New Years Thoughts

Here is where I'll post people's thoughts on the recently completed 1997 Holiday Tour Run.

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Note: My New Year's Eve thoughts can be found on: Andy's Page

Photo By Smiler Grogin
The Phish Tank
I don't get the negetivity towards New Year's.
I felt it was like climbing a mountain:

All major peaks in the show (Limb by Limb, Fire, The whole second set, 
2001) were sections in the upper peak. The very apex being the 
INCREDIBLE Weekapaug, and the 2001. Instead of steadily descending, you 
started to fall out of control. Tweezer was the feeling you get when the 
disorientation sets in (hey, I'm falling!) Maze was the sheer panic, and 
your Physical body slamming into the rubble on the way down (AHHHHH!), 
Caspian was submission (weeeel I guess  I'm gonna die!) The final notes 
of Loving cup was your final slamming into an outcrop (Uh, ow.) New 
York, New York was the confusion, and non-linearity of your unconcious 
(where the hell am I?) TweezerPrise is the dislodging of the rock, and 
the final notes are the crashing into the ground below, and the end of 
the concert, leaving you with a great sense of discontnuity, and 

In simpler terms: We needed a cool down set after that Weekapaug!


I Thought the Emotional rescue was the best and most uniqe and original cover since Ween. I PHUCKIN LOVE EM.
For myself, my brother, and my fiancee, the New Year's run @ MSG was spectacular, gorious and cosmic. You see, in early September of 97, my brother t-boned a car that ran a yield sign, and Scott was riding his motorcycle to boot. He flipped over the top of the car, landed on his head on the other side, and somehow broke both bones in his lower left leg. Then, on September 12, I was struck from behind @ 45+ mph by a 76 Wagoneer while walking the dog with my fiancee. I lost my spleen and 4 feet of my small intestine in emergency surgery brought about by the impact. Amazingly, I didn't break any bones, but I had my entire blood volume replaced. So, to celebrate life, love and the cosmic mystery we like to call the universe, we all flew to New York from Boise, Idaho for New Year's with the greatest band ever. The vibes were phantastic. Thank you Phish, thank you Phans, and thank you thank you!
Well like everyone else who saw the shows in NYC and even the second set at Landover, which is not getting mentioned at all, I am so glad I am a Phish fan. To me the highlight of the four shows was the 29th. I love both sets and the magic of the experience that night will forever be with me. I had been waiting for a YEM all tour and I finally got it after my first Bowie of the tour and the reappearance of Fluffhead in the first set. Coming out of a glorious Theme are you kidding me. The next night started off great with Sneaking Sally but for some reason the rest of that set did not do much for me. The Stash was inverted or something which I dug. Second set was mammoth in terms of sizew and the jamming in Bag was great but the Harpua while amusing seemed to lack in the se3nse that I think the band wanted a lot more crowd involvement than they got. The Izabella fired me up and the Hood was a dream but I was agitated by the fact that the glowsticks kept getting thrown up on stage instead of throughout the audience. Guyute was difficult to listen to with a degree of sloppiness I have not seen in the other versions of the tour. The Encore up to the FRankenstein was great but once again people threw the glowsticks back up on stage and the participation was weak. Come on People! Wanted a Divided, Reba, or Forbin's MOckingbird but instead we got a bungled 3rd set Maze? And Prince Shwaggian Loving Cup NYNY and Tweeprise to end the year? Why? First set that night rocked but second set outside of a now frequently played Timber Ho! MIkes and raging Weekapaug was sort of slow with Piper Circus and Roses are Free(an ok but not great tune IMHO). I would have loved to hear a Free as well but oh well. So many great memories outside of being searched during the first set break on NYE and losing two beers and two pipes in a 45 second time period. Doh! Awaiting arrival of Fall tour tapes anxiously. Peace, Cooper ----------------------------------------------------------------- Savage, Cooper Garthwaite Vanderbilt University Email: cooper.g.savage@Vanderbilt.Edu
I realize that New Year's Eve is now two weeks past, but I think it's taken that long to let things settle in and come to the reality of what was experienced in New York City. I was fortunate enough to catch all three shows, and I am certainly grateful that I did not miss a beat. I've read some other comments and talked to some other phans, and I'll agree that the 29th was not even close to what the 30th and 31st were, but I completely expected that. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to hear an outrageous Antelope, a pumpin' Possum, and a quality first-night YEM. I immediately started thinking, "OK, what are they going to bust out on New Year's?" I was thrown for a loop right off the bat on Tuesday with Sneakin' Sally!!! And the rest of that first set completely killed me. I turned to my friend after A Day in the Life had ended and said, "That's it, right? The show's over. We can go home now right?" Not even. Just the fact that they hadn't played Sneakin' Sally for nearly 10 years wasn't enough, they had the nerve to go back into the damn song some 4 hours after starting the show!!! Thank God for glow sticks! Thank you Mr. Miner! By the time the "Show of all Shows" (as far as I'm concerned) was over, I was completely spent. I then turned to my friend and said, "I have no idea what they're going to play tomorrow!" (New Year's) And you know what? It doesn't even matter anymore. Titles of songs these days are sometimes meaningless. When they're jamming Ghost, or Black-Eyed Katy, or Tweezer these days, it's simply Phish. The best music on the planet (and sometimes I'm not convinced they're from this planet). On New Year's Eve I was able to join a few friends in a sky-box before the show, which was nice, but not where I wanted to be when the lights went down. So I made the long, arduous trip to my seat caddy-corner to Page's boards in the 100's. From my perspective, the MSG security and the scene all 3 nights could not have been better. Granted, things were a little tighter on New Year's, but I never felt the presence of security or anything but a cool, safe environment. Emotional Rescue was a surprise, but just about everything is these days. Immediately I started thinking I'd hear Loving Cup, but that's when I get myself into trouble. I shouldn't even care what they play. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and I will listen. The projection ball was a great addition to the show, and I caught Trey looking up at it throughout the show. Although the sets may be considered a little short, I think that comes from the treat we received the night before. The openers and closers of the sets were right on. I stood still for a little bit during Fire, and the whole Garden was bouncing. This just does not happen when the Knicks play. The Timber Ho was a great way to open the 2nd, and I don't even want to get into what Weekapaug was doing to me. The balloons that fell at New Year's were completely insane, but I started feeling sorry for the band because they were getting buried by them, and couldn't get into Tweezer as I would have liked. I wouldn't be surprised if they cut out the balloons next year. Then finally, Loving Cup!!! What a way to close out the set, and as far as I was concerned, the Holiday Run. Oh, what a beautiful world! I'm still waiting for these damn tapes!!!! Eric Sommers
