8/11/98 - Star Lake Ampitheatre, Burgettstown, PA

Just to let you know Starlake was my first show of the summer...26th overall...lots on tape..blah,blah,blah...just got home from Boston after Lemonwheel...still on a high over the past week (but exhausted nonetheless) 8/11/98 Star Lake Ampitheatre, Burgettstown, PA I: Trenchtown Rock* > Julius > Wolfman's Brother, Time Loves A Hero**, Bittersweet Motel, Reba, The Sloth, Ginseng Sullivan, Fee, Maze, Sample In A Jar (90 minutes) II: Runaway Jim*** > Meat, Limb By Limb, When The Circus Comes, Down With Disease E: Wilson, Golgi Apparatus* Bob Marley cover (1st time played?) ** Little Feat Cover (Last Played 11/5/88 [840 shows]) *** w/ extended Jam, over 30 minutes! Lot scene was pretty cool....saw a few undercovers bust a kid for underage drinking...he tried to get away, but was tackled.....couldn't have been that bad, though, cause I saw the same guy walking around about half hour later....Talking to some heads in the lot I found out they had played Terrapin at VA Beach....couldn't believe it. Had an extra and couldn't get rid of it for the life of me for face....one reply...honest to god was..."I wouldn't pay more than five dollars to see Phish" (In a very condescending tone)....what the hell are you doing at a PHish concert then? Anyways, on to the show. Great seats....15th row Fishman side....nice view, good sound. Pre-show, I saw Mike, Page, and some girl riding around in a golf cart by where all the concessions were on Fish's side, stop to talk to the ticket checker by my entrance and then take off....saw them a few minutes later on the other side..when I went to get a drink I was talking to the ticket checker...she had no clue who they were, and when I told her it wasthe bassist and keyboardist, she was like, "Oh, that explains why they wanted to know how to get backstage..." Apparently, they were lost. Trenchtown Rock - great opener....continues with the "We can play anything and surprise the fuck out of you" attitude that the boys seem to have now. Solid, I was psyched to hear it. It would make a great opener if put into the rotation (Just as Soul Shakedown would..oh well) Nice, anyways Julius - nice placement...standard, kick-ass Julius...Trey was getting into it...nice soloing, nothing too special. Wolfman's started out out Julius...unexpected....the jam again wasn't anything too special standard Wolfman's slow funk. Can't really remember it being too significant...nice segue, though into Time Loves a Hero - didn't know what this was, but I assumed it was a bustout, because people were going crazy and it didn't seem like crazy placement for one of those one-time covers...nice tune, thought it was Rush for a bit. Nic esong... Bittersweet Motel - nice, chill ballad, not the best placement, but it was nice to hear. three out of four songs that I haven't heard before. IMO, though, Phish has to lay off the ballds and start rocking out more with the new stuff...but I do like the ballads....at the end of this one, Trey and Page started commenting how they were waiting "All tour" to play that one....then Trey starts talking and asks how many people are from Erie...big cheers... Reba - YES!!!!! Composed part played well...hadn't caught Reba since last summer....jam was extremely chill...standard, awesome Reba...with whistling...heard some guy say 'this is still the same song?!!" Sloth - nice choice, I lovethis song, but it's extremely hard to dance in 5/4....love it anyways, though it would be one more then end of set... Ginseng - again good placement, Ginseng was Ginseng....more comments on this song in my upcoming Wheel review... Fee - more??!!This set was getting pretty damn long for a first set...Fee sans megaphone, but nice anyways...Trey nailed all the chorusses down, I believe. Short jam at the end with Trey playing around harmonics a bit like in the Champagin version last fall. segued into.. Maze - nice maze, Page did some nice work, as did Trey....nice soloing... I figured they wouldn't close with this, so I guessed a Zero, Bithc, or Sample or something along those lines would follow. Sample - not too surprising, but fun to hear...my first since last years Starlake. High energy, it's a good song to hear just as long as its not every other show....I think Sample's found a good niche. Long set...started out strong, then fizzled a bit near the end, great placement for songs, though. I'll give it a 6.5 on the SJ scale. SECOND SET Runaway Jim - same opener they played last year, only this time Trey didn't mess up the lyrics...maybe he wanted to show the locals he could get this right. Anyways, this Jim is SICK!!! Around 30-35 minutes long, I'd say. Jam did start kind of directionless and it took them about five or so minutes to find a solid theme, but once they did...it took off...Get the tapes at all costs...this Jim is ridiculous. I'm not going to compare it Worcester until I hear the tapes, but althoughshorter, I think this Jim probably beats it out..There were definite Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind teases in there, which is particularly fitting, considereing Chris's new lighting setup looks like a spaceship from that movie kind of....or at least some kind of spaceship (BTW, Chris's playing has gotten MUCH better...he truly is the fifth member...I'm still waiting for Trey to give the "CHRIS KURODA...LIGHTS" after a sick 2001) Anyways, the jam sort of mellowed out with Trey apparently teasing a song from West Side Story...then completely quieted down to nothing, after which Trey busted back into Jim...ridiculous. Meat - This is some FUNK....kind of repetitive, but definitely cool, there is one interlude that reminds me of Buster by moe., but more comments will have to be made upon tape listening LxL - interesting new arrangement...can't say whether or not I like the new arrangement, although I definitely loved howthe jlyrics segment sort of dissolved into the jam segment in the old version...now it's just a