10-30-98 -- Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 13:44:58 -0800
From: Montano Sokolow mo@ienet.com
To: dws@archive.phish.net
Subject: Rev of 10/30/98 (I know it's old, but...)
 
Well this show was a long time ago now, but I just discovered this group,
and had to put my $0.02 down for this blistering, old-school show!  Glad to
hear people so psyched about this show, and to the people who weren't, it
amazes me you still go to see this band.  IMO this was the absolute shit.
These two nights convinced me this is the best damn band on the planet!
They are finally fulfilling their potential, and it's only getting better.
Just for reference, this was about my tenth show.  I've seen as many as
possible, starting in '94, but being a west-coaster, we only get a few.
I've heard a few hundred tapes, though.
The main thing I wanted to interject that I haven't seen mentioned here is
a really cool thing about this NICU.  I was behind the band for the 2nd
set, so I couldn't really see the boys much, but the sound was pretty sweet
up there, and there was plenty of room to dance.  It was totally the dance
section, actually, everyone back there was groovin' and livin' it up
(thanks, y'all).
So after the blistering Stash> Manteca> Tweezer (so mind-bogglingly crisp
and huge, non-stop) it seemed to me they kind of accidently found
themselves playing NICU.  For one thing, I love it when it doesn't feel
planned, but like the music is playing itself, dragging the band along by
the scruff of its neck.  NICU is usually a first set song, I think, and
mostly played on its own (as in, not segued into).  This one was so fresh,
carrying the amazing energy of what came before it.  As good as usual, but
with all these new colors and phrases, which just felt effortless.  So,
being behind the band, I couldn't see for sure, but it seemed from his
voice that Trey was surprised by the poignancy of the lyrics to this song,
in light of the impending Halloween costume set: "If you rehearsed
tomorrow's verse, forgive me if I don't sing in your key."  I thought I
caught Trey look over at Page during this part, as if to say, "wow, how
cool!"  And reading up on the show at RMP later, I read at least one person
mention something about this.
That was just part of a totally kick-ass show, though.  I'm fairly so-so
about Wilson, but this one made me a believer.  Loved the Chicken Shack
jam, and the Long Cool Woman was hysterical.  To those of you who were
dissapointed that they didn't jam this one out:  are you nuts?  This was a
joke, just to show how far the've come.  And where would it go, anyway?
Antelope, one of my faves, totally blew the roof off the sucka, easily the
best I've heard live.  At this point I realized, they've already done it!
They could've left right there and bagged the rest of the weekend, and I
still would've been satisfied.  And after such high expectations, too!
That's how good this Antelope was  So the rest was all gravy.  Incredible.
I love Lizards, haven't gotten to hear it much, and this one was beautiful
and flawless.  Guelah was a treat, probably my first live.  And Cavern was
Cavern.  A particularly good one, though.
I thought this Stash was a little ragged, but picked up steam, and Manteca
was so huge, so very very huge.  Get the tape!  For the love of god, get
this tape!  You will not hear a man play guitar with such joy and abandon
and clarity as during this Manteca.  Tweezer kept it up, and how can you
not love Tweezer.  I don't remember much of the rest of the set, but I
wasn't let down.  I'd already heard Driver at the Greek, but it was still
cool.  And oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-I'm-actually-getting-to-hear-this,
FREEBIRD!!  (the best rendition I've heard (all on tape), too).
This band is so cool.
Halloween was actually a life-altering experience for me.  Possibly the
best live set of music I have heard.  Period.  It helped that it was my
first LSD-enhanced Phish show, of course, but my ears did not deceive me.
It was a shimmering monument to rock 'n roll.  Thank you to all who helped
my vibe.
And thanks for reading my $0.02.
-Tano
 
mo@ienet.com
 
..."Well they asked me for some collateral, and I pulled down my
pants".......
 
-Bob Dylan

From cdirksen@earthlink.net Sat Dec 12 16:21:12 1998 Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 00:09:47 -0800 (PST) From: Charles Dirksen cdirksen@earthlink.net Subject: Phish in Vegas reviews.. FYI if you are interested. ********** I have yet to read any reviews of these shows yet, so I apologize in advance if any of the following is Old News to you. The scene/trash around the T&M both days (10/30 and 10/31) was impressive. There wasn't as much vending as there is in phishlot at outdoor arenas in the summer, but there were plenty of ticketless fans (I've never seen so many wookies with cash!). Food/beer/other was available if you kept your eyes out and ears open. I have never seen as many ticketless fans outside any show, Dead or Phish, as I did last night (maybe I was deceived by the short distance between the two entrances?). The lines to get in to these G.A. shows on both days began as soon as the lot opened (3:30pm), and moved very, very slowly once the doors opened (6:10ish). The T&M is a typical basketball arena (home to UNLV). It has absolutely no character at all whatsoever. I imagine there were around 20k people inside on both nights. The "vibe" before both 10/30 and 10/31 was predictably great, but no more so than for any other Big Show, in my experience at least. And if you didn't hear already, a "Phish Bill" was passed out pre-show (as it was on 10/31/96), so everyone knew what the second set would be before it began. The background info on the Velvet Underground's "Loaded" in this program was undoubtedly helpful to the thousands who had never heard the album. Such a program makes sense, in my opinion, where Phish intends to cover an album that most of its fans has probably never heard. The joke ad on "Roggae," the first and only pill clinically proven to treat pattern dreadlock loss in men, is must-see. Thanks to Jason Colton and Cynthia Brown for editing this hysterical Phish Bill! 10/30/98 Thomas and Mack Center, Sin City, NV The Wilson opener kicked my jaded old butt! It actually JAMMED, and moreso than any version I'd ever heard (I believe there's a Wilson from this past summer that jammed a bit, too, though, right? can't remember what show(s)). The Meat that followed brought the crowd's excitement down a bit (noticeably!), and though I enjoy this tune, it is simply too slow to really dance to. It was also "extended" (I wouldn't say "jammed out" -- it just Carried On for more measures than usual). There was a flub in it somewhere, too, if memory serves. Scent of a Mule was wonderful, which surprised me. Over the last several years, only rarely did I enjoy hearing this song live. This 10/30 version began typically but eventually launched into a Traditional Blues Progression. This blues "tune" is one that you have probably heard before. I'd swear I'd heard it played before with all sorts of different lyrics and by different artists. This Phish-blues version was instrumental and good, but blues enthusiasts are unlikely to find it very persuasive. I enjoyed Trey's soloing a great deal, though, and felt it to be a thoughtful break in the set. Scent returned after this instrumental in its Klezmer state, which amused many in the crowd. Phish played "Long Cool Woman" (aka Black Dress) by The Hollies next, after Trey briefly noted their 15 years together, and said that this tune was the first one that they (minus Page) had learned together -- at least, I think this is what he said, because the first tune that they played on 10/30/83 was allegedly Heard It Through the Grapevine (the second tune was Black Dress). It was an extraordinarily unremarkable performance, and for me, a buzzkill in light of how far Phish has come. They decided it to cover it as routinely as would a high school band. But maybe that was the point? The Antelope that followed, on the other hand, was brilliant. It was long, gorgeously improvisational, and certainly one of the finest all-around Antelopes that I'd ever heard. I was thinking of the 10/24/95 version... That's how good this version was. It developed like a strong Slave or Hood. The Lizards/Cavern closer was a very retrospective way to end the set. I mean, the last time they played Lizards and Cavern back to back was probably in 1994, if not earlier. Most in the audience were ecstatic to be hearing Cavern, naturally, and it was a well-played close to the set. I didn't think it was that great (despite my love for Cavern's lyrics), but I really enjoyed the set overall. The second set on 10/30 is must-hear. The Stash->Manteca->Tweezer->NICU was an improvisational Tyrannosaurus Rex. Manteca was by far the most punchy, exciting version they have ever performed. Stash and Tweezer both contained many moments of Glory, and were diverse enough in their approaches to be unusually original. Definitely hear them. NICU could have been tighter, to be sure, but I love the song and was psyched to hear Tweezer segue wondrously into it (the segues were amazing all night, btw). Fuckerpants (aka Prince Caspian), like the Fillmore version the other week, was performed in a reckless, Rock Star Trey manner, which brought forth imagery of bodies being dashed against rocks rather than floating on waves. Your opinion may differ, of course, but I am no longer amused by arena rock star versions of a song that could be melliflious and charming if only it weren't performed so texturally. What the hell, though, it was still more interesting than most other Caspians! Golgi was well-received by the audience and closed the hour or so long set with a bang, even though it wasn't as well-played as I'd hoped it would be. The crowd was spectacularly quiet for the acoustic "Driver" encore, a pretty new ballad first performed at The Bridge benefit at Shoreline a couple of weeks ago. I loved it! I was also thrilled to finally see "Freebird" *live*, and a strong version at that! The audience was (predictably) less quiet for this one, but clearly THRILLED!! =^] Overall, the show was very introspective (improvisationally speaking) and retrospective (Meat and Driver were the only new songs played). I enjoyed it a great deal and would urge you to get the tapes!
