This show included the debut of Shafty, which was teased by Mike in Bathtub Gin and by Mike and Trey in Possum. Disease, Maze, and Possum were unfinished. Trey teased Fire (Ohio Players) in Shafty. The funky jam in between Possum and Cavern featured some stage banter from Trey about the funk jams the band had been playing. Accordingly, Cavern was played in a slower, funkier manner than usual and included some of the older, alternate lyrics. This show is available as an archival release on

Shafty tease in Possum, Shafty tease in Bathtub Gin, Fire (Ohio Players) tease in Shafty
Debut Years (Average: 1989)

This show was part of the "1998 Island Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks The most lighthearted night of the run starts off with a great OKP > YEM, teases with a very fine first set Gin > Cities (a faint echo of the same pairing from 7/1/97, of course), and plateaus in Set II with a tremendous run of segues to close. The second set shares some feeling with Worcester '03; you get the sense the boys were out to have a good time, so dropping Shafty into the middle of Maze in lieu of a Trey solo only has to make comic sense. Which it does, as does the goofy trip through Possum to an entirely superfluous (not to say unwelcome) downtempo funk jam - which in turn leads, after a few minutes of boogying, into the sloooow Cavern closer. The previous night in Providence goes deeper, of course, but the Ya Mar > Caspian transition is some serious shit, and the playing is unfailingly skillful and empathetic. You can't go wrong with the Island Tour, which is like a summary version of fall '97 without the feeling of risk-taking and discovery. What it offers instead is the occasional hint of the synthesis to come in summer and especially fall/winter '98.
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez oh, the sweet farewell to the island tour! this could very well be the best four night run tbey have every played. the set lists were brilliant every night. the playing was full of energy and seemed extra inspired. plus, the band seemed to be very focused and completely in sync. this night is no exception.

initially, it seems that they might be doing their first "standard opener" of the island tour, but wait, here comes a smoking hot yem 2 songs in following oh kee pah. very nice version. the composed part is played well, and fishman and page come out of the "tramps section" with a very nice groove built up. when trey finally gets back in, they are on fire. good jam. theme works very nicely out of the vocal jam, and mcgrupp, with a nice dark page solo, is a very pleasant first set surprise. speaking of 1st set surprises, this nice gin>cities combo is golden. this is the first gin in a year of full of bad ass gins. page and trey are in sync hear, and gordon and fishman really lay down a nice foundation. the cities jam leans a little toward the nasty great went version. very nice slow funky jam. sparkle is nice and snappy, and then melt rocks in the closing slot.

down with disease is nice and exploratory. they tack a nice cohesive ride through this jam before drifting into a very cool yamar. this one jams out prety far before prince caspian. this is one of my least favorite phish songs, but it works well here, especially since the rest of the set helps you forget about it. maze starts out typically, but page really soars on his solo, then the whole band just takes off. after a quick run through shafty, they find themselves in a funk nasty possum. it starts out in its typically bluesy fashion, but then it really turns a corner into a funkier realm. trey tells people that they are free to leave but if you like funk music and dancing you better stay. pretty funny stuff....who's leaving this shit. they are mired in one of the thickest funky jams i've heard them play, and eventually, they delve head first into cavern. they spare no punches on this cavern either. on paper, a possum>cavern looks like a decently solid way to close a show, but on this night, it was a remarkable, jaw dropping closing sequence. bold as love does the job in the encore slot.

this show really has it all. i think i like the first night best, but this show has the nice tight funk jams, good strong funk jams, and some very nice and tight compositional work. both sets are littered with highlights and very strong inspired playing.

high lights:

set 1:
oh kee>yem, mcgrupp, gin>cities

set 2:
dwd>yamar, maze>shafty>possum>cavern (gotta hear the possum>cavern!!)
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by Capricornholio

Capricornholio I don't know who told Trey that 10 minutes of the funk siren is too long, but that person deserves a brick to the head. I would do illegal, unconscionable things to the person of your choosing if you could guarantee me a YEM like this at my next show.

Also, for people who think that the rip cord was invented in 3.0 feel free to listen to a funky Gin get its nuts cut off by Cities. Funny that reviewers and the jam charts are saying that's a smooth transition, because its not.

