Date:    Wed, 3 Dec 1997 20:47:15 GMT
From:    Allan Abrams 
Subject: Philly review - killer setlist, average show

So far this tour I have seen Hampton, Win. Salem, Hartford and all
Worcesters. This Philly show and first night of Worcester are my least
favorite of the tour so far. This Philly show lacked any monster jams,
although the band seemed to be trying to please us.

The show started off with the seldom played Buried Alive and I was pumped.
I wish they played this short but sweet instrumental more often. Every show
this tour has been starting off with fantastic song selections and tonights
was no exception. The fun continued as Buried Alive segued into an
energetic Down With Disease which segued flawlessly into Makisupa
Policeman. The DwD jam segment was very good and full of spunk, but was
short and unfinished. What I heard I liked, I just didn't hear enought of
it. I was hoping for a much longer DwD jam. The Makisupa was one of the
lamer versions I've heard. Again, it was a short version. All the band sang
over and over and over was "Hey Makisupa Policeman, Policeman came to my
house." Trey didn't make up any new lyrics. Of course, there aren't really
many lyrics to this song anyways. But, Trey made no attempt at his lyrical
improvisations during Makisupa like he usually does. Makisupa segued into
Chalkdust. So, the show opened promisingly enough with three fantastic
Buried Alive>DwD (unfinished)>Makisupa>Chalkdust. It's a great way to open
the show, but the songs themselves lacked any noteworthy jams. Everything
was pretty much standard. This would tend to be the theme of the night as
the first PHilly show has an incredible setlist, but the jams weren't as
good as they could have been. After a long and boring Ghost (I hate this
song, but that's for another post) we got the first Divided Sky since mid
summer at the Gorge. This one was executed much better than the Gorge
version. It appears that Div. Sky is now going to a rare phish tune, only
played once or twice a tour. Dirt, my favorite new song, was wonderful and
segued directly into Taste. Trey's melodic guitar solo in Dirt is quite
beautiful everytime they play it. ANOTHER GREAT PHISH SEGUE. The band has
been Spectacular and Seamless with segues on Summer tour and this fall.
Taste seems to have become a regular first set closer, or next to last

The second set opened with another terrific sequence of segues:

Mikes Song>Simple>Dog Faced Boy>Yamar>Weekapaug was very enjoyable and had
the crowd dancin'. However, again, there were no monster jams that I can
recall. The sequence looks better on paper than it sounded in person. The
Mikes Song might actually have been better than I remember. During Mikes I
was getting hassled by the usher in my section and this ruined my enjoyment
of this version. I had to keep one eye on the usher and one eye on the
stage. I enjoy the nice mellow, melodic Simple jam style they have now
adopted for this song. It is a jam similar to the new Wolfman's Brother,
but much prettier sounding. HOwever, it was too short and they never really
got into Simple. After Simple Mike began playing a different type of bass
or guitar for Dog Faced Boy. This version of DFBoy was completely unique
and very different from the standard version. But it was nothing that needs
to be heard or remembered. It was just different. I think Mike used his
different bass or guitar just for DFBoy, then went back to his regular

The Yamar was dedicated to Trey's Grandpa, as Trey made many references to
his Grandpa in Yamar's lyrics. ONE of the best SEGUES of the night was
Yamar>Weekapaug. Weekapaug ever so slowly and gradually appeared out of
Yamar. This segues was very similar to the DwD>Mikes Song from Raliegh on
than normal. I actually liked it at this slow tempo. It was a nice change
of pace.

The rest of the show was so lame there is no comment necessary. The show
ended with a wimper. While I thoroughly enjoyed this show, it couldn't
compare to all the insane jams that have been taking place at several other
shows this tour. This show lacked the fire, intensity and reckless abondon
the other shows had. Phish didn't take any risks and there were no monster
jams. The seamless segues were present, but the breathtaking, aweinspiring,
hose jams were missing unfortunately. I don't know why. It sure looks good
on paper, though.

see ya in Philly and Albany.