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 14:37:13 GMT From: PZerbo pzerbo@AOL.COM Subject: 10.30 & 10.31.98, Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV: PZ Review (Part I) 10.30 & 10.31.98, Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV: PZ Review Part I, 10.30.98 Standard Disclaimer: 44th & 45th Phish shows, I've heard most representative Phish music from throughout their career, I am very much -not- jaded and I am enjoying Phish music and attending Phish shows as much or more than I ever have. My reviews are long (I won't even argue with the characterization of them as 'long-winded'), exceedingly opinionated, and are much more a personal narrative of the entire experience, as opposed to an exclusive focus on the details of the music. If this is not your bag, please use your favorite key that moves you along to the next post. :-) Summary: These shows, while slightly uneven, -rocked the house-; the "scene" was among the most chill in recent memory, and while my favorite people in the world to attend Phish shows with were unfortunately absent, it allowed me to spend time with other folks who I don't usually get to hang with, and fun factor was definately at maximum. Vegas is indeed like no place else on earth, and both myself personally, and all of us collectively have met our match: even -we- cannot out-party Las Vegas. That is really saying something. As to the costume set, I need to hear the tapes, but at this point I'm trying to figure out which category it most appropriately falls into: among the best Phish sets I have ever heard, or among the best sets of live music I've ever heard by any band. It is fair to say that I very, very, very much enjoyed this weekend! It did not start out that way. I flew out from Providence at 5pm on Thursday, arrived to Chicago thinking I had to "Pull an OJ" (the old conception, i.e. running through the airport, not the "new"!), but instead my outbound flight to Denver was in "permanent-delay" mode. I did my best to scam on a flight direct to Vegas, which fell through by *1* person, bummer. I was supposed to be in Vegas @ 10:30pm on Thursday, but due to thunder/lightening did not even leave Chicago until 1am. I was, needless to say, *bummed out*. I had a few drinks, and I was definately on a collission course on a *major* bad attitude. Instead I decided to use my noggin a little, and said to myself "self, you are fully equipped, and it is time to puff a nug." I headed out to the cab stand, with the idea that I needed to find an "appropriate" cabbie. Unfortunately, cabs in front of O'Heare are regulated by the city... so I got in line, and when I got to the front, just waved people through until I found the right match. Bingo, a rasta cab driver pulls in. "I'll take that one!". I get in, and say "Dude, let's just go for a ride." "You mind if I smoke some pot?" "No PROBlem, mon!" So we just did a loop, I puffed, tipped the driver a nug, and he dropped me back in the same place 10 minutes later, to the strange faces of the cab managers! "Hey MON, that is some grEAT pot mon!" Thanks for the ride, "mon"! Got to Denver @ 3am, crashed, made it to LV at 9am PST. 19 hours Providence to Vegas. Bogus to high degree, but at least I was there! Cabbed it to the Excalibur, checked-in, napped, showered, puffed, and back out into the insanity by noon. BTW, major kudos to the Excalibur for saving my room (which I was supposed to check into on Thursday), AND collecting all my messages accumulated the night before. Yeah, the place is cheesy, but they have a very cool staff at the Excalibur all around. Time to party. I was supposed to meet someone from the Phunky Bitches at their gathering @ 1 at the New York, New York roller coaster to deliver some tickets (I'm sorry Erin, I waited until 2, and you didn't call my room until 12:45 by which time I was long gone, I didn't get those messages until Saturday); unfortunately, neither she nor really any PBs were in sight, I'm very sorry if any of you were actually there and I just missed you. Undeterred, I decided to actually go on the roller coaster. Very fortunate to have ran into Benjy Eisen in line, probably would have been a much different weekend had I not. So this was CLEARLY the best roller coaster I've ever been on! It would be awesome if it was in the middle of nowehre, but it's location (corner of Tropicana and the Strip) makes it da bomb. Great time. So Benjy and I chilled for the rest of the afternoon, scoping out various casinos, drinking, puffing, gambling, et cetera. Off to the venue about 5 or 6 I reckon. The "lot" was very, very chill. I say "lot" in quotes not to suggest that it wasn't a parking lot (!), but there was -no- lot "scene" to speak of. Literally 7/8 if the lot was empty at this point. We drop (liquid on 'Big Red' gum, yummy), head into the venue, without the trouble most folks seemed to be experiencing, it was pretty much a straight walk right inside. Grabbed a spot on-line with the band, Page-side about 3/4 the way up, and chilled/puffed until the set started. Oh, one note: if there is a more nug-friendly hockey-rink type facility in America, I haven't been in it. Kudos to the T&M staff for being so chill about that particular issue. 10.30.98 I: Wilson, Meat, SOAMule -> Back at the Chicken -> SOAMule, Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, Antelope, Guelah, Lizards, Cavern. This Wilson -smokes-. I haven't caught a lot of Wilsons of late (Lemonwheel was the first in what seems like forever), this one clearly sails above the 'wheel version. Extremely high energy, crowd and band, foretelling the rest of the set. This is one of those "used to be rare, now almost commonplace" situations where the entire band is on, AND Trey is totally ripping shit up. Very straightforward, but extremely powerful. This was my first Meat... and I'm not sure what to think about it. I've pretty much liked it on tape, and I haven't really heard enough of the album to develop clear opinions about it. It is funky, no doubt, but I'm not sure whether I think it works or not. It is like a hybrid of heavy funk and reggae... I liked it, but I dunno where they want to go with this. I haven't really spent any time thinking about the lyrics, nor have I asked Tom about them, but at this point I guess I'm just ambivalent about the whole tune. SOAMule was, if I'm not mistaken, my first one since 10.22.96. There are somewhere between few and no Phish songs I dislike across the board, and any song I hear after a long absence is pleasing, and even though it is a Mike tune, it has never really gotten me fired up. That said, it didn't take long to get me going on this one, very well played, Mike in total control. Into the Blues Jam. I note this as "Back at the Chicken" only because David Steinberg did; nobody among the many I asked on Saturday knew the tune though everyone seemed to have heard of it, I pretty much still think of it as "Blues Jam" until I hear definatively otherwise. It was a very game effort at a standard blues jam, but there is a reason they don't do blues jams on a regular basis: they are four white guys from Vermont :-). It was groovy, different, but I don't expect to see this type of jam in the rotation. Trey's solo was quite nice though. Back into SOAMule, very well played. Trey then mentions the 15th anniversary, and that "this is the first song we ever played" before launching into Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress. There was mixed reaction after the show among folks, but I -loved- this. Sure, it was pretty much as any cover band performs the tune, but it was at the same time distinctively Phish. I'll talk more about this in the context of Loaded, but their covers are so distinctly and definitively Phish, it just continually amazes me how firm their musical imprint is on cover tunes, while still retaining the essence of the original. Very hip. Crowd was -nuts- after this, and Trey tips his hat in appreciation "that is a lot better reaction than we got the first time" or something like that. I'm not quite sure what can be said about the Antelope. I haven't heard a better one, live or on tape. I am usually quite careful about making such statements in the immediate aftermath of a show, but this is a no-brainer. It was just, so, patient, long, deliberate... nobody is going anywhere, there is no rush, everybody sit back, have a cocktail and enjoy the show! This Antelope just drips with anticipation, and resolves with brute force and intensity. Insane. I'm sure there are Antelopes this one's equal, but I defy anyone to find a better one from any era. Lizards was wonderful, if direct and lacking in any serious exploration. Quite reminiscent of the swingy-sway, jazzy, light-n-airy Lizards of 4.4.98, Trey was sporting a -huge- grin throughout :-). Cavern. If this Cavern did not deliver your 100% nutritional requirements of daily funk, I don't know what could. Mike drives this, heavily funkified, and a fitting end to a wonderful set. Despite some social obligations we had during setbreak, Benjy and I were in no mood to fight the crowd, and all our immediate needs (water, dank, et cetera) were met, so we didn't budge. One of my only complaints of the entire weekend was that the T&M was -way- oversold, the place was -packed- and the hallway scene was just unbearable. The place was steaming hot throughout the weekend, rather uncomfortable, but not unexpected for a Bill Graham Presents show. Anyways, we chilled with some very nice company, Lisa and Marsha from Bakersfield (hi ladies!), and relaxed through the break, enjoying usual fare, and letting the liquid run its course. Get psyched for set II! 10.30.98 II: Stash -> Manteca -> Tweezer -> NICU -> Caspian , Golgi. E: Driver, Freebird The Stash -> Manteca -> Tweezer was MONSTER. Huge, insane, jaw-dropping. The Stash didn't need any time to heat up, it smokes from the get-go, though nothing particularly out of the ordinary, just killer jam. This Manteca would have made Mr. Gillespie quite proud... this version is just driven beyond belief. I need to check my personal stats, but I'm almost positive this was a first for me, and while I haven't heard a ton of versions on tape, this is clearly the best I've heard, no question. Tweezer was huge, powerful, exploratory, FUNK ME! Stunning in range and delivery. The outro jam was *Ghost* for about 10 minutes! Very subtle Ghost, but clearly Ghost... "new" Ghost, a theme along the lines of the more even, less-Mike-heavy intro. I never felt a twinge of disappointment in this set, but everything pointed to Ghost, and I was just slightly taken aback by the somewhat forced resolution of the jam into NICU. NICU was fine, spunky, high energy and such; I won't hide the fact that I'm in the "NICU is overplayed" camp, since last Fall I have probably seen this at every other, or at least every third show. Caspian: nothing to say, it didn't bother me, but nor could I really get into it (I have on occassion), so I just chilled. Golgi, on the other hand, was -wonderful-! It is so great that they can take tunes that used to be so overplayed, leave them on the relative shelf for a while, and then pull them out in the context of their newer sound and make it live and breath again in all it's glory. I was practically in tears in the face of the hose we were treated to in this Golgi. Classic. When the band left the stage, the energy in the place was tangible. No, really, you could smell it, it had color and life and texture. When the glowsticks started, the audience was just jamming itself. They could have stayed offstage for a half an hour, and the audience would have just kept jamming itself. The Went glowsticks will always retain a special place for me, but this was just other-worldly, the sticks were just an inevitable and natural extension of the crowd energy. Say what you will about glowsticks, but if you didn't get a charge out of that moment, I feel for you. Driver was stunning. Excuse the reference, but I felt the same way I did when Ripple was encored by another band at the Cap Center about 10 years ago. What incredible range. Trey can stand on par with Jimi on electric and Jerry on acoustic in the same hour. Unbelievable. And then there is this small matter of the Freebird. Wow. I think I was happier for Benjy and other folks who have seen the band longer and more frequently than I who have waited so long for their first one. Wow. What a show! The rest of the evening definately falls under the category of "blur." Excuse the gratuitous drug references, but tripping in Veagas at night, well, if you are into that thing, you just have to do it. We were -this- close to going to the Seapods, but I'm glad we opted for the strip. In terms of South Strip, we did it all: Luxor (the Imax theater in the center pavillion is a dead-ringer for the Rombus), NY, NY, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, Flamingo, Ceasar's, Bellagio, et cetera. If you haven't been to the gardens and art gallery of the Bellagio, GO! It is like a living, breathing Monet, maticulously manicured gardens that rival the tulips of Vondelpark in Amsterdam, the wonderful diversity of St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, or dare I say even the Tivoli Gardens. Oh, and Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne (sp?), all on display for your viewing pleasure! Clearly, the Bellagio is my favorite on the strip... What you have to love about Vegas: anywhere else in America, if we appear in our state of mind, drinks in hand, middle of the night at the entrance of a multi-billion dollar hotel, they call security; in Vegas, they hold the door open for you! Gotta love that. About 1am, we are standing in front of the lake/sea that stands between the hotel proper and the strip, not many folks were around, and here comes this dude with a big white coat, matching tall white velvet hat... he kinda looks like he could be a tour guy, but then he gets closer, checks us out, smiles this evil smile, and goes along his way. It was Slash from Guns-n-Roses! Benjy and I look at each other, say in perfect unison, "Hey, that's Slash from Guns-n-Roses", look at him, he's looking back at us, laughing. Just TOO funny! More strip action follows, then we run into AJ and a bunch of his friends about 3 at the Excalibur, they are drinking, gambling, the usual! We opt for a "road" trip (if anything, our party was definately mobile), and head over first to Luxor, then to MGM. One of the most bizarre scenes I have ever witnessed takes place in the MGM: we are in one of the big-money sections of the main casino, and here is this corner Roulette table packed with heads. Two guys at the end, CLEARLY with the Phish Convention :-), one with huge dreadlocks down to his waist, are holding court. With HUGE stacks of chips. HUGE. And in typical Vegas fashion, they have a full entourage of hangers-on, but not in cocktail dresses and boufon hairdos, this was phishy to high degree! I watch as one of them cashes out, as he had ALL of his colored chips... he was handed 7 $5,000 markers, smiled, got up and walked away. $35,000 in Roulette. Incredible! I watch this scene for about half an hour, and by this time its about 4:20, so I make a break for some sleep. Benji & AJ, I don't know where you guys get your energy, but they continued to rage, while I caught 40 winks. Continued in Part II. -Phillip
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 18:15:56 -0800 From: Amy Kuczynski amy4kla@HOTMAIL.COM Subject: QUICK VEGAS REVIEW Hey ya'all, 10/30 was a nice show. Lots of energy from the boys, who were obviously stoked about this being their 15th year anniversary. Not only do they dish out the first song they ever played together live (Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress), but we also get lots of old skool treats: Lizards, Cavern, Guelah, etc. Plus, the second-set *raging* Tweezer was honestly one of the best I've seen since '94. It actually went somewhere, something it has not been doing all year, IMO! And let's not forget the acapella Freebird. A perfect way to end such a nostalgic show. Lots of fun.
