vague similarity to that of carini(not really) and, as my roommate whose account I am mailing from said, a segment of metallica's "one"(note: this person, dave, is also responsible for identifying a large chunk of the 12.29.94 bowie as actually being "paradise city". He is not a metalhead and he is entirely correct). anyway, the song is upbeat and moving and yes, somewhat in the vein of the remain in light album. apparently it is also the potential source of incredible jamming as we'd find out two nights later. this version was comparatively brief and introduced afterwards by trey (note: banter alert) who continued to thank the crowd and express general excitement. wolfman's caught me by surprise and did not dissapoint. much of the jam involved an extended segue into sneakin sally which page was hinting at early. the entire jam section took me back to the garden encore of the thirtieth (the bek>sally portion) and after a bit I thought they might forgo the actual playing of sally but to the thanks (and apparent surprise?) of thousands loosing their joy verbally and bodily sally showed herself again. She stretched out and then slipped into the absorbing sound I recalled from stash a set previous and became relaxed, rogeted. This song got me in a serious way ala my first hearing of carini(though the songs are NOTHING alike) and I anticipate with anxious chest future sprawling jams resolving evolving (okay, segueing) into this song. TWIST AROUND. epic. along with oblivious fool, I was still waiting to hear this one live, had been waiting since hearing it at the va beach soundcheck and wishing I had seen certain midwest shows. epic. the jam into twist from the aforementioned new tune was sweet and had a latin feel to me. Ah, fuck that. Honestly, I may have frightened a few surrounding me during this entire section of the show as a clear tangible feeling of perfect joy exploded and pulsed within me. Seriously. I have not the words to describe the sound but want to say that I was at no time reminded of 2001 and think that the unique improvisational playing in the twist around jam is disserviced by attempts to find correlations to, and components of, other songs. simply listen and breathe. sleeping monkey acknowledges excellence in my mind and was desperately needed after the intensity of the previous playing. Rocky topfufilled some need of the band to end on a high note but I was still trying to come to grips with moments past. Guyute encore was strangely expected and drained further moisture from my skin. Lost a bit of steam before the crescendo.

Unique and intense. Memories of this set remained strongest after the four show run. I felt personally involved and new again. Its difficult to explain. Its what I wanted without knowing what I wanted. and can only say thanks.

Patrick donahue.


Subject: Island our Highlights - Damn Long
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 19:26:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Hutchison

Thursday 4/2 -

Tube opener. 'Nuff said. Did they make it funky? - Yes, but not nearly in the realm of some of the 'great Tubes,' ie 12/7/97 Dayton. It was simply a great way to dive right back into the funk they obviously enjoyed som much in '97. The highlight of set one is obviously the Stash. This puppy was 20 minutes of great exploratory jamming. Horn was a nice treat, but with Waste of Time and Chalkdust to close the set, it left something to be desired (although, granted, the Chalkdust was a "better than average" version). But, of course we were not let down, as one seldom is with Phish2000.

Second set, once we passed Simple (which did have some good jamming) was incredible. "Birds of a Feather" is a new tune that you will be hearing a lot about, if you haven't already. This tune has been called "catchy" by many, and it is, but only in the Halley's Comet sense. Not to imply in any way that it sounds like a pop tune. But this tune is pure _meat_. Wait till you hear it (and if you haven't yet you can download this set from sugarmegs) - it's got a jam in the middle that rocks like none other and begins and ends with the same crescendoing sixteenth-note bullfighter-type riff. It was a treat to hear this song twice!

The segue from Wolfman's into Sneakin' Sally was incredible, making me wonder if this was planned or not. Is Sally going to be a new standard? We'll have to wait and see!

Roget, the other new tune, was strange and dark. You should be afraid of it. I described it as "Circusy - Horror movie music."

The highlight of set two, imo (though it is hard to choose!) was the jam after Twist Around. The lights came down behind the stage to create a strange effect, and there was humming almost like a vocal jam (although the instruments were still going.) It was some of the most frightening stuff I'd ever seen Phish do. After that madness, a veritable Also Sprach jam ensued, with Page being the only member holding them back from launching into a full-out 2001 Jam.

