Date:    Mon, 30 Nov 1998 22:11:20 -0500
From:    Mark Choh 
Subject: Brief Worcester thoughts 11/29

This was a great show...hands-down.  Don't have time to go into every
song....most of the songs that were usually standard were standard so I
don't have to mention them (i.e. Axilla, Theme, Sparkle, Horn, Makisupa,
Roggae).  Paul and Silas was a nice choice for an opener, completely
unexpected, with some different lyrics, and a whistling solo by
Trey...Axilla brought the crowd back up.  Limb was nice, after the jam,
they brought it down, but instead of going into Fish's last solo, they
started this groove, with trey wah-wah-ing out porno style, Mike laying a
nice groove in the background and Page finally hittin' the
Moog...interesting jam which led into the Catapult-->Kung combo, which was
PHAT!  More for the novelty value than any musical worth, but I have to
say Trey was harmonizing pretty well with mike during Catapult (I didn't
know he usually sang along during it).  Kung, like I said was
awesome...then Maze, which was standard.  As you've all heard, Seth
Yacovonee (sp?) came out and jammed with Phish for "Pain and Suffering" or
something like that which was very B.B. King-ish....slow blues...Seth's
playing was a mix of B.B. King with an SRV tone...impressive, but I wasn't
blown away.  The guy did have a lot of emotion though, which was
noteworthy.  Layla kicked ass...was anyone else surprised that Trey didn't
sing this one....I mean, c'mon, Trey is Clapton...(especially with the '95
short haircut).  Kicked ass, played the whole thing, including the
interlude at the end.  Phat, Phat, Phat way to end the set.

I was expecting some breakouts for the second set, but didn't get any.
Nevertheless, it raged.  Roses was ok, just when the jam starting
having some potential, Trey just busted in with Simple.  Simple was good,
then led into an evil, evil jam, which you could label as ambient, but I
would hesitate to label anything that evil as ambient....dark, stuff, but
Chris was going absolutely insane during the jam...lots of jet noises by
Trey, with Fishman actually keeping a nice groove throughout...led into
Makisupa..."woke up this morning....hey, Paul, could you pass the soap?"
Makisupa ended, then led into Possum, which was nice....from Trey's solo
right into Wipeout, which fit perfectly, then back into POssum....then
Bathtub.  Benjy, if you weren't there, hear this Bathtub.  Close to being
as good as, maybe better (maybe I"m just in post-show jitters) than the
Went.  Beautiful, melodic jamming....very similar to the Went, not as
tight, but just as intense...Trey was doing some amazing melodic arpeggios
up on the neck of his 'Doc....then led into an ambient jam, which lasted a
few minutes, then led into a Tweezer-esque rock-blues jam, which started
to gain some potential, then just died out.  At least a 95 proof Gin.  YEM
started next, perfectly played....jam was standard YEM jamming, nice and
funky....kind of peaked, then led into the vocal jam.  Now, usually, I
think vocal jams are ok....nothing special, but pretty cool to see.  This
one was definitely the best one I've seen by far, but will not translate
onto tape, simply b/c Chris added so much to it.  They had this
"ssssswwwwwwooooooooooooooooossssshhhh" effect going around and ground
slowly like a large jet flying over head, with the strobe lights spinning
*perfectly* in time to it.  Great ending to a great set.  8.5 out of 10.
Encore speaks for itself.  For a fall tour closer, it sucked.  Actually,
for any show it's pretty weak.  What the hell?  Roggae is a good song at
all, but not for an encore....and Ragtime Gal to end the tour?  Jesus, if
not Freebird, at least pick Amazing Grace or (as I was hoping for)
Carolina with choreographed dance.  Or some break-out barbershop cover
like "Baby on Board" (by the B-Sharps).  Ok, I'm bitching too much.  I
have a med school interview tomorrow, so I'm going to go to bed now.  If
anyone has any NYE extras, I have plenty of falls.  And no grovels, yet.
I will offer them up, but I have to fly half way across the country six
times in the next two to three weeks, so I won't have too much time to
spin.

 -Mark

----------


------------------------------

Date:    Mon, 30 Nov 1998 19:51:21 GMT
From:    Trade5 
Subject: A Few words on 11/29 Worcester (SUN.)

Hi all,

  I don't have time or desire to review the whole show, but there were parts of
it that motivate me enough to offer my opinion.  For the record, this was show
20 for me, and I was quite pleased by the evening.

  The first set felt a little lagging in my opinion, probably because I was
looking for more of a "blow-out" style set.  I thought the set had the makings
of a rocker, but the mood and feel behind the songs was a little more
introspective.  Paul and Silas was a great start, and signalled that something
was up.  Axilla>Theme was ok.  Sparkle felt a little weak despite Chris'
attempt with lights to energize things.  Horn was a nice off the bat, but it
seemed to only bring things farther inward rather than make everyone scream.
Again there's nothing wrong with that--I just hoped for something different.
Limb by Limb was my hope for saving grace, and it was nice, especially for my
first Catapault and second Kung.  Maze seemed a little stalled by indecisive
solos from Page and Trey.

  Onto the Seth Yacavone material....before the show I talked to someone that
said Phish would bring a guitarist friend out to jam.  After racking my brain I
couldn't think who it would be, and the names I mentioned didn't ring a bell
with my friend.  The first tune they did together was fiery, with Phish
providing a lot of room for Seth to take the forefront.  Immediately upon the
first roaring strains from the guest the crowd's energy picked up.  The ensuing
solos were impressive and constructed well.  The dynamics picked up enough to
make the sharp drop-offs even more effective.  So, after a long (and I thought
it was LONG) performance, Trey counted off the opening to Layla.
  At this point I was psyched as my mind immediately flashed to the eventual
piano strains that Page would take and the guitar duel that would most likely
lead there.  Page's vocals were EXCELLENT--his voice matched very well with the
original style and feel.  The rocking Jam at the end faded nicely into the
Outro/Mellow part with slide.  But this is were disaster struck, in my opinion.
 The form of the ending sequence is very important and it became obvious that
the players were lost and stuck in the Major section of the form.  The slide
part (which was Seth i'm 99% sure) was also nice, but I got turned off by the
neverending jam which ensued with Trey and Seth both playing in the same
register.  I'm surprised that Trey, with excellent musical understanding,
didn't play his part (accompaniment melody) lower on the guitar so as to avoid
the nasty clashes with Seth's slide playing.  At times I thought the
orchestration of two guitars both playing similar lines in the same spot on the
guitar was a hideously amateurish thought.  But, I'm a music student, and I'm
PROUD to be very anal about things like this.  Trey was I think more concerned
with trying to get everyone into the MINOR part of that ending jam, since it's
the contrast between those two sections that really drives that outro jam.

  Anyway, after they finished the Crowd WENT NUTS!!!  It was just the fire
everyone needed to boost the spirits on this last show.  The scene at setbreak
trying to walk to the bathroom gave great meaning to the MAZE that was played
earlier in the set.  The Centrum was not designed to accomodate as many people
as Phish tried to fit in.

  Set Two was great in my opinion due to the amount of Left-Field jamming that
took place.  The SIMPLE JAM made the whole weekend worth my while.  The Possum
rocked out pretty well, and we connected again with outer space in the Gin and
parts of the YEM.  I still consider the opening to YEM -one- of the greatest
compositions to come from this band/Trey and basically any modern Rock
influenced composer of this time.