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 00:00:55 GMT From: chris bertolet brrtolet@GATEWAY.NET Subject: Back to School -- 10/30 in review After a homemade hash-brown and eggs breakfast, we lit out to Vegas from L.A.. Traffic was a bit worse than we'd expected, and we didn't pull into the Excalibur until almost four. By that time, the place was crawling with 'Heads who were drinking and smoking and farting about while waiting to check in. We caught up with Charlie Dirksen and Mark Toscano in line, and gloated about the second set at the Greek the night before. For those of you who've never been to Vegas, take it on my authority that the Excalibur is The Cheesiest Place in Vegas...which makes it The Cheesiest Place on Planet Earth. There's something marvelously kitschy about a hotel that pretends to take you back to medieval times and then uses paint colors that didn't even exist until Fermi split the atom. About buffets that brag, "we have blacksmiths standing by to take out your armor." About the fife and lute combo busting The Doors at the door. About the faux-cinder block dungeon wallpaper concealing particle board walls. We also discovered that the rooms smell pretty damned awful, too...but we quickly remedied that ;-). Then we caught a cab and got on line just before five. >From what I could see from a quick tour around the lot, things were fairly mellow. Really. I didn't see the throngs of unruly ticketless folks, nor the morphine-addled dirt surfers. Not that I'm saying none of this was present -- I just was lucky enough not to see it. My only pre-show problem was with chuckleheads *pushing* from behind when the gates opened. Not only does it get you in no faster (because the patdown process determines how fast people get in...duh), but someone's gonna get hurt or killed -- all it takes is for one poor soul to trip at the wrong time. Oh, and the asshole who jumped the chain-link fence at 5:58 ought to be throttled. Inside, the scene was pretty calm. The T&M looks *very* small and intimate to me, given that it's supposed to hold 18k. I don't believe it. It seemed closer to 12k or 13k to me -- more like Hampton than the Garden. Anyway, as soon as the place started filling up, it got h-o-t pretty quick, and by the time the show started I'd already seen a girl passed out from heat stroke, throwing up at the top of the stairs. [One last gripe -- if you're standing in the aisles and I'm trying to get back to my seat, don't make snide remarks, give me a dirty look or push me aside. Seats are for sitting and standing and aisles are for walking. I don't mind fighting the traffic if you insist on dancing there, but don't expect me to refrain from using the bathroom for the whole show so you can maintain your trance state.] On to the music. This was my 20th Phish show, and I'd forgotten that it was the band's 15th Anniversary. Overall, this was easily the most purely Fun Phish show of the Greek> Ween run. The show was all about Fun, as a matter of fact, and gave the overall impression of a nostalgic, Nectar-era retrospective. At the risk of being heavily flamed, I think that anyone who didn't have a blast at this Phish show just doesn't like Phish. The Wilson opener blew the doors off (all three first set openers were amazing, imo). It was the first time I've heard the new heavy-metal arrangement, and I loved it. Meat was alright, but it's quite apparent that Phish has only scratched the surface of this one. The segue into Mule was sort of messy, and the beginning of the duel was flat-out b-o-r-i-n-g, which is why I segued myself to the bathroom and beer line, missing the Jimmy Smith jam (d'OH). I'll have to hear the tapes. Anyway, I returned for the end of the duel and the LCWIABD. I know Charlie's said this was tame, but I think that the whole point of the tune was to say, "check out how far we've come," and I think in that regard it was hilarious and fitting. By now the crowd was going crazy, and the first notes of Antelope were like a fresh-lit powder keg. Now you'll pardon me, but I can't remark on what actually happened during this Antelope, as the music squirted me through a wormhole and dumped me on some distant orange planet where time ceased to be. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! The only Antelope I've ever seen that came remotely *close* to this was 12/29/97, and I'm almost positive that this will eclipse it when the tapes circulate. Simply a monstrous, psychotic version that everyone needs in their tape collections. Stay tuned for B&P's a-plenty. I hadn't heard Guelah since '96, so I was psyched for it. There were a few minor mistakes, but nothing too traumatic. Lizards was also well-delivered, and Cavern was super high-energy. The crowd loved that three-song stretch, and even though I wouldn't have ever named those songs in a wish-list, they seemed perfectly appropriate in the context of the retro set. There was some set-break music I really liked that no one around me knew. If you heard it and know what it was, e-mail me (thanks!). The first half of the second set -- driving home the PON motif -- was the jamming highlight of the evening. The Stash was gorgeous, with a few teases popping up in the dark part of the jam. I can't really describe it other than that -- other than to say that it moved quickly into a major key before Mike (I believe) started to diddle around the Manteca theme. As surprised as I was when they actually sang "crab in my shoemouth," I was _fucking floored_ when Trey started to Wail And I Do Mean Wail on the melody. He got way up his 'doc, just screaming the Manteca phrase and feeding off the crowd's energy -- showmanship at its best. As for how the whole chaotic thing ended, I have to listen to the tapes, but I remember nothing but smiles. Tweezer was brilliant as well, and very much a Trey vehicle. Like many '95 Tweezers, this version just sizzled. It wasn't like the 11/22/97 or 12/6/97 Tweezers at all -- it didn't spend nearly that amount of time diddling around in the funk, and I thought that was refreshing. As a matter of fact, I remember thinking at one time that it reminded me of 11/30/95, one of my favorite ripping Tweezers. I also felt very strongly like the band was making a conscious choice to jam in an "old school" way this night, almost as if to bring everything full circle. They gave us a little bit of everything. There was a marvelous segue from Tweezer into NICU as I recall, and the song itself was nice. It felt like a bit of a break, though, which is why Fuckerpants (aka Prince Caspian) surprised me a little. I was prepared for a Caspian that would rage, so wasn't surprised that it did. But I'm with Charlie on this one -- given the song's lilting lyrics and general themes of exploration, I'd sort of prefer more exploration out of the song. Less arena rock bombast and more colors. Golgi was done *very* well -- I'd like to remind all you Golgi detractors out there that this is *not* an easy song to play. It's also fairly rare nowadays, so get over it. Plus, the lights are smashing. I didn't feel I needed to hear Driver again, especially not as an encore. Eh. I knew we'd get a second song, though, and thought Freebird in the way-back of my mind as the four guys stepped to the mic. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've heard an a capella Freebird (just kidding -- they're all the same). But it was radical. I loved it, and everyone around me loved it. More importantly, Phish loved it, as both Fishman and Trey left the stage pumping their fists. They knew they'd delivered the goods for three hours. Overall, this was a generous, interactive, light-hearted and fun show from Phish -- Certainly in my top five experiences (of course, having a dozen of my best friends around me at the time certainly helped). Highlights were Wilson, Antelope, Stash->Manteca>Tweezer and Freebird. The only lowlight I can think of was the uninspired Meat, and a general preponderance of non-jamming tunes. It still didn't matter a bit to me. I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with a review of Halloween. -- "Whoa, there, Elvis..." -- Jolly Green Giant chris bertolet
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 02:36:11 -0800 From: Jason Bilicki bug_jbilicki@CATS.UCSC.EDU Subject: Review: personal thoughts on 10/29-31 (long) 10/30 - After a very brief period of sleep I was up early the next morning and off to Vegas. We checked in and headed to the lot as soon as it was open. OK I'm gonna skip ahead but here's what SUCKS: Last year at the T&M, they let people on the floor till it filled up, then closed it off and marked people so they could leave and come back. THIS year on 10/30 they let people down (moderately) almost all night and it got WAY crowded, which sucked for dancing. On the second night, I figured they would do the same, so I avoided the floor because I wanted room to dance. Sure enough they went back to the first system of capping it off and marking people, so there was plenty of room to dance and I was stuck in the lame seats being jealous. A big thumbs down to the T&M security who wouldn't listen to my suggestions the first night and screwed me on the second. Anyway, 10/30 was still one of the best shows I've ever seen. The setlist reflected something I'd only heard on early 90's tapes. Scent was a blast especially with that jam in the middle. Long Cool Woman was actually not that big of a surprise to me, since I had seen someone suggest it on RMP. This was also the first time I'd heard Guelah live. LIZARDS!!! Ok my first show was the Clifford Ball, 2nd night, and I arrived at the show during Lizards. Back then I didn't know the song but fell in love with it afterwards and never heard it at a show since then....UNTIL NOW! When it started I kept jumping up and down and the smile on my face was absurd. I had my eyes closed during the whole solo at the end and just melted away....it was one of the most magical Phish moments I've had so far. Cavern was fun, Trey miffed the lyrics bigtime! heheehe The second set had the same energy as the first....I can't recall highlights at this time though...just all good. The encore was excellent, BUT.....people NEED to realize that acoustic time is QUIET time! People would not shut up through the whole Driver intro...and again, I LOVE this song! Then Freebird REALLY pissed me off. I had heard about this and finally I got a chance to see it in person...but I could hardly hear it! The audience felt the need to scream and yell after every verse of the song.....for those of you who are waiting on the tapes, don't be surprised if you can't hear SHIT during Freebird. Anyway I was impressed by what I COULD hear.
