Date:    Wed, 9 Dec 1998 02:14:32 GMT
From:    PZerbo 
Subject: 11.27& 28.98, Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA: PZ Review, Pt. II

11.27& 28.98, Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA: PZ Review

Part II: 11.28.98

This is the second of two parts. Apologies for it being so late, my head has
really been in places other than the Phishy world of late. I guess it reads
fine in the absence of the first part, but it is meant to flow one after the
other. Do whatever you want, I mean, you are going to anyway! :-). Part 1 was
more music, part 2 is more narrative of experience, so bail if that is not your

Woke up Saturday morning at Kmo's place in Somerville with as good a
disposition as one can expect the morning after a show and a night on the
couch. Walked to Davis Square with Kmo, Patrick and Lilly to get some coffee
and chow. Setlled in to a lazy day around the house, tubes, Miles, coffee,
waiting to complete the circle with the arrival of Ann-Marie. Ann took her now
traditional Friday-after-Thanksgiving show off to hang on the Cape, for as we
all know, in the end love conquers all! Core Phishy crew reunited at last (for
the first time since Lemonwheel), hurray! First to Pete's, then Brew City Grill
for pre-show festivities. Same as Friday, same table, same very nice waitress,
same good and reasonably priced beer and chow, same free parking and close walk
to the gig. I had a matter to attend to in the lots, so I enlisted Ann ("secret
weapon #1") to bail early from the bar and help me scope the scene, such that
it was.

This is as good a time as any to get this out of the way, so if you are
offended by accounts of humans using alternative recreatinal consumables,
please turn your attention elsewhere for the following paragraph. It has
nothing to do with Phish, but is just narrative of the experience, yada yada.

 So we set out to score some doses, didn't take long, gel tabs, and
mighty fine ones, taboot (it is because I had my 'secret weapon' along).
Compliments to the Chef! The night before I experienced a first: I sketched out
an LSD dealer. Dude: "Gel tabs." Me: "Yo dude, I need 10." Dude, giving me the
once-over, then a second look... "uh, no way dude, I don't know what you are
talking about." Well, great, just great, I'm not sketchy enough to purchase
your crap doses, up yours! No, I didn't say that, but it was definately a
first. I've been happily ingesting LSD for recreational purposes since he was
in kindergarden, and -I- sketched -him- out? Whatever. OK, so inside, first
night in section 124, we were graced by the presence of "The Asshole" security
dude. About 6'2, short brown hair and beard, dickhead-disposition. Nabbed a
pipe of ours. No biggie, not a great pipe anyways, the stuff is illegal after
all, you take your chances, et cetera. BUT then Saturday night, we are on the
other side of the arena, section 107. The same fucking dude is in our section.
Was this guy personally assigned to us, or what? My crew puffs tons nugs, but
we are also the essence of discretion, we know stealth, we live stealth. And we
still got nabbed, again. This wasn't policy, this was personal. I've attended
well over 200 shows of GD/Phish/other usual suspects, and I've had a grand
total of 4 sketchy encounters with security, and two were with the same dude on
consecutive nights. I refuse to accept that I'm losing my stealthy touch, and
will just write it off as extremely bad luck. At least he didn't get any of our
nugs! Anyways, for reference, the rest of the show has my immediate crew
(except for Lilly, she is like that naturally) -tripping- -face-, so take it
for what it is worth. 

Ann and I head in in order to find Kmo and ingest, quick bathroom break, then
back upstairs, we settle in, section 107 GG, nice seats (a few rows off the
floor, equal with Kuroda's rig, Page-side, almost the same spot as Ann and my
11.30.97 seats), thanks as always to PTBM, whose randomness just happened to
assign both my own and Ken's MO seats adjacent for the entire run. So we had
the bomb crew of me, Ann, Lilly, and Ken together officially, and Pete and Dr.
Tim there 'unofficially'. Things are starting to "feel funny" and away we go.

11.28.98 I: Gumbo, Tube, Down w/Disease, Guyute, Albuquerque, Foam, Moma Dance,

Please forgive me if this 11.28 review is significantly less meaty on the music
side, but two factors make it a tad less detailed in my memory (being totally
blissed out, and it just not being especially noteworthy musically). The first
set was good. Not great, but good. Not very good, just good. Gumbo was a fine
opener, nice energy in the room. Not as extended and playful as, say,
Lemonwheel, but a fine start. Equal in length (10ish minutes) but just not
especially noteworthy. I'm not one to read too much into the on-stage
disposition of the band, but I do notice, and I'll suffice it to say everyone
seemed subdued. Especially Trey (or maybe it is just because I notice his
attitude more, because he is the most expressive and seems to have the biggest
on-stage mood swings), he just didn't seem especially into the affairs at hand.
No biggie.

