This “under the radar” show was never formally announced by Phish. San Francisco radio station KFOG leaked word of an upcoming “surprise announcement” two weeks before the show, telling Phish fans to tune in on Saturday morning for details. The 11:00 a.m. announcement was that tickets would be sold at noon the vacant Pier 32, prompting a mad rush of fans to the waterfront. Of the several thousand who arrived, roughly four hundred lucky people were able to buy vouchers entitling them to a pair of tickets. Prior to Brian and Robert, Trey said that Fish used to hate the yellow light and that Fish used to have a list of things that he hated, adding that every time they found out something Fish hated, they'd always do it (prompting Page to tease HYHU, which Fish also hates). Fish added that he hated the vowel "ooo" (the crowd responded with "ooo" noises). Trey said the only way to overcome something you hate was to face it head on. Trey then had Chris Kuroda shine a yellow light on Fish for Brian and Robert. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Hood contained a tease of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. After the show, some fans were given a poster (later for sale from Phish Dry Goods) and a bumper sticker (saying: “We’ve just come from Phish at the Fillmore. It was nice.”).
Maybe this secret show didn't quite meet the assuredly high expectations that are inevitable under these circumstances, and yeah, the second set does read more like a first set, but there are several instances of improvisation in this show that make it a worthwhile listen.
No complaints with a Ghost opener. This one probably won't crack your top 10 list, but it contains a nice jam that settles down into Water in the Sky. The following Wolfman's Brother is really solid with a great funk jam that uses dynamics to great effect. Following that up with a 9 minute Gumbo is fine by me. This Gumbo is a little different than its funky brethren as Page leads us down a more subdued route ending with some dark space, signaling the start of Bowie. Great mid-set Bowie with a cool intro and a strong jam. The Wolfman's>Gumbo>Bowie sequence is my favorite segment of the show. Brian and Robert is noteworthy for the humorous banter about the band doing things that Fish hates. October 98 was an interesting time for Reba, as the two most exploratory versions to date came during the month. The band doesn't pull this one of as well as the 10/29 version but it is worth hearing for the effort. A typically rousing Character Zero ends the excellent first set.
The Second set starts well enough with My Soul, but following that up with a standard Chalk Dust and Roggae leaves something to be desired. Moma Dance is good, as it was most of the time in 98, but Wading in the Velvet Sea prevents any momentum from building. Although, I can imiagine that Wading was likely a special moment for those in attendance in the intimate venue. Seeing Prince Caspian after Wading may make you groan, but let me tell you that this Caspian is the highlight of set and one of the finest versions ever. In fact, Kevin Shapiro released the SBD of it. The Frankie Says, BOAF, Lawn Boy segment is run-of-the-mill, but the set-closing Hood somewhat saves the set with an extended intro and a satisfying jam. Dirt and Limb by Limb are not usually found in the encore slot so it gets some points for originality.
Overall, this show has a very good first set and a somewhat disappointing second set, but it is not without material you should seek out.
This show is pretty lopsided from one set to the next. But still some interesting stuff going on here.
Ghost is always a hell of a way to start a show. The jam starts very loopy and then picks up some steam, nothing new or exploratory but a nice fiery jam. It mellows out into some nice ambience at the end. Strong Wolfman with a nice little "Pretty" jam out of it. Solid Gumbo with a nice little jam. Trey seems to be strumming a lot more during jams in this set than usual. Strong bowie that transitions perfectly from mellow to pure insanity. Some good banter discussing Fishmans hatred of the "Yellow Light" is a fun nugget. And then a very well played Reba with some great extended evil jamming.
The rest of the show is somewhat disappointing and disjointed. I can't say much at all sticks out about this second set besides hood. It has a bunch of quick and then slow tunes kind of bunched up together. Hood is without a doubt the highlight. It is well played with a great extra long build towards the end.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $1,000,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.