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 00:33:33 GMT From: KAZDEYNA kazdeyna@AOL.COM Subject: Review Las Vegas Day 1 Phish - Friday, October 30, 1998 Thomas & Mack Arena UNLV Las Vegas, NV Set 1: Wilson -> 8:11pm Jam -> Wilson Meat Scent of a Mule -> Blues Jam* -> Scent of a Mule 8:35pm Long Cool Woman** 8:38pm Run Like an Antelope# 8:42pm Guelah Papyrus 9:00pm The Lizards Cavern 9:15pm 9:21pm Set 2: Stash -> 10:03pm Manteca -> Jam -> Tweezer -> 10:14pm NICU -> Jam -> Prince Caspian 10:41pm Golgi Apparatus 10:50pm Encore: Driver## Freebird (acapella) *jam called "Back at the Chicken Shack" - Unknown at show title courtesy of Phish.net **Prior to song Trey says something like "they tell me this is our 15th Anniversary Show, so we will play the first song we ever played" #Caravan tease after Rocco, prior to Marco, I think? ## Trey on acoustic Just got back from Vegas on the red eye this morning, man is that a long flight, much longer than expected. Took the red eye out of NYC on Thursday as well and it takes a while to get adjusted, just too long of a trip for 3 days of vacation. So if you've read all about it already you can feel free to by pass this person's opinion, but if you want another glimpse into a fun weekend here goes...... The Thomas and Mack Center is your typical arena, it looks like a smaller version of the earlier Worcester Centrum (before the Centrum added the third level). It is also a little "squashed" as if somebody took the ends of a regular sized arena and closed them in together like an accordion, it had the feel of a bull ring. Finally the stage was brought far in from one end cutting the floor space in half and thus making it seem smaller. Purple house lights are left on at the top of the arena making it a lot less darker then most arenas which does take a way from the light show a little. Besides from the very top where an echo off the roof was heard the sound was excellent! The scene was very scattered with almost no parking lot scene with most people either trying to walk to the arena from the strip or taking cabs. Very smokey and stuffy inside, outdoor ramps were opened during set break allowing people to cool off (or smoke) in between sets, which was well appreciated! Set 1: Set one started off slowly with Wilson. Can you imagine that? However the start of the song had a little trouble with Fish and Trey both missing their cues thus allowing for a couple of added extra Wilson chants to get in. Once the band got in sync the rendition was very strong and driving, with a very "evil jam" thrown in the middle of the song, reminiscent to Hershey '96. But I guess this jam has recently been incorporated into Wilson on a regular basis. However I have noticed in my last couple of shows that whenever the band tries to open "Big" with a loud, strong song, they don't have as much energy in the tank at the start needed to pull off songs like Wilson, BOAF (7/5/98), or Mike's (4/3/98). They aren't in their twenties anymore. A slow start like The Wedge (8/8/98) seems more appropriate. Meat is a little lost, I don't think the band knows the purpose of this songs just yet, or what they have in mind for it and they tried to stretch it out into some type of jam that just really didn't work. Scent of a Mule was the first highlight of the show. I really wasn't a fan of this song when it included the duel between Page and Trey, I was a little jaded on it since the duel was a little too repetitive, but with this rendition I was pleasantly surprised. First of all Page played a wonderful piano throughout the beginning of this song, then the song went into a full out BLUES JAM! When was the last time you saw Trey play an all out BLUES SOLO, I don't mean Funky Bitch or old Possums I mean Da Blues! Spaces between notes and everything, plus on top of that Page played what sounded like a Rhodes organ, is that the correct description for the blues organ sound, you know what I mean, Medeski plays it. That combination was fantastic, the jam had a familiar, repetitive blues feel and was great! What a departure from the norm! Nothing to extravagant but a nice new addition to the repertoire, hope they leave it in. I did not know the name of the blues jam at the time of the show only saw on Phish.Net that it was called "back to the chicken shack". Scent of Mule returned from the Blues Jam with the traditional Bavarian Jam. We then get Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress. Trey says they will play the first song they ever played for this 15th Anniversary of their first show. Before the set started a stage tech brought out a piece of paper and taped it onto the floor by the monitor, I thought it may have been ideas for a setlist, but I bet now it was the lyrics to this song. Hearing Trey and Fish doing the vocals of this song is the best part, other than that a standard version. That led into a nice version of Antelope, with Trey and Page exchanging down note/scale jams and what best could be described by the light show as a "swirly" jam. Speaking of lights, the band has added 8 HUGE Spotlights in the back of the stage that when turned on illuminate everything! They currently only play a minor role in the light show but will probably find their way into it as the tour progresses. I personally thought the band was going to play Caravan in the portion between the "Rye Rye Rocco" and "Marco Esquandolas" parts, sounded as it was going in that direction musically but it never emerged, seemed like Mike nixed it, but I'm not 100% sure. The show continued it's "15th anniversary return to the good ole days" set list with Guelah and then the second highlight of the set The Lizards. I haven't heard this one in some time and like Tela at Merriweather this was a nice addition which definitely made you feel nostalgic. What a song, jam! Songs like Lizards were at one point their bread and butter. Remember when people said "hey there's this band that jams, has like ten songs that revolve around a story, and speaks to the crowd via a musical language, you should check them out" or would have to ask which songs were part of Gamehendge, well this is one of those songs! It was great! I forgot how nice many of those Gamehendge solos were and the solo in this Lizards was right on! A non-funk old time version of Cavern closed out the set. Set 2: Opened great with an unfinished but standard Stash. Either they had more in mind then just Stash, or this Stash just took them into that direction but the feel for this song was lost quickly in the jam and then out of nowhere emerged Manteca. For me it seemed like out of nowhere, however looking back on it the crowd may have noted the song coming out of the jam way before I did since I recall the crowd cheering before I picked up on anything. Anyway it was nice! Once I picked up on the Manteca jam (and I can't remember whether it was before the "crab in my shoe mouth" part or after) I liked it, it was much faster and much tighter then the normal Manteca. A good groove was established from it. This segued into a Tweezer. The Tweezer explored many different themes before settling into a jam First Page was exploring on the clav with Trey scattering and scratching out many different themes, but once Page jumped on the piano Trey got going and a nice strong (but short the exploration taking some of it's time) Tweezer jam followed. The jam slowed down, and then Trey played a solo in the style of the introductory chords of NICU, which obviously segued into NICU. The band tried to keep the segues going out of NICU with delay loop, a drum beat, hum anything to get that -> out of NICU. However the hum evolved into a nice short, maybe it was ambient jam. Couldn't pick anything out but it lasted about three minutes and then almost stopped but somehow staggered into very rough starting Prince Caspian. I like Prince Caspian a lot, just seems like a very hopeful song, the Prince has many things against him (stumps instead of feet for one), but is in a good state (floating) and Trey for some reason wants to be like him! However I have heard better versions. The set ends with a much better then at Prague Golgi! Hoping to get a cab and not wanting to get stuck in a long line or walk back to the strip we began to make our way out of the arena, had to stop and poke my head in to see Trey on acoustic playing a sweet number, excellent bridge in this song, I think it makes the whole song, with what some were calling Sleet, but is labeled as Driver on Phish.Net. But having seen the acapella Freebird already in the past we began to walk out and just caught the beginning of this Freebird, which I'm sure was a crowd pleaser especially to those who have never seen it. Highlights: Scent of a Mule>Blues Jam>Scent of a Mule Stash>Manteca>Jam Driver Thanks for the time. Halloween review to follow. Peace, Kaz Kazdeyna@aol.com
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 02:06:24 GMT From: mitchgo@MICROSOFT.COM Subject: The Beginning of a New Age: A Positive Review of Vegas 10/30/98 (song times rounded to nearest minute in parentheses) Set 1 (8:11-9:22): Wilson (8) Meat->(5) Scent of a Mule-> All Blues-> Scent of a Mule (13) Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress (5) Run Like an Antelope (17) Guelah Papyrus (6) Lizards (12) Cavern (5) Set 2: (10:03-11:04): Stash-> (7) Manteca-> (4) Tweezer-> (17) NICU-> (4) Jam-> (6) Prince Caspian-> (9) Golgi Apparatus (4) Encores: Driver* (4) Freebird** (5) *Trey on acoustic **Acapella WILSON: Trey hit the notes to Wilson almost as soon as the band came onstage, and the crowd of course started the "Wiiiillssoooon" chant. This version was very hot, very tight, and featured that cool heavy metal-ish jamming in the middle section. At the song's end Trey ran over to Mike to call the next song... MEAT: Same as the summer versions, pretty to-the-point and very tight, but doesn't have enough room to really go anywhere. It's a nice pacing tune but unless it opens up, or gets more intense, I don't think it's long for the repetoire. At the end of Meat Trey immediately strummed to opening chords to... SCENT OF A MULE: "hmm, 2 Mike tunes in a row" I thought. This was very energetic, and the Page/Trey duel was replaced by a long Page-led jam, that turned into a solo and then turned into, pretty calculatedly... ALL BLUES: the blues riff was clearly planned, and the band had a great with it. (the phish.net page lists "Chicken Shack" as the correct title to this, but it clearly wasn't that tune...I was told it was All Blues by Davis but am not familiar with the original.) The crowd went nuts, the band jammed on it for several minutes before Trey led back into the little greek dance bit in SCENT; Trey and Mike did they little Scent dance and they swung back into the tune, finishing it off as usual. LONG COOL WOMAN: Trey mentioned that tonight marks exactly fifteen years since their first "show" and they wanted to mark the occasion by playing the very first song they played as Phish. Trey sang, Page had a lyric sheet on his keyboard, and it sounded pretty ragged but it was a great treat. The crowd loved it (but I wondered how many thought it was a Creedence tune!). ANTELOPLE: Weird slot in the set, dead center instead of closing the set. This was easily the best version I've heard, with lots of jazzy jamming and a bizarre,stretched out, nearly Residential vocal segment in the "marco esquandolos" part. GUELAH: one of the tunes that had been eluding me, and the first time they've played it in a while. Mike and Trey again danced during the intro, and the tune was played perfectly; the precise little "Asse Festival" segment was dead-on. Trey and Mike danced again during the end of the tune. LIZARDS: another one I had been waiting for, and the instrumental piece was much longer and richer than usual. Trey remembered all the words. ;-) Trey ran to Mike to call the next tune, who then signalled Fish to start... CAVERN: Haven't seen this since my first show so it was fun to see as a setcloser. The crowd ate it up, despite its reputation as a less-than-stellar oldie. Overall a great set, very balanced, with a weighty Antelope in the middle, short rock tunes wrapped around it, and a wild Scent segment. Set 2 started up 45 minutes later with... STASH: An excellent version, for the brief time it stuck around. (It went unfinished.)Great jazzy jamming in the middle section, which led into a very surprising.... MANTECA: No idea when this was last played ('95???) but this Dizzie Gillespie tune was the perfect compliment to Stash. The band had a great time with it, and it was noisier and gnarlier than previous versions. It sounded downright aggressive and nasty in the last couple of minutes, and I remember thinking "wow Trey's guitar tone would be perfect for Tweezer"....sure enough... TWEEZER: a phenomenal version, filled with great jamming of the usual Tweezer variety and some pretty bizarre modules that were way outside the Tweezer theme. This chunk of playing, from the middle of Stash to the end of the 17 minute Tweezer, was the best part of the set...after one of the jams wound down Trey signalled... NICU: I love this but saw this at my last show, in the same slot, and while it was a great version, it kinda sucked the experimental energy out of the set. CASPIAN: also great, also seen in the same slot at my last show, and also a tune that should have come later. GOLGI: A great set ender that really pumped up the crowd. Great set but too short, and missing some heft in the post-Tweezer section; if NICU/Caspian/Golgi had come after one more long piece, or another 15 minutes of jamming post-Tweezer, the set might have been perfect. I thought the encores would be long but... DRIVER: Trey played an acoustic on this new tune, a kind of folky pop tune about your brain being in charge of your life. FREE BIRD: Yes, the hilarious acapella version. They all crowded around the mic and sang all the guitar parts, including the over-the-top solos and the martial drumbeat-false ending. A very funny note to end on. Overall a seriously above-average show, with maybe something missing from set 2, leaving it feeling a little short. Of course I knew they might be saving their energy for Halloween...