  I had to split as Roggae started in order to get to the bus station and back
to Boston.  I'd seen plenty over the course of the 3 shows to warrant missing
the encore no matter what it was or who it involved.  Luckily as I found out it
was not a huge encore.

Anyway, there's my review of the show, which I said wouldn't be a review of the
show but was anyway.  Let me know if you had a completely different take on the
evening.

Take care,
Sunil  :-)

----------------


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Date:    Mon, 7 Dec 1998 17:12:33 -0400
From:    Jonathan Shedletzky 
Subject: 11/29/98 Worcester -> Aliens Came Again

I don't like to head my reviews with a disclaimer. "I've seen 422 shows, and have every tape known to man..." is technically not a "disclaimer". A proper disclaimer would read, "Phish shows are purely subjective, as are their subsequent reviews. What one person likes will differ from what others like. This review, by no means, should be considered the 'deciding word' on the show in question. I love Phish, that's all you need to know". So, there you go. I hate to give disclaimer, but I just did, I guess.


THE SHOW:

11/29/98 The Centrum, Worcester, MA

I:  Paul & Silas, Axilla Pt. I, Theme, Sparkle, Horn, Limb By Limb -> Catapult Funk -> Kung Funk -> Jam,

    Maze, Pain & Suffering*, Layla*

II: Roses Are Free -> Simple -> Jam, Makisupa, Possum -> Wipeout -> Possum, Bathtub Gin, YEM

E:  Roggae, Hello Ma Baby

* w/ Seth Yacovone


The Scene:

The scene this past Sunday night was very similar to Friday night's (I was getting bad vibes on Saturday). There was much anticipation for this final show of the tour -- a show which could make or break this here Worcester run -- and spirits ran high.


Set One:

PAUL & SILAS -- A rather awkward choice for an opener, and it seemed to catch the entire venue off guard. What was even more bizarre was the added lyrics, and there seems to have been a little fine-tuning done to this tune, including a little whistling (I could be wrong, though. I haven't heard this tune in ages). Nevertheless, 'twas my first Paul & Silas and I enjoyed it thoroughly.



AXILLA PT. I -- Good shit. Throwing in an Axilla early in the show is a sure-fire way to get the crowd into it, especially after that P&S opener. It was rocking as per usual. I don't believe that they added in the Pt. II ending as they have in the past.


THEME -- This set was starting to look more and more like the opening set to last year's Albany tour closer (12/13/97), which started off Ya Mar, Axilla, Theme. This was only the 2nd Theme of the tour so I felt blessed to have heard it. No doubt in my mind that this is one of the greatest Themes that I have ever heard. It would be accurate to say that the jam really did kind of meander and wander away from the basic Theme crescendo jam. It was quite lengthy and beautiful.


SPARKLE -- I made the terrible mistake of remarking only 15 minutes before the show that Sparkle was the only song I didn't want to hear. I can see why people enjoy this tune, but it doesn't do anything for me anymore. I've just seen it way too many times.


HORN -- This was cool to hear. It's a nice song that's the same every time it's played. They played it pretty much flawlessly, so, I guess, you could say it's a good version. The set, up to this point, seems kind of heterogeneous, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless.


LIMB BY LIMB -- So, here's where the sickness of the evening begins! I was extremely psyched to hear the reworked Limb By Limb as I hadn't experienced it live yet. My feelings toward the reworked version prior to the show were that it wasn't as fluid as the original. The way the jam loudly kicks in just doesn't seem right. However, the SOTG version quickly grew on me (largely because of the *perfect* vocals). It's the same deal live. This Limb jam seemed fairly long and was quite beautiful and near-transcendent, if you will. It was nothing very remarkable like my favourite version, 8/16/97 Went. That is, until they started to jam the part where Fish ends the song with his so-called inhuman drum beat. Trey initiated it by tweaking with his wah, and, inevitably and thankfully, the rest of the boyz picked up on that. What ensued was a rather short, yet intoxicating funk/disco-ish jam. That is to say, the jam was short only because.....


CATAPULT -- ......Mike broke out the Catapult vocals overtop of this same jam. 'Twas my second Catapult, after the Weekapaug->Gospel Catapult->Weekapaug of 12/13/97, and I fully liked this one better. It just seemed spontaneous, moreso, and improvised. This was another great rarity to add to this weekend's growing list. The said funk continued out of Catapult, and lingered for a moment or two. Trey did a round walking to each member of the band and back to his mic, and began chanting.......


KUNG -- At first, the quiet commencing words of Kung sounded more like Trey was adding a little porno-funk commentary to the mix. Of course, when it became clear that this was my first Kung, I flipped my lid, naturally. Again, like Catapult, this was sung over the funk that surfaced out of Limb with slight alterations to it. They all chanted "STAND UP!" at least 7 times more than normal, done in a tone and rhythm that comically complimented the underlying funk. Once the vocals ended, they jammed in the increasingly common ambient/funk/space/spacy-funk/groove/whatever-you-want-to-call-it genre of jams for a good couple of minutes. Now, this sequence, Limb...->...Kung, was very tasty but definitely not an exhibit of true musical merit. The Limb was average-sick, the funk was mesmerizing, and they took that oppurtunity to throw in a couple of rarities for good measure. I couldn't complain. In fact, I loved it!


So, then Trey announces that they couldn't have got through this tour without the help of many people. They'd like to bring out a good friend of theirs named......Neil Young? No. Seth Yacovone.


PAIN & SUFFERING -- I really didn't expect Neil Young, but a kid can dream, no? To be honest, I really didn't enjoy this tune. I wanted to hear Phish, not Seth. He's not bad at all, he's just not the kind of musician I dig. You know, raspy, loud, phlegmy, raw voice with a guitar to match that voice. This song, especially, did me no good. I heard that this is an original of Seth's. It sounded like your usual blues meets Metallica to me. It was very extended and monotonous. Trey and Seth would swap solos. Then stop. Then play this lick. Solo. Stop. Lick. And repeat as such. Much respect for effort, just not my cup of tea.


LAYLA -- This was definitely a better choice. See, now this is a tune I know and can dig easily. I recall this being a very hyped, raging version. It was a treat to see, with a guest nonetheless. The outro jam was better than the song itself. It was more melodic than anything else they played. Layla was a strong set closer.


This set is really all over the place. It starts of pretty standard, yet somewhat out of order it seemed. Paul & Silas was a pleasure to hear but weird as an opener. The Theme was an absolute gem that I think will get lost among everything else that went down during this set. The Limb and it's subsequent jam and the rarities to accompany it were undubitably the highlights of the night so far. The guest sent me into setbreak feeling somewhat unsatisfied, as much as I hate to say it. That's just my addiction to Phish speaking, though. I tried to keep an open mind, I really did.....This set was very good preparation for one of the sickest sets I've ever seen/heard.


Set Two

ROSES ARE FREE -- I was excited to hear Roses start up. It's a really nice, happy, circus-y, bouncy, peaceful tune that, as we saw on 4/3/98, has much room for jamming. The song itself was playful as usual. Trey began the jam by repetitively strumming on a single redundant chord. This brought the jam down a little bit, but it maintained a light, upbeat feel to it -- somewhat funky, some groove. As soon as it began to sound like the Nassau Roses, Trey abruptly interrupted the jam with the lick to........


