This was the second show of the Camp Oswego festival. Back on the Train through Beauty of My Dreams featured a guest appearance by the Del McCoury Band, who had played on the venue’s side stage. During I’m Blue I’m Lonesome, Del McCoury broke a string, and a bluegrass breakdown ensued while the string was changed. Runaway Jim contained Super Bad teases from Trey. During Meatstick, the crowd tried to break the world record for most people dancing at one time. Trey explained the record that the band was trying to break while Sofi Dillof danced on stage and the Guinness staff videotaped the crowd. Part of the Piper intro was used on the studio Piper released on Farmhouse. Some musical chaos ensued between Catapult and Icculus (first since October 31, 1995, or 262 shows), where Trey rambled about the negative aspects of television and the positive aspects of books and Mike teased Meatstick. The ensuing Smoke on the Water Jam included Cat Scratch Fever teases. Subsequently, Icculus was followed by more narration and a tease of Miss You. The show closed with fireworks during Hood.
Noteworthy Jams
Teases
Super Bad tease in Runaway Jim, Meatstick tease in Catapult, Miss You tease & quote in Icculus, Cat Scratch Fever tease in Smoke on the Water
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

This show was part of the "1999 Summer U.S. Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by montaigne

montaigne BOTH nights of Oswego are musically phenomenal. I think I liked night one better, but night two had some distinct highlights that are worth mentioning.
The Piper is a strong contender for best version.
The Runaway Jim absolutely IS the best version, imo.

And the Icculus MADNESS, Quinn, Fluff closer to set three was monstrous.

Both Oswego shows rank high on my favorite show list.
If you haven't heard this show yet, track it down and give it a listen.
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Quick note - I'm still not entirely sure how the last review on this page made it to this page, let alone the Phish Companion. I mean, I get what the person's trying to say, but it managed to neither sum up the experience of being there nor the music being played, and you kind of need to do one or the other when you're reviewing a show. No wonder it's carrying a hefty -11 rating.

Set 1: The first big moment comes in the Gin, which settles into an uptempo, Page-driven groove that you can dance to in the living room if that's your sort of thing; it's a different beast from the Went Gin, less heavenly rockout and more 2001-esque dance party. The Del McCoury section is a lot of fun (especially the bluegrass breakdown after I'm Blue), with Phish's respect for them palpable throughout, and the BOTT the highlight. The other highlight of the set is the Chalk Dust, which steps out for a glorious jam that gives us some nice tension and release.

Set 2: Jim starts things off, and it soon drops into dark territory, Trey getting off some growling guitar work, the band whipping up an almost tribal rhythm behind him. Then the jam suddenly shifts into fifth gear, while still retaining its dark demeanor, peaking superbly with about 5 minutes to go before going even darker, Page playing some monster movie soundtrack piano notes, which allows Free to perfectly sneak in. The Free jam is almost metallic; it's pounding without being ponderous (well, maybe a tad ponderous). The rest of the set's of no particular interest.

Set 3: The Piper here starts off full of fury, then gets more rhythmic and funky (a bit like the earlier Gin), an exciting and sharp jam that brims with controlled energy before the energy ratchets down and Prince Caspian starts up. Caspian and Wilson, but then Wilson grows menacing, and then they start up Catapult. Trey goes on about the Meatstick dance thing, then starts lecturing about books versus television, brings up heavy metal (leading into a fun Smoke on the Water jam and even more fun comparison with Cat Scratch Fever), and then finally gives us a proper Icculus narration (but not before Fish throws out Miss You, leading to a jam on *that* for a few measures). Quinn's a nice bustout (although Trey incorrectly calls it a Dylan song - well, it IS, but - ah, never mind), and Fluffhead ends an odd set, to say the least.

Encore: Thumbs up, although a step down from last year's Hood.

Final thoughts: Night one has some good moments, but my socks stayed firmly on all throughout. Night two...jeez. The Gin, Piper, and Jim are all strong jams (especially the Gin), but they're isolated in otherwise unspectacular sets (although the bluegrass really is charming and worth hearing); the Icculus stuff is fun but the replay value is not all that high. I'd say both shows are worth the listen once, but you can pluck out the best jams and safely discard the rest.
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by jadedforbin

jadedforbin Wonderful 3 setter from the era where 3 setters actually delivered. The Gin is huge. The Jim is huger. How is this Runaway Jim not green texted? Blasphemy, one of the top 10 versions ever. Top 5 ever Piper. Wilson > Catapult > Narration > Icculus was as good as it got that summer. Fluffhead! closer. How is this not rated higher? Better than any 3.0 festival show, not by a small margin.
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by hervops

hervops There are pretty much 4 things from this show which demand your attention:
Bathtub Gin, Runaway Jim -> Free, Piper

The rest is fun but not terribly noteworthy otherwise. Oh yeah, and this weekend was insanely hot.
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by antipop20

antipop20 This would be my first weekend with Phish. It was a hot one baking on the runway. I had no major expectations of the music-take what comes at me.

I remember enjoying myself thoroughly throughout the weekend. There are few things I enjoyed on day 2: Runaway Jim was a monster, Piper was quite nice, happy with the only Catapult & Icculus I've ever seen and the Hood encore sent me home happy.