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 00:32:51 -0500 From: Brian Porter brianp@AYE.NET Subject: Vegas, my thoughts 10-30 At about 3:30 I ran into both Trey and Fish in Caesars Palace, Trey stopped to shake our hands and Trey told us he'd see us later on tonite. The only word I could muster out of mouth was "Hey" oh well. Pretty nice gesture I thought. 10-30 was great, loved the Wilson opener to get the crowd going from the get go. Meat was funky and pretty standard, the blues number inside of Scent of a Mule was excellent and well done, I thought they were done with Scent but nope. Long Cool Woman was a pleasant surprise and very fun, danced hardest during this song. I loved it when both Trey and Fishman commented on how "that was a much better response than we got the first time we played it", thats the kind of shit I love about this band. Antelope reminded me of 10-31-95 Chicago, but not quite as good. Best version I've heard or seen in a long while though. The rest of the set was standard and for the most part very well played. Second set was great. Stash>Manteca>Tweezer>NICU was right fucking on! Highlight of my weekend. Perfect segues in and out of all songs. When I 1st heard the Tweezer coming I started thinking "Oh shit here comes a half hour of that repetitive funk shit jamming" but instead they kept it short and to the point, it quickly segued brilliantly into NICU. Not quite as good of a transition as 12-1-94 Makisupa>NICU but still damn good. NICU seemed off key or out of wack a little, but who cares it was still deep in the 2nd set. After NICU the show was pretty much over for me. I knew they couldnt top any of the last 4 songs . Prince Caspian was pretty much as boring as it always is. The encore was sweet, but nothing great. Nice to hear Trey on acoustic again. The Freebird was cool, thanks to everyone there for pretty much keeping quiet once everyone realized what was being sung. All in all this was a pretty hot show good way to get everyone ready for halloween.
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 11:55:49 EST From: Tedandmiap@AOL.COM Subject: ted's halloween review :) ***** HALLOWEEN REVIEW Part I -- A CA Phreak Back in Sin City (long) Wow! What a weekend.... I've had a couple days of responsibilities to catch up on, but now can write down some thoughts on the Halloween run... This will review the music but also the scene, the people, the venue, whatever...for reference I'm 31, married, and these were about my 32nd and 33rd shows, first in August ^93, last before this at the Phillmore a few weeks ago :) First of all, big thanks to Phish and the whole organization ....you folks never cease to amaze! Second, an equally big thanks to the Lemonwheel Part Dose crew....LeMikus and Lucinda, Cletus and Lurleen, Matt con Bobos, LemonScentedIphster, the Izman and Laurie, Senor Loch and Roobily Doobily.....you guys are awesome! Third....no, actually first, the biggest thanks of all to my darling wife Mia, who held our first child--all of 8 weeks old--deep in her belly for both shows, his or her first Phish shows ever! And the Mia was an absolute trooper, a sober doll showin' the heated folks how to BOOGIE down! We headed down from the Bay Area on Thursday night loaded to the gills with bags, costumes, the new album, frisbees, food, and a keg of Marin Brewing Co. India Pale Ale....mmmmm, IPA! The new album on I-5 was sweet, and a Motel 6 in Bakersfield provided our bed....but not before a tequila shot and several IPA's out of the motel ice bucket :)....up at dawn and on to Vega$! Got set up in the Tropicana and headed down by about 4:00....when we hit the lot around 4:30 or 5 there were surprisingly few people in line.....2 lines, in the first about 30-40 people tops, maybe a few more in the other....the guy in the front of one line said he got there around 11:00 a.m.....we had a big group already gathering near the front of line #2 and staked our spot....time passed fast and we were heading in....they stopped us a few times at checkpoints, then we hit the still-closed glass doors....still no search....then we were IN! No search at all (not much to hide either, but still curious). We bombed down to the floor and set up camp about 20 feet out from Trey...SWEET! Now last year on the Fall tour opener, Mia and I went, got on the floor, and found that the Thomas & Mack folks weren't prepared....they cut off floor access early (good because light crowds down there = plenty of elbow room).....but you couldn't leave the floor and get back down! Last year we finally convinced them that this was a crowd that would not give up its floor space but had to be allowed to go to the bathroom, and eventually they scared up some pens and marked peoples' hands...so we figured this year they'd have it wired....NOPE! The same damn thing! I had to lend my extra pen to a woman at one of the stairwells and memorize her name so she would let me back down.... On to the show! (quick side note: at the 10/30 show I got pretty soused, so my book is messy and my recollections fuzzy....that's what happens when you wear a plastic fish flask around your neck with a straw sticking out and Jagermeister inside....mmmmm...Jager...anyway sorry about some poor descriptions) The lights went down with that familiar, wonderful *click* (can I actually hear that or does it just seem like it....?) and they took the stage....buh- duh, buh-duh: WIL-SON! A nice opener, good energy, and the best part was the long (by Wilson standards) JAM in the interlude before "now you got me back thinkin', that you're the worst one"....they extended it out and really ripped it! I don't recall this specifically, but my book says "Rift/Scent like tone" to the jam....hmmmm, don't know....just remember it was a treat....after the blat- boom, and the traditional ending, up comes: MEAT: I hadn't caught this one until the new album, so not much past to go on....but I dig the song and it was fun....I really like those circular vocal tunes (as do they these days!) [aside-- around this time my Jager phish was really kicking in and I was in Vega$, dammit, 20 feet from the stage, and I guess I just felt like ya- hoooooo!ing a few times....this girl next to me gave me a bad look and said something like, "shhh....there are tapers right here"....well, knowing that the tapers section was about 100 feet behind me, I said "Where?!", and she kinda shrugged....I said "the tapers really don't care if I yell, but if I'm bugging you I'd be happy to stop", and that seemed to satisfy her....so I yelled less from there out....later I saw a taper guy about 10 feet to my right, right up near the stage....of course he had to stand super still and his buddy was trying to keep people away from him....quite an annoying presence on the dance floor!] SCENT OF A MULE: A few years ago the start of this song made me a little bummed, they just seemed to play it so often, and the Greek dance segment, while fun, had the novelty wear off....but it had been a couple years, and I was psyched! And this one didn't disappoint! Some awesome Trey/Page interplay to start off the Mule Duel, and then the stage went dark and foggy and they melted into the blues jam....in my book it says "VERY familiar jam", as if I just couldn't put my finger on it, and now I know why....Jimmy Smith's "Back at the Chicken Shack," a song I know from a jazz sampler album I have....I knew I knew it! When they finally finished the Shack, Trey started up the Greek dance (I think?!) and they jammed out the Mule.....this one got 4 exclamation points in the book.... Then Trey said "It's come to our attention that this is our 15th anniversary tonight from our first show" [crowd yells!] "So we thought we'd play the first song we ever played": LONG COOL WOMAN IN A BLACK DRESS: A very straightforward version, crowd singin' along, but I remember just loving it, grinning all throughout! At the end Trey said "that was better than the 1st time" (or something like that) and "let's play it again", followed by a few bars....my book also says "Fish: Long Cool Woman smack" -- not sure what that means, but I think he was popping off about the song....the tapes will reveal RUN LIKE AN ANTELOPE: Oh, yeah, here we go! A raging Antelope as I remember....after the crescendo and in the slow groove, they really started stretching it out, and I think they almost just kept going with the groove before "Set the gearshift"....My notes also say "trippy voice groove"....then they hit those SWEET purple and green conical spots before the "gearshift" line, I just love those! GUELAH PAPYRUS: I dig Guelah, don't hear it very often so it's a treat....standard version, love that atonal fugue (I think that's the term!) in the middle....and it was sweet to be up close for the Trey/Mike dance at the end....then arising out of nowhere from the post-Guelah noise.... LIZARDS: For a while in ^95 or so they were playing this too often, but now it's just rare enough for my taste....LOVE seeing Lizards....great singalong, great boogie tune....as it was in the cool part at the end (after the last whoa-oo-whoa-oo whoa-oo whoa-oo whoa whoa WHOAAAAAA! and then Mike's bass....boo-doop.................boo-doop...............boo-doop), I squatted down to get some bread out of my pack to soak up the Jager phish and I totally lost my balance and fell back on some guy....DOH! But I was back up in time for.... CAVERN: Clearly the set closer but I was ready....always a nice sing-a-long to start the set break. SET BREAK: Met a couple youngsters behind us who swore that their buddy knew Brad Sands and Brad wouldn't tell him what album they would play but that it was from 1970...yeah, right! I thought..... Also met r.m.p. contributor Cassius at some point, not sure how but LeMikus met him....we chatted for a bit, and he was next to us for the rest of the show....hello Cassius! After the initial rush up the stairs, I went to the bathroom to chill and get some fresh air....when I came back I found that my pal Marcie the floor guardian wouldn't let me back down! "But you've got my pen! You've gotta let me down!" "Sorry, pal, I can't let anyone down.." Oh, NO! I tried a few other gates, to no avail....even tried the old walk through with confidence maneuver, but two older dudes stopped me, and when I said incredulously "but I got here early and I'm sitting 20 feet from the stage," they said almost in unison "you WERE 20 feet from the stage!" Very rough ;) As I staggered away with my tail draggin', the lights went down....doh! It was make or break time, head upstairs to sit and chill, or find a way down....I wanted to jump the rail, but there were "Event Staff" people about every 10 feet below the rail....then I saw a guy go for it, and 2 Event people looked right at him and did nothing as he shot into the crowd....that was it! I went for it, same deal, and scurried into the crowd....made it back to my spot for the 1st audience clap of: STASH: Hello! Love Stash, and thought it was probably coming after starting the 2nd set in Vega$ ^97.....the jam started getting real funky and synchopated, then the unmistakable drumbeat signalled a segue into: MANTECA: Crab in my shoe mouth! An upbeat Manteca still rooted in the Stash jam....then in my mind and my notes they segued back into STASH: I haven't seen set lists with this, but I thought they clearly left Manteca and went back into the Stash jam....which eventually found its way to.... TWEEZER: with the telltale guitar start....Trey hit the digital delay early....for the jam my notes say "nutso Tweezer psych jam", psych meaning psychedelic, I clearly liked that! Then the jam seemed to tease another song (notes say "some song??"), then "LONG jam"....then they hit an unmistakable Ghost jam (I heard others mention this later).....the jam kept grooving along until suddenly Trey was scratching his strings in an unmistakable segue into NICU: the segue was SWEET! They were in a non-NICU key, but the beat was there, and Trey started scratching it in the other key, then all on the same beat they all shifted gears (and keys!) and started it up on a dime.... a hearty "play it LEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! from Ernesto.... after NICU ended (the 1st stop of the set!), they played what sounded like yet another song, labeled "trippy breakdown mellow cathedral shit (some song?)" in my book.....then a segue symbol into "way killer groovy groove" (like I said, Jager phish!)