Uncle Pen was played for the first time since August 17, 1997 (136 shows). Makisupa featured Trey on keyboards and included the keyword “NORML.” At the end of Rock and Roll, Trey jokingly thanked the show’s sponsors, NORML and the (musical) Key of “A.”
Jam Chart Versions
Debut Years (Average: 1991)

This show was part of the "1999 Fall Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by Stecks

Stecks Another show of the "Page McConnell is NOT a baseball player" portion of the tour - he came out on crutches (apparently from a sprained ankle sustained during a softball game). Nice thing that he gets to sit for shows, another advantage of playing keys. Venue was lousy - the aisles were set up such that we were constantly being walked over (the friend I went with had enough of it and was being a jerk). I was living in Peoria, IL at the time, and ended up meeting up with some dudes I met earlier that summer who went to Illinois State at their dorm/apartment to pre-party! (Bradley basketball still is superior to ISU). The NORML keyword was pretty obvious (As ISU is in Bloomington/Normal). Uncle Pen opener was fun, JJLC was an obvious choice, nice Ghost>Sample.... Excellent encore! If I remember correctly, Trey sang some of Mike's vocals during Funky Bitch but I could be completely wrong (oh fungi... how you have the ability to distort one's perception of reality, you industrious little organism!)

Not the best show I'd seen, but still had a blast.
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by LIVEdude

LIVEdude Coming back to this show many times over the years, I really feel it's necessary to give this show a fresh perspective. At the time, this show stood out for the lack of Type II jams and the very short sets. For context, the ISU campus had put tight restrictions on tailgating and the time the venue would close. This caused minor hysteria that led to several arrests (minor "riots") and the band starting early with short sets to rush through before the venue shut down. For those reasons, not to mention the poor fan audio recording due to the small, round venue, this show has been overlooked.

That said, if you're a fan of Trey's shredding, this show is nothing short of a must listen! Because of the conscious lack of jams, Trey used the natural acoustics of the room to make his guitar ring throughout. The acoustics were definitely annoying for fans, but you'll notice throughout the night, especially "Sand", that Trey was pushing the limits of the venue to make his guitar soar. On top of that, these are must hear versions of "Jesus Left Chicago", "Rock and Roll", "Sand" and definitely "DwD". Trust me, you didn't often hear Trey going off in this manner as much as he did in this show in 1999. You'll also want to hear "Vultures" (one of my favorite versions), "AC/DC Bag" and "Makisupa".

Again, I won't argue this is best Phish show by any stretch, but this is a show that deserves a relisten. Check it.
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by Fikus

Fikus My 7th show, located a quick 45 minute drive from U of Illinois. Lights went down almost immediately after we got inside at 7:30. Seats were behind the stage, Page-side, and there was a lot of room - definitely not sold out.

Overall, a standard show, with a couple odd setlist choices. Some highlights/notes:
Uncle Pen - great opener, got everybody bouncing and extremely well-played considering it was such a bust-out.
Funky Bitch - after a 136 show bustout, they decided to play a song they had played the night before. Good version, though.
Rest of 1st set was played really well - esp. Jesus Just Left Chicago. Wilson > Disease was an energetic one-two punch at the end.

Second set sounded great and was fun. Ghost was very strong, though it was a pretty rough segue into Sample. Loved the transition between Wedge and Bag, as Bag picked up off the Wedge's last beat. Sand was very groove oriented, as was normal for the time. Good, rocking show but nothing earth-shattering.
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Another show in the same vein as the night before.

Funky Bitch gets played again less then a day after the night before. Maybe to make up for some of the slop on the night before's version? Vultures is one of the best versions I have other heard with a nice exploratory solo section by Trey. Runaway Jim has a slightly different bass line by Mike with some extra hammer-ons, and a quick hypnotic jam. Jesus Just Left Chicago has some exceptional playing by Page and some good blues by Trey. Wilson has some nice shredding by Trey and is very hot. DWD is sped up a lot more than usual, maybe because of time?

Ghost kicks off the second set with a few hiccups but goes into a nice dreamy groove, followed by some nice peaks. Bag has a nice tiny funk jam. Makisupa is a fun and somewhat different from other vesions. Sand is pretty straightforward with some above average playing by Trey. Zero has some extra fire at the end as well.

Although this show does have some solid versions it does leave a lot to be desired. But none the less I'm sure a fun show to see.
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by kipmat

kipmat https://forum.phish.net/forum/permalink/1377818140

Not all Phish shows are great. Sometimes a Phish show can be marred by uncontrollable circumstances, and other times they just can't deliver the goods on stage. IMO the show on the previous night, 10/3/99, falls into the latter category. That show was the band's first return to the Rosemont Horizon since the exhilarating Halloween '95 performance, and perhaps expectations for 10/3/99 were high, but the band's performance on that night fell flat. However, Phish can always turn it around the next night; the band rarely went into a slump for more than a couple of shows.

