The first set won't particularly blow you away or anything (although the Maze definitely peaks very nicely), and perhaps cognizant that the set hadn't been the greatest ever, the group drops a nifty Ghost at the end of the set, one that quickly drops the standard funk groove for something more melodic and mesmerizing, maybe even close to the ferocious hose of your classic Bathtub Gin jams, or the 7/6/98 version with Page given as much room to work as Trey had. It's a lot of fun, if not the most exploratory Ghost ever, and it should at least by heard by the Ghost fans of the world (of which I am most assuredly one).
The second set starts up with a reasonably good, if not upper-echelon 2001 (Mike's bass is especially prominent here), then slides into Rock and Roll. The song portion is fine, if not as muscular as Phish's 3.0 rendition, but the jam takes a more relaxed avenue and peters down into a quiet ambient range, which (as you might expect) leads into a perfectly fine Taste. Frankie Says, which I will never say no to in a set, comes next, and the band then churns out a milkshake-thick Gumbo that (like the R&R before) melts away into an ambient fog before one of Trey's melodic vapors morphs into Chalk Dust Torture and the band rips off a frenetic version. We get a standard-for-98 close, and then YEM for an encore, and it's a decent enough version, even though it never finds any kind of peak. Not sure if I'll ever listen to this one again, but it's a very reasonable picture of Fall '98, and the Ghost definitely deserves a listen.
After the highly lauded 1997 barn burner, the boys rolled back into Winston-Salem for another fall engagement. An interesting element of this show are two rare covers: 'Something' and 'Been Caught Stealing' which isn't surprising since Fall 1998 was filled with a lot of 'new' covers (a bit like Summer 2010).
The first set 'Ghost' is brooding and introspective without venturing irreparably into the netherword - for better or worse. It is still enjoyable and leads in a spirited delivery of 'Golgi' to close the set.
Second set brought the high octane and it is absolutely worth a listen. I think this 2nd set is a bit over looked but it is definitely a keeper. 2001 > RnR seems like a 'typical' 3.0 pairing but keep in mind this was only the 3rd time they played RnR and it was within a month of being introduced in the 'Loaded' costume. It is funny to think about it like that - I was listening to the DotM show on the drive to the show as my buddy had literally just received a Maxell copy in the mail a day before - and in those days that was lightning fast.
The second set closed with a raging take on 'Been Caught Stealing.' I was in the bleachers in the lower level and it felt like an earthquake when they dropped into it. I still remember seeing Big Red jumping up and down on stage while they ripped through with a ferociousness I had yet to see Phish embody. Rock and Roll indeed!
I can tell you that, immediately after hearing this first set conclude, I turned to my buddy and said "that's exactly what a first set is supposed to do" and he agreed. Nice songs played well. A high energy opener and an inspired call from curtain to sample. One of my favorite ghosts. There's only a minor peak, but I feel like this one's all the more remarkable for its restraint.
Gumbo featured a ton of fog. There was a conga line during been caught stealing. I think this is worth a listen!
not only was this a great performance, it was probably the best light show out of any phish show i've attended....chris kuroda was in the zone that night, and it didn't go unnoticed by my friends & i. not a huge crowd, but those who showed up were rewarded. this show probably gets overlooked because the hampton shows were next on the tour schedule, but if you were there, i'm sure you got your money's worth....
I reported in an earlier review (Murphy Center--11/15/1998) that I had missed this show but I just found my backstage pass from that night. Too cool--don't usually save ticket stubs but did save almost all my aftershows, Betty Fords and laminants--stoked! I am gonna have to dig this up and listen--its been years! there ya have it!
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