....finally Trey started up PRINCE CASPIAN: this one blasted at the Fillmore, a truly jamming Caspian, and the Vega$ Caspian was almost as epic....by Caspian standards of course.....my notes say "solo ripping from the get go!," and it was, instead of easing into it Trey just started blistering from note 1....good stuff...after the jam as Caspian was melting out, I saw Trey walking around to Page, then Fish and Mike, mouthing "Golgi"....sure enough: GOLGI APPARATUS: hadn't heard this in a while and appreciated it....Mia said she got chills during the quiet part (she's so sweet!) Then that was it....seemed like a short set!....but I think the Stash>Manteca>Stash>Tweezer>Jam>NICU took up some time.... There was a solid glowstick war between the set and the encore, at least it looked good from right underneath it...in fact it was so engaging that Mia and I were both surprised when the band was suddenly back on stage! DRIVER: Trey played his acoustic for this one, which was the first time I'd heard it....i remember cute lyrics about "the driver in my head" but nothing in particular....it made me smile though (which isn't tough if you know me ;) then they came to the front of the stage and... FREEBIRD: this is the first time in a long time that I DIDN'T hear someone yell "Freebird!" when they came to the front of the stage.....and they did it! It was my 2nd Freebird, but first since my 3rd show (Laguna Seca ^94) when I was back in the crowd and not sure what the hell was happening....this time I was 20 feet away and watched them each belt out their parts....I was giggling the whole time, even laughing out loud! Loved it.... After the show we set out for home and the Strip....word to the wise.....when you leave the T&M to walk back to the strip, DON'T just aim for your hotel! You'll wind up in the backstreets of Vega$, the "nasty part of town" as we were calling it....go out to Tropicana, then turn toward the Strip.... Anyway, after a circuitous route home, we made it back and I abandoned all plans to gamble or otherwise stay up and fell into wonderful sleep (after one last IPA ;). Saturday review to follow.. ted :)
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 00:26:40 +0500 From: Abbas Raza saraza4@ibm.net To: Dan Schar dws@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu Subject: FALL98_REVIEW Hi there :^) Just wanted to point out a little something about the 10-30-98 show.......I didn't catch it live, but I got the tapes and they knocked me off of my ass :^) I've read the many reviews on your page, and they all appropriately commend (in particular) the Stash Manteca Tweezer blitzkrieg which kicked off set 2. HOWEVER... ...no-one appears to have noted (what was for me) the absolute creamy PEAK in this opening segue, which was the very brief but oh-so-orgasmic Moma Dance 'tease' that finished off Manteca, and (musically speaking) provided the perfect turnaround into the opening riff of Tweezer. Know what I'm saying?! Peace.... Abbas Raza saraza4@ibm.net
Hello all,Well I'm sitting around here bored this morining while my girlfriend sleepsandI thought that I should review this show becasue I loved it soooo much. Venue/Scene: Being this was the first time I was in Vegas I reallydidn't know what to expect. My group of friends and I were so amazed at the "strip"wewere like "fuck the lot. We've seen way too many lots to pass this up".Vegas is like no other place in the world and I've done a lot of travelling. Itjusthas this amazing energy that just keeps you awake. I think my girlfriendand I got about 10 hours of sleep over a three day period! There actually was no scene when we got to the arena, much to ourchagrin. We thought we would slam a cuople of beers in the lot before going in butno one was slinging beer at all. Kind of a bummer. I did get a few ganjabrowniesthat kicked my ass though. Kudos to the guy and girl that were sellingthem!! I really don't see how anyone could say that the scene sucked becasuethere hardly was one. I thought the vibe was very good. There just weren'tenough people travelling by car at this point in the tour. As for the venue I thought it pretty much blew. I guess it's only 15years old but it looks all beat to hell. reminded me alot of the Cap Center (USAirArena) just not as sticky. The stage was pushed way out so there was limitedfloor space. The soundboard was set up at the very back of the floor with thetapers right behind going up the first level. Very strange. I haven't seenthis since going to indoor Dead shows. We should all be very thankfull Phish is sotaper friendly. The dead always made their tapers set up there indoors and onthe lawn outdoors.Set 1: Just as my brownies were kicking in the light went down and the boyscame out. My call was for them to open with Heard it Through the Grapevine fortheir15th Year Anniversary but they opened with Wilson. This just smoked! Got thewhole crowd into their vibe and the ride was on. Now I know that they havebeen jamming out Wilson a little lately. poepl have been calling it the"HeavyMetal Wilson". I really don't understand that but whatever. This Wilsonactually had a jam in it! It was out of hand. Easily the best Wilson I have ever seeor heard and I don't like to throw that around too much. Meat: I really like this groove but it is sooo damn slow you can'tdance toit. Just kind of wiggle around and hope it picks up. never did though. Goosversion none the less.SOAMule: Have to say that I wan't too hip on hearing this but this scent justripped. The Back at the Chicken Shack jam was awesome. It's funny because the best way for me to tell if the boys are really on is to look over at myKatie (my girlfriend). If she is getting down then they are ON. She's my groove-O-meter. And she was getting down. I also think she might havebeen a little biased being such a blues fan. Long Cool Woman: Alright so I was off by a song. I only picked itbecause from what I saw it was the fisrt song they ever played. Not according tothem I guess. This was absolutley hillarious. I was rolling. Pulled off quitenicely. Fishman's screams were out of hand. Antelope: Couldn't really tell what this was at first beacause thecrowd was sooo damn loud. Good antelope though. Not the best I've seen but keptthe momentum going. Guelah: Allright. I hadn't seen this since Deer Creek last year. Lovethis everytime I hear it. This was the strangest version I have ever heard.Very spooky, slow and kinda funky. I loved it!! Lizards: Flawlessly played IMHO. They do this so much better than theydid a few years ago. A real crowd pleaser. Cavern: At this point were are looking at a setlist from the early 90'sexcept for Meat and there was no way to stop the Phish Train from running youover. Outstanding version. I'm so happy a this point. Set Break: I never know what they play at setbreak so don't ask. Katieand I went and got a Mocha and a Latte respectively. After sitting for acouple seconds after the set the 3 hours of sleep were starting to catch upwith us. Set 2:Stash: We get back to our gate just as they break into this. I personally feel that Stash is a quintisential (sp?) Phish song. One of the ones thatsounds so Phishy and so unlike every other band. Perfectly displays thier talents. Composed sections was perfect and the the jam. Very melodious and then Ifainly hear....Manteca: At this point I freaking out like I haven't done at a show in a while.Yelling an screaming. Getting strange stares from some of the peoplearound me.Most people seemed to be in the dark. This is one of those tunes that Inever thought in a million years that I would get to hear like. So funky and pronounced was this Manteca. They ripped it up for a while before theeven got to the Crab in my Shoemouth part and then continued to go back to it'stheme over the next couple of songs. Funny I haven't seen anyone mention thatyet. Listen for it in the tapes. Now they jam for a while longer and into... Tweezer: I can't rememeber the last time I heard a bad Tweezer. At thispoint the roof on the T&M is starting to rumble and going to blow off at anymoment!! Soo good and soo funky. The energy is great at this point. Not a verylong Tweezer but then again they don't have to be long to be good. Veryfocused. This blend nicely into... NICU: I hadn't seen them jam into NICU since the Clifford ball. It was alittle sloppy at first then got on track. Typically good. Caspian: I'm just not a fan of this song but I was so high at this point (emotionally not chemically) that nothing could bring me down. Myfriend said to me after then show "Even the Caspian was good". Nuff said. Golgi: This song was just played too much when I started seeing Phishandkinda got out of my nerves. Then on last years Holiday tour they did it the29th and now I'm in love with it again. Just smoked. Great way to finish up aset.Encores: Driver: I was expecting some sort of acoustic tune beacsue one of thetechs brought out Trey's acoustic guitar during set break. This song is purePhish.A feel good song. Better than anything I've heard from them like this.Lyricsare better than usual. These guys are maturing nicely. Freebird: Another song I thought I'd never hear live. So funny. Weloved it. Over all this show gets a 9.0 on emotion alone. Another way to tell ifboysare on for me is how I feel when I leave. If I'm drained I know it was goodbecause I grooved the whole time and that's how I felt when I left there thatnight. I know what the poeple who saw the Fillmore show are talkinh about now. Idon't think the setlist was all that outstanding but the show was played withsomuch emotion and prescion that it was awesome. Way to go boys. This show is the reason I keep coming back. Hallowen review tommorrow. Jason Musante Vegas? Just the thought was exciting! The perfect place to see a concert on haloween no less. The scene was great.. a mish-mash of phish phans across the country. What did the boys have in store for the first night? The electricity was hype..the people were ready to groove. After a 45min hot wait for the show to start the lights kicked down. Set I--Wilson!