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Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 14:02:23 -0400
From: Dan Shupack
Subject: Va. Beach Review - HOT! (long)

Howdy pholks,

	Well, just got back at 4:30 AM from the show last night, and finally
got a chance here at work to share a few thoughts about the tour opener
last night at the GTE Ampith. in Va. Beach, so here goes.  In a
nutshell, hold on to your hats, people, cuz it's going to be an AMAZING
tour!!  This is no understatement - the boys are ON right now, and if
you've decided to give up on Phish in light of BB or the average tours
in '96, well, you're a MORON! :^) Really, no joke, the boys started off
the tour last night with a real bang, and they're happy as hell to be
playing back here in the states.  The energy was so there as well, with
the jonesin' crowd firing up the band and vice versa!  Well, enough with
the cliches, let's talk about the show.
	First off, this is my only show of the tour until the Went, so I was
particularly psyched as all hell to see Phish, knowing this would be my
only show for a whole month, and a good excuse to take a 3-day vacation
at the beach.
	Well, needless to say, I spent alot of time soaking up the rays and
relaxing, and alot of phans had the same idea as well - I saw tons of
heads on the beach all weekend mingled in with the millions of
tourists/families, definitely not your typical beach scene - so you knew
something phishy was in the air (OK, enough of the terrible cliches
already!).  So, after the weekend, everyone was chilled and
well-prepared to see the show.  
	The venue itself, GTE Ampith., is your typical summer concert shed,
there's really not much more to say about it.  The security was AWFUL,
though.  Cops on horses were riding around giving tickets to vendors
left and right, and there were undercover cops as well.  Saw one bro get
faceplanted in the gravel as he was being cuffed by 3 undercovers for
god only knows what petty crime.  Inside the venue as well, the security
people were dicks, I saw two youngish fellows get ID'ed in the middle of
the 1st set, and when they failed to show any the  steroid-infused,
meathead security guard dumped there beers right there and hauled them
off to the security tent.  Some people just take there job way too
fucking seriously. Oh well.  Anyhow, the weather outside got
progressively gloomy as the show neared, and we were treated to a couple
of nice showers to cool off the crowd right before the show started. 
The atmoshere with the fans was electric - everyone was hooting and
hollering in anticipation of the first stateside Phish show in months.  
	Inside, the placed was packed.  For once I was happy to be in the
pavilion with thunderstorms threatening outside.  The band came out
charged as hell and broke into the first set:

Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, Piper, Dirt, Ginseng Sullivan, Bathtub
Gin>JAM>Explanation of the new songs, Char. Zero

 Quick notes:  Fish's head is indeed shaved, and he wasn't sporting a
dress either!  Definitely the end of an era?  Also, Mike was playing on
his new Modulus graphite bass.

I missed the opening lyrics section of the song due to my pea-sized
bladder and the mulitiple Bass Ales I swilled in the lot (god bless
those vendors! :^), so I actually walked in right at the beginning of
the jam.  What a fantastic new song, with an upbeat and funky jam
segment that goes on for 20 min. or so.  Definitely the new
Tweezer-esque song (BTW,it appears the Tweezer is in the freezer,
unfortunately), Trey was all over the jam, very melodious playing. 
Honestly, Trey was as fired up as I've ever seen him at any show, moving
around all over the place as he jammed, and doing his patented
swaying/dancing (kinda like doing the Charleston, y'know). Mark my
words, this song is gonna be a centerpiece of alot of great sets to
come.  You'll just have to hear to know its potential.  Jam comes to
halt, and they break into:

I really, really love this song (thanks Brian P. for all the great new
song preview clips!), and was psyched to hear it live.  It just has an
incredible grooviness to it with great harmonies by Trey and Page, and
good short little solos by them as well.

This ones hard to describe, has a feel kind of similar to Taste, I think
because of that uplifting piano sounds.  Very quick lyrics sung in
rounds my Trey, Page, and Mike, so fast in fact that I couldn't make out
any of the words!  Interesting song though, I like it!

Beautiful mellow tune with an overlapping chorus sung by both Trey and
Page.  One thing evident about these new songs is their complex vocal
arrangements, which they execute effortlessly w/o missing a beat
instrument-wise.  This ain't no kiddy stuff for sure!  The Trey solo at
the end is very beautiful and inspired, typical ballad-style.

Alright!  Now we're starting to get into the oldies!  Very typical
version, the bluegrass got everyone on their feet in preparation for...

Note:  Somewhere in the set, the storm died down and a beautiful rainbow
appeared over the lawn, which was clearly visible from the stage area. 
Perhaps this lent some inspiration to the band?

YESSSS!  The place absolutely erupted, me and my friend were jumping up
and down, hi-fiving everyone around us.  Right off the bat, Page was all
over the ivories, I think he hit just about every key on that thing in
the wacked-out intro part.  No Rhaps. in Blue tonight - this was just
pure silliness!  The jam was exceptional, Trey was moving all over his
territory, just loving the jam, Page hit all five keyboards at least
once during the jam, which developed into an extremely funky
perma-groove a la James Brown.  This perma-groove went on for a good 7
minutes or so, with great start-stop action in the jam, that featured
Trey jumping up and down instead of counting off the 4 beats before the
pauses.  Finally, in the middle of the groove Trey just started talking
to the crowd, and said he was going to explain new songs for us.  Ghost
was the one with the long, funky jam, Dogs Stole Things was the bluesy
number which apparently is about how your pets (dogs and cats) come onto
your bed in the middle of the night and steal your soul.  "So watch out
for that!"  (ala Red Rocks 93 w/ the iguana!).  He then said how they
did it to him once, but they obviously haven't stolen Fish's soul (this
as Fish was still pumping out the funky James Brown groove)  Very
funny!  He said dirt is one of his new favorites to play, and I don't
remember what he said about Piper.  He then remarked how good it was to
be back in the states, and started a little "USA! USA!" chant.  I tell
ya it was better than the 4th of July!  Anyhow, he said they were gonna
do one more song before the break, which was:

I don't know what all the fuss is over this song, it just rips, and this
version was no exception.  Trey was on fire, just wailing in the upper
reaches of his 'doc.  The little vocal jam that is normally a capella
was just sung at the end of the jam, so the ending really wailed.  