Tube was cool, it had been a while for me, or at least it seemed as such. Less
than totally stupendous, but fun Page riffs throughout. I picked up Down
w/Disease in about 2 seconds (I can name that tune in 3 notes!)... From the
"you learn something new every day" department, I had never noticed before how
Mike gets that 'wah' effect on his axe during the intro before he breaks into
the main theme; he grabs the top extension of the bass body and just gives it a
little shake (but I guess everyone but me already knew that). It just struck me
as an odd thing to be noticing for the first time considering how many times
I've heard the tune live. Anyway, a fine primarily Mike-driven version, but
nothing especially new or innovative, no real deviation from the base 5-chord
progression. I guess I'm just a tad spoiled having been witness to so many
great versions, that there is just a twinge of dissapointment these days when
the tune doesn't serve as a platform for something more exploratory.

Guyute. In the course of a single year, this tune has gone from something that
would make a set for me, to a tune that I could just as well do without. Not a
bathroom break tune by any means, but it just is what it is. The only real
deviations between versions are the relative degrees of Trey flubs, and face
facts: the tune is overplayed. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, I did.
Albuquerque. I'm sorry, did I miss something? Like when they decided to cover
this tune, how did the conversation go? "Well, OK, there are 100+ killer Neil
Young tunes that would go great in rotation... let's do... Albuquerque"?!? It
just strikes me as an odd cover. This could have been due to my, er, "attitude"
at the time, but I found myself cracking up, like it is was a gag cover. If it
makes them happy, it makes me happy, but you can't make me like the tune! :-)
Oh, call me inattentive, but I totally missed the "Wish You Were Here" tease
claimed by others; the tapes will tell the story, as always.

Foam was fine, short, to the point. I've always felt that this could use some
expansion, or consolidation of the theme into some other tune. It is a nice
little ditty, nothing to write home about, especially when Trey does the
flub-o-rama on his trade-off licks with Page. Moma Dance witnessed Trey
starting to shake his bones a little during the intro/BEK segment, nice to see.
I really enjoy Fishman's singing on this tune, but I found myself having to
look away from him, because I just could not maintain a straight face and
attention to the tune watching him sing with those darn viking horns on! :-).
Nice funk break in a primarily non-funky couple of shows. SOAMelt was twisted.
I suggest that mostly in a good way. Lots of tension, though little release.
Especially entertaining for those alternatively recreating, ahem, certainly a
version to keep you on your toes. Need to hear the tapes to make any real
conclusions on this set. Much like the night before, it was fine, but no
flow... consistent, but few highlights, nothing that jumps out and suggests
this as a "must-have" tape, but entertaining, a good time.

The break. I'm going to spare y'all discussion of the break. It was cool, ask
me about it sometime :-).

11.28.98 II: Julius, Wolfman's -> Timber Ho!, Loving Cup, SOAMule, Caspian,
Crossroads, Tweezer, Cavern. E: Sample, Tweezer Reprise.

This set was with minor exception a complete joy for me. I can say without
question that it will not hold up nearly as well on tape; it just objectively
wasn't that great, musically. This used to bother me, but now I just accept it:
the music may be the reason we congregate, but it isn't always the most
important factor in determining how much I will enjoy a set/show. First and
foremost, the people I immediately surround myself with at the gig is just a
huge factor in my show enjoyment. When I'm with Ken, Ann, and Lilly at a gig,
it is a comfort zone which I have rarely met in any social endeavor. Then there
is the "shared consciousness" thing... when you do the same, er, "things" in
the same settings with the same people on more occassions than you can count on
your fingers and toes... let's just call it the "bliss factor" and suffice to
say that it was at maximum during this set.

Julius starts out the proceedings in splendid fashion, and another tune that
had been a while in coming, personally (I always seem to miss it by a show or
two). Perfect placement... I'm all for diversity of setlists and letting tunes
breathe in different parts of the show, but I love it here, can't think of a
better place for it. So, if anyone tried to tell you two years ago that
Wolfman's would have witnessed such a fundamental transformation, first to a
showcase of funk, and then to its current platform for such a wide-range of
exploratory jamming, you would have thought them insane. I certainly would
have. This isn't necessarily the best example, but it does break down into a
very interesting, smooth and lyrical, mellow jam. Not stretched like Vegas (!),
but interesting nonetheless. Not a true transition to speak of, but swiftly
into Timber Ho!, a relative rarity these days (12.31.97 last?). Need to hear
the tapes of this especially, as several folks have mentioned that they didn't
think much of it. I am very much not in that camp, I thought it smoked. Trey
ripping shit up, eyes-closed (me, I dunno about him :-), total hose, I was
totally down with this, if I had a tail, it would have been waggin'! Mmmmm,

I really don't care how many times I hear Loving Cup, I'm just a sucker for
this tune. Perhaps I'll get sick of it someday, as all versions I've heard have
been for the most part interchangeable. In the meantime I'll just thoroughly
enjoy it, thanks very much. I was psyched for another SOAMule, I've really
warmed up to the Vegas version (which before then I hadn't caught in 2+ years).
Very mellow, interesting Trey <-> Page duel. The Mike solo was a treat, except
for the crowd. Folks, Mr. Michael Gordon is extending the favor of playing a
bass guitar composition for your sorry ass, this would be the time to -listen-,
not "yiiipppiiiee, yahoooo!" Urgh.  My irritation was quickly relieved,
though, by the bust-a-nut hysterical occurance of Mike donning another viking
hat for the Mike <-> Fish duel, what a riot! I'll assume someone from the crowd
or organization got a good picture or two of this (if you are in possession of
such a picture, post away). Anyway, a very satisfying SOAMule.

