I just got back from Worcester where I had my mind, body, and soul utterly
BLOWN by these four guys.  I have seen 4 shows this fall now and I saw 5
this summer, and man are they on right now.
        First of all, I love the direction the band is heading towards. I
am a huge fan of FUNK like the Meters and many other Funky groups, and I
think that Phish is only getting better adding this style to their jams.  I
have about 450 hours and I honestly feel that what I saw in Worcester and
from the rest of Fall '97 is the best they have played since New Years Run
'95.  They are taking songs that are already great and playing Fat jams and
then adding the 97-Funk-Style jam onto it.  Songs like Funky Bitch, Free,
Wolfman's, even Stash are way better now.  I also love the new songs 97
songs such as Ghost, Limb, Dirt, etc. and I feel that they have improved
them just since the summer.  The Ghost played in Worcester has got to go
down in history as the funkiest song Phish has ever played.  I have 9
Ghost's on tape, and this one was by far the best one they have ever
played.  The energy level was so high as the full crowd got into the
groove.  Trey was just so funky as it started and stopped getting funkier
each time.  This was one of the best jams I think I have ever seen them
play.  I used to not like Limb By Limb because I felt it didn't flow, but
they played it to perfection in Worcester with an amazing jam that proved
to me that there can not be a song that I don't like by these guys.
        Worcester second night second set- All you have to say is "Whoa"
There is no need to even talk about the 58 minute masterpiece because
everybody has already heard about it.  I thought it ws going to be a one
song set.  They have moved into the 4 or 5 song sets this fall and I really
like it because it showcases their creativityand ability to never play the
same song twice.  The Wolfman's in the Third night was jammed unlike I have
ever heard it played before.  It was a slower and softer jam in a lower
key.  Far different from the Jam into Funk that I have been hearing since
spring.  The Sanity and Ester teases were a suprise to me, too.  I was
fourth row center and seeing Trey and Mike hide behind the speakers was
pretty crazy.  There were two 50 year old men behind me saying  "Wow, Jerry
and Clapton never did that!"
        Overall I strongly feel Fall Tour '97 is beyond belief and is one
of the best tours Phish has ever played.  I hooked up with some friends who
have been touring since '92 and they agreed with me.   Black Eyed Katy and
Ghost are now some of my favorite songs to hear.  Whatever they could do in
'94, they can do just as good, but now you can move to it much more.  Who
says they peaked in '95?
-Ben Silver

Well, I just saw the 3 night stand at Worcester and just thought I'd share some of my random thoughts on the weekend..... First off, I was very impressed and excited with Phish's playing. I've seen 36 shows now and these 3 rank up with some of my favorites (mostly Fri and Sat). I thought this summer that the boys were playing a bit too much funk. I was happy to see them trying something new, but I just felt that they had abandoned their old style of jamming. Summer tour did have some great highlights: Alpine, Deer Creek, Darien, and of course Andrews favorite: 8/17/97 set II. So back to my main point, I was really psyched to see Phish mixing things up a lot more in Worcester. Now that they've found their groove with the whole funk thing, they're placing it a bit more strategically in the shows. I don't want to turn this into a song-by-song review, cause that's been done already, but to generalize, it seemed the boys were jamming and improvising with some old-school flavor as well as throwing in some funk jams too. It seems they were just born to play funk! Friday's Ghost was by far the best version I've heard. I was dancing so hard. I heard someone say, "funk makes your hips and neck move in ways you can't practice", well I agree because I'm not much of a dancer, but the grooves they were laying down had me dancin in the aisles like a mad man.(security loved that). Runaway Jim (1hr) Saturday caught me totally by surprise. It was like the Phish from '95 or summer of '93 when anything was possible....I was thinking, "they're back, the band I fell in love with is back!" And the highlight for me personally was Limb-by Limb on Friday. I still can't get this song out of my head. It's so beautiful. It's got the rhythmic complexity of Taste, but then the jam has the beauty and grace of Hood, it was the first song of the weekend to bring tears to my eyes. I was a little surprised at how people on the net labelled Sundays setlist. My first objection was the Split Open and Melt jam. There wasn't one. It may have sounded a bit like SOAM, but the jam was not worthy of being called SOAM Jam. I heard every Crossed Eyed quote all 3 nights, but there simply was no SOAM jam....let me explain. What makes SOAM so unique is the time signature: 3 measures of 4/4 and a measure of 9/8. It's that 4th measure of 9/8 that gives it its brilliant feel. Well, the jam on Sunday never changed time signatures. I thought it was misleading to people who weren't at the show. Also, there was no Sanity! Yeah, big deal, trey sang a few lines from Sanity over that evil metal jam, but it was not Sanity. It didn't have the beauitful music of Sanity "bum bu duh du dum dum bahm bum buhm" there was actually no comparison to Sanity beside a few lyrics. Oh well. I'm just being too anal now, but I wanted to point that out. One surprising note: I had floor seats Friday and the security was way more strict on the floor than anywhere else. But, I actually saw a guard walk up to a phan with his flashlight...we all thought he was gonna hassle him, but he was actually helping this kid to see while he wrote down the setlist! I have never seen THAT before. Also, my parents attended their first show on Sunday (I didn't sit with them, that would be too wierd). But my dad had an extra ticket and wound up miracling some girl. Way to go dad! My parents LOVED the show. Both 50+ and they couldn't stop talking about how much they loved the experience (also both ex-hippies). This made me feel so happy. My parents basically shaped my whole musical background and turned me on to so many great bands, and for me to give back to them my own music just made my life feel complete. My mom was impressed with how friendly everyone was to her even though she was more than twice their age, (thanks everyone). (also happy I didn't see any nitrous the whole weekend). One final note: I just got a single ticket to both Albany shows through ticketBastard, YESTERDAY! Supposedly Saturday's show is sold out but I just got Sec 103! Whenever a show is "sold out" it's not really....so call ticketbastard NOW if you're looking for a 12/13 ticket. PEACE everyone see ya in Albany......Jeff Waful, Boston
In the parking lot of the philly show me and my friends could have sworn we saw mike gordon wearing an orange tee shirt and and a grey hooded sweatshirt pulled to conceal his face kinda. This guy asked us what time it was and i didnt know so i told him and he said thanx anyway. and then i actually looked at his face and i thought it looked exactly like Mike and he is known to do wacky stuff like this. so i followed him to get a better look and i think it was him. Then we headed into the sprectrum and saw the same guy sitting by a tree all by himself and one of my friends said something like mike gordon is the best bass player ever and he glanced up at us and I SWARE it looked just like him. Did anyone else see this guy???? rick
For those of you who haven't seen a show yet this fall tour and are planning to go to one soon, get ready. Phish has been playing incredibly lately. In the last few shows, they have been unprecedented in setlist creations and have busted out numerous old timers, and favorites jamed out to unreal extent (i.e. Runaway Jim (58 minutes!), Mike's Song opener in Hampton, Guyute opener in Worcester.). Not to mentioned incredible new covers and originals. Free>Piper! Be ready for anything! -D. Baum
ubject: Worcester Thoughts Pt. 1 Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 21:44:46 -0500 From: Exree_Hipp@onf.com (Exree Hipp) To: phish@phish.net, andy@gadiel.com These were my 9th, 10th, and 11th shows, I've about 350 hours or so on tape, and have heard quite a bit more. Phish is doing things that you always hoped that they would, but never got around to. Do you remember every single time that they've been playing a jam, played it out, and then given up, lamely segueing into another song? Well, for much of Worcester, when a jam was played out, they simply turned to another jam, and this is very important to remember. Instead of turning to another peg to jam on, they made one up on the spot. Because of this, the jams had MOVEMENTS, and actual definable transitions that were just as smooth as silk. This is a review of the first night, but jumping ahead, the Runaway Jim from the second day was and is the greatest thing that Phish has ever produced. It's not melodious like the Albany YEM, it won't make you hold your breath like the jam before Sanity on 11/30/97, but it is absolutely THRILLING to witness. More on that Jim in my next post. On to the first night, which was SPECTACULAR in its own right. PRE-SHOW: Me and my fellow aphishionado Tom made our way over to Worcester with plenty of time to spare, like at five or so. We caught some cool grub at the food court and played video games at the Media-Play store in the mall. This was where I realized how cool reserved seats can be. Tom and I had prime seats waiting for us, and we were in no rush. Amazingly, 7 o'clock came around, and instead of rushing to a show for seats, I was playing video games, getting ready to stroll over to the show. It was like seeing a movie. So cool. Anyway, the video games were the bomb. I won't say how Tom described it. Note: at 7:30, the secheduled time for the show, I'd be hard pressed to say that the place was half-full. Phish is too predictable in that sense- Everyone knows they'll be on at around 8. I: The Curtain, You Enjoy Myself* > I Didn't Know**, Maze, Farmhouse, Black-Eyed Katy, Theme From the Bottom > Rocky Top II: Timber Ho!, Limb By Limb, Slave to the Traffic Light > Ghost > Johnny B. Goode Encore: My Soul *-Crosseyed and Painless teases, no bass and drums or vocal jam **-w/ vacuum solo CURTAIN: The boys went on stage, and talked a while before playing. They were changing the opener to Curtain, much to my dismay. I hate this song very much, certainly in my bottom five, but I know I'm alone in that respect. Standard but without flaws, surprising since it was the first one in like 57 shows. YEM: This, which I think was the planned opener, was sharp and unique throughout. The jam was very cool and didn't have a lot of playing. It was much effects and the like. The jam was good, and very different, although not like it blows the mind or anything. I love this song, though, and it is cool to check out. This jam did feature some great stop/start action like the Vegas Weekapaug. I just love that, especially since I never see it coming. Oh, and btw, I never heard Crosseyed, and that is like one of my very favorite covers by Phish. It may be there, but neither Tom or I heard it. Just when I think they're going into the vocal jam, it turns out to be a segue into... I Didn't Know: Sung pretty much a capella, and with the vac solo. Place went crazy for Fish, in the dress and with jeans on under the dress. Weird, and my first. Amusing, and I was hoping for more YEM or a vocal jam after it, but instead it finished up and we had Maze coming. Maze: This was extremely high energy! I really don't understand why the band thinks Worcester is this special place to pull all this energy out of, but they play this place like it's MSG or NYE or something. Really odd, imo. I just don't get it. The venue is not beautiful or special or anything, and the audience