Overall, a short set - barely an hour I believe, but the band (Trey
especially) was so fired up I could have sworn it was 'ween or NYE. 
Very tight overall, I'd definitely give the set an above average 6.5
(great as far as first sets go) on the Jordan scale on account of the
pure energy of the set.  I'll admit I'm biased cuz I really like the new
songs and it was so great to hear them live, but the groovy Gin, Ghost,
and Zero combined w/ the humor really made this a first set to acquire.

On with the second...

Basically, the whole place was totally abuzz after the first set.  We
knew this was no ordinary "warm up show" like most tour openers, so big
things were expected for the second half of the show.  Man, did they

Wolfman's>Magilla, Hi-hat intro>Birdland tease>Bowie, Wading in the
Velvet Sea, Theme*>Jam*>Wackiness*>Funky Bitch*, Slave E: Lovin' Cup
*-w/ Leroi Moore of DMB

Woohoo!  After hearing the 3/1 Hamburg version and hearing all about how
great they've been playing this all summer, I was incredibly psyched to
hear it.  Sounded just like I expected, I had a smile about a mile wide
during this one.  The jam went on a little while very similarly to the
3/1 version, but worked its way into...

Holy shit!  They've revived this one nearly to its original jazzy glory!
Unlike the 2/26 Stuttgart version inside SOAMule (which was only a
Magilla TEASE, BTW), this was a full-on version.  Very smooth transition
from Wolfman's, and a nice, smooth Magilla at that!  Great to hear them
doing the jazz standard thing once again.  

The highat started up with some dark noodling from Trey, Mike, and Page,
which worked its way into a full-on tease of Birdland, which in case you
didn't know is a song by jazz mega-group Weather Report which was very
popular back in the seventies (props to my man Jaco P.).  They pretty
much played out the first minute or two of the song, and I almost
thought they they were gonna do the whole song until they sunk back into
the highat intro, which promptly went into Bowie.  A great jam that was
mellow for the most part, which some exceptional melodious noodling from
Trey.  The last minute or two of the jam right before the trilling just
cooked (imo what make or breaks a good version of Bowie), and the trills
were executed cleanly.  VERY good version!

I like this one, even though for some strange reason it reminds me of
Air Supply or that song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" :^P .  Don't ask me
why, I guess that cheese factor is kind of there, but once again Trey
makes the song with some absolutely breathtakingly powerful soloing. 
All of you who said Trey has no soul or beauty in his jamming, shame on
you!  Just listen to this tune.  

Another tune I was glad to here since they shed all the spacey crap in
the jam segment from 95/96 versions.  Perfectly executed throughout,
with a typically good, uplifting jam.  Then, right before the buildup to
the "From the bottom, from the top" part, they just hold on the groove,
and out comes Leroi, the sax player from DMB.  It was really
unmistakeable who it was, as he had his trademark shades on.  He came
out on the baritone sax and started jamming along to the theme groove,
which became quite groovy in itself.  After a couple of minutes, things
started getting REALLY weird.  Out comes the production guy with
Leroi's  soprano sax and hand it to him.  So now Leroi's playing with
both sax's strapped to him.  The tech guy then comes out with Trey's
backup guitar, then brings out Mike's old bass, so now Trey, Mike, and
Leroi all have two instruments, which they proceed to noodle with, along
with Mike using his little foot-bell pedal.  Just absolute craziness!
Then as if things couldn't get any weirder, the tech guy brings out a
third guitar for Trey, so now he's completely covered with guitars, and he
just starts banging on the strings as though he's playing the bongos or
something, which really made some, uh, interesting sounds.  Looking over
to the side, Page and Fish both had decided to join in the fun, so Page
was playing the B3 and Piano with his hands while reaching back with his
foot and banging on the Fender Rhodes.  He then started make really EVIL
sounding noises on the Mellotron which might have sent some tripping
people into cardiac arrest! On the other side, Fish was jamming away
with 2 sticks in each hand, which I think eventually became 4 in each
hand.  It was a definite WTF! moment.  The craziness continued, as Trey
laid down the guitars and went over and started banging on Fish's
cymbal's, then he started swinging the 'doc in the air, producing some
cool spacey sounds.  Finally the ZANINESS petered off, and they busted

Of course, the standard song for guest appearance had to be played(no
complaints here!).  This version was great, with smokin' soloes passed
between Trey and Leroi. Trey thanks Leroi and gives him a big fat hug,
and then starts into...

It couldn't have ended more perfectly than this.  Very good, typically
gorgeous version with extended milking of "the note" at the end.  Seemed
longer than average.  Great ending to a jaw-dropping first-show-of the

Very short version, no doubt because of the 11:00 curfew, but it what an
appropriate closer for a great show.  What a beautiful buzz!!

Overall, another fantastic set, though I don't know if the Wackiness
following Theme will translate well onto tape.  However the musical
merits of the rest of the set certainly stands on its own.  I'll give it
a 8 due to the What the Fuck! factor, but probably only a 7.0 from the
standpoint of the musical quality in itself.  So overall, I give the
show a 7.5, an unprecedented AMAZING first show of the tour. And this is
just the beginning!  I don't know how the hell they'll top themselves
(although you know they always manage to ;^)  I would just personally
like to thank the band for coming back and kicking our asses right off
the bat, and to all you people on tour - LUCKY BASTARDS!  For all those
with any doubts whatsoever about the band, fear not - they are playing
hotter than ever right now!  Please see as many shows as possible if you
have the means, cause judging by the opener, this tour is gonna SMOKE
all the previous ones.


P.S.  Of course, I just couldn't end this lengthy review w/o a shameles
grovel for this show - if you have the means of acquiring the tapes, I
would love a copy!

Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 19:00:34 -0400
From: Paul Gordon
Subject: 7/21/97

Other notes on the show:
The venue is a basic shed and traffic in and out of the parking lots was
smooth with only a small back up.  Pre show vending was minimal - there
didn't seem to be a row of vendors.  Nitrous vending was also minimal.  No
large drum circles.  The average age, as usual, was young, maybe 18-20 with
only a few people who looked over 25.  Too bad, the scene didn't have the
family vibe of that other band, maybe it will grow as tours go on.  Mike
was zipping around in that golf cart before the show  - its always fun to
be drifting/stumbling down some row in the lot and see him tool by in that
thing with some crazy smirk on his face.

A bunch of thunderheads rose up over the shed about an hour before the show
and there was a nice lightning show as the storm approached.  Right before
the show it rained for about half an hour but it cleared up as the music
started.  During the first set there were two rainbows over/behind the
venue.  A very cool moon rose behind the crowd in the second set.

Mood at the gate was fairly electric, and the security was laid back, not
much searches and they let me bring half finished beer in.

Security was loose on the field - no Nazi techniques by the staff (thanks!)
and some fattys were floating around.  The band kicked out trademark jams
with some cool teases.  Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" between sets
(Halloween?? - that would be a mindbender!).

They cleared the lots out quickly after the show - the lot was nearly empty
in about an hour.  Again as before the show, minimal vending and nitrous. 
Overall, a pleasant start to the summer tour, but not an intense, kickdown,
wide-open scene.  See you all in Maine!

Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 01:18:23 +0100
From: Brett Hartzfeld 
Subject: 7-21-97

Hey sorry it's a late review but I just got back from Atlanta today and
needless to say I took my time coming home to PA.

I Ghost, Dogs steal things, Piper, Dirt, Ginsing sulivan, Bathtub gin,
Character zero,
II Wolfman's brother, Magilla, David Bowie, Wading in a velvet sea, Theme
from the bottom, Funky Bitch, Slave
E: Loving cup

We pulled into the lot just as they were starting sound check, my friends
wanted to check out the lot and I wanted to hear some jams. At sound check
I heard a sweet new jam called Twist Around (nice Page solo they played
this like 3 times) and Ginsing.

Ghost- nice long jam song it makes a great opener.
(rainbow, not a song, a side note it rained right before they came on as
they played ghost they brought out the sun and a huge rainbow appeared
behind us)
Dogs Steal Things- Funny concept as Trey pointed out that your Dogs and
Cats don't do too much during the day and at night they try to steal your
Piper- Don't recall
Dirt- lyrics remind me of it being a brother of Theme
Ginsing- a sweet jam to hear down south or any time
Character Zero- starting to really get the energy going.
II Wolfman's- This is when I started to dance up a storm. I'm sure I will
enjoy first set more when I get the boots. I say this song was the
highlight for me.
Magilla-mellowed out, danceable
Bowie- Sweeeeeeeeeet although the first couple of times through I don't
think Trey said DavidBowie?
Velvet Sea- Kind of had a Bouncin like chorus You will reconize it when you
hear it
Theme- Had a nice suprise at the end when Leroy the sax player for DMB came
out. Then they gave Trey two more guitars, Mike another bass, Fish about
four more sticks, Leroy a clarinet, And add Leo jammin on all fours it was
Funky bitch- nice jam
Slave- great way to end second set.
E: loving cup My friend called this one I was hoping for Harry!

The cops were in a rush to get everyone out of there asap but I still
managed to sell 45-50 grilled cheeses.	



From: (Jeremy Ferguson)
Subject: Va Beach Story/Review (Long)
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 22:47:45 GMT

Just a little background info before I get started so you know where
I'm coming from... I've only been to 2 shows before I did the Va
beach>Atl run.  They were Hampton and Charlotte last fall, neither one
an extraordinary show.  I have about 200 hours of phish on tape, and
about 300 hours of other stuff (mostly Dead).  Thanks to Charlie's
Tape Weed, I had already heard the 6/25/97 Lille show.  My friend Jon
had a copy of the 7/1/97 show that I also heard before the show.

We left Blackburg, VA (home of Virginia Tech) around 11:00 AM.  The
trip should've only been about 5 hours.  We figgured 8 hours was
PLENTY of time, boy were we wrong.  Traffic came to a complete stop on
64 outside of Richmond and we sat for like 30 minutes.  Finally we
decided (after we saw lots of others do it) we'd turn around and
backtrack to the last exit.  We managed to find our way back to the
highway a few exits later.  We had to do the same thing near
Williamsburg (though we headed off as soon as we saw the stop.)  There
was crazy traffic crossing the bridge heading into Va Beach, also.  We
got to our campground around 6:00, set up our tents as fast as
possible and raced to the venue.  We parked our car around 7:00.  My
girlfriend had her ticket at will call, so we headed that way.
(thanks for the announcement of the extras, BTW Shelly :)  I arrived
at my seat in near the back of the pavilion on Page's side just as the
band was coming on the stage.

I recognized Ghost right away.  I seemed to be one of the only people
in my section who had heard it (or any of the new ones for that
matter.)  I was pretty happy to hear this after hearing the Amsterdam
Ghost and hearing about all of the 20+ minute ghosts.  They only
stretched this one about 15 minutes, but what better opener could you
have than a 15 min. funk jam??  

The beginning of Dog Stole Things sounds EXACTLY like Mound.  This
fact spurred a couple of clap alongs at the beginning until the
clappers figgered out that it was the wrong song ;)  This is a nice
little Bluesy song with some pretty cool lyrics.  As Trey told us
later, it's about dogs and cats coming during the night and stealing
our souls.

Piper is a semi-composed sounding song that starts real slow and
builds waaay up with lots of fast lyrics and then slows back down.  

Everyone seemed pleased to hear a familiar tune when the boys broke
into Ginseng.  Fun song, what else can you say??

I was really happy to hear my first Bathtub, and this one was no
slouch.  Page really slammed the keys during the opening.  After the
lyrics, there was some crazy ass breakdown, the drums during this were
VERY cool.  It then went lots of different places, and I could have
sworn there was a bit of a Mind Left Body jam.  Reading other people's
opinions and thinking back, this is probably what other people called
the Drowned tease.  It was great to hear Trey so obviously excited
about being back in the States (USA!! USA!!), he seemed like he was
having so much fun all night, dancing around and smiling real big and
everything :):)  It was cool to hear Trey introduce the new songs.  He
told us they would play one more then take a break.

