8/16/98 - The Lemonwheel, Limestone, ME

ok, ok, I'm really bored and I figured I've done my three reviews, I may as well make it complete...(in case any of you are actually reading them). Thankfully, I had recovered slightly from my severe cold by Sunday morning (pretty much). thanks in part to an amazing Gumbo and the 4th set, which was extremely therapeutic. Anyways, I had a decent view for the first set Fishman side... Ginseng: strange choice for an opener, but noteworthy....they actually sang the lyrics correctly....that's right...It's a long way TO the delta FROM the north Georgia hills. I mean before, no wonder the dude's never making it back to his Mississippi delta home...he's always going to Georgia....now he's finally going the right way :) I think they were actually stressing those words too. Nice to hear... Bathtub Gin: busting it out early in the day....afternoon Gins are always nice...this one had lots of promise, but didn't really connect. It started going places, and just when I thought it was about to take off, it died down. nice segue into... Rift: another repeat from Vernon, but after being on such a long hiatus, I was psyched to hear it. Well played... PYITE: recognized it as soon as Trey started strumming....this song is much better in the dark or indoors....kind of low energy for a Punch...not bad, though... Lawn Boy: this song seems to follow me around like the plague...luckily I spaced out for a few seconds, and by the time I zoned back in it was over. Ya Mar: psyched to hear it, but this version was kind of weak. After the funky Albany version and the nice, mellow Providence version, this was sort a let-down....I guess my expectations are getting too high. AC/DC Bag: not much of a segue...standard, rocking Bag...back to the basics...Fishman kicks it into double time. old ending, as well....I like both Bags and it's nice to see they mix up the funk Bag and the kick-ass bag... Relax: eh....kind of chill, not too great....intro sort of sounds like a MLB jam. BOAF: nice, I can see BOAF sort of turning into the same level as a Character Zero, rocking closer-type song. Of course, it could also turn into a jamming monster...this one was the former...but it didn't close Gyute: surprised to hear this early, but it was nice....perfectly played, only a small flub by Trey... Possum: still no signals...I miss the Simpsons....oh well, standard Possum....rocking way to close the set... Nothing really too noteworthy in this set. Bathtub was pretty good, AC/DC Bag was good...Gyute was well-played...overall a 4.0 SET TWO: when it gets dark...the jams come out. Sun set 'round 8:00-ish..only two sets left Down w/Disease - not much of a surprise...but nice, standard type I Disease jamming, started going places, then sort faded off into... Piper - after a big Piper kick in the fall, I hadn't listened to this song much lately...but it still kicks ass...nice build, high energy....short jam after second lyrics segment I believe, then standard ending Ghost - what the hell did they do to this song??!!! Please, please, please bring the old ghost back. Why aren't you slapping and funking it up in the intro to this Mike? When I heard they added an intro to this song, I figured it would have lots of potential...there's no doubt in my mind....old Ghost...good....new ghost bad...maybe I"m just overreacting, but I do like the old arrangement much better. The jam out of this wasn't bad, but I was still in shock at the new arrangement..there was a pretty intense glowstick war during this...different feel from the Slave one the night before, but not nearly as good.. Fluffhead - ahhhh, redemption...I love Fluff...perfectly played...it's amazing how well they play this, considered how rarely they play it. Circus - nice placement...good break...slow songs are always a must after Fluffhead Wading - at first I was like...ugghh another slow song...but I actually enjoyed this...it was only my second or third time hearing this song and my first time live. Did they rework it? I think I heard someone mention something about that....anyways, cool song, although not the best placement. Sexual Healing - ahhh, the beautiful notes of HYHU to get Fishman off his kit....they kepy teasing Fishman with it like they did at Alpine two years ago...I was hoping for a Bike...apparently, we were close to getting a Terrapin...but Sexual Healing was hilarious!!! "Ahh, the sounds of love." and a vacuum solo...nice. Antelope - woohoo!!!!! Rocking Antelope...the outro wasn't as funked out and jammed like the fall versions, but it was nice to hear.... Great set...good jams...not quite as good as the previous nights second sets, but good nonetheless...a 7.5. THIRD SET..I was really far back for this set, kind of a neat view of the stage, but the sound wasn't the best. Sabotage - YES!!! As a big Beasties fan, I was psyched to ehar this (I'll compare real Beasties to Phish Beasties after I see them in Worcester tonight). Trey actually did a surprisingly good job with this one...and the bass line just rules... 