Myself being a dedicated follower of the band for quite a while now and having seen so many shows I lost count, I do agree that us fans sometimes do take the guys too seriously.Just sit back and enjoy the fantastic moments of music that Phish gives us. That's just what I did when I went to the shows on the 30th and 31st at MSG. While I can'talk abuot every moment because that would take too long- they were all too good; I will say that although the 31st was wonderful, the 30th had to be the ultimate highlight fo me. My pals and I, along with a packed and loud ass Garden, didn't stop groovin all night. We were treated to a Sneakin' Sally opener, and what a delightful treat. The rest of the 1st set was just fine for me, as they belted out an above average Punch you in the EYe, a hammering Chalkdust and a beautiful Day in the Life. The second set, however, was one of the best sets I've ever seen or heard.A Jamming AC-DC Bag was followed by another one of my favorites, Mcgrupp. As the OOM-PAH-PAH's began Harpua, a huge smile came to my face. Trey's "Lost in Space" was a nice breather and what a funny sight to see and hear Tom doing the 500 miles song. The rest of the set made my year. Back into Harpua, a fierce version of Isabella and another great version of Harry HOod. I thought now it would be over and we would wait a few minutes for teh encores to begin. But, boy was I wrong, and happily wrong. A song that's quickly catching on with me and becoming one of my favorites, My Soul was next, followed by a poignant Sleeping Monkey. But wait, there was more, Guyute ended the set and we could hardly catch our breathes waiting for the encores, which were fantastic. Carini was a great delight, as was the new Black Eyed Katy instrumental. A Sneakin Sally reprise and a stellar Frankenstein complete withe Fish on vaccum ended what was one of the best night's of my life. On the way home on the train, singing Sleeping Monkey (home on the train) I glanced at my friend Brian who was attending his first show. He looked at me and said "what a band"- I cuoldn't agree more.
i thought that the scene @ MSG was really nice, it was really cold crapy weather, but the goo balls made it worth it! :) I thought that the first four openers on the 29th were huge! good start to a 3 night run. the antelope! what an amazing antelope, i've seen antelope ZZYXYZ knows how many times (he he he) and that was an excellent one. the rest of the show was ok, possum is always fun to hear, i couldn't place a name for the blues brothers thing they played @ that time, nice little twist. It was also nice to hear tube, i've noticed that they've been playing it a lot more lately. what can i say about the 30th? awesome show, absolutely nuts! at the time i didn't realize that that was the first sneakin' since 88, but i still boogied down hard core. i always enjoy a PYITE, it's such an energy filled song that makes you want to rage all night long. i won't say much about the second set just because it's just too hard to explain, and it takes a while. then the 31st. after the show on the 30th i was expecting this super huge massive nuts phish show. my friend got me and another friend stubbed down to the floor, which was great! i felt left out because i didn't get a back stage pass and literally everyone around me had one :( It was a weak show i thought. the security by us was sort of tough, they threw out a sister because she was puffing! that was terrible, but life goes on... the piper, piper has to be one of my most favorite new tunes, in detroit they also did a really nice job on it as well, i could never get sick of that tune. i was shocked at the shortness of the sets, and it did look like the band was a little tired. i think phish should do a show on the 27 & 28th, break for the 29th and then do the 30th and 31st, worked real nice for the good ol' dead (sniff sniff). oh well, i'm just more pumped to see phish more now, and hope to make it to nye next year as well. *if you do publish this don't publish this right here. i think that we should have a table for all of the phish net freaks out there, where we can meet, exchange tape lists and puff nuggets (if allowed :)) maybe we netheads can have our own raffle for back stage passes over the net. anyways, i would have liked to have meet you out there andy, i never did stop at the place you were at, just because i couldn't find it. anyways take care kiddo timmy-o
Well, first off thanks to Jeremy Roth (who made the "Chicago Phish Phans" web page) for the ride to New York. And thanks to Andy for the "Holliday Tour rides" section - it really worked out. Got to New York without hitting any traffic and made it to the 12/29 show within plenty of time. The shows have already all been reviewd by so many, so I just want to make a few brief points. First, I had an AMAZING time in NYC. I couldn't find anyone to go with way back when Mail order was due, so i just said "fuck it" and ordered single tickets for all 3 MSG shows. Got hooked up with the ride via Andy's page and stayed with a very nice girl who I'd only met a few times...I made it happen and I didn't feel as if I was alone at all. I truly realized how many people i know just from goling to shows. Ran into the same people over and over again. It felt like seeing a concert at a small bar. It was eerie. Ran into the guys in StrangeFolk, then Andy Bernstein from the Almanac, then Dean Budnick, then the guys we camped next to at Deer creek, then the girl who I bought a guiness off at the Went, then my taper friend i met in Alpine was crazy. Obviously the music was INSANE, but you already all know that. New years was sooo great i got very emotionally moved. Dancing right next to the tapers section, there was just such a sense of community. I couldn't have imagined being anywhere else. I'm glad that the security took the 2nd and 3rd sets off, (on the floor anyway). Happy New year everyone...and if a guy comes up to you at a set break in the future and offers you a free orange, that's me ...and no they're not laced.PEACE Jeff Waful
