Date:    Fri, 2 Jan 1998 07:23:22 GMT
From:    Yance Davis 
Subject: Holidaze Review pt 1 (28-29)

Greetings everyone!  It's been a wild week and a sorely needed one as well
after a shitty semester.  First off, thanks to Aaron, Matt and Phil for
the lodging help and to Charlie for the hard-to-find ticket I needed.
Everyone at the gathering, it was a pleasure meeting you all and hope you
enjoyed all that was to come (12/30...ahhh).  On to the reviews!

12/28/97  Usair Arena:  The Runt of the Run
We happened to get ten free tickets to this one, so I was expecting great
things.  Two or three of the people with us had never seen a show before
and as much as I talked about this show, I might've built things up too
much.  In any case, this show went nowhere, and I didn't run into a single
person who felt otherwise.  Julius is a decent song, but not much of a
holiday run opener, and certainly wasn't very inspired.  Cities, I
thought, was great.  Towards the end of it Trey and Page got into this
nice little jam that was really playing with my head hard.  Like have you
ever heard Phish jam to this musical range where it almost feels as if
it's tickling you in your head?  Well, that's about how I felt here,
though it was kind of short and no one else seemed extraordinarily pleased
with it.

Runaway Jim was the highlight of the show for me, which is rare because
first sets always seem like one big appetizer for the second set's main
course.  You can call Phish's jam's Type I or Type II or whatever, but for
me, there are boring jams that you sit down to and wait for them to end,
there are jams that have you up and grooving, and Then there are jams that
just Grab you with brute force and seem to scream "Pay Attention,
Fuckers!!"  Obviously, I like the third the best.  This is the type of
jam that forces a smile to my face and leaves me there dumbfounded and
oblivious to whatever's going on around me.  Well, Jim wasn't that far
out, but it was well structured and creative.  There were several
different jam segments and I remember thinking how wild it was that each
one, though different, was just as nice to listen to and just as creative.
Had the show continued on this note, all would have been well.
I've talked to a few people who said it was unimpressive though,
so it's up to the tapes to know for sure.  Farmhouse was nice as I'd never
seen it done before, and Funky Bitch had some fine sounds out of Page.
After that, SOAMelt just bored me and Bouncin'? Well, at least my newbie
friends enjoyed the hell out of it...

Second set started out decently enough, not with Axilla itself, but the
jam out of it.  It was that Axilla pt II slow jam that has latched itself
onto either Axilla lately, and it seemed as if they were about to go
places with it, but then just...died.  Simple was fair at best.  From this
point, the show got incredibly mellow and spacy.  Simple ended with
horrible feedback followed by a story from Trey about the Ghost in the
machine.  He rambles for a bit here, high on something, before saying
something like "I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, I'm just
rambling..."  Then he proceeds to ramble some more before going into
Ghost.  Drowned starts off and for the first time in the set I'm up and
dancing again, though again it goes nowhere and I'm back down again.
There's really nothing I can say more about this show other than both sets
were long, which is generally good, but sadly, not in this case.
I won't bother rating this show with a number here since my momma always
said if ya can't say something nice.....


Date:    Sat, 3 Jan 1998 17:53:39 GMT
From:    margaret russo 
Subject: Defending 12/28

I really enjoyed this show for certain reasons.  First, it was so bizarre
that I enjoyed it.  The setlist speaks for itself....21 songs?  Sure,
there were throwaways, but for the 28th, knowing that I still had 3 more
shows to go, I was happy.

BTW, just so everyone knows, U.S. Air arena is the worst, -the WORST-
indoor venue on the face of the earth.  That set the tone for the rest of
the night pretty much, as far as the audience goes.

Julius was a great opener, as always.  I love this tune.

Cities:  Who can complain?  Great tune, nice slick jam.  Some pretty
intricate stuff going on before they bailed and went into

Curtain:  At this point, I was so psyched.  Curtain slid perfectly into

Sample: Of course, I wasnt too thrilled when they started it.  But
something wierd happened, and completely dug this Sample.  I don't know
why.  Looking around me, I saw many kids who really dug this tune, and
that made me happy I guess, to see other people enjoying something so
much.  Plus, it was a super-tight version, and Trey nailed the solo.

Old Home Place:  great blugrass song.  I love Bluegrass.  Therefore, I
loved Old Home Place

Runaway JIm:  Absolutely sick.  One of the highlights of the whole Run
for me.  I can't wait to hear the tapes of this.  Just sick, sick, sick.