Buzzkill! I'm sorry folks, I try, oh how I try, to get into Prince Caspian. I
try not to let it ruin the moment, I try to understand that Trey gets some
pleasure out of the tune, I try to surrender to this particular flow. It ain't
working. Ususally its placement is at a -really- good point during the set, in
order to just totally obliterate the vibe; while this set wasn't a
tour-highlight or anything, there was still a good vibe in the room, at least
from where I sat. Sufficiently squashed. Sorry, I call 'em like I see 'em. Oh
well! Crossroads was something other than Caspian, which was in itself good.
Crowd-pleaser, Page seemed fired-up and delivered some rather energetic riffs

When they broke into Tweezer, all I could think of was that it was so late! I'm
just so much more accostomed to having Tweezer earlier in a set, earlier in the
show, and have it color, shape, and define what follows. No complaints, it just
really caught me off guard! After the pure energy of the Reprise, Kmo
speculated that it was played this late only because Trey wanted to play the
Reprise :-). Good, very good even. Like much of the jamming from the two
Worcester gigs I caught, it never strayed much, but was quite powerful. I love
earlier-era Tweezers as much as the next person, but I've yet to meet one from
'98 that I didn't like. Cavern has been a funky breath of fresh air of late,
but this one just sat there, seemed more obligatory than anything. Quick break,
then Sample. A crowd pleaser to be sure, but nothing wrong with that, I was
pleased :-). Then the Reprise. Damn, Trey, why don't you show a little emotion
once in a while! Seriously though, Trey was all over this from a pure energy
standpoint, boppin' all over the stage, totally pumped up. When he gets that
physical with his stage antics, I really lose a sense of his vibe... is it
rock-star, Saturday-night crowd-pleasing, or is he just a big kid in the
biggest of candy stores? I usually think the latter, but sometimes when the
theatrics are that exagerrated, I dunno. No matter, a fun ending to a good
show. Not great, but quite good. From a pure fun standpoint, right up there...
the vibe among my crew makes all the effort we put into this circus well worth

We chilled for a bit, let the crowd thin, catch our collective breath, then off
to the post-show proceedings. I made tracks downstairs, ran into Mike on my way
down/his way up the service elevator. Mike must really like the aftershow, he
was up there in a hurry! As the elevator doors were closing, I couldn't help
but grin as these two young girls stood in the hallway awe-struck because Mike
just walked by them in the hallway. I guess you would have had to have been
there, but their expressions were priceless :-). The Clinic was hopping, but
was again absent the person whom I wanted to see, doh! Trey was out in the big
hallway rapping with folks same as the night before, I did not see Page, Fish
was chilling inside as per seemingly usual.

Grabbed a quick brew, found a spot to chill in hopes of finding folks I knew.
Due to my, er, mental state, I didn't hang around too terribly long... I'm
totally comfy in this environment, everyone is very friendly and such, but
given that it is populated mostly with folks there for a -reason- (crew, staff
and such), I just feel like I should be -doing- something!  Anyway, I wanted to
hang with my friends at the aftershow, so I made tracks upstairs. The scene was
much the same as Friday night (if any band members other than Mike came
upstairs, I didn't see them), perhaps a little more crowded, but generally
positive energy.

Oh, for those of you who may have read my Vegas review and have a decent
memory, I spotted the guy who was holding court on the big-money Roulette table
in the middle of the night at the MGM Grand in Vegas... I went over and talked
to him... at first he was a little freaked out, as I was like "yo dude, were
you in the MGM Grand playing big stakes roulette at 4:30 on the morning of
10.31.98?" But then he got a big chuckle, as I thanked him for providing me
with such a vicarious thrill watching him gamble so much money, and freak out
the assembled Vegas-ites with his appearance and that of his entourage :-).

We bailed the aftershow after a brew or two, stopped in at the bar where we
gathered pre-show, had a drink and chatted with Tim and Pete who had settled in
for drinks and a late dinner, and then back to Boston for a long night of
mellow tunes (may I humbly recommend 8.15.98 IV for your next post-show chill
zone?), tubes, great friends and such. Thanks to Lilly, our "something extra
special" for staying sober all night in order to drive us home! A wonderful
weekend of Phish activity to be sure, thanks especially to the band, staff,
crew, Ken, Ann, Lilly, Pete, Marco and all the rest of my assembled awesome
friends. Great to see Mary, Michael, Jen, Erik, Heidi, Dan, Julie, James, Elana
and Mike, Heather, Greg, and everyone else I'm forgetting. Sorry to have missed
all those I missed, but MSG is soon enough.

