Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 11:47:41 -0700
From: "Powers, Mike (Maverick)" mike.powers@maverickrc.com
To: "'dws@www.phish.net'" dws@archive.phish.net
Subject: Bridge School Benefit 10/17/98 review
10-17-98 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
Bridge School Benefit
Acoustic Phish!!!  They absolutely stole the show at the first night of
Bridge School.  An acapella Carolina in which Phish turned around and faced
the Bridge School kids sitting at the back of the stage brought smiles to
the crowd.  Possum drew immediate cheers after the debut of Sleep and Never.
The return of Freebird conjured up a roar from the crowd infiltrated with
about half Phish Heads.  Neil Young jumping in at the end of Hood was epic.
A memorable moment at Shoreline for everyone.
-mike powers

Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 01:24:17 -0700 From: Andrew Gustin Subject: Bridge school comments Here are my thoughts on tonights show..... I left the setlist in my car, and Im not going to get it now, but it has already been posted. I enjoyed the show tonight. It was a very unique Phish experience for a number of reasons. For one thing, after the Fillmore, it was kind of a back-to-reality feeling watching the performers on the big screen from the lawn. Plus, there were few Phish fans noticeable. Most of the people around me were sitting for Phish. Many more danced and sang along to other acts, so overall the crowd energy was not the catalyst it usually is for me. Furthermore, it was an all acoustic show. The closest thing to acoustic Phish Ive ever seen was those acoustic mini-sets back in summer 96, so I wondered whether theyd play that same stuff, i.e. Talk, Waste. I thought they might play Strange Design, etc. I knew the funk would not be particularly thick. Basically, it was different in almost every way from the Fillmore, and for that matter, any normal show. When they came on and did Carolina I realized that they might do a few a capella numbers tonight to vary the acoustic tunes. They sang Carolina facing the Bridge school kids behind the stage, with their backs to the crowd. A nice gesture. The band seemed to really be having a good time, big smiles to the kids and Mike and Trey's little dance steps, etc. On stage they were set up differently than normal. Page was playing a big piano on the right, and Fish was on a somewhat smaller kit on the left. Mike and Trey were where they usually are, except everybody was closer together, and the two of them were sitting on wooden stools. They seemed to take a while adjusting to their new format. Fish was having minor sound problems, like at the beginning of Possum they had to wait for him to have something fixed and the intro buildup was extended. Mike was excellent all night on the acoustic bass. Once Trey got comfortable he took a number of fine solos. Page not surprisingly was steady on pianer and vocals. The three new songs were interesting. I believe I heard Trey say they wrote them for tonight. All were very short, with virtually no jamming, its even hard for me to remember them because they were over so quick. Perhaps the boys will develop these songs and build jams with the normal electric setup this fall. Only one was identified, the third one, which Trey said was called Driver. Freebird was an amusing a capella treat. To the average observer it might have sounded caucophonic (Trey and Page were singing the guitar solos) but to me and adjacent heads it was hilarious and entertaining if not musically good. Trey seemed amused and almost beside himself, cracking up after they finished. Possum was fun and got me excited and moving. Blue and Lonseome was fun, and interesting to see Mike on the banjo (I think my first time). Page played acoustic bass (not upright as I think he has before). Harry Hood was a major surprise. They played it at the end of the Fillmore too. Plus I was concerned about whether they could pull it off acoustically. It worked out well I thought, Trey was pretty comfortable, certainly not a Hood that would rival the best electric ones. Few people around me knew or sang the "Harry... HOOD!" part or the "Thank you Mr. Minor" part. Hood was unfinished, as Neil Young joined them onstage and jammed with a mini guitar. They then veered into Helpless (?), presumable a Neil tune. Mike and Trey got off their stools to make room for Neil in the middle and at one point Mike and Neil shared a mic. Afterwards I saw Mike patting Neil on the back as they headed off stage, which was a cool sight. The boys seem to be getting very close with him. Musically they seem compatible. I once read about Fishman getting up at a 92 ? show and jokingly announcing, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Neil Young!" I was thinking about that the whole time he jammed out on Hood. It was an interesting perfomance. Nothing epic, but certainly intersting to see the boys playing acoustic. Hmm, I wonder what they'll pull out for tomorrow night.... Feel free to comment... Andy ------------------------------ 10/17/98 - Bridge Benefit, Shoreline Ampitheatre, Mountain View, CA Erin's Review as promised, my bridge school review. nate and i arrived around 5:30 (having gone all the way into san fran before realizing the tickets were in berkeley...) and we rolled in to find katie bolger and dave wolfin with a spot for us on the lawn. we had discovered earlier that we had up until tonight each seen 34 shows - this was our joint 35th. i connected with a kid from tahoe and bought 2 tickets for the greek. bunch of crappy bands played (wallflowers, barenaked ladies, the eels, etc.) nate and i rolled into the pavillion for phish. now, the entire time all the bands were playing, on a raised level of the stage behind the bands were all of the bridge school kids. seriously mulitply physically handicapped kids. all in wheelchairs. sitting with their parents on the stage. it was kind of weird. anyway, phish came out and opened with an acapella carolina which they sung facing the kids. the entire set was accoustic. then they came around front, trey said he was really excited to be a part of such a great project, and they had written some new tunes which they were going to debut. i'll be honest, i can't remember much about the first two songs, except that they were very mellow, and kind of whimsical, like songs that you might hear in a sesame street movie. after the second new song, trey looked around and started right into possum. it took people a while to recognixe it, but once page came in on keys it was a done deal. the solo was sweet. actually, mike was the most amplified, i thought (and page) so you could hear him much more than trey. most of the solos were in the background. which was kind of cool. kind of allmans-esque. anyway, the possum was great, they ripped it up. after possum, trey introduced mike on the banjo as "a man of many talents" and page on the bass as "also a man of many talents." blue and lonesome came next, which was nice, sung by page, who hit some insanely high notes. mike showed some skills on the 'jo and when they were finished, we saw the acapella mikes coming out to the front of the stage. immediately, nate and i turned to each other and said "freebird!" a couple of times, joking around, and then, what the hell happened? the fucking busted a freebird! out of nowhere! it was crazy. trey was bopping up and down, they were all rocking out on stage. the funny thing was, all of the non-phish crowd didn't really know how to react. like they couldn't really process what was going on. i could barely process what was going on. i feel like it was something they busted out for all of those people who didn't get to go to the fillmore... after freebird, they played another new song, driver, which begins and ends with the line, "did i tell you about the driver in my head?" another mellow, whimsical tune, but if i remember correctly, some quality lyrics. the whole time i couldn't stop thinking, i can't believe they just played freebird. wading in a velvet sea was next, which was alright, a little boring, but, you know. hood was great. unfinished, but great. completely unexpected. i was stunned, in fact. they didn't slack on the jam, i thought, either. like it didn't matter if a lot of people couldn't "get" it, the hood had some serious discordant moments (the good kind) and spacey, grunge-style guitar (for an accoustic) before neil young came out and started playing. i couldn't really discern what neil, specifically, was playing, but the jam was sick. again, it was mostly mike and page. oh, by the way, i forgot to mention that page and fishman were on opposite sides of the stage. but anyway, the hood jam kind of just faded out without ever going back into singing, and then they played a neil tune, happiness. which was pretty good, very mellow. as the band was walking off stage, they all stopped to say hi to the kids, and mike leaned into a microphone and yelled "phish!" it was quite fun... erin