I could feel a Character Zero coming on at that point and I was right.
Fun song to dance and headbang to, some nice rock n roll.  

The set was only about 60 minutes or so, I guess they were saving up
for set II!  The highlights were the Ghost jam and the Bathtub jam.
My girlfriend had been blessed with seats way off to fish's side about
25 rows back, and she was kind enough to switch tickets with me, so I
had a dramatically different viewpoint for set II.   I met some cool
girls that were sitting behind me, but I was sitting next to one of
those obnoxious guys who turns to you every song and says "man this is
great," though it was mostly warranted during this set :) 

 A guy behind me called the Wolfman's opener, though I was thinking
DWD or 2001 or something.  After hearing the Hamburg wolfman's I was
pleased to hear a nice funked out version.  This wasn't as long as the
3/1 version, but it was very kewl.

The segue into magilla was perfect, Trey playing the Magilla theme
right on top of the funk jam.  This Magilla was definately not a
standard version, very jammed out, with everyone taking solos
(MIKE!!!! took the longest solo.)  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've
NEVER heard Magilla taken out of it's basic form like it was this

During the intro to Bowie, the guy next to me thought he had his Maze
that he was wishing for, but I was thinking Bowie all the way.  This
intro was very extended, a bit of jamming from everyone, a bit of a
tease from trey (though I had no idea what the tease was at the
time...I knew it was there.)  The actual jam section of the Bowie was
pretty average (great, nothing experimental, though.) 

Velvet Sea is a nice break song, I had to sit down.  There was a wierd
noise coming from Trey's delay during the first few minutes of the

Theme has been getting to be a really good song, lately, but there has
been NOTHING like what we saw tonight.  The lyrics segment was
standard, but once it started to build, I noticed it stalling and
dropping into a funky groove.  I could see Leroi Moore (DMB sax)
coming from the back...YES!!!  He started to groove along with the
funkiness that the band was laying down.  Then someone brought out his
other sax, and I figured he was just switching tones for a
while..nope.  Trey helped him put both of the saxes in his mouth, and
he started playing both at once.  Trey thought this was a great idea,
and he waved for a second guitar.  After a bit of this, Mike got in on
the idea and called for another bass.  Not to be outdone, Page climbed
up onto his bench and started playing his back keys with his feet, the
front with his hands.  Fishman joined in on the fun with 3 or 4
drumsticks in each hand.  At one point Trey was playing with his teeth
and his hands, it was so crazy.  Mike got Fish's cymbols and started
banging them together.  Trey then went over to Fish and asked for a
couple drumsticks.  He put a stick in his teeth, and started hitting
Fish's cymbols with it.  He had the other in his hand and was banging
along, also playing guitar with his free hand.  He then moved back to
his position and tossed a drumstick into the crowd.  He wound up and
chucked the other one as far as he could.  He then placed two of his
guitars on the ground and swung the other around as if he was going to
throw it to the moon.  This made a really cool feedback sound.  

The jam wound up and then they broke into Funky Bitch, which seems to
be the mandatory guest song.  Not that I'm complaining, quite the
contrary, this was a really great jam, I just love anything with a

Trey Hugged Leroi goodbye and he walked off the stage.  Slave is IMO
one of the best (next to antelope) ways to close a show.  This was my
first live Slave, so of course it seemed wonderful to me.  I'd have to
hear it on tape to be sure, but this seemed a bit above average.

I couldn't have been happier when I heard the opening notes to Loving
Cup.  And I had to agree... What a Beautiful Buzz:):)!!!!

This being only my 3rd show, it was easily the best I had seen.  It
was definately above average, and there was a wonderful phishy moment
that will probably never be repeated.  I'd challenge anyone to find a
better tour opener in Phishtory.  If this (or the next 2 shows;)  are
any indicator, we may have another 6/95 or 8/93 on our hands = D!!!!

I've babbled for far too long, and I'm going to be late for work.
I'll post my thoughts on the next two shows tomorrow...

If anyone is still reading..thanks!!!

Nothin left to do ....  :-)=);^D


From: benjy eisen 
Subject: Drinking VA BEACH Gin - 7/21/97
Date: 26 Jul 1997 21:59:10 GMT

BathtubGinFiles #27 

                "BACK ON THE WORM!!"

7/21/97 Virginia Beach Amphitheater
  GinStats:  Set I  Total Time: 21:32

This is no regular shot of Gordon's Dry, nope, 
uh-uh...This epic version is pure GINiside!

  After, ironically, GINseng Sullivan ends, the familiar strum kicks in, 
amidst some triangle action from Fish and then HOLY SHIT DOES PAGE EVER

Page jumps in at 0:16->0:48.  He may be silent in the morning but he's 
  BALLISTIC IN THE BATHTUB!  He's found his voice that brings 
  soap-on-a-rope to utter shame, disgrace and embarassment.  "Down with 
  dicking around!" Page advocates by immediately going into a straight 
  derivative of Rhapsody In Blue...Page is all for deranged 
  derivative until'...

Lyrics Segment: 0:48  Trey sounds pretty glad to be singing about 
                      Martinis and Hot Tubs...

Page Fill 1: 1:18 -> 1:35 with some hyper-ritalin.kid-ADD-through.the takes on Rhapsody In Blue.  Okay, okay, this is no 
     longer "through the looking glass," - this is through the 
     chillum glass, kids. And our little "derangment derivative" of 
     Rhapsody In Blue has become a pure derailment of it...and I like it. 

     Fill 2: 2:05 -> 2:21    If the word SPASTIC ever held any musical 
     value, this would be it!  Page is it!  Page IS spastic! (

     Warm it up Page - he's about to.
     Warm it up Page - cause that's what he was born to do
FAUCET: 2:37  Trey plays this lick staccato, as is the norm in recent 
times...botched so minimally that while it isn't a studio take, it goes so
smoothly it doesn't matter...