Postscript: 11.29.98. Couldn't tell you a thing about the show, as I did not
attend. The reasons are not for public consumption, but suffice it to say it
was by choice. There are a lot of important things in life besides Phish, ya
know. It was a surprisingly cool feeling though, chilling out in Providence
that night, knowing that the assembled masses were up the road boogying down,
and just not caring that I wasn't in the room with y'all. I have a lot of
positive things going on in my life right now, but I hadn't recently made a
decision to do something -else- other than Phish where all things were equal
(time, money, distance, ticket). Try it sometime, you may like it. I did, and
may even make it a habit! Well, OK, not a big habit. :-)

Onward to MSG! Cheers,



Date:    Mon, 30 Nov 1998 05:57:47 GMT
From:    KAZDEYNA 
Subject: Worcester Saturday night 11/28/98 Review

Phish - Saturday, November 28, 1998
The Centrum, Worcester, MA

Set 1:
Gumbo                         8:05pm
Tube                            8:15pm
Down with Disease     8:20pm
Guyute                        8:33pm
Albuquerque               8:42pm
MoMA Dance                8:59pm
Split Open and Melt    9:10pm

Set 2:
Julius                             10:04pm
Wolfman's Brother ->     10:14pm
Timber Ho!                      10:24pm
Lovin' Cup                       10:33pm
Scent of a Mule
Prince Caspian                10:50pm
Crossroads                     11:00pm
Cavern                            11:20pm

Sample in a Jar              11:25pm
Tweezer Reprise            11:33pm

  After last night's incredible second set it was almost impossible to go
higher or better, but my own anticipation was there.   However tonight's show
can be best described as abbreviated and TAME.  All songs being pretty short
and standard, nothing too much out of the ordinary or you haven't seen before.
Trey's soloing throughout the night was with a tilted head, mouth open, blank
stare.  Plus, maybe I'm comparing tonight's crowd to last night, or maybe it
was the less than energetic performances coming from the stage, but tonight's
crowd was never into it.

Brief Personal Preface....
(feel free to omit and go to review below)

   First let me say Saturday was a very nice day, which found us wandering
around Boston's Back Bay, Newbury St., Boylston St. and Copley Place.  Walking
out of Turners Fish restaurant around 4:00pm (after a late lunch or early
pre-show dinner) we see a tour bus outside of the Copley Plaza Hotel on
Dartmouth St.  I laugh and say to Melissa and her mother "look Phish is here".
All of a sudden who do we see boarding the bus, but Page himself, followed by
Trey and his daughter.  Trey walked out of the hotel with one of his daughters
in his hand, wearing his skull cap hat, sweater and jeans, smiling and happy
talking to another lady next to him (maybe his wife) and boarded the bus, he
seemed in a great mood smiling all the way out of the hotel.  Wasn't close
enough to speak to them, and really didn't feel like shouting things out, but
was happy with the coincidental spotting none the less!  Didn't see Mike or
Fish.  Anyway that got me excited to see the show, and with all of my rants to
Melissa about last night's show (which she passed on), seeing the boys on the
street got her excited enough to take the 50 mile drive (from Stoneham) to
Worcester (the old college town where we met) to see the show.  This was number
7 for Melissa on the year......and we still got her to go!

  After a quick tour of Holy Cross (the city of Worcester has changed a lot
more in the last 8 years than some of the remodeling to the school, however
Hogan is different in spots) we proceeded to the Centrum.

   The Centrum as I was saying in yesterday's review is an excellent venue.
The acoustics have always been good but now have greatly improved (at least on
the floor and in the 100's section where I was both nights).  The arena is very
easy to get to since downtown Worcester has about 3-5 major approaches, and
many side street ones once you get into town, thus making the exit out of town
just as easy.   Parking is not a problem, especially if you avoid the mall tear
parking lot, I found a spot on the street (Main St.), 2 blocks away this night.
 The crowd usually hangs out in the parking lots, and also mills around the
streets around the venue.  The crowd is always a little older in the New
England area, more relaxed, and definitely more experienced with the scene.
Very Cool!   Glad to have met some nice people both nights!  Finally getting
inside is also hassle free, if you avoid the main entrance and use the 3 other
entrances around the building to get in.