I'll be selling super psychedelic 3D Glasses for your viewing pleasure.
Test drive a pair today.

I'm not reading the newsgroup, if you have comments on this review please
forward them to me.



Date:    Thu, 4 Dec 1997 16:10:24 -0500
From:    Mark 
Subject: 12-2-97 review

Wow...I'm still so taken aback by this show.  It has got to be one of
the best I have ever heard/seen.  It was fantastic.  This is strictly
from memory, so forgive any errors...

The ride: Bucknell is about 3 hours outside of the city, and it was
beautiful till we hit Philly, and then rush hour kicked in.  Oh well, we
got to the lot around 6:30, cruised around, and went in.  Security was
tighter here than in Hampton, but still pretty lax.  Inside, the
flashlights were circling, but nothing too serious.

Set I

The boys came out around 8 and went right into

Buried Alive: This was very short and to the point, but I really enjoyed
it.  The ending allowed for space which led into...

Down With Disease!!!: The spacey stuff was an obvious intro for DWD.
This was my first, and wow was it amazing.  The vocal section was
standard, but the jam took off.  I don't know what happened to these
guys between August and November, but man, something did.  The jams are
so tight, and so well orchestrated, they sound like they have been
prepared and practiced months in advance.  DWD trailed off into
nothingness, never repeating the lyrics again, but that's ok, because
the nothingness turned into reggae with...

Makisupa Policeman: I really enjoy this song.  This version was a lot
slower than normal, almost funky.  Mike layed down a really solid bass
line, and Trey took over.  "Woke up this morning.....POT!"  The jam was
not as solid or developed as it could have been, but overall, it was a
good version.

Chalkdust Torture:  I heard this at both Darien and Hampton, and this
was between the two.  Excellent placement of the song.  I love to dance
to this!  This didn't have as huge of a jam as Hampton did, but it was
still really solid.  I love the lights during the chorus.  Great job

Ghost!!!: Again, another repeat from Hampton, but I don't care.  This is
my favorite of the new songs.  The funk is so deep and rich.  I heard
comments from the crowd in dissappointment of hearing this song again,
but it's never the same.  The jam is always different, and never
predictable.  It varied so much, and this wasn't that long of a
version.  I think they were in a hurry to get to.....

DIVIDED SKY!!!: Finally!  This is the first Divided Sky of the tour.
Rumor had it that it was retired, but the boys were just keeping us in
suspense.  The guitar was a little shaky, but it didn't matter.  I love
this song!  Once again, the lights were incredible!  I felt like I was
part of the stage.  During the slow part, Trey took it down to the final
note before the acceleration, and wouldn't play it for at least a
minute.  The crowd went nuts.  After he finally hit it, Fish jumped in
right away on the high hat, and from there, it just took off.  I would
love to hear this song every show.

Dirt: I'm still indecisive about this song.  It's a very pretty song,
and the placement was great.  I needed a break after Divided Sky, but
not too long, and they stopped it after a few minutes.

Taste: Billy Breathes is growing on me.  This was a fantastic jam.
Again, the tension and release was used to the hilt.  The vocals were
solid.  I don't remember much more of this.  I figured this was the end
of the set, but no...

Star Spangled Banner: Trey and Mike set their guitars down, and they
gathered around the barbershop mic on Page's side of the stage.  It
looked like Phish of old.  They sang this Monday night at the Flyer's
game and had to bring it back.  The harmonies were perfect and the
audience was very quiet.  A great set closer.

Set II

I was hoping for it, and boy did I get it...

MIKE'S SONG!!!!!: OH MY GOD!!!  21 minutes of sheer happiness!  When I
heard the first few notes, I almost went through the roof.  It started
off slower than usual, but picked up as the song went on.  Once again,
the variation of the jams is so incredible.  And when Mike sang "Share
in the groove," the whole place went nuts.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but
I'm sure I heard Jimi Hendrix Foxy Lady teased during the jam...I don't
know...21 minutes later, the muffled guitar could only mean...

