No vocal jam.
 Phish debut.
 Fish on vacuum.
Sneakin' Sally included a Super Bad tease from Trey and did not contain a vocal jam. Chalk Dust was unfinished. Mike’s Song included Simple teases. The second set "musical costume" was The Velvet Underground's Loaded. All of the songs in the second set were Phish debuts, except for Sweet Jane and Lonesome Cowboy Bill (which hadn’t been played since June 10, 1995, or 268 shows). The long jam out of Wolfman’s included Makisupa, Lifeboy, and On Your Way Down teases and featured Fish on vacuum. The band left the stage during Ghost, as the sound of Trey’s delay loop ended the set. This show was webcast live and was officially released as Live Phish 16.
Four years prior to this night, the Halloween '94 show yielded several (arguably) best-ever takes on classic Phish songs on top of that outlandish Beatles cover; this is a more ambivalent pleasure. Not for nothing did the band choose the somewhat dopey fun of the November Hampton shows for a big-budget CD release rather than this weird outing.
The second set is probably the strongest Halloween costume in non-Phish (ahistorical) terms and the first set is standard excellent late '98 stuff, but it's the third set that gets the (decidedly mixed) press. Yes, it's three songs in just over 50 minutes; yes, Trey apparently walked off the stage in a weird mood mid-Ghost jam; yes, Wolfman's Brother tops out at a half-hour of complex, largely ambient improv. Like the 46 Days from 2003's IT festival, this late-nite Wolfman's has a terminal feeling to it; the song passes through a cloud of fearful noise before emerging into an exhausted groove, which leads in turn to Piper. Piper and Ghost have an ominous feeling; the ending of Ghost is downright scary. This show is *different* from the usual, as a Halloween night should be. Serious, somehow. The next show is the playful yin to this one's twilight yang, and both have entered the canon, though for very different reasons.
Trey wore a wolfman mask and kept staring at me. He wasn't the only one who pee'd his pant that night. Oh boy what a 3 nights that was (the scary ass Reba from EL Lay included). I like terror-rock. It's what I'm addicted to - the terror on the faces of those around me and absolutely feeling like everything is about to completely self destruct and then.... somehow.... luxurious magical wonderment and beauty and humor. I like to be scared; it's not all rainbows and unicorns, but it just might be in a minute, if you let it..
Going into this show after a very very strong first night, energy was contagious. Of course everyone is talking about what they will cover. People who know people had some insight into this that and the other. But when they handed me the playbill I flipped out. VU IS ONE OF THE GREATEST BANDS OF ALL TIME. And I was very familiar with the record. But I must say that I would have never thought they would play that album! Total surprise. Most oh and won't admit it but people were disappointed after getting the playbill. Straight up.
The first set was well executed. Strong. Energetic. It had the whole myriad of feels.
The second set changed people minds. It was the best played musical costume in my opinion. (At that point in phish history)They smashed it.
Jammed it out. Crazy great feelings. Emotional. Dark. Real. They did it great justice.
Third set was crazy. It's like the culmination of artistry and the Vegas oberwhelming flashy fake shit was about to be smashed.
The boys went to places they don't normally. It was a full fledged excorsism. Trey scarred himself. That "place" he looks up at on the roof looked back at him and he no one knows but him what he saw/felt.
But being Trey, he can navigate through the ethers that way. Wolfmans was exotic, evil, fun exploratory. Personally, I loved it.
In short, the third set was not for people who are afraid to look deep inside.
Period. It was one of the greatest pieces of improvisation ever. The forefather to the future late night ambient jams and crazy all night vocal-less musical pieces.
It was a privelage to attend.
Sleeping monkey was perfect. Excellent landing gear.
We all needed that.
Two days later in salt lake, my home town, phish came out and stripped it all down and played to 2900 people and probably felt like they did in the late 80s.
The rest is history.
This is by far my favorite musical costume. Edgy and dark. A lot of little things Phish usually aren't.....so it really was a true musical costume. I've worn this show out a thousand times over. It's all really good but they kicked ass covering Loaded. Brilliant stuff. Head Held High is a song they should really surprise people with more often. 5 Dark, Trippy Stars. ☆☆☆☆☆
On Halloween night we took a cab to the T&M center from our hotel. When we were dropped off outside the venue there were just tons of people scattered all around. Alot! of people looking for tickets. People were pretty much the most out of control as I have ever seen at a Phish show. The most striking thing I remember was people throwing glass beer bottles and hearing them shatter everywhere. I was in shock..I just have never seen this before...this just plan out abandon in the parking lot before a show. Craziness.
Once we got in we saw the Playbill and it was for the Velvet Undergrounds Loaded. Our jaws just dropped because this wasn't even on our radar for an album. I thought to myself this must be a joke. I wasn't, at this point too familiar with this album and could think of 100 other albums I would rather them play. We were all shocked. But, then they come on and play first set and it was ok. Then they came out and played Loaded, it felt really dark and down beat. I left to go outside and there were many people out there as well and the ones I talked with felt as I did that there was just too much energy inside for such a down beat album. But the majority of the crowed was tuned up. The rest of the show was bad and no horns ever showed up. This was a big turning point in me and my friends for how we would look at Phish shows in the future. But, if you really want to hear the real story you have to listen to the Harpua from 11/2/98.
All three sets of this show are worthy, IMO, though for differing reasons. The first is the type of set I'd love to see nowadays, with a creative setlist and noteworthy jams. The second set warmed me up to The Velvet Underground, from whom before I'd only heard Sweet Jane or maybe I'm Waiting for the Man on the radio. I've since delved more deeply into their catalogue (all 5 or 6 LPs of it? LOL), which I'm sure was a happy byproduct of (rumoredly) Page's selection of this musical costume. The third set is challenging, but full of teases and with a recommended version of Wolfman's... hey, any extended Wolfman's is okay with me. And if you had trouble with the "vibes" after the Ghost, I hope you attended 11/2/98!
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