isn't a notable size or anything. Just weird. Maze raged big time, and the jam was fooling everyone as to when the peak would be, but it was still pretty much a first set Maze. Lights were on. Trey is about to hit the peak of Maze, the lights are all dark blue. He hits it, and the whole place is white light. Chris just knew when it was coming. Very cool. Farmhouse: I was thinking about this song as a cool-down during Maze, no joke. I really, really like it, and I'm very glad they played it. Very cool, much longer than Conan's, of course. BEK: Tom goes to Emerson College in Boston, and has a very fast connection to the web, and had listened to this song on the sugarmegs site. He ID's this song for me when it started, and let me tell you, that this song is FABULOUS. It is a total cummulation of the porno-funk of summer 1997, and was just ON!! I loved this, and it was certainly my favorite part of this set. Kicked ass. I just can't say enough about how much I loved the way that PHiSH played this tune that night. A+ for this. Theme: Pretty much Theme without a new direction that I had hoped for. I really love this song, though, since it is so nice. Well played, good Theme. Not the Went or anything, but nice. Lights were good here as well. Rocky Top: Not really a segue, as I'm sure you could have predicted. It was straight, no flubs (what was up in Hartford?). Cool closer. Very, very solid first set with some very nice jamming in YEM, Maze, Farmhouse, and especially BEK, which was easily the highlight. High on width, above average on height due to the BEK. TIMBER: Timber Ho! opened this set, and it was pretty much this chaotic thing. Now, don't get me wrong, you know I love a good jam, but this was just so dissonant and chaotic that it was like, what the fuck. When it started, I remember thinking that it was going to give us a very cool type II jam, but it was pretty much just noise by the end. Explanation? Hold your left fist up even with your breast about nine inches away. Then make stabbing motions toward your right hip with your other fist and go "WANG! WANG! WANG!" Every time you stab down, making it look like you're playing guitar. That is how Trey was playing his guitar at the end of Timber. Not good, imo. Limb: Easily the best Limb ever. The jam out of this was so lengthy, melodious, and POWERFUL, that I was pretty much floored. I love this song, and the band was right on. Energy was still right through the roof, and this was just unreal. I was at the Went and thought that this was far better. Slave: Cool placement, and it was pretty much slave. I mean, it was very powerful and well played, and it was certainly an above average version, no question. However, this song doesn't make sets. I liked its placement and the performance. Ghost: As the noise of Slave wound down, Trey kept them going, and the transitioned into Ghost. This jam was EXCELLENT once they got off of the Ghost theme and got really funky. Had some cool stop/starts like the Vegas Weekapaug, and some solo playing by Trey where the band cuts out and it's just him. Yeah, it was my favorite Ghost I've heard, but I haven't heard a lot of them, like many of the popular Euro-Ghosts. Check it out. Oh, and the setlists say Cities teases? Are you kidding? Pretty much anything can be a Cities tease or jam if you just strum the chords a pretty generic way. No Cities tease, imo. JBG: Good, raged, it was JBG. A sharp closer, and certainly rivaling 12/31/95 for energy and performance. I liked it. E: My Soul: Painfully straight forward, not close to rivaling the Went. Cool encore for the first night. Time to go home. Again, very high for both width and height. The Ghost and Limb were both my favorite versions ever, so that's big for height, and the whole damned set was JAM JAM JAM. This show was very solid, certainly a rating of 7 or above. I can't stress enough how every singly moment of this show was enjoyable to me except the opener. I really loved every choice. I guess it's clear that I hate to rate Phish shows I just saw, but hear this show, it's all I can say. The highlights were BEK, Limb, Ghost, and maybe YEM. I'll review the monumental second night in a bit. andrew Subject: Worcester Thoughts Pt. 2 Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 22:25:01 -0500 From: Exree_Hipp@onf.com (Exree Hipp) To: phish@phish.net, andy@gadiel.com These were my 9th, 10th, and 11th shows, I've about 350 hours or so on tape, and have heard quite a bit more. OVERVIEW AGAIN: Phish is doing things that you always hoped that they would, but never got around to. Do you remember every single time that they've been playing a jam, played it out, and then given up, lamely segueing into another song? Well, for much of Worcester, when a jam was played out, they simply turned to another jam, and this is very important to remember. Instead of turning to another peg to jam on, they made one up on the spot. Because of this, the jams had MOVEMENTS, and actual definable transitions that were just as smooth as silk. This is a review of the second night. The Runaway Jim from the this night was and is the greatest thing that Phish has ever produced. It's not melodious like the Albany YEM, it won't make you hold your breath like the jam before Sanity on 11/30/97, but it is absolutely THRILLING to witness. Set I (~80 min) The Wedge, Foam, Simple> TMWSIY> Alvenu Malkenu> TMWSIY, Sloth, Ginseng Sullivan, I Saw It Again, Horn, Water In The Sky, David Bowie Set II (~95 min, elapsed time after certain points) Runaway Jim*, Strange Design, Harry Hood> Prince Caspian, Suzie Greenberg E: (~15 min) Buffalo Bill> Drum Solo> Moby Dick**, Fire *About an hour. Insane. Had full-blown, full-band Weekapaug jam. **Led Zepplin Cover (1st time played?) PRE SHOW: More video games, playing right up until show time. Just great fun to do something comletely un phish and then just go and walk in and have prime seats for a PHiSH show. God, I love that. The video games were cool. Tom kicked my ass in this Star Wars fighting game. Wedge: Great opener, suitable type-I jam. This is a wonderful song, with some great soloing. Love this placement. Foam: Talk about good placement, this is my favorite place for this song, and it is one of the few that I REALLY wanted to see badly, the other two, Buffalo Bill and 2001, I was split with. But this Foam was alright. It had some flubs by trey, nothing major, but this was a good, very high energy Foam. Not as cool as 8/3/97, imo, but good none the less. No segue from Wedge to Foam, which woulda been cooler. I love this song. Simple: This show was really in the groove, and I was loving it! The jam was good, but not great, with Simple pretty much fading down and segueing the way it often does. Nothing non-Simple, and the segue to TMWSIY was rather contrived, but certainly a great way to kick this set off. TMWSIY: My first, very well played, seeing how it was the first in 67 shows. Right on. Cool song and all. Alvenu: Standard. Nothing real hot. I was hoping we would get something other than TMWSIY to follow, or a cool segue from TMWSIY. We really got neither. Sloth: Standard, crowd pleasing fare. I was hoping for something huge to follow like Reba (!!) or like Mike's or something to get a nice type II jam out of. Instead, we got what is probably the worst 4 song stretch I could have asked for. They could have put Bouncin' in for Ginseng, and if so, it would have been the worst they could have possibly done to me. Ginseng/Saw It Again/Horn/Water in the Sky: Oh, god, just horrible. I hate these songs so much, although Ginseng is tolerable, the other three are just the worst Phish there is this side of Bouncin'. Ugh, and just when I thought we had gotten rid of SIA and WitS. There was a rather fun space jam briefly before Horn, but other than that, this was just painful. Bowie: Raged like nobody's business, but it was type I all the way. No new jamming or anything, but the jam before Bowie kicked in was long and good. Altogether, a very high energy Bowie with some extremely fine jamming in the type I fashion. Had this been played in '93, it would have been like monumental. First set: Starts with a bang, ends with a bang. That middle was shit. I hate those song. This was easily the worst set of Worcester, but hell yeah did it have some fine moments. WedgeFoam was a GREAT opener, and TMWSIY was well played. There is no way I would have predicted that this would be the precursor to what started about 40 minutes later. Runaway Jim: This was the greatest jam that Phish has ever played, and I would probably be hard pressed to find a finer set of Phish around. I put it certainly even with 10/31/96-2, 8/17/97-2, and anything 12/31/95 can bring. This Runaway Jim was not an hour of chaos, it was an hour of what often sounded like composed music. It had movements and definite transitions. The song went from Jim, to space, to a rocko-william type groove, to rocking grooves, to weekapaug jamming, to everything. It was simply brilliant. Because I love segues as much as I do, throught the jam, I kept thinking to myself, "What are they teasing, what are they playing now, what are the going into?" But the point was that they did not go into anything. It was simply jam after jam after jam, all moving seamlessly from one to the other. At one point the entire band played a full and all-out Weekapaug jam, and that was exciting, but since it was never sung, it was simply just another part of this masterpiece. I've already seen this compared to the 12/29/94 Bowie, the 10/31/95 YEM, the FLeezer, and things like that. It's not like that/ It's far better. Phish 2000 at its best. I do wonder if it will become the norm for Phish to have no need for songs as jamming pegs like they did with this Jim. I hope so! This Jim is the definition of must-hear. Jim was about an hour. Yeah. Strange Design: I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought Jim might start and end the set. However, it went into SD, which is now sort of a rarity. Cool to sit down to, although I like Dirt about four hundred times more. Mm, Page. Hood: I think Fish hit the toms to start this song, but they didn't come over the PA. Other than that, this Hood was just a great, great version. I was pretty sure that it was the closer at the time, but I was quite wrong. Very, very nice ja, although I certainly don't like it as much as the 8/10/97 Hood (have you heard this Jam? It's fresh and just GREAT! One of my favorite Hoods, easy.) Good Hood, and I felt great when they sung the close to this. Caspian: Well, it's still a stupid-ass song, but the jam at the end is really great now, so It's fine for me. Staring at the moon at the Went while this played will never leave me, and this version sure couldn't provide that, but it was still pleasant and well played. Imagine my surprise as the band proceeded to flub the intro to.. Suzy!: Nice Suzy, fun to dance to. First one in a while, and it showed, but when they didn't have to sing, they were on! Trey had some great helicopter-type noisses coming from the 'doc. Fun closer. E: Bill/Moby Dick/Fire: I was beyond psyched for Bill, and although it had no jam (they went straight to a drum solo and then Moby Dick), I still had fun hearing those great lyrics and the toms from Fish. Moby Dick was great, great, fun, and played very well by the band. Fire was probably the best version ever, although it goes without saying that I haven't heard them all. It raged like you wouldn't believe. An extremely good encore. I really enjoyed all three of these songs, and Fish's hilarious solos and introductions as Moby Dick himself. Fun, fun. This set recieves the 10. No joke. Jim is unrivaled, Hood is very good, Caspain and Suzy solid. Encore is great. The Jim deserves all the respect it gets. MUST HEAR. This show gets instant stature as a classic, and I know that this date, 11/29 will forever be mentioned among the great moments in Phishtory. Unbelievably well played second set, and I cannot wait to hear this JIM again. Get the tapes. Now.
