Date:    Sat, 29 Nov 1997 12:51:04 -0600
From:    Dan Mielcarz 
Subject: Worcester 11/28/97 Review

[Sorry if this post is garbled in any way; I have to post through Deja

*** For those of you who care: This was my 15th show, and I have a lot of
hours of Phish on tape (250+). If it bothers you that I included this,
I'm sorry. ***

Setlist first (thanks to Tie-Dye Dave's Hippie Gift Shop in Tannersville,
PA for the pen. Website  at ):

Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA 11/28/97

Set I (~75 min.):
The Curtain*, YEM**> I Didn't Know***, Maze, Farmhouse, Black-eyed Katy,
Theme, Rocky Top

Set II (~60 min.):
Timber Ho!, Limb by Limb, Slave (sort-of)> Ghost****> Johnny B. Goode

E (~9 min.):
My Soul

*First time played since Spring 97 (i.e. back from retirement!)
**W/ Crosseyed & Painless Jam
***The return of Henrietta on the Vacuum
****Best Ghost ever :-)

The Scene: Downtown Worcester does not make for a great scene. A lot of
fans were chilling in the shopping mall nearby; while we were eating at
the food court, some girl came up to us and offered us shrooms and kind
buds. Oh yeah, we were accosted several times outside by people trying to
sell us fake colonge and perfume. Weird.

Security: No problem getting in, dicks during the show. Nuff said.

The Crowd: Did anyone else think the crowd was really LOUD? Not during the
songs or anything, but the cheers were crazy!

Set I

THE CURTAIN: I was pretty psyched they pulled this out of retirement for
me.Nothing you haven't heard before, they may have been a bit rusty with
this song on the shelf for so long...

YEM: Oh boy, I was excited to hear this as the second song. It was a DAMN
good version too. Pretty standard opening section, and the tramps were in
full effect. Once the jam got kicking though, things got interesting. The
C&P jam was amazing; my friend and I both recognized it as a song, but it
took us a couple minutes to figure it out. Trey jammed on the MELODY to
C&P; not sure if the teases in other shows have been like this. Trey was
ON FIRE during this part, and then they went into a stop jam like the 96
Vegas Weekapaug. Man, this YEM is a must-have! The jam kind of faded away
and I heard some singing; at first I though it was Kung, but as I heard
it more clearly it was...

I DIDN'T KNOW: I like vocal jams and all, but I'd rather hear I Didn't
Know instead. It was the "Return of Henrietta" as Trey put it, and
Fishman proved that he still had the skills on the electrolux. Was this
song retired too?

MAZE: This was a great Maze, definitely above average. Much better then
the Went, which is the last I'd heard. The energy was REALLY high
throughout. Page really ripped it up on the keys during this Maze, as

FARMHOUSE: A welcome respite from the intensity of Maze. I liked this
version better than the Conan version, but it wasn't anything special.

BLACK-EYED KATY: This is the song that Phish will destroy America with. I
couldn't possibly do it justice without the tapes, but it contained a
long funky jam at the end that sounded like it could have come straight
out of YEM. Jake, who had heard the Vegas version off the web said this
one KICKED ITS ASS! This song is what I have been looking for from Phish
for a long time. A song that is just a jam. No stupid words screwing it
up ;-)

THEME: I don't remember much about this Theme, but I do remember enjoying
the jam a lot. By now you should want this set anyway, so you can hear it
yourself when you get the tape.

Rocky Top: Was Rocky Top. Not much to say here...

Set I rating: 8 (and I mean it!) The YEM and Black-Eyed Katy warrant this
rating, and the Maze and Theme reinforce it.

Setbreak music: Some Irish-like stuff. Setbreak lasted around 45 min.

Set II

TIMBER HO!: This may just be the best Timber Ho! ever. It actually
contained an extended jam segment, with Trey taking the lead, using
effects to achieve that "textural" feel of the old-school Frees, but this
jam was a lot more melodic. Type I all the way. If you've heard a better
Timber, let me know, because I'd love to hear it.

LIMB BY LIMB: I love this song. This had a nice jam in the middle, as
usual. I liked this Jam better than the Went, it had a little less of the
Circus guitar effect that Trey likes (I believe this effect raises the
ptich an octave...) and a little more of a full-band approach. The ending
with Fishman planing by himself seemed a little odd, he may have screwed

SLAVE: I have a tough time distinguishing between good and great Slaves.
I do know that I experienced the same teary-eyed transcendence that I
usually do during Slave. Trey circled his finger in the air at the end
for the band to hold the last chord and they went into...

