Alternate lyrics referencing Paul Languedoc's recent arrest.
 Phish debut; Seth Yacovone on guitar and vocals.
 Phish debut; Seth Yacovone on guitar.
 Keyword referenced Paul Languedoc's recent arrest.
Paul and Silas included alternate lyrics, which told the story of Paul Languedoc’s run-in with the law the night before. This event was referenced again during Makisupa. Maze contained a Shafty tease from Mike. The last two songs of the first set (both Phish debuts) featured Seth Yacovone on guitar; All the Pain also featured Yacovone on vocals. Possum included a Dave’s Energy Guide tease and YEM contained a Super Bad tease from Trey.
I differ with @waxbanks here. I had a great time at this show. That might have had something to do with the fact that I got shut out (still the only time that happened to me) the previous night, after enjoying the blowout on 11/27. So maybe just being in the building was enough. The Limb->Catapult->Kung>Maze action is fine first-set fare, enough to keep things interesting anyway. Fall 98 wasn't the most consistent tour in terms of delivering across both sets, especially towards the end. And while I agree that most guest sit-ins don't usually improve the show, it was still cool to hear them do Layla.
I had hopes with the Roses set two opener that something juicy would materialize, it being only the seventh time the band had played it at that point, and with the Island tour monster still fresh in the collective memory. It wasn't to be, but they did take the Simple for a long, spacey ride. Not the most engaging jam, but they more than made up for it with the Bathtub Gin.
Let me contextualize this a bit: I remember getting into Boston early on 11/27 after a long drive from Halifax, Nova Scotia (where I was in University at the time) and staying at a friends place who had just gotten the tapes from the UIC run. He put on the 11/9 Bathtub while he played the Ocarina of Time, which had also just come out (am I dating this ok?). It was overcast, cold, and we had just scored mail order tickets to all four nights at MSG. That Gin was smoking, confirming for me that the song was still the holy jam grail at this point in the band's history. Anyway fast-forward to the end of 11/29 and they delivered another gooey, glory-gem of a Gin, and I soaked up every minute. The YEM was icing on the cake, even if the encore was kind of anti-climactic for the end of tour.
I have to say, in contrast to the other reviews of this show, I found Simple and YEM to be superb that evening, at least in person. Some of the show doesn't translate so well on tape after the fact, but I enjoyed the second sets atmosphere and lighting. Certainly not the best show of that era, but it's what I want Phish shows to be: enjoyable and memorable. One thing I do agree on with others is the encore: not too good for the last show of a tour.
The only Phish show I've attended that ever left me unsatisfied, i.e. maybe you can't trust this largely negative review.
In retrospect the abrasive Limb > etc. > Maze is worth hearing, but the Yacovone guest shot just illustrates the principle that guest musicians generally don't improve Phish shows. Empathetic and generous as the band is, they just practice a unique communicative musical art that most guest players, however well-intentioned or beloved of the boys themselves, don't quite nail down. (There are exceptions: MMW, Bela Fleck, a few others.) And there's a desultory quality to the Wipe Out reprise, like repeating the punchline of a joke hours later to wring another laugh from the group. On the other hand, if you loved hearing it on the 27th you'll probably love it on the 29th.
Well, 1998 was another even-numbered plateau/transitional year for the band, and if you're into what they were into back then, you'll like this show just as much as the rest of fall '98. But the growth and crystallization of 1999 is probably more *interesting* than anything here, regardless of the pleasure this outing is able to give. The standout shows of the year are the Island and NYE runs and Lemonwheel, though; start there.
The first set was better than the second. Catapult and Kung were totally different than early performance. Reminds me of the catapult from big cypress. Anyways, of the worcester shows, '97 was stronger than '98.
Andrew Rose! good to see you again. Always enjoy your perspective, although that may be attributable to the fact that we usually agree (see 7.9.99). I also happen to think that this was a nice little show, and while I am indeed biased due to the fact that it was my first, I do believe that it stands up to scrutiny upon listening, 18 years ago to the day. From 30,000 feet, the mere inclusion of Layla in a show merits a listen. They don't exactly crush it but it's a fun version. And, to get more granular, I think the entire 2nd set is pretty hot, especially the Gin. There is a standard Gin "peak," which hasn't really changed much in 18 years. However, after said peak, they settle into a very cool ambient-wash type jam, with some very nice group playing and some excellent melodic work from Trey. I think this Gin is an all-time great.
The Centrum is a great place to see a show and I've caught some pretty amazing nights there. This was certainly a special one, given it was my first show, and obviously I'm just as captivated with this music now as I was then. Thanks to my auld man for getting me there; a lot of things change but music is the only thing I've ever given a shit about, and he's to blame.
Here's to another 18 years
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