Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 18:45:47 EDT
Subject: 12/29/98

  Let me start this review by saying that this is one of the most underrated shows in
phishtory.  It contains some of the best jams of the year.  Well non-gin jams that is,
because as we all know 98 was the year of Bathtub Gin and strangely enough it was not
played at all on the new years run.....Anyway...on to the show.  Rock and Roll opened up
and although it was quite short it was very fiery and full of passion.  Funky Bitch
followed on the heels of r&r.  What a great version this is.  The funk is pouring on
full force during Page's solo with Trey adding killer riffs.  The closing solo soars and
carries on into Punch.  This Punch is ultra clean and tight.  One of the best intros
I've heard and the composed section is nailed.  Horn is always welcome, and the rest of
the set is standard save for a dark and frightning Melt and the first 1st set Freebird
which was fantastic.  I remember having a "feeling" about this next set while attending
this show.  First of all I was dying for 2001 as I usually am and I knew we were gonna
get a big one.  Free kicks off the second set and is standard.  This was the last
standard piece of music played at this show.  This second set takes off here for the
moon.  I mean it's fucking hot man.  LimbxLimb is a personal favorite of mine and this
is simply the best version out there.  Trey's solo is spellbinding.  It's so good it
hurts everytime I listen to it.  In an orgasmic way of course.  I just can't get enough
of this LimbxLimb.  And this is only the begining of my favorite set of 98.  After
closing out Limb the boys start noodling and develop this trippy jam that eventually
gives way to what I will unbashfully claim to be THE 2001.  Sure it's not as long as the
Gorge 2001 from the summer or the Went 2001 but the soloing between the peaks is the
essence of Phish.  It's one of THE all time Phish jams, up there with the Albany 95 Yem,
the MSG 95 Weekapaug, the Went and Hampton 98 Gins, and the Denver 97 Ghost.  The C&P
tease is SICK.  The whole fucking thing is SICK.  Strap yourself down while listening to
this 2001...its heavy.  This unreal jam comes to its second peak and yeilds to Boogie
On.  I always love hearing this as it's one of my favorite Phish covers.  This one is
short and sweet but again it's so tight just like everything else in this show. 
Tightness was definately the theme of the evening.  I know some of you prefer the loose
Phish jamming that goes all places and spaces and I love that shit too, but it's amazing
when they jam with this kind of cohesion.  Speaking of  tightness and cohesion...YEM
closed the show on a fantastic note.  Again this is one of the greatest versions of this
tune out there.  The pre nirvana section is so flawless and beautiful it's a slice of
heaven.  And the JAM it insane.  What interplay between Trey and Mike.  This YEM is the
second best of the year behind the Worcester YEM.  The encore............Are you kidding
How is it possible that after a set like that, the best set I saw that year they bust
out my all time favorite Phish song???  Divided sky is the song that sunk its teeth into
my brain in 10th grade and changed my life forever.  That's what was going through my
mind during this surreal piece of music.  I was in heaven.  I knew I was witnessing
musical history and I was loving every minute of it.  This show is, in my opinion, the
best of the year.  It beats out the NYE, Utah, and Gorge shows.  LimbxLimb and 2001 are
*best ever* versions and the YEM is up there. Divided Sky as an encore is like a dream
and the phlow of this show is like no other.  Best of 98!


Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 00:47:48 EST From: Subject: 12/29/98 SETLISTS/Timings Rock & Roll, Funky Bitch, PYITE, Horn, Ginseng Sullivan, Split Open, Brian & Robert, Guyute, My Soul, Freebird (acapella) SET ONE=1:09 Free>Limb by Limb, Jam>Also Sprach>Boogie On Reggae Woman, YEM SET TWO=1:07 Divided Sky ENCORE=0:17 Also Sprach had Crosseyed & Painless teases & 6 costumed dancers onstage
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 17:03:33 -0500 From: Matthew O'Malley To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW 12/29/98 MSG Review: To preface this review, my first phish show was 12/31/89 at the Bayside expo center in Boston, MA. I probably number in the 40s with show's attended, so I think it's fair to say that I have a decent basis for comparison. I attended the 29th and 30th at MSG. SET I: ROCK AND ROLL: Took me a minute to catch on to what this was, but it was a strong opener. Page was solid on vocals (as usual) and Trey took over with some nice rips when it went into the jam. I thought that Trey's guitar was a little heavy in the mix (and drowing out Mike) but that could have just been where I was sitting. MSG is not Carnegie hall. FUNKY BITCH: It's great that a song that phans used to practically beg Phish to play (e.g. 7/1/95) has worked its way into the regular rotation. I liked this one better than the Worcester (11/28/98) version I had just seen. Mike was grooving really well. PYITE: Yes! This one took the energy level a step higher from F.B. and kept all 18,000 moving. Excellent work on the lights by Chris, especially during the opening part of the song. Hearing a packed Madison Square Garden yelling HEY! in unison with the band was quite the experience. I was thinking to myself...I wonder what some tribal Zulu from Africa would think if you brought him to America for the first time and took him directly to a Phish concert. This one played itself out very tightly (esp. the landlady segment with Trey and Mike's little jig). --> HORN: I was expecting something with a more moderate tempo after PYITE and this was an excellent choice. Trey was ripping the opening E chord. I thought the solo/jam part of this song seemed longer than standard but I'l have to hear the tape to be sure. I'm always amazed at how well Chris knows the changes and time signatures of Phish's songs. He was right in sync with this. GINSENG SULLIVAN: Can't complain about a hearing another Mike tune. I really like the vocal harmonies in the chorus of this song, but I must confess that I haven't seen another version that stacks up to the Worcester 12/31/93 version with Trey on acoustic and "Greasy Fizeek" on washtub. After Horn and G.S. I was primed for something big. SOAM: This wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I was willing to give the band the benefit of the doubt and see what they did with it. The "Lawn Boy" part of the song was played tight, if standard, but what happened after that needs to be heard to be understood. This version was almost the opposite of the 1993 version that appears at the end of Hoist (date?). Rather than locking into a tight, drum-driven groove, the band decided to take a trip to outerspace with this jam. The jam was so out there, I was wondering if (or how) they were going to finish the song. It completely broke free from its time signature and dissolved into some dissonant, atonal spacy jamming for at least 6-7 minutes. Trey was glancing at some of the band members with a look like: "Where do we go from here?" on his face Fish finally pulled the band back into the groove and they finished it up. If space is what you're into, then this is the SOAM for you. BRIAN AND ROBERT: I collected myself and smoked another bowl during this one. Don't hate it, don't love it. You know what I mean. GUYUTE: Nice! After such a tweaked and space SOAM I was glad they decided to play a more structured, extended piece. This was the first one I caught since the Went and it didn't disappoint. GUYUTE's don't vary a whole lot for me but I've yet to hear one I disliked. I guess Paul had turned Mike up because his bass sounded awesome during the middle up-tempo part of the song. This set was definitely a showcase of the different styles Phish can play. MY SOUL: Definitely a letdown after GUYUTE, but what are you gonna do. There really isn't a lot to say about this tune. It's always the same and rather uninteresting. Maybe they were saving their energy for ... FREEBIRD: Wow! I try to avoid Dead comparisons with Phish as much as the next phan, but hearing this made me think of Bill Graham's timeless adage about the boys from Marin: They're not the best at what they do, they're the *only* ones that do what they do. This was fantastic, vocal guitar solo and all. Ronnie Van Zant would have been proud. This was a very strong first set. PYITE, SOAM, GUYUTE, and FREEBIRD were definitely the highlights. I don't bother with scales becuase everyone's got their own idea of what a ten is SET II: FREE: Excellent call to open the set. I