Date:    Thu, 5 Nov 1998 17:03:12 GMT
From:    IMLIT14 
Subject: Denver

Denver 98,

It was freezing cold out side, but warm and toasty inside.  Well the stadium
wasnt even ful.  Infact, 4 or 5 sections on the top were closed off.  The
energy was solid, but not too out of control.  A strong Buried Alive kicked off
the 1st set.  But since I've only seen this one in person one other time, I was
really just trying to sit back and let the evening begin.  Out of it came a
good Character Zero.  The crowd was excited for this Billy Breathes favorite,
and phish really knocked it around for a while, but more was to come.  Guyute
followed and I was sort of surprised that the boys played this song much like
it is on the CD.  Although they built it up much more on stage, it didn't seem
to have as much umph as did the Guyute from this summer's Austin show.  But
then came an old favorite of mine Bathtub Gin. Wow, after getting the schwerve
on as I like to call it, the boys tore apart this Gin.  The jamming was
rocking, and they simply seemed to have total control with where this one was
going.  I would say more, but if your a Gin fan you should check this one out,
the segue into Ya Mar from the Gin was perhaps one of the best I have heard.
Gin had become an entirely new animal, and just before it broke its chain, the
little notes of Ya Mar popped up to direct us all again.  I think this was a
turning point in the show.  The anxious waiting of the crowd had now turned to
a grooving mass under the Incredible light show that Mr. K has been putting out
all tour.  BOAF came in after Ya Mar, a great version, but I seem to have seen
it more times than any other song.  I dont think it was as tight as the Vegas
version, but it still put a smile on the crowds faces. Brian and Robert flew
in, what a great song.  I really like the version on the album and I was
wondering how they were gonna pull it off live, and they did it beautifully.
The vocals were strong and "This one is for you" seemed to echo into a very
quite room.  Frankie Sez, well like birds this one seems to follow me around.
It sounded very Floyd like, and I was a little wandering myself until Chris
lights took over the song.  A great rotating pattern of purple lights around
the Stadium, combined with a red spot light on the band made the music even
more intense.  The boys looked like they were glowing with energy and really
just belting it out.  I was happily surprised, the lights made this song.  Then
for a 1st set closer we were treated to Bowie.  A good version, the stash
teases were pretty clear, but I really didnt want them to go into that since I
had just heard the stash>manteca in Vegas.

All in all the first set was great and captured my imagination.  I realized
that we were not in store for another album, but we were watching what everyone
goes to the show for.  It was the typical phish, with lots of jamming, and a
pumping of energy.  Who needs special covers, phish does phish just fine.

Second Set..
Runaway Jim opener was just not expected.  Bowie to close and Jim to open the
second set just put the crowd right back into the dancing groove they had left
us with.  If you wanted to hear the classic long songs, last night was where to
be.  Then trey looked over at Fishman and Mike, made a little circle motion
with his hand and turned to page and said Moma Dance!  A great choice.  They
played Black Eyed Katy there last year and it was really nice to listen and
compare what it had evolved into over the course of a year. Piper, not one of
my fav's, was strong, not nearly as spacey as the one from vegas.  And at
certain points it seemed to take a complete 180 degrees for everyone in the
audience to keep up with the band on this one.  Then perhaps one of the best
songs of the night 2001.  It built up really quietly  It was hard for a lot of
people to realize what was coming.  And then BOOM, lights band , and a lot of
the people who were still realing from and lost in piper exploded.  They had
the FOG machines going on non stop, and Chris was making a painting over the
band with different color lights being reflected off the fog.  It was like a
Monet painting that was in constent flux.  A glow stick here or there fell
through the air, but in no way did I see more then ten all night long.  I was
really surprised and kinda happy that people were just engrossed in the music.
Chalkdust torture followed, and although it is one of my fav's it just didnt
hold up after 2001.  I thought it could hold up to anything, but 2001 was just
much more compelling and full of energy.  But then, so close to the rockies,
the boys seemed to do a special "Mountain Man" Loving Cup.  You could see Trey
just giggling every time he would say Mountain Man.  And why not, when you are
a mile up so close to the hills.  It was a beautiful Buzz to end the show on
and I was glad they didnt do it as an encore.  Set Closer was a perfect space
for it.  The encore Squirming Coil was good.  It wasn't Great Woods 95 good,
but it was nice.  Unfortunately the crowd got restless and Pages solo was all
but ruined between the cat calls and whistles.  Thank good ness I was about
three rows back on the side so that the speakers were right in front of me.  If
you were any further than that the solo was tough to hear.  Tapers had to be
furious, and although Page looked like he could play for hours and hours, the
lack of attention from the phans sorta made him fade.  He stood up, and thanked
us all very much and left.  Well I know its a long reveiw, but it was a good