  PTBM provided me tickets next to the same nice people as the night before,
two guys from the U. of Rochester who were  finishing up their tour, we had
some nice conversations especially about the millennium Hawaii rumors, which
the whole place was talking about.  The quote of the tour is "Are you going to

***Review Starts Here***

Set 1:

  However something must have happened on the bus ride from Copley Place to
Worcester, since Trey did not look happy at all.  He had a completely different
demeanor then last night.  Didn't take time to look at the crowd or the band
just went right into Gumbo.  Last night the band communicated a lot together,
physically, by hand gestures, glances, etc...tonight if any communication was
occurring between the band members it was in the form of listening to what each
other play and go from there.  Gumbo had a short spacey-rhythmic jam.  Every
time I was about to write "jam" on my notes the band would stop it and go into
another song.  That's what I mean about abbreviated

   Tube followed and was by far the worst version of Tube that I have heard.
Not that it was bad but this 5 minute version would have been a better fit on a
CD then at a concert.  Page played well tonight and he had a nice piano solo,
but the rest of the band and song was just...eh...Page switched to the Hammond,
Trey started to solo up the neck of his guitar, but like said it was 5 minutes
long and not much to it.......eh.........
However somewhere in here for whatever reason (I am completely honest here) I
was reminded of the 12/29/97 Crossroads and thought to myself man it would be
nice to hear a Crossroads out of this one.....

    Down with Disease was one of the better songs tonight.  Mike kept it going
playing it nice and hard.  Trey still hasn't smiled.  I really think something
was bugging him.

   Not much to say about this version of Guyute.

   Albuquerque was another highlight, the song was played very well, Page had a
nice rainy piano solo, and Trey had a quick, short high note solo.

   Foam was well played but nothing out of the ordinary.

   MoMA never seemed to anywhere.

   Split Open and Melt was good, but once again nothing you haven't seen
before, or should I say, I've seen better.  Trey just had a blank, open mouth,
tilted head, stare throughout the entire solo (and throughout most of the solos
during the show).

  Set 2:

    Julius short but a sweet start, as last night Trey tries to tap but pops a
big pooka-dot  balloon with the neck of his guitar.

  Wolfman's had one of those quick jams that was about to begin and build into
something but just stopped, keeping with the abbreviated theme of the evening.

  Timber Ho! is a favorite of mine.  Hearing the mule Jerry's story with that
tempo and beat gets me going, I don't want the funk in this song, I want it to
be driving.   It never evolved into anything really with Trey much more
preoccupied doing his pedal dance.

   Loving Cup and energy!  Finally we get a smile from Trey and from here on in
the show picks up about a1000 fold.   Whatever was bothering Trey and thus
holding back the whole band seemed to be removed with his singing of this song.
 I think he likes to sing this song and the band played a great solid version,
so Trey must've said to himself, f$@# it, I'm just going with it.

   Scent of a Mule was a nice version, no Blues jam as 10/30/98, but each
member had a solid version and then Mike and Fish took the show into their own
hands exchanging solos both with Viking Hats on!

   Caspian was played rough and hard, Trey getting out his frustrations,
bending both knees and doing two leg jumps throughout the jam.  Mike continued
to his energetic play from the Scent jam.....

   Crossroads!  I yell out a big YESS! Something must have been in the air or
it was teased but I couldn't believe I was thinking of this one in set1 and it
appeared in set 2. Weird?!?!  A song which I never saw live, it was very well
played and energetic, how could it not be.  Page must have broke his piano, he
played it sooooo hard, pounding on the right keys!  Definitely the highlight of
the night and a crowd mover.  Worth the trip!!!!!

   Tweezer continued in energy for a while with Mike and Fish, especially Fish
really hammering out the intro!!!!!!!  However, they had a flub in the middle
and here is just another example of one of those abbreviated jams, it just
stopped (like an album version).

   Cavern was neither funky nor a rocker.

   Haven't heard Sample since 10/21/96 and it actually was a pleasant surprise,
Page gets a round glowstick thrown at him and lands on top of the piano.
Tweeprise followed with the energy that was lacking the entire evening, Trey
played to all four sides of the crowd and was jumping up and around the stage,
maybe just trying to get himself psyched to finish off the show on some high

  What could we expect from last night's feast, hope they get a could one to
finish off the tour on Sunday, and making this Worcester run a very memorable

Lovin' Cup
Down With Disease

Thanks for the time



Date:    Sun, 29 Nov 1998 07:40:26 GMT
From:    Trade5 
Subject: Quick Sat. 11/28 Review

Hello all,

  In my opinion 11/28 was a masterpiece because of the brilliance of the
interplay on stage.  Songs seemed to shift much easier from soft to tense, loud
to quiet, and the audience obliged; not a whole lot of "jam ending" applause.
The setlist for 11/27 is impressive, and no doubt that I was thrilled to see a
Sanity, but sloppy playing left a bad taste in my mouth.  Well, Saturday night
the band delivered quite well.

PreShow:  Around 6:15 as many of us waited to get in we heard commotion as an
officer broke a vendor's glass piece and snagged him by the arm.  The guy was
resisting, and someone told me it was in order to save his other fancy glass
piece.  The cop lightly smacked at the guy's shoulder, which continued to upset
the guy.  Eventually he was detained with the help of two (or more) other
policemen.  Paddy wagon arrived soon after.