GHOST: You saw the notation in my setlist. I'm not kidding, this is the
best Ghost that I have heard (and I've heard a bunch), and probably the
best of all the Ghosts I haven't heard. The jam was ALL Page for about 5
min., using the synth on top of the baby grand. Mike was spanking the
bass to accompany him, and Trey was strumming nearly inaudibly. But when
Trey came in, the Jam TOOK OFF. Trey soloing, then the band all joined,
them back to Trey alone. They threw everything into this Jam. The
Stop-Start thing. Nice Type III going on in here. This Ghost is what the
new Phish is all about, IMNSHO. I might even call it the Albany YEM of
Ghosts. Then, they segued into:

JOHNNY B. GOODE: I've only heard a couple other versions of this song,
but I have never heard the energy level this high, nor the solos this


MY SOUL: Pretty standard, nowhere near the level of the Went. Frankly,
Phish had amazed me enough for one night...

Second Set Rating: 8 (Ghost and Timber Ho take the cake)

Total Show rating: 8

This was a great show, one of the best I've seen. I can't wait for
tomorrow night!


Date:    Wed, 3 Dec 1997 16:55:16 GMT
From:    "James Raras Jr." 
Subject: Hartford and Worcester Run Synopsis

Worcester 11/28

Solid show, but I didn't think it was as mind blowing as many others did.  I
just have a hard time swallowing a 1:01 set-2 unless it has something along
the lines of the 7/2/97 AmDam Stash in it.

Curtain was a great opener, big surprise!  YEM was great in the second slot
and it was a very solid version with heavy Crosseyed and Painless teasing.
They started a really little vocal jam, at least that's how I have it noted
but I don't have the tapes with me, then turned it into I Didn't Know with a
vac solo from Henrietta (first in a while!).

Farmhouse was very nice.  I enjoyed it a lot more live than I though I
would, but apparently Tom didn't think it was all that great of a version.
Then again it is only the second time (not counting Conan) that they played
it live.  BEK was great as always but didn't reach the majesty of the
*insane* Winston Salem version which is the best version of this young
song's lifetime.  Hear all of WS, great show, underrated in the shadow of
Hampton, but every bit as good if not better, imo!  Not to mention the
Schoeps 641>Sono>SVMD1 tapes *smoke*, best TS tapes I've heard since 95
(excluding Europe tapes which have an unfair advantage) thanks EP!

Timber to open set-2 was really nice, great set openers this whole run
actually!  The Limb that followed was great as well, but I can't really
compare it to anything, just great type I jamming that makes me smile hard!
Slave was very good with a slow climbing climax that was not rushed, one of
my favorite versions, it actually reminded me of my absolute favorite
version 12/30/93, but not quite as good.  Kinda weird mid set though...

The Ghost was balls to the wall and somewhat strayed away from the funk,
hence differing from many other versions.   See below about the My Soul


Date:    Sat, 29 Nov 1997 17:55:22 GMT
From:    Arthur Frankel 
Subject: 11-28 Worcester Review (long)

Hi everyone again.

It's time for me to review the second show of my mini-tour.  It was my
11th show, etc., etc., just read the review if you want to.

First, let me spew a tad about the city of Worcester.  Apologies if you
live there or go to school there or have any connections to this city
whatsoever, but, in my experiences, Worcester really blows.  The roads
are extremely confusing and always under construction; you add this to
lack of good signs and you get the drive from hell.  There is an inane
rule at EVERY FUCKING MOTEL that you have to be 21 to get a room.  We
certainly didn't have this problem in Hartford.  Every motel manager I
spoke to, minus 1 (out of about 8 or 9), was rude and otherwise
obnoxious.  As far as aesthetics are concerned, I won't even comment.

Don't take this the wrong way.  I'm sure there are hundreds of
thousands of very good people in Worcester, but I had an absolutely
terrible experience there last night and am dreading returning there
tonight.  It makes me feel bad that this city is as unwelcoming as it
is.  That said....

The scene:
was weird.  Parking garage: confusing.  Maybe Phish wandered around
earlier and got some inspriration to play Maze later on.  There was an
undercover cop in a Patriots jacket busting kids.  That sucked.  No
nitrous (yay!).  Not as cool as the Hartford scene, which was more
parking lot oriented, and a little more comprehensive.