SIMPLE!!!!! -- This segue was not very smooth at all. Trey really just abandoned Roses out of nowhere. I wanted to hear Roses jam like I know it can. 'Not Simple', I thought to myself -- I've known it to jam, but, other than the 12/6/96 Vegas version, I've never really cared for/payed attention to them for some reason. Of course, I was a virgin to the 1998 Simple! If the 4/2/98 Twist Around prophecized that "aliens are coming", this jam proved that they had arrived. The song itself was more upbeat than I'm used to; Trey and Page added a bunch of extra effect-tinged riffs that complimented the song very much. Ahhh, but the jam....I seem to remember dividing this Simple Jam into three respective parts following the show: ambience, cosmic space and rave. The jam began in a very chill mode; Page creating a mystic, resonating background; Trey noodling in the high registers of his 'doc, accompanied by some nice effects; Mike doing his thang, as only he can; Fish being the fundamental link to this rather unstructured jam. Somewhere in there the jam picked up in tempo, volume and intensity, especially. One moment it was ambient and then it was loud and surreal and otherworldly. This is the point where the glowsticks came out, and I must admit that this was the only glowstick war I've really enjoyed. There hadn't been an official war all weekend, and this spontaneous glowstick war tied in well with the unheard of intensity of this jam. This was a wonderfully transcendent moment for me (not because of the glowsticks, although they contributed. The euphoric, cosmic, wonderful intensity that the jam created is unspeakable..."intensity in ten cities"). The jam from here expanded to hitherto uncharted territory, somewhat. It just became this insane rave-like jam. Trey was making so much noise with his guitar overtop of a very bass & drums oriented jam. Fish was essential in keeping this jam going. He was playing exceptionally all weekend. The jam inevitably cooled down after a wild 21 minutes. This jam is definitely worth chec


MAKISUPA -- This was a very appropriate cool down from Simple. It flowed very well following Simple's intensity, and remained in somewhat the same vein of effects-tinged music. The Key Phrase: "Hey, Paul, can you pass the soap?". Nice little bit of chill pseudo-reggae to end this tune.


POSSUM -- By this point, the set had developed some definite gerth to it. The intro building to the intro/vocals was rather short and unremarkable. As soon as the lyrics segment finished, the boyz revisited the Wipeout theme From two nights back, complete with Fishman solos and yelping. After a a round of Wipeout, Trey teased a Blues Brothers lick once or twice and proceeded into the jam. I don't recall very much about this Possum. I guess it was pretty average-great but nothing really exceptional. All I seem to recall about this jam is the words that kept flying through my head......"Ghost. Gin. Ghost. Gin."......


BATHTUB GIN! -- Lo and behold, I spent much of the Possum hoping it would come and it did. It felt great to hear Gin start up, but it only got better, much. The jam began rather quiet and funky, syncopative (like Gumbo-funk) yet melodic (Wolfman's-funk). It remained in this vein for a solid few minutes -- an entertaining and groovy few minutes but nothing "to write home about";^)~ See, I was sitting in the first 5-10 rows of the 100's directly facing the stage and the band all 3 nights. I think that these are the best seats in any house, other than, say, the first 20 rows on the floor. The sound is impeccable and it's as if the band is playing directly to you and no one else. Anyway, the boyz were reading my thoughts during this jam. I was thinking about how ideal it would be if they brought the jam up in beautiful, harmonious trilling ala Page and Trey circa Bathtub Gin 12/6/97 Auburn Hills. And they brought the jam up like I asked and it was wonderous. From here the jam just kept going and going, but I don't recall much about it. The said trilling beauty was only the beginning of a sick, SICK jam. Everything following it completely blew me away, and I think all Gin fans should check it out. This lengthy and beautiful Gin capped off the weekend for me....


YOU ENJOY MYSELF -- ....however, YEM put it over the top! This wasn't a terribly spectacular version, but it's incredible when it hits you out of nowhere, and in such a tasty set. Hadn't it just been played in Albany? The composed section was executed beautifully, with a notably serene nirvana section. The tramps segment was pretty much identical to the Cincy tramps, so I wasn't terribly entertained by it. Comparatively speaking, Trey was a little inconsistent in his jumps and had to pause and regroup once or twice....The jam itself I recall being of average length, and a very fluid, watery psychadelia. Nothing incredible. I really don't like how the jam quickly subsides to the Vocal Jam without the concluding bass and drums segment. Energy is lacking as the boyz start doing weird shit with their voices, and sometimes you need energy to enjoy that. The Vocal Jam was reminiscent of Cincy's in that it incorporated Chris' lights in ferris wheel-like insanity except that this one was with hisses, whereas Cincy's was with "ahhhhh"s. You know? Nevertheless, YEM is always a treat to hear and was a very suitable set closer.


This set maybe isn't such an incredible set, I could be wrong. But, I left the Centrum that night feeling so incredibly intoxicated by what I had just heard. I couldn't have cared less that tour was over and it could be months, many months, before I see another show! This was simply one of the most interesting and beautiful sets I've heard. There are no holes at all in this set. The obvious highlights were the Simple (was this not a huge tour for Simple???), which needs to be heard to be believed, and the Gin. Personally, it's a very rare privilege to be hosed at two different points during a set, and for this I thank Phish......Get this set, for my sake.


Encore:

ROGGAE -- I know that a lot of people were expecting big things to come out during this encore, but I wasn't left the least bit disappointed. Frankly, I was hurt by the preceeding set -- it was draining experience, thankfully so -- and I really enjoyed hearing Roggae in this spot. It simply followed a very hyped second set in an appropriately mellow fashion. This is a beautiful song.


RAGTIME GAL -- Anything but Ragtime. I just see it too much and it gets to me.


So, I think I've established, at least within myself, that this is a sick show. It did stuff to me that I had only imagined about. There's a monumental Theme in the first set, with an interesting Limb By Limb and subsequent sequence of rarities and a guest. The second set explores. The Simple reached heights that I have never heard that song reach. In fact, Phish took those little effects that they've been toying with for ever-so-long, and created a hitherto unheard of jam. Who knows, this jam could fortell another new direction leading to a new genre of music which Phish might experiment with, improve upon and eventually conquer. If this Simple is a testament to that, we're in for a continually insane ride. Obviously, this Simple had the greatest effect on me -- moreso, than all of set II of 11/27/98, which is crazy in its own right -- but, lest we forget the euphoric Bathtub Gin that I feel was played just for me.


I really need to relive this show and the two that preceed it, as you can see. So, if you could hook a needy brother up with copies of any one of these shows I would be eternally grateful. Please contact me directly so we can do this up. I have much to offer in return, as well as a promise to take care of a mass b & p deal to those who are also in need.


Thanks kindly. Peace.



------------------------------

Date:    Tue, 8 Dec 1998 14:51:19 -0500
From:    Exree Hipp 
Subject: *11/29/98 Worcester Review*

Review: Phish 11/29/98 at the Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA

It's Andrew Brotzman again, saying Hi there to everyone, and thanks to
those
of you who have sent me mail telling me I should pay attention to rmp...

This was my twentieth show, and my fifth of 1998, which isn^t a lot
compared
to some of you out there, but it^s pretty good considering that tomorrow is
my eighteenth birthday. My first show was 12/30/93, I have a assload of
analog hours which all sound like crap compared to my new CDRs, of which I
have few. On to the review.