SINGING W/THE FAUCET: 3:18  And like the 4/92 versions, Trey is 
spicing up the scat singing, adding notes in here and there...around 
3:40 I swear Trey is saying something, but then again, W-TheFuck-ATSIYEM

WATER FROM THE FAUCET: 4:29 immediately staying put in the 
Classic Faucet Lick Region before Trey takes a dive to the lower 
regions of the 'doc, and Page continues the Faucet on piano.  Fish 
spices up the rhythm, Trey plays a note-for-note CFL around the 5 min. 
mark, but with a completely different phrasing and continues to splash 
up the rhythm of the lick.  Rhythm and feel do a complete switcheroo here.

  Meanwhile, in the secret corridors of the Cactus, Mike funks out some
butt-bottom but ever-so-perfect bass notes. Page chimes in happily on 
the piano.  Fish keeps it solid, changing things up a bit now and 
then, dropping out a little and coming back in periodically.
Around 6:09 the jam drops completely, almost like a '96 YEM jam, with 
Trey spurting out wonderful licks straight from a water-tap-dance, 
fire hydrant HOSE!  At 6:37 Trey hits upon something not too unlike the 
Bonanaza theme.  Whoa there cowboy!!!   Some PORNO-FUNKING at the 7:00 
mark, Trey continues tinkering with the faucet and related 
hot-tub jet streams, as he sends us down the slipstream. PORNO-FUNK!

  At 7:19 we all must laugh as Page, the joker,  breaks out this 
THING. (He starts on it around 7:12 but at 7:19 makes it prominent) Is 
it a moog?  Is it a clav?  I don't know what they hell it is 
but it's fuckin schitzo, and perfect!  Loud, obnoxious, uncalled-for 
and damned is this great!  Then he switches to some other sci-fi 
instrument of abuse...At 7:56 it sounds like Trey is teasing 
something, but not really. I think he just want to be a rock star, 
although Stretch maybe this is the Crosstown jam you heard?  I'm familiar 
with MMW's cover of it, but only acquaintances with the real thing, 
so I can't really say for sure...It sounds more like a possible LLama 
segue than anything, to me...
but who cares, by 8:33 Trey is back in the CFL regions, 8:47 
Trey is definately hitting something here...sounds VERY SIMILAR to 
12/28/95 pre-Real Me jam!!!!!  But somethings a little bit 
different this time....Somethings gonna happen, CAN 

  By 9:17 it's an out-and-out DROWNED jam.  There's no turning back now!  
This is the Real Thing baby!  This is Drowned!  They've opened up such 
a hose, a hose so wide, so golden, so flowing, that they're now 
DROWNing in it!   I'm getting fuckin' soaked here, that's how golden 
this hose is!  No pansy panty hose here boy, no no -- this is 24K!
Around 10:56 the DROWNED JAM is still going strong but finally breaks 
out of what could actually be the song and Trey veers off by means 
of some awe-inspiring licks, literally flying out from the chords 
under them....After the 11 minute mark Page picks up the 
pace and continues to go completely nuts....go ahead Page, we didn't 
mean to interrupt...don't just stand there - BUST A MOVE!

  Page Trey Mike and Fish are mixing so perfectly at 11:56 that
they are all four just one, simple, funky, Talking Head...with hair on 
fire -I swear- eyes wide, nose light...12:21 Page teases something on 
piano briefly, sounds like it could be the Real Me?...maybe Sea and 
Sand? Nah...just Drowned offshoots? Fuck - well, it's Who teasing, 
whatever it is.  I know Who...just not What. (Craig, how could you, Who 
fan, miss this at the show?) There are Real Me references here, but the 
Drowned wasn't mere referencing - that was a full-throttle drowning, baby!

  12:56 Page is on clav, Trey is funking out, Mike is appregiating scales 
in a funky manor....okay by 13:28 I can see how somebody would call this 
Real Me teasing...although I wouldn't call it that, but it could easily be
a something-jam.   Around 13:51 Fish yets out a "woo!"  and I'm with you 
man, I'm with you - "woo!".
("Amen!", right Brian H.?)

This wha-hooing continues and Fish is more and more convinced that he 
knows James Brown and has picked up a bit of legacy...more on this soul 
thing later though, for now, we are in a funk ass sheick yer booty jam 
that has Page funking on piano, Mike going all over the place, Trey 
chording in a PORNO-FUNK FASHION....then STOP-ON-A-DIME pause at the show, Trey then held up four fingers at which time 
they  stopped four times, bam-bam-bam-bam starting at 16:09 and then 
Trey held up all 14 of his fingers (I told you he has something extra 
going on) and which time they stop 14 times starting at 16:54 

and then RIGHT back in the PORNO-FUNK jam as if nothin' happened, Fishman 
still faintly yelling out "whoo" and "huh" and "good god"'s from 
behind his kit.  Dogs Stole Craig Delucia but nobody stole 
shit from Fish...but SHH!  I'm ruining the surprise.

Around 17:57 Page goes serious sci-fi sweaty-tooth mad.

At 18:08 the jam drops for a Trey narrative that goes a little 
something like this: 
"Thanks everybody, welcome to the, uh, first show of the North American 
Tour.  It's good to be back!"  Then he chants, with fists pumping-  
"U S A!  U S A!"
Nobody continues chanting....Fishman says very faintly, "You 
can do better than that"  but the problem at the time was that nobody 
understood what Trey was least no one in my section (Front 
section, Fish's side).  The other problem is that I'm not sure anyone 
would *want* to be chanting least not at a Phish show.  BUT 
by the way Trey laughs while chanting, it's pure humor and come to 
think of it, it would have been rather funny to see 20,000 or so phans 
chanting "U S A   U S A."  This is not a political arena here, so Amrit 
sit back down.  The mocking is of arena-rock and not patriotica.

  Anyway Mike funks along underneath, as does Page and Fish, Trey 
chiming in chords in between sentences --

    "Yes, we do have a lot of new material for you - I know most of you 
  probably know that already - but we did start off the show tonight with 
  four new songs.  Just so you get it right, and you make sure that you 
  know all the names and titles of the songs, I, uh, I'm gonna tell you 
  right now.

    The first song was called 'Ghost'.  Um, that was that funky thing 
  that went into the long jam.