I went to Hampton to see the shows. I traded the green for a ticket the first night as did my buddy Stu. We saw the show and went to out shady hotel about 10 miles away. The next day we wake up to watch the Ohio State v. Michigan game. I found a sports bar in a hotel near Busch Gardens. We got lost and finally made it to this hidden hotel way back in the woods (Conventio Center style). I was watching the game and Brad Sands and crew walked in. WE HIT GOLD! We all talked about the equipmnet and what not. I still needed a ticket for that night so I asked them for Extras. They said they could not help me. THey wished me luck and left the bar. About 5 minutes later I look out the window into the lobby and there is Trey having some juice and a donut. I go out there, tell him my feelings, and then we talked (I talked) about the guitarist Bill Frisell. We parted and I went back to watch the game. Trey was very cordial as was the young lady next to him. Anyway, I am still watching when all of a sudden I said to my friend, "Hey Stu, that looks like Page with a beard." He said. "It is Page with a beard!" We both went outside into the lobby and talked with him about the band, New York City music scene, and great keyboardists. He then said<"Are you guys going to the show tonight?" I said, "We are only half way there." blah blah blah. Page took my name and left me a ticket at will call. I love that guy. He really is a wonderful person. David
I know this is kind of out dated, but I just found out that you post stories on your page, and I thought that I'd try and share one with all of the other phans out there. My story begins on Sunday, July 20th when I was visiting with a friend in NYC. He asked me that night if I wanted to go down to Virginia Beach with him the next day for the Phish show at the GTE Amphitheater. He also mentioned that he didn't have a ticket for me, but that we could probably find one anyway.....of course. I jumped on the chance, and the next morning we were on our way. We hopped in the car rather early, and motored our way down to VA Beach. It was me, my friend, his brother, and two other lifeguards from NYC that came along with us. Only one of us had a ticket, and we had already heard that the show was sold out, so we were kind of worried, what with this being the opening show of the summer tour and all. When we got to the parking lot, we all immediately set off on the quest for tickets. I looked and looked for almost an hour and a half that day, meeting all sorts of great people along the way. But I was unsuccessful, so I went back to my car to try my luck around there. As we were sitting at the car enjoying a beer, a girl came up to us and asked us if we wanted to buy a humus bagel from her. Well, we didn't want a bagel, but we offered her some beer and some friendly conversation and she sat down with us and talked. A bit later she went on her way, and my friend and I continued the search for tickets. Lo and behold, both of us wound up getting tickets within about 15 minutes of seeing the "humus bagel girl." Our other friend never wound up getting into the show that night, but he said he had a great time in the parking lot hanging out with everyone. The next day(22 July), we decided to go on to Raleigh, even though none of us had any tickets for that night. Pretty much the same situation, except all but two of us were able to find tickets right away. Once again, I was one of the unlucky ones, and so my friend and I took off for tickets. After having walked around for an hour, we were just about to go back to the car when, who should I run into, but the "humus bagel girl." I introduced her to my friend, and we talked for a few minutes, then parted ways. Within 5 minutes, both of us had our tickets, and we were on our way to one of the best shows I have ever seen or heard. I would like to thank the "humus bagel girl" for all of her support through that stressful time when we thought we weren't going to get in to the shows. It makes you glad to be a Phish phan!!!!! Kevin James West Point, NY x96423@exmail.usma.edu
There we were. The four of us hangin out in McCarrin Airport in Vegas, (at least I think it's McCarrin), oh well. It was the day after Phish's opening night of the 97 fall tour in Vegas, and we were (we being myself (Paul), Ryan, Shahin, and Stephanie) waiting for our flight to Salt Lake City to see Phish that night. Turns out our flight was delayed an hour because of rain in Tuscon. This my phriends would be a blessing in disguise. We arrived in Salt Lake City and headed for our hotel. Our taxi pulled into the lobby, and guess who was talking to the bell boy......... Trey. We were all stunned to see him standing there and even more stunned to see nobdy else around. We calmly got out of our taxi (to this day, I don't even no if we paid for the taxi) and went up to Trey. It was amazing. Trey commented on Ryan's Marco Esquandolis shirt, remarking, "If your Marco, then I'm polo." Shahin asked Trey about the new song they played the night before. And as we all know now, it was Black Eyed Katy. Trey enjoyed that question, because he started to talk about how Phish first came up with it and said they did a good job of playing it in Vegas. Trey then proceeded to tell us to "Watch out for the cops." With those last words of wisdom, he boarded the tour bus which was parked outside the hotel. After coming down from the high of actually meeting Trey, Page came walking out of the front doors of the hotel. We all congratulated him for his performance the previous night in Vegas. He graciously said "Thank You" and went on the bus. About 30 seconds passed, and Page came of the bus with a box in his hand. We were sitting on the bench when he asked us "Are you guys hungry?" Of course we said yes, and he handed us a box of leftover sandwhiches. Shahin said "Are you kidding" and Page responed "No man, I would never kid about something like this." We all said thank you as he walked back onto the bus. Looking back on this encounter, the only thing I can think of is that Page gave us dinner, and Trey warned us about the Salt Lake City police. What can I say, it was everything I ever imagined.
My best friend, my sister, another friend, and I spent our summer vacation in Maine. Some people probably think we were pretty crazy, but i have to say that that trip was the most unbelievable vacation i have EVER experienced. We started off by flying in to Portland Maine, and we rented a huge Windstar. The four of us drove to Bangor (i think--where ever the AT ends in Maine) and backpacked on the App. Trail for 4 days. That was incredible and exciting, not to mention the most beautiful sights I have seen. We wanted to see a moose, but it never happened :-(. Anyway, after we got off of the trail, we drove to Limestone...then the real fun began. It was so much more organized than the Clifford Ball (not to say I didn't thoroughly enjoy the clifford ball), but everything was perfect. We were early, so we got a phat camping spot, very close to the gates to get into the show. It rained of course--but that's ok we had our share of rain in the woods, and we were used to it. But nevertheless it stopped raining just in time for the show! We were so pumped, after all we had been anticipating this thing for MONTHS!!! The shows were awesome; i was so amazed with phish, the music (especially--as usual), and the fans. This is an experience that i will NEVER forget. And I look forward to many more...PHiSH IS AN ADDICTION!!!! :-) Thank you for allowing me to share my story, Sincerely, Merry Meger (Spartanburg, SC)
It all started back at school in New Hampshire for all of us. Probably about 10 or so college students getting ready to leave campus for the holiday weekend. Tuesday evening we drove from NH to somewhere in CT west of Waterbury...I'm still not exactly sure where it was but it was a pretty small town in the docks of CT. It was my buddy Jesse's house and we spent the night and smoked bowl after bowl. The next day, wednesday, we awoke and began preparing for the show. All day long we had 5 phish cds in the changer playing at random to get psyched. We caught a phat 4:20 and then climbed into 3 cars and drove down I-84 to the Civic Center. At the civic center we tried to find my bud a ticket so he could get in...he finally bought one outside for $45 BUT then I found a ticket ON THE GROUND!!! I couldn't believe it, that sort of shit just doesn't happen. So, I found a poor head who needed a ticket and miracled him into the show, and I felt so good about doing it too - he was amazed. So we go into the show, and find our seats behind the stage a bit, in front of Page. When the lights went out i sparked a doobie and munched down some stems :) I noticed that Fishman was wearing the dress and I knew that it was going to be a special night. The boys kicked it off with a great "Tweezer", and I immediatley looked at my buddy Mikey who had made the call earlier about opening w/ Tweezer and closing w/ "Tweezer Reprise." I love it when shit like that happens!! Anyway...the