Date:    Thu, 5 Nov 1998 21:52:56 GMT
From:    BenDRoss 
Subject: 11/498 McNichols REVIEW

    I was pretty bummed this week for missing Utah, even though Vegas was
amazing, so I was hoping the boys would wip out some more crazy stuff in
Denver. Afterall this was the 8th anniversary of Phish's best Colorado show (in
my opinion) 11/4/98, if that counts for anything.  Enough rambling.  On with
the show.
   The scene in the lot was alright.  Not as crazy as Vegas, much smaller.
Lots of glass vendors, but that was about it.  Has anybody else noticed the
lack of really creative shirts this tour?
   This was my first show at McNichols, and from what I had heard from friends,
McNichols is basically a giant tin can accoustically.  It is big and dark, and
very ugly inside, definitely not one of the better places I have seen Phish
shows at.
I also found the crowd especially annoying.  There were people passing out all
over the floor, and just an overall lack of respect.  I actually saw people
sitting and lying down on the floor for the entire show.  The floor was jammed
up enough to begin with due to the fact that it was GA.  If you are so fucked
up that you can't even stand up, find an actual seat instead of taking up a ton
of room on the floor.
On to the show.

Buried Alive:  This was a fine opener.  Very nicely played and jammed.

Character Zero:  This was a nice early set tune to get the crowd's energy
flowing.  Good jamming, but not too long, kind of like the early versions of
the song.

Gyute:  We had been expecting this.  It was great to hear Gyute busted out,
however this was a rather uninspired version.  There were no obvious flubs but
it didn't have the energy that Gyute usually comes with.

Bathtub:  This kicked my ass.  Gin was totally jammed out.  This was the first
major jam of the show, and unlike most other 98's I have heard (especially
Vegas) this was jammed out, not just tripped out.  Amazing first set material.

YaMar:  They definitely stretched Ya Mar to its boundaries.  It included a
quiet, mellow, jam that seemed as if it would segue instead of reprising back
into YaMar.

Birds of a Feather:  This is a great song, and was played well, however I think
we are all getting very, very sick of it.  It opened Farm Aid.  It was played
on Letterman, and in Vegas.  It's on the radio, and then they played it again
in McNichols.

Brian and Robert:  This is one of the 2 Phish songs that I greatly despise (the
other being Fast Enough).  no flames please.  This song has never impressed me
and the one at McNichols was no different.

Frankie Says:  Well played, and the jam was very nice.  Give it a couple more
tours, and this song could get really good.  The jam was nice and long and as
it was dying down Fish began an up tempo drum beat that actually sounded as if
Maze was coming.  This kept up for a minute or so until it became clear that
David Bowie was coming.

Bowie:  This was your average Bowie.  Great jamming, but nothing that blew the
roof off.  About 10 minutes into it Trey began teasing Stash.  It was very
subtle at first, hitting only a few of the notes from various parts of Stash,
and then he was hitting entire licks, but the rest of the band wasn't really
following.  It seemed more as if Trey wanted to bust Stash out, but the others
didn't want to, instead of it merely being a tease.  Bowie finished in high
fashion.  Great way to end a set.

Runaway Jaaaaaaaaaaaam:  Definitely the highlight of the show.  This was
definitely the band's peak energy level of the night.  Like Bathtub Gin, this
Jim was not tripped out and spacy, but instead fast and in sinq.  Everybody was

Moma Dance:  Mike really let loose with the slap during the Moma.  This was the
first, and really the only hard core funk of the show.

Piper:  On my setlist I labeled it Piper -> Jam.  The Piper itself was
mediocre, especially compared to the Vegas Piper.  However the ensuing jam was
totally tripped out, and a lot of fun.  It reminded me of the jam that came out
of NICU on 10/30.

2001:  This was your typical 97/98 jammed out 2001.  Lots of trippy funky
jamming.  Chris really got nuts during this one with the lights.

Chalkdust:  This was kind of a let down because it basically signaled the end
of the heart of the 2nd set.  In a spot where you'd usually expect Slave or
Harry to finish things up, instead we got Chalkdust.  Decent version.  Nothing
out of the ordinary.

Loving Cup:  Nicely jammed.  This put an end to a second set that started out
hot, and sort of faded off as it progressed.

Coil:  Tight version.  As expected it ended with a Page solo on his baby grand
after Fish, Mike, and Trey had left the stage.  It made me leave with a smile.

   Basically this show was full of highs and lows.  The Runaway Jim was unreal,
and Bathtub Gin jammed also.  But the end of the second set was rather weak.
The majority of the jams reminded me of 95/96 Phish.  There was not the funk of
97, nor the space of 98, but just hard jamming.