11/29/98 Worcester I: Paul and Silas, Axilla, Theme from the Bottom,
Sparkle,
Horn, Limb By Limb* -

> Catapult > Kung > Maze, ^Pain and Suffering**,^ Layla**
II: Roses are Free > Simple^, Makisupa Policeman, Possum^^, Bathtub Gin,
You
Enjoy Myself
Encore: Roggae, Ragtime Gal

First off, for those of you who haven^t been to Worcester, let me tell you
it
puts the ^ass^ in ^Massachusetts.^ The place is an absolute shithole, as is
the Centrum. Just another arena completely devoid of personality. I have no
idea why Phish loves this place so much. Probably because this is where
they
were first ^big.^ (NYE ^93) I had tickets to the first two nights of
Worcester, but I had to sell those tickets due to family, thanksgiving,
etc.
Because of said trip, I hadn^t seen the setlists for New Haven, Albany, or
Saturday Worcester, so I was pretty open- ended as to what to expect for
the
show. I arrived with my friend Sam, and this was to be his first show,
although he^s familiar with the band and their songs. We had high hopes for
the opener, something along the lines of 2001, or perhaps You Enjoy Myself.
You can imagine that we were greatly underwhelmed with the selection of:

Paul and Silas: However, this was different than the versions I had heard
before. It had alternate lyrics from Trey: ^The cops were tight and my
shows
were sold out (all night long)^ Which was amusing. Also, it featured a
whistling segment in the middle not found in the old versions, something I
hadn^t heard before.

Axilla: Very straightforward, nice lights from our position in the 200s
level,
straight on to the band.

Theme: One of the better versions of Theme you^ll find, because of its
length,
and also its peak, which was very well done, with more energy than usual.
Stayed in the Theme style, as usual.

Sparkle: How is it that Phish (Trey) can come out on stage for the last
show
of the tour and open up with PaulAxillaThemeSparkle? Why isn^t the band
playing a set more akin to the first sets of fall 1997? I was truly boggled
with the remarkably unremarkable setlist so far.

Horn came next, and it wasn^t bad, per se, but it was just the same as
other
horns you^ll find, with a few minor flubs from Trey. I like this song,
though,
so it wasn^t all bad.

Limb by Limb followed, and I thought that we might get something truly
exceptional and unexpected, which we did, but not until the end of the
song.
Limb played out in typical fashion, and just as Trey brought it back down
for
the ^And I...Take it far away...^ refrain, he started playing on his wah
in a
pseudo-porno-funk style. It was mildly interesting, and Catapult and then
Kung
came out of this. Pretty amusing. Unfortunately, instead of continuing the
jamming, Maze kicked in.

Maze: Old school, straightforward, 1993-esque Maze. An incredible
disappointment for me. After witnessing 12/31/97 and 4/5/98, I was sure
that
Phish had decided to take Maze ^out there^ and really jam with it. Instead,
it^s back to where it was. This is exactly the way I feel about Funky
Bitch as
well, after seeing them blow it wide open 11/30/97.

Some guy named Seth came out next, and played a song called ^Pain and
Suffering^ or something along those lines. It was very traditional in
style,
with the ^WAAAGH^ blues yowling and the distorted licks played with huge
pauses between them, with Seth playing his guitar the way a horn player
would
play a sax. Nothing to remark about.

Much to my surprise, Layla was next, and they didn^t flub it at all. All
the
music was on from Trey and Page, with Page singing. It was pretty good,
although Seth^s guitar sounded off. I don^t know why, he just sounded like
he
didn^t know what key it was in or something. Perhaps others feel
differently.

Not a totally worthless set, but imo, it was a huge disappointment. Some
people will give higher ratings to a set if it^s in a cool place, or on NYE
or something, well, it works both ways. You have to take away from this set
simply because it^s on the last day of the tour and it^s BLAND. I give it a
2. No jamming to speak of, but a special guest and a weird Limb redeem
slightly.

I continued having big expectations for the second set, though, and when
Phish came out and opened with Roses are Free, I thought my prayers had
been
answered. I love 4/3/98 Nassau, and the Roses from that set is GREAT. This
Roses was played, then jammed on for a small time before Trey kicked in
Simple. Roses was pretty bland as well.

For those of you who hate Mike^s>Simple and it^s lame predictability,
you^ll
like the way this Simple started. It was more like Tweezer in that Trey
played
the riff, followed by a drum, riff, drum, song.. You get it. Anyway, Simple
went on in typical Simple fashion before Page got on his synth and made it
one
of the weirdest jams I^ve ever heard them make. It was total noise coming
from
the stage. Trey didn^t try to play notes or anything, just total
cacophony. I
recommend hearing it, because it was just so odd. I loved the way Fishman
didn^t get chaotic on his drums, but kept a steady beat. Very nicely done.
I
really liked this Simple a lot, probably more than any one I^ve ever heard
before. Really interesting. Simple also had a lame glowstick war. Very
small
compared to the Went Hood, or the Lemonwheel Slave.

I was very disappointed that there was no attempt made to segue Simple into
anything. Phish isn^t seguing at all anymore, and that bothers me. Those
transitions are some of the best parts of their music. Makisupa came next,
and
was alright. Nothing super, certainly not better than some versions, such
as
11/19/97.

Possum featured some nice lights and some particularly good licks from
Trey.
Check this version out if you like this song. Very nice, tight, and with a
dead- on wipeout quote, akin to the Blues Brothers quote in possum from
12/29/97.

Bathtub Gin had a huge, huge jam, and was easily the highlight of the
show. I
think it^s must hear, and had some great changes and transitions. Huge,
powerful soloing from Trey. Please get this version for yourself, it^s
really
must hear. Very long, very melodic at points. I wished the whole set had
been
based on things like this.

YEM followed, which I had expected. It had some great dragon bass from
Mike,
but virtually no soloing from Trey. Funky, good YEM, not must hear or
anything, but good Phish stuff, and good to dance to. If memory serves, the
Nirvana section was exceptional. I don't understand why Phish chooses not
to *sing* in the vocal jams. Why don't they sing, hum, harmonize, and make
music instead of sounds once in a while? I think it would make for a much,
much better vocal jam if they would simply sing the way their instruments
might sound, and make music that way.

Roggae and Ragtime Gal (aka Freebird tease) were the encores, and were SO
WEAK that it made me want to cry. I have no problem with Phish doing these
songs during shows, I like them both. But as the encore to end the tour?
Horrible, horrible choices, imo. After Roggae, as they brought out the a
capella mic, I am positive that everyone thought that Freebird was about to
land in Worcester, but instead, it was just Ragtime Gal. Very lame encore,
imo, especially when ending a tour.

Overall, this wasn^t a bad show, but it wasn^t nearly as good as I had
hoped
for the end of the tour. Simple and Gin both must be heard, as they^re
truly
exceptional. I give the second set a 6.5 for a very good setlist and some
great, original jamming in Simple and Gin. However, and more importantly, I
think Phish^s new direction is simply not as good as it has been. I don^t
understand this decision not to segue, for it hurts jams quite a bit, imo.
It
kills energy and just seems forced at times. It also takes away chances
that
songs will develop jams where there were none before (see 11/13/96 Suzy
Greenberg> Jam) It^s really too bad. This show didn^t even come close to
comparing to the shows from Worcester a year ago, and pretty much left me
yearning for more. I think 1999 is going to be analogous to 1995 and 1997,
where things are stretched again, and we get those fine, fine shows.
Hopefully, we^ll see some more shows along the line of fall 1997 soon.