entire 1st set was a pleasure, until Page muffed up the lyrics to "Silent" somewhat. A well thought out set as far as I'm concerned - Trey was rocking as hard as ever, especially during "My Soul," I can tell how much he likes that cover. Finishing the set w/ "Taste" was nice, I really like that one live - a complex piece where they all get to play out some intricate parts. When the set was over my immediate reaction was, "That was some pretty insane shit!" Indeed, Chris Kodura was so on target that I'm sure his light show almost threw some heads into a optical frenzy. But it would only get even more intense with the coming of the second set. I've always believed in a simple philosophy at a phish show: "The 1st set makes you happy you're a Phish fan. The 2nd set makes you happy you're ALIVE." At the start of the 2nd set, all you could see was the dark silhouettes of the guys, and the anticipation was killing me, as it had been all night long. Down With Disease? No. Maze? No. Trey steps up to the mic and softly sings the words to "Character Zero," and when his guitar riffs launched the crowd into a dancing blur, it was the beginning of the greatest musical show i've ever seen. When "2001" started I was ecstatic. The place was transforming into a spaceship. The lights were only half of the fun as Trey's screaming sounds electrified the crowd. A dynamite "2001," start to finish, but it didn't finish, it went on forever, until the solid beats to "Cities," began. The only song I really didn't want to leave without hearing. I was smiling all throughout this one. It all went on to a phatty "YaMar," and "PYITE" - 2 of my all-time faves. The climax to the end of PYITE was stellar, and when it was over it was the first silence of the set. A solid "Prince Caspian" follwed and then a nice surprising "Poor Heart." And then to finish off, they knew it could only be done with a rocking "Tweezer Reprise." "Cavern" as the encore was a good call, and they joy for me was watching Trey at the end as he waved his guitar around pointing to the audience. Then rubbing the guitar on Page's piano, all while Mike, Fish, and Page himself looked at him, like "look at this fool!" But he didn't care, Trey grabbed the Megaphone and held it up to the mic to the cheers of the crowd...I was watching this and was amused by the whole little bit. The guys had tons of fun in Hartford, I'm sure - Trey and Mike even danced a few steps! All in all a splendid evening and a wonderful experience! I can't wait for Albany!!!! Keep on sharing in the groove!!! -Andy
David Lacher Review of Phish in Hampton 11/21,11/22 As the cars, trucks and buses rolled into town for the first east coast dates of fall tour, the annoyance of clogged highway off ramps gave way to great anticipation. It was a weekend, 2 general admission shows, Trey's "favorite room" to play in, Hampton Coliseum! Need I say more? We were glad to be inside after waiting in the chilly drizzle for the doors to open. This was it! The band kicked things off with the debut of "Emotional Rescue", a Rolling Stones tune which Mike sang. His uncracking, squeaky wine made this one an instant crowd pleaser. Phans were hoo hoo hooing and ah ah ahing along with cheers and approval. The smooth flowing jam that ensued, turned out to be the best of the night, and cruised right into Split Open and Melt. Beauty of My Dreams harbored crisp fret work, compliments of Trey, and witty solos from Page "Chairman of the Boards", giving this folk tune a silver lining. An average Dogs Stole Things and Punch You In the Eye didn't leave a lasting impression, and many would have preferred a Mike bass solo over Fishman's gentle joke drumming in Lawn Boy. A high spirited Prince Caspian similar to the "Went" version, faded into the set break via a delay loop jam. Only recently has this tune achieved set closer status, edging out Chalkdust for this evening's honor. The first half of second set, consisting of Ghost>AC/DC Bag, wore thin because the majority of the jamming was unfocused. After the vocals of AC/DC Bag, the band seemed lost and disorganized. Relief came in the form of Slave to the Traffic Light, which broke the monotony and brought new energy to the set. Loving Cup, a song that has seen a marked increase in the rotation in ‘97, shined as the closer. A jolly Gyute, also more common than in years past, was well received as the encore. Some people left disappointed. The consensus being that Phish was holding back. Saturday's sunny skies and 70+ degree weather sent lots of folks flocking to the beaches. A feeling of renewed enthusiasm could be easily detected among the concert goers who mingled in force through the myriad of hotels and restaurants on Coliseum Drive. Since loose tickets for Saturday night's show were less abundant, many more raised fingers and clasped $20 bills were visible. One desperate guy even offered a 12/29 MSG ticket for trade. By late afternoon , a good sized drum congregation had formed near the fountain in front of the venue, and continued, pounding the hollow echoes of poly rhythms off into the fading twilight. The serpentine lines to get inside were at least twice as long than at the same time on Friday. The heightened excitement carried over inside, as a human wave gathered steam and rolled through the seats for several minutes further animating the crowd. By the time the lights went down, floor space in close proximity to the stage was at a premium. Only tenacious wriggling and squirming would yield any results. Chatter and speculation about predicted show openers could be heard. Hmmm? Curtain perhaps? Or maybe Buried Alive? One of the reasons Phish is so entertaining lies in their ability to harness the element of surprise. Tonight was no exception. Bursting fourth from the stacks was the first few notes of a familiar song. Wait! Could it be... Yes! Mike's Song!! Eyes were wide and mouths were agape at this unexpected choice. The cheers escalated, finally erupted into a roar as Fishman's drums kicked in. This version was extremely well executed, even though Mike missed his cue on the second verse. The jam following was not culminated by the usual Simple-like theme that has become the rule not the exception. Instead, it contained a jam which was beautiful and mysterious. The pace then slowed, easing into a tranquil Hydrogen. I can't recall off hand when the last first set Hydrogen was played, but it's been years. As expected, a blistering Weekapaug appeared. Fueled by Mike's funky thumb and elastic wrist, phans danced and lurched with rapture like possessed marionettes. This hot Groove was further augmented by Trey's inspired soloing. Suddenly the music came to an abrupt halt. Seconds passed only for the song to be kick started with even more intensity. Upon completion, gratuitous applause raged. Wow! What a way to start a show!! As the cheering waned, the band scrambled into a spontaneous stage conference, perhaps brought on by the wired crowd. After a quick discussion and some head nods, the next card was played. Desert was served early in the form of a solid Harry Hood that featured some sweet midi effects. This was undoubtably one of the best I've witnessed. Trainsong and Billy provided a much needed breather (no pun intended), or a let down, depending on whether your cup is half empty or half full. The one two punch, classic rock combo of Frankenstein>Isabella brought everyone back to their feet, and polished off a gem of a first set. Clearly one for the ages. When Phish retook the stage, they were met by a barrage of semi-organized screams from the lucky few who were close enough to see the band's individual facial hairs. Trey quickly snubbed the optimistic contention of "Destiny Unbound" hopefuls by saying " That sounds like a bunch of horrible... cannibalistic chant for people who want blood." Then smugly said " I don't know what you are saying." Next, to the amusement of the crowd, Trey mumbled gibberish in an ogre like voice before asking "Is this the human sacrifice part of the show?" "Alright, bring ‘em up here!" As if requesting a victim from the front row. Shortly after, Mike stepped forward and began a chant of his own. It was the vocal intro to the always lively Halley's Comet, which has developed a long tail in its last couple of sightings. The jam that emerged was a focused far cry from the unorganized noodling of the night before. Tweezer was tight and restrained, and didn't get too far out there. An almost undetectable transition led right into Black Eyed Katy, a new funky instrumental that largely consists of mutated Cities and Wolfman's Brother riffs. Next up was the rising climactic action and elusive lyrics of Piper. Piper, a piece which made its US debut at Virginia Beach in July, has since blossomed into one of the better songs of the new batch. A brief, yet energetic, Antelope rounded out the second set. The encore of Bouncin, Tweezer Reprise sent us on our merry way into the unseasonably warm night. We left feeling envigorated with our expectations more than realized. Next stop, Winston-Salem.