2001 - IMHO, aside from Chris's lights, this was kind of weak. just sort of dragged on...Trey was doing some interesting noodling... Wilson - surprising choice after a 2001 - again, kind of low energy. this may be because I was so far back and really tired.... Mango - YES! I was psyched to hear this and it got me out of my groggy state...well played, I was just excited to hear it after so long (hershey '96) Character Zero - standard, rocking Zero....nicely played Bittersweet Motel - while this song was ok at Starlake, I can see it getting old fast...especially if they keep playing it as often as they do... WMGGW - nice surprise...great choice, completely unexpected...well played, nice soloing by Trey. Average set...good song choices, but no real jams....a 4.5 ENCORE Harry Hood - I was really tired at this point and just wanted to go home....I sat down and enjoyed it....was great, might have been better if I was closer up....kind of expected too as an encore.. Fireworks - amazing fireworks show....possibly better than the Boston 4th of July ones....the Baby Elephant Walk was great too... I wanted to run up and see who was playing the horn, but it was too late and I was too tired.. Sorry if this review kind of fizzled at the end, but the third set is sort of a blur as I was exhausted and drained and don't really remember much of it. anyways, take it easy everyone and send me comments if you want to mchoh@emerald.tufts.edu. and no, I don't have Wheel tapes yet. -Mark
My friends and I were pumped for the second night of the wheel. They hadn't played one Gamehenge Song during the first night and we prayed to the powers that be that Trey would finally set it loose after three years. Of course he didn't, but it was still a great show. Set I: I have never been that into Ginseng, especially after having seen nearly ten of them, but then came the Bathtub, and that was incredible. Now it wasn't as amazing as the one that they played at the Went, but it was up there. The Punch You and the Lawn Boy were pretty standard. I was truly moved by the Birds of a Feather, having missed the Island Tour. Trey kept taking the jam higher and higher and no one knew where he was going to peak out at. The Possum was fine, but I was a little dissapointed that they repeated it from Vernon. Set II: Now we're cooking! The Down With Disease was a power house. Trey busted out so loud that you could barely hear Mike's opening bass licks. I wasn't prepared for the new Ghost and I don't think the band was either. They screwed up the bridge, but recovered nicely. Now the Fluffhead was where it was at. I must have been lifted ten feet off the ground. The end jam was out of this world!! It beat out Red Rocks '93. I cannot possibly describe how amazing this Fluff was in words. The Sexual Healing was funny as always, but then came the Antelope and the crowd went nutzo. Everyone was dancing their skulls off while the band raged through the song. Set III: The crowd at Maryland went crazy for the Sabatage and the crowd at the Wheel enjoyed it just as much. I could hear the front of the crowd singing the lines of Destiny, but the band refussed to unleash that beast. I felt that the 2001 was one of the best I had ever seen. It destroyed all of the New Years versions, and the intro was one of the most funkified things Phish has unraveled. Dare I saw that the Wilson was actually good, and Character Zero always rages. The whole audience stared in awe as Trey took While My Guitar Gently Weeps to a whole new level. E: We all knew that it was time for the Hood and the glow sticks. The band did not dissapoint. It was one of the most beautiful things to enter my ears. Beautifully built up and it unleashed a tremendous amount of energy by the end of it. Then the fuse was lit, the fireworks went off, the elephant blew water and smoke, and the band busted out with Baby Elephant walk as the creature was moved throughout the audience. Then it was time to hop in the car and drive a eight hours that night. All in all not another great weekend up in Maine. It always makes going back to school that much harder.