doubt too many folks saw this coming to open. I really like Trey's guitar work when he's not just ripping away at full volume, but focuses more on note selection and melody. This free was a showcase of the latter. The F->G->D arpeggio right before the verses sounds so thick live, you can barely discern it on Billy Breathes. This is why I still come to see this band 9 years later! The jam was rocking. Very tight and really played with conviction and seriousness. Fishman showcased his John Bonham idolization during the ending jam. He was just pounding away with a steady 4/4. Maybe the best Free to date. LIMB BY LIMB: Definitely one of my three fav's from SOTG. Kind of thought they might be saving it for NYE, but I was wrong. Again, Fish was really on top of this one -- how does a white dude from Syracuse play the drums like that?. More great light work from Kuroda as well. The jam was kind of structured around the rhythm, much like Free, and finally petered out into Fish's closing solo. By this point it was clear that the band was playing with a lot more focus and precision than they did in the first set, which is saying a lot! SPACE JAM: Seemed like the band was trying to shift into some more open, spacy playing and when this began I figured it could have gone anywhere (except Bowie which was played the 28th). I was too baked to say how long this lasted, maybe 7-10 minutes. It featured some nice ambient playing with Trey fooling around with his Delay and then Fish dispelled any doubts about what was on the way ... ALSO SPRACH ZARATRHUSTRA: I challenge people to find a better version of this song than this one. Fish was so locked in to the groove on this version. Trey was noodling around with some really nice sounding minor key fills during the opening part of the song, kind of eerie-sounding but with a distictive funk quality. Mike was following Fish's lead and laying the groove on Bass. The composed part of the song built to insane climaxes and had the crowed dancing as hard as it had all night (until the next tune, that is). Some of the extended versions of 2001 kind of loose interest for me (e.g. the Went version) but this one was different. It was tight, spacy, funky, and reached some intense peaks -- pretty much the reasons everyone one of us likes Phish. BOOGIE ON REGGAE WOMAN: I loved this song years before Phish debuted it, so I was especially psyched to hear it for the first time. Page was right on with the piano part. This is just a great bouncy song and kept up the pace after such an intense version of 2001. YEM: I doubt this was planned on the setlist. Right after BORW wound down Trey walked over to each of the band members and then ... Wham! arpeggios galore. This YEM will undeniably go down as one of the best ever -- has there been a bad one? Seeing a packed MSG yell BOY! at the beginning of the phunk part was something else. Moments like that are why we mail order tickets, drive for hours, sit in traffic, pay parking, deal with security and annoying fans and all the other b/s that goes along with attending shows. This set was a little short by Phish standards but I was totally satisfied with what I had just seen. And with a shortish second set, that usually means they have something special in store for the encore. ENCORE: DIVIDED SKY: First time since 11/24/90 I'm told. I was shocked. I will gladly send postage and blanks to anyone that has this one on tape. I no longer maintain an updated tape list, but I can probably plug a hole or two in your collection if you would prefer a trade. Drop me an email at if you can help I beg it all true for you, Matt O. <><
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 10:11:01 EST From: To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW I was just about to sit down and write a review of the 29th, but after reading matthew O'malley's which follows I do not feel the need. Matt, you said exactly waht I was going to say. The first time I saw this band was 6-7-90 at the bayou in Washington D.C. I remember walking out thinking those are the goofiest mothers i have ever seen, just a little rough around the edges. Almost a decade later (and about 30 shows) I am amazed at how far they have come and continue to progress. I hate to use he words "best" and "flawless", but that show was as close as I have seen. Up til know I have put 12-6-96, and 12-30-97 down as my favorites that I have seen live. I think this show just bumped them back. The show had everything that makes this band my favorite, excellant musicianship, and an goofiness that says, "hey, were here to have fun, and make sure you do as well." After the show my partner in crime, Park Place Paul and myself went to the SoHo Grand for a couple of Bass, and met a great couple from England. after a cople of pops we decided to go outside, fire one up, and head o another pub. Walkinh out he door we bumpe into Mike, and I just shook his hand and said, "Thanks for a great time." He nodded knowingly. Matt, great job on the review. You hit the nail on the head.