Throughout my high school years, I'd never really been a huge Phish fan. I had dug on the Dead a little, but when I heard Phish, i was put off by what I thought was a kindoff annoying style. Then, when I entered college, I began to get more into them. I was still a little disgruntled by Trey's voice and some of their (slightly) grating lyrics, but I soon was drawn in by their sublime musicianship. The defining experience that got me hooked on Phish, though, was when I drove to California from New York last summer. During that trip, which lasted approx. 63 hours, I was subjected to about 20-25 shows. One of the guys I was driving with, my friend Nate, is a hardcore fan. He was able to introduce me to many of the subtleties and nuances of the band. Listening to them so much, I began to be able to identify with and enjoy many of their songs that I was not very familiar with. I was also knocked out by some of the covers they were doing. I'll never forget driving through Indiana, and listening to a 7/93 version of "Purple Rain" that they played at the Mann in Philly. I was just blown away by it. Nate ingrained in me some major aspects of the band, including Gamehenge and the story of Harpua. He drilled into me the notion that 1993 was perhaps the most magical of Phish's years. Once we got to Cali, I was lucky enough to be able to attend my first ever show, at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Although I had heard complaints about that venue, I was rather thrilled by the tremendous hillside that overlooked the stage. And the show I saw was so kind!!! (7/31/97). They started with a blistering version of "Ghost", and from there went into a great set. Later on, they played YEM, and again I won't soon forget the look of utter delight on my friend's faces when the first few chords were played. The show took place the night prior to Jerry's birthday, and Trey took pains to honor him. For an encore, they played a super-tasty version of "Cinnamon Girl" that would have made Neil Young blush. As I write this, I look foward to seeing Phish 5 different times in Dec. (2 in Philly, 3 in NYC). I am pretty pumped-- Long live Phish! JML Philadelphia, PA
It is difficult to relay the plane PHISH puts me on, but I can say without reservation that it is truly the greatest band around!!! About 15 of us went up to the Hampton shows over the weekend. Two sweet, phat shows!! But I would like to address an issue. I always hear complaints about PHISH phans and how they are rude and cheap ... very unlike Dead or Panic fans. I am not crazy about the comparisons, but I made an observation this last trip that was disturbing to me. The parking lot was absolutely trashed after the show. There were bottles and litter everywhere. PHISH does not relay this mentality, so why are the phans behaving this way. I know Greenpeace often has a table at the shows, but are the phans not environmentally conscious ... generally speaking? I am there for the best music on the planet, but I know of several people who said they would stick with Panic from now on just because of the crowd the band attracts (too bad for them). To my recollection, hippies were pro environment. What happened to this group? Is anyone interested in organizing a PHISH recycling program after the shows? Stephanie Davis davis.s@gain.mercer.edu
>From a senior's perspective... In Phishdom, I have to be considered a senior citizen. I am 41, a husband, a father, and a corporate vice president. Yet, the magic of music, allows me to feel connected to you younger generation. When I was in high school and college, I too travelled accross the U.S. seeing the Dead on tour. From 1976 to 1995 I saw approximately 175 Dead shows, including every New Year's eve show from 1977 to the last one in 1992 i think. In the early nineties, a friend of mine started talking about a band called Phish. To me, it was like "so...I'm too old to have any other band impact my life the way the Dead have. And besides, it could never happen anyway". After a JGB show in Irvine, we were back at a friend's home and a younger kid that somehow knew one of the guys at the house, started playing Phish. I loved it. No one else really felt like paying attention. My wife and I then went and saw them at the Greek Th. in LA a few years ago, and loved it. I've since dragged a few other ex-dead heads over 40 to the shows, and they are beginning to come around. Still, many are stuck in time, and refuse to accept that any other music could be as powerful. Now I listen to them whenever I get a chance. Have about 75 tapes which although is still dwarfed by my Dead collection, is listened to a lot more. I've only been able to see them twice more -- in LA and Vegas at the end of 1996. After Jerry's death and the Dead's demise (which actually started in the early 90's), it is a miracle that I have found this music, as it does exactly what the dead's music did for me. So, when I read all the reviews, and show stories from kids 20 years younger than me, I know that the same spirit lives on, and will hopefully for many years to come. I might even get a chance to someday take my now 1 year old to a Phish show, and have him understand why his daddy has hundreds and hundreds of Grateful Dead tapes collecting dust in the closet!! GW
This isn't exactly a story, but it's something my friends made up at the Trav-L-Park Campground while camping for the Virginia Beach show on 7-21-97. The campground was filled with some phriendly phriends, Bri found a girl with a ticket to lend. The beer was so dank for the weather so hot, we have the currency, but no one has pot. We set up our tents in the pale moonlight, not a chill to the air, but a nip to the night. It's better to be here than to be stuck at home, it's good to be with friends, not at work all alone. In Virginia we'll gather and have such a ball, we'll finish this beer and in the tent we will crawl. -by Michael Eustice and Brian Ginocchetti -submitted by Marty Milz
My name is Ben and I go to school in Madison, WI. I haven't been to all that many shows...yet...but I am seeing 10 more this fall. I have over 400 hours of listening pleasure and some 12 videos including 6-22-97. I saw 5 shows this summer and something pretty crazy happened to me at Deer Creek. You see, The night was August 10, 1997. It was my best friends Twenty first B-Day and we were excited for the show. We were not in our normal state of mind...feeling like we were not from this world but floating on a cloud in EXTASY...During the Harry Hood I could feel tears of joy condesing under my eye lids. We waited patiently during intermission wondering what these four Alien beings would beam to us. Anyone who was at Deer Creek knows what I mean when I say Aliens because that second set was not created by anyone native of this planet. You could feel the energy flowing in and out of everyone at the show rising to the stage only to be absorbed and sent back to us. Four songs- Each one long, twisted, beautiful. Here is where the fun starts.... During Cities I felt like getting a drink of water and as I headed toward the bathrooms I decided to get a groove on in the middle of the place near the Green Peace table. I was iin my own world having the time of my life. My smile was as big as the world. When I turned around I saw a Beautiful girl looking right at me smiling. I was in a mood where I wanted to talk to anyone and everyone without fear so I went to the GreenPeace table where she worked. We talked and she told me if I donated money I could win a chance to meet my IDOLS! I donated $25 and she gave me some raffle tickets, and I headed back to the show. After the show I totally forgot about the raffle tickets, but found them on the ground under my seat. I told my friends and they laughed but I insisted on waiting for the raffle. We headed to the Green Peace table, and sure enough they picked MY TICKET and my best friend and I were heading backstage. Iwas very nervous not to mention ..far from sober.. and as soon as I got back there Gordon and Fish were in sight. I could not believe it. I talked to Fish for 5 minutes but I don't have any idea what we were talking about. I went to get some water and Page was standing in front of me all alone. I shook his hand and tried to tell him how much I appreciate and basically love the guy without sounding sappy. When I finally sat down I started talking to this guy next to me. I asked him waht his first show was and he laughed. He said his name was Chris.. Chris Kuroda... I laughed and we talked for 10 minutes about why I think he is Phish's 5 man. That night was Crazy, and everytime I look at my autographed ticket stub I smile.
Howdy! Just got back from the incredible show in Salt Lake City, and I couldn't resist a slight gloat over the "Antelope" vibe I had before we left on the journey...and sure enough, right after the tasty-treat "Guyute" in the first set, the band hopped right into a monster "Antelope." (If anyone heard frenzied howls from Section 125, that was me). Not only was it a massive "Antelope", the Esquandolas part was whistled by Trey -- nice treat. In fact, after the "Guyute" he dedicated the song to soundman Paul Langendoc, with a line like "he taught us that any song with whistling in it is a good song." I thought that meant "Reba" was on the way, but instead the titanic "Antelope" with whistle highlight. Yeah!!!!! I just knew we'd get an "Antelope" after I saw it on the map. Can't wait to hear the tapes! Cheers, Patrick
Cheers to PHISH, I love the new album. The sound is mint, and it shows just how great they are, and how far they've come. It's tight, they're tight, and I would like to really thank them for providing me with happiness on so many occations. -- A lot of us take these guys for granted. I see people writing in and saying they chose the wrong songs or chose the wrong show for the new album, and they constantly bitch aboout this and bitch about that. Shadup already!!!! They're doing us a favor by putting out albums, making music, and playing everywhere practically everyday all year round. They're doing it for us, not themselves. If it was about themselves they would be on MTV every hour and woould tour about 12 cities every 5 years. They're not being greedy so don't be greedy in return by saying they have to do this or that, cuz they don't. To all those who keep yapping, shut your mouths, sit back and appreciate what's here, and share in the groove. See Ya This Fall. --Phil--
Well, it's happening again. I'm jonesing. Only 17 days til I see the best band in the world and I can't stop thinking about it. I've seen 33 shows, and I can't stop. It's a full on addiction. I'm going to the three night stand in Worcester and the thought of seeing Phish 3 nights in a row only a short distance from home is enough to give me chills. Sure I've seen Phish 3 nights in a row before on tour, but to sleep in my own bed, shower in my own bathroom and cook phat meals in my own kitchen and then see Phish every night for a whole weekend! The Conan O'brien thing was a bit of a fix, but that Mike's Song>Commercial left all of us wanting more. And another thing, as much as I love summer tour and the warm weather, there's something so much more intimate about seeing Phish indoors. The vibe is so great when the lights go down and for 10 seconds or so all you can see is thousands of flickering lighters spark up. Then you get your first glimps of the boys. Trey will usually pump his fist to the deafening crowd and flash a huge grin. It's obvious he's just as psyched to be there as you are. As anticipation fills your mind as to what they'll play, Trey counts off the tempo to the opener.... There's no place in the world you rather be. There's nothing that compares to that indescribeable feeling. I wish I could be in Vegas on Thursday I envy those of you who are able to do the whole tour, I'll see you all in Worcester. PEACE. - Jeff Waful, jonesing in Boston
I just wanted to let the community know that ticketmaster no longer sends phish tix via regular mail due to excessive reports of lost or stolen tix and fraudulent credit card orders. These obviously result from dishonest and immature phans who want to screw over ticketmaster. I hate ticketbastard as much as everyone. But ticketmaster is not going to absorb the loss, they are just going to make it that much harder and expensive to get tickets. I am sure if we, the phans, continue to defraud tix from ticketmaster, they will just quit carrying phish tix and everyone will have to drive the entire tour twice. Remember Red Rocks? The commercial establishment has no problem with dropping the whole phish enterprise. On a personal note, I will not subject myself to the inherent uncertainties of will call so I am forced to pay the extra $8 for UPS delivery. I am sure I am not alone in my frustration over this matter. Everything is interconnected. Cause and effect does apply. A dishonest act will have a bad effect. Maybe not for the thief there and then, but someone will suffer down the line. Thank you for your time and consideration. And thank you Andy for providing all of us with a wonderful home page and forum. Lamar.
Looking very forward to bailing out of work early this week for a quickie to Salt Lake for the Friday night show (we ended up with great seats!)...anyhow, I was checking the map out, planning routes, etc, when I noticed that the giant island in the Great Salt lake is called Antelope Island...are you getting my drift!?! I'm jazzed for an "Antelope" in Salt Lake on Friday night! Peace, see everyone there! Patrick Eugene, OR PS/ How about an Oregon show or two in 98!!??!!
I am an analyst at a bank, so a lot of times I can sit at my computer working diligently while jamming Phish in a set of headphones. Needless to say, financial institutions aren't exactly a hotbed for fans of the band so I constantly stuck trying to explain to people why they are just so damn good. I don't know whether or not it is the scene at the shows, the sense of community or just the fact that they groove together better than any band we've seen. Whatever it is, it's special. Hat's off to the guys for doing what they do and making our jobs as fans so pleasurable.