-A great way to open a show for a big night to come. The crowd immediatly gets rocking. Very well played. Meat- A good version, bluesy, funky-put a smile on your face Scent of a Mule- Great groove to play here-everybody is dancing, loving life at this timeBack at the chicken shackScent of a mule...Never heard this before but it was perfect to seuge into. A great version.....very well played. Long cool woman-When Trey told the crowd it was the 15 year anneversary-the place went nuts! They fittingly played the first song ever played! What a moment. Antelope- This song was nothing short of rocking! Antelope is always a show stopper..nothing less Guelah-A great song thats not played out by the boys. The little dance they do is a perfect crowd pleaser in the 1st set. Lizards- The absolute best version I have ever heard. There are no flaws in this song. It made you smile ,laugh, dance, everyting! The moment had alot to do with it! Cavern-Perfect song to end the set SET 1-A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Stash- I heard it here last year..The exact same spot in the set too. But with Manteca it was a keeper. Its great when the band breaks out these little nuggets to complement songs. Very good choice. Tweezer- The place went nuts! Tweezer has its place in alot of big shows and this was a good place. NICU I love this song personally...It sueged perfect after the little tweezer jam (not long after "look who's in the freezer") Avery well played song. Prince Caspian- Not a very Dramatic Caspian but dramatic none the less...a good cool down after the jam. Golgi-Awsome---just a fun fun set...just like the whole show E: Driver-This is a real treat for anyone who sees this. Its rare that Trey gets acoustic and this song has great lyrics that make you feel good. I loved it Freebird- What can you say? When the people in the crowd were yelling FREEBIRD!!! when they saw the mic come to the front of the stage...The band was excited, the crowed was emotional, the night was great and in the end Fishman pumped his fists into the air while the band took a bow to the crowd, the place went nuts and cried when the lights came on...OH WHAT A NIGHT! A+ Enough has been saud about this shaow, but I have a comment to make that all should check out...It all started over the last couple of years that I would get this vibe that felt like emminence front by the who was coming on. This summer at the columbus, Oh show, in the middle of Free, they went into just the flavor of jam that I spoke of earlier...Anyway, after the Manteca jam in the second set, they ripped that sick jam for about 5 minutes before finding their way to Tweezer, and this was in my opinion, on the very brink of actually pulling off an Emminence Front cover. All I can say is, for those of you who know and dig this tune, give set II a listen, and check out for the sick Emminence vibe...I feel that this song is imminent, soon to come. When it does, it will be the sickest thing imaginable (their trademark). Just got back from Vegas. I only got in to the 30th however. It was amazing. The highlight for me was the ambience leading up to Prince Caspian. I had eaten a certain fungus and the music clensed my soul. I stopped dancing stood still and felt energy of my Chi. Other highlights were Woman in a Black Dress( shoulda played it 3 times) and Golgi Aparatus and Lizard and Meat. It was like traditional roots reggae or mana from heaven. Afterwards we went to Galactic and danced till 5 in the morning. They kept the party moving till the broad daylight . I couldn't get a ticket for Halloween and I should have because I actually listen to the Velvet underground unlike half the people who are devoid of any music other than Phish and the Dead. I saw an ugly side of the scene that night. There was a fucking fight in the parking lot. People were hostile about getting in too. gonnorea for yr extra? Come on. Are you guys missing the point completely? Cosmic Highway played in the lot for a while and they are awesome. All in all Phish is so good it scares me. The T&M Center is great, imo. It feels really intimate in there on the main floor/lower level. Unfortunately, we had to deal with the stress of full-on COP SEARCHES (this was AFTER an initial search by venue security!) at the entrance. I unfortunately witnessed at least two kids in the midst of getting busted bad by those pigs. Wilson got things going to a typically rocking start. Huge chanting happening from the audience. The extended hardrock rage-jam from the summer reappeared to everyone's hearty approval. Meat got sloppy...perhaps it was just looser than usual. It seemed like there were a few mistakes made during the jam segment which actually pushed it in some interesting directions, but still awkward. Scent of a Mule seemed appropriate in the city of cowboy hats and rodeo conventions. Back at the Chicken Shack was a very nice treat, giving Page a chance to throw down some licks during his part of the duel that would make Jimmy Smith proud. The segue back into the fiddler on the roof segment of the mule duel was also sloppy....too much tequila boys? Long Cool Women and Antelope were really pumping the positive energy in the crowd. Antelope didn't really get to the point of pure unbridled insane peak-crest-peak jam intensity for quite a while. For a second there it was coasting along some subtler, but no less-inspired waves of liquidity, bouncing like a smooth, high-speed train that barely shakes even though it's going 200 mph. The gearshift was eventually set for high gear and the room was filled with Full-On Vegas Phish Energy. The rest of set 1 seemed like a bit of a let down, albeit an oldschool letdown. I enjoy Guelah as the rarity is has become, but it doesn't seem to do much for me other than make me more psyched for the tune to follow. Lizards wasn't what I was looking for in that slot, but I gave Page's solo a chance and he completely got me off my feet and out of my head with an intricately suspenseful solo. Cavern rocks, but I've seen it enough already. Set 2 redefined the notion of "Short but Sweet". Stash reached spaceship-is-landing status early in the jam, in large part to Kuroda's masterful work on the lightboard. The room was still glowing with other worldly light and extra-terrestrial music echoed around us as Mike dipped slowly into the Manteca groove, bringing the Stash to a surprisingly swift finish. Mike toyed slightly with the straight ahead groove for a second, then locked into it with Fish and Trey's full support. The crowd went absolutely fucking avacadoes. Tweezer appeared out of the final strains of Manteca and kept the funk coming. Nothing stands out as memorable about this one, other than the slow-down segment at the end, which segued slyly into NICU. Prince Caspian is a good vehicle for great Trey jamming -- the Fillmore version reminded me of this Loud and Clear. So I'm willing to give the tune a shot, even when it's placed deeply in the second set. Trey just didn't do anything with it this time. Maybe I was spoiled with the Fillmore version, but if you're playing this kind of droney, simple tune late in the set, you better find a way to make it special and keep it interesting. A lot of power chords and trilling from Trey. Yadda yadda. Golgi was surprisingly pleasing. Sometimes I forget to just listen and dance to a song and enjoy it instead of thinking about placement, rotation, rarity, # of times I've seen it before, jam-potential etc and just Enjoy The Moment. What a great, fun song, with a fantastic build up jam! And the "ticket stub in the hand" line seemed like a pleasant reminder to those of us with 'Ween tix and a cruel joke to those who didn't yet. The second set was less than an hour long, but it felt truly epic, amazingly special, and definitely inspired. There was a glowstick war during the pre-encore break that struck me as very innocent and unobtrusive (I guess, aside from those who got hit in the head, eye or ear) because it occurred when there was no music being played and the musicians were not being put in harm's way. I hope people can, at the very least, resist the urge to throw those things directly at Page, Mike, Trey and Fish. Halloween was an ugly display of fan's trying to connect with the boyz by means of projectile violence...something I want no part of. Driver is a great new song. Granted, it's slow, so some folks are bound to hate it. But it strikes me as quite different than most of the other Phish ballads...more folky and bouncy and unique, less power-balladish and typical. Fun lyrics...the "..and I'll be better dressed" line got a huge, warm roar from the briefly-hushed crowd. Freebird was great, of course. I noticed more than a few of the ushers (greasy Vegas types) turning around in amazement at this a capella feat. Overall, a fantastic show with some huge moments in a short amount of time. A funky, oldschool calm before the rocking storm that would be 10/31/98. JW- timber@slip.net
Let me preface this by saying that Friday's show was reminicent of the setlists you'd find from '93,'94,'95. And this show did not dissapoint. When they walked onstage, people were going nuts as usual, but right when Trey pluged in he started with dun-nun dun-nun. You knew this was no ordinary show. Good Wilson, but there was one little mess-up that no one really noticed, because it was rocking. Meat is cool. It was standard and tight. Scent, I've heard this tune many times, but back in '94 & '95 a lot. This one was good with the Fiddler jam and then into Back at the Chicken Shack. This is a blues tune that's really typical blues, but it was a great rendition. Back into Scent and they closed it out. Trey then said they'd play the first tune they ever played live. Long Cool Woman was good they jammed out the song and it looked as though it was more of a joke and something for all of us that knew they had to play something from their first show. Personally I knew they'd play a CCR tune, but I thought it'd be Proud Mary. Anyway after the song Trey said let;'s do it again and played the first three chords then bailed. Then you heard the first few notes from Trey's guitar and is it, yes it is, Antelope. Pretty standard, but at the end they just wailed on those two chords forever, it was awesome. I thought they'd end with that, but no, Guelah. I was psyched to hear it and they jammed it out and did the Guelah dance and all, it was quite funny and cool to see it again. Again, I thought they'd step off stage after that. But Lizards came out. Pretty straight forward but nice and tight and jammed at the end. Cavern to close was good to hear. This one rocked it out and ended what was an epic first set. Probably one of the best first sets I've seen, it sounded like a second set. Set II was great, but was only 50 minutes or so with a 7 min. encore. But the set itself was very tight and jammed out. Really an awesome set. Trey was ON all show but it really came out in the second set. Stash opener, I'm not a stash fan, but this one was concise and Trey started doing the Manteca thing and they jammed on that for like 5 mins. They turned what on the PoN disk is just a filler joke song into a really rocking tune. Get this set on tape because right in the middle of the Manteca you could hear the Tweezer start to come out and they went right into it. Good jam and they led it into NICU. Typical NICU but again nice and tight. Opening chords for Caspian were quite and then Trey just unleashed this one, it was the loudest part of the show by far. This was one of the best Caspian's I've heard. This version will convert those that despise this tune. Look into my finance box just to check for a Golgi set II closer. This was a reved up and charged version. Encore with Driver and Freebird was cool. They were really enjoying this Freebird. and the Driver before it was great. This was a great show. It won't be one of the best on this tour for one reason, they were holding it back and saving steam for Saturday night. The whole show my buddy and I were commenting on how Trey was holding it back a little. It was like he knew he'd have to save it up for Saturday. By the way saturday night was a great show. The second set is EPIC. This will be a very sought after tape when more and more people hear it. I too was a little bummed when first hearing they would play it, but I knew they'd do it justice, and they did. IT ROCKED & IT ROLLED & IT WAS VINTAGE PHISH.
