Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2000 17:32:07 PST
From: M P fenwaypahk@hotmail.com
To: dan@archive.phish.net
Subject: Fwd: FW: Fillmore review 10/15/98
 
 
Fillmore - San Francisco 10/15/98
 
Phish at the Fillmore on a Thursday night in San Francisco...wow, what a
sweet tiny venue.  It was THE ticket to have.  You could immediately feel so
much musical history when stepping inside...Fillmore concert posters
everywhere!  Phish celebrated their upcoming release of Story of The
Ghost(out the following week) by performing 10 tracks off the new record.
They also snuck in a couple of timeless oldies with Bowie and Reba.
Chalkdust was a thrill as Kuroda had fun with the chandelier lighting and a
glowstick-less Harry Hood closed out a young second set.  Dirt and Limb by
Limb surprised everyone as the encore, but all in all, it was a special show
in 1998.  Special props to my buddy, the Gould, who made the 400 mile
midnight trek from Los Angeles to secure us tickets the month before!
 
-powers
fenwaypahk@hotmail.com
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Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 03:54:54 -0700 From: Charles Dirksen Subject: Phish at the Fillmore ****PHISH**** AT THE FILLMORE AUDITORIUM IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA October 15, 1998 SET ONE (90): Ghost -> Water in the Sky, Wolfman's Brother, Gumbo, David Bowie, Brian & Robert*, Reba > Character Zero SET TWO (87): My Soul > Chalk Dust, Roget, Moma Dance, Velvet Sea, Prince Caspian, Frankie Sez, Birds of a Feather, Lawn Boy, Harry Hood** ENCORE: Dirt, Limb by Limb * Fishman lit up by yellow light. ** Trey teased Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" EXCITED!!? I had not been so excited before a Phish show since 10/31/94 Glens Falls! And I was not alone. It was the most difficult Phish ticket to score since the Third Ball on 6/6/96 (being blessed enough to get one was a miracle of sorts). But unlike that tiny Third Ball gig, which brought back memories of The Early Years in bars, this show's music celebrated the majesty of Phish's more recent musical trends in larger spaces: 1994 leap of faith exploration (Reba), 1995 full-band improvisation (Gumbo), 1996-98 space-funk-rock-groove (Ghost, Wolfman's). Only days before Phish celebrates 15 years of gigging, everything would be in focus, in alignment and in tune, much as it had been after the 12/31/95 Madison Square Garden show (though the music of tonight's show was not in the same league as much of the music on that legendary NYE). The pre-show scene outside the Fillmore was not the anarchic circus folks had predicted. Cops were not present, and only a handful of Fillmore security guards were around to tell people what to do (mostly to keep moving). There were only about 200 people outside when I arrived around 4pm. By the time I got in, at 6:45 or so, there were only around 300 people outside and 300 in. If ever there was a time to be amazed by the spectacle of desperate, pleading, ticketless fans, this was not the time. Things really weren't that bad at all outside. A special thank you to all of you who refrained from showing up ticketless. I am exhausted and wasn't going to make the effort to try to review this gig right now (2:30am), but I'm doing it for you, because I know what it is like to miss a potentially awe-inspiring show and await word on what went down. FWIW, the vast majority of the folks who showed up looking for tickets (maybe 200 or so, tops) were, naturally, that subset of our community that cares the least for the scene we create -- and leave behind -- at venues, i.e., wookies. But all were in rare, well-behaved form tonight, imo. One guy had a 1971 Nolan Ryan Topps baseball card which he offered to trade for an extra. (most people, though, were simply using 'ween tickets as tradebait) If you have never been to the Fillmore, it holds around 1200 people (or so they say). Red carpeted stairs greet you, and take you up into the warmth of a red carpeted, narrow, rectangular hall with walls adorned with gorgeous, framed pictures of some of the musicians who have played here (the Dead, Santana, etc.). The main room features a spacious, freshly polished, wooden dance floor bounded by modest, well-worn carpeting. Chandeliers hang tastefully from a high ceiling (with a disco ball in the center). A balcony stretches across the room's entire left (stage right) side. Five or so feet off the floor, a huge stage formidably fronts the room. The vibe as Phish took the stage (about 8:20pm) was unforgettably intense. People were beyond ecstatic, beyond euphoric, beyond enchanted (and beyond the average age of a typical Phish audience, in large part because of the significant number of friends and family of the band in attendance). Everyone was ready for ENLIGHTENMENT with the first notes the band played. The ZONE was already forming before the band would shoot spirits and souls even more heavenward with their music. I was reminded of the vibe before 10/31/94 Glens Falls, and before "The Other Ones" took the Warfield's stage earlier this year on June 4th. Not having the funds to catch Phish in Europe these last several years, I had not seen Phish play in such small room since my first show at the Paradise on 10/6/89. I was a jaded oldbie turned giddy fan boy for the occasion, hell-bent on having a good time, AND I DID HAVE A GREAT TIME, despite repeated elbowing in the ribs by savagely euphoric fan boys. And girls. Phish opened with a predictably powerful Ghost. It wasn't a monster like 7/3/97 Nuremberg, or a *RAGER* like most of the recent summer Ghosts, but the crowd loved it! It segued masterfully and wondrously into a lovely "Water in the Sky" (the upbeat, latest version). Wolfman's and Gumbo followed, and were the highlights of the first set, as I heard it. Although Wolfman's funked mightily away for the most part, it ended with a whimper. Gumbo, on the other hand, was awesome from start to finish, with an impressively unusual jam segment that you MUST hear for yourself. Easily one of my favorite versions and I'm looking forward to hearing it again! After Gumbo, Fish began rattling out Theme's opening, using the ride instead of the high-hat, but Trey gave him the Bowie signal, and Fish promptly started Bowie's hi-hat intro. Bowie's opening composed section wasn't as tight as you've often heard it, but the jam segment was short and sweet (reminded me of early versions). Brian & Robert mellowed out (but did not silence) the typically chatty San Francisco crowd. Trey commented before they launched into it that one of the many things Fish hates is "the yellow light." Trey