First off, I was a little disappointed int he atmosphere. In between the first and second set I decided to lay down and check out the sky because last year they had all kinds of crazy gliders and planes flying around. Well at first, nothing then a prop plane began writing int he sky. Cool, began to wonder what it was going to write. Well when it was done it said "dew it" followed by the pepsi symol. This irritated me because I felt phish asked us to come to maine to be away from it all and form a little community for the weekend to enjoy in fun, friends, and good music. I will really get pissed if the event turns into an advertising frenzy for the neo-hippie market share with companys thinking they could sell to this market by putting tye-dye on an ice-tea bottle or some crap like that. Anyway on to the show. Set I: Ginseng Sul- Always love this song, the people around me were really getting down which makes the song more even more fun. Ho-down, arms swinging, spinning people you've never met before, tons of fun.(standard version) Bathtub- lost my shit, the opening notes from page always send chills down my back, and he really pounded them out. Nice long Gin, about 5 or 6 'drops' at the end. Well done. Rift- Did not think I'd here this one this weekend, An absolutly perfect rift which took me all over the place. I thought it was well placed in the set. This song seemd to continue with a theme of older songs that they busted out the entire weekend. PYITE- Let the shit fly. No matter how many times I hear this song I love it to death. If you can't move during that intro I think there are problems. I had a fun time watching a crazy little phan act out the whole song. It was fun. Standard version. Lawn boy- page the ham, so touching Ya Mar- standard version, treys solo at the end was nice, but shorter than what I am used to hearing. Trey also changes the lyrics a little, to relate to the event but forgot what they were. AC/DC- this in combo with yamar got the place going wild. Standard version. "Mr palmer is concerned......" Relax- This song did it for me. I felt like I was floating, literally, I was looking around in absolut peace and tranquility as trey assured us that "the world would suck us in" and I felt there was nothing we could do about it. Absolutly marvoulous. BOAF- Knew we would hear this one, timing was the question. I loved this new song, kind of reminds me of maze structure. Great lyrics, not too crazy about the intro though, always reminds me of corini. This version was way better then Nassau, the only other version I saw Guyute- Could here this one coming, trey strummed the first few notes then stopped. Then they picked it up. Standard version, great as always. Possum- Very excited to here it but the version really wasn't the best I've heard. I am a big possum fan though and am kind of picky on lengtgh and speed. This one was about average in both. SET II\ DWD- they came out and you could hear the low base, signifying DWD, and it was, nice jam, came out of it. Timing couldn't been better, the sun was almost down and tep was perfect. It was such a surreal setting. Trey had that smile on when he sang "a thousand barfoot children outside dancing on my lawn" piper- the second dwd closed out you could hear the build up of this one begin. Was as long as merriweather but was still satisfying Ghost- after that crappy ghost last year (imo) I feel the did justice to this one. The intro is more funky, and mellow. The jam was a little shorter though. Fluffhead- awe yeah, those opening notes just send me, and you know what is about to come, FLUFFHEAD!!! Almost Flawless, fluffhead, I followed all the journeys in my head with my eyes closed, only opening them when I knew the lights would be bright, and just smiled. Circus- I don't know about anyone else, but I love this song, was well place after fluff. Love trey solo in this. Trey even paused before the solo and then kicked it in a la smashing pumpkin style. (began wondering if they picked that up from watching them play live, aledegly trey and fish were spotted at a smashing pump concert in texas, mmmmmmmmmmm) WITVS- usually don't like this song, but was very relaxing, I do love the vocal arrangment on this. HYHU-SEX-HYHU- SAME AS MERRIWEATHER, suscpcious minds of 98? I love when fishman hides and then pops out again. When he came to the front of the stage he iontroduced the band which I don't think has been done in a while. Antelope- everyone knew they wouldn;t end on this note, and when they opend up those infamous notes the place was going wild. This antelope wasn't the craziest, but definately good, no crazy change ups, just when they went to 'marco esquandolas' trey introduce bob weaver agian. SET III Sabotage-I thought they would open with 2001, but sabatage (again) Hey I love the song and the beasties, but we just saw it in MD. I thought a one time playing of this was appropriate, but I guess they couldn't pass up playing it for 70,000 +. It was fun, but lets not make it part of the rotation boys. 2001- game time, no way were they going to top the wents last year but this one was pretty darn good. Nice long spacey jam before