Las Vegas! well this is suppose to be quite a weekend. The wilson opener really got the crowd excited. The band seemed to be pretty excited too. Then they ventured into the new material with a great Meat. Near the end when they begin stopping and starting, Trey started doing a little fill that i had never heard before. I don't know if it is new, but it definitely a nice addition. They took that momentum into a very quick Scent of a mule. It seems to the new thing to do a cover or other rarity instead of the standard duel. Tonight they filled the spot with a Jimmy Smith tune called Back at the Chickn Shack. I had heard it at the greek soundcheck but did not know the name. Back to Scent in Stadard fashion. Next was what i was anticipating. Being it was their fifthteenth anniversary i thought they would play both of the songs. They did play Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress. This was great. The whole arena was up dancin' and the band was lovin' it. After a little banter, they begin to play the song again, but halt quickly and go into antelope. It seems like almost every antelope is great. all different, but all very good. I especially liked Trey's most holy rendition of "Marco esquendolas" I have seen a few different ones but this was probably the best. Guelah Papyrus was a long time coming. I had thought they had put this one away for a little while, but they thru down tonight. They played Lizards next and well i Don't really care for it so i won't take about it. Cavern sounded like it always does. good. In the second set they opened with stash. i wasn't too excited to hear it so when they went into Manteca i felt the set had really begun. This was my first Manteca and well since i have nothing to compare it to live i"ll have to say it was good. Tweezer followed with fury, Mike showed off his furious slap. Again the arena was bumpin'. NICU was an unexpected treat. NICU went into a soft jam intro to Prince Caspian. Prince Caspian, i don't like it so no review about that. They closed the set with a crowd favorite Golgi. in the middle section Trey goofed a little but as a whole it was good. For the encore Trey went acoustic and they played Driver. now this song is new so i will have to hear it a bit more, but i think it is definitely better than glisten. the acapella freebird is great. the guitar solo is especially well done. hats off to phish. Brock Landers
Alright, I don't like reading long reviews, so I'm gonna keep this review short. Everyone I talked to that came out of this show was blistered by the jams they had just heard. Phish was so composed both nights of this run that it blew me away! Many times in the past it seemed the jams aren't controlled, but they were in 100% amazingly complete control of everything!! The Antelope in the first set was so SWEET. All the others were way tight, and very pleasing. But the second set did it! Easily the best set of the run! The Stash was so amazing! And they took into Manteca, OH YEAH! The jam that developed out this pretty much controlled the rest of the set. They used Tweezer to spice it up and the slow groove out of it was all Mike! He completely steered the whole set. The next night it was all Trey, but Mike would go off on tangents completely in a different direction from Trey unhesitantly on the 30th. I loved it! The bombs he dropped during Tweezer probably knocked money out of the slot machines! The jam out of the groove led back into the jam that came out of Manteca, pleasingly, of course. And they almost worked that into Ac/Dc, as they almost did after Piper the next night. But they carried on until Trey worked NICU out of it. Such a good call, a great dancer! Out of the end of NICU came Caspian, another great call, completely fit into the previous jams. I'm beginning to love Caspian, especially if it keeps being played like it has been. The Caspain actually wasn't CRAZY raging, but it was sweet. Out of the ending of Caspian came Golgi, YEAH! What a great ending! Finished what may have been the best of my 40+ show career. I loved it!! The encore was pleasant with Driver, and straight-up hilarious with Freebird! The night was incredible, please get tapes, so that you can agree. Dustin Bambic Bowling Green, KY astrokid43@aol.com
The 30th was *unreal* IMHO. From the moment that the lights went down, the place was buzzing with excitement, due to the 15th anniversary and all. Wilson opener was hot, and unexpected to me. The boys seemed to be pheeling the crowd's energy and feeding upon it. Meat was cool to hear (my 1st) but the SOAM--Chx Shack--SOAM was incredible. When I closed my eyes during Chicken Shack, it sounded like Clapton on stage playing some mean blues, before they reeled it back into SOAM. It was nice to hear Trey's mini speech regarding the 15th anniversary, something like "somebody told me that today was the 15th anniversary of the exact day that we played our first gig, so we thought that we'd play the 1st song that we ever played live..." Long Cool Woman was nice, at the conclusion of which, Trey was very animated about "how we never really got any better than that...so let's try it again..." then Trey started the first few chords just for phun :-) The Antelope intro was extremely spacey and the fog machines were really pumping out the goods, which made the lights even more trippy and spectacular. I was floored by Guelah Papyrus, a song that (up to this point) I never even dreamed that I would hear live, and Lizards and Cavern really held there own in a really rocking, tight, energetic first set. The Stash opener for set two was hot. The crowd was really into it (clapping and all) and the ending jam went off the deep end, but what happened next was crazy IMHO. Manteca is definitely a song that I never ever thought they would play live, as the Picture of Nectar version is basically a kind of filler--diddy between songs. HOWEVER, this version rocked!!! The transition from Stash into Manteca was very smooth, and when the "Crab in my shoemouth" started, I couldn't believe my ears...Phish jammed on it, with thick guitar and bass that was so different from how I would have dreamed this song would sound live. A very special treat for everyone dancing on the floor near me. Tweezer, which is not one of my favorite songs, even had its moments during the jam. NICU and Caspian was well played and enjoyable, and Golgi brought the second set to a close with a high octane finish. Before the encore, the glow sticks started flying, which is cool to watch, but when you get hit in the head with one, or some a**holes start throwing them towards the stage and the band, it's just too much. It seemed like Trey tried to cool down the crowd and the glowsticks with the acoustic version of Driver, which I like. The acapella Freebird was great to hear, eventhough I heard it at the Bridge, but a few more glow sticks started to fly, and Page made a nice catch on one that was heading directly for Mike's head just before they started Freebird. I was glad that they didn't play the Twee-prise encore, as it has become very predictable, but this show's song selection definitely was not. PS. From the 31st, I was damn sure that I thought I heard Landlady during PYITE, but noone has mentioned it. My setlist showed PYITE--Landlady--PYITE. Did anyone else hear that too??? My $0.02 sean_clark420@yahoo.com
The first of the two Vegas shows was a knockout show! Everyone was so psyched to be there, and the energy level was really high. The venue security were really friendly, a huge contrast from the Greek - the pat-down was virtually non-existent. As far as basketballl arenas go, this one wasn't bad. For a place this big, it didn't SEEM as big as some others, and the floor section was definitely smaller than many. The vibe was instantly super-high with the opening notes of Wilson. All I could think about was, "This is how they opened at the Alladin!!" The part where Trey's been adding the "heavy metal" jam was just on fire tonight, as Trey decided to solo in this section instead of pounding out the power chords. All in all, maybe one of the best Wilson's ever! Meat was really good to hear live, and it seemed like they were having a lot of fun singing it. There wasn't any real jam, like the one they did the only other time I've seen them play it in Barcelona. Still, they did the stop- start thing a few times at the end, faking out a number of people. I thought I heard a "Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" tease during one of the "stops". Then, Scent of a Mule! What can I say, this set list was blowing me away! The Jimmy Smith song in the middle was awesome, and worked so perfectly in the middle of this song that I think everybody should hear it. Page did some great work on the organ, in tribute to the Hammond B3 master who wrote this song, I'm sure. The Long Cool Woman was hilarious, and the Antelope was sick!!! Sick!! Sick!! Very futuristic sounding, as Trey was using that twisted alien effect on his guitar. Guelah was a big surprise, and Lizards and Cavern were standard, but awesome to hear as a reminder of one of the reasons I got so into this band - they used to write such awesome, offbeat songs! As for set two, the first forty minutes are MUST-hear! I was really psyched to hear Stash, although they only jammed on it for a few minutes before the segue into... Manteca!! Holy shit, I couldn't believe they were playing this, complete with vocals. They jammed on this longer than they did on Stash, and the jamming was really powerful and raging. And then, I can't say I was surprised, but I was extremely stoked to hear the segue (yes, it was definitely a segue) into Tweezer! This was the Picture of Nectar appreciation night!! The Tweezer jam was deliciously funky, with some undescribably futuristic- sounding clavinet work from Page. If you weren't dancing during this, you were probably dead. The Tweezer climaxed with some unbelievable guitar-playing - Trey was not being at all subtle, he was just going off, playing as fast as I've ever heard. The segue (yes, another true segue) into NICU was also really cool, and I don't think I've ever enjoyed the placement of this song as much as I did here. After this, the set was nice, but not as enjoyable. Caspian started out with this really quiet jam that kind of built up from absolutely nothing into a soft, mellow anthem. You could almost label this JamCaspian, really. Trey again just raged on the solo - his playing was just jaw-dropping all night. I was expecting another song after Golgi, but it seemed like they were saying "Okay, we've showed you how awesome we are - now come back tomorrow, suckas!" The Driver encore was definitely not what I'd hoped for, since I had just seen it at the Greek, but then my prediction came true. Ever since I saw the Bridge School set list, I was predicting a Vegas FreeBird, and man was it good. Many in the crowd were calling for it as they walked up to the mic, and the fan roar of approval afterward was so nice. I think this was the best show I've seen all year! Get the tapes!! Hey kids, it would not be an understatement to say that this show absolutely raged! Yes, the sets were short, but anyone who has a problem with that should step back and consider just what a high energy show this was. Arriving at TnM, it was a complete zoo (as expected), with miracle seekers everywhere to be seen. I'm not a huge fan of the lot scene so I didn't really scope it out, but from what I could see, everything was running smoothly (ie no riots/arrests/general hostility). Now onto the music... Set 1 WILSON: I'm not generally a big fan of this song, but it was a great opener. Very energetic and the crowd loved it. Quazi metal jam in the middle. What a great way to kick off the weekend. MEAT: Extra phunky as usual. I've only seen the boys play it 3 or 4 times, but this was the best version I have heard so far. The start-stop segment at the end of Meat eventually gave way to SCENT: Exceptional version, jammed out phat. There was a cool blues jam in the middle which has a name (unfortunately I don't remember). During the mule duel you could tell what a great time the boys were having. LONG COOL WOMAN IN A BLACK DRESS: !!!!!!!! This one sort of speaks for itself. Trey announces that they will play the first song they ever played together because it is their 15th year as a band. And many more.... ANTELOPE: Ok, this Antelope absolutely smoked! Very suspenseful. This was pure intensity, one of the best I have ever heard, fairly tight. GUELAH PAPYRUS: What a treat this was! A personal favorite of mine and the first time I saw it live! As far as I could tell, no flubs, very solid. LIZARDS: Solid. Really happy, good vibes, smiles everywhere...you get the point. CAVERN: Great way to close an old school set. If it weren't for Meat (which I enjoyed immensely BTW), you would think that this set came from the early 90's. Unlike recent versions, they didn't funk it out, which, given the setlist, I think was a good choice on the part of the band--fitting. Set 2. STASH: Flawless, hands down the best version I've ever heard. Stash drifted seamlessly into MANTECA: More old school? No complaints here ;) Awesome, the crowd ate it up too. What a night this was turning out to be. Manteca morphed into TWEEZER: which didn't exactly thrill me at first. But this Tweezer was so high energy, it really changed my mind about the song. Usually I find most versions to be either a colossal mess or just uninspired. This Tweezer was so phat! It had everything--direction, intensity. And then, when things couldn't get any better, or so I thought, Tweezer segued into NICU: This one always gets the juices going. Not the best version (it sounded if they were slightly off key), but I danced my ass off anyway. A nice little jam was followed by CASPIAN: Some people complain about this song because they think it's a sleeper. I like it. I think it's a very beautiful tune regardless of its traditional chord structuring. Caspian was, actually, pretty jammed out, maybe not as good as 7/20/98, but still very well played. GOLGI: Short, sweet, and too the point. Unmatched in intensity. Great work by Chris. Got everyone up on their feet and groovin'. I was a little bit shocked that the set was over, but I'm sure they were tired and wanted to save something for tomorrow. Encore DRIVER: Pretty little tune, better than the version the night before in LA, or maybe it just begun to grow on me... FREEBIRD: Hell yeah! I'd been wanting an a capella. Fishman stepped it up. What a show. Seek out the tapes!!!!! comments/criticisms welcome send emails to: twand@ucsd.edu
return me to da 1998 page ya bastard