The venue/security:
Decent venue, not as new as the Hartfod CC I don't think, though I
could very easily be wrong.  I was in the upper level corner (sect.
208), which wasn't bad at all.  Better sound than Hartford, for sure.
Security didn't exist.  It was MUCH better than Hartford in that

The show:

Again, apologies for taking me so long to get here.

Set I opened with the great choice of Curtain.  I find that Curtain,
along with My Friend, is about as no-nonsense an opener you can get.
It was relatively crispily played (minor Trey mistakes, I thought), but
a solid choice to kick things off.

The You Enjoy Myself which followed was mindnumbing.  I had had such a
shitty day up to the show (see first p-graph) that when I heard the
opening notes to this tune, I cried for the 3rd time in my life because
of Phish.  Things, instantaneously, went from terrible to unbeatable.
That much of a mood change in such a short time wreaks havoc on your
emotions.  I was a mess.  A happy mess.

Trey didn't sustain the second shot at the note, harkening back to the
olden days when I was barely 10 years old.  The tramps jam was rather
normal (cool!) and the YEM jam that followed was funky and enjoyable
but nothing out of this world.  There was HEAVY Crosseyed and Painless
treasing by Trey at numerous points in the jam.  That was really neat
to hear, and I was hoping for a full blown segue into C+P, but it
didn't happen.  The jam reached a nice peak (high Centrum energy!) and
then was brought down for a cool little bass and drums section that
wasn't just bass and drums, but everybody kind of taking turns.  As
always, the YEM was supremely awesome, and probably pretty average.

No vocal jam.  Instead, I Didn't Know.  What a treat.  My first Fish
vaccuum solo, and I loved it.  Short and sweet and plain old neat-o.
It was a fantastic set thus far.

Next was the high-hat and Maze.  I wish they'd keep us guessing for
longer (Mike played the bass line really early).  What a great Maze,
though.  It's hard to rate a Maze when you're there because every Maze
kicks your ass so royally you need days to recover.  This one was as
great as all the other Mazes I've seen, which means it was superb.
Comparable, imo, to the 12-28-96 version, but what the hell to I know?

Farmhouse: if they have to play a slower, mellower tune, this one is
it.  Thoroughly enjoyed it, and it seems like there is room to expand
with this one.

Black Eyed Katy was nice, too, though by the midway pointof this song
the energy was way down and Phish had lost the attention of some
people.  Towards the end, when the jam really heats up, people got back
into it, a little, but it seemed that it was too late: the set had lost
its earlier energy.  It would never get it back, either.  BEK was nice,
though, and something I'd like to hear again (Albany?).

The Theme was great and probably pretty average (maybe a bit above
average) but not the song that was needed to rebuild the energy.  Too
bad.  I did think it was very well-played, though.

Rockytop was its usual FUN self.  End of set I.

Like I said, the beginning of set I was amazing (up around a 7.5
through Maze) but it lsot a bit in the Farmhouse, Katy area, pushing my
rating for the entire set to about the 5.5/6 mark.  There was NO type
II exploratory jamming, though, which bummed me out a tad.  Overall, it
was real good, though, a very enjoyable set.  I hoped the 2nd set would
top it.  It did (slightly).  1st set highlights: YEM > I Didn't Know,

Timber Ho to start off the second set, just like 12-30-96.  It was a
damn good Timber, magnificent in its dissonance.  Always a solid 2nd
set opener.  This one didn't disappoint.  Check it out on tape, if you
like this song.

Now came Limb by Limb, which, for me, was the best part of the show
(minus the YEM, I guess).  This has to be among the top 3 out there --
it was brought to peak after peak or glorious trilling and Trey just
letting us have it, Limb by Fucking Limb.  It was MINDBLOWING, what
they did with this strictly type I jam.  It totally ruled and provided
the night's greatest highlight, imo.

Slave was super, too.  Interesting mid-set placement, and it caught me
off guard.  Beautiful build, not rushed, like, say, the 12-30-96 Slave.
It was an above average Slave, imo, around the 6 mark or so, though I'm
not so sure it was best used in the mid-set position.  But whatever.
You have to mix things up a little.