I^m looking to trade CDRs, and I have a pretty good list currently. Thanks
to
those of you on rmp who have got me started. I^m also looking for NYE run
tickets, but I know that^s a ways off. Thanks again.

andrew



-----


11/29/98 - The Centrum, Worcester, MA



Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 20:45:51 -0500
From: markaren@nh.ultranet.com
To: dws@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu
Subject: FALL98_REVIEW - Worcester 11/29/98

Worcester, 11-29-98

I think everyone agrees that the best SET of the Worcester run was
Friday's (11-27) incredible second set. Yet, I got more "soul
satisfaction" out of the last show, which I thought was very well
played. They did not segue-way between songs as much as on 11-27, but
the jams within the songs were over the top. That, the rarities, and the
guest blues guy (Seth Yacavone) made it a night I will never forget.

In the first set, Theme was quite nice, and the Limb by Limb only served
to confirm by opinion that it is the best of the "new" batch of songs.
The Catapult out of the Limb jam was cosmic, and sent shivers up my
spine.  The Maze was also well-played. The bluesy first set closing,
with Pain and Suffering, and then Layla (!) was just absolutely
incredible. I had a grin from ear to ear the whole time, and glancing
around I saw the same look of joy and amusement on everyone's faces.
Layla, what can you say? I always thought Trey looked a little like Eric
Clapton, and during the Layla, he BECAME Eric Clapton. Page even did the
nice piano piece at the end of the song.

Roses are Free was a great choice for second set opener. The song just
exudes a spirit of joy and fun. I was hoping for a Simple the whole run,
and that came next... not as good as 10-31-96, but the powerful jam
afterwards was out at least 500 light years. Makisupa was very nice, but
then Possum, with the Wipeout sandwich, sent the intensity level back up
again. I'm not a big fan of the lyrical part of Bathtub Gin (please
forgive me), but the "Gin jam" had me as blissful as any jam I've heard
Phish do. The jam had a very beautiful, poignant, dare I say "Dead-like"
quality to it that spiraled up and up to the very Source of Light and
Sound. It was a transcendental moment. The YEM that followed, though
very good, did not reach the same heights as last year's 11-28-97 YEM in
the same venue. Still, I'm not complaining!

I enjoyed the Roggae encore, and I could relate with the lyric that goes
"if life were easy and not so fast, I wouldn't think about the past."
The Hello My Baby a cappella finale was very heartfelt, and I was amazed
that the rowdy Centrum crowd actually shut up and listened to this very
nice rendition.

After reading the first review of this show, which basically trashes it,
I knew I had to give my two cents worth. It was a great show. Not
perfect, but then I think we should cut the guys some slack after a
month of touring! I'm beat after attending three shows, imagine how they
feel after playing for a month! After seeing 60 odd Dead shows since
1982 and 12 Phish shows, I have to say that 11-29-98 is in my top ten
list of all the rock shows I've seen, along with 11-27-98, of course.
During the Worcester run, Phish truly provided us with "a circus of
light where dreams can take flight, in the peacefulness dreaming dreams
bring" (Roggae). If only the Centrum had more bathrooms...

Sri Arahambu
Expounder of the Obvious  



Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 11:18:36 -0800 (PST)
From: Matt Luttenberger mluttenb@yahoo.com
Subject: A review of 11/29

Worcester Centrum:

    Pre-ramble:  I was reallyu looking forward to this show. . .only
one this tour. . yet caught the Cybercast of Vegas and a few online
real audios of other tour shows. . .
------------------------------------------------
11/29/98 The Centrum - Worcester, MA

I:  Paul and Silas, Axilla, Theme from the Bottom, Sparkle, Horn, Limb by Limb 
    Catapult  Kung  Maze, Pain & Suffering*  Layla**
II: Roses are Free  Simple^, Makisupa Policeman^^, Possum  Wipeout  Possum,
    Bathtub Gin, You Enjoy Myself

E:  Roggae, Hello My Baby^^^

* - Trey introduces the band and brings out Seth Yacovone, a blues guitarist
    from Burlington before going into a blues jam entitled Pain & Suffering
** - Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton cover, 1st time played;
     with Seth Yacovone on guitar
^ 21 minutes; w/ Glowstick war
^^ "Hey Paul, can you pass the soap?"
^^^ A cappella

----------------------------------------- 

First song:  Never heard before. . . so this was always a bummer when
your first song is not one you know. . . but moved all the same.

Axilla, Theme, Sparkle, and Horn were nice treats. . .I thought maybe
they would only play old tunes this first set!  But then a very nice
Limb x Limb!

Catapult adn then Oh my gosh, could it be, from the hills . . .
.KUNG!!!!!!!!!

VERY Refreshing!

Then Maze. . . pretty cool since I could see how the band would have
interpreted this jam to be very personal for them.
Then they bring out the Big hairy dude!  He rocked!  I would love to
see them in a small barn setting in VT.  (The guy's name was Seth and
was an old friend of theirs from VT.)

They played a song nobody really knew but it didn't matter the song
was cool  in it's own right.   And he has a pretty sweet voice!

Then to finish the set with LAYLA!!!!!
Clapton would have been proud except for the few trailers that they
seem to have gone off with.  A little long, but hey when has seth ever
been in front of that many people?

SET II

Roses are free:  Alwyas liked this song.  Needs to be recorded in my
opinion. 

Sparkle:  Alright. . .GLOWSTICKS ARE COOL. . . PEOPLE WHO THROW THEM
ON STAGE SUCK!!!!!!!   The glowstick fairy showed up behind the stage
and started throwing them in front. .. but had to get them over the
stage. ..a lot didn't make it. . .and the ones that did ended up
coming back in front to hit Page and Trey dodged a few.. . mike almost
lost the beat because of them.

DO NOT THROW GLOWSTICKS ONSTAGE!!!!!!

What if we all brought flashlights instead?

Makisupa. . .always cool in my book.

Possum:  my dilema with this is that I keep looking for the secret
language during this song. . . love it but in the back of my mind I
have to be concentrating so I can turn or fall or something.
The segue into wipeout was cool since I didn't see the other shows and
it was short so I could get back to jamming to possum.  Pretty cool
nonetheless.

Bathtub was perfect. . .feeling a bit sweaty and smelling the guy next
to me was not my ideal but then Bathtub kinda put into a kosmic
relevancy.

YEM!!!!!!!!!!!

Tramps and all. . . phenomenal!  I like the new routine thaty worked
out.  Not only did they turn at 90 degree angles but they also spun
all of the way around in one hop.  tre' cool!

They also did some funky beat box type thing.  I couldn't tell if
Fishman busted out the vaccuum or not but seeing Trey put down his
guitar I knew we were in for a treat.  Chris tried pretty successfullyto
synch up the lights to their noises.  a swirling display of bright
white light that started onstage and went out to the soundboard adn
over the stage then back around. . .(I guess you had to be there)

Encore:

   Rogge. . . .weird song a bit too mellow for me.  But then to finish
with Hello My Baby accapella!   Awesome ending to a great show, let
alone the tour.  Besides I always like to hear them work their voices.

A late night in the end.

1-10 scale:  7.8

Peace
==
         ;~)
   mluttenb.base.org 



Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 12:24:47 -0500
From: Exree Hipp Exree_Hipp@onf.com
Subject: 11/29/98 Worcester Review for the Web

Review: Phish 11/29/98 at the Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA

It's Andrew Brotzman again, saying Hi there to everyone, and thanks to
those of you who have sent me mail telling me I should pay attention to
rmp...

This was my twentieth show, and my fifth of 1998, which isn^t a lot
compared to some of you out there, but it^s pretty good considering that
tomorrow is my eighteenth birthday. My first show was 12/30/93, I have a
assload of analog hours which all sound like crap compared to my new
CDRs,of which I have few. On to the review.