asked Chris to keep the yellow light on Fish for the entire song ( Trey and Page were trying to hold back laughter at times during this non-serious version). Reba featured the only real "Type II" exploratory improv of the evening. After a somewhat sloppy opening segment, the jam began with help from THE DISCO BALL!! =^] The jam took a predictably Reba path for a long, long time (accompanied by the Disco Ball), with heavy noodling from Trey, until something Weird clicked in Trey's mind and he forced the groove into a disturbingly dark, twisted form. Definitely the only real "what the fuck!?" event of the evening, and not an especially pleasing one to my ears, either. It certainly won the award for The Most Queer Type II Jam of the night. No whistling ending... just a leap into a frightening Character Zero closer. Set break lasted about 40 minutes. We were treated to a CD's worth of the Afro-Cuban guitar stylings of Marc Ribot. The second set opened with passionate versions of My Soul and Chalk Dust, two of Phish's most basic songs. As Chalk Dust started, the crowd was so crazy with excitement that I thought people would begin slam dancing. I had been hoping for a more memorable Event to kick open the set. But these two typically great (blistering) Phish tunes clearly pleased most in attendance. Roget was beautiful and perfectly placed. I really needed a good melodious kick in the ass after what I thought were two LA TI DAH openers. It wasn't a flawless version, but it's one of my favorite Phish songs, and I was THRILLED! I also love Moma Dance, which came next, but unfortunately, Phish has apparently decided not to take this tune OUT THERE yet. This was a perfectly average Moma Dance. Sure it was funky, sure I loved it... but it didn't do anything different from almost all of the versions you have heard. Fans of Velvet Sea will probably really want to hear this version (Craig!). It was the first time I think I actually enjoyed hearing it *live*. Trey seemed *very* into the solo, and, if memory serves, it went on and on and on. I'm not sure how well it will come out on tape, though, because of the (typically) inconsiderate, chatty San Francisco crowd (yes, even at tonight's gig! I couldn't believe it!). Fuckerpants (aka Prince Caspian) was the highlight of the second set, easily, in my opinion. Fishman *KICKED* *OPEN* the jam segment with thunderous cymbal & tom work, and everyone else followed suit and played the most balls-to-the-wall version of Caspian **EVER**. Must-hear, even for folks who don't like Caspian. Floating on the waves?!? More like THRASHING! The soothing, gentle, mellifluous and charming Frankie Sez, another of my favorite Phish tunes, came next. Very strange placement. An enormous contrast to the Caspian. The placement of this version caught me off-guard and didn't sit with me too well. (btw, if you haven't heard the second set of 4/2/98 yet, with the Sneaking Sally->Frankie Sez, **GET IT**). Like Moma Dance earlier in the set, Birds of a Feather was basically played the same as it has been all year, with just a bit more of an EDGE to it. The jam segment sounded more like Chalk Dust than Crosseyed and Painless to me, this time, though. I'm hoping that they use this tune to go new and different places sometime. Soon. Lawn Boy was perfect for the intimate Fillmore, of course. Page sang very well, and all were amused. Mike took a solo. Harry Hood featured a very eccentric opening segment.. lots of toying around from Trey. It wasn't all that tight. The jam segment was.. was.. was.. Original. It opened with Trey briefly teasing Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Strangely and unfortunately, there was no long, Slave-like, bewildering crescendo/build in this version. Rather, Trey seemed to be fighting with ideas.. He'd start something and then change direction and then start something again and change direction. I felt that it was aimless and sad, but some folks seemed really into it. I had high hopes in its intro, and was disappointed that nothing even Typically Great (for Harry) seemed to materialize. The version also ended half-heartedly, and many, including Mike Gordon, didn't expect it to close the set. The encores (Dirt and Limb) were very unusual. As you might expect, since the band had already played for three hours, they weren't perfect versions. But given the circumstances, they were quite good I thought. The BALLS it took to close with Limb by Limb! Such a complex song, in six, so late in the show... but they ripped out an unusually fierce, somewhat chaotic and SOAM-like version. All things considered, the *vibe* and the *scene* of this show won more points than the music, in my opinion obviously. It was **wonderful** to be so close to the band members again. I have seen bands play the Fillmore for years now, and I never thought I would see Phish perform here. To look up and see them having a good time playing on that stage was the greatest highlight of the evening for me. I've been falling asleep at the keyboard more/less, but hope that I haven't put you to sleep. Even though the music could have been more tight and more magical, it was a beautiful, unforgettable evening overall. G'night and two cents, charlie p.s. An excellent Fillmore poster commemorating the evening was available for free post-show... ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 16:40:42 GMT From: Darren Grover Subject: Fillmore Review (Oakland Tribune 10/17/98) >Phish, the reigning kings of psychedelic improvisational rock, took a backseat to history Thursday night in a rare small-venue gig at San Francisco's most storied room, the Fillmore Auditorium. > >But not for long. > >The quartet from Burlington didn't disappoint the neon-colored legends staring down from the rafters, wowing their normally-picky fans, who usually see the band in sports arenas. > >The group was in town to play even more rare acoustic sets today and tomorrow at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and figured a sneaky, intimate night with rock history seemed to fit the bill. > >The 1,200 lucky Phish-heads at the Fillmore spent all of Thursday night nodding in agreement. > >In fact, the four-piece band (lead guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, keyboard player Page McConnell, and drummer Jon Fishman) lived up to its growing hype as leader of the post-Grateful Dead era, stirring up a three-hour sonic boom with a two-set, two-encore genre-bending musical space voyage. > >The Phish sound is closely related to the rambling mind of maestro lead guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, who has the ability to play any distinct