This is quite a long story, but one I feel needs to be told for if no other reason some people other than my friend Paul and I can Laugh at it, and is'nt that what a good story should be all about? I belive that all things happen for a reason, and that the power of positive thought far out weighs that of negative. With that in mind, bear with me for a story that spans about 15 years(I promise it wo'nt take that long to tell) Being born and raised in Connecticut, and schooled in various regions of New England, Phish has been a part of my life for many years. However it how it has become such a large part is what makes this story unique. As a youngster growing up in West Hartford Ct., ( as the youngest of five kids) my musical taste were entrenched in The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and primarily Jerry and the Grateful Dead. At 14 I was lucky enough to con my parents into letting me go to the Dead in Hartford. There we were, me and three friends, clueless and walking into the civic Center. The first night was great, even though many of the songs were completely new to me, but it was the second night that had the most profound effect on me in the years to come. It was October 14,1983, and in the second set one of the only songs I Knew was St Stephen. Now I wsa so young and dumb, I couldnt quite understand why everyone was freaking so bad. I mean it was on their greatest hits, why would'nt they play it. It took me a couple of years and several more shows to realize what I had witnessed. Ok, big f--king deal right? Well I always felt there was a reason I was there for one of the first they had played in years, and what I think was either the lsat,or second to last they ever played again. As result I always felt if I waited, and willed it enough, no song, within reason, was out of the Loop. Fast forward to 1990. After seven years on a steady diet of Dead shows, with the local Max Creek shows thrown in to keep me in fighting shape, I rolled into my first Phish show. I was in college, and working in D.C. when a friend from Maine asked if I wanted to go catch Phish at the Bayou. I had heard of them but never heard them, but always willing to see live music I gladly taged along. Wow, interesting stuff I thought. I obviously didnt know any of the songs, except for the covers, but was entertained none the less. I mean hear are these guys playing their hearts out, one dressed in a dress, and the bass player dressed like God Knows what, with his rolled up sweats, socks pulled all the way up and high tops, you've got to be kidding me. Then they start playing on trampolines, I mean I laughed the whole show, and was proud to see such an original product out of good ol' New England. Well years passed, and I caught several shows around New England, but never raelly gave Phish my full attention. I was still very focused on Garcia, and as a result only took Phish as they came. That all changed in May of 96. At this time of my life I was listening to more Phish, I had several albums but I had not been to a show in years. I spent much of my time listening long and hard to Coltrane, and the Rolling Stones, with Eile on Main Street becoming my musical bible, listening to at least some of it everyday, and telling everyone that would listen that Loving Cup was the greatest song ever recorded. At this time I was living in DC full time and had become good friends with a kid from NYC Paul Weiss. Weisser was a huge Phish fan, UVM class 0f 90' with countless shows under his belt. Well one night a bunch of us are out in DC, drinking and playing pool. On the way home Paul pops in a bootleg (Sugarbush 95) and on comes "sparkle", I tell Paul to rewind it because I want to hear the whole thing. Well when I hit play again it's gone too far and as I listen I say "is this Loving cup?", obviously it was and he rewinds that for me. Im floored, not only can I not belive that their doing it, it flawless. I can barly contain myself, this is a sign I tell him, and I am definetly in on this Clifford Ball thing he's been trying to get me to go to. Im so fired up that I hop out of the car in the middle of Georgetown, say goodbye to my buddy John whose leaving for Ct., and take off across the street to my girlfriends house. Unfortunatly, in all my excitement, I forgot the cardinal rule, look both ways. The next thing I know Im bouncing off an Audi, airborn, and lying on Mstreet with my leg bent at a very strange angle. Well I survived, and while I was laid up Pauly supplied me with countless hours of live tapes which I listened to with enthusiasm I had'nt had in years. A few months later, with four screws and a titanium rod I was off to Plattsburgh, with Pauly in search of my loving cup. Well obviously it did'nt happen, but I had the time of my life anyway. The shows were very solid, I couldnt belive how far the band had come musically and sociallly. the whole scene was great, a huge step up from what the Dead had deteriorated itno at the end. Well, the boys were playing on my b-day at MSG the following Oct, surely I would get an LC there. No luck, just two more hot shows. December it was off to Vegas, and now i was not only jonesing for LC, but had a real craving to hear Wedge as well, and as Paul and I flew in, and the pyramid of the excelsior Hotel staring me in the face, I was sure it would happen. No dice, just quite possibly the hottest show ive ever seen in my life, by anyone. You think the Mikes is hot on SS&P, get a hold of this tape, if you were there you know exactly what I mean. Well I now live in Houston, and thought I would have to fly to ever see Phish in the near future. However two shows in Texas for the summer Tour yeah! Boo!, I have to fly to Boston for a wedding and miss both. No problem, I'll just save all my energy for Went. Boo! Another wedding, Pauls roomate (A UVM grad, what was he thinking!). I get back to Houston only to have Paul call me and tell me to sit down. He reads me the set list from Went, and we both laugh and say good thing we were'nt there, because I probably woulndt have known how to handle the Loving cup closer, and then the wedge opener(Did Trey think I was there?) Well, in a couple of weeks its back to Hartford for my first show since Vegas, and the point where this story all began. Ive always had great luck with shows in Hartford and Im sure I wont be dissappointed. Its funny, when I go to these shows alot of friends are horrified by how many youngsters there are, I just laugh and think of myself there 14 years ago, and think mabey tonight they get their St Stephen. And if you go to Hartford(or Worcester I hope) and you hear Loving Cup, youll know someone there will be smiling just a little bit harder, and Ill rub the bump on my leg and laugh,"Its about time boys, me and the leg have been waiting." If you lasted this long thanks, its been theraputic and fun. Have a great tour wherever you may go. Long live Phish! Peace, Jim C.
This summer at the Gorge as we were making our way out of the camping area to the venue the first night, we saw Mike Gordon strolling through the sea of vendors. He stopped and looked at some dresses for the lovely girl he was with. Noone rally regonized him until one girl said, "Hey Gordo!". Then it was pretty much a mass welcoming party. Anyways, I just remembered that, and thought it was pretty cool for him to be strolling through the lot so casually. -Andrew Gadiel
Well, it's been quite sometime since I posted any type of thoughts here, and I have been wanting to, since I was able to do the entire summer tour this year :) But I'm not quite ready to put all of that into words yet...hehe What I do want to do is hopefully find a few kids that we met on the road going through Arizona (I'm almost positive it was Az., but I could be wrong I guess. was definitely out mid-west tho) I know this may be impossible, considering I have no idea of their names (way too many names to remember on tour, my only problem), or if they even visit this great site (thanks andy). Anyway.....as I'm driving along in our Green 76 VW Campmobile (some primer spots if that helps)....a small car comes up along side of us, I believe it may have been white or grey or something light. They get me to roll down the window, and ask if I have any goodies that I could help them out with. Unfortunately, I had enough to last the ride, if I was lucky, and that was it. So they said thanks, and passed us. Well, as I continue to drive, it starts raining a little bit. Fairly hard actually. Then the sun broke through, and it was gorgeous...mountains everywhere. A few miles down the road after the sun poked out, I saw those same kids on the side of the road, waving me down. So of course I figured something happened to their ride, and I pulled over. When I hopped out of the bus, I started walking towards them.......and then I looked up at the sky. What I saw was THE most amazing rainbow I have ever seen. (sure were a lot of rainbow's on that tour) It was stretching across the highway, from one mountain to another. and behind it was the beginning of a second rainbow. All I could do was smile! I walk up to the kids, and say...what happened, and before they even answered, I was in the middle of a group hug, and everyone was just laughing. They told me they pulled me over to make sure I didn't miss that incredible sight! And if they hadn't have done that, I surely would have, so I owe them a lot. I took some pics of it (one which came out superb....and it is scanned)... I'm working on a new page, which will have that and other tour pics (including some front row shots of the boys! ~~~shameless plug, sorry andy!~~~) I've rambled enough for now, just wanted to share the story of the great people that helped me to see one of the most gorgeous sights I've ever witnessed....... And if you are one of those kids....PLEASE give me a holler!!!! Jeff guyute@cyberrealm.net
Commentary on the direction of Phish- 11/4/97 For some time I've wanted to talk about my thoughts on the summer tour and the direction of Phish in general. For some background, I'm 20, have been to around 20 shows (7/8/94 was my first), and have something in the vicinity of 250 hours. I've also been an avid reader of Phish.net until Rosemary's shut down. That's part of why I'm writing this, because I havn't been able to read anyone else's thoughts on the subject. The only show I saw from the past summer tour was the Went, and although I havn't yet heard the tapes (thinly veiled grovel), I can say with confidence that what I heard in Maine blew me away more than anything the band has ever done before. From the opening note of Makisupa, I kept thinking to myself "this is a new band." Suddenly Phish wanted to play again, like the way they did in August 93 and November 94. They just REFUSED to play anything the way one might call "standard." Cases in point: Theme, Chalkdust, PYITE, Halley's: songs that we EXPECT certain things will be generally the same. At the Went they WENT somewhere. (Sorry, couldn't resist). Some people complained about the lack of some big jamming songs, like Mike's, Bowie, and Antelope. Well, take a look at their relatively NEW major jamming vehicles that SOARED at this show- Wolfman's, Gin, DwD, 2001, Halleys(!), Cities, Simple, etc. People forever complain that new epics are scarce. Well look what they're doing to these! Many people feel that December 1995 was a musical "peak" for the band. I agree. "Peak" months also include August 1993 and November 1994. (If you don't believe me, check out 11/22, 11/26, 11/28, 11/30, and 12/1, among many others). December 1995 marked a musical peak that 1996 failed to surpass. 