11/29/98 Worcester
I: Paul and Silas, Axilla, Theme from the Bottom, Sparkle, Horn, Limb By
Limb* - Catapult  Kung  Maze, ^Pain and Suffering**,^ Layla**
II: Roses are Free  Simple^, Makisupa Policeman, Possum^^, Bathtub Gin,
You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Roggae, Ragtime Gal

First off, for those of you who haven^t been to Worcester, let me tell
you it puts the ass in Massachusetts.^ The place is an absolute
shithole, as is the Centrum. Just another arena completely devoid of
personality. I have no idea why Phish loves this place so much. Probably
because this is where they were first ^big.^ (NYE ^93)

I had tickets to the first two nights of Worcester, but I had to sell
those tickets due to family, thanksgiving, etc. Because of said trip, I
hadn^t seen the setlists for New Haven, Albany, or Saturday Worcester,
soI was pretty open-ended as to what to expect for the show. I arrived
with my friend Sam, and this was to be his first show, although he^s
familiar with the band and their songs. We had high hopes for the opener,
something along the lines of 2001, or perhaps You Enjoy Myself. You can
imagine that we were greatly underwhelmed with the selection of:

Paul and Silas: However, this was different than the versions I had heard
before. It had alternate lyrics from Trey: ^The cops were tight and my
shows were sold out (all night long)^ Which was amusing. Also, it
featured a whistling segment in the middle not found in the old versions,
something I hadn^t heard before.

Axilla: Very straightforward, nice lights from our position in the 200s
level, straight on to the band.

Theme: One of the better versions of Theme you^ll find, because of its
length, and also its peak, which was very well done, with more energy
thanusual. Stayed in the Theme style, as usual.

Sparkle: How is it that Phish (Trey) can come out on stage for the last
show of the tour and open up with PaulAxillaThemeSparkle? Why isn^t the
band playing a set more akin to the first sets of fall 1997? I was truly
boggled with the remarkably unremarkable setlist so far.

Horn came next, and it wasn^t bad, per se, but it was just the same as
other horns you^ll find, with a few minor flubs from Trey. I like this
song, though, so it wasn^t all bad.

Limb by Limb followed, and I thought that we might get something truly
exceptional and unexpected, which we did, but not until the end of the
song. Limb played out in typical fashion, and just as Trey brought it back
down for the ^And I...Take it far away...^ refrain, he started playing
on his wah in a pseudo-porno-funk style. It was mildly interesting, and
Catapult and then Kung came out of this. Pretty amusing.
Unfortunately,instead of continuing the jamming, Maze kicked in.

Maze: Old school, straightforward, 1993-esque Maze. An incredible
disappointment for me. After witnessing 12/31/97 and 4/5/98, I was sure
that Phish had decided to take Maze ^out there^ and really jam with it.
Instead, it^s back to where it was. This is exactly the way I feel about
Funky Bitch as well, after seeing them blow it wide open 11/30/97.

Some guy named Seth came out next, and played a song called ^Pain and
Suffering^ or something along those lines. It was very traditional in
style, with the ^WAAAGH^ blues yowling and the distorted licks played
with huge pauses between them, with Seth playing his guitar the way a horn
player would play a sax. Nothing to remark about.

Much to my surprise, Layla was next, and they didn^t flub it at all. All
the music was on from Trey and Page, with Page singing. It was pretty
good, although Seth^s guitar sounded off. I don^t know why, he
justsounded like he didn^t know what key it was in or something. Perhaps
others feel differently.

Not a totally worthless set, but imo, it was a huge disappointment. Some
people will give higher ratings to a set if it^s in a cool place, or on
NYE or something, well, it works both ways. You have to take away from
this set simply because it^s on the last day of the tour and it^s BLAND.
I give it a 2. No jamming to speak of, but a special guest and a weird
Limb redeem slightly.

I continued having big expectations for the second set, though, and when
Phish came out and opened with Roses are Free, I thought my prayers had
been answered. I love 4/3/98 Nassau, and the Roses from that set is GREAT.
This Roses was played, then jammed on for a small time before Trey kicked
in Simple. Roses was pretty bland as well.

For those of you who hate Mike^sSimple and it^s lame
predictability,you^ll like the way this Simple started. It was more like
Tweezer in that Trey played the riff, followed by a drum, riff, drum,
song.. You get it. Anyway, Simple went on in typical Simple fashion before
Page got on his synth and made it one of the weirdest jams I^ve ever
heard them make. It was total noise coming from the stage. Trey didn^t
try to play notes or anything, just total cacophony. I recommend hearing
it, because it was just so odd. I loved the way Fishman didn^t get
chaotic on his drums, but kept a steady beat. Very nicely done. I really
liked this Simple a lot, probably more than any one I^ve ever heard
before. Really interesting. Simple also had a lame glowstick war. Very
small compared to the Went Hood, or the Lemonwheel Slave.

I was very disappointed that there was no attempt made to segue Simple
into anything. Phish isn^t seguing at all anymore, and that bothers me.
Those transitions are some of the best parts of their music. Makisupa came
next, and was alright. Nothing super, certainly not better than some
versions, such as 11/19/97. Possum featured some nice lights and some
particularly good licks from Trey. Check this version out if you like this
song. Very nice, tight, and with a dead-on wipeout quote, akin to the
Blues Brothers quote in possum from 12/29/97.

Bathtub Gin had a huge, huge jam, and was easily the highlight of the
show. I think it^s must hear, and had some great changes and transitions.
Huge, powerful soloing from Trey. Please get this version for yourself,
it^s really must hear. Very long, very melodic at points. I wished the
whole set had been based on things like this.

YEM followed, which I had expected. It had some great dragon bass from
Mike, but virtually no soloing from Trey. Funky, good YEM, not must hear
or anything, but good Phish stuff, and good to dance to. If memory serves,
the Nirvana section was exceptional. 

Roggae and Ragtime Gal (aka Freebird tease) were the encores, and were SO
WEAK that it made me want to cry. I have no problem with Phish doing these
songs during shows, I like them both. But as the encore to end the tour?
Horrible, horrible choices, imo. After Roggae, as they brought out the a
capella mic, I am positive that everyone thought that Freebird was about
to land in Worcester, but instead, it was just Ragtime Gal. Very lame
encore, imo, especially when ending a tour.

Overall, this wasn^t a bad show, but it wasn^t nearly as good as I had
hoped for the end of the tour. Simple and Gin both must be heard, as
they^re truly exceptional. I give the second set a 6.5 for a very good
setlist and some great, original jamming in Simple and Gin. However, and
more importantly, I think Phish^s new direction is simply not as good as
it has been. I don^t understand this decision not to segue, for it hurts
jams quite a bit, imo. It kills energy and just seems forced at times. It
also takes away chances that songs will develop jams where there were none
before (see 11/13/96 Suzy Greenberg Jam) It^s really too bad. This show
didn^t even come close to comparing to the shows from Worcester a year
ago, and pretty much left me yearning for more. I think 1999 is going to
be analogous to 1995 and 1997, where things are stretched again, and we
get those fine, fine shows. Hopefully, we^ll see some more shows along
the line of fall 1997 soon.

I^m looking to trade CDRs, and I have a pretty good list currently.
Thanks to those of you on rmp who have got me started. I^m also looking
for NYE run tickets, but I know that^s a ways off. Thanks again.

andrew  



Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 19:32:13 -0500
From: Brian Gropler b_grople@skidmore.edu
Subject: FALL98_REVIEW

Worcester 11-29-98

First off, I can't fathom how these other reviewers can bring themselves
to bitch about last nights show in the fashion they do.  I guess to each
his own, but how can someone experience the jam out of Simple last
night, or the Theme, and come out with "Phish isn't doing enought
segues.  I''m scared...  " Whatever, last nights show was utterly
phenomenal.