guitar style he chooses. > >At the turn of a Fishman time change, Anastasio switches gears from obscenely fast classical scales to straight-up bluegrass fingerpicking, from gentle, liquid rock ballad lines to throw-down funk. > >And right now, the funk is the featured element of "The Story of the Ghost," Phish's new album slated to hit stores on Oct. 27 and the source of six songs from the band's 20-song setlist. > >Bathed in purple light from the historic Fillmore chandeliers, Phish took the stage and didn't say a word. > >Gordon slapped his way into the new album's title track to start the proceedings. > >Phish followed with a gorgeous backroads country-fried "Water in the Sky," featuring barbershop harmonies from all four band members and Fishman on a cowbell. > >Funked out, extended Phish classics "Wolfman's Brother" and "Gumbo" were next, with Anastasio starting the exploration into heavy jazz fusion, gyrating his skinny frame to the beat and singing his wa-wa guitar riffs to himself a la George Benson. > >Songs and musical thoughts blended into one another, starting and ending with the same dissonant wandering and rediscovering perfected by the Dead. > >"David Bowie" was a highlight film for the band's gaudy talent. > >Wrapped in the constant funk theme, "Bowie" took fans on a journey from Bach to speed metal and back. > >The song, which lasted close to 20 minutes, has only four words, spoken from time to time between lightning-quick breaks: "David Bowie, David Bowie...UB40, UB40." > >After a mellow "Brian and Robert," cast in yellow light, the band closed out the set with their muscular live standards "Reba" and "Character Zero." > >Each song was taken to furious length as the fabulous Fillmore disco ball lit up the huddled mass. > >The second set featured more typical Phish exploration. > >The blues standard "It's My Soul" was dedicated to Santa Cruz-based "musical librarian" Glenn Howard. > >"Chalkdust Torture" was pure rock, with Anastasio fueling the crowd with the anthemic chorus "Can't I live while I'm young?" > >"Roget" eased Phish into a soothing, gentle groove that continued into the superfunk "Moma Dance" off the new record. > >Phish kicked back with poignant tones in "Wading In the Velvet Sea," "Prince Caspian," and "Relax," before finishing off with the new, poppish "Birds of a Feather," a short but melodic "Lawn Boy," and what might be their live masterpiece "Harry Hood." > >"Hood" starts out as an instrumental reggae progression, drops midway into prog-rock bars, then smooths out and builds back to a stunning climax of soaring classic rock notes. > >By the time Phish had expertly pulled off encores "Dirt" and "Limb By Limb" and fans picked up their free posters, security was busy emptying the bewildered, sweaty groundswell onto Geary Street. > >They were the only ones happy to see it end. > >By Doug Miller towerofmiller@hotmail.com > >Staff Writer, Oakland Tribune ------------ Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 06:21:52 GMT From: FahtHarpua Subject: Jam.TV Fillmore Review.... Copied from http://www.jamtv.com/ ------------------------------------------ Big Phish, Small Pond The Fillmore, San Francisco, October 15, 1998 The outskirts of the legendary Fillmore concert hall were bristling with free-market energy Thursday night as Phish fans wheeled and bartered for a coveted ticket to the evening's show. Among sacrifices ready to be made: a 1971 Nolan Ryan baseball card. No word on whether anyone took the budding tradesman up on his offer, but given the size of the venue (capacity 1,200) and the fact that the show was opening yet another chapter in Phishtory, his offer didn't seem especially outlandish. Thankfully, the beefed-up security at the venue kept the pre-show hysteria level to a minimum and those lucky tie-dyed fans with tickets peacefully made their way into the ornate hall. Inside, bassist Mike Gordon milled about the back hallway, chatting up fans who knew enough to recognize him in his everyman attire. Up above in the balcony, guitarist Trey Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell peered down at the quickly assembling crowd before ducking backstage. Worshipful fans accustomed to seeing the band in cavernous arenas or outdoor festivals were giddy at the prospect of seeing their heroes up close. The band shuffled onstage smiling, undoubtedly excited to debut some of the material off the soon-to-be-released album, The Story of the Ghost (Oct. 27), Phish's first studio release in two years. As soon as drummer Jon Fishman had gotten comfortable sitting in his frock (his typical stage attire), the band slipped into the title track of the new album. Though only one song on Ghost breaks the five-minute barrier, live Phish is all about extended jams. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that Thursday night's show provided a little of both. Riffs from the first song were still sounding fifteen minutes after the song had started, much to the delight of the fans, who were hi-fiving each other in the crowd. But the show quickly reeled itself in, reflecting more of the restraint that characterizes 1996's Steve Lillywhite-produced Billy Breathes as well as their latest album. This move toward subtlety was met with an unfamiliar sound in the midst of the third song, however: that of people loudly chatting at the bar, who, while, in the process of declaring to each other "Dude! I'm so fucking psyched to be here!" failed to realize that in doing so, they were missing the very show they were so fucking psyched to see. The band, used to rapt attention and uproarious applause, seemed slightly taken aback by the noise, and found itself in the unfamiliar position of having to retake the room. But Phish promptly regained their composure and silenced (or drowned out at least) the socialites with a ferocious version of "David Bowie," off their first album, Junta. The band pushed the energy and the volume level even higher for the remainder of the ninety-minute first set. Any trace of restraint disappeared completely in the second set, as the band found its moorings (or cut them, as it were) and let loose with the free-for-all, Zappa-esque jams that have made them one of the country's most successful touring acts. Gone from the scaled-down show were some of Phish's more gimmicky stage maneuvers, such as the synchronized trampoline jumping and vacuum cleaner solos, replaced instead by artifice-free jamming. After nearly three hours of bombardment, the crowd was practically numbed, swaying in appreciation. At one point, during what was arguably the evening's highpoint, "Birds of a Feather," (Story's first