, attached to 1998-04-02

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez after possibly the best of year phish ever in '97, phish fans had some lofty hopes in '98. while, stylistically, phish moved a bit from the '97 sound, but that is what makes them great, always moving with their music. while they were some different, stylistically, it is hard to say that '98 was every bit as good as '97. if not as good, it is pretty damn close. anyway, i digress. these island tour shows still have a very heavy '97 feel, but they have moved a little away from that too. it's almost an "in between" run. now, you can really argue any of these shows are the best of the run, but for my money, i'll take this one.

tube, the first of four unconventional openers on the run, really burns in this slot. they have a nice funky middle section. trey and page get pretty deep in this one, but they still are not taking it out as far as they would in the next couple of years. mmgamoio keeps the energy up. this is one of my favorite bluegrass tunes they play. nice snappy version. the sloth and nicu you also keep the party jumping. both are well played, well executed. stash really takes off into a nice dark, rocking jam. this one finally drifts into horn. nice version. provides the first breather of the night. then trey lights up chalk dust torture to close out a very very strong first set.

punch, with the new funky intro, keeps the energy jumping. simple, imo, turned another corner in '98, and this is a great first one of the year. trey and page, once again, are very strong on this jam. birds debuts nicely here. it has the remain in light'esque sound that it seemed like phish was shooting for a lot in '97. this song breemed with potential right off the bat. wolfman's brother really takes off, as it usually did in around this time. trey navigates this one, and they really put on a thick funky jam. after a good 10-12 minutes, gordon and trey turn the corner on this jam and land oh so sweetly into sneaking sally. i love page's playing in this sneaking sally, especially right off the bat. this one is even a darker funkier jam than wolfman's brother. this jam slowly twist and turns into a spacier jam that leads into a very solid debut of frankie says. i feel like the rest of the set kind of peters out, but it is hard to keep up the momentum they rolling with through out this show. like the rest of the island shows, they encore strong, just like they open. a very sharp guyute really closes this one out in fine style.

this show just rips from start to finish. there is very little down time in either set. for good or ill, none of the jams go into that super exploratory realm, but every jam was played with extreme focus and precision. this can really be said for the other 3 nights too. there are a few more exploratory jams floating around in the rest of the run, but this is still my favorite. the flow of this flow just works so well.

highlights:

set 1:

tube, the sloth, stash>Horn

set 2:

simple>boaf, wolf>sneaking>frankie


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