Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 10:28:07 EST

12-31-98  Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

         It kinda beats the purpose of a a review to write it a good 3 weeks
after the show, but I needed all that time to discern win my head whether or
not that show was really as good as I thought it was. Now, we all know that
what may be the show of a lifetime to someone might just be another pair of
Maxell XLII's to somebody else. However, sometimes there are shows that are
classics to just about everyone, most recently, 11/22/97, 12/30/97, 8/9/98,
11/2/98, and 11/27/98, among others. Allow me to introduce 12/31/98 to that
list, cause in my mind it is deserving of that "Epic Show" title.
        Now, forget the fact that it was New Year's Eve and we had three sets
of music to look forward to. Forget that it was MSG and a packed house of
18,000. For me, I had to forget the fact that I was tripping and I had front
row seats, 12 feet away from Page and Trey. When I omitted all of those
factors, and focused solely on the music of this night, only then did I
realize it was worth every penny of the 3500 I paid to get in. Now before I
start my review, I just want to say that I've noticed a new subcult in the
Phish community growing and getting larger and larger with every show I
attend- the "Mounders", yep, that's right. Kinda like the "Destiny
Unbounders", but with more realistic expectations. My original plan for this
run was to attend the first three shows in docility, only to unleash my
arsenal of "Mounds" Bars upon the stage the 31st~ but when I walked in on the
28th and saw the "Mound" banner hanging down from the upper level, and for it
to remain up ther the other three nights, I was more than ecstatic.

SET I  - (First two Mounds bars away- one lands right at Trey's pedals, the
other right where Gordon stands, Gordon picks his up, looks at it, shakes his
head and puts it on his amp behind him. Trey is too baked to notice

I think all of us there that night knew that the band was gonna bust out 1999
sometime during the evening, but I don't think anyone saw it as the opener.
Probably one of the best openers I've ever seen Phish do, along with Sneaking
Sally from the 30th last year, and Trenchtown Rock from Pitt over the summer.
Everything was totally on during this, dancers and all, with Trey and Mike
falling backwards, only to be caught by the dancers and brought back up again.
The next time I looked over, they were both on their backs, playing along. As
if that wasn't enough to get the party started, MSG errupted when the opening
chords of MIKE's flowed through the venue next. I was kinda dissapointed this
didn't come later in the show, when all my "party favors" had set but how
could I complain, they jammed this out, then faded it away into nothing. I was
praying that Simple wouldn't rear it's ugly head (hey, it's a good song, but
become all too common in Gordon's Groove lately) Then, after a brief two
second pause, HYDRO emerged and I swear I heard a collective sigh of relief
from all in attendance. This segued in its usual sweet way into WEEKAPAUG,
which is always great. A funked out GHOST was next, followed by a smokin'
HAHAHA and CAVERN to top things off. Great set, but still no Mound

SET II - ( Second two Mounds Bars fired. One slides under Trey's amp..DAMN!,
but Gordon's is another direct hit. This time, he actually picks it up and
eats a piece! Dude~ if you're gonna eat my shit you better be playing the
song later!~ just kidding)

NICU to open a set is always a guaranteed blast, and this version was no
exception. CHARACTER ZERO is one of those rare songs that I have no good or
bad feelings about, but this version was pretty intense. Everyone was excitied
to see TWEEZER finally emerge. I  had been calling for it to open the second
set of either the 29th or 30th, but when FREE and DWD respectively filled
those holes, I knew it had to surface sometime tonight. The segue into CITIES
was beautiful~ it's just so nice to finally hear this song in the city of all
cities, New York. People talk shit about WADING but I thought this was very
well placed. What comes next was the Highlight of the entire New Years run for
me, and one of the two reasons that I just had to write a review for this
show.......the ANTELOPE. Now I've heard some insane Antelopes, but this one
was abso-freakin-lutely ridiculous. I was in no shape to be keeping time on
this night, so I'd be interested in getting the actual timing of this song.
The pre-marco jam was so long and deep, complete witha Gordon bass solo. I
thought we were gonna run out of control into setbreak, but a suprise
FRANKENSTEIN had everybody groovin. This set was insane, and although still no
Mound, the Antelope I had just witnessed made up for it well beyond

SET III- ( Third pair of Mounds bars launched. By this time I'm so spun I have
no idea if I'm even throwing them at the stage or not. I hope they saw one of

RUNAWAY JIM kicked off the insanity and it just kept grooving harde and louder
until midnight hit. AULD LANG SYNE followed, and what is that, could it
be,  yes SIMPLE to ring in the New Year! As much as I dread hearing it in Mike's
Groove, hearing it at any other time is nothing but ecstasy to my ears. This
had a balon-popping jam in it, with Trey acting like a little kid at a fair
trying to pop every baloon that came flying towards him. Now for the second
reason that I had to write a review for this show~ HARRY HOOD, plain and
simple. But this was no plain and simple Hood, by far, it was anything but.
The intro section alone took about ten minutes, and by the time the band had
reached the first "Harry" refrain, the Garden was transformed into a cobweb of
colorful glowsticks, spontaneity abound, as thousands had unlinked glow-rings
and linked them together in one long strand of color, stretching all over the
floor and into the heights of the first level. The band was duly impressed,
and I caught a look at Trey as he just looked at Page and shook his head, the
same look he flashed him when the band took the stage at the Clifford Ball,
only to be greeted by 75,000 delirious fans. This Hood was also an epic
version, and the jam was nice and beautiful. After we were all told to feel
good about Hood (how could we not?), TWEEPRISE emerged, perhaps a bit to
early, which would explain the LLAMA, to boot. Another sickly incredible
set. Yeah, yeah, no Mound but I didn't care, there will always be more

ENCORE (By this point I was so damn hungry I was ready to eat the last two,
but I decided what the hell and tossed them up any way into that mess of shit
on the stage. I don't know why I did, the band had no way of possibly seeing

WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS in my opinion was a great "thematic" way to close
the show. Trey's guitar had been gently weeping for us all night, and after a
show like that they could have come up on stage and picked their noses as an
encore and I would have been happy. Sure, a Lizards or Fluffhead would have
been nice, but who can complain.

