Woodlands Pavilion, Houston, Texas:

Set 1 : Moma Dance, Runaway Jim, Bouncin' Around The Room, Stash, My Soul, Taste, Golgi Apparatus, Loving Cup Set 2: Wolfman's Brother>>2001>>Scent Of A Mule>>Ha Ha Ha>>Scent Of A Mule, Slave to the Traffic Light, Chalkdust Torture Encore: Character Zero A friend and I drove down from Memphis the day of the show. We left around 7 a.m. and didn't pull into Houston until 6 p.m. so we decided to just head straight to the Venue. I hadn't seen a Phish show since Austin in '97 (due to the birth of my first child in the middle of the summer tour 97) so I was PUMPED to say the least. The night before we left I had read a post saying that they hadn't played Runaway Jim yet, and that they played 4 Moma Dances in the first 5 shows. I told my friend they would open with either one of them, depending on whether they wanted to go with something old or something new. I was STOKED when they played both. The Moma Dance Was DANK! I like it much better than BEK, and it gets you into the FUNK right away. It was the best way to open up the weekend. The Intro was naturally funky with most of the work coming from Mike. Not much variation from Trey on the intro but when it came time for him to jam THE MOMA DANCE he did not disappoint. This Version raged!! Runaway Jim RAGED HARD. It kind of reminded me of a '93 or '94 Jim. VERY FAST!! VERY INTENSE!! after about 10 minutes of the hard jamming Jim they sunk it down into some PHUNK that really got me moving. the phunk ended as Runaway Jim kicked back into full force and then ended. Bouncin was next. I like Bouncin' more than most people, but it is just standard and nothing special. I just sat down to smoke a bowl and take a rest (I WAS DANCING HARD AND IT WAS LIKE 100 DEGREES OUT THERE1!!). The bowl of nuggets got me in the mood for STASH. THIS STASH ROCKED. It wasn't like the weak version they played in Austin last year. IT was more of a conventional Stash, (not like 11/30/98 or 4/2/98). I read a post that they are playing each note with precision. THIS IS VERY TRUE, ANd this Stash was a good example. Really nice soloing by Trey, and great work by the rest of the band. My Soul Came up next. Not much to say - It rocked, Both Trey and Page are at the TOP of THIER GAME. Taste echoed from the stage after My Soul. This was a good Taste, one of the better ones I have heard. Page's part was strong but seemed to lose some luster towards the end, but Trey just picked it up and carried it forward. Golgi Came up next. This isn't one of my favorites but i DO like it, especially the middle section. It seemed like everybody was dancin' for this one. SO far Moma Dance was the only new tune, which surprised me, And it would remain the only new tune throughout the Show. Loving Cup closed the set. OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BUZZ!! Overall a good first set, nothing too intense, but still Each note was meticulously chosen. Wolfman's Brother opened the second set and I was stoked. I like the normal first set shit, but MAKE NO DOUBT ABOUT IT - I GO TO PHISH SHOWS TO SEE THEM JAM!! And jam they did. NICE phunk. I was really getting down for this one. It was about 20 minutes long and dropped off into space!! but the space eventually lead into 2001!! It was great 2001, great lights, Really nice work from the band. Allready the second set was DANK and we were only two songs inward. Scent of a Mule came out of the noise at the end of 2001. Page had about a 5 minute solo in which the rest of the band left the stage (probably to puff a bowl of dank : ) Pages solo was nice, and when the rest of the band came back on Trey joined him for lest than a minute and then just hit this hard guitar line that I immediately picked up as HA HA HA!! it was my first ha ha ha so that was very dank, and as it ended it just went right back into Scent of a Mule. They actually played the Russian folk jam but you could tell it was a little rusty because some of the notes weren't right on, and Trey strated Dancing but Mike wasn't. Then Mike must have looked over and seen Trey Dancing so he joined in. Scent finished and Slave was up. I thought this would be the closer. The jam segment was especially tight and long. i did catch one Note that was slightly off early on in the jam, but the rest of the jam flowed very tight and went VERY HIGH!!! So high that I thought the show was over!! BUT NO, WE GOT A CHALKDUST!! When this Kicked in I just started thrashing around, because I love a Chalkdust Closer!!!! The jam was VERY TIGHT, VERY HARD WELL PLAYED. The Character Zero encore kind of surprised me because, to me anyway, chalkdust and Character Zero seem very similar in the jam section. But Character Zero Raged!! I enjoyed it totally, and it left us on a high note, I think we were all ready for AUSTIN!!!
Hey Phanatics, This will be short, but I thought I'd let you know how the Woodlands (7/24/98) went. First off, I have to compliment the fuzz. That's right, compliment. I spent my last two years of high school in this Houston suburb, and was busted 5 or 6 times... I thought Phish plus the Woodlands equaled disaster... WRONG! The show was most excellent... flawless playing, energetic riffs, and a perfect vibe led to the best performance of seen the boys do. I've only seen 4 shows, and they were all mind blowing, but this one took the cake. Sorry I have no setlist, but my memory isn't as good as I had hoped. Happy Phishin, Robb
The Pavilion is a nice new venue about 35 miles outside of downtown Houston which provided for an intimate experience with the band for those who could get up close, and plenty of groove space for those looking to frolic on the lawn. As I weeved my way up to my "reserved seats" during the Moma Dance opener, one couldn't help but notice Trey's bad ass, bug eyed yellow retro shades. Security was trying to keep the aisles clear, but since the row the intended to stick my big butt was nearly filled, I negotiated some space on the right side of the aisle. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as anyone in the house early on and the fun was contagious as they spun through classics Runaway Jim and Bouncing. Stash followed with a hard grooving My Soul (which has been, until Houston, a not so favorite song--but man did they rock it out!). Taste was very well done. The sound seems to improve tour after tour. As the sun began to go down, taking the heat of another blistering Texas summer day with it, Phish dug deep into their big bag of classics for Golgi, which really got the place jumping. How do you rap a fine opening set up and leave the crowd greatly anticipating the second? How about a rocking Loving Cup! It definately made the set for my homeboy Journeyman Jim Craemer. Just one sip! After a refreshing break, Wolfman's Brother opened the second. Damn. Long extended jamming. Seemed to go for about twenty minutes before going into 2001. Talk about a funked out groove session. Hats off to Kuroda too. The lights were awesome. Mike Gordon began banging out those big bass licks as they went into Scent of A Mule, which was "tight" for lack of a better word. The super riff Ha Ha Ha Ha was stuck in the middle of SOAM. Slave followed in what could have closed a glorius set, but no, a rocking Chalkdust finished things off that left me rubber legged and so very satisfied. Character Zero for an encore was great. This song is rapidly making its way to the ranks of the most preferred, although the way the boys have been playing in the last two years, I am pleased every time out. The Woodlands is a great place to see the boys. Even the mounted police were chill, except for when I slapped Mr. Ed on the mug. Sap. -Park Place Paul

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