Ghost was good.  My first (I missed Went set I) and super funky.  Some
Cities teasing went on the jam segment if I remember, but I was almost
positive they wouldn't go into it.  It had a GREAT type I jam that had
a lot of stop/start, taking turns stuff, much like Hartford's 2001 jam
segment.  It was an enjoyable Ghost, but I would've liked a more
exploratory, type IIer, in here.  Oh well.  Ghost was good, and there's
two more nights.

JBG raged.  RAGED.  It was phenominal.  Really, I thought it compared
to the 12-31-95 version (I wasn't at that show, only heard it on tape).
High, high energy in the Centrum.  It was a great end to a really good

I won't say one thing about the encore of My Soul, except, SKETCHY
CHOICE.  WTF?  We just got this song in Hartford (it pissed me off
then, read my Hartford review) and it really sucked last night.  My
Soul has become my most hated Phish song, by far.

Set II was pretty good on the whole.  I'd give it a 6.5, for the
quality of all 5 songs played, which imo, were all above average
versions.  The definite highlight of set II was the LBL, definitely
check it out!

The whole show gets a 6/6.5 from me.  I thought it was slightly better
than Hartford.  An enjoyable show that would be a good score to get on
tape.  Check out: YEM > IDK, LBL, Slave, even the Ghost.  You'll find
some stuff you'll like in there, for sure.

Well, I'm off.  Can't wait for tonight.  This one (I predict) will be
the best of them all.  See you later!



Date:    Wed, 3 Dec 1997 05:21:57 GMT
From:    "DJ Saul T. Nutz" 
Subject: ** 11/28 Woosta Review **

Still reeling from the Hartford first-set-opening Tweezer & the 2001 >
James Brown Funky Breakdown > 2001, I entered the Centrum for the 1st of a
3 night stand.

The first set in a nutshell is: CURTAIN YEM opener was great.  The YEM
contained some pretty serious Crosseyed & Painless teasing.  Other than
that, it wasn't antying out of the ordinary for 1997.  The Vocal Jam segued
quickly into I DIDN'T KNOW, which featured Henrietta on vacuum.  Trey
introduced him as follows (basically): "For the first time this tour,
Henrietta will do his impersonation of the classic Rolling Stones album,
'Sucking in the 70s'".

The MAZE was probably the hottest I've ever seen.  Page's solo was just as
roaring as Trey's, & the release at the end of the jam was outstanding.

I really like FARMHOUSE; I enjoy Page's effects-laden playing.  Some of the
notes he plays kinda sound like water, imo.  This tune has a very
psychedelic feeling.  BLACK-EYED KATY was incredible, as I expected it to
be, after first hearing it at Vega$.  The THEME that followed was gorgeous.

The second set is where the sparks really started to fly.  The Timber Ho!
opener deserves some extra exclamation points, for it was truly excellent.
It was fairly long an spacy, although not quite as spacy as the Austin
version from this summer, if I recall correctly.

The LIMB BY LIMB which was in the #2 slot, was breathtaking.  *So* much
better than the 11/19 Champaign version.  It was really long (don't know
time), & received five (5) exclamation points in my setlist book.  I wish I
could describe it better, but 4 shows in 5 days, each with momentous jams,
& no tapes to rely on, make it kinda hard.

The SLAVE that followed was probably the best that I've ever witnessed.
The build was beautiful, and extremely powerful.  Man, what a version.  The
set was shaping up *really* nicely at this point.

IMO, GHOST is the best thing that's happened to PHiSH since Tweezer.  This
version was a doozy.  I wrote it in my setlist book twice as big as
everything else, and with five (5) exclamation points following it.  Yes,
it was the best Ghost I have ever heard.  Once again, I am unable to
provide accurate descriptions of the jams which it contained, other than to
say that it contained multiple jams.  The builds were fast and furious, and
there was a funky edge, of course.  The Ghost was probably longer than the

Johnny B. Goode closer was rippin'.

This was one of the best sets I have ever seen or heard, & because of this,
a My Soul encore is excusable.  I like this song, but not a lot.  It rocks,
but nothing special, imo.  The encore was well-played, I assume, although I
was in such a state of shock from the set, that I kinda checked out after I
realized that the encore wasn't Alumni, Bold As Love, Destiny, Tube, or a
new Led Zeppelin cover, like Moby Dick ;-)

Good Gawd, get this set at all costs.  It contains some mind-numbing jams.
And this was only the 1st of 3 shows at the Centrum.  Oh jeez, I knew I was
in trouble for Saturday night.  If they had *only* played the Slave, or the
LimbXLimb, or just the Ghost, I still would have been happy.