single), Anastasio also seemed lost in the moment. Staring distantly with his tongue wagging in the corner of his mouth and peeling off blistering runs up his guitar neck, he personified Phish's hypnotic music. And in doing so, he and the rest of the band finally reached that rarely attained zenith of live music -- the point at which band and audience are in exactly the same place. ERIC HELLWEG (October 16, 1998) --------------- Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 13:39:33 -0700 From: Sam Gustin Subject: Fillmore in Review The following is my subjective opinion of the Fillmore experience. Here's the setlist: SET ONE (90): Ghost -> Water in the Sky, Wolfman's Brother, Gumbo, David Bowie, Brian & Robert*, Reba > Character Zero SET TWO (87): My Soul > Chalk Dust, Roget, Moma Dance, Velvet Sea, Prince Caspian, Frankie Sez, Birds of a Feather, Lawn Boy, Harry Hood** ENCORE: Dirt, Limb by Limb * Fishman lit up by yellow light. ** Trey teased Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" My brother and I got to the venue at about 5:00 and promptly got in line. I felt extremely lucky to be going into the show. This was my first time at the Fillmore, so I was fairly ecstatic. There were signifigantly less miracle seekers than I had expected. Thanks to those who resisted the temptation to come without a ticket. The line started moving at about 5:45 and proceeded at a slow pace. When we finally got our tickets at the window, we raced up the stairs and assumed a position on the floor. The Fillmore is a great room. High ceillings punctuated by chandeliers that were actually glowing purple thanks to some nifty lighting provided an expansive, psychedelic atmosphere. There is a long bar on the side and a small one in the back. Not only that, there was the cutest girl walking around delivering beers all over the room. When we got in, the seated people in front of the stage were only about 4 deep so we were able to get quite close. Several Black Butte Porters later and we were about to explode with anticipation. The crowd reaction to the band's appearance on stage was more emotional and intense than anything I'd seen previously at a show. The place shook. A word about expectations. We were anticipating that they would play crazy shit for this small crowd and hallowed venue. We thought a Forbin or Harpua was all but guaranteed. Furthermore, we couldn't help speculating about the possibility of a Destiny or Alumni Blues. Sure, we knew they'd bust out Ghost, Moma and possibly Birds/Roget. In hindsight, I think our expectations might have set us up for dissappointment, (they always do.) The Ghost opener was extremely funky, and set the tone for the show. It was very long and delved into some nice areas. We were loving it. Although I am a fan of the old Ghosts, this one was as jammed out as most I've seen. Water In the Sky was kind of a letdown. The fact that I immensely prefer the old rendering of this tune is only part of it. After Ghost's funkiness I was jonesin' for more booty-shaken. Nevertheless, the Bay Area crowd seemed to enjoy the song. Curtain->Jim, anyone? Wolfman's was a welcome tune and severely jammed out, though not as much as '97 Gorge and Worcester versions. Great tune, great placement. Gumbo rocked _hard_. If I recall, Page took a great solo and was generally stupendous, as was the rest of the band. This was possibly the musical highlight of the evening for me. Indeed, it seemed to me that after the high energy of this song, the vibe of the show changed. These three songs were very well received. More importantly, the band looked happy and comfortable. Mid-first set, though, something happpened and to this subjective observer it appeared that the energy tapered off from here on out. Furthermore, for the rest of the show, Trey seemed unhappy, smiling rarely and appearing very self-conscious. More on that later. Bowie was extremely welcome and very fun although musically nowhere near other Bowies. They just weren't as tight as they have been. Trey botched some of the composed section and the jam didn't have the inspiration that others have had. The finale was sweet as always. Brian and Robert was the third new tune of the set and pleasant, if not particularly enjoyable. Now I like this tune, unlike some people, but this one just didn't do to much for me. I was elated to here Reba, one of my favorite tunes. It took a second for Fishman to find the groove, but when he did they clicked. Unfortunately, some boor was screaming the lyrics as loud as he could right next to me, but hey, shit happens. The composed section was fairly sloppy, and Trey looked like it was all he could do to play it. I wonder how much they rehearse nowadays (of the old stuff.) Stuff like Reba, Bowie, Divided Sky and others is musically insane and since they don't play these songs every night like they did many years ago, I wonder if they _ever_ rehearse them. The jam clicked on and Chris flooded the place with spinning disco ball lights, that effects debut that night. In my heightened state, I was bordering on ecstatic as the jam flowed forth. The beginning was quite gorgeous although the energy just couldn't get going and after a few minutes I was appalled as the band _abandoned_ Reba in favor of some heavy riff-oriented stuff reminiscent of that second set jam from Worcester '97 that sounds vaguely like Heartbraker. When Fish tried to bring it back, Trey loudly announced the Character Zero intro. I would have loved to see a YEM in this slot, but I know how hard Zero can rock. Additionally, I know Trey loves this tune and I was hoping it would get him fired up. It did slightly, but as I said earlier Trey looked frustrated and under pressure. The jam shook the Fillmore. Type I rock and roll. Long set. At the set break we consumed some more Porter and pondered the first set. It seemed to me that they came out with an "arena" type attitude. They could have been playing Shoreline. They were in a small club and I would have expected more energy and excitement, but Trey in particular was quite aloof. They crowd was very atypical. It was more of a club-type audience and less of a "Phish Head" crowd. During the quite parts, no one screamed. During Hood later, _not one glowstick_ was thrown. Let's keep this trend up people. On the other hand, the crowd didn't seem as devoted and critical to the music as I've seen at other shows, particularly on the East Coast. No one was shouting "Destiny, Forbin, Gamehendge, Harpua," some of the songs that we had hoped to see. Later on I screamed "Hood, damnit" at the top of my lungs. Being about five people back and tall, Trey heard me, nodded to