Farmhouse:  Loved it.  What a killer song.

Funky Bitch:  This was okay.  After witnessing the Worcester Bitch, I am
forever spoiled.  I actually didn't enjoy this very much, as the jamming
seemed 'generic' to me....not much personality in this version.
I thought that would end the set...

Split: A great version of Split.  Unfortunately, I can't remember much of
this one.  It was my friend's first Split and his 2nd show altogether,
and he absolutely went bananas over this one.

BATR, Zero:  Wholly and 100% standard.  and good.

That was a long fucking set, which is always good in my book.  More for
your $$$.  Some nice jams, but also some throwaway tunes.

Axilla opened set II, which was alright until the end where the extended
the ending for a little while.  I really enjoyed that part...probably a
10 min. Axilla.

Simple was average, until the end when Fish picked up a really neat jazz
beat, and the band followed for a few minutes, but abandoned it
eventually after the feedback creeped in.

Ghost: was good as always.  Wasn't too excited about it until the funk
arose from the storm.  Not bad, 18 min. Ghost ->

Drowned:  Now, I love this song.  After listening to 12/31/95, who can't?
But this was one big downer.  It's a tough song to play, and
unfortunately,  doesn't come out well at all unless it is really tight-
which it wasn't.  Mike had a hard time hitting those high vocals. The jam
just fizzled. I was hoping for jam much like the 12/3/97 Philly Drowned,
(which is unfuckingbelievable, btw), but they bailed thank god, and went

Scent:  Pretty weak version, imo.  I will say this though: the crowd was
very quiet and attentive during the duel section.

Halley's:  Can't remember much of this one, unfortunately.  I do know
that it went into

Slave:  This Slave was VERY good, maybe one of the best Slaves I've ever
witnessed.  Again, I think this is because the crowd was almost
completely silent when the jam began.  An excellent version of Slave.

Rocky Top, Cavern:  Wholly standard, not too sloppy.

Bold as Love was great to hear as well.

So, it wasn't the greatest Phish show, esp. compared to the 3 MSG shows.
But some of the jams were good (Jim was excellent), and they played 21
songs!!  That's a lot of music.  And the song placement was so bizarre,
that it was kinda fresh, something new.  How often do you hear them start
up Halley's as the 6th song of the 2nd set?  I don't know,  I thought
that was cool, they were mixing it up, trying to do something new.
That's why I like it so much.

Like I said, for the 28th, it was a great show.  If they had played that
show as 12/31/97 sets I,II, well I probably would feel a little
different, of course.  But it was the 28th, and it fit well w/ the fact
that there was still 3 more shows left.

bye bye

p.s.  I caught the Disco Biscuits after the show, at Terr. Station in
College Park.   Great, great show.


Date:    Mon, 5 Jan 1998 07:32:19 GMT
From:    Charles Dirksen 
Subject: *NYE Run Thoughts*

You're probably sick to death of reading/skimming NYE run reviews by
now in the Eigest, so I will try to keep my comments reasonably brief
(yeah, sure, charlie).  It was wonderful meeting so many folks at the
Mustang Sally's gathering on 12/30.  For those interested, the
arm-wrestling match between CLF and myself did not occur, primarily
because my non-net girlfriend wasn't at all amused by the prospect
(and presumably didn't want me -- intoxicated as I was by the time
Corey showed up -- to humiliate myself (she's not entirely privy to
the truth that I regularly humiliate myself in front of you folks)).
I hereby dub CLF "KingMoron of Lamehendge" by default (there will
always be only one KingMoron420, however).  Strangely, I have no
difficulty conceding said title to Corey, worthy 6'5" bitch that he
is. He would have beat my drunk old ass, anyway!

It seems to be in vogue these days to MOCK the articulation (in the
form of a DISCLAIMER) of one's Phish experience prior to one's two
cents on a particular gig.  Far from being "irrelevant," though, a
sentence explaining your Phish experience in general terms before you
review something helps provide a context for your comments (such as
that "the [Name of Song] was Excellent").  At least give references to
other versions (!).  I'm thrilled that so many folks are reviewing shows
these days (makes for meaty Eigests), but I think that a review
without a serious preface contextualizing the two cents is *arguably*
a waste of bandwith. (I say *arguably* because there are plenty of
examples of enjoyable, thoughtful, helpful and intelligent reviews
that are NOT contextualized by the experience of the author)

ANYWAY, I'm a jaded fan who has only seen around 60 shows since
10/6/89 (which I still haven't found on tape, btw).  I have heard most
of the Helping Friendly Book (which is not to say that I'm better than
you (of course I am), but simply to contextualize my TWO cents).