These are not the only things that made that weekend great for me but they helped. The whole experience had me hooked. I consider it a pretty good festival after over a decade later and a few more festivals under my belt. They set the standard for me and it's hard for anyone else to meet those expectations. I have seen some truly great shows but still hold this one with them because it was my first and nothing before it could have prepared me for what this band could do with the music live (bootlegs help but do not tell the whole story).
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This show comes off very similar to Night 2 of IT.

We have 3 sets with strong anchor jams in each one.

Set 1 has a stronger than usual farmhouse. This is proceeded by a beautiful, fast, and tense Gin jam that would be the nightly prize of most shows. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! Much more. You get a very cool version of Back On The Train with the fiddle fitting like a puzzle piece, along with some standard Phishgrass. A slightly longer than normal and strong Reba brings things back to focus. And a cool Exploratory Chalkdust.

Set 2 opens with yet another fantastic giant jam, this Jim jam is sold spaceyness until it morphs into a heavy beast. Free proceeds it in typical pulsing style. And what could be better to wrap up a set then Axilla plowing into Llama, which is how it should be.

Set 3 Has the Piper and trust me this is a good one. It starts off as a total Trey Shredfest which turns into a Cowfunk Groove that only '99 could deliver. Wilson-> Catapult is a great segue and what is more fun then listening to Trey rant about how Smoke on The Water and Cat Scratch Fever are "The Same F***ing song!!", I was dieing! Then of course we have Fluff in it's typical strong self (99 is a great year for fluff).

Hood Encore? I'll take it any day! And this one is stretched out longer than usual and intense as hell at the end!

This is the serious Festival show that means business. 3 solid big jams, great segues, laughs, and 55,000 people dancing to meatstick.
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by desmondthefamilyberzerker

desmondthefamilyberzerker I've been to all Festivals from The Went on thru It.

This one and The IT Festival feel related in my memory . Musical cousins if you will. They both had incredible music peppered throughout, but both had some rough edges and a bit too much much of self indulgence by the band. I felt that this festival in general was not set up as well as the previous two. A feeling I'd also get at IT.

These gigs were crazy hot, and everyone and their mother seemed spun.

This show has a great second set highlighted by a stellar Jim->Free and a ripping Llama. This Jim actually has quite a bit of what we call "Whale Call" nowadays. Not used excessively, but it's there.

The Third Set has a Piper for the ages. The band should really give this version a spin. I think they'd agree that playing with the extended intro is something they should consider putting back into the arsenal.

The rest of the third set is a bunch of fun, but I wouldn't kill someone that wasn't there if they felt it wasn't required listening. The band was clearly spun but it didn't feel like they were completely gone.

But the unsung hero of this entire weekend to me, is the 1st set of this show. Great versions of Chalkdust, Gin, Reba are worth giving this set its due. No one version goes too far out there, but each one is definitely well above your average great version. Add to that the Del McCoury Band interlude (with a great BOTT) and this set is a smoker.

Great time in Oswego despite the ridiculously oppressive
conditions.
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by Kaya93

Kaya93 Looking back at this weekend of PHISH, I recall Africa hot days, climbing under my car to sleep, stumbling around at night, and bizarre music. It was the most successful Phish festival I had been to because I had three under my belt. Everyone did. No more parking on the runway, get to the grass. Don't bring a shit ton of food when delicious offerings are just a walk and a few dollars away. We knew less was more as far as how much stuff you had to bring, cause you could get anything you needed in the makeshift economy that sprang up.

I was trashed beyond belief at these shows, and so was the band. Not smart. I think they'd agree as well, because they haven't exactly released this one for the people to re-live. It was decadent and sloppy. Listening to it now, I'd turn it off, at least parts. Besides a few clean winners, the excess of this show-in regards to jamming, drug use, sloppiness, and showmanship- is just too much to take. One of their worst shows ever.

I had a blast though and would do it again in a second. oh yeah!
, attached to 1999-07-18

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Why is it that everything seems the same after a while? Same nine to five job. Same people. Same roads. Same trees. Same band.
What was that last festival? The Great Lemon Ball? Oh, whatever…they all blend together after awhile. Same people, same scenery…but the same improv?! Ahh…the best part about this band is that they never play the same exact thing twice. For better or for worse, as much as the people are the same, the band is the same, the scenery is the same, the food is the same, the life away from the scene is the same, at least there is one redeeming quality.
Though they disappoint us sometimes, the last set on the second say of Oswego was phenomenal and worth waiting through three days of one hundred degree sweltering heat. And then we left in the middle of it.
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Fun with Setlists

September 29, 2000
16 years ago
Thomas & Mack Center

Set 1: Carini, Rift, Frankenstein, Mellow Mood, Wilson[1] > Spock's Brain > Bathtub Gin > Character Zero

Set 2: Dinner and a Movie, The Moma Dance > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Fluffhead > Meatstick > Walk This Way[2], Rapper's Delight[2], You Shook Me All Night Long[3]

Encore: We're an American Band[4]

[1] Heavy metal jam.
[2] Phish debut; Kid Rock on guest vocals.
[3] First Phish performance in its entirety; Kid Rock on guest vocals.
[4] Kid Rock on guest vocals.

Check our Phish setlists and sideshow setlists!


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