First, I'd like to start off by saying that I just read a review from probably the most stuck up phan in the world. His name was Charles Dirkson and he reviewed the New Years Run which is great, but man is he on a high horse. What the heck is this crap about contextualizing what song you are saying is excellent? Who the fuck cares? People can say what they want about any song they hear. What they think is an excellent version of a song may be different from what you think. Don't tell people what to think! Secondly, does this guy think he is the master of music perfection or what? Virtually every song to him that was played on the New Years Run sucked because Trey played a flat instead of a sharp or Page couldn't move his fingers fast enough for him - or some lame-ass reason besides those. You get the picture. Lighten up my man. Phans come to the show to have a good time - not to tell Mike Gordon how to tune his bass! So what if Trey makes a mistake or two on a song, we're still having fun aren't we? The music is what we are here for, not a perfectionist class or something. Thirdly, stop using that 'imo' thing. It's annoying! Isn't that the name of Sean Ono Lennon's band? About the only thing he said that I agreed with was concerning that Roses are Free song that was played on the last night. I thought it sounded good, I guess because Phish played it, but it really does sound like a stupid song. Who are Ween anyway? Ugggggh! Anyway, I for one, didn't bring my gradebook and red pen to listen for mistakes in certain songs at the New Years Run. I instead brought myself and some other pals and a good vibe - and HAD AN EXCELLENT TIME! Every show was great. I guess I'd say either New Years or 12/28 were the worst. New Years may edge it out, only for the reason that it had three sets. Is 12/30/97 going to be a classic show to have on tape or what?! They just pumped out some classics and really had fun with them. Harpua has to be one of the highlights f0r me. I haven't heard that Proclaimers song in a while. One would think that if Phish played Harpua these days, they would play a Duncan Sheik or Hanson song. Nice surprise though, I like it. Is Trey a classic storyteller or is it just me. That Will Robinson think had me in stitches! They have to play Harpua more in the future, or at least play Gamehendge. Trey's narration is always fun to hear. Anyway, what's with Phish three set shows with the short sets? We also saw the same thing (sort of) at the Went. The second and third sets were rather weak, I thought. The Mike's and Weekapaug (a sick one at that) saved the second, but there wasn't really a highlight of the third, except for maybe Tweezer which sounded purty cool. Is this the fourth year in a row now that Phish isn't going to do a spring tour? This stinks! No Phish for 6 months! Maybe I'll try to get obsessed with another band in the meantime, like Leftover Salmon or Moe for instance. Ominous Seapods anyone? Well, I enjoyed the tour and can't wait til summer. Phish is grand! Happy 1998 everyone!
these are my thoughts as i remember them i think, 28th--nice warm up for msg--lotsa energy, long first set. curtain!! solid set. drinking lotsa cuddysark. good people in my hallway. second set--jazzy simple and unfinished scent. slave!!!!!!!! make the drive home to manhattan. make good time on 95N. 29th--first set, again lotsa energy. fluff, dirt, ANTELOPE, really nice!!! 2nd set--the boys were right on! just remember smiling entire set in awe sitting two rows off the floor on pages side, drinking margaritas and the jaeger i snuck in snapple bottles. hang after show and go back to my apartment downtown. new york rules for the slack security. 30th--hung over. slept till three. go to the show. first set, short. thinking the boys are saving much for the second set. and yes they did!!!! just them having fun on stage and me sharing in the groove, (wait thats manana), oh yeah, ist set opener--sneaking salley!!! not played since 88. one of my fav tapes of all time has it, (actually when i was backstage at second night at philly in fall, i kidded around during the second set and turned to my friend who works at their label and said i needed a sneaking sally)--too weird. then they give us the reprise. i cant wait for new years. thanks for the people who hung the guyute sign!!! 31st--happy new year--they are tired and so am i. i feel they have lost it tonight, but the mikes is nice. a festivus show. champagne easily snuck in. i'm in bed by 2 am. i cant wait for europe!!!!!
I was able to catch all three of the MSG shows and thought that the run as a whole was pretty good. The first night opened with NICU, which was a surprise to me. It turned out to be a good opener although the band cautiously meandered through the tune. I was then extremely surprised with Golgi being played as the second song of the evening. The tune was light, easy, well played but nothing special. However, the crowd went completely nuts during this rendition which brought a super surge of high energy to the show. The band must have really fed off the high energy as Crossroads absolutely blew my mind. From the first note to the last everything about this song was fantastic. A special mention must go to Trey who was REALLY on the money, spewing out unbelievable guitar riffs which put Clapton to shame. This was followed by CTB, Train Song & Theme from the Bottom, three songs which I am not a particular fan of. However, I did enjoy certain aspects of CTB, I felt that musically the song had some interesting and creative moments. Theme from the Bottom, I thought was really good (probably the best I have heard), as the jam at the end of the tune hit some really chaotic and musically demanding moments. Fluffhead was good, but not great. This song has really not been given true justice by the band since 93/94. This was followed by Dirt and then Antelope which was very good. The extended ending of Antelope proved to climax with high energy and ended the set with the audience waiting in anticipation. Down with Disease opened the second set and I thought it was a pretty standard version. The transition into David Bowie was near brilliant, as the band demonstrated both their musical intelligence and creativity. From a purely musical perspective, I thought there were some really fascinating things going on during the transition. It seemed as though Mike Gordon lead the band through the transition with his subtle yet off the wall bass riffs. David Bowie was well played, yet the band kept a very a conservative edge to this rendition. I must add that a smile came to my face as the band looped into a slick and cool James Bond Jam. Possum was excellent - super upbeat and I couldn't stop dancin'. I haven't heard Possum too many times but I thought this one was really special, especially when the