, attached to 1999-07-17

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

I had an absolute blast at Oswego. I've yet to miss a festival, from Clifford Ball up through IT, and Oswego may have been the best overall experience. Sure there was traffic getting in, but I've dealt with worse (hello Cypress, IT), and sure it was H-O-T, but that's better than rain in my books. Fact is the site was laid out beautifully, the people were friendly, and the music was stellar.
Musical highlights from the first day included a great "Tube" opener, a lovely "Tweezer" -> "Have Mercy", a guest appearance by Son Seals, and a meaty "Wolfman's" -> "Sneaking Sally" -> "Timber". Very high energy stuff that had everyone spilling out into the (by now) very familiar runway city to party with grins on their faces.
Day two is really where its at, though. Bluegrass fans will definitely want to seek out the first set, which features a ton of Del McCoury band collaboration. But don't overlook the "Bathtub". Eighteen minutes of bliss, as per usual.
Set II was a Summer `95 throwback in the early stages. This is an excellent "Runaway Jim", nice and long and experimental, complete with a flawless transition into a bomb-filled "Free". The "Meatstick" dance fiasco kind of soaked up the rest of the set, and it never materialized into any more big jams, but by this point it didn't really matter. I had a huge grin on my face when the second set came, and the sun had gone down, and we were all nice and comfortable.
Now, my friends and I had come prepared to Oswego, after having negotiated the Ball, Went and Wheel the years previous. Remembering Blow-Pop guy (25 cents for a Blow Pop) from Lemonwheel, we stocked up on Blow Pops (and other fun props) to sell during set breaks, etc. But we had been so distracted and lazy that selling them seemed like too much of an effort. We had bags full of them.
Setbreak had us getting more and more excited, and I remember one guy coming to talk to one of his friends next to us with a big grin. He mentioned something about the "Jim" and I caught his eyes and he caught mine and we both made that rewarding yeah, I know look. I took out a Blow Pop and threw it to him. He caught it, smiled, and proceeded to consume it. And of course, people saw this happen. And before I knew it I was seeing people stretching out their arms wanting a Blow Pop. And why not? My friend and I proceeded to get rid of all our Blow Pops in a matter of minutes, simply by standing in place and tossing them to those who yelled for one.
By the time we were done, everything nearby was kind of quiet, and we were surrounded by people sucking on the Blow Pops we had provided. It was like that scene from The Simpsons with Maggie and the pacifiers at the daycare. And it was pretty cool.
At any rate, Phish came out shortly thereafter and played "Icculus".


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