Fishman and they played it. At least that's how it seemed to me. After about 40 minutes they came back on. My Soul opener. Well jammed out, etc. Chalkdust was a treat, and ripped. People were going crazy in front of me and booties were shakin.' Now, I like Roget, but is this second set Fillmore material? My Soul, Roget? The jam went to some nice places before resolving back to the groovy theme. Again, nothing too spectacular here. Moma Dance is probably my favorite new tune and this one seemed quite good. The breaks were all well excecuted and the funk was thick. While not incredible, this song introduced the meat of the set. I think Velvet Sea has some charming qualities and while the placement wasn't great, I enjoyed the song. Caspian. Come on!?! This song has two chords, is quite repetitive, but hey, a major pentatonic scale sounds great over it. While I can't say that Caspian didn't rock, the band just wasn't going anywhere substantial, IMO. As Frankie Says and Birds were played, I realized that we would not see Forbin or Harpua, (even YEM, Antelope or Mike's) let alone an Alumni Blues. The new album's coming out, the boys were in PR mode. Rock star mode. They seemed like they were playing for music critics and reviewers. Birds did have its nice moments as a dance song, but never really went anywhere trancandental. Quick transition into Lawn Boy, which is always welcome. This time, Page looked tired and frankly worn out. The crowd loved it though and Mike took a nice solo, though nowhere near the Slip/Stich version. That one is sublime. Hood was just what I wanted to hear. The first section was nice, although at one point they got the two reggae parts reversed. The correction was quick and well done. Trey continued to not look happy at all in my opinion. The rest of the composed section was fun and when the jam dropped in, I was lovin' it. Again, however, although the boys took the jam to some nice places, the energy seemed lacking. Hood was unfinished with Trey going into a feedback jam and then leaving the stage with a quick smile and wave. I don't think the other band members wanted to stop or something because the slowly left and Mike just stood there for awhile and then left. The Dirt, Limb by Limb encore confirmed the "new tune" orientation of the evening, but I like both of these songs particularly Limb by Limb. The past two Shorline shows have included absolutely incendiary versions of this song and I think SF loves it. That they ended with it seemed to allude to those Shorline versions. Fishman was marvelous all night and during Limb he pulled out all the stops, turning the 6 into a slow 4 and back again. I noticed him staring at some fans below him, unleashing one bomb after another with his bass drum, grinning and joking around. Of the four, he seemed the most with it and energized that night. All in all, I had a great time. The experience was great, the atmosphere was great, the sound was great and it was thrilling to be that close to the boys. Musically, they had an off night. I don't know if they played so many new tunes 'cause the album's about to come out or what, but the list of what the _didn't play_ is so long that it is fruitless to say, "I wish they played this or that." I have said that Trey appeared unhappy. I'm curious if anyone else noticed this or if I was just "trippin' out." I'm not going to try and rate the show, I'll let others do that. Comments, questions and flames are welcome. Thanks for stickin' with me. See you all at Vegas, Sam ---------------- ----------------------------- Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 14:15:47 -0700 From: Michael Cohen Subject: Phish at The Fillmore: ~it was nice~ Hi Everybody! I can honestly say that it's been a long time since I had as good a time at a Phish show as I had last night. Not to say that my other recent Phish experiences haven't been great, because they have, but last night was so good that it made me feel six years younger. I mean, the atmosphere of that show was circa 92-93, and to me was a truly magical experience. The scene outside was not nearly as chaotic as many (your humble author included) had expected, with maybe 100 - 150 ticketless mostly confined to the parking lot of the nearby KFC, and keeping as low a profile as ticketless phans can. I even ran into a few souls there who weren't even looking for a Fillmore pass so much as they were looking for one of those many Halloween extra's that suddenly appeared once this show was announced. Once inside, an incredibly contagious electric excitement enveloped the entire building. Smiles, hugs and high five^s were in abundant display, and strangers were truly stopping strangers just to shake their hands. Kudos go out to a guy named Kane who bought everyone at the bar a tequila shot just as I was ordering up my first round of beers for the night -- if you happen to read this, Thanks man!! After my tequila shot I spied Mike milling around, and thanked him for doing this show. He was genuine with his "you're welcome" as he started to make a cellular phone call........I wonder who he called....? Anyway, the main room was very dimly lit, and people were just milling about, chatting, sipping their cocktails, meeting their neighbors and settling in as much as was possible given the aforementioned electric vibe permeating the place. The band hit the stage at a prompt (for them) 8:30ish and immediately kicked into Ghost. I gotta say -- at this point -- that particulars of many of the songs are somewhat lost on my brain, but I'll try to be as descriptive of the music as my memory will allow. Let me begin by saying that even though the setlist may not rock many boats, the performance of every song was on, and for me, right there. The jams were tight, flowing and incredibly beautiful. I can't think of one point during the night when I was let down by the music (except for when it ended!). The Ghost raged from the outset, and if I remember correctly seemed to flow right into Water In The Sky. I love this new version, and they seemed to be pretty psyched to be playing this one. The triple shot of Wolfman's, Gumbo, Bowie rocked the house and at certain points I realized that Phish no longer plays smaller venues simply because they've outgrown them, but because I'm not sure some of these smaller buildings are able to seismically take the force that this band creates. They quite literally blew the roof off the joint on more than one occasion, and the rockers of the evening (Character Zer0, My Soul, Chalkdust, Birds) absolutely smoked. Also on the fringes of being declared Rocked-Out-Tune-Of-The-Night was Caspian. The end jam