I didn't take notes at any of these shows, so please forgive my lame

12/28/97  USAir Arena, Landover MD

I was born and raised in D.C., and have always loathed the Crap
Center.  Terrible sound and annoying security, I was never fond of
seeing shows there (I've seen many -- Van Halen, Rush, Dead, Jerry,
etc. -- shows there).  The security on this evening didn't bother me,
though, at any time.  I had to strain to hear Page all night, though,
from my seat off the floor, Fishman-side, about as far back as the
taper's section.

The first set contained a botched-in-parts Curtain, and typical
versions of Sample, MOHP, Farmhouse and Bouncin.  The Julius to open
and the Zero to close were fine, but nothing unusually inspiring,
imo.  Cities was exceptionally fun to hear (my first *live*), but this
version was spectacularly uninspiring in light of Deer Creek from last
summer, and even the version on SSP.  There was a Mike-driven groove
in this Cities, though, that reminded me of the segue into Seen out of
Houses from the 10/31/96 RiL set.  I enjoyed it. I *really* enjoyed
the Runaway Jim jam segment, until it basically fizzled out in the
final few minutes (just fell apart).  Funky Bitch was very
well-played, but not anything spectacular (like Julius, it is a tune
that -- when seen *live* -- readily convinces the hearer that it is
the best version the hearer ever heard).  A fine set of Phish to open
the tour, but not a typically great one, in my opinion.  I don't plan
to hear this set again.

The second set opened with Axilla I, which had a **VERY** drawn out
Axilla II ending jam (easily the longest one I've heard to date).
Unfortunately, though, this jam -- which had the potential to truly
soar and incite -- basically meandered and sunk.  The Simple which
followed contained excellent work from FISHMAN in particular -- he
ripped out a jazzy groove that could have provided the base for
something Remarkable.  Though Mike and Page seemed to complement
Fishman's unique rhythm well, Trey did absolutely nothing of merit and
this Simple was a huge disappointment as a result. Ghost was very
good, with a mesmerizing groove, but it wasn't anything special in
light of most if not all of the summer '97 versions, in my opinion
(see 7/3/97, 7/23/97 and 8/6/97 in particular).  Drowned was ok (a
joke in light of 12/31/95), and like Simple didn't do much. I'm tired
of Scent, but the duel featured Trey and Page mimicking/imitating each
other and not the usual, separate solos.  Trey also soundly teased
Yes' "Roundabout" a bit, and eventually took an extremely Floyd-like
solo.  It wasn't exciting, but it was far from boring, imo.  Halley's
was fun to hear, as always, but again, didn't worm anywhere unusual.
Slave was -- I disagree completely, Saul -- one of the lamest versions
I've ever heard.  I encourage Slave fans to check it out if only to
hear a worthless, boring version.  RockyCavern to close was unnecessary.
The Bold As Love encore was botched in the opening composed section,
and I left early to beat the traffic, very excited by the notion
that the rest of the shows on the run would be considerably better.
And all of them were.

Rating: 4.0 (a typically great, awesome Phish show is a 5.0, in
theory, but people are abusing this rating system left and right imo,
so it is basically useless as a gauge, most of the time)  I would not
recommend getting tapes of this show unless you have blanks to burn.
There are dozens of other 1997 shows that are faaaar more interesting
musically, as I hear them.


Date:    Wed, 7 Jan 1998 07:28:43 GMT
From:    Jeremy David Goodwin 
Subject: *Tales from the back of the olive loaf* (REVIEW)

*Tales from the Back of the Olive Loaf*  Pt. 1: 12/28/97

        I'm not going to do a whole song and dance on the New Year's Run; I
still have to get through a couple more Fall Tour reviews, and I just
want to get some quick thoughts out on the Run while it's still timely.

        First, a quick word about Mustang Sally's---great time. I traveled
alone from Boston, arrived at Penn Station around 3, and then stumbled
into the street for my first real encounter with NYC. The first thing I
saw was the Empire State Building. In a fewminutes I had fumbled my way
to the Gathering, and was a little overwhelmed at first by the crowd. It
was extremely cramped (much different, and, as Mark Regalopoulous (can
that possibly be spelled correctly? how good is my luck?) and I agree,
very different (and not necessarily preferable) to a vast wasteland,
where the Summer Tour gathering happened. Consequently, I (accidentally)
gave an elbow check to about five different waitresses.
         Unlike some other reviews, I'm not going to sit here and list everyone
I said hello to at the Gathering.("Not that there's anything wrong with
that!") Let me just say it was a great time, DON'T GO TO DELAWARE, and
those Long Island iced teas didn't sit too well on my empty stomach.
Highlights included hearing a very special Dead-era story from Jack and
Kat, me explaining why my List Envy precludes me from responding to any
of Dean's offers, and picking up Dan Nooter and twirling him around my
head with ease.