All in all I had a great time during these 4 shows, with each one (imo)
topping the one from the night before (except maybe the 29th beating out
the 30th,ever so slightly). If anyone has got the tapes yet, or tapes from the
last four fall tour shows (Albany and Worcester), contact me at Thanx alot and see everyone in Hawaii! Peace & Love, tp 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 12:40:48 -0600 From: gary frain To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW My friends and myself are from Texas, but we made the trip and it was the best few lights of my life. Standing outside the Garden on NYE you could tell theby urgency of some people to get in that this show was going to be one for the ages. NYE, When Page hit the first notes of 1999 I thought to myself I knew they would play this but I didn't exspect tilol later, at the same time I knew they might open with it. Kind of weird HA. Mikes > Hydrogen>Weekapaug was absolutly insane. Mike always makes me feel like I'm urging him on during the openining opening of Weekapaug. MIKE IS BAD ASS! A long and rewarding Ghost helped me take my mind off of the girl to the left of me who kept asking question about what song this was. Ha Ha Ha might not be that long but it sure does Know how to bring the house down. Caverns was an exciting close to the set, everyone always enjoyes Caverns, or at least I do. Let me tell you about this girl between sets I and II. We were in section 51 so in front of us this girl was resting on the railing and she was looking kind of pail and then it happend exactly what I didn't need to see. She threw up all over the place and then proceeded to walk and slip all over in it. I thought I was going to loose my cookies. The second set was rockin the Garden. NICU started the party again, and a phat Character 0 had me dancing so fast I almost fell of the step I was on a couple of time. Tweezer is the improvisional song they can just go so much with it and it never gets old it must have been creeping up on 30 minuts. I wasn't real good at keeping time that night. Cities provided some good sing along time, as well as the deep thoughts caused by Velvet Sea. Then came Antelope and Frankenstien. Both of which make you feel like life is so grand because you get to hear this increadable group make music like no one else can and I mean no one. And then it happened Runaway Jim to bring in the new years. Then the classic new years song after that brought handshakes and hugs in my section it was the best party in town. An incredable Simple considering all the ballons on stage. I know that the Glowstick war just has to happen durring Harry Hood, but why throw it at Phish it just distracts from the music especially the ones bouncing off of Page's piano. Tweezer Reprise is a favorite and always expected rush of music. Then a Llama that sounded the coolest of any song that I had ever heard Llama is Phat. Guitar Gently Weeps had some insane parts were Trey just let it rip. It always lookes like Phish has so much fun playing and I prey that fun never fades From:
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 17:15:07 +0000 From: Jedd Marcus To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW NYE was my 20th show, and after experiencing such a show I am compelled to write my first review. I was in Section 308 for the enitire show along with around 15 of my friends from California and we were all in great spirits for this show. Everyone that I talked to wre very kind and friendly. When they opened with 1999 the party started in classic style. The Garden began to open up to the music and our jpurney had begun. I remember seeing most of the peopele in the floor holding their hands up. When Trey and Mike were on the ground playing, along with the dancers, I was sucken deeper ito the music. With the opening chords of Mike's, the GARDEN BECAME THE DANCEHALL PARTY THAT I LOVE. I had to dance in the hallways during this point so I could have more room. No ushers bothered us, and all the people around me were feeling the moment just like I was. Unreal moment This version was an old-school MIke's it was very rocking and not that long. Set lists should read MIke's>Jam Hydrogen>Weekapaug. The jam out of Mike's was extremenly beautiful. Thsi jam reminded me of the Jam out of Mike's at the Gorge in 1998. This was truly captivatng. I remember that this jam did stop for a few seconds before they started Hydrogen. I had not heard Hydrogen since Shoreline 7/31/97, and it is one of my favorites. I respect how Phish likes to play a variey of songs after mike's before Weekapaug, but hydrogen is how they groove is played the best. imo Weekapaug was a very intense version. The Garden was erupting and the song peaked numerous times. This is the best way they could have possibly opened the show. At this point, I knew that this would be truly a night to remember. Ghost was great after Weekapaug, as the jam developed very slowly and evolved into a serious hosing. When they fianlly ventured into HA HA HA I was thrilled. Cavern to close the set was classic Phish. NICU to open the set put me into a great mood. I love dancing to this song. Character Zero as the second song was a great way to keep teh energy going. It was particularly nice not to see this song as a closer. The Tweezer was great. Back in 1996 and even 1997 this song was not one of my favorites. Now, this is one of the best grooves of Phish. This version was Phunky and the party had begun to escalate into a feeling that was undescribable. The music of Phish had taken me to the highest peak. Being NYE, with all of my best friends, with my favorute band- life can not be more perfect. I could tell they were going into CITIes long before they played the chords. This transition was the best transition I have ever seen Phish play. This was one of the songs that I realy wanted to here in the 4 show run. I was going nuts and my friend Julia and I wer ecstatic. Both of us wanted this song badly. Velvet Sea went way above my expectations for this