1996 was a strange year for Phish. The biggest change was Trey's extended use of the percussion kit, and the use of more percussion on general. Some of the biggest musical moments of the year see percussion taking a major role. (guest drummers, 11/2 Croseyed Antelope, 11/7 Gin, etc). The "big improvements" of the year were DwD, Simple, 2001, and Maze, among others. Yet one couldn't help feeling like the band was reaching for something a little stagnant. (This is LIVE Phish I'm talking about- "Billy Breathes," I believe, is a wonderful album). I saw the Ball, Hartford, and the whole NY run, and loved it all. But I had concerns, as many did, about the seemingly aimless "direction" of Phish. Then they go to Europe in spring 1997 and start cranking out some beauties. Something like 2/17/97 Amsterdam hadn't happened since 1995, and new songs were starting to show real promise. The second Europe tour was, I believe, the turning point. They started trying out new toys, new styles of jamming, experimented more with setlists, and debuted some killer new tunes that were oriented towards jamming. (Something else lacking in 1996). When they came to the States they were on a roll. Has everyone heard Raleigh? Compare that DwD to 8/16/96 or 11/27/96- it's just completely fresh and playful- totally new, and, imo, and total improvement. Can you imagine the 2nd and 3rd sets of 8/16/97 being played in 1996? It just wouldn't happen. 1997 has renewed my faith in a band I had been concerned about for most of 1996, and the fall tour hasn't even started yet. 1996 was a mature, controlled representation of what the band had accomplished up to December 1995. As far as major advances musically, 1996 was more preemtive than revolutionary. 1997 has changed the face of the band. Again. Thanks for reading. Have fun on the fall tour- I'll be at Worcester, Albany, and (hopefully) MSG. I'm always up for a trade for summer tour stuff (especially WENT!!!). Later, Ethan efwhite@amherst.edu
Alright this is what happened. I work in a rural country store in Jericho Vermont. I was working the register tonight and in walks this guy. At first my response is hows it going? He replys pretty good. Then i actually look at him and its Mike Gordon. I'm thinking holy shit. So I decide to play it cool and be a dumbass. He says he was looking for deoderant. So I get him some Speed Stick regular. If I could have that moment back again I would have said how the glow stick jam at the went was fucking amazing. But instead I was the usual cashier but underneath I wqas the most excited person in the world. So I love Phish with my heart, mind and soul. This experience totally shows how they are still regualrs in Vermont. Basically Mike Gordon made my day. Jon
I have not been to a show in quite some time and I am VERY excited that my schedule allows me to add the upcoming 6/23/97 Winston-Salem,NC show to my list of shows attended. My last show was definitly my favorite. It was July 22,1997 in Raleigh, NC,having seats in the second row right in front of Trey did not hurt. After having this much time to reflect on how great that show was I now realize that July 22, 1997 was the best day of my life. Several days before the show, some friends and I stumbled across a large green road sign that read "HOOD ROAD" to us that was an obvious refrence to Harry Hood. We brought the sign with us to the Raleigh show and hung it from the tailgate of the car and quietly watched peoples reations when they saw such a cool big sign gently rotating from a bungee cord hung from the tailgate. People talked to us and asked where we got it, everyone was having fun. About two hours before the gates opened Mr.Mike Gordon passed by and we said "hey, mike" and he laughed and saw our HOOD ROAD sign and smiled and waved from his golf cart that was misteriously labelled with a sticker on the front that read "rock star cart" Anyway, the show started and it began to rain and I was treated to the great lights of Phish and lights by mother nature, it was a noisy summer electrical storm and Page actually incorporated the sounds of thunder and claps of lightning into his jam. The set break was when the storm picked up and we saw some girls we knew from high school and they came with us to the second row for the second set. Because we knew the security gaurds and they were cool. Then we all stayed up all nite talking about how great the show was and the great people we met. July 22, 1997 was a day to remember forever for me and hopefully my next show will be even better. So far every show I have seen has been better than the last. It may sound like every other day to some of you but that day meant more to me than anything. mikessong, zack
This summer I went with three of my friends on tour. My friend Cam had brought along his pop-up camper. We started out in St. Louis and that was one of the best ones I had seen this summer. During intermission we were relaxing in the lawn when we see this man and lady having what looked like some sort of wedding ceremony. They kissed and through the bouque and took off her garder and everything. It was very strange. After the concert we leave the next day and our on our way to Chicago when my friend Nick hears something outside the car. So he looks out the back window to find that we were dragging the propane tank from the camper. We pull over and tie it up with some hemp that I had. So we get back on the road, thinking that all is good. We drive probably ten more minutes when Nick looks out the window again and notices that the tank was about to fall off again. So we have to pull over again and take it off. We get back on the road and about thirty minutes later the truck begins to shake and all of a sudden the camper tire blows. We are stuck somewhere near the Indiana border, not even sure where. So this state trooper eventually comes to our rescue. He helped us put the spare on and everything. It ended up taking about an hour. So us four are still happy and in the best mood, despite everything that had gone wrong. We get back on the road and about twenty more minutes passes and that same tire we had just changed blows. By now the sun was beginning to set and we were stuck in this desolate little town. We haven't the slighest clue what to do. Soon after, the retired police chief finds us and after awhile we finally decide what to do. We ended up taking the camper to this gas station to be fixed in the morning. My friend Cam's aunt and uncle lived about 45 minutes away so we end up driving there to sleep for the night. It was such a nice change from camping. We all got to shower AND all four of us got to sleep in our own queen size beds. We were very grateful. So in the morning we drive to the gas station and have to wait for the camper to get some brand new tires. Everything ended up working out great. We lucked out by running into just the right people. To conclude my story we ended up taking the camper to my house at Purdue University, where we ditched little Toady and headed for Chicago. To tell you a little bit more about the wedding ceremony we witnessed...we were at our campground in Alpine Valley and we saw the same two people walking around. The whole tour was quite an experience to say the least. Jeni Michalos West Lafayette, IN
HOLY COW It was July 4th and a small crowd of Phans were celebrating Independence Day on Lake Como in Northern Italy. Some of us were actually more excited about the venue for the free Phish show to be held the next day....It was a small pavillion bordered by Lake Como on one side, with a few quaint cafes on the other. Phish had played a show in Germany the night before and spent a long night on the road. We were well into our second bottle of cheap wine by the time Trey, Page & Mrs. Page & Co stumbled down for breakfast. As usual, they were somewhat mobbed by those who were there....but Dave, Ryan & I were content throwing a disc around. Time passed....Ryan went to the store for some more goodies...and Dave & I continued to miss eachother with some pretty awful throws. Dave's back was facing Trey & Co. as they walked up towards us....Trey motioned for me to throw him the disk and I did so without letting Dave know what was up. Fearing that this, my worst throw yet, might cause some damage...Dave tore off after the runaway disc. All that could be heard as Dave crashed through their ranks was "HOLY COW!" - from Page. Dave was wearing a shirt that read : "Holy Cow, Trouble in River City". The dust settled and everyone was OK....except maybe Dave, who was upset that his only run-in with the gang was near-fatal....But the show went on under the stars, and all was well in the world (at least for 2 hours or so). Tommy
I SAW STARS I didn't like the Darien Lake show at all. Okay, my problem with the Darien show was that it came just 24 hours after the Star Lake show. There was a kind of magic at Star Lake that I've not felt at any of the other shows I've seen. All jokes aside, set one of the Star Lake show was the most phenomenal single set I heard Phish play on the tour (I saw VA Beach and Gorge-> Went). The second set was nearly as good, with a mind-boggling Ghost-> Isabella (my favorite moment from the entire tour--save for *maybe* the Went Hood). Lemme speak in depth about my reactions to this show: We open with something new. I was rapping with a few folks before the show about what the opener would be. Our consensus seemed to point to Ghost, as it hadn't been heard for a few shows. I jokingly said they'd come out with something we haven't heard before (we all had a laugh about that one). Much to my surprise, I was right. Elton John's Amoreena. A new "Page" tune, it seems, though it hasn't been played a second time yet. I knew I'd heard it before, but I couldn't place it. All the setlist scribes were going nuts trying to get a name for it. My friend Rob, who was at his first show (and about his third time hearing Phish), recognized it right away. He was a hit during the set break when he enlightened everyone.... anyway, this tune is in the same laid-back lounge-style vein as Tela and Lawn Boy. I couldn't make heads or tails of where the show could go after that, dare I say, very bizzare opener. Maybe they'd been rehearsing it and Page said, "Let's do it first before I forget the words." Next up is Poor Heart, which was last heard at the Austin (or was it Dallas?) show. Seemed standard for the most part, but then it seemed to have grown a little jam. What, you say? Poor Heart with a jam? Well, judge for yourself when you hear it. I was on my feet, which was all that counted. After that came Stash. We hadn't heard this old favorite much on the tour, so it was welcomed. Hot damn this Stash was good!! A bit shorter than your average Stash, but it SMOKED! I was rolling my eyes when it began because it seems like every time Phish comes to the Pittsburgh area they play Stash. But as it grew, I found myself deep in the groove thinking, "Damn the sound is good here." They bring it down with a lovely little Water In The Sky. I dig this tune because it sound like something you'd hear in chruch. There's something about the sound of Page's piano work that lives up this tune. They lyrics are the best of the new songs, IMHO. So now I'm really happy, and for the first time I look up at the roof of the pavillion and thank God. Now, here's where things get VERY intense. Gumbo. Not even the Tinley Gumbo can hold a candle to this one. I wouldn't be going out on a limb by saying that this was the best Gumbo ever. Lasting nearly 20 minutes, it funked-out the whole joint. Even the damn security were shaking their asses. I mean they tore the roof of the place with Gumbo. You could feel the energy level max out. I'm not talking much about the actual mechanics of any of the more jam-heavy songs because, like