7/26/98 Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas, TX
ok i'll break the silence. The show at the Starplex in Dallas on July 26 was in a word--schwag!! My girlfriend and I drove over 1000 miles and crossed two time zones to see this show. Our motivation was the electrifying, mind scrambling show that we had just seen in Phoenix (you all can read my review of that one too). I will keep this brief because I love this band and I don't want to bad mouth them. The music was great, alright it was good. Here is the setlist as I wrote it: I: Birds of a Feather, Too much of everything, Bowie, Relax---> Reba, Phunky Bitch, Good Times Bad Times. My girlfriend wanted to hear Birds so I was psyched to hear it for her. It's not a GREAT opener but it is a great song. "too much" brought the already weak crowd way down. Now I had just lost my mind in phoenix and was foolish to expect the same in a weak city like Dallas. Bowie was good, not great--nothing like the bowie at the Gorge on 7-16-98. Relax belongs on the shelf guys!! Reba was nice but the boys were a little off, they were not together. Did I mention the crowd sucked? I was pleased to hear GTBT. I haven't heard it since 12-8-95 in Cleveland. SET II: La Grange, YEM, Albuquerque, Simple, Bold As Love, Sample E: PYITE, Bittersweet Motel. You knew they had to play La Grange somewhere in Texas. They rocked this one. Of course the lame people around me still were not inspired to stand up and dance. YEM was crazy and the vocal jam was weird but it was great to hear as always. BOLD AS LOVE--I love this song. Trey's solo at the end always brings me to my knees. I am a big Hendrix fan and I swear Trey plays that song better than the man himself. Encore: PYITE much better version than the second nite at the Gorge but they should've ended it there. Bittersweet Motel is slow and since the crowd was already lame, Punch would have been better served without it. NOTE TO PHISH: Texas sucks, they don't appreciate the music and they don't deserve your patronage. You need to focus your attention to more appreciative venues (like Desert Sky hint hint) Email me if you think differently about this show: BLDasLove@aol.com Michael Nathan
set 1: Birds of a Feather, Too Much Of Everything*, David Bowie, Relax, Reba, Funky Bitch, Good Time Bad Times set 2: La Grange, You Enjoy Myself, Albuquerque*, Simple>>Bold As Love, Sample In A Jar Encore: Punch You in the Eye, Bittersweet Motel *First time played?????? This was my 13th Phish show, and BY FAR the most DIFFERENT SHOW I have ever seen them play. They busted out ALOT of covers which really set this show apart from the others i have seen. I saw the show in Dallas in '97 (which rocked!!) and was hoping for something along the lines of that show. In other words I was looking for two JAMMED OUT sets!! Especially after Houston and Austin, I was ready to see a super-dank show. Birds of a Feather opened things up. I really like this song, especially as an opener. Nice jam section, and it can rage pretty hard. This version wasn't as long as some of the others i have heard (Nassau, Providence, and Both Copenhagens) but it was well played. A new song was up next. I liked this tune although I had never heard it before in my life. Not to many people were dancing for this one, they were probably trying to listen to the lyrics. NO ONE knew the name of this song, and in the bathrooom during set-break I heard some guy yell "Does ANYBODY know the name of the second song??!!" But NO ONE did. I just wrote it down as "Baby, I want you" because that was the chorus. After that song (which is actually called Too Much Of Everything) We heard Trey say "the guy in the front row wants something LONG!!" You could tell by the audience reaction that WE ALL agreed, and the space of Bowie Kicked in. The jam for BOWIE was one of the best I have heard (this was my 5th Bowie) Trey really got some nice licks in before the jam really started to kick into high Gear. Bowie Finished strong and I heard the first notes of Relax (aka Frankie Says) echo from the stage. This was my first Relax so I was stoked to hear it. I really like this song, its slow and moody but draws you in really nicely. Reba was after Relax. Great Version, Nice Jam Section, Flawlessly played like always. Funky Bitch and Good Times, Bad Times Closed out the set. Each rocked pretty hard, and GT,BT was my first also, and a nice treat, although it isn't among my favorites. Talking to some phriends at set break we all agreed that it was VERY OBVIOUS that Trey was going for that HARD ROCKIN' GROOVE. To me that only meant one thing, A FUNKY SECOND SET!! Setbreak was Long and Relaxing. I smoked a couple bowls of nugs, cleared my head and got ready for set 2. I heard some people calling Timber Ho! before the lights went down, and I pretty muched guessed the same after that hard first set. BUT NO!!! I don't think anyone could have Called LA Grane!!!! Fuck Yea!!! La Grange Rocked, pure and SIMPLE!! Trey just kept jammin and jammin, hard, too, like in the first set. My first La Grange, A SWEET TREAT!! I don't think this one has been played in like the last 90 shows or something - very nice. You Enjoy echoed from the stage about 30 seconds after La Grange. Nirvana Was sweet, but the section between Nirvana and right before they kick back in with Page's solo (you know that part where they repeat those same couple notes) They started tweaking it out. Then a GLOWSTICK landed on the Stage and Trey Picked it up and threw it back at the Crowd. WE ALL WENT NUTS. And glowsticks started flying at the Stage. Trey Was Trying To Catch them and when he did he threw them back into the audience. he threw probably five or six glowsticks back into the audience, and that section of YEM lasted a good 3 or 4 minutes, then Pages solo kicked in. It was cool, because i think this was the first Audience versus Band Glowstick (mini)war. You Enjoy Myself was THE PHUNK OF THE SHOW. Mike Really Funked it out!! and the jam was LONG AND FUNKY, They eventually fell into the start and stop funk jamming with both Mike And Trey Funkin it out Solo Style. I was dancin SO HARD because this shit was DANK!! the Vocal Jam was great too. I really don't remember Albuquerque, it was another first timer for me. No One knew the name of this song either, the guy in front of my thought it was A Neil Young Cover, but he called it Black Creek. I didn't know, so i just wrote down "?". Simple Rocked!!! The jam was really nice and took off immediately. Bold As Love was yet another first timer for me, and another treat. I thought this would close, but Sample kicked in and I thought we had at least another song after Sample. Sample rocked, and i was surprised when they left the stage after it. I haven't heard Sample close ANYTHING in quite some time. The Punch encore was DANK!! I've been wanting to hear this song in the encore since 96, and when I saw they did one on the west coast, i was hoping for another one. Straight up this was the BEST Punch you in the Eye I have ever heard, live or on tape. And then Bittersweet Motel To close, WHEW!! this song isn't that great, but I like it alot and I can't get that damn chorus out of my head - "half way between Eerie And Pittsburgh, You're Driving Me Through Hell, on a Highway to the Bittersweet Motel." The song ends as the Boys stop playing their instrments and they sing the chorus one last time with just the beauty of the words to echo in our souls. Its a great way to leave this show too, ---- BITTERSWEET. See You in Alpine!!
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