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 14:19:33 -0800 From: Lizzie Sobel To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW well, this is the first show review that I am writing, so I'm not sure how it will come out. The 29th was the only show that I saw this holiday tour, and my first show since the wheel. I've read the other two reviews already, because I'm writing this on Jan 4, and I think that I can add something. I am also glad to say that this was my 8th show, and the forst one where I recognized all the songs they played right away, and I wrote down the setlist during the show. also, I'm not going to comment on all the songs, just the ones which I feel like I have something to add. from the first set: SOAM: I have heard the song a lot, and it is not one of my favorites, but the jam in this song was the highlight of the set up to this point. It was really incredible, nothing like any other SOAM I had heard. after finishing up a great SOAM, they went into Brian & Robert. Brian & Robert: This is a slower song that I really enjoy, and after a SOAM, I can understand why they might slow it down for a song or two. well anyway, throughout most of this song, all I was hearing was Trey's guitar, I'm not sure what it was, it was just too loud and I didn't think this song was in balance, oh well. Guyute: This was the one that I was hoping for. Before the show, I told my friend (who is not as crazy about Phish as me) "I hope we hear Guyute." As soon as Trey played the opening chords, I screamed with delight. You'll probably hear me on the tapes, because I was near the tapers. well anyway, this song was the next highlight of the first set, it was incredible. Played to near perfection. My Soul: I hadn't heard this one since the april tour. and I was psyched to hear it. This song really has so much energy, it really is a lot different live than it is on tape. During this song, I noticed extra microphones set up on the side of the stage, so I knew that we were in for a treat. Freebird: This was the first time I heard it live, and it was incredible. It was all we were talking about during the setbreak, just great, everyone should have the experience of hearing this live, I'm sorry for all the people who missed out. Set 2: Free: I hadn't heard this song since New Haven in 95. and back then, I didn't really know too much about Phish. I love this song live, and I wish they played it more often. this is a great set opener. Limb By Limb: This song rocks, there is nothing more to say. 2001: The jam before this started from nothing, and resembled 2001, but I wasn't sure what they where going. Then about 10 minutes into the jam, they went into the 2001 drum beat, and I was psyched, this song rocked. Chris always does a great job on the lighting with this song. Boogie On Reggae Women: Trey started this one, and at first I wasn't sure what it was, then when everyone else came in, I realized what it was, and this song was perfect right after 2001. If you were there, you know what I'm talking about, if you missed this show, get it on tape, so you can hear it. YEM: This is always great. Somewhere in the middle of the Jam, Trey and Mike got on trampolines, just like the show on the 29th last year. I was also at that show, so I remember, and I thought it to be an odd coincidence. Exactly a year apart, at the same venue, during the 2nd set both times, and during the same song. Well anyway, they first were jumping then they turned to each side of the stage, which is great, especially for the people behind the stage.(where I was last year, this year I was on the floor) Divided Sky: hearing this song at the wheel was my first time, and hearing it on the 29th was only my second, so I was psyched to say the least. I can't think of any better song to encore with. After the second set ended, I thought back to the previous year, when they encored with Good Times Bad Times, then I thought about the encore from the april show(Carini -->Halley's-->Tweezer reprise) and I just was hoping for something that could top that. Well The Divided Sky nows gets the honor of the best encore that I've ever seen, and I was actually surprised to see that they hadn't played it as an encore since 1990. well, as always, this is a great song and left me a very happy person. Usually after the encore, I always hope for at least one more, but I didn't have that feeling this time. Maybe it's just that I've seen so many shows, but more likely it is because the Divided sky is one of my all time favorites. well that's it, Jason Sobel