Gumbo was a nice funky start with a very nice jam.
Tube featured a nice spacy jam before the rocking re-entry
DwD was energetic from the start.  Jam was intense, several peaks
Guyute was a nice song to follow; maintained momemtum
Albequerque was my first; very very nice departure from usual sound
FOAM is a fave of mine and this one was excellent.  Page's solo was well
respected by the quiet audience, and Trey bopped around nicely over the changes
Moma was nice; i've heard it a lot--this seemed very chilled
Melt is a great way to end; exquisite peaking jam that got moody near
climax--great listening on stage.  Love that 9/8 bar!  :-)

  SET I is one of my favorite sets of Phish that I have witnessed in 15-20
shows.  I think the sound was excellent, the group playing from the band was
top-notch with many departures from standard jams brought on by close attention
what each other were playing.

Julius started the set well; typical set II peaking jam
Wolfman's was a nice way to cool the room down without losing attention.  The
jamming got dark and interesting to me as the band segued rather impressively
Timber Ho!  always a treat.  more dark jamming.  my fave.
Loving Cup  always a pleaser.  great way to raise the spirits
Mule is mule until the Duel, which featured a Mike solo, then Fish solo, then a
Mike and Fish duel (more dark/fierce music) with both wearing the Viking cap
Caspian was not as much of a buzzkill as others have been.  Didn't near the
awe-inspiring feeling I felt in Providence on the Island tour
Crossroads was pretty good, very typical soloing from Trey, Page, Trey
Tweezer was bordering on a style reminiscent of the ALO-style Tweezer where the
feel changes as different members take control.  Trey had some very very sick
upper-octave Whammy Pedal work going on.  Jam faded and a chill version of
Cavern started up.  A typical ender.  Expected one more song.

Sample/Tweezer Reprise were nice unintrusive "cool down" songs in my opinion.
No more peaks to hit.

  The Centrum does not impress me much, but I think I can see why the band
likes the place.  No strict time constraints (according to a few venue
personnel I talked to) and there are few distractions to the show, such as
illuminated Billboards or bright concourse lights.  Of course, the venue
security added their part to the light show by constantly flashing their lights
in aisles to try to clear them.  Another complaint is the huge crush during
setbreak and post-show trying to walk around, use the bathroom, etc.

One night remains...
Take care,

Sunil  :-)


11/28/98 - The Centrum, Worcester, MA

Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 00:49:22 -0500
From: David Goldstein dgoldste@eden.rutgers.edu
To: dws@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu
Subject: FALL98_REVIEW

11/28/98 Worcester, MA

Bad? No. As good as the previous night? No.

Like I elaborated on in my review of the previous night, Worcester
sucks. Word to the people lighting off firecrackers in the lot, do it in
some other city because most 'heads thought (understandably) that they
were hearing gunshots. Lot food was still good as hell.

I: Gumbo, Tube, DWD, Guyute, Albuquerque, Foam, MOMA, SOAMelt

        I supppose GUMBO is a cool way to kick off the show, but I'd
hear it as the second or third song in the set. Pretty solid, with the
usual dark, flowing jam that has seemed to surface in all post '97Gumbos.
Not bad, but it wouldn't kill 'em to nix the jam once in awhile
and let Page rock out. TUBE is a great song, but they seemed sort of
lost in the funked out midsection, as opposed to letting the wah-wah
rip. Good nonetheless. DOWN WITH DISEASE is always a guaranteed blast,
though I was told that the New Haven version was better. This rocked
extremely hard, if not for maybe a little too long. At times it seemed
as if Trey was shooting for a textural, dark jam by consistently
chording on guitar, but Fish never slowed the tempo, and the reprise
came at the end. GUYUTE was Guyute, which is fine by me. I've never
heard ALBUQUERQUE before, and whoever said the beginning sounded like a
Wish You Were Here tease was absolutely right. Don't know if this is
part of the song or not. I liked this song. A nice, moody ballad in what
sounded like E minor. I was using one of the 3 or 4 toilets they have
for 15,000 people in the Centrum during FOAM, so I can't really comment.
MOMA DANCE came as a surprise to some because the kick off chord is
basically the same chord which kicks off Gumbo, and the tempos are the
same, so some people got understandably confused. This was a pretty solid
version, and I'm not sure why it was reported as having "different
lyrics". I think Fishman said "Steady Slap" before "Frothing Cap" and
usally it's the other way around, but does this constitute "different
lyrics?". SOAMELT was an obvious (and welcome) choice for the set
closer. Rocks hard as always, but far too many post '97 Splits have
these mindless noisy mid-sections, and this was no exception. Pretty
good regardless.