Listening to 10/4/99 gives me a strong sense that Phish wanted to make up for the previous night. For me, the tip-off is the Funky Bitch appearance early in set 1, considering they had played a relatively ragged version the previous evening with Sugar Blue. Even though they hardly ever played songs at consecutive shows during this period, it makes sense to me that Phish would want to prove to themselves that they were better than what they showed in Chicago. It's also worth noting that Page was playing with a sprained ankle, and it doesn't seem far-fetched to imagine that Trey, Mike, and Fish were acceding to Leo's wishes for a little more polish on the performances.

Whatever the reason, this is one of the tightest shows Phish played in 1999, a year of general looseness on stage. The segue from The Wedge > AC/DC Bag recalls the Oh Kee Pa > AC/DC Bag transitions of 1990-1, and Fishman directs the tempo of the band during a fun Makisupa jam (including what might be a preview of the intro to Vida Blue's Most Events Aren't Planned?). The Ghost 2nd set opener admittedly pales in comparison to the Portland monster from the previous month, but there's still plenty of 1999-style Phishiness to be heard. Wilson includes a nice mini-jam that was typical for this era, and the swirling psychedelia of Sand brings matters to a head.
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Uncle Pen: Only the third time this had opened a show – last time was 8.30.92 Cal Expo Amp, opening for Carlos.

Funky Bitch, Vultures: Both standard.

Runaway Jim: Soaring short jam.

Jesus Just Left Chicago: 4 white guys from Vermont do this version justice.

Limb By Limb, Wilson: Both standard >

Down with Disease: Rock gods, absolutely smoked which seems to be the theme for DwD’s on this tour. Keep in under 12 minutes and blister it.

First set summary: Very solid set, lots of rock and roll that was full steam ahead. No breathers and no ballads.

SET 2: Ghost: Machine Gun Trey in fine fashion. Much like DwD, this Ghost is full steam ahead, no letup – just pedal to the medal the whole way. Arena rock. Extremely impressive work from Trey. Awesome version. >

Sample in a Jar, The Wedge > AC/DC Bag: Not a huge fan of this segment smack dab in the middle of the second set… >

Makisupa Policeman: Nice, little jam >

Sand: Can Sand rescue the set? Not exactly, no. Really good jam but does not break any new ground and stays in the same vein as every on the preceded except the OG from the Gorge which went way out there and dwarfs all other Sands to this point. >

Ya Mar: What strange placement. Shows like this make me think they need to have a setlist in place before walking on stage.

Character Zero: Rips as you might expect it would. This really is a rock and roll show.

ENCORE: Rock and Roll: There you have it, a nod from the band telling us that this show was all about melting faces and less about noodle jams.

Second set summary: Lots of problems in the lots with the cops and fear of the venue cancelling the show or shortening the curfew supposedly led to few jams and a hard core rock and roll show. Band blows off steam all show long, impressive really. More than happy to rate this show as a strong 3.75 out of 5.
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by 10a_cJedi

10a_cJedi I woke up this morning Normal!

The Pen had been on the shelves so that was a bit of a surprise. I wasn't sure how the band was going to react to our recent behavior, and the fiasco's we were creating? At this point in the tour, we were becoming a treacherous fan base. It was annoying, I had been indirectly tearing gassed in Memphis, by folks running in blinded, asking for help. Tear gas is like an airborne virus. If you go near a victim that needs help, you'll need help, etc. I didn't even help, I just saw the pattern begin and still had to think about my eyes for half the first set. I guess there was another problem outside Redbird (I did not see or feel that one?) Whatever, gladly the energy was not affected. THE SAND MEDLEY truly is one to grow on. Tier 1 Sand ! The first set doesn't really stand out, I remember the Jesus is rather energetic. Set II is another Tale. We could feel it soon as Ghost > Sample went sideways, and bliss was inevitable. Then as they do so well, they were not revealing all the cards. The Wedge (mid-Set II, luv it?) was delicate and well executed (when isn't it?). I Felt like this Wedge is going places and it did, as we found ourselves leaning into a funk Bag (AGAIN MEDLEY IS NAILS!) As we found our energy, it seemed it couldn't have been better. ! Then as the bag funk slowed into a reggae style, we knew what that was (rotation and troubles had us anticipating a Makisupa). Time to remember we had been bad, policeman time and (I think
, attached to 1999-10-04

Review by Corey

Corey Set 1: Uncle Pen, Funky Bitch, Vul(the venue was unprepared to let the phans in and therefore 1/3 of us were still outside when the 1st set started...)tures, Runaway Jim - standard., Jesus Just Left Chicago - eh.., Limb By Limb, Wilson (nice jam), Down with Disease.

Set 2:sounded amazing. In a round room. Ghost > Sample in a Jar, The Wedge > AC/DC Bag > Makisupa Policeman[1], Sand, Ya Mar, Character Zero

Encore: Rock and Roll
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