7/31/98 - Polaris Amp, Columbus, OH
After driving more than 700 miles on thursday, I was really hoping for a great concert. I was not dissapointed, although I was surprised by
the setlist and the style of play. The last show I had seen was at the Pepsi Arena in the winter, when they were still funking everything out to
the limit. This was not the case here. Their playing reminded me more of fall 95 then fall 97. I loved when they played Rift, because I think it
has one of the best vocal duels in recorded music. There was this one part, when it was Pages turn to sing, that Trey started to sing. He then
realized his mistake, stepped back from the mic, and laughed.
I love the new songs, Roget, Water in the Sky, and Twist, although I am not fimiliar enough with these numbers to say if they were good or
not. To top it all off, they played Punch You In The Eye, which is my favorite album song to hear live. The show itself was killer, even though
the ride there sucked. Well, I guess this ends my pathetic review. Peace
This was my 12th show, and my first since NYE. Needless to say I was
anxious all week. My car broke down on my way home from work that morning,
and I spazzed about getting stuff together, but it all worked out in the
end. We stayed at the Alum Creek State Park which was the one recomended in
the newsletter, but there did not seem to be many Phish fans around. It was
a lot of old people with RV's and families. We got over it and headed to
If you've ever been to a show at Polaris, you know the problems that we
encountered with traffic. It was ridiculous. That place is poorly
designed, and it was a mess trying to get in the parking lot. Even though
the show sold out, tickets were everywhere, and it was no problem for anyone
to get in for a little cash. Polaris has this cool program where if you
declare yourself as the designated driver, you get a wristband that gets you
free drinks in exchange for the service you provide to your friends. I wish
more venues did this...
My Friend, Ya Mar, Roget, Rift, Cities, H20 in the Sky, Stash
MY FRIEND: Nice to hear as an opener, and it really got the crowd psyched
up. I love when Trey tries to get as much distortion as possible in the
build up section near the end. Watching him play with the guitar is really
YA MAR- One of my favorite groovin' tunes. This Ya Mar was different in
most that I've heard. They really jammed it out for a while, but the
problem was that the jam consisted of Trey noodling in the typical Ya Mar
key, just for a really long time. It must have been at least 12 minutes
ROGET I agree with what people are saying about how this will sound pretty
cool on the album. I think it is a very pretty song, but while listening to
it, I became convinced that Phish does not want to write anymore complex
intricate melodies a la YEM, Fluff, Gyute, Divided, and so on and so
on....It was very depressing to realize that if I had started to listen to
Phish at the state they are at right now, and heard primarily the new stuff,
I don't think I would have fallen in love with the band as I did when I
heard YEM and Bowie...More power to them, it is their music, and I like what
I'm hearing, I guess they are just maturing...But as far as Roget goes, I
dig it. I like the really slow part before Trey switches the guitar effect
and plays three POWER ROCK chords. Very pretty.
RIFT - was Rift
CITIES-- so far Phish had not done much with the funk that I had grown so
accustomed to the past couple of years. I had figured that they would lay
it on thick hear. But, there was nothing too spectacular about this Cities.
The jam didn't do anything for me.
WATER IN THE SKY - Didn't even recognize this until halfway through because
of the speeded up tempo, and other reworkings that they made to this song.
I guess by reworking it the couldn't have made it any worse. I hate this
song, and they didn't do anything that I liked when they reworked it. It is
STASH - Yeah!! I thought, A hypnotic jam that would make me crave more. But
alas, there just wasn't any energy on this to make me fall into the
NetherRegions of Phishdom...I was pretty close in the pavillion, and I
absolutely love watching Trey flawlessly execute that guitar riff...he is so
Well I wasn't expecting Stash to be the closer, but it was so I sat down and
looked over My Helping Friendly Book which contains all my setlists. This
wasn't what I was looking for, and I wasn't pleased with the first set at
all. Ya Mar and Cities were the highlights, and Cities wasn't all that
grand...On the scale that everyone abuses nowadays, yet I try to main some
integrity to it I give this set a 3.5.
I love setbreaks when all my buddies and I can gather and chat about what we
each witnessed. We had the disillusioned guys who think that just because
it is Phish it is the greatest thing in the world, so they talked about how
incredible the set was. I do think Phish is the greatest thing in the
world, and based on the enormous amount of time and energy I've spent
listening to them, I determined that this particular set was crap. That's
all there is to it.
The Curtain>Free, If I Could>TMWSIY>Avenu Malkenu>Twist Around>Isabella,
CURTAIN- This song is so sweet. This is the one song I've never heard that
I wanted to hear so bad. I love it, I also liked the mini-segue into Free.