crescendo-ed to a point that I've never heard Caspian take (although the Albany 97 version is a good indication of what it sounded like last night), and if every Caspian were to sound like this I think there's be many more Caspian supporters! Robert and Brian is a stunning new tune with hauntingly relevant lyrics for a good chunk of our culture and I just love this new song. The Reba. Ahhhhhhh what I can say about this Reba........the chase, the chill, and then,..............the disco ball. The jam was amazingly frenetic, energetic and just raged. I know many folks were hoping for something big to start the second set (author included), but the one, two punch of My Soul and Chalkdust just kicked serious ass! The lights during Chalkdust were amazing as Chris found the control to the chandeliers (see Charlie's review) and did this kind of wave thing as the chandeliers were quickly turned on and off in a manner that looked like a wave of light was flowing from the front of the room to the back (the Tevil really seemed to like this effect!!). I'd seen this done once before, at a Leftover Salmon show, and boy was I psyched to see it again! That stuff'll give a guy a big ole' shit-eating grin (and it did!). Roggae was a cool chill period after the two previous ragers, and then, The Moma. The boys did it again, in a manner of 15 minutes they turned that room into the rockingest place in The City (ala My Soul, Chalkdust) to the disco-ingest spot in town. People were *Getting Down* and the groove the band produced was pure ear candy. This may have been the musical highlight of the night for me, as it is the moment that my mind continually revisits this day after. Velvet Sea was sweet, matching the highs that to me it achieved at The Wheel, and I've already stated how I feel about the Caspian. Relax is the one tune I have no clear recollection of for the evening, and Birds again tested the foundation of that old, history-laden building on the corners of Geary and Fillmore. Lawn Boy was sweet, with Page -- with overwhelming approval from the crowd -- repeating his emphasis of the "moist green organic" lines like he did at The Wheel. The roll out of Harry was pure joy, and the bizarre opening segment must be heard. At the time I just thought it was just me that it sounded somewhat crazy, but reading these other reviews reveals that it really was an odd (yet *VERY* enjoyable) intro to Harry Hood. . To me, this Hood was great, with an early fizzle of the jam, but a truly powerful culmination leading into the "You can feel good, good about Hood" part, but, alas, no final "I feel good!". At first, especially with the Dirt, I thought the encore had the distinct feel of either an extended encore, or even a small third set. The Limb by Limb reinforced this feeling, but it was not to be. Limb by Limb was a great closer though, and I can think of worse things than being sent into a cool San Francisco fall evening with the wonderfully trippy chorus of that song going through the mind. They were indeed giving out posters and they either completely ran out or ran out of their currently supply one person in front of me, but I did score one of the cool bumper stickers. The sticker is yellow, and in big green print it says Phish at the Fillmore. In smaller print above that it reads "I've just come back from" (or something like that) and under it it says "It was nice". I thought that was freakin hilarious! Thanks to the Phish organization and the folks at the Fillmore for putting this show on, and also thanks to Ron Harris for scoring me my ticket. I'm a lucky man to have him as my bud! This is how cool this guy actually his: he called Bill Graham Presents in an attempt to sign over his entire voucher to myself and my wife as a wedding present, pretty damn cool, huh? Have a great Fall tour everybody, and I look forward to catching up with the circus in Vegas!! Mike ------------ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 01:37:52 GMT From: Kentalope Subject: Fillmore Notes & Tape Offer Ahh, indeed it was nice. I'd never been to the Fillmore before, so this was quite the occasion for my virgin eyes. Had some beers at a bar right next to the Fillmore called "Somewhere Else" and met a lot of people. Getting in was interesting. Had to go through about 4 checkpoints before finally getting your tickets. Inside was relatively mellow. I was really surprised at how empty the place was. Plenty of room to roam. Anyways, we found our little spot right up front between Mike and Fish and voila, there they were: right in front of our face. quick note: To me, it seems like the band has never been more relaxed. The slow grooves are sometimes just as intense as the fast ones, as the band has mastered the art of subtlety and nuance. This show really exemplifies that. Also, it seemed like more of a rock-show than a psychedelic melt-down. And as 9 out of the 12 songs on the new album were played, it was definitely a showcase of the new album. I'll just touch on some of the personal highlights... Set One Ghost opener - They didn't fuck around in getting right to the point. This Ghost is very very multi-textured. There are crescendos in it, albeit not as intense as say the Phoenix Ghost, but as far as band-improv goes, they sounded really incredible. Wolfman's - Deep deep deep deep. This was a lot of people's favorite part of the show. They get on this one particular groove that is somewhere in either the Kansas or St. Louis show (Kansas Sneakin' perhaps?), but where it ends the song in this show, at the Fillmore they dragged it out, with Trey eventually hitting the cracks of the wah-wah and then they all fill in (you know those breaks they've been doing lately? Like the Dayton Tube? Slow it down to a crawl and that's what it sounds like). Gumbo - More deep in-the-pocket stuff. There are a couple of grooves in here that are really spectacular. All of them complimenting each other and just as tight as can be. Incredible moments that I haven't heard them delve into before. Bowie - Opens with some Hawaiian slack-guitar sound Trey is doing. I saw him play air-drums like he was hitting the snare, then saw Fish say "Bowie?" and then Trey nodded his head, and voila.. Smoking towards the end as usual. Reba - Really melodic, beautiful standard Reba fare. Lights go down and Chris focuses all the blue lights onto the disco ball for a great effect. I have a picture of it that I'll post soon. Towards the end, they delve into weird dark shit out of nowhere - pretty interesting Reba. No ending. Char 0 - Trey channeling Hendrix. Ripping to say the least. Set Two My Soul opener - I'm not the biggest fan of this song as I've