Overall, a solid first set which I enjoyed ever so slightly more than
Friday night's first set. Gotta love the Down With, and Tube and Guyute
are always fun to hear.

II: Julius, Wolfman's  Timber Ho!, Loving Cup, SOAMule, Caspian,
Crossroads, Tweezer  Cavern

        I love it when JULIUS opens a set. Just a rockin' good time that's
guaranteed to put even the most jaded 'head in a good mood. This one wasno
exception to the rule. Mike was all over WOLFMAN'S BRO. He simply
lead the jam portion with powerful, precise slapping, and the groove was
funky and tight. Only about 10 minutes, relatively short compared to
what's been done with this tune, and the jam eventually became dark, and
lead into....TIMBER HO! I like the chorus of this song, but I can't
stand the jam. It's dissonant, noisy, and goes nowhere, except back to
the inevitable vocals. I like LOVING CUP as an encore, and it's
certainly fun, but I was discouraged by the placement. Needless to say,
I think it's become too much of a safety net tune....whenever the band
thinks they may be starting to lose the audience's interest with dark or
uninspired jamming, they can simply whip out the 'cup, and all is well.
Trey rocked the ending like a bitch, but doesn't he always? Not a big
fan of seeing MULE in set II, but the Mike/Fish duel was certainly cute,
and had me, and most of the audience laughing and cheering. Fish isn't
much on the traditional drum solo is he? A surprising highlight of the
second set. CASPIAN was a decidely rocking version, but I disliked the
placement. Feels sort of like deadweight when it's placed in the middleof
a set. This would've been a better place to put the Tweezer which
surfaced later. CROSSROADS was a fun rarity, and highly rocking. Thought
this might close the set at about an hour, but oddly enough, they opted
for a late set II TWEEZER. Pretty short at a little over 12 minutes (I'm
guessing), and pretty straight ahead RAWK, much like the recent New
Haven version. Had me grooving nonetheless, even if the jam was
relatively conventional. The Tweezer sort of fizzled out into a singular
din, and CAVERN kicked in. The intro to this was sort of strange....Trey
was scratching along in time to Fish's beat, and it seemed as if it was
initiated by Trey, as opposed to Fish, which is sort of odd. I
dunno...just seemed different. Standard Cavern, which is to say, fun,
and my favorite set II closer.

        Didn't really care much for this second set. Thought that the song
placement was a little off, and the set as a whole lacked a flow that
Friday night had. Loving Cup, Mule, and Caspian all in the middle of a
set doesn't exactly lend itself to a flow as all of the songs
arerelatively self contained and short (relative to other common set II
jams). The Julius definitely rocked however, and I'd listen to Wolfman's
and Tweezer more than once.

Overall, good first set, and a somewhat lacking second one. Pretty
average Phish show overall, which is fine once in awhile because it
allows you to appreciate the really good ones (the previous) night, that
much more.

BTW: An encore of Sample  Tweeprise is the Phishy definition of


David M. Goldstein

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 18:47:22 -0500
From: tsk@monadnock.keene.edu, .keene.edu@keene.edu
To: dws@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu
Subject: FALL98_REVIEW

just got back to school from last night and still can't believe how good
this show was, especially the first set.
GUMBO-sweet opener, gave me good vibes about the show
TUBE- Hell ya! my third tube and my favorite by far, the whole band was
tight on this one going into...
DOWN WITH DISEASE- are you fucking kidding me?  i was blown away trey
was ripping and having a great time.  it definitely showed in the music
and the crowd reaction.
thought they might give us something slow but instead it's...
GUYUTE- now, i've heard guyute's that i felt were good but this one was
unbelieveable.  trey nailed every, and i mean every, note.  the darkness
of this tune captures me every time.
ALBEQUERQUE- my first one, not bad, i needed a break
FOAM- my first, everything i dreamed it'd be
MOMA DANCE- love this tune!
got my feeet moving fast
SPLIT OPEN AND MELT- the close to the best first set i have ever seen.
this melt hit me right between the eyes and just drilled a hole thorugh
my soul.  you should have seen trey's facial expressions.
well, gotta go, i'll let someone else write about second set.  if you
can find the tapes to this one pick it up because i don't think i've
ever heard a down with disease, guyute, or split open and melt sound any
                                -still dancing in my head

Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 00:43:05 -0500
From: Jeff Conboy jconboy@student.umass.edu
To: dws@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu
Subject: FALL98_REVIEW