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:06:22 -0500 From: Michael lipari Subject: FALL98_REVIEW Last nights show will go down as one of my all time favorite shows ever!!!! When I tell ya Phish was in there "enlightened zen" there were in the zone. The crowd was the best I have seen in a long time. I was 15 rows on the floor lookin into Trey and boy I am glad I was where I was. When I tell ya Phish feed off the crowd to make the 28 th one of my top 5 of all time. Rock and Roll: First time hearing it live and thought it was a pretty good opener. Got the crowd hopping and the boys looked like that they were starting to warm up. Funky Bitch: Played really well. Heard it in several other venues that were better, but played really well. Mike was booping on base last night and make was he on fire. PYITE: Couldnt pick a better song to get the phans flowing. Trey was whalin on his septar last night and was really into it. Horn: Came out of nowhere and was a treat to here. Brought me back to the Worchester days and was played very clear and precise. Ginsing: Glad he puttinn blue grass into the rappore. Excellently played and was delightful. SOAM: Was the shit. I love when they get into Spilt Open. I must have seen about 15 people loose there shit last night and this was one of them that was really put people in a daze. B & R: At this time I was thinking Phish needed a breather. I was looking at Page rippin and several times his hands starting to cramp. SO we needed to slow it down a bit. At this time I was thinkin, "Man there have to rip with something here." Guyute: Always good to hear. Was fitting for the set. Played it very clear and drew it out well. Looked like Phish was coming back to there chorus like they in each others head knowing where to go. My Soul: Not a fan favorite of this one because of the way they stepped on this song in the fall of 97 but was good to hear. Havent heard in a long time and was pretty funky. Freebird: When I tell you that I have been waiting 3 long years for this song and I am glad that I can die a happy person now. Fishman's expression before the song was so funny that He was like you ready guys.... Excellent first set. I could have went home a happy phish fan at that point and could have beat a lot of the holiday traffic. Set Break: Legs couldnt take much more. II Excellent Free opener. Kept up with it and was glad to hear. Havent heard in a while and knew that we would be getting some great shit afterwards. Limb By Limb: Good to hear, was waiting for that song to get the cement out of my legs. 2001: Couldnt have come at a better time. Spacy and the lights couldnt have accomdated the song any better. How many people were trippin on the smoke that they let out on that song. Was fucking increbible. Played very well, Trey and Page were in top form and liked the way Page ripped on his onsomble of musical zen. Boogie: First time and liked it very much. By this time the crowd was so happy that they landed into MSG this particular night that you couldnt have given much more. And then you think Phish cant do any more. YEM that all I have to say. YEM: Played ohh so good. Thay had soo much positive energy by this time that we could have landed Phish on the moon. Played soo well I was in a trance. Didnt need any hits last night, got a free trip without having to take anything. There vocal jam was excellent and could tell they could have played YEM all night. Second Set couldnt have been any better E Divided Sky: Where did that come from. Hopefully Trey was telling us that there gonna bust into Gamehendge on the 30th. Trey was definatley in the zone and this point and people couldnt take much more. Overall one of the best shows I have seen probably since Philly of last yr. When I tell you that the energy in MSG could have lit NYC for free, it could have. The crowd put Phish in such a zone last night that I think they impressed themselves. Every song had soul and funk in it, I was thinkin that why they played it last night. Every song complemented one anothere to a tee. I give this show a 9.9999999999999999999999 out of 10. If the horns would have came out for SOAM and YEM and 2001, I could die a happy Phish phan. Cant wait to see tonight. Wilson opener. Michael