I can't comment too much on the scene because I got there kind of late
and had to go straight to will call to get my ticket.  No time to roam
around.  I had trouble getting out of the parking garage.  I felt a
little lost and trapped.  They don't make it too easy for you once you
park it.  I guess it's appropriate that they played Maze later on.  But,
overall, it seemed pretty mellow before the show.  I bet people were
tired after raging the previous two nights.  The light was dank and dim
inside the Cenrum and people were chilling, quietly anticipating a night
of good music.  Somebody commented on what a shit hole the Centrum is,
and that's partly true, especially the bathroom situation near section
122.  It had 3 urinals and a stall.  People were pissing in the
wastebasket and the sinks.  It was a pretty sticky situation.  More on
that later.  Security was completely lacking, at least from my
perspective.  All I saw were a few EMT's walking around.  I bet Phish
likes the Centrum because it is a place with no personality, it's like a
nice big ole blank piece of paper waiting to be painted on by the
music.  It's relatively small, relatively close to home.  And they
always put on sick-ass shows there.  That's all we need, right!  Right.

OK, first off, Phish is at such an incredible level of jamming right
now.  They are producing music I've never heard before.  They are so
relaxed, having such a good time, and forging an incredibly new path. Or
should I say, a new air-route.

Paul and Silas was a great opener.  I always liked hearing the song on
those crisp sounding tapes circa '93 and I don't think I had heard it
live too much.  Nifty hoe-down whistling in the middle.  Crisply played.

Next up was Axilla, which absolutely ripped!  I love the line, "I pulled
the witch from out the ditch..." This song is so bad-ass.  I had just
been listening to it the night before on the Halloween rebroadcast and
was really getting into it, so I was pumped that they whipped it out.
And that's exactly how they play it.  They whip those riffs around.  The
lyrics, wherever their from, are great and much better for the overall
attitude of the song than the ones on the Hoist version.  Raging Axilla.

By this time, I'm pumped, I'm feeling it...  I was starting to get
tingles from the music.  So, appropriately, 
Theme came next.  This was indeed one of the most enjoyable versions
I've ever heard,  There was a remarkably long jam coming out of the
song, with a great energy.  I really felt like I was out in the water,
under, amidst the coral, over, on a watercraft, the music its engine,
whipping around, creating quite a wake.  Trey was tossing it at us.
Definitely a Hose situation.  He was rocking back and forth, getting
into that full body, forward toss kind of position.  Like he was opening
up, and just pouring it all over us.  Theme eventually came to a slow
halt, as if a barge was landing against the muddy, earthy beach.  Which
brings up the issue of segues again.  As far as I'm concerned, if a
segue happens, it happens, but just let it be.  That's the great thing
about modern Phish:  They're not really -trying- to do anything.  They
were painting the Theme picture to its fullest.

Phish paints with music.

Next, we got a Rift segment of the show, with Sparkle and Horn.
Sparlkewas enjoyable, they were doing it at a non-human, frenzied pace up
to
the climax.

Horn was standardly great.  A great composition.  I love this one
because I recently learned how to play it on guitar and it's really fun
to play.  A nice, compact song.

The Limb by Limb was a good one.  I was chuckling because Page kind of
sounds like Mr. Rogers in this song.  His voice is so pure and gentle.
I could see him singing it to a first grade class and having them sing
along.  This proved to be the greatest limb by limb jam I've ever
heard.  They were bringing it to a close, Fishman doing his "un-human
drum beat" and all, when Trey starting having a real wak-a-waka fest on
the wah wah pedal.  This went on and on into a long, interesting jam.
All the while Fish keeping the end of Limb beat going.  But this was
definitley out of Limby Limb territory.  It was kind of a silly, jiggly,
dense, funky, yet full of boings and pops and bops from each member.Kind
of spacey too.  Then Trey waddles over to Mike, tells him something
and Mike sings Catapult over this wacky rythm that's being laid down.
It was really funny because you've never heard a Catapult like this
before.  The line "...Through a tube in my ween..." was pretty funny.
This rythm continued and Trey started doing something into the mike, I
couldn't make it out at first.  Soon I realized it was Kung.  Trey was
like, "stand up" as if he were trying to get someone's lazy ass off the
couch to come and do something with him.  "Come on now, stand up"  Well,
he didn't really say come on now...  In that tone though.  The beat
continued and was jammed on and finally dwindled down and Fish started
tapping out the Maze high-hat.  Now, I like this song, but the guy next
to me loved it.  He screamed "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooow!!!"  about a
hundred times directly in my ear.  My ears are practically still ringing
from it.  So, I got kind of involunarily pumped.  It seemed like a
pretty relaxed Maze.  Page took his time with his solo.  Trey was doing
some awesome comping over it.  Maze raged through many climaxes... 
Then, by shit, the greatest first set ending EVER!!!!!!

Seth Yacavone comes out, Trey thanks people for the great tour and
introduces Seth, something along the lines of "a very good friend of
ours from Burlington, a blues guitar player, who is going to a couple of
numbers with us."  Something like that.  Let me tell you, Seth Yacavone
is a big ball of blues.  He absolutely RIPPED.  With blues-ridden
abandon, these wailing notes came shooting out of him, with no effort.
He was so into it.  His face was contorting with every note.  He has a
screamingly good singing voice.  He absolutely wailed.  So much energy.
Trey just stood back and and let Seth do his thing, in awe.  He was
smiling at the mound of blues.  I think the actual name of the song is
"All the Pain Through the Years." It's on his CD, which is very good, by
the way.  Then, as if our asses could've been any more kicked, the rip
into Layla.  It was so great.  Seth and Trey were both soloing at once,
trading climactic riff after climactic riff.  Fucking raging kick ass
version.

KICK ASS SET!

Set break --
 I did the bathroom thing.  The kid in the one stall yelled out, "Shit!
There's no toilet paper!" I handed him some paper towels.  I got another
water and an ice cream sandwich and headed in.  The set break was pretty
long.  A good wave broke out for a time.

The second set was kind of a blur for me.  Roses are Free was wonderful,
not too jammed out, but the Simple was fucking monumental.  It knocked
me over, it really did.  I felt physically affeted by this Simple.  It
got into some of the darkest, most evil jamming I've ever heard them
do.  The Simple verses were really enjoyable too.  Trey was doing some
unbelievable fills between the lines.  Like I said in the beginning,
these guys are at an incredible point.  Some have described the way they
jam as "spacy," which is partly true, but it's also really intense.Mike
turns his bass way up, so there is this thunderous undertone to it
all.  That alone kind of kind of puts you in another dimesion.  I could
feel it in my feet.  The seets were vibrating.  I'm serious.  They're
doing something that's put a whole different spin on their jamming.  I
can't quite put a finger on what that is.  It's very bass driven...
Really boring, intense bass.  By "boring" I mean boring right into your
heart and vibrating it.  The music on the overall is kind of spacey, but
at the same time, they're all completely going off.  I had to sit down
for the Simple.  This intensity continued into Makisupa as well.  I had
to go out into the hall way for fresh air.  It was really intense.  The
rest of the jamming was kind of like that.  Someone else might be able
to talk about it more.  Like I said, it was kind of a blur for me.

Overall, I was absolutely floored by how good these guys were playing.
Thoroughly intense.  The future looks exciting.