band went into an eccentric blues brothers jam. The heat from Possum extended into Tube which turned out to great and rhythmically creative. I don't know if it was the state the I was in but it felt as though the band was really playing with rhythm and tempo during this tune. Then came YEM and sorry to say it brought down the energy of theentire show. It was as if there was going to be this giant climax and everything just collapsed. The song was played with a lifeless feel, while the vocal jam faded into gloom and died shortly thereafter. The Band then encored Good times, Bad Times. This was the first ime I saw this tune live and I thought it was incredible. The solo that came from Trey was divine in every way. Dec. 30 opened with Sneaking Sally Through The Alley and if I am correct it hasn't been played since 7/24/88 - so talk about surprises!!!! I thought it was really well done and I had a lot of fun listening to this exciting tune. The rest of the first set was really most unimpressive. There were some good moments in Punch You In The Eye and I felt that Chalkdust had some character, but overall it was a bland set. Second Set opened with AC\DC Bag. The song started with ZERO energy. It was slow and uneventful and I feared the second set would be worse than the first(I guess I was mistaken). At the end of AC DC Bag the band began to dive into a really weird but super fun jam which really got MSG on its feet. This high powered musical ingenuity brought on Mc Grupp which I enjoyed although I can't remember too much about it. As Mc Grupp came to a close I had a weird feeling we were about to hear Divided Sky, but was totally taken by surprise by the Oom pa pa of Harpua. I liked Harpua and the funky elements that the band inserted during this energetic rendition. Trey then went into one of his narratives - I found the story to be interesting an creative until I saw the images on the ceiling the following night, at which point i thought the story was kind of cheezy. The story climaxed with Marshall making a traditional visit to the stage. He approached the microphone and the band broke out into Five Hundred Miles. I heard many gripes and criticims of this outside the show that night, but myself I thought it was fun and enjoyed the moment. The only way to explain the rest of the set was that it just KICKED ASS. The Band went back into Harpua which was superb. They jammed into a wonderful and intriguing Isabella. Harry Hood had some moments that were great. The band really explored through this tune in a tight fashion. Each member of the band were in complete symmetry. It was if they were four fingers on one hand. It was not a crazy or an incredibly hardcore hood, but it was just musically really together. Then came My Soul which is a new favourite for me. I just love this song. The tune runs along a standard blues riff but the song carries a tremendous amount of energy whenever it is played. I found this version to be excellent and as I looked up at the bouncing heads around MSG it seemed the crowd was loving it. The set ended with sleeping monkey which is one of my favourites and I don't think I could ever complain about it even if was done poorly. The band returned for the encore and Trey explained that it was 11:50 and that they were supposed to be off by 11:00 - so they would continue to play until New Year's Eve. The Band through 4 encores pleased the crowd for another half hour or so. Carini opened the set of encores with Carini himself (drum tech) making a special appearance at center stage. This was followed by a funky rendition of Black eyed Katie, which has been a spectacular addition to the band's repetoire. the band the n jammed into a sneaking Sally reprise - this took everyone by surprise and the crowd was going insane over this well played reprise. Phish continued to jam away until they hit a brilliant and energetic version of Frankenstein which closed the show. The set was about 2 1/2 hours long and just incredible - definitely one to get on tape!!!! NYE - I was unimpressedwith most of this show. First the light show - I was not impressed with the light show at all - it was basically a giant screensaver at the top of MSG. The Balloons have been done and the drop was not terribly exciting. It seems as though phish has yet been able to get it together and play a truly amazing New Year's show Trey really struggled in the first set. Trey seemed to botch some of the technical riffs found some of the first set songs. Generally, in my opinion if Trey can't get some of the really technical playing down he has a tremendous amount of difficulty coming up with interesting and fluid jam solos. Much of his playing in the first set was jotted and unconnected. The emotional rescue was an interesting opener although the band seemed paralyzed for a while before they could go into any type of real jam in that song. Trey could have done a lot more with the Wah Wah in Wolfman's Brother. The set ended with Sloth and then Fire which were probably the two highlights of the set - but nothing really to rave about. Second set proved to be much improved from the first. I t hought Timber Ho was excellent. The band went into a really good funk jam where some very interesting and enjoyable music took place. Mike's song coming out of Timber Ho was also really good - it was nice to see a good Mike's song I haven't seen one personally in a long time. When the circus Comes to Town followed but I am not really impressed by that tune. The next song was a cover entitled Roses are Free which I thought was really mundane until the end when they started to pick up some energy and jammed straight into Weekapaug. Weekapaug was probably the highlight of the three nights. It was so good that I can't even put it into words. However, I will share this moment with you. During Weekapaug I sat down for a moment just to observe and take everything in. As I sat in my lower bowl seat I could feel the entire venue bouncing up and down. the entire Gardens was shaking - it wasn't like a little tremor - the building was really shaking. The crowd was going nuts everyone was dancing - and I sat and just enjoyed the tremendous rattling of MSG as I shared in the Weekapaug Groove. WOW!!!!!! After a long break set three opened with 2001 which I thought was really good. There were some serious funk jams that had me dancing up a storm during that tune. Then disapointment struck with Tweezer. It was a dry version which lacked enthusiasm and musical creativity. It was almost like seeing a Phish cover band play Tweezer. It just wasn't there at all. Maze then followed and it was probably the worst maze I have ever heard. It just had nothing in it and Trey just had a lot of trouble trying to play those really cool guitar parts at the end. Prince Caspian followed and as usual it sounded like every other Prince Caspian. Loving Cup then ended the show which was really good. I may have thought it was good because Tweezer and Maze were so bad. At the time however, I really thought Loving Cup was good. The band seemed to be really tight (the first time all night) and the music they were producing was bright and crisp. The encore NY NY was cheezy and was kind of a rip off for A new Years encore (mind you last years New Year's encore was a real rip off I thought) then came a tweezer reprise that was well played, conservative, short and over before you knew it. All in the 30th was the best show and its second set was by far the best set of music played during the holiday run. David Ellison