heard it a lot, but suffice to say, Trey ripped this song a new aney. I couldn't believe how hard and intense this was jammed out. This got the energy really high right away. Chalkdust - Standard great Chalkdust. MOMA - This will probably become my personal favorite version of this song. If you notice, it's slower than usual - but probably the tightest of them all. As far as what Phish is trying to accomplish with the nuances and subtlety, I can think of no greater example. Slow, HEAVY HEAVY funk. And the ending part? FREAKSHOW. If you saw Farm Aid and saw how they tried to freak the end out, but failed a bit, this is the outcome - really really great version. Sea, Caspian, Frankie Sez - Can you say "Tweezer"? (actually, Caspian was quite good) Birds - Above average version - delving into the psychedelia meets rock like Chalkdust. Lawn Boy, Harry, Dirt, Limb - Ehhh.. Harry was pretty, and Limb was tight, but sub-standard by most opinions. Spread the muzak! \\ k e n t a l o p e // ------- I was really let down. They started out good with thick funk and digital loops in Ghost. Theband seemed energetic and nervous from the hype. The heavy funk stayedthrough the first half of the set. The first set finished strong and rockin', but Character Zero is a let down.My Soul and Chalkdust are great rockin' tunes, but it was downhill fromthere. I love Moma Dance also, but the set was surrounded by lame newertunes. I don't really have high regards for the likes of Prince Caspianin concert. One or two of this type of song per show is acceptable. But the second set could've done without Roggae, Velvet Sea, Caspian,Relax, and Birds of a Feather (which I put in a category along with Character Zero and Sample; cheezy songs that Trey likes to "rock out to"and "get the crowd going") Lawnboy is always fun, but it couldn't savethis set. And Hood has lost it's charm for me. Along with Slave, thesecond half of the jam is a bland, unoriginal jam that puts me to sleep.The encore was a kick in the teeth. Some of the stuff they've been doing lately in concert has been justwhat the doctor ordered; long, flowing, funk, funk, funk. But alot oftheir newer stuff is cheezy and commercial. This has been reflected inthe crowds over the last couple years. Maybe my lowlight of the showwas when a group of 2 guys and 2 girls huddled in a circle and bouncedto Character Zero. I'm hoping LA and Vegas help change my spirits. Hans EricksonMountain View, CA ---- 10/15/98 - The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA Well, after reading the two reviews posted today, I felt inspired to write my review. The Fillmore was filled with nothing but good vibes all night, a few cheezy people aside. I feared it would be too hot, or too crowded, but it was none of the above. Although the set lists did not contain any crazy shit that many people were anticipating, the jamming was dynamic, funky, and hard all night. The Bowie was fantastic....completely old school and tight. Reba was a highlight as well. As they busted into the jam, all lights turned off except a dull purple, blacklight haze over the stage. A spot light turned on the Fillmore disco ball, as tiny reflections spun around the room. Though spacey and a little evil for a minute, it twisted back to its traditional path and crescendoed to the delight of everyone. The Character Zero to end the set was unreal. I normally am not a big fan of this song, but I have never heard such a long intense jam as the played on this one. Trey took this to places you wouldn't believe. The second set was probably not what everyone expected or hoped for, but was well played with some intense jamming. Although we would have liked a crazier setlist, it was great to hear some of the new tunes which were well played with good jams. For those of you who are trying to gauge what it was like, Phish fans from the New York area will get this. It was like seeing them at the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY in 1991 and 1992. But this was difficult for many of us to comprehend since so much has happened since then....the scene was very surreal. You had to keep looking around to believe you were really seeing Phish jamming in the Fillmore. I was only a little dissapointed in that they didn't really talk to the crowd to acknowledge this momentous occassion. Then again, they probably figured nothing needed to be said about jamming in a place as great as the Fillmore. Much thanks to Phish for such a treat. B. Sturmak San Francisco JamTV Review I can honestly say that it's been a long time since I had as good a time at a Phish show as I had last night. Not to say that my other recent Phish experiences haven't been great, because they have, but last night was so good that it made me feel six years younger. I mean, the atmosphere of that show was circa 92-93, and to me was a truly magical experience. The scene outside was not nearly as chaotic as many (your humble author included) had expected, with maybe 100 - 150 ticketless mostly confined to the parking lot of the nearby KFC, and keeping as low a profile as ticketless phans can. I even ran into a few souls there who weren't even looking for a Fillmore pass so much as they were looking for one of those many Halloween extra's that suddenly appeared once this show was announced. Once inside, an incredibly contagious electric excitement enveloped the entire building. Smiles, hugs and high five were in abundant display, and strangers were truly stopping strangers just to shake their hands. Kudos go out to a guy named Kane who bought everyone at the bar a tequila shot just as I was ordering up my first round of beers for the night -- if you happen to read this, Thanks man!! After my tequila shot I spied Mike milling around, and thanked him for doing this show. He was genuine with his "you're welcome" as he started to make a cellular phone call........I wonder who he called....? Anyway, the main room was very dimly lit, and people were just milling about, chatting, sipping their cocktails, meeting their neighbors and settling in as much as was possible given the aforementioned electric vibe permeating the place. The band hit the stage at a prompt (for them) 8:30ish and immediately kicked into Ghost. I gotta say -- at this point -- that particulars of many of the songs are somewhat lost on my brain, but I'll try to be as descriptive of the music as my memory will allow. Let me begin by saying that even though the setlist may not rock many boats, the performance of every song was on, and for me, right there. The jams were tight, flowing and incredibly beautiful. I can't think of one point during the night when I was let