Andy 
afriberg@skidmore.edu



Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 02:03:58 -0500
From: Jeff Conboy jconboy@student.umass.edu
Subject: FALL98_REVIEW

11-29-98
Day three.  Two great shows down, one to go.  If only I had any idea.  I
might've taken it a little easier the first two nights in terms of
partying.
                                                            Set I
    Paul and Silas:  A first for me.  Very nice.  Trey said something to
do with cops that I know isn't normally in the song.  There was also a
whistling part during the middle that I think is new.  Nice song, decent
opener.
    Axilla I:  This one is so much better than the one on Hoist it isn't
even funny.  This song rocked.  It got everyone rockin.  Lights were
very cool for this too.  This was comparable to the one played this
Halloween.  That means it kicked ass.
    Theme:  I like this song too.  It was very tight with nice jams. The
highlight for me was the lights.  The Centrum was filled with
greens, blues, and pinks.  Beautiful.
    Sparkle:  I wasn't too psyched when they started this.  3/4th of the
song was your standard Sparkle.  But the end when they speed up and
speed up was unreal.  I couldn't believe how fast they got it going.  If
the band had just spontaneously exploded I wouldn't have been
surprised.  It was just that fast.
    Horn:  Some more Rift.  I like this song a lot though.  It was a
pretty standard Horn, but that means it was really good.  For the first
time all weekend I noticed a flub or two from Trey, but nothing major at
all.
    Limb by Limb:  One of the better "new" song IMHO.  For the most part
it was it's normal, beautiful self, with great harmonies.  The jam after
was sick, though.  One of the best I've heard out of this song.  And
then all of a sudden it turned into...
    Catapult:  Big surprise, especially out of Limb by Limb.  Trey was
going nuts with his effects.  It started getting weird, then Trey started
saying something into the mic which was hard to make out at
first, but he got louder and I realized it was...
    Kung:  An even bigger surprise.  This was craziness.  Trey's yelling
"Stand up!", people who didn't understand were looking baffled; a
classic moment for me in Phish's weirdness.  This faded away into...
    Maze:  About the only thing I thought was worth noting about this
was the bass.  I don't know what the hell Mike was doing, but the bass
was distorted and completely badass.  As for the rest, it was nice and
dark, but not anything more than a good Maze.
    So now Trey starts talking about thanking the crew for the good
tour, and that there's too many people to thank.  Then he says they're
bringing out a friend.  I was hoping for maybe Carl Gerhard because I
heard he came out at Hampton this year, but it was this guy Seth, a
blues guitar player and friend of the band from Vermont.  I didn't know
who he was, but the blues jam that followed was pretty nasty.  The guy
played a pretty mean guitar.  So...
    Blues Jam:  It's probably a song by Seth, but I don't know.  It was
pretty good, the guy plays well.  But what happened next was crazy...
    Layla:  Old school Layla.  This was intense.  Trey and Seth played
together very well (maybe rehearsed a litlle bit?) trading Eric
Clapton's legendary guitar work note for note.  Seth played a little
funny on it, but very well nonetheless.  They jammed it hard.  The end
part with the piano was stunning.  The highlight of the song for me.
From the beautiful piano intro, to the beautiful guitar work; this
version would have made Clapton smile.
    I probably would have to give this set a 7.5.  Every song was played
well, but it didn't flow naturally from song to song.  This tape is a
must have though, because Layla must be heard.
                                                            Set II
    Roses are Free:  This was a first, but I heard it on the Nassau tape
and loved it.  This one wasn't as jammed out, but very well played.  It
has very good harmonies and Phish handles the music very well.  It's a
damn good cover, it's a shame they don't play it more.  It went very
nicely into...
    Simple:  Now here we go.  I really do like Simple, it's just that
the Mike's  Simple is getting tiresome.  The main part of this song was
way better than normal.  It's really hard to place, but I think they
added a very short drum pause right before "----- are grand" and "We've
got -----".  Something was just a tiny bit different.  But that tiny bit
made a huge bit of difference.  The main part was one of, if not the
best I've ever heard.  But it wasn't even started.  In total, the whole
thing must have been at least 20 minutes.  Instead of the really mellow
piano solo like at Vernon this summer, they did this crazy space jam.
The space built up to a fever.  The lights were going nuts, and they
were in a techno-ish jam.  I couldn't even tell who was making what
sound, but you've got to hear it to understand.  By far and away the
best Simple ever.  Hands down.  No questions asked.
    Makisupa:  Another great tune.  Nothing spectacular, but a solid,
tight Makisupa.  Keyword was something like "Paul, pass the soap".
Above average, but not by much.
    Possum:  I LOVE this song when it is played well.  I saw two this
summer, and they were okay, but this blew them away.  Nice extended
intro (which I feel is necessary for a great Possum).  Trey was really
into this one and started building it in the middle until it went
into...
    Wipeout:  AWESOME.  You could tell who was at Friday's show sy how
they reacted.  And that means going nuts.  I was hoping that at some
point tonight thay would return to Wipeout one last time.  Not too long,
just long enough for Fish to get a little drum solo and Trey to lay down
the riff a few times
    Possum:  Ended as it started.  Kickass.  If you like Possum, you'll
like this one.  It smoked.
    Bathtub Gin:  What a good tune!  Page got to bang around for a
little while (something he hadn't done a great deal of this weekend)
which was nice.  But the key to this Gin was the jam at the end.  It was
unreal.  Trey was letting out some beautiful notes.  Another must hear.
    YEM:  I knew we'd see it at some point this weekend.  This was an
exceptional one.  The entire pre-vocal jam part was right on.  Very
beautiful.  Trey held "The Note" twice very well (I know you all must
know what I mean).  No flubs anywhere.  Unfortunately for those who have
the tapes, the key to the vocal jam was the lights.  As the guys
"whooshed" the lights would spin from front to back.  As they built it,
the lights spun faster and faster until I felt like I was on the
carnival ride that spins so fast that you stick to the wall.  It was
nuts.  Good, good YEM.  I will wait to rate this set until after I
review the encore, because it was...
                                                        Encore
    Roggae:  This one lost me.  It's an okay tune, I don't mind it being
in the middle of a set.  It's a chilling out song, but not even one of
the better ones.  After the intense first night, the very good second
night, and tonight's first set Layla and second set jams, I was
expecting a crazy encore.  Roggae doesn't come close.  I wanted to hear
a song that said thank you for the wonderful energy you've provided all
weekend.  Whatever the scene was outside, the Centrum was nuts.
Everyone was totally into every show.  For the first time, Phish let me
down.
    Hello My Baby:  This is acceptable.  It would have been even better
following a Harry Hood, or some other monster, but not Roggae.
Nonetheless, the guys sounded great and it was a good Hello My Baby.
    So now the rating.  The second set would normally earn a high rating
from me, but Roggae really bothers me.  To end a great stand at
Worcester and a tour with that is a poor choice indeed.  Be sure to get
this show on tape, because the rest of it is outstanding.  Another
thing, not that this is necessarily bad, but I think Trey looked like he
had been indulging in something before the second set.  He was
motionless most of the time, just rocking back and forth slowly staring
at the ceiling.  This was strange because he had been very active in
every set before this one all weekend.  I saw him almost fall over
during Possum, YEM (when he jumped off the tramp), and when he was
walking up to the a capella mic for Hello My Baby.  Just an
observation.  Anyways, I give this set a 7 because I think they could
have sent the phans home with a little more than Roggae.