Driver and Sleep were performed acoustic. Moma contained a Super Bad tease from Trey. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Walk Away was played for the first time since May 7, 1994 (367 shows). This show marked the Phish debut of The Beatles’ Something.
This was my very first show. It's hard to put into words how much of a surreal heavenly experience it was. Every moment was magic. The band was on fire on this night, their playing was so tight. This show had all the energy of a tour opener, but without any of the rust. The band was already in tip-top form, as they had been playing a lot of random gigs in the weeks leading up to this tour...
Set 1 - Julius is flawless, perfect. From that point on, I would never be the same. On paper, Roggae seems strange in the 2nd spot of the opening set, but it truly worked well on this night, in the intimate beautiful setting of the LA Greek. The band then changes gears lightning fast with Llama. This Llama rages pretty hard and is honestly a little scary. I think it sounds how insanity probably feels. Then it's right back to beautiful music again, with Limb by Limb. It's a lovely version with a really cool ending, in which Trey goads Fish to keep going until he really goes all out with the drumming finale. The 2 acoustic songs are really great, and I think it's safe to say that everyone loves both Driver & Sleep. All the banter between the band members in this set was a really special memory for me, given that it was my first experience seeing this band live. The whole show had such an intimate feel to it. Frankie Says was haunting and cool, and was followed by a Birds of a Feather that is furious and totally flawless. An A+ version of Birds. McGrupp is gorgeous, and Page takes this one on a bit of a journey, before a rip-roaring Zero punctuates the set.
Set 2 - Even to this day, I still feel this is one of the best sets of music I've ever heard the band play. I return to these tapes often. Possum is good for sure, but the meat of this set really begins with Moma. This Moma is absolute butter. So smooth, so creamy, I just wanna spread it all over my toast. The Reba that follows is an exceptionally rare type II version that launches into outer space before hard rocking its way back to Earth and transitioning flawlessly into Walk Away. Of course, at that time, I didn't know it was the first Walk Away since 5/7/94, but it's pretty cool knowing that now. Trey absolutely shreds this Walk Away jam, and then the band launches seamlessly into Simple. The transition from Walk Away>Simple is one of the most seamless transitions I've ever heard the band make. It's like the 2 songs became one on that night. Simple peters out gorgeously into the most hauntingly intimate version of Albuquerque I've ever heard. This Albuquerque is perfectly placed, as is the Bowie that follows. I love this Bowie. Like so much of this set, this Bowie is haunting and beautiful, and Trey absolutely shreds it. Then, after a set like this one, it only made sense for the band to come out for the encore and play another hauntingly beautiful tune. Something was exactly that, flawless, haunting, beautiful, and unexpected.
Looking back on that night, I remember sitting there after the encore was over, with my jaw dropped and my mind blown. My buddy and I just sat there wide-eyed in silence for a few minutes before we eventually stood up to depart. I had never heard music like that before. This show definitely changed my life.
10/29/98 LA Greek- Fairly well known for it's atypical and exceptional Reba. It gets a bit spacey in the middle of the jam and then they tighten it up into this evil driving force that slowly evolves into the first Walk Away since the Bomb Factory 94.
The sound at the Greek is some of the best outdoor sound I have ever heard. It is surrounded on all sides by pines so the music shoots past you and is absorbed by the trees. Very clean sound, and you can hear it on the tapes. The slow songs seem to fit well here. I enjoyed Driver and Albuqurque in the quaint atmosphere. It's only 8000(?) people I believe. The Moma is so deep, thumping, and funky. Page's piano solo during McGrupps sounds really great here too.
Sidenote: i was still searching for my Halloween ticket when I showed up in LA. Well, for parking they stack cars on this sweet wooded lawn in Griffith Park next to the venue. Makes for some equally quaint tailgate for the show. Anyways, drinking beers I came across a guy with an extra. Haggled with him for a while and got the ticket for: 1 new bubbler, an extra for tonight(10/29), and 50 bucks.
He got me good, but man were those Vegas tickets a bitch to get back in the day. It was a good show. I partied hard and drove past the 11/2 Dark Side show on my way home. Broke and meek.
this is one of my all time favorite shows. the second set is just phenomenal. the first set is a little up and down, but the second set more than makes up for it.
julius is a pretty solid opener. not my favorite song, but hey... roggae is played well, but this one still does not do it for me. especially 2 songs into the show. llama picks everyone up, and the band sounds sharp on this one. trey sounds even more nimble in the limb by limb that follows. driver, sleep, and frankie says slow things down a bit. i really like frankie says, but not so much after driver and sleep. birds picks things up for a minute before they jump into a very good version of mcgrupp. now we're talking. page sounds wonderful on this one, as he always does. zero, like julius, is not my favorite song but hey...
after pretty much playing a throw away first set, with the exception of mcgrupp, they come out blazing in the second set. a nice deep bluesy possum really rocks to open up. trey sounds great in possum, and he shift gears nicely into the moma dance. this one gets deep, nasty, and funky. not super long or anything, just an exceptional version. then they jump into a rediculous reba. this one leaves any semblence of reba far behind. they hit some nice spacey realms before storming back up into a seriously rocking jam. this jam really starts to turn onto a familiar street. is it...could it be...bammo.. walk away! page really belts this one out. after teasing in champaigne the year before, many fans were waiting for this one to make its full throttle return. there is a quick jam after walk away that turns into a very nice simple. this simple does its thing as it peters out into alburquerque. this is a perfect spot to drop this recently added neil young cover. then a nice quick but very introspective david bowie goes on to close this one. trey and page work together really well to build this bowie jam. then they drop the debut of something on the crowd. they play this song so well. i caught it a couple of weeks later in cincinatti. either way, this show is all about the reba jam!
Like Ben above me, this is one of my favorites also. You probably already know about the Reba>Walk Away>Simple segment, but if you don't please stop reading now, download it, and get going!
No, the Reba is incredible, builds into a jam that is simply other-worldly, then slides into a Walk Away that is joyous rock and roll, and the Simple's pretty sweet as the cherry on top. Really good Bowie to close the set too.
The first set definitely has a "opening set of the tour" feel to it, but if you like what Phish was doing in the fall of 1998, you'll really like this set. The two acoustic tunes are a real treat, and if you like stage banter, listen to Trey and Page after Driver, and the "men in their heads."
Oh, one other thing. Brand new Beatles song as an encore!
I didn't attend this show, but I imagine if you were there on that Thursday up in the hills above LA in Griffith Park, you were pretty pleased.
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