    Ah yes, the second song was called 'Dogs Stole Things' so make sure 
  you get that right.  That was the, uh, bluesy number about, um, how 
  your pets, your dogs and your cats, you know, during the day they're 
  sleeping and they're feeling good and everything but at night they 
  come and they try to Steal Your Soul.  So you gotta watch out for 
  that.  Obviously by the way he is playing they have not stolen 
  Fishman's soul yet!"  

    {Trey turns to Mike and Fish, not directly into the mic.}- "What was 
  after that?  What'd we play?  [back into the mic.] What was after 
  that?  Ah yes, song number three was called 'Piper' and that was 
  that one that build way up, um - 'The words were the words I sailed 
  upon' - This is the last time I'm going to say this, by the way, so 
  those of you who are travelling from show to show make sure you 
  remember this 'cause I'm not going to say this again.  I'm only 
  saying it 'cause it's the first show of the US tour...

    And the fourth song new song you, um, which is one of my 
  favorites, is called 'Dirt' and that was the slow one which is 
  about 'I'd like to live beneath the dirt'.  And after that you knew 
  the names of the songs.

    So we're gonna do one more....and then we're gonna take a break. 
  So don't go away...don't do anything I wouldn't do...or you might end 
  up on the back of the WORM!  On the back of the WORM!!  Okay, so after 
  this next song we'll see you in about fifteen minutes with alot more 
  music.  Thanks."

"Popcorn" things at 20:15 or so from Fish...mocking the unability of the 
Dogs to Steal Things...Fish has been doing James Brown throughout this 
little song introduction section...after which there is another second 
or so of the funk and then - bam!  Jam ends at 21:32.  Nanosecond 
pause before a jammed out Character Zero starts up.


 "BATHTUB GIN" REFRAIN: none, leaving this Gin unfinished in a way.

Rating: N/A.  This Gin is more potent than Grain, perhaps more pleasing 
to me personally than RUPP ARENA's 11/7 and easily one of the Greats.
But, as Craig Delucia said on the car ride home, "You can't rate that 
Gin you know."  And he's right - I can't.  Trey talked over the ending 
jam, making it essentially a background jam for his li'l "Here's the 
deal" stuff, and then ended without any return to the Faucet 
whatsoever.  Instead this is more of a pure funk jam than a Gin jam,  
which seriously effects the Gin....where does Gin really end?  
Does it end in SET II when, in the WOLFMAN'S BROTHER, Page plays 
the Bathtub Gin riff ("the faucet") again?  Does this signify a 
reprise?  Not really, it's just a tease.  Does it end before Trey even 
starts talking?  Not where does it end?  Does 
it ever end?  Or is it just unfinished?  It doesn't really matter...  
Let's just say that if I were to rate this, it'd be somewhere above a 
95 proof (A -> A+).  And that ain't bad  :):):)  (fwiw, only a precious 
few Gins have attained a rating of this caliber....)  But then again, we're 

"And after that, you knew the names of the songs...."

Walk with light my friends,



Subject: Uncle Pen's Southeast Tour in Review Pt. I: VA Beach
Date: 29 Jul 1997 21:39:53 GMT

Just for reference: I think this was my 29th show since 4-16-94. I have
about 400 hours of pHiSH on tape and I'm a musician so I think I know what
I'm talking about. You may disagree.

For those who haven't seen a show yet this tour: don't go to a pHiSH show
expecting to see a rock concert. They are mellower, darker, goofier, subtler
and more insane than the last couple years, but still jamming their asses
off. The shows definitely have a different feel than '95 and '96, so be
prepared. (Yeah, yeah, I know, pHiSH changes every tour, but this is the most
radical change since summer to phall '95, which was actually more of a
refinement than much of a change. I digress.)

A brief warning for those who might go to a concert in Virginia Beach in the
future: watch your ass very carefully if you're not a perfect law-abiding
citizen. I have never seen so many uniformed cops, undercover cops and
security personnel in a parking lot. Screw 'em, I had a good time...One more
thing before the review; I don't have the tapes so this is all from memory
and will deal more with impressions than technical details.

Ghost: Very funky, a groove similar to Wolfman's Brother, but doesn't sound
like Wolfman. This piece has enormous jam potential, this version must have
been around 15 minutes long. I think this is my favorite of the new songs
I've heard. An incredible way to open the show.

Dogs Stole Things: Bluesy, Trey says it's about animals stealing your soul
while you sleep. Just a blues song, but very enjoyable, a good way to calm
things down after that wonderful Ghost.

Piper: Very confusing. At one point there are 3 or four completely independent
vocal lines going at once. Extremely minimalistic, repetitive and hypnotic.
(For those unfamiliar with minimalism, check out John Adams's compositions,
particularly his violin concerto, and the works of LaMonte Young, particularly
The Forever Bad Blues Band which is also microtonal. Very interesting stuff.
I digress.) The best word to describe it is exhilarating.

Dirt:I have to hear it again. Sounded kinda poppy.

Ginseng Sullivan: One of my two favorite bluegrass songs that pHiSH does.
Loved it.

Bathtun Gin: Big jam #2 of the set. This is the best Gin I have personally
seen. They're willing to take the jam absolutely anywhere now. After about
ten minutes of some fantastic exploratory jamming they settled into this
funky groove and Trey introduced the titles of the first four songs and then
segued into-->

Character 0: Good Lord, I thought the one on NYE was good. The new refined
version is longer, more intense and has higher energy. They could easily
take a left turn somewhere in the jam and stretch it out into something
more exploratory sometime in the future. Excellent closer.

Wolfman's Brother: I was excited to hear this 'cause I had heard they were
experimenting with it in Europe. Trey's loving the funk this tour. The jam
stretched out for 10-12 minutes and then they segued beautifully into-->

Magilla!: I was stunned. I never expected to see this live. Hopefully they
keep playing it. Everybody took a solo, even Fish, and each one was different
and interesting in it's own way. Very nice, I like the new subtle approach
they're taking.