        It's easier to just reply to someone else's review then to construct
one wholly of the cloth of imagination, so due to the ever-pressing
calendar and my aforementioned lack of energy, that's what I'm going to
do. Charlie's is a good one to use because it has plenty I disagree
with. :-) [Note: this is the only time in the course of this message
that you will see an emoticon. BTW, "emoticon" is fresh in my mind
because my poetry professor used the word in class last fall.]

Charles Dirksen wrote:

}I didn't take notes at any of these shows, so please forgive my lame

        I approached these shows with a very different attitude then Fall Tour;
the mostnotable factor swaying me in a different direction was my Lack
of A Watch. I've
discovered that the Watch is in fact the very Gateway to analytic
enjoyment of a
show...without that tiny, little, easily-overlooked item, your
consciousness threatens to collapse in a wash of emotional,
lighting-affected Transience of the Moment shortsighted bliss. For
whatever reason, although I continued to pay extremely close attention
to every note (that occurred within a jam), I came away with a much
lower level of specific recollections about the jams then I did after
the previous bunch of shows I took in.

        Oh yeah, before I forget...23 shows, starting in...well, let's just
stipulate that I missed Phish in theatres. Apprx 375 hours in my
possession. (Charlie has alread said publicly several times that he
finds anyone's list that has less than 500 hours to be a Joke...does
that mean that he should, in theory,  stop reading this review now?). I
think Kim Hannula's recent suggestion that a more valuable gauge of
authorial context would be a list of favorite jams/shows is a
fascinating idea! I wanted to do it here, but I discovered that I can't
just spout out a list of dates (familiar as they may be) without first
thinking about it carefully, and I'd really just like to move on.

12/28/97  USAir Arena, Landover MD

}I was born and raised in D.C., and have always loathed the Crap
}Center.  Terrible sound and annoying security, I was never fond of

My other Phish show in this venue (11/22/95) was a horror, security
wise. I was almost literally sitting in the Back Row of the venue, and
yet flashlight-wielding security insisted on checking everyone's ticket
Over and Over Again. Thus, I was quite surprised and delighted at the
good sound and absent security for me on 12/28. Mail Order has been
extremely good to me this year, and all-around,  my situation at the Run
opener was very good. Thanks go to Noah for providing a guest room in

} Cities was exceptionally fun to hear (my first *live*), but this
}version was spectacularly uninspiring in light of Deer Creek from last

        Charlie, of course this is true, but I think it's hardly worth
mentioning! The Deer Creek Cities can be argued as the Finest Fucking
Phish Jam There Is...thus, is it saying very much to point out that a
ten minute first set rendition indeed pales in comparison? The Deer
Creek Cities is akin to a 12/31/95 Mike's or a 7/3/95 Bowie, as far as
the role it played in the show, combined even with its importance to the
Phish oeuvre. The USAir Cities was more like a Really Good Stash. I
liked it a lot (it was longer and taken more seriously by the band than
my last live Cities, at Hartford). First, the simple act of playing
Cities as the second song of the Run (after only one during Fall Tour)
communicates a great deal to the audience. The act of communication
itself, it can be argued, justifies the presence of even a jam-less
song. However, this Cities had a reasonable jam (which, in its almost
metallic and staccato- influenced flavor, reminded me strongly of the
Hamburg Wolfman's, and I'm sure many others). Altogether, I think a ten
minute Cities is better than almost anything you could have gotten in
the first set last year (1996), for instance.

} and even the version on SSP.

        Since you apparently don't ever plan on hearing this set again, I guess
you'll never get a chance to retract this. Musically speaking*, how is
is possible to prefer Hamburg--a version that is sprightly and tight but
without any jamming-- to this thoroughly solid and enjoyable 12/28

}I enjoyed it. I *really* enjoyed
}the Runaway Jim jam segment, until it basically fizzled out in the
}final few minutes (just fell apart).