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 07:06:48 GMT From: Yance Davis Subject: NYE review First thing I have to do is give kudos to the security at MSG for being So ridiculously lax. Never before have I been to a venue that would let me get two large bottles of champagne in with so little difficulty. I'm generally not too into drinking at the shows, but New Years and champagne just go too well together (and the little shotglasses of it for $5.50 was a little nutty). My seat was up in the 400s, but MSG had fairly decent sound throughout this little run, so it wasn't a problem. Thanks again to all who helped me into the show! First thing I noticed was a huge white semicircle hanging from the middle of the arena covering the black cube which would have video and scores on it were this some sporting event. Small bulges within the hemisphere hinted at balloons, though since they had just done that last year, I wasn't expecting a repeat. In the four corners of the venue were large video projectors aimed at the white area of the ball in the middle. When Emotional Rescue began, the projections began and a huge three-dimensional, computer rendered animation of an "udder ball" appeared on all four sides of the hemisphere. Already, I was seriously envying anyone there who had partaken in hallucinagins, since the visuals were clearly meant to enhance a good trip. Throughout the night other animations popped up with more and more frequency. The first ones all had an evolutionary motif, like small underwater creatures from millions of years ago, swimming in a blue background. After a while though, things from Trey's story the night before began to appear, like olives, steaks and fried eggs (never saw a slim jim tho). One of the MOST irritating things of the night was the people with the laser pointers, aiming the red lights right over the little animations. I mean, here the band had some people go through the trouble of creating these incredible graphics that ebbed and flowed to the music with hundreds of colors, and some asshole is thinking to himself "You know, that would really look better with a red dot on it!" Did anyone else hear Trey say at one point for the people to turn it off? Maybe I was just too pissed at the time, but I swear Trey broke away from the jam to say something about it. Anyway, it was cool to look at, but not enough that it took away from the music. Emotional Rescue had a decent jam at the end, though not as spacy as the one at Hampton. It's crazy listening to Mike get his voice so high to sing this tune, but cool at the same time in its own way. I was expecting a bit more from Ya Mar just because of all the Albany hype, but it was just its regular short sweet self, with a quick Auld Lang Syne jam around the middle which got incredible applause. I don't know how much the band knew about the "My Sweet One chant" (there were actually FLIERS going around, which, for MSO, seemed bizarre as hell), but apparently they wanted to quell the audience early on and so Fishman went into it right after a short drum solo at the end of Ya Mar. Wolfman's and Limb by Limb, two tunes that can really go places, well...didn't. I mean, I grooved to both the whole way through, but I guess NYE '95 spoiled us to the point where most people expect these crystal jams all night, and they just weren't there. Sloth was cool, but Fire was almost irritating. Trey's solo at the end surpassed energy to the point where it was just noisy. I mean, paying attention to Mike and Fishman for a while, they were still trying to keep a little structure to the jam, but Trey was just hitting notes at maximum volume to the point where I just wanted to get away. Maybe I'm getting old early. The setbreak was long, but didn't seem as long as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary this time, like Fishman getting a haircut...just a setbreak... Timber Ho started off the second set, which left me uneasy since this song, much like Tweezer, can either Really go places or go absolutely nowhere. This one, while the 'song' part of it was cool, the jam just didn't do much for me so I sat back with some Champagne to chill a bit. Next up was Mike's, which you really can't go wrong with. It was a fairly standard Mike's, but enough to keep me fully into it. After a fast jam for a while, it got slow all at once, and got really mellow, yet very nice to listen to with some great licks by Trey that was just a little too short for my tastes before it just faded out. I've been waiting for a Mike's->Piper for a while, since it seems like it'd fit beautifully. I mean, the song has a slow, soft intro with a Hydrogen feel to it while the end of it speeds up enough to flow into Weekapaug beautifully (which this didn't though, opting to finish Piper first before going into When the Circus comes to Town :( ). Now, WTCCTT isn't that bad a tune, but its placement here was a true downer to the set. Sure, sure, it's a nice song, but 'nice' doesn't always do it for me. Roses are Free was cool since I'd never seen it before, though I can't say much about its jamming potential since the song seemed cut and dry. Decent tune I guess, but mostly because I'd never heard it before. I think the best part of it was hearing it end and get into Weekapaug. Yes, this jam was one of the few I felt was NYE-caliber! Plenty of energy and synergy between the band. Fast funky jams, and the first few times it felt ready to end, I was surprised to see them build back the energy again and keep going. It finished with Weekapaug which was truly a shame. A 60 minute set on NYE? Well, at least set three would kick much ass like last year. During the set break, two mysterious ballroom dancers came out for one of the setbreak tunes. Around 11:50 the lights began to dim... Also Sprach Zarathustra as an opener into the new year? Not a huge surprise, but hell, it's a fine tune. The visuals up on the bubble were kicking much ass here, showing all that had come before as well as some new things, like an egg and a sphere which said "school bus" on it. Finally the egg came to the center and slowly turned into a little baby which danced around before dropping down in