stop on a dime turn after a short Fishman solo. Nice noodling by Trey here...no Fishman solo at the end. Cirucs - as much as I used to dislike this song...not listening to it for awhile has caused it to be a pleasant surprise...good placement in the set, some nice lights by Chris. Down w/Disease - Nice!!!...god placement, well-played jam.. nothing too experimental, just straight rock-out Disease jamming...around ten-tfifteen minutes before the Disease theme kicked backed into high gerar...I was hoping for another song after this, but since the first set was so long I wasn't really expecting it. Overall solid set, a little short, but nice jamming. Jim sis a keeper, while the Disease and the Meat makes the whole set worth getting....I'll it a 8.0 Encore - after Trenchtown and TLaH I wasn't expecting anything...didn't get anything either...iWilson was ok, not heavy metal jam, nothing really too exciting,as far as Wilson's goes...trey signaled for another song and Golgi started up....well played, at least it wasn't Rocky Top.... There's part one...reviews of Vernon and the Wheel to come later on this week...and if anyone wants to trfade summers, I have Ventura and would like to get any other summers, especially August shows....and what the hell, I'lll spin Ventura for the first person who e-mails me with an interesting summer tour experience...take it easy -Mark
The Scene. Pretty laid back, alot of shakin' goin' on in the parking lot, drinking and such, didn't see anyone get messed with. It was a beautiful clear day, no clouds in the sky, perfect weather for Phish. Set I Trenchtown Rock - WOW. Great opener, probably the best opener I've seen. Everyone around was lovin' it. Trey sounded great on vocals. I'll officailly say it now, "Phish is the world's greatest cover band." Loved it. Julius - I'm a fan of Julius so I dug this alot. Pretty standard up until the jam part and then Trey went nuts. (As did the crowd) Really good Julius. Wolfman's Brother - Happy to see this here, it really kept things flowing. Nice funky version. Then they started into the jam Craziness. Really long jam, kinda spaced out but it was allright, went right into... Time Loves A Hero - Wow. Another one out of nowhere. I don't know this song that well but I thought it was really cool. Bittersweet Motel - I was expecting to hear this one because of the lyrics "half way between Erie and Pittsburgh." I really wish they would stop playing this song. Trey said something to the crowd about the lyrics after it was over, I don't remember exactly what he said because I was so glad Bittersweet was over. REBA - NICE. Really good Reba. Really long with a wild jam before going into the final verse. Always love to see Reba. The Sloth - Yeeeaaaahhhhhaaaaa. Awesome. I love gamehenge songs and the Sloth rocks. Ginseng Sullivan - Well done. One of my favorite bluegrass numbers. Played to perfection. Fee - I won't say much because I'm not a big fan of this one, but Trey was doing some weird harmonics thing at the end that was kind of cool. Maze - YES!!! I love Maze, and this version didn't disappoint. Great jamming, almost got to spaced out but then they brought it back into a nice tight jam. Maze is awesome. Sample in a Jar - I thought Maze was going to close the set, but here comes Sample. Good set closer, played with alot of energy. Good job boys. Set I overall: Really nice and long set. The opener was something special. Really fun, I was wondering what they were going to open set II with...... Set II Runaway Jim - Unexpected by myself. The beginning was fairly normal but when they started to jam, wow. The jam started slow kinda country sounding then morphed into a major Rock'n'Roll jam. Trey was playing a really screaming solo... Then Morphed into the FUNK. Crazy Funk, loved it. The total jam was about 30 mins. long, but didn't seem like it because they kept mixing it up. Awesome. Then they went back into Runaway Jim and finished her off. SWEET JIM. Meat. - I was hoping to hear this one (I heard it at Deer Creek). FUNK RULES. Nobody around me was getting down to this one at first, but when they settled in to the groove everyone in the place was lovin' it. Great Song. Limb By Limb - Good version, I really like how they changed the ending up from last years Limb by Limb's, more of a jam. When The Circus Comes to Town - I can't believe they played this song here. I was kinda disappointed, I was hoping for another bluegrass song here but they went into this sappy song. Oh well, it was pretty short and Trey's guitar work sounded good on the slow solo part. Down With Disease - Allright, after that almost unbearable slow song they went right into MAJOR JAM MODE. Great DWD. Good tight jamming by the whole band. Set II overall: Short set, but the Runaway Jim Jam, Meat, and DWD were awesome. Nice set. Encore: WILSON - SWEET JESUS WILSON ROCKS. I have now seen Wilson in every possible position in a show. Opener, middle set, second set opener, and now Encore. Awesome Wilson, People screaming Wilson like crazy, brought a big smile to my face. The heavy metal jam was amusing and not to long. GREAT WILSON. Golgi Apparatus - Golgi is such a good song. Really well played, great ending for the night. OVERALL: The show was really good with some nice tight jams, some funk, some Rock, some country, some bluegrass. This show was all over the place. Really good time. Peace, Cory Tressler
I went to the Starlake show last summer and Trey did the infamous screw up in the second set opener Runaway Jim and then pronounced.....Oohps!!! I think the boys were remembering that little mess-up from last year and made it up to the crowd w/ a 35 min second set opener of none other than ............ Runaway Jim. Trey and Page were really on for this version.......they didn't miss a beat!!! I was in phan heaven. I think they really did a great job and it was real treat to get a 35 min Runaway. Thanks guys!!!!! Dan Burford
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