Day two.  All I have to say is thank God I have a friend with an
apartment two blocks from the Centrum.  Free parking and no hassles
getting out or in.  Worcester has been the usual zoo it turns into when
Phish comes to town.  I was still a little worn out from the night
before, but the second I entered the Centrum it was like I had just
woken up from a deep sleep.  I was ready to go, and after last night,
ready to hear Phish at their best.
                                                            Set I
    Gumbo:  This was okay as an opener.  I prefer high energy songs to
open, but Gumbo is alright.  They kept it tight, with some dark
jamming.  It was nothing spectacular, though.
    Tube:  I was psyched to see this.  This might have been better to
open with, but who cares.  This was a first for me, and I loved it.  Itwas
very tight with some funk in the middle.
    Down with Disease:  I think this song smokes.  Tonight was no
exception.  Rockin.  Trey looked very enthusiastic during this as he
wailed away.  Again, the whole band was tight.  Everyone was playing
well, filling in appropriately.  Good stuff.
    Guyute:  One of my favorites.  Tonight's was especially well
played.  I was realizing that the band was on again.  I knew not to
expect a set like last night's second, but I could tell that whatever
the band played would be played well.  Guyute seemed a little darker
than I've seen it, but it seemed that this was so for almost every song
all weekend.
    Albuquerque:  I hadn't even heard this before, let alone seen it.
It was a nice little tune.  It gave us a chance to chill out a little
bit after DWD which makes me go nuts.  I think that there might have
been a little Wish You Were Here tease in the beginning, but I might've
been dreaming.  A good tune though.
    Foam:  Yes!  Great song, although I don't remember much about it
except that it was well played because something was kicking in.
    Moma Dance:  Ditto.  This song has grown on me.  I was a little
skeptical at first because I thought Black-Eyed Katy was fine as it was,
but this tune gets everyone dancing.
    Split Open and Melt:  I was now rocking and ROLLING.  This is
another one of my favorites.  Beginning was pretty standard, but the jam
was cool.  It wasn't at the level of the one I saw in Hampton 97, but it
was above average.  The coolest thing ever happened to me and my friend
during this song, though.  The night before during setbreak he said that
he thought a Phish show was like a playground because everyone is happy
and having fun.  That a show was a place where you can go to forget your
troubles.  That at shows everyone is like a little kid in that most
people forget their stereotypes and everyone is your friend.  Well, for
anyone who was there, I noticed the lights during the jam were moving
exactly like a swingset.  They were orange and swinging back and forth.
I quickly showed this to my friend and he nearly died.  It was simply
    Overall, a pretty good set.  Nothing really spectacular, but
everything was tight.  That is what stands out in my mind when I think
of this set.  Solid Phish.  I say 6.
                                                            Set II
    Julius:  Nice set opener.  Always gets people moving.  What I liked
most about this was the dark jam afterwards.  I had never heard a jam
like that on Julius.  The song kicked ass.
    Wolfman's Brother:  More Hoist!  Wolfman's is always welcome.  Not
as funky as the 97's, but very tight.  Dark jam after it was really
phat.  The darkness eventually led into...
    Timber Ho!:  This was another first.  It was very well played.  It
too seemed kind of dark, but I have heard this so few times that I
really can't say too much about it.  It was good though.
    Loving Cup:  Aaah, out from the darkness.  I love this song and
tonight's was a gem.  Trey let loose a nastly little solo at the end,
but he usually does.  Nothing stands out in my mind as particularly
amazing about this song, but it was definitely an above average
cup.amazing about this song, but it was definitely an above average cup.
The audience was loving it (haha?).  It went nicely into...
    Scent of a Mule:  This was pretty standard, but good nonetheless.
Mike and Fish got in a little duel and Mike even walked to the rear of
the stage and donned a viking hat like Fish's.  That was pretty funny
and had everyone cheering.  It segued into...
    Prince Caspian:  I've never minded this song as much as some people,
but it was impossible to resist this one.  The harmonies were nicer than
usual and the song rocked.  The reprise is a nice addition to it also.
Great song.
    Crossroads:  A rare treat.  Well played all around and rocking.
Good to hear.
    Tweezer:  This surprised me so late in the set.  It was pretty
standard as Tweezers come, but it rocked hard and had everyone psyched.
I thought this would be the end, but it segued into a nasty...
    Cavern:  The highlight of this was definitely the beginning.  Trey
was scratching like crazy on his guitar during the intro and it was
cool.  The rest of the song was pretty rocking, not as funky as it usedto
be.  I personally like it more when it is real funky, but this one
was definitely good.
    This set was pretty much like the first.  Nothing truly outstanding
(maybe Caspian, Julius, or even the dark jam at the end of Wolfman's),
but a good set.  Everything was tight, no flubs that I noticed, and
Crossroads as a treat.  Trey was very mobile during this set, dancing
around and having fun.  Good to see.  I give it a 6.5.
    Sample:  More Hoist.  Don't be fooled by this.  It was an EXCELLENT
Sample.  It rocked hard and in turn, so did everyone in the Centrum.
This was one of the best Samples I've heard and I have no complaints.
    Tweezer Reprise:  Again, don't be fooled.  This was one hell of a
Reprise.  Trey was playing like he seriously wanted to prove to us that
he could play guitar with anyone who has ever lived.  The rest of the
band played equally hard.  Just straight up ROCK!!!!  Good encore.