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Permalink Posted by hiddenaway on , attached to 1998-04-04
hiddenawayThis show stands out as one of my all time favorites. Yes, I went to college in Providence and there's certainly a bit of nostalgia thrown in seeing the Island Tour when I was at the height of my college dreams, and Phish was also at the height of their game. Nassau 4/3 a night earlier maybe one of the best shows all time, and Phish brought the juice right back in this one.

First set Tweezer was very good - not the best one of 98 (that would come soon after at Den Gra Hall in Copenhagen), but pretty solid. Clearly the guys just had their groove in a very very good spot for the island tour, as none of the shows are bad, but this one is the 2nd best in my opinion. Solid versions of Taste, Funky, Ginseng and Limb made for a feel good first set. The Zero was a bit of downer for the set closer, but maybe it's just b/c I hate that song live.

Second set is where the nastiness gets started. I'm calling it right here - best Birds of a Feather > 2001 ever. Best Birds ever, best 2001 ever. Done deal. The Birds was so abstract, ambient and techno with high energy throughout (the song was so new and fresh to the guys and it was so pre-Trey doing the whack out bullshit rock guitar, much of what Birds has become today). It was just pure, full-band destruction, with tons of space techno and ambience throughout. 2001 followed it up with one of it's best versions ever, very extended in the beginning (took them 16:41 to finish it and they never even did the second Chorus!). Fully synched up, the band is just killing the entire song, and from what I remember Chris was killing the lights - he blacked out the Provy Civic Center and simply had the strobes and white lights going for about 6 mintues straight. Trey's nasty riffing begins and this 2001 just shoots into space funk heaven. My favorite of all time, I could listen to this 2001 in my sleep. Rest of the set stayed strong with a hilarious Brother that also included the famous "single" version, led into definitely a top 3 Ghost of all time. This Ghost, very famous among fans, really was brilliant, centering in a lot of the 97 cow phunk, but also achieving transcendence thorough multilayered movement and jamming from all four guys. Mike's bass work is outstanding and Trey's quick riffing at the end, is truly inspiring. In fact, the only Ghost that might top this was the 5/22/00 Radio City Ghost. A strong Bowie closed maybe one of the best sets in Phishtory. There's not many out there that can beat it folks, considering it contains (IMHO) a top 5 of all time Birds, Ghost and 2001. Hopes and stars....
Score: 4

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