This single-set performance was part of the 12th annual Bridge School benefit that also included R.E.M., Neil Young, and Barenaked Ladies. This was an acoustic performance, with a unique stage setup that had Fish stage right, with Page on the far left. Hello My Baby was performed with the band facing toward the Bridge School children, who were on a raised platform at the back of the stage. The Old Home Place was performed in the bluegrass setup of 1994, with Mike on banjo and Page on acoustic bass. Sad Lisa featured Sarah McLachlan on guitar and vocals, while Four Strong Winds and I Shall Be Released featured McLachlan and Neil Young on guitar and vocals, as well as Barenaked Ladies’ Kevin Hearn on accordion; all three songs were Phish debuts.
Debut Years (Average: 1996)

Show Reviews

, attached to 1998-10-18

Review by phishfillet

phishfillet This is a great performance! I know Trey likes to shred, but I am surprised they had not found more chances for acoustic performances in years past, they obviously all have the talent to excel in this format as well as anyone. Short show by their standards, so on with a review:
Hello My Baby sounded as good as it gets, done facing the kids was a nice touch from the boys. Billy gets the instruments warmed up, followed by a really great version of Piper! That was a surprise giving the setting. Roggae and Loving Cup were both nicely done, and Albuquerque maybe the one obvious choice with Neil Young in the house. Next one of my favorite versions of The Old Home Place, featuring Mike on banjo and Page on acoustic base, killin it! Guyute was brilliantly done! Trey shines here, no surprise. Acoustic Guyute, so nice! A nice Brian And Robert before finishing up the set with three Phish debuts. Sad Lisa was just ok, Sara can sing, just not a fan. Four Strong Winds was better with the addition of Neil and the accordion, but I Shall Be Released was the winner of the three debuts! For me nothing will top a JGB version of this song, but this one was still very good! Again, Neil and Kevin are a great fit here.

There is something about these Bridge School shows, don’t know if it’s a West Coast vibe thing or Neil’s influence, but they are always really laid back and mellow. I have heard all the sets Pearl Jam has done in years past and they are pretty mellow, even for acoustic performance standards. Great show! Get it, perfect vibe for a cold rainy day like today. At ease.
, attached to 1998-10-18

Review by Xpanding_Man

Xpanding_Man This is one of my favorite videos on YouTube. The joy they try to bring to those kids in the opening segment....if you're a parent, you understand. Follow that with some just gorgeous, delicate, soulful phish standards, and I'm out to lunch everytime. The acoustic treatment shows that these songs are more than just gimicks for a rock band with a great lighting rig; some of Trey's compositions are timeless gems, and you really get to hear them in all of their stripped-down glory on this video (and the night before). Balance out your top 10 with one of the very few acoustic performances of their career, and at the height of their powers taboot! To quote the MC from the dream sequence in Tenacious D's movie, "I fucking love this band! They are the best band ever, PERIOD!" :) Enjoy
, attached to 1998-10-18

Review by HHCCCCAA

HHCCCCAA I really love this cover of Dylan's "I Shall Be Released", which was of course famously covered by The Band with Richard Manuel on vocals. R.I.P. Richard Manuel. A beautiful tune amd Manuel really made it his own. Anyhoot, in this version I love the diversity in vocals. I was surprised to hear that Page didn't try to hit the consistent highs that Manuel made notable, Page instead leave the highs to Neil in the second verse. Sarah McLachlan's voice is BEAUTIFUL in the background of the chorus, and I need not say more about Neil but this: if you've loved his music like I and so many others have, you just know what his voice can do. Trey's voice is obviously not nearly as good as Neil's or Sarah's but I thought he held his own pretty well with his verse. I thought Trey infused some real raw emotion on to those few lines ... How could he NOT on stage with The Legend Young???? I liked Trey's crack at the mic better than Page's for surely. Just a great cover, IMHO, and a properly and honorably respectful ode to The Band. If you've never heard the "original cover" (lol), go check it out RIGHT NOW. ("I Shall Be Released" by The Band; Written by Bob Dylan)
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