First Set: 8
Second Set: 5 (Take out Runaway Jim and I give it a 2.5)
Encore: 6
Overall: 6.5

"Vegetarians who eat animal crackers are hypocrites!!!"
      -my friend Josh
"Big ten-kegger at the frat.....Or watching Jerry shake his fat"
    -Ernest G. Anastasio III


Date:    Thu, 12 Nov 1998 18:56:37 GMT
From:    Mikebrez 
Subject: 11/4/98 Denver Review(A bit late)

11/4/98 McNichols Arena, Denver, CO

Usual Preface:
I'm 26, been listening to and seeing Phish since '92.  I have about 400 Phish
tapes, over 600 hours.  I've read countless interviews, talked to the band,
blah blah blah.  I'm not much of a writer.  I'm more into visuals.  I'm a video
editor and filmmaker.  I always get excited to see a Phish show, and I don't
think I've ever seen a bad one.  Sure some are better than others, some much
much better, but we get to see one of the best bands around.  They've taken the
Fall '97 funk and made it their own.  They just seem to get better and better
in my mind.

McNichols was my 51st show, Vegas was #50.  I moved to Boulder in March, so
this was my first time ever at McNichols.  I saw the 4 Red Rocks shows in '96.
Anyway, I had heard bad things about the venue and its acoustics.  I must say I
was pleasantly surprised.  I thought the sound was pretty amazing from where we
were sitting.  We ended up in our favorite spot, low low page side, 3rd row.
We were a little more towards the soundboard, but still had a great view.
Because it was a GA show, it was a bit crazy getting in.  Luckily I have a
taper friend we were meeting who was up close in line.  I'm not sure I like GA
shows though.  Yes, you get to sit wherever you want, but the rush to get into
Vegas was very frightening.  My girlfriend, Katie, had a bit of an anxiety
attack.  Too many people pushing.  I kind of like when you can mosy in whenever
you want and get right to the front.  Anyway, people were rushing into
McNichols to get to the floor.  I used to be of the mindset that the floor was
the place to be.  That has since changed.  The floor at GA shows gets way too
crowded.  It was a bit insane, and I'm glad I wasn't on it.  When the music
starts for either set, you can see the whole floor start to move forward.
Definitely scary.  Not for me.  Maybe I'm getting a bit old, compared to the
rest of the crowd, but I like low Page side just fine.

Speaking of young, we had some high schoolers sitting next to us.  We were on
the aisle, and there were about 10 of them in the row.  The guys were cool, but
the girls walked back and forth so many times, I wanted to kill them.  They
were drinking and chatting and at one point I asked them to make a decision, in
or out.  From then on they tried to find alternate routes into their seats.
After the show started it was ok, they were all getting down, but before the
show was terribly annoying, and during the setbreak a bit too.

Pre-Show Music:
I like hearing what they choose to play before the show.  Is it Paul's
decision?  Anyone know for sure?  I actually bought a cd after hearing PA music
at Alpine this summer.  "All Kooked Out", Stanton Moore (Galactic's drummer),
Charlie Hunter, and others.  The pre-show music for McNichols consisted of Dave
Brubeck, Charlie Hunter's "Natty Dread" and some others I didn't recognize.

On to the Show
Set I:
It's getting more and more difficult to predict show openers these days, but
any show with a Buried Alive opener is great in my book.  Always gets me pumped
up.  Takes me back to some older shows, and of course, wondering what they will
go into next.  Hopefully a Runaway Jim, but we got Character Zero, instead.  A
little disappointing song to go into, but it was pretty good, and got rockin at
the end.
Guyute was awesome as always, sounds like an epic 70's rock song, especially at
the end, but Katie is convinced it is going to become another Free.  They have
been playing it a lot, especially since it's on the new album.  I will always
love the complexities of this song though.
Bathtub Gin was incredible, definitely one of the many highlights of the show.
I can't wait to get the tapes and hear this one again.  It didn't have the
usual return to the Gin end, but went into Ya Mar instead.
Ya Mar was amazing as well, another highlight.  There was a little bit of a
lyric mess-up, "Don't ask him what it was" was sort of forgotten by Trey, but
ironically, "tell him what it is" was remembered, nothing too bad though.  Trey
is such a goof.  He had his usual shit eating grin on his face during Ya Mar.
He has so much fun on stage.  It's great to see.  The Ya Mar jam then got
quiet, became a little jam.  It seemed like they were going into another song,
but then they went back, full force, into Ya Mar.  However, there wasn't the
usual Mike yelling at the end.  What is he usually doing there anyway?  It
always makes me laugh.
Birds of a Feather was next.  It was pretty good.  Nothing to write home about.
 The Vegas version was better.
Brian & Robert was nice.  It's usually the same most every time, but I like
their slower stuff.  Gives you a break after insane jams.
Frankie Says started out as usual, but when the main part of the song was over
it went into this huge spacey jam that seemed like it could've lead into 2001.
We got a David Bowie instead.  No complaints here.  The lights were intense in
Bowie.  Chris Kuroda is awesome.  The sound in McNichols was surprisingly great
too at this point.  A full out Stash jam came in the middle of Bowie, so much
so that I thought they were actually going to play it.  They went back and
finished Bowie instead.

