For the first show of the Holiday Run, the stage was decorated with flowers and sculptures. During the encore, parts of the set began to grow and sprout leaves. This stage setup was used for this show only, and disappeared for the rest of the run. Before Sleep, Fish’s drum kit was moved to allow the crew to roll out a small mini-stage with a scaled-down drum set and a baby grand piano. Trey and Mike sat on stools and both played acoustic guitars. This acoustic set-up was used for Sleep, Albuquerque, and Driver. During the Wolfman’s jam, three people in inchworm-like costumes came on stage and danced for the rest of the set. Bowie included a tease of the theme from The Godfather.
Jam Chart Versions
Teases
Theme from The Godfather tease in David Bowie
Debut Years (Average: 1993)

This show was part of the "1998 NYE Run"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1998-12-28

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Check out Trey circling patiently for a minute before coming in for his Taste solo (with Page searing the keys behind him), the roaring climax of Stash, a lovely acoustic mini-set - and that's just the first frame.

The second set ends with a very fine Bowie, but the show's reputation rests on the terrifying Carini > Jam > Wolfman's Bro. The first segment morphs from howls of rage to The Distance Between Mars and Earth to industrial electronic noise to something like a knotty involuted Llama variation before returning home. Wolfman's Brother heads out at a plodding tempo and gets noisily abstract right at the start; when an aggressive rock groove appears after about ten minutes the boys immediately drown it in interruptions, eerie effects, musical refusals and counteroffers...the groove is intense but deliberately unsatisfying, and it's almost a relief when Fishman smears the beat around 15:30 into a 'space jam' reminiscent of the darkest Fall '97 stuff. My mp3 version separates the last two minutes of this jam into another track, and it's a dense, tense, spooky coda - very much in the eerie Fall '98 ambient style but with an edge of danger.

If your idea of the perfect Phish set is 10/31/98 III, or you relax after work to the 46 Days from IT, then this set will have you howling and gnashing your teeth with pleasure. If you're looking to chill out with a bit of Wolfman's funk, look elsewhere. This is raw experimental late-nite music from a band searching for a new path, an open question that would be answered by the electronica-influenced textures and cavernous grooves of 1999, culminating in the distended hypnagogic experience at Big Cypress.

The 12/29 show is 'better' by some standards - it's a hell of a lot more fun, for one thing - but this is the deepest, gnarliest, most important show of the 1998 NYE run. That the band encored with (of all things) the mercifully brief idiot-anthem singalong 'Been Caught Stealing' is just one of the many complications of Phish '98. The crowd seemed to enjoy it - indeed the kids in Madison Square Garden cheered longer and louder for it than for the Wolfman's Bro. Well, ours isn't a perfect world. Ho hum.
, attached to 1998-12-28

Review by DriedupGoliath

DriedupGoliath The start of the best New Year's Run, in my opinion. It's really hard to say which show is the best in this run, as they each hold outstanding highlights. One of those highlights is the straight-from-the-Earth's-core jamming that occurs in the nearly 40 minutes of Carini>Wolfman's Brother. Carini moves from standard skull-fucking mode to an alien invasion, followed by a really nice funky, bluesy groove that leads to Wolfman's Brother. Wolfman's delves very slightly into the funk before coming to a furious, hard-rocking jam (where Trey repeatedly teases Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter"- this probably should be noted in the setlist above) before hitting another alien invasion-type space jam. Quinn>Bowie to close the set is very deftly played, but the show rests on the heels of the marquee set-opening jam.
, attached to 1998-12-28

Review by JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96

JezmundTheFamilyBeserker96 Set 1 Highlights: Stash, Taste

Set 2 and Encore Highlights: Carini* > Wolfman's Brother* (*Standout Jam) Quinn the Eskimo (Standout Version) -> David Bowie, Been Caught Stealin'

Phish comes roaring out of the gates with Axilla to open up the 1998 New Years Run which dissolves ever so disgustingly into Stash. This Stash goes through its usual motion through the song as the band gets to their first chance at some improvisation of the run. This Stash is interesting in that the band doesn't take any time to be delicate in the jam and play loud and dissonantly from essentially the start of the jam, which is capped off with a particularly strong peak. Farmhouse shows up next and causes my first raised eyebrow of the show which is quickly eased with a stunning version of Taste. Page is, as Jerry Garcia once phrased it so well, playing like his life depends on it throughout this version. Trey's solo is no slouch either. Taste is followed up with the three song acoustic portion of Sleep, Albuquerque and Driver. They did these three acoustic a pretty good amount of times in 1998 and it's definitely worth checking out if you've never heard it. Albuquerque in particular is one of my favorite Neil Young songs and I really wish this one shows up in a show sometime soon. Quick versions of Tube, Golgi Apparatus and Good Times Bad Times wrap up a set that is just over an hour. Overall, an okay set, the Stash and especially Taste are worth revisiting.