Bowie: The spacey intro was really jammed out. Unfortunately most of the
audience was discussing whether it was Maze or Bowie instead of listening.
At one point Trey said something, I think it was, "We're trying to jam."
I can't be positive, though. The composed section was, as usual, nearly
flawless. The jam started very mellow and stayed that way for a long time.
Very dark, very subtle. The length of the jam was about the same as in the
past. At the end, where Trey is usually playing that closing lick in between
the chaos, he was improvising instead, until the last couple times around
when he played the usual licks. One of the better Bowie's I've seen. For
reference, I think the only other outstanding Bowie I've seen was 11-14-94.

Wading (Waiting?) in the Velvet Sea: I've always thought that they didn't
play FEFY or If I Could enough. I don't care as long as they keep playing
this one. This piece is also rather minimalistic with a slowly building
majestic solo from Trey. This is the most painfully beautiful piece of music
I've ever seen pHiSH play. The beginning of the solo was an almost direct
qoute from the solo in PF's Mother off the Wall. The rest of it was all
Trey, and if I ever meet him I will thank him profusely for that transcendent
solo. It brought tears to my eyes. I never thought anything that beautiful
could also be that painful.

Theme: Very different from what I expect form a Theme. Somewhere during the jam
Leroi Moore, the sax player with DMB, came out and did a very nice job. If I
recall correctly it was a rather bluesy jam. Then things got weird. pHiSH the
comedy team replaced pHiSH the band. Everybody, including Leroi, started
playing several instruments at once. (I think Trey was mocking himself from
when he used to play guitar and percussion at the same time, ala Free.) Trey
had three guitars strapped on at once. I'm not sure if they were all plugged
in. Leroi had two saxes, Mike had two basses and Page was playing as many of
his keyboards at once as he could, even using his feet on his Rhodes piano.
Crazy shit, brothers and sisters. Not particularly interesting musically,
but very amusing.-->

Funky Bitch: Also with Leroi Moore. It was FB with a sax, great as always.

Slave: Finally, after 13 years, they have changed Slave somewhat. The composed
section is much subtler, less rocky than in the past, and requires careful
listening to catch all the nuances. The jam is much slower that in the past and
builds to less of a peak. I would say it's more effective, but not as a

E:Loving Cup: Phat encore. I wonder what Keith Richards would think if he
heard pHiSH playing this song. Probably something like, "Why didn't I do that?"
More than I could have asked for an encore.

Overall it was a hell of a roller coaster ride. Lots of surprises and mood
changes. As a unit they are jamming better than they have since phall '95.
Be prepared for a minimalistic approach to a lot of their jams, though.
Focus completely on the music, let it hypnotize you, stop thinking, listen
carefully and the music will be a lot easier to appreciate and understand.
If you got this far, thanks for reading. Feedback is always appreciated.
Peace yall,

P.S. If anybody can tell me where to find lyrics for the new songs I would
really appreciate it.


From: "Craig D. DeLucia" 
Subject: VA Beach and Walnut Creek Reviews
Date: 24 Jul 1997 12:13:32 GMT

I will start by saying that I hope no one has missed me while I have been
away from the net this summer...I only have the time to read Rosemarys
until school starts again in August.

What follows is the opinion of someone who saw his 12th and 13th shows
this week and who has heard over 550 hours of Phish.  FWIW.

As far as my typing goes...I am having a problem uploading my mail to
send.  All of the apostraphes disappear.  So, dont correct my spelling
there ;^)

General comments first...

Im sure you have all read by now that Phish has a new drummer...or,
rather, a new incarnation of their old one ;^).  I am referring to
Fishmans incredibly short haircut and change of usual style of dress.  I
gotta tell you; he was looking very stylish.

Kudos go out to Chris Glushko, president of People for a Louder Mike, for
raising this issue to a heightened consciousness.  Mike was as clear as I
have ever heard him and used his newfound clarity to be simply amazing.
He stole the second set of the second show and was remarkable at all other
times.  The entire band appeared to be having so much fun and they sounded
tight, but Mike in particular was smoking.

The lot scene was different than any other I have witnessed.  Since VA
Beach cracks down on vending and shenanigans, there wasnt much going on
there.  I didnt see a single nirous tank!  Walnut Creek was not as
lot-less but was still not what I was accustomed to.  Maybe the circus has
moved on...(wouldnt that be nice).

So, Virginia Beach:

Set I:  Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, Piper, Dirt, Ginseng Sullivan, Bathtub
Gin, Character Zero

some of the new songs via tapes from Amsterdam but hearing so many of them
live was a real treat.  Anyway, Ghost is a keeper...a real Type II jam
song.  For a show opener!!  And it is very funky, with some cool solos by
Page during the verses themselves.  Dont get fooled by the fake ending,
btw.  This version was around 18 minutes and smoked, moving through
different styles and phases of jamming.  Very open-ended; needless to say,
I like it ;^)

Dog Stole Things (which, contrary to sentiment, is not called Noah Stole
Things) is a twisted number about how your pets can steal your soul while
you sleep.  Fun, but nothing musically extraordinary.  Makes me wonder
what Trey really thinks about Marley, though... ;^)

Piper (which I hear showed up on some Europe setlists as Words) was an
interesting number but it ended way too quickly.  There was a huge musical
buildup that was kind of neat, and then the lyrics, and then a mellow jam.
The jam just ended, though, after 20 seconds or so.  Id like to see this
one stretched out.

Dirt followed.  Excellent song; not a jammer, but a cool groove to dance
to with some provocative lyrics.  Im waiting to hear a few more versions
of this song before forming an opinion on the significance of the lyrics,
but it is morbid in a poetic sense.

Ginseng was Ginseng; bring back Nellie Cane.


The Gin that followed was insane.  We got a standard Ginjam for a while,
and then it phased into a hybrid of 60s Motown and 70s disco.  REAL fun,
and among the most danceable jamming I have ever heard.  And Trey started
counting with his fingers and signaling to everyone and several sets of
stop/start downbeats ensued, with  pulsating lights and Trey jumping up
and down.  Youve got to hear it to understand.  As the band jammed on,
Trey announced the names of the first four songs and asked those of us
going on to Raleigh to spread their names around because Trey had no
intention of announcing them again ;^)  He also warned us about being on
the back of the worm, which damn near made me piss my pants after hearing
the Wormtown Jam (thanks to Brian H., who shall remain lastnameless for
fear of the grovels he would receive, for spinning the Amsterdam shows for
me from his DAT and for naming the Wormtown Jam ;^) from Amsterdam.
Anyway, I got to meet Andrew Hitz and we were jogging our memories for
similarly amazing 1st set Gins, and I cant think of any.