1st set  1:20
Highlights:  Buried, Gin, Ya Mar, Bowie, and Chris Kuroda
Pretty strong set.  Has anyone else noticed that 1st sets have been longer than
2nd sets this tour so far?  People have also been saying that some of the 1st
and 2nd sets should be reversed.  Interesting phenomenon.

Setbreak Music:
I really need to figure out the setbreak music.  I liked it a lot.  Had a latin
flair to it.  Almost sounded like Santana, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't.  No
lyrics and a bit funky.  If anyone has any idea what was played, please let me

1st set opener Buried
2nd set Runaway Jim
I was close.  More of an old school show, but usually heard as buried > jim

Set II:
The Runaway Jim was very good, almost 15 minutes, i've heard better, but it was
Moma Dance was good also, but they just played it in Utah 2 days prior.  I
think I still like the Black Eyed Katy's better, especially 11/28/97 from
Worcester.  Where is the BEK on the new album, barely heard at all?
(5 songs from the new album last night: Guyute, Birds, Bri & Bob, Frankie,
After Moma, the sweet sounds of Piper emerged.  I absolutely love this song,
and sort of wanted to hear a studio version of it.  Maybe it wasn't as good as
the Vegas or Alpine versions, but I always like hearing it.  Definitely gets me
pumped up.  After the usual end of the song passed, that's when things got
interesting.  It just got more and more insane, it sounded like something I
couldn't place, but it might have been just a jam.  Katie turned to me at one
point and said "what song is this?".  I think that's when you know it's a great
jam.  I actually thought it began to sound like an Antelope jam, so I called
the jam: what-song-is-this-crazy-fast-antelope-jam.  It was incredible with
more insane lights.  The crazy jam then slowed, and we knew 2001 was coming
next.  It took a while, but finally came.  2001 was awesome, long and funky.
Chris kicked some major ass.  He was having so much fun at that lightboard last
night.  Watching him is a joy.  It looks like he's playing a keyboard out
there.  Definitely why I love indoor shows, major energy, intense lights.
Chalkdust Torture was next.  Another show, like Vegas, with Birds and Chalkdust
in it.  The Birds jam definitely sounds like a Chalkdust jam.  It was a really
great Chalkdust though.  Crowd energy was very high.
Loving Cup.  My friend calls in Loving Crap, but i don't agree.  I have some
other friends who are Phish skeptics who've seen too many shows.  (ie Silent in
the Boring, A Day With Your Wife, etc.)  I think Loving Cup is a beautiful
song.  I love the lyrics, and the ending of it was very sweet as usual.

The 2nd set was disappointingly short, only an hour.
Highlights: Piper jam >2001, and, of course, Chris Kuroda.

Once the Squirming Coil encore started, we knew it would only be one song. The
Page piano solo is always a nice closing moment, and was very pretty.

Post Show Music:
The Godfather music came on when the lights came up.  Put a little smile on my

All in all a pretty good show.  I definitely want to hear the tapes for the Gin
> Ya Mar and the Piper > 2001.  I wish I could see a video of this one.  This
was Chris' show.  The lights were absolutely incredible.

Unfortunately, seeing both Vegas and Denver, and missing Utah makes me want to
hop on tour.  I would love to.  There's alot of great stuff ahead on this tour.
 My friend who is a taper talked to some Phish security guy at Utah, and he
said they were supposed to open with Destiny, but opted for Tube instead.
Seriously.  There's a chance that they will play Destiny this tour.  With all
the craziness and randomness they've put out, anything is possible.

So thats it until New Years.  We just got our tickets for 12/28-12/30.  We got
denied for New Years, however.  They were all sold out.

Hope you enjoyed my review.  Sorry for its length and incoherence at times.  I
never claim to be a writer.  Keep sharing in the groove.



"Thoughts follow my vision and dance in the sun"


11/4/98 - McNicols Arena, Denver, CO 

I thought this show was down right average.  Not having seen Phish 
too much in the past few years, I wasn't sure what to expect.  
However, after hearing some of the summer tapes I was looking forward 
to some mind-blowing funk jams.  This was not the case, their sound 
seemd almost 1995 like, with little or no funk.  While the show was 
certainly not bad (an average Phish show is still great) it had many 
flat points.  I though the GinYa Mar was really disappointing.  I 
love both tunes but they never really went anywhere.  The Bowie with 
Stash teases was pretty sweet though.  The second set, while better, 
still was sort of down.  Runaway Jim was quite uninspired.  I dug the 
Piper2001Chalkdust, Loving Cup, though, it lacked the one killer 
jam that ususally defines the set.  All in all, a good but not great 
performance.  Certainly not on par with last year's McNichols show