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Permalink Posted by Mikesgroover on , attached to 1998-11-02
MikesgrooverOne of the biggest musical gifts of my concertgoing career was the performance Phish delivered this night in Utah. After failing to convince any of my friends who attended Vegas with me, I headed north alone, sleeping in my car and arriving to find a nearly empty parking lot. Everyone had skipped this show for Denver, a sure sign that Phish would mix things up after the bacchanalia that was Halloween. To my recollection, there were maybe 3 or 4 thousand people in the arena. I was holding a seat for the stands but after a full-body cavity search by some overzealous security, I walked up to about 10 feet from the stage, where I stayed the rest of the night.

The perfect show for the moment in time in the band's history. The opening Tube>Drowned>Jesus is delivered with a ton of punch, at which point the band gets intimate with the crowd for Driver and Bittersweet.
The second set Disease opener was strong, and the Mango is an especially tasty highlight. The mid-set YEM was pure pleasure, but the Oom-Pa-Pas that followed caught me completley by surprise. Trey's story is a hilarious and touching listen, and in retrospect probably says a lot about where the band's heads were a couple of nights earlier. When Speak to Me started people immediately began cheering, but at 40 minutes or so into the set, I can safely say no one was expecting the entire album. It wasn't until the clock effects at the beginning of Time started ringing out that it dawned on me and everyone around me that they were going to play the entire album.

The DSOTM performance doesn't feel forced, and certainly reflects how gifted the band is, considering they'd learned the music in pretty much a single day. Kuroda did a nice job as well on this one-I remember vividly how he alternated different colored spotlights on each band member during Us and Them. By the time they got to Eclipse, we were ready to explode with joy and appreciation. It didn't matter that Smells Like Teen Spirit was a complete slopfest. In the days before everyone had cell phone cameras, there aren't a ton of photos of this performance I've seen. For a long time, I only knew of one audience source though I'm sure that since then more have appeared. With the lights out, they entertained us.
Score: 15

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