song. I heard this song back in 1997 and it was very repetetive and boring. This version was beautiful and I was able to sit down and catch my breathe. It was the perfect song to listen to and allow me to take in the moment. Antelope was teh best version I have ever seen. The jam peaked several times and the mid-section jam was the deep Phunk-truly amazing. I thought that this would be the end of the set, but not on this night. Frankenstein ended the set with a Bang. My friend Grant wanted to hear this song badly, and it was his first time hearing it live. This song does not dissapoint. Runaway Jim into New Year's is something that people Dream about. The song thundered the GARDEN into NYE and were were all loving life. AULD Lang Syne gave us the opportunity to exchange hugs and emotions. With the opening chords of Simple, I knew this would be an outstandig version. With all of the balloons floating around, Trey was playing with the balloons for a few miniutes. This version lasted for around 20 miniutes, and it contained some excellent improvisation. They left the more standard Simple jam behind very early and journeyed into new territory. This is the perfect way to start a year. HOOD was the song that got me into this band. Hearing such an outstanding version put me in the best mood of my life. With the glowsticks connected throughout the GARDen, the band played a super long intro section to the song. I wondered if they would even play the entire song. They peaked HOOD and along with CHris's mastery with the lights, the moment could not have been more perfect. Tweezer Reprise and LLAMA ended the set. I believe that Trey played Reprise a bit too early. He probably was not aware of the time. Anyway, I was nevertheless stoked that Reprise did not end the set. LLama thundered me back into the groove. While My guitar Gently Weeps as an encore closed my favorite show that I have ever experienced. Some people around me expected a double encore, but Phish was done. They played their hearts out for us and we danced in the groove with equal energy. A truly perfect NYE. I want to close my review by saying that I liked this NYE show much more than last NYE. The third set last year was much too dark for me. I also liked this whole run more than lst year. The 30th last year remains one of the top few shows I have scene. The29 this year was the absolute BOMB with 2001 and YEM beeing my highlights. One can not accurately judgea show by seeign the setlists. The setlists only tell a very small amount of teh big picture. The Musical journey that Phishh takes us on tell the whole story. Phish takes us on a rollercoater that takes us to the highest peak and allows us to reach undescribable levels of thought, emotion, and deep feeling. I feel cleansed from my whole 4 night run with Phish. This has been the best run of my life. Peace, Jedd e-mail me if you have any comments
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 09:49:39 -0500 From: "T.J. Harley" tharley@CLEMSON.EDU To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW MSG in NYC on NYE I hadn't been to New York City in a couple of years. I was so anxious to get there and show my friends from the south what a real metropolitan city was. As we got off the train at Penn Station the smell of petchouli(sp) was already in the air. I was psyched. As we made our way into the arena the tension mounted more and more. As the lights dimmed and the house music faded I jumped to my feet. What would be the highly anticipated show opener. Would it be 1999? Yes it would be. It was a bit hard to make out at first but as soon as Page hit the familiar opening chords (on a keyboard I had never seen before) I knew it was going to be a special night. As they started to jam out, all of these dancers, which I had heard about from the previous three nights, danced there was onto the stage. There was a unicorn, a guy in a suit who danced like Beck, only with dark hair, an opera singer (very well endowed I might add), some guy with a big white ball on his head (similar to the stewardesses in 2001: A Space Oddessy), and some weird looking dude who climbed on Page's grand piano and started swaying his hands back and forth. The dancers then swarmed Trey and Mike and the next thing I know, Trey and Mike are on lying down their backs, and still jamming. As the song winded down, I turned to my friend to call what I thought the next song would be. All I could get out of my mouth was "Mik" before the opening rif of Mike's Song filled the arena. Great jam. It went into a beautiful slow jam with a lot of Trey before very smoothly going into H2. The rest of the show was so good, it's hard to put into words. Real nice Tweezer-> Cities and phat Antelope. Then came the third set. The Runaway Jim was a real nice way to take us into the New Year. Right before midnight Trey added a little 1999 and Auld Lang Syne tease. As the clock struck twelve about 1000 balloons were released from the ceiling. Then came the fireworks and confetti. Trey then started the opening notes of Simple. It was clear that they would just let loose and jam on this for a while. As the rest of the band jammed, Trey spent most of the song popping balloons that flooded the stage. He also took about five minutes and just kept hitting this one balloon with his guitar while the rest of the band jammed. The rest of the third set was pretty tight. Harry Hood contained a nice little delay work by Trey. He plays a minor chord and hits the delay making the chord repeat over and over, giving the jam a reggae style beat. Nice jam with glowsticks. I did see one hit the top of Page's grand piano and make a loud bang. I'm sure it left a mark. This show was unbelievable. In my first show review I'd give it a 9.7. It's hard to describe the atmosphere of the whole night. Everyone was so chill and I didn't see any trouble or any fights. One funny moment I will remember is getting off the train at Penn station and hearing "Would a Suzy Greenberg, or a Marco Esquandolas please meet your party..."