they brought it back one more time. Wilson- haven't heard it in some time. Once again keeping with that older song theme. Pausse at the end was super long, then BOOM'- can you still have any fun!!1 Mango Song- nice treat, well done, people seemed fairly recieptive toward it. Character 0- wierd spot for it IMO, standard version, I actually heard people groan when they started to play it, it had a nice groove to it. Bittersweet- nice cover (neil young I believe) this songs, even though written by someone else fits nice into phish repitore. Well done, but odd place for it. Guitar- I was waiting for something bigger then Guitar. I really wanted to hear YEM or something maybe new cover considering the streak they have been on. I was even actually a little irratated listening to guitar, but it did sound nice. I had a feeling they would end with this. Encore- Harry Hood- nice long hood, page fucked a little with the keys in the begining. I honestly thought this was coming after the slave the previous night. the drum intro and everything was there but then they just stopped it. Nice build up. I still don't understand why people throw glowsticks at the band members. It obvilously pissed them off in philly cause they never finished the hood. I thouhgt the glow sticks were to create that beautiful display of lights like what happend during the slave. Of well lets just ry to keep them in the audience. At the close of Harry, the lit a fuse, which travel across the stage, across the audince, at to a large elephant, which stood on its hind legs and shot water in the air. It then tunred around and walked out, while the band played baby elephant walk. It was pretty cool, and quite amusing. And that was the show, I don't know what I was expecting but I felt a little left short. They were fantastic though, and the second day left a good feeling till the next time. See yoou in Vegas greg
Sunday at Limestone was probably my greatest Phish experience yet. After a somewhat disappointing Saturday, we were all sure that Sunday was going to be huge. How huge, no one really knew. Things started off normal enough. Ginseng Sullivan was a good starter. Much better than Mike's the day before. Frankly, Mike's was awful on Saturday. They played it with no feeling at all. Ginseng kind of let them ease into the day. Well, I was expecting a mellow first set that would ultimately lead into a huge finale. I was wrong. That was the best first set I've ever heard. Gin was great, PYITE was very good AC/DC was also good. I was really impressed with Birds of a Feather. Although it sounds a bit too much like Llama for me I thought they played it super well. They really raised the energy level for that one. Guyute was sweet and Possum ended the set with a bang. Everyone kind of looked at eachother after the set was over thinking, 'how will they top that?'. Well, they did. Set 2 started right where set 1 left off. DwD was a great opener, reminiscent of day 2 set 2 at the Great Went. Piper was great and it was the best Ghost I ever heard. It was a lot faster and a bit funkier than I've heard in the past. Fluffhead was incredible, definitely the best song I'd heard all weekend to that point. Circus and Velvet were placed perfectly in the set. Nice and mellow, kind of brought everyone back to earth for a while. I was close to tears after that. Fishman brought everyone back with Sexual Healing. It was great. I heard it the week before down in Maryland and was hoping that I'd hear it again. Antelope was the highlight of the weekend. I've been waiting for a long time for that and I wasn't disappointed. Antelope was huge, a great way to end an incredible set. The 3rd set was very good too. Sabatoge started it off with a bang and 2001 was more lively than the one's I've heard lately. Wilson was good although the crowd sounded somewhat lethargic when chanting out 'Wilson' at the beginning of the song. Mango was great as was the rest of the show. While My Guitar Gently Weeps was a great way to end the set. They played it with a lot of feeling and emotion. The Encore was great. Hood's always good to hear and they played it well. I had been on an anti Hood kick for a while (since 12/30/97) so it was good to hear a great one again. The elephant walk thing was funny, but who wanted it to end? Overall, Sunday was incredible. I can't wait to get some tapes. My only complaint of the weekend was the glowstick wars. It seems like any time they go into an extended jam people have to start throwing their sticks. It's bad enough to throw them in the crowd, but people have got to stope throwing them at the band. Looking forward to Vegas. Take it easy Jayson Tonkon