Simple: Such a great song.  This set was working up to be the best
ever!  This also was a very slow version.  The vocals were standard, but
the jam was awesome.  About 3 or 4 minutes into the jam, Mike stepped
out of the light behind Fish's set.  Fish then stopped playing as well,
and the focus was on the duet between Trey and Page.  It was truly
beautiful.  They went back and forth for at least 10 minutes before the
slow jam segued into....

Dog Faced Boy: A rarity nowadays.  This one had a bluegrass feel to it.
I liked it a lot, but don't remember too much of it.  This went into...

Ya Mar: Another of my favorites!  The vocals were standard up until the
"No good pa."  Trey sang: "He's my Grandpa," and Mike followed the lead
singing, "It's his Grandpa."  Later, I learned that Trey's grandfather
was at the Spectrum.  And Leo "played it for Grandpoodie!"  A really fun
version and a great song.  At this point, I was starting to think that
this Mike's Groove would be the entire set, which would have been fine
by me, but then....

Weekapaug: I don't want to say I was disappointed to hear this, but in a
way I was.  It marked the end of the most fantastic Groove I have ever
heard.  Mike's opening notes were strong and Trey seemed to skip over
some of his, but on the whole, very solid.  The jam built and built, and
then died down, and then built and built....they did this three times,
and then it all just came to a head and exploded for the ending.  This
was fantastic.  Words can't do it justice.  Get the tapes!

Bouncing: Bouncing is Bouncing.  It's a fun song.  This was the only
part where they noticibly screwed up.  During the repeating chorus,
everybody stopped, except Mike, so everyone had to jump back in again
for another repeat.  Nothing too serious, but noticible.

Character Zero: By this point, I was so exhausted, I just sat back and
enjoyed.  I like this song a lot, but don't remember too much of it.

Ginseng Sullivan: I love to hear Mike sing.  This is such a fun country
song.  But there is no way that this is the end....

Sample: YES!!!  What better way to close an amazing show than with
Sample!  They rocked this entire show, and this is no exception.  The
jam was solid, and together, and MAN!!!  Get the tapes!!!!

This show will be incredibly hard to top.  But I wouldn't be surprised
if they did.  They are pulling out all the stops this tour, and we get
something different every show.  Who knows what's next.  If anybody gets
these tapes, PLEASE email me.  I want them!  See everybody at State
College and MSG!



Date:    Tue, 9 Dec 1997 03:32:44 GMT
From:    Rob Hammel 
Subject: Spectrum review: 12/2/97

Hello.  Well, after finding just the first 2 nights of Worcester in Benjy's
Digest (which, by the way I am very happy to be receiving) I don't feel
quite as bad posting this review nearly a week after the show occurred.
This show was quite impressive: my 8th Phish show, by the way.  In case you
may wish to pre-judge this little ditty based on my Phish experience, I
have heard a little over 200 hours and just got into Phish in '96.  So, on
with the cliches...
12/2/97: The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
It will be difficult for me to offer any comments on the scene as my
friends who were taking me to the show didn't arrive from NY until 7:30.
So we just parked & rushed right in.  As our tickets were being torn, I
could hear the first verse of

Down with Disease:  I asked the ticket tearing individual if this was the
first song, & he said yes, but I can't really expect the people who work at
the arena to know that Buried Alive was a separate song.  I'm sorry I
missed Buried, I've never seen that one before... oh well.  But we were in
the general area of our seats when the DwD jam started... nothing too
spectacular, but I suppose you can't hope for much from the second song of
the night.  Basically, the jam built to a climax & then settled down to the
good ol' dirty funk of '97 Phish.  After a few minutes of funk, we were
treated to a very appropriate

Makisupa Policeman:  There was a segue between the two songs, but not a
very surprising one.  Whether by design or chance, the band had moved into
a groove that suggested Makisupa... The marijuana reference in the first
verse was a simple "Pot" spoken by Mike.  This was a very enjoyable
Makisupa with plenty of space & scary sound effects stuck in the jams.
Great way to start a show!!  So eventually the groove wound down & Trey
picked things up with

Chalkdust:  Pretty standard.  It did what Chalkdust is designed to do: just
kick ass for a little while.