One of the people who I attended this show with, was a former HS teacher of
Mike's.  Bill S. didn't quite realize the level of rock-stardom that his
former pupil had achieved.  Bill really enjoyed his first show, & had some
interesting insights on the band and their following.  Most notably, he
really dug the Ghost.  I will leave the details to Andrew Hitz to comment
on, b/c he also had Bill as a HS teacher.


Saul E. Wertheimer -- -- (847)674-1445
"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."
        - Henry David Thoreau


Date:    Tue, 2 Dec 1997 02:42:56 GMT
From:    Exree Hipp 
Subject: Worcester Thoughts Pt. 1

These were my 9th, 10th, and 11th shows, I've about 350 hours or so on
tape, and have heard quite a bit more.

Phish is doing things that you always hoped that they would, but never got
around to. Do you remember every single time that they've been playing a
jam, played it out, and then given up, lamely segueing into another song?
Well, for much of Worcester, when a jam was played out, they simply turned
to another jam, and this is very important to remember. Instead of turning
to another peg to jam on, they made one up on the spot. Because of this,
the jams had MOVEMENTS, and actual definable transitions that were just as
smooth as silk. This is a review of the first night, but jumping ahead,
the Runaway Jim from the second day was and is the greatest thing that
Phish has ever produced. It's not melodious like the Albany YEM, it won't
make you hold your breath like the jam before Sanity on 11/30/97, but it
is absolutely THRILLING to witness. More on that Jim in my next post. On
to the first night, which was SPECTACULAR in its own right.

PRE-SHOW: Me and my fellow aphishionado Tom made our way over to Worcester
with plenty of time to spare, like at five or so. We caught some cool grub
at the food court and played video games at the Media-Play store in the
mall. This was where I realized how cool reserved seats can be. Tom and I
had prime seats waiting for us, and we were in no rush. Amazingly, 7
o'clock came around, and instead of rushing to a show for seats, I was
playing video games, getting ready to stroll over to the show. It was like
seeing a movie. So cool. Anyway, the video games were the bomb. I won't
say how Tom described it. Note: at 7:30, the secheduled time for the show,
I'd be hard pressed to say that the place was half-full. Phish is too
predictable in that sense- Everyone knows they'll be on at around 8.

I:   The Curtain, You Enjoy Myself* > I Didn't Know**, Maze, Farmhouse,
     Black-Eyed Katy, Theme From the Bottom > Rocky Top

II:  Timber Ho!, Limb By Limb, Slave to the Traffic Light >
     Ghost > Johnny B. Goode

Encore: My Soul

*-Crosseyed and Painless teases, no bass and drums or vocal jam
**-w/ vacuum solo

CURTAIN: The boys went on stage, and talked a while before playing. They
were changing the opener to Curtain, much to my dismay. I hate this song
very much, certainly in my bottom five, but I know I'm alone in that
respect. Standard but without flaws, surprising since it was the first one
in like 57 shows.

YEM: This, which I think was the planned opener, was sharp and unique
throughout. The jam was very cool and didn't have a lot of playing. It was
much effects and the like. The jam was good, and very different, although
not like it blows the mind or anything. I love this song, though, and it
is cool to check out. This jam did feature some great stop/start action
like the Vegas Weekapaug. I just love that, especially since I never see
it coming. Oh, and btw, I never heard Crosseyed, and that is like one of
my very favorite covers by Phish. It may be there, but neither Tom or I
heard it. Just when I think they're going into the vocal jam, it turns out
to be a segue into...

I Didn't Know: Sung pretty much a capella, and with the vac solo. Place
went crazy for Fish, in the dress and with jeans on under the dress.
Weird, and my first. Amusing, and I was hoping for more YEM or a vocal jam
after it, but instead it finished up and we had Maze coming.

Maze: This was extremely high energy! I really don't understand why the
band thinks Worcester is this special place to pull all this energy out
of, but they play this place like it's MSG or NYE or something. Really
odd, imo. I just don't get it. The venue is not beautiful or special or
anything, and the audience isn't a notable size or anything. Just weird.
Maze raged big time, and the jam was fooling everyone as to when the peak
would be, but it was still pretty much a first set Maze. Lights were on.
Trey is about to hit the peak of Maze, the lights are all dark blue. He
hits it, and the whole place is white light. Chris just knew when it was
coming. Very cool.