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 17:04:20 -0500 From: Spiro Agnew To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW Here is a review from my experience at Phish this past Holiday Tour: All I really want to talk about is Phish at Madison Square Garden and the way the two of them perfom so niceley together ... The way I see it is that MSG is like a big bowl; a cereal bowl, filled with people who all come from various different places to see Phish perform at one of their favorite venues. People from the Tri-State Area, Vermont, West Coast, and even overseas come to see their favorite jamband. The people, to me, are considered to be the 'corn flakes' that lie in the cereal bowl (MSG). Phish is the band that comes out and entertains the 'corn flakes', and adds a little kick to meal. They are considered to be the sugar that rests atop the cereal that lies in the cereal bowl. The music is considered the milk that is joined together with the corn flakes and the sugar to make one great bowl of cereal. The people who eat the cereal, well, they are the 'Music Gods' from above...They consume all of the happiness and creativity that goes on everywhere in the Garden. They seek out to the ground to find only the finest music and happiness produced by one the greatest jam bands of all time, Phish, performing at one of their favorite venues, Madison Square Garden. Happy 1999!!! _____________ Todrino, 1998 "If I'm not back in 5 minutes.....JUST WAIT LONGER!!!" - Jim Carrey
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 01:04:33 -0500 From: Christian David Hoard Hi there. Let me start by saying that the only real reason I write these reviews is for entertainment purposes; I certainly don't expect to enlighten anyone about anything that really matters. Speaking of entertainment, I think that's the main reason we all go to Phish shows: for entertainment both musical and extra-musical. That each fan has his own particular experience at any given show certainly makes the idea of rating/ranking shows pretty subjective. I noticed that big shows (NYE, Halloween, Summer Fests) tend to be given a lot of attention which often makes their musical qualities seem better or worse than they were. For instance, if my all-time favorite set of Phish (12.6.97 II) would have been played as one of the NYE sets, I probably would have had a heart attack, whereas it just pleasantly blew my mind when I saw it at the Palace in Detroit a year ago. Just trying to put things into perspective. Anyway... After taking the train in and eating dinner, we were herded outside the Garden for a short wait a little before 7. Getting in was pretty simple, security was extremely light, and I was more than pleased to see that my section 65 seat put me a mere 20 feet or so from Page's left shoulder. The bathrooms were nice, too. The 1999 opener was a great way to kick off the show. The whole "tonight we're gonna party" vibe seemed very apropos, especially when all of those strangely-clad dancers came out. The song (and the dancers) went on for quite a while, turning into a pretty funky vamp at times. The MIKE'S took me a little by surprise, simply because I hadn't expected it to come so early. The jam seemed kinda short but fierce, and then just sort of faded away until HYDROGEN started. I was really happy to hear this. It was standard but still great to be getting an old-school Mike's. The WEEKAPAUG also seemed short, but the jam was very punchy. Mike's bass intro seemed longer than usual as Trey teased the main 1999 chords again. When the reprise of the 'PAUG chords hit, MSG erupted into applause. Not a mind-blowing Mike's, but definitely more than solid. GHOST. Talk about a meaty set! Mike and Trey did their little committee meeting thing and waited for the UN to vote on which song they should play next. Though I admit that I'm pretty sick of the song itself, I honestly think that GHOST has provided the basis for some of the best improv. this fall. This version was superb, very laid-back. The jam layered several grooves, subtly shifting each, instead of the solo-line approach. Funky, I mean. I really dug this jam. With HA HA HA, I was truly impressed. It was great to hear this song instead of the type of "filler" which seemed to be inflitrating a lot of Phish sets this fall. I really like this song, too. CAVERN to close rocked the house, and it sounded as if Trey remember all of the lyrics, to boot. II: NICU always makes for a fine opener. This version was standard, but seemed to have a lot of energy. Did Paul turn Mike up louder to start the set? If there was any song I was really sick of after last fall it was CHARACTER 0. However, it seemed so very appropriate here. Mike sounded so good on this version. It truly rocked without going over the edge. Excellent. TWEEZER woohoo! Actually, the crowd seemed very unexcited when the Tweez' started up. Forgive me, but I can't really remember much about this version, except that it seemed really short and didn't go anywhere before it segued into... CITIES. Nice segue, too bad TWEEZER didn't last all that long, however. This CITIES was extrememely cool and had everyone excited. Not really jammed out, but still sounded great. WADING was a nice break. A HORSE > SILENT would have been a lot more appropriate, but who's counting? I should mention that, during Page's verse, Trey stopped playing and stared at Page with a really dumb look on his face, which was really funny. The ANTELOPE was nuts. ANTELOPE seems like one of those songs which you could hear a snippet of and still tell that it's ANTELOPE. But the jam section was really out there in this version, further than I've ever really heard. The hardcore fans call it type II, eh? The break back into the main jam was a little sloppy, but very cool. The "Marco" breakdown had to be longest, most drawn out ever. It featured some start-stop jamming, with a very cool Mike solo in the middle. Overall a great ANTELOPE. FRANKENSTEIN is to me the finest of all set-closers. This one rocked as is usual. Set III: With a little more than 10 minutes to go before midnight, the band came back out and started up RUNAWAY JIM. It was obvious that there was going to be no "stunt" this year (unless you count the dancers), but the JIM more than made up for it. It was one of those jams which really had a floating-along-effortlessly quality to it. It just sped forward, gaining momentum and getting stronger and stronger until it erupted into chaotic noise as the clock struck 12. What a fun moment! The Garden was the place to be right then. After Auld Lang Syne, what better song than SIMPLE to ring in 1999? Things did seem simple right then. After the baloons and the crowd drowned out much of the song, the jam proceeded in a very mellow, happy-ish groove that you hear in a lot of SIMPLEs, complete with a Trey-popping-baloons jam. I wish I could remember more specifics about this version, but it seemed mainly uneventful, very low-key. I really think something should have been placed before HOOD, but no real complaints. As with the "Marco" breakdown in ANTELOPE, the HOOD intro was suuuuuper-extended. The usual glowstick war started but this time, instead of pelting your friends with the little plastic missiles, thousands of harmless (unless used as a whip, but don't get any ideas, please) glow rings were linked throughout the crowd. This touching moment was commensurated with the usual 1-4-5 jam from the band. Is it wrong of me to call this HOOD "standard"? I think it was. Now, I enjoy a TWEEPRISE as much as the next kid raised on special effects and big explosions, but isn't this a little early to close the set? From the looks exchanged between he and Mike, I honestly think Trey made a mistake to start this so early. Which explains the... LLAMA. Nice. It would have been perfect before the TWEEPRISE, and as such it seemed anti-clamactic to me. Typical nice work from Page. E: This encore sucked. Wait, the version of WMGGW was really good, with really nice solos from Trey, but what a shitty way to end the show. As it died out, the band seemed to be saying "Uh...could you guys please go home now?" All of the rocking set-closers, Tweeprise, Cavern, Character 0, Frankenstein had been taken, so I guess there was no easy way to end this encore. I'm really not sure what to say about this show. On paper, knowing it was a New Years show, it's an instant classic, right? I'm not quite sure. I really having a feeling that I missed some great musical moments simply due to the atmosphere at the show. The really good moments, the Mike's -> Groove, Ghost, Antelope, Jim were really terrific, but I think that they were balanced out by a feeling that the band was rushing through things (main Hood jam, Tweezer, in particular) due to the huge-ness of the show and not taking the time to let truly great improv develop. Of course, I think this show *will* come across really well on tape, too, especially the first two sets. And while I think it was less-than-epic, that's not really the point. It was also a huge party and I felt lucky to be there. CDH
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 08:57:42 -0500 From: Tim Bauza Tim_Bauza@SUTH.COM To: "''" Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW Tweezer--> Cities ...enough said.
