Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI
Set 1: Oh Kee PaThe Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > YEMYou Enjoy Myself, ThemeTheme From the Bottom > McGruppMcGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > GinBathtub Gin -> Cities > Sparkle > SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt
Encore: Bold As Love
 Brief Shafty teases from Trey and Mike; Unfinished.
 Slow, funky version with original lyrics.
Notes: This show included the debut of Shafty, which was then briefly teased by Mike and Trey in Possum. Disease, Maze, and Possum were unfinished. The funky jam in between Possum and Cavern featured some stage banter from Trey about the funk jams the band had been playing. Accordingly, Cavern was played in a slower, funkier manner than usual and included some of the older, alternate lyrics. This show is available as an archival release on LivePhish.com.
This show was part of the "1998 Island Tour."
initially, it seems that they might be doing their first "standard opener" of the island tour, but wait, here comes a smoking hot yem 2 songs in following oh kee pah. very nice version. the composed part is played well, and fishman and page come out of the "tramps section" with a very nice groove built up. when trey finally gets back in, they are on fire. good jam. theme works very nicely out of the vocal jam, and mcgrupp, with a nice dark page solo, is a very pleasant first set surprise. speaking of 1st set surprises, this nice gin>cities combo is golden. this is the first gin in a year of full of bad ass gins. page and trey are in sync hear, and gordon and fishman really lay down a nice foundation. the cities jam leans a little toward the nasty great went version. very nice slow funky jam. sparkle is nice and snappy, and then melt rocks in the closing slot.
down with disease is nice and exploratory. they tack a nice cohesive ride through this jam before drifting into a very cool yamar. this one jams out prety far before prince caspian. this is one of my least favorite phish songs, but it works well here, especially since the rest of the set helps you forget about it. maze starts out typically, but page really soars on his solo, then the whole band just takes off. after a quick run through shafty, they find themselves in a funk nasty possum. it starts out in its typically bluesy fashion, but then it really turns a corner into a funkier realm. trey tells people that they are free to leave but if you like funk music and dancing you better stay. pretty funny stuff....who's leaving this shit. they are mired in one of the thickest funky jams i've heard them play, and eventually, they delve head first into cavern. they spare no punches on this cavern either. on paper, a possum>cavern looks like a decently solid way to close a show, but on this night, it was a remarkable, jaw dropping closing sequence. bold as love does the job in the encore slot.
this show really has it all. i think i like the first night best, but this show has the nice tight funk jams, good strong funk jams, and some very nice and tight compositional work. both sets are littered with highlights and very strong inspired playing.
oh kee>yem, mcgrupp, gin>cities
dwd>yamar, maze>shafty>possum>cavern (gotta hear the possum>cavern!!)
Sunday 4/5 -
Oh Kee Pah! Yes! This means Suzy Greenburg...the horns must surely be
coming out right now...
I don't think I'd ever been more disappointed at the starting notes of You
Enjoy Myself. That feeling quickly went away, though, and my only
frustration was that resulting from the fact that I felt like I'd been
"had" by the band. Ah well...this show would prove to be as awesome as the
The Gin -> Cities was not expected, and they pulled it off nicely. To
tell the truth, I don't remember anything really stellar in any of the
songs, except solid jamming and typically excellent playing. The
sloppiness of the first two nights was all but gone as they gracefully
flew over the old composed pieces like YEM and McGrupp. The Melt and Maze
jams I remember being particularly intense, and the segues from the second
set were all very nicely done. DwD->YaMar especially.
The second set ended kind of weirdly, with a song segueing out of Maze
that I'd never heard...probably a reworked version of Oblivious Fool (for
the new album?) and then a Possum that raged as usual, into a Cavern that
was incredibly funky and had the same alternate lyrics (whatever the heck
they were) as from Hartford last fall.
The Axis: Bold as Love encore was a bit of a letdown after the previous
night's all having jaw-dropping encores, but one can't complain. There
was really nothing left for them to play. To tell the truth, I'm having a
hard time coming up with songs that would have fit better in that
spot...Fluffhead is really the only thing we didn't hear. (Although AC/DC
Bag, Forbins>Mockingbird, Ice and Harpua all would have been nice to hear
at some point on the run...) But there were alot of worse things they
could have put there. All in all, there's no complaints from this Markah.
Well, sorry I took up so much bandwith and stole so much money from my
University since I typed this while I was supposed to be working, but I
hope you enjoyed it either way, if you even read this entire monstrosity.
Take care everybody, and I'll see you in 92 days at Portland!