, attached to 1998-04-02

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks This is the weakest of the four Island Tour shows, to my ears, but that's like being the wrinkliest hundred dollar bill. From Wolfman's Brother through Twist it's pure uncut early-1998 funkspace; the boys sound especially chuffed to be playing Sneakin' Sally again (first time since 12/30/97 - a pretty long two-show gap!) and the jam into the very first performance of Frankie Sez is a tasty minimalist dance workout. The first five songs of Set II run ten minutes apiece, then after the Frankie interlude (with its slightly awkward but certainly interesting segue) comes a divine 18-minute Twist. Talk about a strong showing for the band's newest material! The rest of the show is just gravy.

The first set, as if it must be said, is uniformly strong, like most Phish of its era.

This show got proper LivePhish treatment a few years ago, and is well worth the purchase. There's a nonnegligible portion of Phish fandom that considers the Island Tour the best and most consistent run of Phish's career, and if you like the band at all then you should give all four shows a listen or two. Or ten. Unlike, say, late 1999-2000 or summer 2004, the good stuff in the Island Tour is never ever boring, nor do you have to wade through soporific obligation-fulfilling tunes to get to the rock'n'roll freakouts. This is the total package, fat-free and fathoms deep.


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