Ghost:  I was expecting this one.  The fifth Ghost I've seen in 7 shows.
This one has really improved since VA Beach. I dunno, maybe it was just
that I went to the show expecting the funk, but I had a great time
listening to Fishman's different beats & the way everybody just laid down
the groove.  Or maybe they've just gotten much better at this type of
jamming & can make it much more interesting than they could in July.  I
probably won't know for sure until I hear the tapes (or until one of you
kindly gives me more evidence one way or the other).  So in the midst of
the Ghostly jam, the rest of the band drops out and Trey plays the wa-wa
riff that I assume is

Black-Eyed Katy:  Hmm, I had seen this one listed as a new instrumental on
the setlists... I was expecting something much more rehearsed, a la All
Things Reconsidered... After comparing this to the version we got the next
night, I'm not even sure if Black-Eyed Katy can qualify as a song.  It just
seems to be a collection of similar improvised funk riffs separated by
Trey's wa-wa thingy.  This isn't to say that I didn't dig it.  Phish can
always use more funk. Thumbs up for me!  So after about 3 wa-wa parts, Trey
moved the jam into

Divided Sky:  A first for me.  I was quite pleased.  This song drags a bit
for me on tape, but I think just seeing it every once in a while will be a
real treat.  I love the composed parts of this song, & the break in the
floaty middle part was nice & long, defiantly over a minute.  Some standard
high-energy type I jamming closed the song & we reached a more mellow point
in the set with

Dirt:  It's pretty, it's short, it's in the set to give everyone a break.
What more is there to say?

Taste:  Nothing unexpected here either.  The only Taste I've seen that I
got really excited about was the Raleigh one, & that had plenty of help
from the storm.  I dunno, I like the verse, I like to hear Fishman sing...
but this jam wasn't anything to write home (or to the newsgroup) about.

Star Spangled Banner:  Something else I expected, what with the Flyers
game.  When the walked over to the vocal mike (which was right below our
seats) I could see that FISHMAN WAS WEARING A DRESS!!  I was quite pleased.
 He was also wearing pants, but it was cold as hell outside.  All of their
A Cappela stuff is fun, though.

I'd say this set gets about a 5.5, possibly a six.  The Makisupa was very
enjoyable, and the Ghost was one of the best that I've seen.  Pretty much
everything you can hope for in a first set.  Well played versions of
interesting songs, but no spectacular jams.  Yes, now that I really think
about it, this set is defiantly a 5.5.

A few words on the Spectrum: I think Phish likes this venue (or at least I
like this venue) for 2 reasons.  Firstly, I was on the second level on
Page's side & I could see the band better than I could from my floor seat
the second night.  Many friends in different sections agreed that there are
very few bad seats at the Spectrum.  Secondly, the place seems to be the
perfect size for the lighting rig.  Chris was able to light up any part of
the venue & did throughout the course of the evening.  Of course, I've only
seen one other stadium show (Hampton '96) but this was not the case there.
Anyway, on to the second set.

Mike's Song:  There's no foolin' around with throw-away openers here, we're
getting right down to the meat of it!!  I love sets that start with Mike's
Song.  I just love Mike's Song.  Mike sang well & we soon moved into the
jam.  The jam stayed pretty much in the Rock & Roll vein.  They brought it
to a small climax, then brought it back down and jammed for several more
minutes at a particularly high energy level.  They started to bring the jam
around to another climax, and I was expecting them to resolve back into
Mike's.  I was a little disappointed, first of all because this seemed so
predictable & opening the set with Mike's had so much potential, but mainly
because the jam had gotten so intense that I felt resolving back into
Mike's would be anti-climactic & slow.  The band must have agreed with me,
because the jam worked up to a blistering climax in something that wasn't
Mike's at all!!!  This was clearly the high point of the jam, everyone felt
it & cheered, but it wasn't even remotely Mike's!!!  They came down from
the climax & everyone landed at once on the opening chord to