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 03:02:51 EST From: To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW NYE!! To start out i just want to say that i was lucky enough to see all 4 shows, even though i came with only the 28th, 29th. These shows were my 30-33, and they were my 6-10th of 1998. Now that i have taken some time to let my brain rest from last week, i am sure that 12/31 was the best show of the run. Lots of people will argue that the 29th was better, but for me the 31st kicked its ass. I have seen the last 3 runs and this blew them away, no doubt about it. IMO this was the best run ever. A friend hooked me up with a mailorder for sec 71, fish side ..and our seats were great. 2 rows off the floor directly even with the boys. I wasnt sure if they would open up with 1999, or use it as the new years song, but it got the place shaking when they hit the opening notes. The vocals were beutiful with page just going off. When trey hit the chords for mikes, i knew we were in for a treat. All i was thinking was HYDROGEN..i had only seen it once at red rocks 96 and had been waiting ever since. The mikes was pretty straightforward, and got a little slow at the end. I was praying that they wouldnt kick into simple..short pause....HYDROGEN!!! YEEHAW!! I was in heaven..then the weekapaug that followed was pure energy, with mike slappin away(i was glad to hear mike turned up as much as he was ) They gave mike the solo at the end and then..pause..GHOST..i like this song, but the ghost at vegas was very weak imo. I like the old ghost was better than the new one, but this version was very tight. The funk found its way into Ha Ha Ha..i had never heard this song live and was very happy when trey started the guitar. Cavern is not one of my favorites..but it was decent. Overall this set was unreal, best set of the run imo. Setbreak-i was just starting to spin, so i decided to sit down and take a breather. Thanks to J and erik for keeping the sanity! :) Set 2--NICU..i love this song as a opener to get everyone dancin. Char 0 is one of my least favorite songs but this one was decent. Here comes the FUNK--Tweezer>CITIES was rockin..i really dont like tweezer all that much but the jam before cities was smokin! It slowly moved into cities which was very welcomed"Find yourself city to live in" which moved into velvet sea or cheese, whichever your prefer. Lots of people hate this song..but it was a nice breather and i love pages vocals. I havent heard it enough to get sick of it yet but well see. Next comes the best antelope ever imo. This version just rocked with trey absolutely lovin every minute!! The jam segment seemed as though it would never end, with trey just teasin the crowd. Not much else i can say besides get the tapes and listen for your self. I was sure that would be the set closer, BUT out of nowhere comes FRANKENSTIEN!!! i love this song so much and this was a super tight version. There was a huge frankenstien sign right above where the band exits the stage, so that sould have had something to do with it.SETBREAK--by now i needed water so i made a run for it and got back with plenty of time to pack some white whidow for the 3rd set and 1999!!!! The boys came out at 11:48 and busted jim, i was so happy they played 2001 on the 29th so they wouldnt 3 peat it. The runaway was tight with definite 1999 teases. 12:00 balloons, glow sticks, hugs, nugs....alz to bring in the new year!! Then..SIMPLE..this version was wacky with lots of enery..trey was runnin around popping balloons with his guitar NYE 96 style. Trey was definately on something from what i saw :) he was so into it...then comes the HOOD of all HOODS..this hood blew the roof off of msg..with the dancers with no tops on passing out glow sticks for the climax!!! aawwww yeah!! this 25 min version is got to be in the top 3 alltime. Tweeprize was nice not to hear as an encore, it raged as usual..i like it better then tweezer but thats another story. The LLAMA smoked from start to finish..pure energy. Id like to take a minute to give a shout out to all the kids that made nyc such a great experience for me--jonny b, maurer, spain, jeff, taper jeff, taper mark, antal, east lansing jeff, JJ!!, MICHIGAN KIDS IN THE HOUSE!! NO GOOD FAMILY summer 99! For those of you that made it this far i will be getting the entire run of tapes in a week or so and will do b+p for people who really need it. Thanks for reading--Happy Fuckin New Year everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 23:22:47 +0000 From: Ethan White To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW I havn't seen too much detail yet about the moments that made this NYE show really special, in my opinion, so I thought I'd add my $.02. It being my 30th show, I was hoping for a biggie. "1999" certainly got things off on the right foot, and the Mike's that followed was deep and dark until the key change. Jim Raras and Dan S. and I did our best to ward off the Simple "hex," and to our delight, it worked! ;-) The jam proceded in a Simple-esque style, but happily never fell into its chord progression which, though pretty, I find all too repetitive. The second major highlite from this set was the Ghost, which is always welcome in my book. Yes, I slightly prefer the slap-happy 97 style, but this 98-style enter-into-the-deep-haze Ghost built in a glorious, hosey 12/13/97 fasion that rocked my world. Major headrush. We scammed to the floor with NO HASSLE (I love MSG security) for the second 2 sets, hoping the boys would live up to the first set's example. I said "ho hum" at Zero's opening chords, but was completely won over by Trey's guitar masterbation this time. I didn't like any I heard during the fall tour (too loud, too repetitive), but somehow this one just clicked. I must talk about the Antelope, which blazed a new jamming trail in the post-build "Rye, Rye Rocco" seciton. Sure, strange things have happened during this section, but never have I heard such a deliberate, sensitive search for the GROOVE here before. Suddenly it was 1997 again, as each member added just the right touch to create a flow of 12/7/97 Tube jam reprise standards. I also must mention Dan Seideman's priceless reaction to both Frankenstein ("Just watch me if they bust it out tonight- I will be the definition of a man LOSING IT," he said previously), and during the pyrotechnics at midnight. A true Metallica fan at heart, Dan spent last month's car trip to Hampton wishing for Phish to blow more stuff up at concerts. Happy New Year, Dan! One final