FREE- I haven't heard this since '96 so I was pumped because I remember the
rockin' Trey on his drumkit crazy space jam that accompanied most of these.
This jam wasn't that crazy and it was rather brief. But it was very tight.
Not funky surprisingly, but tight.
IF I COULD - They hadn't played this in 149 shows according to the setlists,
and as far as I'm concerned, let it go another 149. The crowd had a pretty
good buzz going until this sing-a-long.
TMWSIY>Avenu - What a treat!! Totally unexpected, it carried on the
tradition of crazy setlists that we've been getting this whole tour. I
think that this is the way to sum up how summer '98 is going so far. There
hasn't seemed to be any monumental, life-changing jams. Most shows have had
the common theme of pulling something out from out of nowhere. Take a look
at all the setlists. Kung, Dog Log, Camel Walk, La Grange, Sneakin Sally,
Ha Ha Ha, She Caught the Katy, Been Caught Stealing, Ramble On, I get a
kick, Rhinocerous, Sexual Healing, California Love, the list goes on and on.
This is a cool way for Phish to distinguish this tour. I enjoy it. It
makes you want to get every show because they are all so unique. I know all
Phish shows are unique, but never has there been such a unique variety of
uniqueness so to say.
TWIST AROUND - jammed pretty long (not to be confused with "jammed pretty
hard") Wasn't anything special.
ISABELLA - Trey's a good guitarist
JULIUS- After explaining to this kid that this song was called Julius not
"don't take another step", it was over
CAVERN- Yeah!! I love this song, even though it signals the closing of a
This set was cool I guess because it was unique, but where are the stellar
second set jams that rip my soul out. There were none to be found. So I
give it a 5.0. One monster jam instead of Izabella, Julius, Cavern would
have made it a gem.
Encore: Punch you in the Eye, Slave to the Traffic light.
Now this is what I'm talking about. Here we go with the reason I travel to
Phish shows. What a stellar encore. Even though there is no jamming, who
doesn't like Punch??? This Slave was pure beauty also. Phish's jams are so
good, because I can always relate them in some way or another to my life. I
love Slave to the Traffic Light, and it really fit in with my life and the
relationships I'm having right now. It was perfect.
So since I know what a 10.0 encore is having seen 12.30.97, and listening to
12.6.96, this encore is worthy of a healthy 7.5. Don't you guys just love
how Phish is doing more than just a cheesy Bouncin' encore. They are really
trying to make us want them to come out and play more because we never know
what we are going to expect anymore for an encore. It used to be that Phish
would just play some simple 5 minute ditty to leave the crowd happy. Now
some encores are sculpting the way that shows are remembered. 8.8.97 for
example was the worst show ever. Then the encore made people remember it
with Sugar Blue.
In conclusion, I was glad I had two more shows left on the tour because I
wasn't completely satisfied. The show deserves a 4.0 ranking because
although it had surprises and twists, I was expecting the surprises that I
got, so in fact they weren't surprises after all...Know what I mean??
Ben Foster--please CC me on all responses, flames criticisms and
whatever...I love input.
p.s. Deer Creek to follow
The venue was almost identical to Deer Creek, security was not bad besides
enforced "no smoking" in the pavillion. But anyway the show was smokin'....
My Friend - Very energized and good to hear, they haven't played it too
much for awhile.
The sound was good from the start, very crisp.
Ya Mar - Pretty standard besides a pretty cool ending I have never heard.
Roget - Decent new tune but I have only heard it once so I cant say much.
Rift - Totally rippin', I've heard it before live but they busted this song
out with some
energy. No flubbs, I kinda was waiting for one considering that they havent
played it in over a
Cities - Not the usual all the way thru funky jam, Trey sped it up and it
like the YEM jam.
Water In The Sky - Different and better
Stash - Short and very sweet. They basically just got to the point after "
maybe so..." and
tore it up.
Curtain - Always good to hear. The 2nd set was turned up a couple
notches..nice and loud
Free - A real thumpy, groovey jam at the end. Got everyone freakin'.
If I Could - Really, really nice to hear. Its been awhile.
TMWSIY - They kinda had a hard time with this at first but they recovered
and it went into the usual...
Alvenu Malkenu - The Security was even getting down at this point. I shit
Twist - i have been wanting to hear this for awhile and it was totally
blazing as it went into....
Isabella - Trey just flipped out during this song, it was so rockin', it
blew last Fall's version away.