The Gyute encore was a nice chunky and healthy end to a great "tour opener" at about 12 minutes.


Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 19:25:30 GMT
From: Jeremy David Goodwin
Subject: **Rocket shot to the Moon!** (REVIEW)

The long awaited (yeah right) April Fool's Run reviews by the dirtiest of birds, Goody.

4/2/98 Nassau Coliseum; Uniondale, NY

NOTE: This review is going to include personal comments about *my* experience at these shows. If this offends you, or bores you, or will inspire you to write an ill-conceived satire of my review, please do not bother reading. This is the only time I'm going to apologize for this.

I was up all night before Nassau. I had to finish a short story for my Experimental Ficiton class, and finally headed to the campus lab around four am to print it out. After a long visit to Mapquest (don't believe the hype, btw), I finally ended up emerging from the subterranean lab around 7am. Much to my surprise, I found that morning was in *full bloom*. Not even just pinkening skies and birds scurrying. I mean, full, all-out morning...blaring sunshine, men in suits reading newspapers on park benches, the whole deal. So I realized I wouldn't get a chance to sleep before the trip.

It was ok, though...I was relatively sprightly, and experienced something of a sublime moment in the deserted school cafeteria, watching the streaks of sunlight penetrate, while eating an omellete and hearing Low Rider play through the speakers.

Two hours later, I was picked up by two members of the Washington, Dc-area's "best psychadelic jam band", Liquid Lobster (chek out for info on upcoming shows near you!). The early weather trend continued, and it was a positively glorious Thursday morning. Warm and sunny beyond expectations. The ride north was pleasant and relatively undistinguished...we listened to a crispy tape of Winston-Salem (thank you Brian H!) to get in my second Low Rider of the day. In Philly we passed the Joker's headquarters, as well as "Ajax Metal Company". So industrial and bleak.

The Nassau Coliseum is an interesting venue in that it apparently has no "front door". Consequently, lot-hangers were pretty dispersed, and there was little 'scene" to speak of. As we circled the place, it became evident to me that I was amid a pretty young crowd, even for Phish. On the way into the venue, I had the very strange experience of hearing an unrelenting chorus of people pleading to bestow free tickets. You literally *could not give tickets away* to this show. Bizarre. It far surpassed the last time I had seen something remotely similar to this (at the third Worcester show this fall, when I heard a guy yelling, "Does anyone have any ketchup so these people can eat their tickets?")

The place was so beneath capacity that security was waving kids down onto the floor. I'll note now that I was very pleased with the crowds each night, btw...the highest energy I've personally seen since Hampton (and this includes the New Years Run btw).

Due to an accident of ticketing, I was sitting a few scant rows from RJ. Happily, he scuttled forward to join us, and we settled in for the Tube opener. "Nice was to start off these shows." Tube was similar in all respects to Dayton, and led into a first-timer for me, the only "Mike kickdown bluegrass tune", My Mind. I definately consider this tune a treat, and I believe the band agrees.

Tube, My Mind, Sloth...nice opening sequence, eh? The ubiquitous-in-97 NICU followed, and then we settled in for the first highlight of the Run...Stash. I've been listening to lots of Stashes lately, and this one was fully satisfying! I haven't heard the tapes yet, and I'm hesitant to lose "credibility" by drastically overrating this one, but my impression at the show was that this was easily the best I had seen (beating out the two "Worcester Stashes"...12/29/95 and 11/30/97), superior also to the impressive Winston-Salem version, and competitive with the stellar Vegas version (both from this Fall). It opened with what appeared to be an "acceleration jam", featuring a quickly-repeated phrase from Trey, which gave us the impression of riding a rocket shot to the moon. The intensity in the room was scorching. This led into an unrelated, but compelling jam which I really can't describe any further. A 20 minute, unfinished Stash, typical (in length) with the monster Fall 97 versions.

Horn Waste Chalkdust, and then a kind of strange postscript to the set. Trey: "That was a low note. Now, for contrast and composition, we will leave you on a high note." And they did so. This high note, in fact, lasted for four days.