        We listened to the recent Worcester Jim on the way down that day (first
time after the show), and so I was thoroughly primed for this one. The
USAir Jim is easily a Great one.  It was at times spacey and mesmerizing
in a Stash-like manner. Another Exploratory Jim, what a treat! I think I
prefer this sort of thing to the Runaway Jams of Summer 1995 (Walnut
Creek and Sugarbush), of which I believe the recent Worcester Jim to be
something of a stylistic inheritor. Despite the fizzling you mention, it
was finished (I think), which is a nice bonus. For me, this Jim
justifies not only hearing, but *looking forward to hearing* this set on

}Funky Bitch was very
}well-played, but not anything spectacular (like Julius, it is a tune
}that -- when seen *live* -- readily convinces the hearer that it is
}the best version the hearer ever heard).

Well, now that there's two exploratory Funky Bitches (11/22/94 and
11/30/97), no
educated Phish listener should be deceived into mistaking a Fiery,
Intense (even Firework- laden) Bitch for the Best Ever anymore. You're
definitely right about Julius.

}The second set opened with Axilla I, which had a **VERY** drawn out
}Axilla II ending jam (easily the longest one I've heard to date).

Trey accidentally sang the last lyric to Axilla II, btw. The beginning
of the Endjam seemed spontaneous and slow to gel, to me. Trey didn't do
a complete run-through of that slowly- unfurling guitar line until a
couple half-passes at it. I try to milk every second of that endjam
whenever I hear it, because it's so spooky and wonderful. Is there
anything else you'd rather hear than that spooky coda jammed upon at
length? That's what happened on 12/28, and no one seems to care. I think
this is a testimony to how spoiled we've become in 1997. If something
like this had happened at, say, 12/31/96, everybody would have gone

}Unfortunately, though, this jam -- which had the potential to truly
}soar and incite -- basically meandered and sunk.

The jam was indeed hesitant, and plodded near the end,  but it was
stunning in its surprise and I look forward to hearing it again. When
that little bit stretched into a jam in its own right, I definitely had
that unique Fall 97 Feeling...that, no matter what the tune is, Phish
simply cannot resist using it as a springboard for enchanting
--sometimes astounding-- flights of improvisational delight.

} The Simple which
}followed contained excellent work from FISHMAN in particular -- he

        I relish the chance to hear exploratory Simples...the usual "glorious",
sloganeering jam that most people seem to prefer is admittedly
beautiful, but they've done it enough times already that I've gotten the
point. I enjoy the Trey solo, but wait patiently for it to give way to
something more interesting. Sometimes, it never happens (the Worcester
Simple from this Fall is a textbook example). This night, however, the
jam gave way to some slow-paced experimentation. This is the style of
Fall jamming I probably like the least, because it is less consistently
successful than other modes which were used extensively this year.
However, it is indeed exploratory and I appreciate that. Almost all of
the Worcester Jim is composed of this kind of jamming, btw.

        After Simple, there was the now-customary long delay on stage (it's
clear that there is more spontaneous on-stage song selection than
ever---an idea that has now been confirmed by a recent Mike interview),
and the mics picked up Trey calling "Ghost". A lot of people heard it
and started cheering (myself gleefully included). It was at that point
that he went off on that delightfully whimsical banter--"A lot of people
have told me their ideas about what this next song is about..."---,

}Ghost was very
}good, with a mesmerizing groove, but it wasn't anything special in
}light of most if not all of the summer '97 versions, in my opinion
}(see 7/3/97, 7/23/97 and 8/6/97 in particular).

        Wow, I disagree profoundly. I thought Ghost was the highlight of the
night, and compared favorably with the other musical highlights of the
Run. For all the hyperbole about Phish's "funk" (what Phish is playing
nowadays has almost nothing to do with funk music, btw...it's just that
all us white people can't think of a better word to describe it), I
think the best sound Phish has going right now is the glorious, upbeat,
almost Classic Rock style jamming which figures heavily in most of my
favorite recent jams. Although they apparently listened to techno over
the summer, I think the band (Trey at least )  has obviously gone to
their roots recently and been listening to their Who, Zeppelin, Stones,
etc. The Deer Creek Cities, the Went Gin, (not to mention the Rupp Gin
and any other
amazing upbeat Gin), the Hartford Character Zero, the Hamton Rescue and
Bag (though
this jam is mostly notable for a different style)  all feature segments
that are incredibly upbeat and inspiring, built upon chords and licks
(sp?) pulled straight out of the classic rock songbook. In fact, I felt
early this tour that Phish was so busy jamming that they couldn't be
bothered to segue into a cover like in the past--now, they just jam off
of it for a while and move on (see the VA Beach Gin).