Julius - An above average Julius, Trey was just on fire and kept building
Cavern - Good set closer
PYITE - Nice kinda extended funky intro, had alot of punch as usual
Slave - Really nice Slave. Great build ups at the end.
Phish is playing alot different this year and I totally fuckin' love it,
alot more energy and emotion than last
My Friend, Ya Mar, Roget, Rift, Cities > Water in the sky, Stash
The Curtain > Free, If I Could, TMWSIY> Avenu Malkenu, Twist Around >Isabella
Punch You In the Eye, Slave To the traffic light
MY FRIEND- I was very surprised to hear this as an opener. was thinking
the lines of Tube, or something to set the funk tone. The song was standard,
seemed an extended begining, which lasted for awhile.
YAMAR- I was excited to hear this song for the first time, I was looking for
two of my
friends so i missed some of it. The ending “jam” seemed to last awhile, with
page and trey
Roget- New song, I really didnt know what to think of this new one. I forgot
was in it. Very mellow, cool harmony. thats all i can tell ya’ll on dat one
Rift- Standard rift, but it was pretty cool to hear cause it was my first.
quite the pause
between “silence contagious” part with page seemingly taunting the crowd. im
not sure if
they do that w/ rift, like finding “the note” in divided sky.
Cities- Very cool version, funkafied, with tension release at the end, very
one of the best pure jams I’ve heard. It rivals my best jam experiance with
tweezer, which was pure magic. long, funky, into the tension release towards
the end with the
Cities > water in the sky- i didnt see this one happening, water is such a
bluegrassy/countryish in a sense. page absulutly always blows me away, and he
did so with his small
solos in this song. beautiful.
Stash- This stash could of been better. Nothing about it really blew me
away. my brother
called stash, i yelled, “dog log”. i was surprised at the short first set. it
had to of been
the cities kicked ass first of all, and my friend is always cool to hear.
Curtain- I have only heard one version of this song. it was a cool second set
not sure how long it lasted, but it was a good while. segued into free.
Free- Easily one of the coolest versions i have ever heard. it took awhile to
get into treys
opening chords. after the lyrics, the funk jam appeared. i never heard a
funky free , i was
quite impressed. the normal spacy jams in the middle seem to be alittle too
Free was definatly a highlight for me in the second set.
If i could- i really love this song, it was so cool to hear live. the ending
was extended and
it went on for awhile (right after page goes back and forth on the keys). it
No fatty trey solo at the end like i was hoping for. the greatest trey solo i
have ever heard
came from if i could (11-12-94). it was spine tingling nonetheless.
TMWSIY- I never saw this one coming, i thought it was going to be bowie or
maybe maze cause it was spacy. then it built up into the “GAMEHENGE NARRATION
MUSIC” as i call it. a little jam appeared, slowly seguing to Avenu Melenu.
Avenu- pretty cool, it was intense as well.
Twist Around- I as well as others in our group were hoping for a twist all
night. we got
it, and it was awesome. I dont remember how the jam was in this, a very slow
isabella though. they were teasing it through all of twist and finally >
Isabella- standard, intense, good dancin music that makes you really get down.
this is the
second time i heard it live. i heard they changed it to sound more like jimi.
it didnt sound
like it here. it sounded like the same way as ive always heard phish do it.
Julius- I really dont like this song. i was hoping i wouldnt hear it at any
of the 5 shows im
going to. standard julius jam, with that groove that you cant help to dance
to. Even i was
gettin jiggy wit the song i despise most of all.
Cavern- Standard, intense. I love the lyrics most of all in this song. “the
flesh from satans
dogs will make, rudiments of groul. deduct the carrots from your pay you
swampy fool” who couldnt love those lyrics? trey at the end of this song
rose his hand into the air and pointed at the sky. then at different lights
back and forth, then he started moving his hands
conducterish and the rest of the band jammed off of him for a minute. and the
ended.im not sure how long the 2nd was. maybe 70 or some minutes.
the usual waiting for the band to come out for the encore was non existant.
it lasted for
less than two minutes.
Punchy- This song seemed pretty long. it was a cool build up with the
begining before the
lyrics come in. i love the intensity of this song.
Slave- I was hoping for another song, and i wasnt disapointed with this
my brother told me they wouldnt play a long version. they did. just when you
had peeked, they brought it to a different, and higher level. and when it
peeked, it was
Free, Twist, and slave made the second set. maybe even throw in that curtain.
this is the
show as i remember it. i wish i could remember more on the jams, my memory is
on shows. overload on memory i guess. if anyone will be taping columbus,
vernon, and the wheel, email me at
SHOW DAY AT POLARIS WITH MR. GADIEL
This won't be like every other post! I had a blast at the show, the
music was great, the vibe was cool, but for the life of me I can't
remember details about each song, I guess I will have to wait for the
tape. So instead, I will give a detailed summary of the events leading
up to, and after the show.