comment is for the Hood, which, like Antelope, opened up a whole new realm of jamming. This time it was duiring the Hood intro- the opening reggae section. It was MUCH longer than standard, and I was half thinking (and secretly hoping) that the band would forgoe the song completely for a freeform jam. This is not to say I found the rest of the song lacking- oh no! By passing out the soft glow-rings (which actually do hurt a little if you get hit...but I'll let it slide), the band obviously made a statement. We can throw these things to our hearts' content (and they do look cool), as long as we ditch the thicker, more dangerous kind. Hope we all comply. All in all, by far one of the most exciting Phish shows I've ever attended, and probably the most fun I've had in an indoor arena. The setlist LOOKS rather standard, but the show most certianly was not, and don't let anyone tell you it doesn't give 12/31/95 a run for its money. It put a definitive exalamation point on an otherwise rather uneven year for Phish, in light of 1997. And it heralded exciting things to come. Ethan White
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 13:50:38 -0500 From: Brian Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW After a few days of relaxation, I can finally post my review. After a strong showing on the 28th and the incredible 29th showm I believe the crowd was a bit let down after the 30th. Yet, going into The New Year's show, everyone knew the boys were saving the best for last. Set I: Opening things with "99" just got everyone into a party groove. Page and Mike laid it down thick and everyone knew things were just getting started. As the notes to "99" wove down, Trey began the opening chords to Mikes. The jam was it note for note and led into a beautiful Hydrogen. Picture Perfect. Trey and Page were on for every note. Weekapaugh tore the house down. It was great to see Mikes>Groove in the middle of the first set instead of ending set II or being bridged throughout a set. It felt like the old days again. The Ghost that followed definately changed my opinon of this song. It reached its potential on this night. They set the groove early and built upon it, never straying from the songs musical theme. Then came another supirse choice, Ha Ha HA. I have not seen this song since 95 so I was pretty excited. This too was hit note for note. The Cavern was standard but tight of course. A wonderful way to open the show. Set II As Trey began the opening notes of NICU, the party in the Garden picked up right where it left off after set I. NICU was tight and rocking with a nice Leo solo. This segued nicely into a ROCKING Character Zero. Trey loves playing this song and he took it to new levels on this night. The jam continued to peak time after time, until it finally wove nicely into Tweezer. The band took their time letting the groove develop here. The funk was deep and Mikes bass was thundering throughout the song(and show). Then came one of my Phish musical highlights. The boys jammed Tweezer perfectly into a suprising Cities, which was hit note for note. The funk was unrelenting, and the crowd was loving it. I would put this segue right up there with the 12/29/95 Bathtub>Real Me>Gin. They never lost their focus, it was perfect. This wound down into Wading in the Velveeta, which was actually very well played. They built the ending jam over and over until it peaked. Very well executed. Then came Antelope. Now, this wasn't your average Antelope, this was a full-out hose version. I didn't think I would ever see an Antelope top the one from 12/28/94 cicvic center, but this was the (imo) best version the boys have ever busted out. Frankensteing was a nice set closer. Set III The clock began counting down at 11:30 and the band came back on at 11:48 and began to play Jim. Not a special version, but this led nicely into the Auld Lang Syne. Then cam Simple. The song was all over the place as the balloons were fsallling, with trey becomming a balloon popping maniac. But as everything returned to normal, the jam picked up and continued to build. Then, a familiar chord began to be heard. In the midd;e of the Jam, the Trey began the opening notes to Walk Away. They jamed on this for thirty seconds or so, but it never developed. Instead, we got Hood. This 25 minute version featured a GLOW RING war and some very excellent spacey jamming. It was an excellent version, not the best, but very good. The Reprise that followed wss standard and followed by an unexpected Llama, which too was well played. This ended the set. E:WMGGW was played weel, but left many fans scratching their heads. A very suprising chice to end what I consider the best show of all time. The best part about this show is that throughout the entire night, the band just rocked. They never lost focus of any jams, choosing instead to jam strictly on all songs original musical themes. The setlist was perfect and I will never forget this night. Life is just a party and party's are meant to last. Happy New Year Scott
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 02:32:37 EST From: Subject: 12/31 sets/times 1. 1999>Mike's>Jam>Hydrogen>Groove,Ghost>HaHaHa>cavern 1:00 2. NICU>character 0>Tweezer>Cities, Wading,Antelope>Frankenstein 1:03 3. Runaway Jim>Auld Lang Syne>Simple>Hood>Tweeprise>Llama 0:58 While my Guitar... 0:07
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 15:41:36 EST From: To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW 12/31/98 @ The Muthafreakin Garden: Let me just start off by saying that after the last couple years tradition, and also after three extremely solid nights, I wasn't expecting much for New Years Eve in the ways of phenomenal music. It's always been a lot of fun, but the earlier nights have always been better (IMO). As anyone who was there could tell you, this year totally changed my outlook on those four unpredictable Vermonters. The scene at MSG was really pretty good. It's easily the most intimate 16,000+ capacity venue I've ever been to. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and all the troublemakers must have been stopped at the gate or something, because everyone was well behaved (albiet belligerent). There was a great family vibe on NYE that is often missing at Phish shows. Everyone was wishing total strangers a Happy New Years, exchanging hugs and various other shows of affection; it seemed like half the people there were rolling like a flock of wild bowling balls. By the time the lights went out the energy was barely containable. Then it went through the roof when the intro to 1999 started playing over the PA. Then it stayed right about there through the rest of the night. Twenty thousand odd Phish kidz gettin' down to disco Prince w/ lines like "I wanna dance my life away," was just plain sick. Then the dancers who had been entertaining us all week came out onstage together and started boogeyin hard to Phish. One lady was cat-arching and gyrating on Page's baby grand while a handful of others were all freakin Trey and Mike. After a bit of reckless debauchery they slowly got offstage and Trey slipped us all right into Mike's. It was fierce and fast and cooled down early creating some beautiful ambient effects familiar from most of the fall. I was chillin with a couple friends who had never seen a Hydrogen before and we were all really happy when they got their first. As they slipped into Weekapaug I started thinking about Hampton 97 and how fat that straight Mike's Groove opener was, knowing we were in for a real treat this night. By the end of this extremely intense Weekapaug, when Trey started hitting notes that felt as if they were gonna burn all the hairs off the back of my neck, I knew we were surely at a show for the ages. The crowd erupted in cheers of celebration and the subtle funk groove of the new Ghost (which I've really grown to like after some considerable unease this summer) began to emerge from the ashes. It was at this point that my old friend Molly started interrupting me and making my memories a little less clear. So I just slipped into the groove and chilled. Mike and Fish were creating some phenomenal grooves that Trey and Page noodled over, lots of great interplay between the band members. Ha Ha Ha> Cavern was a great rowdy way to close the set, allowing me to gather up the tribe and puff tough through setbreak. Beginning with the second set, the sound mix in the Garden was better than it had been all week. Mike was extra loud and Fishman was clearer too,making everything rock that much harder. I love hearing NICU, It really gets everyone moving, and it's also one of the songs where Trey yells "Play It Leo". After so much success selling Play It Leo stickers all summer, I always get really happy when Trey screams it out. Character Zero was easily the best version of of the song I have ever heard. I say this because I genuinely enjoyed this one (as opposed to being offended by most of the others I've seen). The band simply thundered through the number with reckless abandon and broke out into the oh so deep funkfest which would become Tweezer> Cities. As far as I know they'd never performed Cities in New York. Since NY is "the" city it was truly fitting. Velvet Cheese was a nice cool down with some great melodic work by Trey. Then came Antelope. I really don't have much to say about it besides "WOW!" which will have to suffice. Frankenstein is always welcome, and closed the set with a nice bang. At this point I wanna give a shout out to the forty odd some kids from Michigan I was with. We all spent most of the week directly behind the stage in the 300 level which, IMO, is the best place in the whole Garden. It's probably got the best sound in the whole room, it's a lot less echoey & cavernous than in most other areas. Special thanks also goes out to my girls in the section 316 concourse (UPS, baby) who were mad fun to kick it with on the 30th & 31st. Anticipation was high as the 30 minute countdown to the New Year began. At about a quater to, the boys came back onstage and busted out a great Jim with some 1999 teases from Trey. Jim filled the usual 2001's tired shoes and then some. They started wailing away on their instruments with no abandon with about one minute left, then came Auld Lang Syne with balloons, hugs, kisses, screams and all. Simple was the perfect way to kick off the new year, quite possibly the quintessential Phish song, saying everything that needs to be said about the whole experience, yet so... "Simply". This simple, in true 98 tradtion, really kicked ass. A real textural jam turned slowly ambient and then into a Hood to end all Hoods. Someone had passed out tons of super long 'glowsnakes', which were like much longer versions of the multi-colored glow necklaces. Like psychedelic veins under Kuroda's lights, they criss-crossed about the floor and occasionaly up into the lower bowl. The glowsticks didn't really even have a chance to take off because this was just so much cooler. The whole place simply wriggled away to a super spacey, extra well played Hood. Then, much to my delight, Tweeprise made it's way into the middle of the set instead of the coveted encore position (which I'd frankly been getting tired of). Llama ended the set fiercely with a final wave of intensity washing over the Garden before the encore. I really like WMGGW, It encored my first show and Iove that it's made it's way back into rotation, but as well as it was played, it just didn't seem like quite enough to top off a show like this. But it really seemed like the boys were trying to make the one A.M. curfew so all is forgiven. I slipped out into the streets happy and still wanting to dance all night so along with a few friends we made it down to the Wetlands to do the aftershow with Deep Banana, but at two thirty they were still charging $25 freakin dollars to get in. We scratched that idea and had a great time at a little Irish bar around the corner from MSG called "The Molly Wee" (no kidding). I had a great time down there and wanna say hello to Catherine and Lady Rachel from the British Isles for adding so much drunken culture to my night. Happy New Years, everyone, and I'll see you somewhere in 99. Love, -Jeff
Date: Fri, 01 Jan 1999 23:33:37 -0500 From: mrusso To: Subject: NEWYEAR98_REVIEW -- The World Bank, 1818 H St. NW, Washington DC 20433, U.S.A. +1(202)477-1234 NYE was my 49th show, and it was the best Phish show I have ever seen. Best Mike's ever, the jam was captivating. Tweezer>Cities is on the same level as the 7/22/97 DWD>Mike's. UNreal. very long Simple, jammed out Hood intro. Best first set EVER. The improv was incredible, the energy in the Garden was transcendent, the music was playing itself, pulsating and flowing through each and every person and thing in the Garden. Thats all I can really say right now, hope everyone had as good a time as I did. -Derek p.s. tape traders will want to get every show of this run. people seem to leave out the 12/30 II....they were nice space jams after Piper Caspian and especially Coil. Check it out. imo, this Run was the best Run ever.