the center of NYC and turning into the Statue of Liberty holding the lightbulb that was flying around all night, rather than her torch. After that, the bubble opened up and all the disasterous balloons, many much bigger than last years, fell down over the floor. Disasterous only because, like many large objects on the floor not attached to anyone, they all slowly got sucked towards the stage to wreak havoc on the now-Tweezer-playing band. Page and Mike's mics got battered down, and techs ran around the stage close to a state of panic while the band kept playing on. After a while, Trey tried to get some of the balloons himself which clearly affected the jam (poorly). Maze was next, but seemed a little half-hearted. When Caspian came around I just sat down and waited for a bit. Loving Cup was decent as usual, but I got the sinking feeling early on that it would be the last of the set, and sadly I was right (anOTHER 60 minute set). There was still the encore, which, as we saw the night before, can be a great great thing.. Maybe I'm sounding too harsh here. It was a fun show..I mean hell, it was New Years and no one wasn't in a great mood that I could see (though apparently some one decided it'd be fun to jump out of the 400 section). The visual display was great, the sound was fine and the people were kind. Musically though, I felt bad for the ppl who traded off 12/30 tix to go to 12/31 only. Encore was Page doing New York, New York, the old Sinatra tune. It was kind of cool watching Page cheese it up lawn boy style while Trey kicked out his legs like a Rockette, but would have been better as an intro into say...Reba. Sadly, all that was left was Tweezer Reprise followed by almost immediate lights on. Still, there was a lot of smiling and happiness in the air and some random girl hugged me and wished me happy new year, so I gave her the last of my champagne and wished her one back. There was a fair amount of revelry on the street outside, including a homeless man jamming with a cheap plastic flute while heads danced around him tossing money while he played Auld Lang Syne and the themesong to Sanford and Son. A guy with a box of gooballs was selling them and this girl who Clearly wasn't at the show came up asking what they were, but she was so fucked up that she started rambling about how she wanted one but her dad was a crack additct so she can't eat them if there are any drugs in them. It was a great crowd outside the garden so obviously the police had to break it up and send people on their way (for a city that never sleeps, it seemed they wanted us all to get to bed). Anyway, I hope that everyone has a great year and that your NYE was fun. Peace Yancy D
Okay, here it goes. Caught all 3 of the MSG shows and spent an amazing 7 days in NYC with some old friends in Manhatten. Anyway. The 29th-The second set was by far my favorite played set of the 3. The funkiest Tube I've ever heard. The first set was good, but nothing exceptional (good Antelope though). The only part that was disappointing about the second set was the YEM just seemed to dry up during the vocal Jam and all of a sudden the band was gone. The 30th-A fantastic show. The first set was short, but had some nice surprises. Salley made the set obviously for everyone, but overall it was the weakest of the run (except for the New Years set, but I'm getting there). The second set speaks for itself. The everlasting set with the traditional Tom Marshall appearance. The first non-europe Carini/Lucy (what's the official name?). Just an amazing show. New Years-The best first set of the 3 I saw by far. Non-stop energy with some small jams in between. The return of MSO since fall '95. The second set was well played as well. I guess because of the 30th and the recent Albany 12/13 show, I got in a little spoiled mode and didn't enjoy this set as much as I should of. Weekapaug was the highlight for me. -The New Years Set was lame. Trey sets the tone for the band and he wasn't into it at all. The gimick was almost a carbon of last years (except for the projection on the center screen bubble thing). I was also bummed because they closed the bar at MSG before the second set ended. But overall I can't complain, the night before and the 29th made the trip worthwhile. Besides, NYE shows are usually overshadowed by a hotter show during the run. In the past namely-12/30/93, 12/29/94, 12/29/95, 12/29/96, and 12/30/97. Ari Petroff (
I had a great time at both shows i went to the 30th and the 31st but i had more fun at the 30th i thought the setlists were stonger. the sets were played better and it was just a better show. the light show was coll on the 31st but it lacked new years eve status it wasn't like a giant hot dog or mad scientist experiment last years ballonns even beat this year they need a good new years next year. Peace. dustin
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 07:32:19 GMT From: Charles Dirksen Subject: *NYE Run Thoughts* You're probably sick to death of reading/skimming NYE run reviews by now in the Eigest, so I will try to keep my comments reasonably brief (yeah, sure, charlie). It was wonderful meeting so many folks at the Mustang Sally's gathering on 12/30. For those interested, the arm-wrestling match between CLF and myself did not occur, primarily because my non-net girlfriend wasn't at all amused by the prospect (and presumably didn't want me -- intoxicated as I was by the time Corey showed up -- to humiliate myself (she's not entirely privy to the truth that I regularly humiliate myself in front of you folks)). I hereby dub CLF "KingMoron of Lamehendge" by default (there will always be only one KingMoron420, however). Strangely, I have no difficulty conceding said title to Corey, worthy 6'5" bitch that he is. He would have beat my drunk old ass, anyway! It seems to be in vogue these days to MOCK the articulation (in the form of a DISCLAIMER) of one's Phish experience prior to one's two cents on a particular gig. Far from being "irrelevant," though, a sentence explaining your Phish experience in general terms before you review something helps provide a context for your comments (such as that "the [Name of Song] was Excellent"). At least give references to other versions (!). I'm thrilled that so many folks are reviewing shows these days (makes for meaty Eigests), but I think that a review without a serious preface contextualizing the two cents is *arguably* a waste of bandwith. (I say *arguably* because there are plenty of examples of enjoyable, thoughtful, helpful and intelligent reviews that are NOT contextualized by the experience of the author) ANYWAY, I'm a jaded fan who has only seen around 60 shows since 10/6/89 (which I still haven't found on tape, btw). I have heard most of the Helping Friendly Book (which is not to say that I'm better than you (of course I am), but simply to contextualize my TWO cents). I didn't take notes at any of these shows, so please forgive my lame memory. 