The day started when my pager went off at about 9:00 a.m. on friday
morning, with the universal show day sign of "420". Just waking up to
this, I knew it would be a great day. The sun was shining in through my
bedroom window, there was a slight breeze, and I knew in roughly 10
hours I would be in heaven. After showering and packing my overnight
bag, I got an oil change and a car wash and headed out to meet the
crew. Around noon, myself, Jon, and Andy, (yes I went to the show with
the famous gaidel.com/phish man) enjoyed a chicken greek salad at Andy's
favorite michigan restaurant. We then went back to Jon's apartment, met
up with Jason and Abby, took forever to make our tape selection of the
most recent shows and loaded up the cars. After a quick stop at the
gas station to fill up, and stock up on munchies for the ride, we were
on our way to Colombus, about a 4 hour drive.
About an hour into the drive, I noticed that Andy wasn't going the right
way..who would have thought that the man we look to for directions,
info, and other good stuff relating to shows wouldn't know were he was
going. After a quick turn around it was smooth sailing. It was such a
nice drive, the sun was shining, listening to tapes from Europe, (Moma
Dance Rules) and knowing that with every passing mile we were that much
closer to a night of musical bliss. As we made our way into Colombus,
and saw all the other phans lining up to get off at the exit, you could
feel the excitement. After checking into the hotel, making sure we had
our tickets, ring-pops, and all the other vital necessaties(sp), it was
off to the show, which was about a 10 minute walk.
No sooner were we at the top of the entrance way into the lot when the
adventure of being at a show with andy really began. Every other person
knew his name, and were excited to finally meet the man behind the
site...it was sort of like being with a movie star walking around
Hollywood. Here the first amazing thing happened. My guess is that
there were 12,000 people in the parking lot, and within 10 minutes we
found our phriends from home. It was crazy, but we just hung with them,
enjoyed the weather and great music all around us, and started getting
into the groove, because in less then 2 hours the boys from Vermont were
taking the stage. I should note that the lot scene was great, I didn't
see the police hassle anyone, and people were vending everywere.
(Nothing tastes better than an ice cold taddy on the way in) As in all
good things, one must end for another to start. We said our goodbyes,
gave our hugs, wished each other a phantastic show and Jason, Abby, and
myself found a nice spot on the lawn while Jon and Andy sat in the FRONT
row. Then, with the first licks of the guitar, it all began..the hours
of driving, having to pee like a racehorse in the lot, and the LONG walk
from the gate to the lawn all paid off!!!!
Like I said, I don't remember many details about the show, but with the
beautiful weather, incredible music, and the sun starting to set on the
horizon, I couldn't have wished to be in a better place. The band was
great, the jams intense, and the energy incredible. This show did leave
me with a new favorite song though..If I could! WOW, it was incredible,
I don't remember ever hearing it before but I fell in love with it. It
was also my first live Avenu Malkenu, so being Jewish made it all the
more memorable.(sp) Now we know that every show is going to be unique,
that is one of the reasons we love the band so much. Well after seeing
some of the things I saw in the show, it made me reflect on past shows.
Take a minute and think of all the funny things you have seen at a show,
and not only is the music different, but every show day is an experience
Some of the things we saw were very funny. There was a couple a few
rows in front of us on the lawn, now I have no problem with people
showing affection during a show, but when this guy started sucking on
his girlfriends toes that were covered in dirt from dancing on the lawn,
I had to find a new location. Second, "Mr. Good Pot" this guy was
GREAT. During set break he was standing almost on top of Abby, and in
the funniest voice was saying..."Mr. Good Nose, smells Mr. Good Pot" he
must have repeated this 20 times in a row. Not only were we laughing,
but everyone around us was to. Finally a phan made the save when he
invited our new friend Mr. good pot, to sit down and enjoy some tasty
nugs......only at a phish show could this happen, I guess that's what
makes it sooooooo great. Third, now I am NOT being critical, as I think
that everyone should be able to enjoy music without conforming to what
some people would call the standards of the phans, but when I saw Donna
and Kelly from Beverly Hills 90210 I almost peed my pants. These two
girls that sat down in front of us during the second set were spitting
images of the 90210 stars. One had short blonde hair, and the other
longer brownish hair. Both were wearing matching khaki shorts, little
t-shirts, and sweaters around there shoulders with their purses safely
in place across their chests. I know I am not the only one who noticed
this, because a few other people around us made comments as well. I
hope they enjoyed the show!! Finally, this is why phish phans are the
best. After the show ended we were standing at the top of the pavillion
waiting for Jon and Andy to come up from their seats so we could walk
out together, we saw NAKED MAN. This guy was having a great time, still
hearing the music in his head, dancing around the pavillion, the only
problem was he didn't have any clothes on. When security tried to stop
him, a few phans came to the rescue, helped him put his clothes back on,
walked him to the lawn and let him dance till his heart was content. If
this would have been any other concert, I would feel sorry for the naked
man because he would have probably ended up in the hospital with a
After meeting up with all our friends, looking at the setlist, talking
about how good Trey was during this song, and how amazing Page was
during that song, it was back to the lot for some good eats. The
vending was great, I highly recommend the French Bread Pizza and veggie
fried rice. After a little more remonising in the parking lot, it was
back to the hotel were we made some new phriends and relived the show
again. By this time it was close to 2 a.m. and I was beat. The
driving, waiting, dancing, and grooving finally took it's toll on my
body and I heard bed calling.