Character Zero closed and slammed my ass to the floor.  If you thought the
NYE Zero jammed, check out this one.  Not as rock and roll as any other
Zero I have didnt get exploratory like a Mikes or Bowie or
Tweezer but it did have some interesting jam changes before circling back
to a close.

Overall, I give the first set a 7.0.  Lotsa energy, two monster jams (in
the first set!!) and some new songs, as well as a nice Zero.

Setbreak was fun, as I got to meet people and see old friends, as well as
attempt to spread the word about the Mockingbird Foundation  Nothing too
interesting to note there, other than the fact that I got screwed out of a
pizza after waiting on line forever...

Set II:  The Wolfman's Brother > Magilla, David Bowie, Wading in the
Traffic Light

The Wolfman to open was nice; I was interested to see if they would
stretch it out like they had been doing.  They didnt disappoint.  I will
leave others to mention the teases they heard, since I didnt catch them.
I did catch the SEAMLESS segue into Magilla, though.  It was unlike any
other Magilla I had heard in that Fishman never picked up the Magilla
beat.  The band played Magilla while Fishman maintained the slinky beat
the they had been jamming on.  It was a full Magilla, and excellent.

The Bowie that followed can not be described in words.  The jam over the
hi-hat intro was sweeeeet.  I dunno what it was, but it was nice.  This
same jam, btw, showed up in the Disease jam at Walnut Creek, so I hope
someone can name it definitely.  It is *very* distinct and way too tight
and intricate to be coincidental.  Anyway, the Bowie built so slowly and
steadily...I think it is the best Type I Bowie I have ever heard. No real
teases or surprises; it was an I am going to Kick your Ass with Music

Wading in the Velvet Sea...anyone who knocks this song will be flamed by
me from he to eternity.  I can see how some would find it cheesy, but I
think it is the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard Phish
perform and the lyrics almost made me cry.  Literally.  Treys soloing was
friggin majestic and had everyone in an emotional state of shock.  Does
anyone know if Trey or Tom wrote this one?  Id be very curious to find out
so I can commend the right person ;^)

Theme started up and was nice, but the jam started to move into new
territory and I thought we were going to get the first-ever Type II Theme.
Then, out comes LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band with a sax and they
start jamming away.  After four minutes or so, the stagehand brings out a
second sax and LeRoi starts playing both of them!  Not to be outdone, Trey
straps on a second guitar and starts playing two at once!  I personally
dont think this was planned, as the stagehands were scurrying around to
find cords and hook things up.  So, then it gets really crazy and Mike
straps on a second bass!!  Fishman shows up on the big screen and he has
four drumsticks in his hands!!  Trey straps on a third guitar!!  Page
climbs on the keyboards and is playing one with his feet, one with his
hands, and one with his knees.  And, while he is convulsing about, Trey
starts hitting Fishmans cymbals with a drumstick while still playing three
different guitars!!  Then he throws the drumstick out into the crowd,
takes off the other two guitars, and starts swinging the Doc like a maniac
over his head, like he is going to throw it into the crowd.  Everyone else
is still jamming, and the amazing part is that it actually doesnt sound
too bad!!  It never got as ugly to the ear as, say, the 12/15/95 rotation

The jam stops and Funky Bitch starts right up, with LeRoi taking solos and
rocking the house.  So the set is over, right?

Nope.  LeRoi leaves and we get a mind-numbing, 17 minute Slave that was so
teary-eyed that, afterwards, I didnt know if I could drive home.  What
perfect ear candy to close the set!

The Loving Cup encore was a perfect choice and sent me back to Nags Head,
where I was staying, with a huge smile on my face.

I give the second set a 7.0 as well...every song, with the exception of
Magilla, was jammed out, and none disappointed.  We saw Wolfmans continue
to break new ground, a great segue into Magilla, the first ever deviant
Theme, an incredible Bowie, and two jams that almost made me fall down and

So, the show gets a 7.0 and a notation that this is probably the best
tour-opener ever.

Nothing, though, prepared me for the next


From: Bill Hance 
Subject: VA Beach show 7/21
Date: 22 Jul 1997 09:14:01 -0700

The show last night was a solid tour opener.  Although I had
heard the 1st set was going to be all new ones, that rumor was
proven wrong when they played Ginseng Sullivan after 4 new ones.
The crowd seemed to like the new tunes. A good thick Bathtub Gin
followed, and Character Zero was the set closer.
   A NICE Wolfman's Brother opened the 2nd set.  I remember a long
intro for David Bowie, as we were trying to guess Maze or Bowie.
There was a guest sax player later in the set (from DMB), who
after a few minutes was brought another sax (a skinnier horn of
some type?) and played them both at once.   Trey was watching this
and really enjoying it, and it seemed as though it was spontaneous
when he waved for a stagehand to bring him another guitar.  Then
after a minute Mike waved for another bass.  This got Trey going,
and he called for a 3rd guitar.  He was going back and forth,
basically just hammering on the fretboards and hamming it up,
playing one guitar against the mic stand, playing another with his
teeth while rubbing one against the mic stand, etc.  By the end
of this, Mike had picked up Fish's "Cracklin' Rosie" cymbals,
(one says "B" and the other "AH") and began playing them in
typically unconventional Mike way, holding one flat and bringing
the other down onto it.  During this Trey was smashing Fish's
drumkit cymbals, with 3 guitars still around his neck.  After
throwing the drumsticks into the audience, Trey pretended to throw
one of his guitars into the audience.  He was holding it by the
neck and spinning it around as if he was preparing to launch it into
the 20th row!  The guest sax player left and Slave To the Traffic
Light ended the set.  A nice Loving Cup closed out the evening.
   I'd say the antics with the sax player and the multiple
guitars made this show special, although considering some
PHISH shows I've seen it'd probably rate as an average show for
them otherwise.