12/28/97 USAir Arena, Landover MD I was born and raised in D.C., and have always loathed the Crap Center. Terrible sound and annoying security, I was never fond of seeing shows there (I've seen many -- Van Halen, Rush, Dead, Jerry, etc. -- shows there). The security on this evening didn't bother me, though, at any time. I had to strain to hear Page all night, though, from my seat off the floor, Fishman-side, about as far back as the taper's section. The first set contained a botched-in-parts Curtain, and typical versions of Sample, MOHP, Farmhouse and Bouncin. The Julius to open and the Zero to close were fine, but nothing unusually inspiring, imo. Cities was exceptionally fun to hear (my first *live*), but this version was spectacularly uninspiring in light of Deer Creek from last summer, and even the version on SSP. There was a Mike-driven groove in this Cities, though, that reminded me of the segue into Seen out of Houses from the 10/31/96 RiL set. I enjoyed it. I *really* enjoyed the Runaway Jim jam segment, until it basically fizzled out in the final few minutes (just fell apart). Funky Bitch was very well-played, but not anything spectacular (like Julius, it is a tune that -- when seen *live* -- readily convinces the hearer that it is the best version the hearer ever heard). A fine set of Phish to open the tour, but not a typically great one, in my opinion. I don't plan to hear this set again. The second set opened with Axilla I, which had a **VERY** drawn out Axilla II ending jam (easily the longest one I've heard to date). Unfortunately, though, this jam -- which had the potential to truly soar and incite -- basically meandered and sunk. The Simple which followed contained excellent work from FISHMAN in particular -- he ripped out a jazzy groove that could have provided the base for something Remarkable. Though Mike and Page seemed to complement Fishman's unique rhythm well, Trey did absolutely nothing of merit and this Simple was a huge disappointment as a result. Ghost was very good, with a mesmerizing groove, but it wasn't anything special in light of most if not all of the summer '97 versions, in my opinion (see 7/3/97, 7/23/97 and 8/6/97 in particular). Drowned was ok (a joke in light of 12/31/95), and like Simple didn't do much. I'm tired of Scent, but the duel featured Trey and Page mimicking/imitating each other and not the usual, separate solos. Trey also soundly teased Yes' "Roundabout" a bit, and eventually took an extremely Floyd-like solo. It wasn't exciting, but it was far from boring, imo. Halley's was fun to hear, as always, but again, didn't worm anywhere unusual. Slave was -- I disagree completely, Saul -- one of the lamest versions I've ever heard. I encourage Slave fans to check it out if only to hear a worthless, boring version. RockyCavern to close was unnecessary. The Bold As Love encore was botched in the opening composed section, and I left early to beat the traffic, very excited by the notion that the rest of the shows on the run would be considerably better. And all of them were. Rating: 4.0 (a typically great, awesome Phish show is a 5.0, in theory, but people are abusing this rating system left and right imo, so it is basically useless as a gauge, most of the time) I would not recommend getting tapes of this show unless you have blanks to burn. There are dozens of other 1997 shows that are faaaar more interesting musically, as I hear them. 12/29/97 Madison Square Garden, New York NY The show opened in a rather straightfoward fashion with an avg. NICU and somewhat sloppy Golgi. The crowd went gah-gah over Golgi. The show really started with Crossroads, which is the best version of this song I've heard Phish perform. It was *FAAAR* better than the October '95 versions, and modestly better than the sporadic versions since then (including the one from Alpine last summer). Very inspired with The Jam That Wouldn't Quit. CTB and Trainsong were fine. Theme was an excellent version, without question, but still didn't top my personal favorite (11/27/96 Seattle). Trey melodiously solo'ed but not to the extent I had hoped he would. Fluffhead simply wasn't nearly as good as everyone says, in my opinion. I think people need to revisit older versions, like those from 1993 (8/17/93 is still my personal fave). The closing jam of this Fluffhead was great, but for Icculus' sake, it is SUPPOSED TO BE AWESOME, and it USUALLY is (over the course of Phishtory). Dirt was cute (I enjoy this new tune). Antelope **RAGED**. An excellent close to the set, and a well-above-average version, even for 1994-7. A great set, but again, if you are looking to get no more than around 40 1997 tapes, there are plenty of better '97 sets of Phish out there, imo. Phish usually plays great sets. The second set was WONDERFUL!!!! Musically, it wasn't enormously PROFOUND or anything, but what a VIBE! The room just EXPLODED when Possum kicked in out of Bowie (it appeared to surprise everyone present). The DWD jam segment was fairly blah for the first ten or so minutes, but I enjoyed the closing 5-10 minutes quite a lot -- gorgeous improv. Bowie was a great version (given versions of the last few years in general), but it wasn't quite a "monster" like 11/26/94 or 12/29/94. Possum contained a serious setlist-worthy jam on the Blues Brothers tune "Can't Turn Me Loose" (or whatever the song is called, I can't remember; it is the song that used to open Blues Brothers shows). Excellent, well-jammed Possum!! Tube was PHAAAAT and funky and awesome, though arguably not quite as good as the Dayton version earlier in the month. You Enjoy Myself was very good, but the Mike-driven jam segment wasn't too exciting (a typically awesome "B" version at best, as I heard it). Loved to hear it, though! What a setlist! One jamming tune after another!! The Good Times encore was, like the second set, very well-jammed and fun. I'd highly recommend picking up at least the second set of this show. Show Rating: 6.5 (by the way, I just took a look at the setlists sent out by Mikey, and I have to laugh at the references to a "Loving Cup jam" during DWD and "James Bond and Antelope jams" during Bowie -- give me a fucking break, guys.. people are hearing certain chord progressions and massively mischaracterizing them, imo.. it is as if the need to label or classify or analyze a JAM is taking priority over the god damn original improvisation itself.. there may have been some Bond theme teasing from Mike in that Bowie, if memory serves.. but a JAM!? bwaHAHAAHahahwhHahah) CONGRATULATIONS to DAN SEIDEMAN for winning the Pharmer's Almanac's "Name that Phish Jam" contest post-show at the Wetlands Krewe show (and thanks to Andy Bernstein, Lock Steele and other Almanac folks for sponsoring the contest in the