Farmhouse: I was thinking about this song as a cool-down during Maze, no
joke. I really, really like it, and I'm very glad they played it. Very
cool, much longer than Conan's, of course.

BEK: Tom goes to Emerson College in Boston, and has a very fast connection
to the web, and had listened to this song on the sugarmegs site. He ID's
this song for me when it started, and let me tell you, that this song is
FABULOUS. It is a total cummulation of the porno-funk of summer 1997, and
was just ON!! I loved this, and it was certainly my favorite part of this
set. Kicked ass. I just can't say enough about how much I loved the way
that PHiSH played this tune that night. A+ for this.

Theme: Pretty much Theme without a new direction that I had hoped for. I
really love this song, though, since it is so nice. Well played, good
Theme. Not the Went or anything, but nice. Lights were good here as well.

Rocky Top: Not really a segue, as I'm sure you could have predicted. It
was straight, no flubs (what was up in Hartford?). Cool closer.

Very, very solid first set with some very nice jamming in YEM, Maze,
Farmhouse, and especially BEK, which was easily the highlight. High on
width, above average on height due to the BEK.

TIMBER: Timber Ho! opened this set, and it was pretty much this chaotic
thing. Now, don't get me wrong, you know I love a good jam, but this was
just so dissonant and chaotic that it was like, what the fuck. When it
started, I remember thinking that it was going to give us a very cool type
II jam, but it was pretty much just noise by the end. Explanation? Hold
your left fist up even with your breast about nine inches away. Then make
stabbing motions toward your right hip with your other fist and go "WANG!
WANG! WANG!" Every time you stab down, making it look like you're playing
guitar. That is how Trey was playing his guitar at the end of Timber. Not
good, imo.

Limb: Easily the best Limb ever. The jam out of this was so lengthy,
melodious, and POWERFUL, that I was pretty much floored. I love this song,
and the band was right on. Energy was still right through the roof, and
this was just unreal. I was at the Went and thought that this was far

Slave: Cool placement, and it was pretty much slave. I mean, it was very
powerful and well played, and it was certainly an above average version,
no question. However, this song doesn't make sets. I liked its placement
and the performance.

Ghost: As the noise of Slave wound down, Trey kept them going, and the
transitioned into Ghost. This jam was EXCELLENT once they got off of the
Ghost theme and got really funky. Had some cool stop/starts like the Vegas
Weekapaug, and some solo playing by Trey where the band cuts out and it's
just him. Yeah, it was my favorite Ghost I've heard, but I haven't heard a
lot of them, like many of the popular Euro-Ghosts. Check it out. Oh, and
the setlists say Cities teases? Are you kidding? Pretty much anything can
be a Cities tease or jam if you just strum the chords a pretty generic
way. No Cities tease, imo.

JBG: Good, raged, it was JBG. A sharp closer, and certainly rivaling
12/31/95 for energy and performance. I liked it.

E: My Soul: Painfully straight forward, not close to rivaling the Went.
Cool encore for the first night. Time to go home.

Again, very high for both width and height. The Ghost and Limb were both
my favorite versions ever, so that's big for height, and the whole damned
set was JAM JAM JAM. This show was very solid, certainly a rating of 7 or
above. I can't stress enough how every singly moment of this show was
enjoyable to me except the opener. I really loved every choice. I guess
it's clear that I hate to rate Phish shows I just saw, but hear this show,
it's all I can say. The highlights were BEK, Limb, Ghost, and maybe YEM.
I'll review the monumental second night in a bit.



Date:    Tue, 2 Dec 1997 01:42:13 GMT
From:    Andrew Van Alstyne 
Subject: Worcester Review -- 11/28/97

Hello All,

Just for the record, this was my tenth show (I finally hit double
digits).  I started listening to Phish in 93, saw them for the first
time in 94, and have heard ~500 hours.  My seats were in the upper
level, but were decent.

