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
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 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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