The evil beast that is Carini rears its head as the second set gets underway. The jam takes an in-your-face approach initially, unlike the major key transition that we often see in 3.0, before moving into a somewhat cerebral, yet eerie, soundscape. The true highlight of this portion of the jam is Fish's playing and how he always keeps the train moving and pushes the band into a rocking groove on the back end. Seriously, put some headphones on because this jam is holy-shitballs good. Speaking of holy-shitballs good, so is this Wolfman's Brother! After an extended take on the usual Wolfman's jam, the band moves into a more minimalist funk groove that grows increasingly scary as Trey and Page build up an ambient wall of fog around Mike's winding basslines. The jam closes out with Fish alone tapping out the final drum beat. I am a huge fan of when they allow a big eerie jam to close out proper without transitioning immediately to a song. There's something about how extended those moments of "WTF just happened" feel before the next song starts after a real skullcrusher. Strong versions of Birds of a Feather and When the Circus Comes show up next and give the audience a chance to get down again and then take a breath. A very nice, slightly extended take on Quinn the Eskimo shows up and to everyone's surprise dips into a hazy delay loops after its usual solo. A very familiar hi-hat beat emerges from the haze and a strong Bowie is the choice to close out the set. This Bowie sees Trey in particular adding some Stash-esque flourishes to his solo and is worth giving a spin. The band comes back out for the encore and slam into the opening chords of Been Caught Stealin'. The crowd reaction to this on the AUD recording is awesome and if you've been to MSG, you can just imagine how much that building was bouncing during this. Overall, two very different sets with a short, somewhat lackluster first set and an ambient monster of a second set capped off with a ridiculously fun encore regardless of whatever flubs may have been present.
, attached to 1998-12-28

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin [I attended this show but don’t remember much about it, so this review is based on a relisten.]

Fiery fiery Stash, Trey attacked the solo like a man possessed, just an incredible build. Page takes an excellent solo in a joyful Taste, and Trey builds the tension by holding off on his solo for bit. The acoustic mini set was never my favorite part of a show to see in person, but on the recording it’s kind of nice, and Albuquerque is always a treat. Did they jam Tube? No, unfortunately not, but it got the energy in the room back up. Fun finish to the set with Golgi and GTBT, but nothing too exceptional.

Switched from the excellent FOB AUD to the SBD for Carini >Wolfman’s (released on Live Bait 13). The Carini jam starts off with Trey playing some screaming guitar and Fishman attempting to murder his drums. Slows down into a spacey jam with some great color being added by Mike and Page. The space takes a dark turn, then Page starts swinging on piano and the tempo increases and the jam finds a nice groove, before being deconstructed into a stop start transition into a laid back Wolfman’s composed section. After a high energy opening the Wolfman’s jam settles into patient cow funk that gets progressively more spacey/ambient. The jam then gets angry and evil, then ends with some ambient noise from Trey and Page. A great 1-2 punch to open the set, if you haven’t heard the SBD, check it out, it reveals a lot of in the spacey parts of the jams. Birds of a Feather and When the Circus Comes were straightforward. Quinn was triumphant and even found its way to a little ambient jam at the end. Bowie had a fun little digital delay loop intro with an extended Godfather tease from Trey. The jam starts off patient and quiet, with some audience clapping that I’m sure annoyed the hell out of me at the time. Good high energy finish, but nothing too outside the norm for the time. Been Caught Stealing was a huge surprise and a blast to hear in person, but in retrospect is just a funny stunt cover.

Overall you definitely want to hear the Carini>Wolfman’s, and maybe cue up the Stash and Taste. A good start to a NYE run that is often overlooked.
, attached to 1998-12-28

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This is a very strong show, both sets are pretty great.

Stash is very fluid and intense and has an explosive ending. Very strong & powerful Farmhouse, a great Taste. The Acoustic portion is great especially Albuquerque. Tube blasts off like a rocket ship after a few quiet songs. Even Golgi is especially strong from this great 1st set.

Carini quickly lights a fire under everyones ass to start the 2nd set. It thrashes and then moves into a weird eerie groove. Wolfman is slower than usual, the jam is very spacey, it makes one feel like they're floating through the cosmos. Short and sweet BOAF. Quinn has a nice tiny jam coming out of it. Bowie is particularly pretty.

Been Caught Stealing is pretty sloppy but still a fun encore.

Overall almost a 5 star show. Definitely above average.
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