, attached to 1998-07-20

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround PHISH, MONDAY 07/20/1998
Ventura, CA
Soundcheck: Jam

SET 1:

Bathtub Gin: Good lord this jam is just so out of this world. The section that goes up until about 13.5 is utter celebratory in nature. Can’t help but put a big smile on your face. It has an intentional theme and is played with real purpose. There is a funky breakdown segment that happens after this. While funky, this is super high energy and extremely danceable. Fishman is incredible during this segment! Has a little stop start at 18:45. Would have killed to have been present for this. What an incredible way to start a show! Goodness. Easy all timer and highly, highly recommended. The fact that they finish this one makes it even more special! They do it with a great amount of panache.

Dirt: Scary how perfect this is. Trey is absolutely note perfect. Makes me so happy to hear this. Better than the studio solo. Breathtaking really, highly recommended. >

Poor Heart[1] - A bunch of false endings and generally lots of playing around. Great fun! The Free Bird ending is awesome. “Mike Gordon, Poor Heart – Mike Gordon, Poor Heart!!!!”

Lawn Boy: Standard.

My Sweet One: Standard.

Birds of a Feather: Standard.

Theme From the Bottom: Standard.

Water in the Sky: Standard.

The Moma Dance: Standard.

Split Open and Melt: Wastes no time at all trudging hip deep into the psychedelic muck and mire. This is hard core, definitely torques on the old reality helmet. Not for the faint of heart, that much is for sure. This gets back to a bit of normalcy around the 9:20 with a cleaner tone from Trey but still is going very, very hard in the paint and honestly never lets up. Tons of intense false endings. Can’t imagine how freaked out folks would have looked after this one when the lights went up as set break starts. Yikes. Would need a hug after this one, it is straight up aggressive, evil Phish for sure. Highly recommended!

SET 2:

Drowned: Rips so hard coming out of set break. Ten minutes of fire, then some funk and some effects that segues nicely into Makisupa ->

Makisupa Policeman[2] -- Fun version with a 90 second heady space jam at the end that segues into Maze >

Maze: Good Lord man, look below. Trey rips the ever loving hell out of this one. A true powerhouse would definitely recommend.

Sea and Sand: How appropriate and perfect placement after faces got melted in Maze. First since NYE 1995, or 166 shows.

Prince Caspian: Trey starting at 7:25 = the baddest guitar on the planet. 9:06 through 9:38, might as well be Jimi Hendrix up on that stage taking over for Trey. So good! Page gets a beautiful 15 second solo and then the hard rock ending and then it segues into Hood. Would recommend this version. >

Harry Hood: Must have been a great glow stick war during Hood, fans loving life during the mid part of the jam. There are some high points in the climax but overall the timing seems to be a bit off here and there. Kind of feels like Trey is trying to do a bit too much. Still a good Hood and a fitting way to close a banging second set!


Sexual Healing[3] > Hold Your Head Up: Talk about a laid back vibe, lol.

Halley's Comet: This one immediately opts for the funky path right out of the composed section. Page creates a very catchy theme at the 6 minute mark that sounds familiar but that I cannot place. At about this same time Trey starts creating a series of loops and then starts rocking that pornofunk to stay in lock step with Page. By the 8 and half minute mark this is really settling down quickly into an ambient soup of sorts and then a minute later they are done.

Summary: As far as the current Phish.net rating of 4.51/5 (202 ratings) – the juice is worth the squeeze, I would concur with that high rating. This show is surely an all timer! Highlights all over the place.

Replay Value: Bathtub Gin, Dirt, Split Open and Melt, Maze, Prince Caspian

[1] Several false endings, including a Free Bird-style ending.
[2] Long, atypical jam.
[3] Phish debut.

Mike teased Low Rider in Bathtub Gin. Poor Heart featured several false endings, including a Free Bird-style ending. Makisupa included a long, atypical jam. Sea and Sand (first since NYE 1995, or 166 shows) was an appropriate choice, given the venue’s location near the beach. Sexual Healing made its Phish debut at this show with Fish reading the lyrics off the back of a show poster. As delay loops built to end Halley’s Comet, the band left the stage one by one. The soundcheck's jam contained several quotes of Venus (Shocking Blue). This show was released as part of the Ventura box set.
Your rating:
Overall: 4.51/5 (202 ratings)
Bathtub Gin, Makisupa Policeman, Prince Caspian, Halley's Comet
Free Bird tease in Poor Heart, Low Rider tease in Bathtub Gin


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