first place). Dan Seideman won a pair of tickets for the NYE show, courtesy of the Almanac and thanks to his own Jam-prowess (one of his competitors, for those that haven't heard, was Dom Deluca, one of the "Worst Traders Ever" by many accounts). Dan Seideman -- along with Jim Raras -- is working on the Show Reviews section of the Mockingbird Foundation book. (evil Jabba the Hut laughter) 12/30/97 Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY You've seen the reviews. This show really was an incredible spectacle, with a magnificent setlist that even a jaded oldbie could love. I'm sure this show has been reviewed to death, so I'll keep my comments short (or try to). I love the Sally > Taste opener, but otherwise, the first set was fairly straightforward. Stash contained a dark, eerie, evil, sinister, wicked groove, but ended with a WHIMPER so enormous that it trivialized the version imo (it isn't nearly as good a version as 12/29/95, in case you were wondering). The Bag opener contained a huge JAM that >segued into McGrupp's. This jam was, at the time, the highlight of the run for me, but having since heard it again on tape it is Just Another Beautiful Piece of Improvisation from Phish and isn't even close to being One of the Most Awe-Inspiring Phish Jams Ever, as I hear it. Still, loved it at the show. To say that there is a "Crosseyed and Painless Jam" in this JAM out of Bag is, again, bullshit, in my opinion. There is perhaps a small tease, but no major C&P jamming. At all. Sorry. McGrupp's actually JAMS, for a change, and is easily the most unusual version I've ever heard. Harpua has to be heard to be believed, and 500 Miles was hysterical (thanks for keeping the tradition alive, Tom). Izabella was wonderful (my first to hear *live*). Harry featured a glow-stick war, which won't translate to tape (and which was the highlight of the version for me). Although I do NOT think that Harry Hood "peaked" at any particular time in Phishtory (I think the whole surmise that it "peaked" at any time is LUDICROUS, given the nature of the song), 1994 versions of Harry -- generally speaking -- are more consistently inspiring than the versions of today (ditto with Slave, though, imo). I think Phish should play Slave and Harry more rarely in 1998, even though I love these songs. I'd love, for example, to hear Sally come back more often, not to mention Brother, with more of DA FUNK. My Soul and Monkey were ok versions (I enjoyed them, but I was surprised that they were played.. the 12/29 show's encore had ended at 11:30pm, and I think Phish STARTED My Soul around 11:20 or so). Guyute was easily the worst version I have ever heard. Nearly every section was botched. Just a sloppy mess. The 12/30/97 encore was a hell of a lot of fun at the show, and I REALLLLLY enjoyed it. I was hoping to hear a more funked out BEK on 12/31, but this version was fine. The Carini, and the return to Sally, were HUUUUGE surprises, not to mention the vacuum solo (and more glowstick warring) during Frankenstein. This encore is faaaar more interesting musically than the 12/6/96 Vegas encore, but isn't perhaps as pretty as the setlist may suggest. Still, one hell of a show. Get it. 8.0 rating. The best all-around show I'd seen Phish perform since 7/31/97 Shoreline. Certainly one of the most intense shows of the year to have been at, I'd bet (musically it was excellent in parts and ok in parts -- it wasn't as consistently awesome as Shoreline 7/30, imo, and several other 1997 shows). 12/31/97 Madison Square Garden, New York NY Emotional Rescue opened the show quite well, although I'm partial to the Hampton version. Ya Mar, like numerous versions since 7/30 Shoreline, was jammed out but not exceptionally so, imo. MSO was an interesting choice (first one in a long time) and standard. Beauty and Horse Silent were as you've heard them before. Wolfman's Brother was very good, but not nearly as enchanting as most summer versions (and not even as enjoyable as the Hamburg version on SSP, imo). Limb by Limb was excellent -- I love this new tune -- but didn't match the majesty of the 7/30 Shoreline version (still my fave). Sloth was another interesting choice and fun to hear. The Fire closer was wonderful, and I can't think of a more ferocious version, although one might exist. The second set was short but FIRED UP!!! Timber Ho was fairly standard (great), but the Mike's Song was quite good (no closing of the tramps segment chords, fwiw.. just a > into Piper). Piper was good but not as good as Hampton (or was it Champaign?). I thought Piper would ->segue into Weekapaug (since it could easily do so AT ANY TIME at any show). Circus was Circus. Roses Are Free is a waste of a cover, in my opinion. Ween? Is this a joke? Weekapaug was magnificent to behold *live*, but I'm not so sure you will find it that great on tape. It isn't at all typical. Trey chords heavily and doesn't melodiously wail as he usually does during 'paug. This is nevertheless one of the Sickest versions of 'Paug out there, in a non-melodious, kickass sense of "Sick." I still prefer the more melodious 12/31/95 and 12/30/93 (and many other) 'paugs to this version. Strong second set, though! The third set was a Very Mixed Bag, imo. I enjoyed the Also Sprach opener, and about the first ten or so minutes of Tweezer, but Trey's guitar may have gone flat thanks to his balloon-popping... and the post-NYE music suffered. Maze featured a brilliant Page solo, but was otherwise one of the nastiest, lamest versions I've ever heard. Fuckerpants went absolutely nowhere, although Trey did let loose a single Kind Phaaty Lick at one point. I thought Loving Cup was a fantastic closer, even though it was sloppy in the opening (appropriate, though). New York New York was amusing, and Page sang it quite well (under the circumstances). It wasn't played as well as it could have been, but I'm sure the band was totally exhausted by that point. I sure as hell was. All and all, a typically great, fun NYE show. I can't give a three set show anything less than a 7.0 (yes, I thought 12/30 as a whole show was 1.0 better than 12/31). The run as a whole was definitely worth the trouble, but it wasn't nearly as good musically as the '95 NYE run, as I heard it. I'd recommend checking out 12/29-12/31, though, if you can spare the blanks. There are many 1997 shows I'd recommend hearing sooner, though. I've enjoyed listening to Detroit 12/6/97's second set (THANKS GREG!!!) a lot lately, for example. Thanks to Mike, Jon, Page and Trey for yet another great NYE run!! (and money well spent!) two cents charlie p.s. The most amusing thing I overheard on tour was definitely Mark Toscano's remark, several hours after NYE, to Dan Nooter: "Dan, you know, over the course of this entire trip, I haven't heard you use 'Ass' as an adjective?!"

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