At any rate, you already know all the good (great) parts of this show. 10/10 A+ Phish.
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by islandtour1998

islandtour1998 first ever show. 17 years old, behind the stage (for Craig). a novice phan at the time, somehow knew most songs being played, but spent most of the night in awe at the entire scene. had no idea such a thing existed in which fans were so committed to celebrating a band. opened my eyes to a whole new world. enjoyed every second, especially seeing trey and mike on trampolines. highlights for me included yem, theme from the bottom, soam, dwd set 2 opener and ya mar (although not a phish original, one of my favorites). lots of other awesome moments in there as well. some serious funk, esp. in the second set. great times with a great buddy. i remember going to school the next day with a bit of a chip on my shoulder and bragging to classmates about the show.
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by gskatz

gskatz dang the funk jam at the end of the second set had some hints of meatstick I believe, from mike
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by aybesea

aybesea The last night of the historic 4 night Island Tour... maybe the best 4 contiguous nights in Phish history. This one is another ridiculously good show, although it's probably 3rd best of the 4.


Set 1: All of it. This is the best first set of the run.

Set 2: Really, all of it, though Ya Mar/Caspian and Possum/Cavern absolutely shine.

If you don't have these 4 shows, run don't walk to LivePhish and buy them now!
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by bamaphishphunk

bamaphishphunk From the moment I realize we're going to merge into Possum, the 2nd set becomes one for the ages. Itching from their funk-induced withdrawals (as a result of the funk-latent-havoc they reaped across the States and Europe during 1997), the boys almost convey a sense of closure to the legendary run of the previous year. Mr. Anastasio's comments prior to Cavern provide a very rare (almost) explanation pertaining to the distinct sound that phish honed in Europe and perfected in American during the Spring, Summer, (and especially) Fall of 1997. This cavern is FUNKY! And from Trey's detailed preface of the song, the boys knew damn-well what they were doing.
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by pauly

pauly WOW,what a run!!!
and to close w/a great show toboot!

a very strong OhKee->YEM to open,a rare Mcgrupp and a blistering Melt to close the set...Now for all u segue fans 4-5-98 is a Must have,Disease,YaMar->Caspian,then the fun.
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by markah

markah (posted to in April 1998 - part 4 of 4)

Sunday 4/5 -

Oh Kee Pah! Yes! This means Suzy Greenburg...the horns must surely be
coming out right now...

I don't think I'd ever been more disappointed at the starting notes of You
Enjoy Myself. That feeling quickly went away, though, and my only
frustration was that resulting from the fact that I felt like I'd been
"had" by the band. Ah well...this show would prove to be as awesome as the
other three.

The Gin -> Cities was not expected, and they pulled it off nicely. To
tell the truth, I don't remember anything really stellar in any of the
songs, except solid jamming and typically excellent playing. The
sloppiness of the first two nights was all but gone as they gracefully
flew over the old composed pieces like YEM and McGrupp. The Melt and Maze
jams I remember being particularly intense, and the segues from the second
set were all very nicely done. DwD->YaMar especially.

The second set ended kind of weirdly, with a song segueing out of Maze
that I'd never heard...probably a reworked version of Oblivious Fool (for
the new album?) and then a Possum that raged as usual, into a Cavern that
was incredibly funky and had the same alternate lyrics (whatever the heck
they were) as from Hartford last fall.

The Axis: Bold as Love encore was a bit of a letdown after the previous
night's all having jaw-dropping encores, but one can't complain. There
was really nothing left for them to play. To tell the truth, I'm having a
hard time coming up with songs that would have fit better in that
spot...Fluffhead is really the only thing we didn't hear. (Although AC/DC
Bag, Forbins>Mockingbird, Ice and Harpua all would have been nice to hear
at some point on the run...) But there were alot of worse things they
could have put there. All in all, there's no complaints from this Markah.

Well, sorry I took up so much bandwith and stole so much money from my
University since I typed this while I was supposed to be working, but I
hope you enjoyed it either way, if you even read this entire monstrosity.
Take care everybody, and I'll see you in 92 days at Portland!
, attached to 1998-04-05

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads The first set is most notable for an extra-funky YEM, IMO, but everything is well played, however compact some of the jams might be. Maze -> Shafty and Cavern present the most intriguing propositions for the chronic phan: Maze is unfinished -> the debut of Shafty, which pairing would be revisited in sandwich form on 7/7/00 IIRC, and Cavern is preceded by a funky, Cavernesque, banter-laden jam that leads into the original lyrics of Cavern (which I would like to hear again!) This Island Tour run is well worth a trek over to or Phish Dry Goods for downloads or CDs, and is one that I return to frequently. Eight absolutely inspired sets of music.
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