down by the music (except for when it ended!). The Ghost raged from the outset, and if I remember correctly seemed to flow right into Water In The Sky. I love this new version, and they seemed to be pretty psyched to be playing this one. The triple shot of Wolfman's, Gumbo, Bowie rocked the house and at certain points I realized that Phish no longer plays smaller venues simply because they've outgrown them, but because I'm not sure some of these smaller buildings are able to seismically take the force that this band creates. They quite literally blew the roof off the joint on more than one occasion, and the rockers of the evening (Character Zer0, My Soul, Chalkdust, Birds) absolutely smoked. Also on the fringes of being declared Rocked-Out-Tune-Of-The-Night was Caspian. The end jam crescendo-ed to a point that I've never heard Caspian take (although the Albany 97 version is a good indication of what it sounded like last night), and if every Caspian were to sound like this I think there's be many more Caspian supporters! Robert and Brian is a stunning new tune with hauntingly relevant lyrics for a good chunk of our culture and I just love this new song. The Reba. Ahhhhhhh what I can say about this Reba........the chase, the chill, and then,..............the disco ball. The jam was amazingly frenetic, energetic and just raged. I know many folks were hoping for something big to start the second set (author included), but the one, two punch of My Soul and Chalkdust just kicked serious ass! The lights during Chalkdust were amazing as Chris found the control to the chandeliers (see Charlie's review) and did this kind of wave thing as the chandeliers were quickly turned on and off in a manner that looked like a wave of light was flowing from the front of the room to the back (the Tevil really seemed to like this effect!!). I'd seen this done once before, at a Leftover Salmon show, and boy was I psyched to see it again! That stuff'll give a guy a big ole' shit-eating grin (and it did!). Roggae was a cool chill period after the two previous ragers, and then, The Moma. The boys did it again, in a manner of 15 minutes they turned that room into the rockingest place in The City (ala My Soul, Chalkdust) to the disco-ingest spot in town. People were *Getting Down* and the groove the band produced was pure ear candy. This may have been the musical highlight of the night for me, as it is the moment that my mind continually revisits this day after. Velvet Sea was sweet, matching the highs that to me it achieved at The Wheel, and I've already stated how I feel about the Caspian. Relax is the one tune I have no clear recollection of for the evening, and Birds again tested the foundation of that old, history-laden building on the corners of Geary and Fillmore. Lawn Boy was sweet, with Page -- with overwhelming approval from the crowd -- repeating his emphasis of the "moist green organic" lines like he did at The Wheel. The roll out of Harry was pure joy, and the bizarre opening segment must be heard. At the time I just thought it was just me that it sounded somewhat crazy, but reading these other reviews reveals that it really was an odd (yet *VERY* enjoyable) intro to Harry Hood. . To me, this Hood was great, with an early fizzle of the jam, but a truly powerfulculmination leading into the "You can feel good, good about Hood" part, but, alas, no final "I feel good!". At first, especially with the Dirt, I thought the encore had the distinct feel of either an extended encore, or even a small third set. The Limb by Limb reinforced this feeling, but it was not to be. Limb by Limb was a great closer though, and I can think of worse things than being sent into a cool San Francisco fall evening with the wonderfully trippy chorus of that song going through the mind. They were indeed giving out posters and they either completely ran out or ran out of their currently supply one person in front of me, but I did score one of the cool bumper stickers. The sticker is yellow, and in big green print it says Phish at the Fillmore. In smaller print above that it reads "I've just come back from" (or something like that) and under it it says "It was nice". I thought that was freakinhilarious! Thanks to the Phish organization and the folks at the Fillmore for putting this show on, and also thanks to Ron Harris for scoring me my ticket. I'm a lucky man to have him as my bud! This is how cool this guy actually his: he called Bill Graham Presents in an attempt to sign over his entire voucher to myself and my wife as a wedding present, pretty damn cool, huh? Have a great Fall tour everybody, and I look forward to catching up with the circus in Vegas!! Mike Well, after reading the two reviews posted today, I felt inspired to write my review. The Fillmore was filled with nothing but good vibes all night, a few cheezy people aside. I feared it would be too hot, or too crowded, but it was none of the above. Although the set lists did not contain any crazy shit that many people were anticipating, the jamming was dynamic, funky, and hard all night. The Bowie was fantastic....completely old school and tight. Reba was a highlight as well. As they busted into the jam, all lights turned off except a dull purple, blacklight haze over the stage. A spot light turned on the Fillmore disco ball, as tiny reflections spun around the room. Though spacey and a little evil for a minute, it twisted back to its traditional path and crescendoed to the delight of everyone. The Character Zero to end the set was unreal. I normally am not a big fan of this song, but I have never heard such a long intense jam as the played on this one. Trey took this to places you wouldn't believe. The second set was probably not what everyone expected or hoped for, but was well played with some intense jamming. Although we would have liked a crazier setlist, it was great to hear some of the new tunes which were well played with good jams. For those of you who are trying to gauge what it was like, Phish fans from the New York area will get this. It was like seeing them at the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY in 1991 and 1992. But this was difficult for many of us to comprehend since so much has happened since then....the scene was very surreal. You had to keep looking around to believe you were really seeing Phish jamming in the Fillmore. I was only a little dissapointed in that they didn't really talk to the crowd to acknowledge this momentous occassion. Then again, they probably figured nothing needed to be said about jamming in a place as great as the Fillmore. Much thanks to Phish for such a treat. B. Sturmak San Francisco