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 15:13:00 PST From: Michael Isenbek Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW Last night's show was totally wacked, it was the only show I could make on the run, so of course my expectations were high. The preshoe scne was the usually, and quite a few miracle seekers were around. Some really loud guy was waving an orange around and offering it for a ticket, and another loud guy had a five-dollar bill and a huge bud that he was offering. Real great scene as I got inside, everyone was real mellow, except for that guy with no shirt I was with who was running around picking girls up (literally), and splashing people with water (yeah, Phil, he IS crazy). Oh, by the way, I love some of the fashions around the scene. Besides the dreds, those tiaras some of the girls wear are really cute :). Onto the baccanal (sp?) Fishman had a Viking Helmet on throughout the show Rock and Roll: I didn't know the opening song, but soon found out. Great jam, and a good way to get us all crazy (this show had the best crowd reactions of all the shows I've been to) Funky Bitch: Trey just went nuts on this one, whenbever a jam gets to its absolute peak, Chris does the hail of white light thing. There were a lot of those. Bitch got slapped about, and ripped into: PYITE: WoooHoooo!!!! Even though it was the fourth time I have seen the song live (out of 8 shows), it was totally killer. From my section (212) I could see the whole front row going crazy, and a few strangely dressed individuals near the stage entrance.... Horn: Completely unexpected, and really beautiful, coupled with Ginseng Sullivan, they were the well-placed slow moments in the 1st set. the slow silent interval was inerrupted when those drumbeats filled the arena: SOAMelt!!!!- Wacked out funked out, sick sick sick!!!! Much more dissonant than the more rockish versions I had seen previously. At the spaces between the lighting rigs there were little screens that Chris projected psychedelic little sqaures going around and around... then Brian and Robert: Good breather, I didn't buy SOTG, so I didn't know it. The lyrics are pretty cool. GUYUTE!!!!! YEEEE HAAAA!!!!! - Arevelatory moment from our boys , 'nuff said. My Soul: Well, I was ready to hate this song after hearing it on a tape, and having it not go anywhere, but here it was really good!! They ttok it to 'white light' levels. I thought that was it until.... FREEEEEEBIIIIRRRDDDD!!!!!: I lost it. They did this just to see the reaction of a crowd of 18,000 lose their shit, but we were already there at that point. setbreak: We tried to get the sections above us to do the wave (I was the guy with the long hair and beard) It didn't work.... I was thinking at this point that the second set was going to be insane . It was. Free: Came out of nowhere!!!! Hadn't seen itr live since summer '95, so this was the first one I'd seen of the new arrangement. Absolutely killer!!! Funk and dissinance stood together to great effect. Limb by Limb: White lights!!!! Holy shit, what a song!!! Hadn't seen it since my last show (NYE '97) and here I am thining that that was the best performance ever that time.... well I was dead wrong. At one point, I felt inspired to conduct the band, seeing if my subliminal flailing would actually lead the music, okay, I'll admit it now, I had two goo balls.... Anyway, unbelievable song, the set was turning out really nice, then it became out of control with the loopy spacy intro jam to: 2001: The grand dame, magna mater, heir apparent, ass kicking throat throttling total sickness of the night. Funk, climax, white lights, wickedety wackety fun!!!! Someone said they did a Ctrosseyed and Painless jam in their, but to me it sounded like what the band was playing while the girl with the two tails coming out of her head was dancing during the Jabba the Hutt scenes in Return of the Jedi. Oh, yeah, at this point, those dancers with the costumes came onstage. The rest of the show had them around on the floor section. Boogie on Reggae Woman: Didn't know it, wicked funk, suggestive dancing, the show got, from what I said 'sexy' from this point on. No topless dancing girls though (at least, not in my section) :( YEM: the nailed it, funk, climax, tramps, Trey on Fire, instant jam stop, wild vocal jam (with the 2001 Monolith Chorus at the end). This was definitely the 2001 show, and being a really big fan of the movie, I was in heaven (or Jupiter, whatever you wish) Chris had the craziest lights at the end of this (the whole show had the best light show I've ever seen). The white lights were spinning at high speed around the whole arena during the monolith chorus, and sent me over the edge. I had to scream. The dosers were already screaming, so I went unnoticed... encore: Divided Sky: The end of show Junta fest! Nailed this one to, a revisit the the intensity of the Halloween '94 one I've heard on tape. Amazing end to the show, best show ender I've heard, and a great way to send me waiting for the Summer Tour..... the all who were there, I say hi, and to Ian the taper from Rhode Island I hope you came down from the trip okay... Kristen: maybe I will try acid one day :) Phil: yeeahh!!! Maybe next time we can attempt mass crowd control. Oh, and I forgot your friend's name, I'm sure you understand. Poit! -Pinky