The second set opened auspiciously with the first PYITE I've fully enjoyed, in person, since the Great Went. The opening minutes were stretched out in a way that was quite satisfying, but not necessarily that atypical from most versions since 96. I think, though, the whole opening segment was stretched out, in between lines, whereas most recent versions I've heard only feature extended vamping in the very introduction.

A ten-minute Simple followed. The band teased us with some crazy Simples in 96 (the overlooked Charlotte 10/26/96 one is still my favorite), but I've finally learned not to expect exploratory maneuvers during this number. (I usually ruin Simples for myself by waiting for the Jam that never comes) Thus, I was able to enjoy the typical, excrutiatingly beautiful jam that ensued.

Then, a new song. The opening reminded me of Llama, but the verse part was distinctly reminiscent of Maze (particularly Page's part). I very much enjoyed the melody as well as the lyrics, and was pleased at the jam that ensued as well. One section of it began with the now-classic Trey loop, which goes on at the start of dozens of jams from 97 (its on, unaltered, through the entire 8/17 2001). It was nice to see that they had basically grabbed a piece of 97 jamming and put it into a song. I specifically hoped that they'd play the tune again in Providence. I timed it at nine minutes.

Then, Trey got talkative. I've noticed that the band seems more willing to specifically talk about how cool they are. This is a great example. Trey said something along the lines of: "We were bored. We wanted to play some shows...You know those live albums from the 70s, where they're like, 'This song is from our third album'. Well...our new album is from last week's show!".

One of the signature tune of 97, Wolfman's Brother. I remember the jam being deliciously, almost uproariously upbeat. RJ and I both heard preminitions of the segue literally for several minutes before it finally was sealed...Sneakin Sally! Wolfman's->Sneaking sweet is that?!#? Sally led into what appeared at the time to be the major jam of the night. It spun away, out of upbeat-funky mode into very engaging improvisation. I can't wait to hear this again. The jam finally entered a mode which seemed to me very similar to Mind Left Body. I noticied this repeatedly and heatedly, so indeed it may actually be true. This led into a piece of jamming that was quite beautiful! I soon began to think that it was so beautiful it must be composed. Indeed, it soon became clear that we were in fact witnessing another new song debut. If you ask me, it's pretty damn cool that they debuted a new song by *seguing* into it. Later on that weekend, Benjy informed me that the tune's name is Roget (according to Marshall).

I assumed the great set had already peaked, but apparently I forgot that Phish has been taken over by an extra-terrestrial life form. Twist Around (another first-timer for me) led into what was imo the Most Intense Jam of the weekend. It was absolutely space-a-tron 3000. I felt that I was hearing something from Phish that I had never heard before. Picture the best example of Fall 97 Funk, but genetically mutated and evolved to a higher level of conciousness. The band (particualrly Page, probably) was using effects I hadn't heard before. Little squiggles and doodlefucks that make you say "Did I just hear that?". High in this catagory was a sound that seemed to simulate a DJ scratching a record. [BTW, I recently heard Dayton for the first time, and the Jam AFTER Tube contains some premonitions of this sound!]

As if the sounds were not intense enough, this jam was chosen by Chris Kuroda to demonstrate a new bag of doo-hickeys. The jam passed through several distinct phases which seemed, in conjuntion with the lights, to be *setpieces*. The band jammed on some deranged space odyssey theme, which Chris complimented with a unique, frenetic, complex, computer and joystick-aided onslaught of light...which peaked, and then the music shifted into a different, similarly pine-weasel-on-acid-influenced phase, which Chris complimented with another array of retina-dazzling lights. It honestly felt like I was watching a play, or some other planned spectacle. A new soung, and new lighting effects to go along with it. We all know that Kuroda can anticipate changes in jams as if he's a voodoo king, but this was different. I remember this happening at least three or four times, in succession. I personally haven't seen or heard anything quite like this at a Phish show before.

This bled into a well-deserved Sleeping Monkey, followed by the set-closing Rocky Top. When did this little bluegrass ditty become a full-on rave-up? Well, I guess it's always been like that, since its customary role in the encore, but I personally have never enjoyed the tune as much as on this night. The Guyute encore is pretty much as good as it gets, and I thought the version was well-played.