As I was lying in bed, I looked back on the day and it all hit me...were
else can you be an individual, being able to express yourself in any way
you want without anyone caring what you do, but all the while, enjoying
a common bond with thousands of other people you hardly know.....only on
a showday with PHISH!!!!
P.S. Hope everyone else who has been to or going to a show this tour
enjoys the experience as much as me...and I will see you on the 11th at
Starlake...Don't forget to wish me a happy 25th b-day there!!!
setlist: I: my friend my friend, ya mar, roget, rift, cities, water in the
II. the curtain>free>if i could>the man who stepped into yesterday>avenu
malkenu, twist around>izabella>julius, cavern
E: punch you in the eye, slave to the traffic light
review: this was such an amazing show from the moment we got there at 5
oclock until we left BACK STAGE at 12:15. when we araived we stocked up on
some goodies in the lot and just roamed around and saw what there was to see.
about 6 oclock we decided to go in and check out our seats and just chill. we
got to our seats in section a row m....they were amazing seats and we were
getting psyched. finally the show started around 8, and once everyone stood
up, we made a mad dash for the front row, where we were for the entire show.
the opening was great with mfmf. this was a great up-beat song that wasnt too
long. it let everyone get going, and it got everyone into the show. next was
ya mar and this was very nice with a great jam in it. roget was a new song,
which i had never heard before, but it was not a bad tune at all. rift was
wonderful as anyone could imagine. lots of jamming. cities was next and we
knew it was coming because we could read treys lips when he told fishman.
this was a great song. it hit a wonderful groove, and didnt stop anytime
soon. water in the sky was a little weird, but not too bad. it wasnt too
long, so it didnt really have too much of an affect. stash was a great song
to end with. i have always wanted to hear this one live, and i finally got to
hear it. it was a wonderful feeling. the set ended a little short at just
over an hour, but it was full of great tunes and phat jams.
the curtain was a great way to open the second set, and it got everyone
feeling the vibe again. free was such a great tune. it lasted for a while,
and there was a big jam included into this too. there was an awesome
transition from free into if i could, which was a nice song to hear to kinda
slow everything down. tmwsiy was a great song to hear, especially since i
havnt heard it too much. avenu malkenu was such a cool song. a great jam was
included in this old hebrew prayer. the end of this set was a near repeat to
the end of the 12/6/97 show in detroit, with the addition of julius. it was a
great upbeat way to end the show. nice jams were included, and this was only
an introduction to what we were about to hear in the encore.
the encore was the most amazing 2 songs together i have ever heard. the crowd
was totally into it and pyite and slave were 2 wonderful songs to end this
great show with.
after the show we were just on our way out and we saw the line of people to go
backstage. we did not have nay passes though, but we were determinded to get
back there, one way or another. we were offering people the clothes off our
back, all our money, everything, but no one would give up their passes.
finally they let everyone in, but we styaed by the gate, hoping for one last
chance. about 10 minutes later, 2 girls walked out and we dove on top of them
and gave each of them $20 and we got their passes. it was such an incredible
feeling. backstage was lots of fun and we got to meet mike and fishman. all
in all this was pretty much the greatest experience ever. every aspect of the
show was perfect, and we couldnt have asked for a more perfect show. a taper
that we were tlaking to backstage said that this was one of the top 5 shows
ever played and we totally agree. it was such an incredible experience. now
the phall dats are out, and hopefully we can have as much fun there as we did
here. keep phishing
-jason and josh
Andy's Phish Page