After a complete exhausting 6 hours of music the day before and a beautiful Sunday, I was more pumped for this show then the previous two. I have no idea why, it's just a personal feeling that I woke up with. As a whole I think the 16th was the better of the two shows. Each show had it's highlights and even though none of the sets were as tight as the 2nd set of the 15th, this show had it's own treats and unusual occurances and a few personal firsts. Set 1 GINSENG--To Open??? Very suprised to hear this one as the first tune. Then again, if they could open a show with MY OLD HOME PLACE, then why not this one since they are similar tunes. I'm not a fan of the country tunes to open a show, but then on the other hand they are good tunes to warm up to and settle into the show mode. I liked this tune a lot more when it was rare and acoustic (ala '93). Played too often these days. I'd rather here MOHP or MMGAMOIO, but not to open a show. BATHTUB--I don't call tunes because I don't really care what's played as long as it's played well, but I knew this was coming and was not upset in the least. I love Gins, they danceable, singable and most of all they can trail into a variety of directions. RIFT--I think it's back. Maybe the boys missed this one and are bringing it back into the rotation. The 3rd one in 18 months and all this summer. Played in Vernon, and it was still fun to hear again. One of those songs that when not played for a while you learn to appreciate more. Played well. PYITE--Another song that seems to be always the same but is still welcome. Being played quite frequent the past year. The beginning builds with that rockish-technoish beat that had everyone on their feet and pumped. One of those songs that's way better live then on tape. Not exceptional, just solid. LAWN BOY--was.....Lawn Boy. Another song thats fun to see and not hear. Page does his crooner style lounge singing. The thing I like most is that it's a quickie. YA MAR--I just don't get sick of this song. I catch it all the time and love it. I think I have a soft spot for the Mike tunes. I don't know why but I like all his songs (Train Song not included). This Ya Mar was the weakest I've heard, but it was good and I liked hearing it mid-set as opposed to it's usual early set spot. AC/DC BAG--We could tell it was going to be another epic set that just went on and on. Bag's another song I don't get sick of. The ultimate fast paced build-up tune. This one was just that. It went on and on and on and on, and was the highlight of the set (to this point) RELAX--First time seeing it, though I've heard it on the spring tapes. I'm numb on this one. I see potential but it still needs work. I like it better then ROGET. I was hoping for Bird Of a Feather. BIRDS....FEATHER--Another first for me, and man I dig this song. The best of the new one's ('98 tunes). Fast, with a nice jam segment and catchy lyrics. This is a keeper for a long time. Every year it seems that one new song represents the year. In '97 it was Ghost & Guyute, '96--Theme From The Bottom, '95--Free, '94--Simple & Sample, and so on. Get used to this one. GUYUTE--Another favorite of mine. Looking forward to the new album to hear how they record this one. Is always the same length, but is an epic song that in my opinion is the best one they play. Watching Trey's hands move during the body of the song justifies that he's among the elite players. POSSUM--Played in Vernon. Glad to hear that Guyute wasn't the closer. Nothing too fancy about this Possum, just solid and danceable. **A great set, very consistent. No low points that I could think of. Even Relax was a good choice in this set** Set 2 DWD--A song that can go anywhere at any time. Played quite often, but who cares, when you play a song this well, it deserves to be played a lot. This is another example of a song that started simple and has developed into a monster.....a friendly happy monster. PIPER--People seemed to be mixed on this song. I love it. It simple is a jam with words thrown in. I love how it builds to the orgasmic point where you can't find your balance and seem to fall over your neighbors (at least that's what happened to me). On a cool night, I was sweating big time. GHOST--My first time hearing this newer slower version and to be honest, I like the old funkier version a hell of a lot more. This one is more album friendly, but man, why did they change it. I really didn't like this one, but then again I could have liked it if I wasn't spoiled and wrapped up in the '97 versions. Go back, Go Back!!!! FLUFFHEAD--I didn't expect this one. I was thinking a short and sweet one. Glad I was wrong. I'm a true FLUFF-Head. I got off on this tune everytime I see it. Played tight and the ending seemed to go one longer then usual (but I could be wrong about that). CIRCUS COMES--I hate this song, and I don't understand why they play it so much. True, Trey sounds great on it, but I don't understand why they dig it so much. I was let down by this. VELVET SEA--Two slow one's in a row. What's up with that. Usually I wouldn't be too happy about that, but this was an exception. This is one Page led song that I'd love to see more regularly. I've been wanting to hear this one since they started it. Glad to see it didn't get lost. I was psyched when they pulled it out earlier in the tour (the first since last summer), and was glad to hear it. I think the lyrics are great, and the harmonies are even better. Why did they hold it back for a year??? If they would have played this and not Circus the flow to the set would have been stronger. Most people didn't know what the song was, and understandable. Kind