, attached to 1998-07-06

Review by n00b100

n00b100 It's interesting to go back and look at the LivePhish.com releases (not the actual Live Phish releases, as those are usually obvious selections with the major exception of the non-Fukuoka 2000 shows) and think about what it is that led Phish to release them. You've got obvious stone-cold classics (the Island Tour, 12/6-7/97, 6/18/94), shows with historical significance (12/31/91, which is also great musically), shows to benefit worthy causes (the New Orleans and Japan shows), and fan favorites that have to have been clamored for for years (11/14/95, Coral Sky, Walnut Creek). And then there's 7/6/98, part of a 9-show European jaunt to kick off 1998 proper (I think most everyone kinda considers the Island Tour part of '97 in their minds), and a show that might very well come off to people as a two trick pony. But holy hell, what tricks those two are.

The first-set Ghost comes hurtling pell-mell out of AC/DC Bag, with the band coursing with impatient energy like a bridled horse during the composed section, then galloping full speed across the plains during the jam. And that jam - "galloping" might be the right word for it, with Trey ripping off vicious solo after vicious solo, the rhythm section matching him step for step, before a sudden full band stop and an absolutely outrageous segue into Cities, so outrageous that the band actually has to hit the brakes to reach the proper Cities tempo (and that Cities is pretty sweet, too). The rest of the set is definitely worth a listen, with a fine Limb by Limb and a semi-deranged Maze that slams to a dead halt so Trey can thank the crowd (yes, mid-jam) before immediately restarting into an even more vicious jam.

The second set gets off to a nice, if somewhat standard, start with Julius and Meat, but then comes Trick #2 in the form of a Piper for the ages. Much like the first-set Ghost, the band practically rips through the composed section so that they can play in the jam section, and the jam section opens up to allow everyone to go at it with late-'95 intensity, peaking at about the 13 minute mark with some of the loudest, most thrilling hose jamming (I'm using that term correctly, right? So hard to tell sometimes) you can possibly imagine, before mellowing things out and going spacey, culminating in a slow-crawl, almost *bluesy* jam that segues somewhat hilariously into Makisupa Policeman (a particularly goofy version, thanks to the anti-drum solo). A perfectly fine Bowie, Loving Cup, and energetic Possum close things out.

This probably isn't the best show of 1998 (I'd say that's 7/17, with its ridiculous second set, or take your pick of the Island Tour), but it's certainly up there, and the two big jams here are of the "slap on some good headphones and crank that shit" variety. And that's the justification for the LivePhish remaster treatment right there.


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