Worcester, Mass.  11/28/97
Set One:
The Curtain, You Enjoy Myself > I Didn't Know, Maze, Farmhouse,
Black-Eyed Katy, Theme From the Bottom, Rocky Top
Time: 8:00 - 9:17

Although The Curtain hasn't been played in an incredibly long time,
someone I was seated near called it for the opener.  We were all shocked
when it began, but I don't think anyone minded.  It was a standard
(read: fun) version, but nothing mind blowing.  The next song was a
treat because they started up...
You Enjoy Myself.  The composed section was excellent.  The first shot
at the note was exceptional and the second was fairly average.
The Tramps Jam grooved.  Mike & Trey jumped while Page got down.  Very
upbeat and quirky.
The jam itself moved in a very textural direction (though it was not
spacy).  A very tight, non-porno-funk groove was laid down.  This YEM
reminded me more of a 96 version than a 97 version, but hey, that's just
This version clocked in at an all too brief twenty-four minutes.
Crosseyed & Painless teases popped up in the jam.  There was a sort of
Bass and Drums at the end.  Basically, Mike funked out, but the rest of
the band accompanied him.  Many people said there was not a Vocal Jam at
the end of this song, but there was a brief one (~20 seconds).  However,
there was not a closing WUDMTF section.  Instead they sang a few
harmonies before starting up . . .
I Didn't Know
Tight and at normal (the faster) tempo.  When it came time for the
vacuum jam (the place where the vacuum would go if it was played)
Fishman walked to the side of his drums, picked up the electrolux, and
headed for center stage.  Nice solo.  Trey's introduction was from the
end of "Fuck Your Face."  Something about Henrietta and "the cover art
of the Stones' 'Sucking in the 70s' LP."  Quite funny.
Maze was a completely average version.  As always, nice work from Page,
but nothing remrkable.
Farmhouse is a strightforward beautiful song.  Cheesy? Yes.  Pretty?
Yes.  Trey's guitar soared during the brief closing jam.  This song was
well placed because it made what came next seem even more funky.  This
song won't change much from version to version, but I'd prefer it to
Waste or Water in the Sky any day
Black-Eyed Katy.  I had heard the Real Audio version from Vegas version
of this song quite a few times, so I knew what it sounded like, but this
song forces you to get down.  It is a simple funk groove that contains
more energy than is humanly possible.  I look forward to seeing this
live many times in the future.
Theme From the Bottom was also pretty standard.
Rocky Top was a pretty good way to end the set.  A light dance to tune
to close off an average set.

Ok, I found this set to be just slightly above average; it was a fun,
enjoyable Phish set.  There were great moments in the YEM, a fun I
Didn't Know, and a funky Black-Eyed Katy.  Also, Curtain opened.  I'd
give the set a 5.5

Set Two:
Timber (Jerry), Limb by Limb, Slave to the Traffic Light, The Story of
the Ghost, Johnny B. Goode
Time: 9:57-10:58

Encore: My Soul
Time: 11:01-11:07

Timber has come a long way.  The jam in the middle now qualifies as an
actual jam.  In fact, I thought that a segue into Antelope was in the
making.  Unfortunately the jam returned to Timber.  I was pleased that
the Timber jam now leaves the chord progression behind and wanders
Limb by Limb followed.  A fun song that I enjoy, but it doesn't blow my
mind.  Fishman's drum part was well-played but his vocals were almost
non-existent (at least from my seat).
Slave to the Traffic Light was simply beautiful.  In this song Trey
returned to his old self.  His guitar part soared, with trills galore.
There was no group funk, there was simply ecstacy.  This version moved
me (as all do, admittedly).  I would recommend it.  My only complaint is
brevity: it wound down after twelve glorious minutes.
Story of the Ghost followed and was the complete opposite of Slave.
There was serious porno-funk, Isaac Hayes style action going down.  I
felt like I was in a bad 70s blacksploitation film (I've got a plan to
stick it to the man...).  Twenty Four minutes long, and funky as hell.
Johnny B. Goode picked up where Ghost ended.  Strong instrumentally,
weak vocally.

My Soul.  No.  Please. No.  I hated this song until the Went, and that
has been the only version that I have liked.  Even for My Soul this
version was weak.

Second set gets a 7.0.  Encore gets a 0.5.

The show gets a 6.0 overall.  Above average, but not spectacular.
Listen to the Ghost and Slave, though.
My review for the 29th will follow.  Unfortunately my car broke down and
I had to leave town before the 30th.  This is the first time I've ever
had a ticket to a show and not been able to go.  It almost broke my


Andrew Van Alstyne
"The road goes on"   --  DMW