of reminds me of a mix between Slave & Bouncin'. A built up jam to repeated lyrics. SEXUAL HEALING--I love when Fish takes the mic and was expecting it tonight. And I was expecting this song. After a long HYHU intro where the other three kept it going much to Fish's dismay. Fish introduced the band and himself as Bob Weaver. His voice sucks, but we all love it. He provides that comical essence which was what got many people into the band before many caught on. Keeping songs like this rare is a good thing, as long as they frequent them more then every two years. Glad to see Henrietta back at the mic. They did a HYHU extro where Fish did his old playing up to the crowd. Fun stuff ANTELOPE--It was either this or Hood. Better choice considering there was another set coming. Both tunes are staples in the repertoire and we all know it, and we all love it. Just can't get bored of songs that rock like this. A solid Antelope. Not as good as some, but better then others. **A set that was a throw back to the early 90's. A few songs, a jumpy pace that goes up and down, and Fish at the mic preluding the powerful finshing tune.** Enjoyable, but definitely seemed to be the most mixed reaction of all the sets in the two days SET 3 SABATOGE--I was wondering when they'd repeat the summer breakout tunes. Glad it was this one. I'm not a huge Beaties fan, but I dig some of their stuff and this song is one of them. Fast and furious and it seemed that everyone around me was a Beasties fan 'cause they went nuts. Great choice to open the set. 2001--I'm sick of this song. It's cool to see and Chris showcases his talents. I like the peak parts of the song, but it's too long and there's only so many delay loops one can take. I liked the song better when it was in it's middle stage (like in '95-96). I just get bored after a while. WILSON--I was expecting to hear this open the set, and was more surprised to see it come out of 2001. It's becoming rarer to see a Wilson these days and it's a great crowd pleaser. This was longer then usual before the final part of song. I'm not sure if they've been doing this a lot or if this was rare, but the pre-BLACK..BOOM part was intense. One of the highlights of the set....WILSON??? Yup!!! MANGO--Didn't expect to get it so late in the show. I like this song a lot. Glad to see that it's still being played on occasion. However this was a weak version. The vocals were tight, but maybe because Wilson was so powerful and the crowd seemed to be lagging a bit that this seemed weak. CHARACTER ZER0--Played way too often. Slow down on this one boys. At least they seem to be experimenting with it in different placements. It rocks hards and gets everyone going. A good way to get the crowd back into it. BITTERSWEET--I expected this one some time tonight. I was thinking as the first encore. Nice and short. Keep this one and get rid of Circus. Not too much to say about this one because nothing really happens aside from the great harmony. WMGGW--Whooaaaa!!! I was expecting Hood (as were most people) and was glad I was wrong. The first since Europe (February) '97 and my second (10/28/95). I think they do such a great job on this one. It builds and they have a Beatle sound to it with a major kick in the ass to the original. Keep this one around and nix ADITL. Great closer, though I was still expecting Hood to follow. **A powerful set with a nice mix of the old and new and the return of Guitar Gently Weeps. Better the then day 2 of last year. One thing that they hadn't done yet was the traditional fireworks (on day 1 of the past two years) and aside from the candle set, no gimmick this year.** ENCORE HOOD--No surprise here, I was expecting fireworks to accompany the song, but that didn't happen. Before the encore the stagehands hoisted some sort of cable over the stage. We didn't know what it was. During Hood, the glowstick light show was expected and did not dissapoint (it really looks cool, and the crowd does its part). After hood Trey and Page went to stage right and lit a torch from the continuously burning candle from day before and lit the cable thing over the stage. It sparked from end to end (kind of dull) and eventually made it's way to the elephant halfway through the crowd on the stage left side. The elephant blew smoke (or something out of it's trunk). This was all accompanied by continuous delay loops and the ineveitable fireworks show and Fish belting out some notes on his trombone (man he sucks). This was all fun, after a solid hood. It had a circus feel to it. BABY ELEPHANT WALK--I knew they played this before, but I couldn't place my finger on it (thanks to the setlist footnotes I now know). They played this well and it went on and on. Wasn't really a song being played as opposed to accompanying music to the festivities going on around us. Overall, an amazing experience. They truly put on a great show. It's definitely worth the drive no matter where you are. The shows are great but they are only a partial element in what makes these festivals unique. If you can, get there, you won't regret it. See ya in Vegas!!! Ari Petroff (dogman@istar.ca)
Summer Reviews
Andy's Phish Page