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 11:59:15 -0500 From: Bob Silver Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW Just a little not of who I observed at NYE night. Fred Savage (WonderYears) partying down in the front row. Conan O'Brian showed up with TV Executives after Midnight visiting and sharing in on the champagne with Mimi and the rest of the Mothers and family of the band up on the lighting board. (I have Pict.) Well I have to leave this hotel room, and head home to S. Fla. Peace, Boca Bob Silver
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 05:30:16 EST From: To: Subject: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW I just got back from the whole run and can't say i am surprised. i knew they were going to be the best 4 days of my year and i was right on!!! to all of you that saw any or all the shows, congrats bc you saw a (or several) phat phat shows.... FIRST OF ALL: I have been lucky enough to see a lot of shows, phish, dead and otherwise and i have NEVER EVER HAD A COOLER SECTION THAN 333 ON NEW YEARS, IF I COULD HAVE TAKEN THEM ALL HOME WITH ME, I WOULD HAVE. anyway, the place was hopping all 4 nights. i was lucky enough to go to the last 4 of the fall tour, but this was definitely way different, and way cooler. each night was special, and there is no way i would close my year out any other way!!! There were too many songs to give you a play by play of each night, but here are a few, of the many highlights from the run...(i will miss some, bc there are too many for one review.. Monday 1ST SET- Acoustic set w sleep, driver, and albequerque, and of course TUBE!! 2nd set: Carini was an awesome set opener and one of my fav newer tunes. QUINN WAS THE BOMB!!! DIDNT EVEN SEE IT COMING!! TUESDAY: BLOWN AWAY BY THE ENTIRE FIRST SET, 2001 in the 2nd may have been the best lighting i have ever seen anywhere, ever, and you know how awesome they play this one! Three last words to sum up this show: DIVIDED SKY ENCORE!!!! WED: BBFCFM!!!! Best wilson i have ever heard...Maze, Loving cup and reba to close this set was awesome. wasnt sure about this set in the middle, but by the end i was dancing as hard as i had any of the nights the 2nd PIPER stole the show. POSSUM as always, was a treat NEW YEARS EVE...BEST SHOW I HAVE EVER SEEN. the entire setlist was highlight after highlight, beginning to end. 1999!! mikes!!! in the first!!! nicu, tweezer, cities, antelope, a phat phat frankentein in the 2nd!!! Jim, simple AND hood in the 3rd!!! The whole thing ruled. the band, as we all know, is the greatest. the crowd, was awesome, and phish and especially section 333 (kev, joe, steve, ny nicole, the masses from the west coast and too many other to name made this the best show ever.)made me more than ready for 99, and waiting for the next show...Sorry for being so long winded, but its been a long (and of course, very fun) 4 nights..Thanks to everyone i met along the way for being so much fun....
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 02:00:47 EST From: To: Subject: 12/31/98 there was a definite 1999 tease by trey after mikes solo in weekapaugh
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 11:35:59 -0500 From: To: "Daniel W. Schar" Subject: Re: NEWYEARSRUN98_REVIEW Yeah, sorry about that. I was going to attempt to give a good rundown on the shows that I saw, but thought better of it. I'm not sure I'd be able to do the four shows justice. I will say this, I had a good friend come into town to check out the last two shows and a very funny thing happened: I think the 28th was a fantastic show and that the 29th and 30th lacked the fire and funk that the 28th had, but were still great. The setlists were amazing, especially on the 30th - some real heavyweight songs. However, I think the band was saving up for the 31st, and damn did they ever. Anyway, with regards to the friend, he'd never seen PHISH, the Dead, MOE, etc, so the whole experience was completely novel to him. Not to mention he has always been more of a metal - head enjoying the likes of Slayer, White Zombie, Primus, and Metallica. After he saw the 30th he was neither moved nor disgusted with the show or the scene, but he got a taste and new what to expect the following night, which I think was good. This way, he was able to take in the music without having to try and figure everything out. About halfway through the second set, as he was boogeying like I'd NEVER seen, he turns and says, "This has completely changed my concert - going perception!!!!" Enough said.