Simple:  There was a little noise & space from Trey before he started up
the Simple riff, but then things were under way.  The Simple jam was short
and pretty, it just sort of trailed off into quiet like it does on A Live
One... As things got more and more mellow, Trey signaled to Mike & Fish to
lay out & he & Page began a gorgeous duet.  Wow.  The two of them played
off each other beautifully.  They moved through several moods, all of them
pleasantly floaty.  Mike & Fish seemed to get a little bored after this
went on for a few minutes & it sounded to me like they just started playing
quietly by themselves, ignoring Page & Trey.  This just lasted a few
seconds though.  Then Mike signaled to some guy off stage & they brought
out his tiny little bass.  I'd heard about this before, but never seen it.
It looked like a toy: like a skinny white stick with strings.  So then
everyone is playing together again, and they're just constructing these
incredible chord progressions out of thin air.  This entire segment sounded
incredible: like real composed music.  It was very mellow & laid back, but
I loved every second of it.  Then they moved seamlessly into

Dog Faced Boy:  I don't know if they picked up the progression & jammed on
it for a while, or if they just moved into this out of nowhere (I'm not
that familiar with Dog Faced Boy) but boy was I shocked when Trey started
in with the first verse!  I'd never seen this live before, & I only have it
on a few tapes.  How unexpected!!  I was smiling ear to ear through this
whole song.  There was a little of the same type of jamming that brought us
into Dog Faced Boy as the song ended.  Fishman & Mike soon picked up a
Latin Groove which Trey thought sounded like

Yamar:  Another seamless segue!!  In the "He was an No Good Pa" section,
Trey started singing "He was my Grand Pa."  Mike picked this up too, & they
soon changed it to something about Gran Puny, at least that's what it
sounded like.  It was the kind of name little kids give their grand parents
when they first learn to speak.  "Play it Leo for GRAN PUNY!!"  Pretty
funny stuff.  As Yamar wound down, Mike dropped out & seemed to think that
Fish should take a solo.  I certainly though he should, but Trey disagreed.
 Too soon after Worcester, I guess.  So Trey just played some muted stuff,
Mike faded back in & Fishman just lead the jam for a while.  Then Trey
moved it back into Climactic Rock Mode.  The jam slowly started to build in
intensity and speed until Mike started slapping a little & we actually got

Weekapaug:  Woohoo!!!  This Weekapaug started pretty slow, but as the jam
developed, it picked up speed until in the last verse Mike had a hard time
playing the riff up to speed.  This was quite an amazing jam, as it built
up they kept stepping in and out of the Weekapaug form until it finally
climaxed in Weekapaug land.  Wow.  Just Wow.

Bouncin: I was expecting something slower after such amazing jams, but I
was hoping it wouldn't be this slow.  Ahh well.

Character 0:  And on to the set closer.  I guess that Mike's Groove just
sucked all the creativity out of 'em.  This Character 0 blew.  It was way
to slow & it just dragged on & on & on & on...

Encore: Ginseng Sullivan: I love all of the Bluegrass songs Phish plays, so
this was a nice way to start the encore.  The melody of this song is so...
pleasant may be the best word.  Just nice & mellow.  Good choice.

Sample: Bad choice.  Well, it was hard to be too disappointed.  I just kept
thinking about the MikeS...

If this set were just Mike's, I'd have to consider a 9 or 10.  All those
songs were amazing GET THE SECOND SET!!  You have to hear the jam before
Dog Faced Boy & the Weekapaug will surely kick your ass.  But after that
things just started to suck.  So in view of those terrible set closers, I
have to give this set a 7.  Hmm, that would make the whole show average out
to a 6, though & I think this show was a little better than that.  Perhaps
8?  Well, lets put it this way, the jams in the second set far exceeded
anything I saw in the first shows of the Summer Tour & rivaled the second
set of Darien... an altogether amazing night.  Well, perhaps tomorrow I'll
get around to the second night review.  Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next