        I felt that the USAir Ghost featured some of this kind of jamming, in
it's last phase, if I recall. Sure, it started off with a "mesmerizing
groove". But it moved into that uplifting, glorious rock jam...it
sounded to my ears that it at least hinted at The Real Me in its closing
minutes (though I heard The Real Me a few times this tour, in jams whose
tapes have only partially substantiated it). This Whoesque jam was
particularly pleasing to me personally because I had seen that band
perform Quadrophenia in the USAir Arena last year. Thus, when the jam
ended, and Page's grand piano intro signaled Drowned, I was going out of
my head. Drowned is such a treat! How can any review of the show not
enthusiastically note what a pleasure it is to even see the song?!?
Personally, some of my wildest dreams about song appearances have been
fulfilled this year (and this Drowned was remarkably
only a prelude for what was to come in New York.)

}Drowned was ok (a
}joke in light of 12/31/95), and like Simple didn't do much. I'm tired

I just really don't see the point of comparing every song to its
finest-ever performance. The New Year's Drowned was one of the peaks of
Phish jamming ever, at the time. *Obviously*, the 12/28/97 Drowned was
not of the same caliber: that's not what they tried to do this time. The
upbeat jam gave way to the meandering, feedback drenched jamming which
is what Phish has come up with as a result of doing an incredibly large
amount of cogent exploratory jamming the rest of the time. They can't
play a Summer 97 Gumbo jam every time, you know (thankfully). [That's my
attempt at summing up the prototypical summer "funk" jamming with one

}of Scent, but the duel featured Trey and Page mimicking/imitating each
}other and not the usual, separate solos.

This Scent was a delightful treat. They play this song when they need a
break, but not a nap. I've been privileged to see the four Major Scents
(imo) live: Clifford Ball (which was admittedly somewhat disappointing
in light of the potential of an unshackled Fishman), 12/30/96, 8/17/97,
and 12/28/97. It's clear that the band is interested in exploring the
idea of duets...there was that Simple in Philly with the Page-Trey duel,
and the Went, at which two members played off each other during the DWD
and then 2001. The Page/Trey interaction gave way to a crackling Mike
solo which no doubt thrilled many PLMers in attendance. I don't like the
way the 97 Scents go back into the final section, but hey. Somehow, this
band is keeping Scent of A Mule fresh, as far as I can hear.

}was fun to hear, as always, but again, didn't worm anywhere unusual.

Charlie, you really didn't feel any emotion at the outset of Haley's?
Personally, coming off of the Went and Hampton versions, I was quite
impressed at the band's chutzpah to kick out another jam tune. Due to
the length of the set, I feared that this would be only an ubpeat,
concise set-closer, but once it became clear that it was going to be
jammed upon, I was very very happy. The bottom line for me at the time
was that Phish had played *five* jam songs in the set, plus a unique and
wonderful Scent. Very generous, I thought, and myinterpretation of the
night was that it was high energy and a treat. It's true that the peaks
were not as high as we've been treated to this year. But the second set
is so generously packed with useful music that I think it's a mistake to
shrug it off so readily.

}Rating: 4.0 (a typically great, awesome Phish show is a 5.0, in

}I would not
}recommend getting tapes of this show unless you have blanks to burn.

You really think that the second set is *below average*?

}There are dozens of other 1997 shows that are faaaar more interesting
}musically, as I hear them.

There's been an incredible amount of boundary-pushing Phish this year.
Based on what
I've heard so far, I can't say that there are literally "dozens" of
better shows, though. Is this show as good as 7/1, 7/2, Raleigh, Deer
Creek I, 8/16, 8/17 II, 11/21, 11/22, 11/30, etc etc etc? No, it's not
in the top tier. But compared to the vast number of Phish shows ever
played...fine, yes, that's a banal point....even compared to the Phish
shows played _since 93_,this one is heavily jam-laden with some
surprising  twists (the Axilla jam, Drowned, Scent, very good encore)
and I look forward to hearing it again. The jams themselves never got
better than Very Good (except quite possibly the Ghost), but it seems
like it should take a
man of stone to be disappointed by five Good and Very Good jams in one

The drive through Washington towards a "warm house in Georgetown" was
nice, and
reminded me to savor my time at home before I have to go back to
Barrywood for school.

                        werd up y0y0y0,