Gumbo, the changes and tensions in each would make any attempt at explaination moot. About thirteen minutes into Gumbo, I leaned over to my friend Brian and said "They could play this all night and I'd still be dancing!" I thank God a second time, and get a real treat in return. I hear a lot of bitching about the fast song/slow song rotation on the tour, but after a Gumbo like that, I really can't blame Phish for wanting to slow things down. What follows is a very tight, lovely-as-usual, Horse-> Silent. The only one on the whole tour, as a matter of fact. I though it had to be the end of the set after Silent. I couldn't have been more wrong. Beauty of My Dreams was up next. Standard stuff. I always dig this tune and rarely get to hear it live. I was real psyched, still smiling, and once again I thought the set was over. Ha-ha. Crosseyed & Painless!!! Woah-baby! This was one mean mother-humper of a crazy jam. They hadn't done it since February in Italy (it would be the only one for the tour, incidentally). The ground shook for all of the 16-or-so minutes they banged it out. My whole body was pulsing with positive energy. Nothing could have brought me down---even when it broke down into: Wilson. Hey, what the hell. You gotta throw a Wilson into any great show somewhere (you ever notice that?). Now the set's over, right? Wrong, they boys step down front for yet ANOTHER summer tour one-timer: Sweet Adeline. And here we end, almost 90 minutes later. Smiles abound throughout the venue. As a resident of Western PA, I was nervous about the reaction my fellow Phishers would have. After that set, I was completely satisfied with the assumption that everyone was having a REALLY good time. For the third time, I look up, smile, and thank God I'm here. Set two starts with a bang! This was my favorite Runaway Jim. Perfectly placed, so as to not disrupt the flow, and played to perfection. Pretty standard, though (which, for Jim, is how I like it). But it was merely a warm-up for what came next. After Jim, comes what is arguably the best thing Phish did on the whole tour. GHOST takes off like a rocket and never looks back. I challenge anyone to find a better Ghost so far. When I heard it in VA Beach, I wasn't all too awful impressed by it. I think it must have needed time to mature (but then again, it really SUCKED at the Went) I mean thos was a real fire-and-brimstone balls-to-the-wall FREAK OUT jam!! I was shaking my ass so much, the people around me had to pick up their own paces just to keep out of my way. Then they broke it down into a SCORTCHING Isabella! I was thinking "It just don't get any better than this." Sure, neither of these two songs are tried-and-true Phish jams yet, but for juvenile members of the rotation, Phish sure brought down the house. For the fourth time, I thank God. After Ghost-> Isabella, the rest of the set was just a refusal to die by the band. They were going out with a (very) loud bang. First, they slowed the scene way down (presumably so the audience could catch its breath) with a beautiful Sleeping Monkey (another on my faves list, and yet *another* one-timer for the tour). I was ecstatic to hear it. I'd been enjoying the sound of it on tapes for a while, but never got to hear it live. It was simply beautiful. Following Monkey, in a strange place in rotation, is McGrupp. You know, it was my first McGrupp, too, but at the time I didn't realize it. Great, standard, usual McGrupp which segued (kinda) into Sample. Again, every good show has to have one. No matter how much we'd like this (and Wilson) to fade away, it is ineveitable that Phish will throw this tune into the mix whenever they're having fun. I'm almost CERTAIN that any show you see with Sample will be a show that Phish was having fun at. It just seems to be that way. After Sample, I figured the set was over. For the first minute of 2001, I couldn't place it. It almost sounded like Franklin's Tower (then again, I may have been hallucinating--oh, wait, I was sober). Then I realize, "Oh, okay, they're adding the intro back onto 2001." NICE!!! I could hear it at every show. There's something about it that just seems to say--THIS IS PHISH (even though it's not--eh, you know...). Next up came Golgi and eyes were rolling. Hey, what the hell? It hadn't been played since the spring, and was the 6th (count 'em) tune in this show that was a one-time for the summer tour. I'm sorry, but it ain't a Phish tour without at least one Golgi. It was great, but could it be otherwise? And it was a great platform for the last tune of the set: FRANKENSTEIN!!! Simply the finest cover Phish does. No debating it or denying it. You can't convince me otherwise. The crowd went BALLISTIC! It was almost like everyone in the joint came to hear Frankenstein. And it was SWEEEEEET! The best Frank I've heard live. I can't attest to the best-ever title, so I won't suggest it. What a great closer to the set! So, leaving us to ponder on an encore, Phish had me convinced that they would muck-up a perfectly good show with some typical hoo-ha like Rocky Top or Julius (Julius was the encore for Pittsburgh '95 and '96). When the first few notes of Theme began to chime during the encore, I felt a warm and fuzzy wave pass through me. As if my brain were trying to let me know, "They're playing your favorite song, G." Someone in front of me shouted "What a great fucking encore!!!" Right on. I couldn't have asked for more. I don't know what it is about Theme, but I just love it. I've heard it at six out of the eleven Phish shows I've seen (more than any other song), and I couldn't be happier about that. So you see, the Darien show just happened to suffer from ill-timing. It probably was better than I thought, but after Star Lake, even the Went was hard pressed to bring me higher (it did once, during Hood). Gary Comley gecomley@usaor.net
For me, the second day of the Great Went was quite possibly one of the most incredible concert experiences I've ever encountered. After the first set warm-up and the orchestra started playing, I wandered about the concert site, ran into a few of my friends, got some great oven baked pizza, and returned to my seats just to the left of the tapers section just in time to marvel at the incredible glider spinning through the air to an incredible sunset in the distance. It was an amazing setup for what was to come. I remember turning to my friend right before the second set started that day and said, "This is going to be the greatest set Phish has ever played" I don't know how I knew. Purhaps it was the amazing build up of energy in the air or the unknown sculpture being built. All I knew is that what I was about to see would be a site beyond anything I'd experienced. As the lights went out and Chris' lights turned on, Down with Disease signified the beginning of an incredible musical journey. The jam which followed lifted me to a higher place, beyond which I'd ever been. As they settled into their familiar, post-disease funk jam and fishman and page began painting, I knew something was up. My attention was fully focused on the stage. Trey began the Bathtub Gin chords as a signal to all to keep moving. We were off and running. As this jam builds and builds, which you should all listen to, it slowly grew to a place I don't believe Phish has ever ventured. The jam was so moving, running, as we were. I couldn't run in place any longer, I had to jump up and down as I danced. No other music has ever done that to me before. Put me in a place indescribable by words, although I'm trying to do that now. I was in a pure state of joy. It was perma-grins for everyone. I was looking around to see if anyone could quite possible comprehend what I was experiencing, when I all I saw was smiling dancing faces. Everyone knew it. Phish was at the their best. They had set themselves up to explode and blew up right through the top of Maine. I was in awe. As the Gin jam segued into Uncle Penn, for god knows what reason, it gave up a break to collect ourselves and reflect on what we had just experienced. But not enough time, cause as they started the longest 2001 ever played, we knew we were in for a special treat tonight. Trey and Mike got a turn as artists and as their pieces finished up, Trey explained to us the connection with the audience and the reasoning behind the mysterious statue that layed before us. It was a collective unit between the audience and the band. We were all apart of it. And as the passed their pieces across the audience towards to the statue, I stood breathless. This is what I travelled around the country to experience. I pure state of connection. The band understood what they were there to do. Connection through music. And at that moment, I felt an overwealming sense of oneness with everyone else there. The sculpture was complete and as the drum beats of Harry Hood sounded out, this indeed became one of the greatest Phish sets ever. They capped off the set the only way they knew how. Jammed it out and felt amazing about it. As the Harry Hood jam began, Trey once again requested for the lights to be turned off so we could concentrate on the statue glistening before a full moon in the distance. And as Harry grew and the moon bounced around the grounds with the representational statue of our connection with the band, we were all dancing and flailing and living and running. The build was incredible as they lifted us up once again. We responded by throwing colored light sticks through the air to create a marvel of visual delight. This here was what we all came to see. A masterpiece in the making. Being there at the moment of creation. Seeing how the music is made through the band to the audience and back again. We all felt it, and want to recreate it. That my friends, was a perfect moment. Thanks, Andrew Gadiel
Tour started for me in Tinley Park at the World, possibly the worst venue in the USA. Actually the lot was pretty open, cops made their presence felt early and mellowed out. The show itself was average, a nice Lizards and encore with Sugar Blue. Alpine was incredible! The cops sucked and were busting people left and right, but the show was HOT. Now here is my statement to all people who have stopped seeing the band or complain about the band retiring songs and playing new songs. A friend of mine who has been seeing the Dead since 1976 and Phish since the beginning stated the jam at Alpine was the best he has ever seen in the last 21 years!!! This show smoked, highlights included PYITE, Ghost, Reba, Foam and then Mike's>Funny as it Seems>Simple>Swept away>Steep>Scent of a Mule>Slave to the Traffic Light>Weekapaug!! TOO PHAT!! On to Deer Creek which lived up to its rep as being the easiest venue in the country to get busted at. I thought they were going to strip search me as i entered the venue the first night! The show lived up to my expectations. If you were on tour, you know thousands of people needed tix for this show. Bathtub Gin to open > Sparkle, a fine Split Open and Melt and Harry Hood to close set one. Set 2 was outrageous!!! A 25 minute Cities to open followed by Good Times, Bad Times. Then the fun began, a wild jam that included Page on the Theremin (this is the weirdest instrument I have ever seen) and then the instrument switching with Mike on keys, Trey on drums, Page on bass and Fishman on guitar dressed up in an overcoat to perform Rock O William. A phat David Bowie to close the set. The Indianapolis newspaper reviewed the show the next day and gave it 1/2 of a star out of 4!! :) Stating that Phish could "piss in their fans ears and call it music" and stated they were directionless and no one took control of their jams and Down with Disease was the only song with any leadership show by Trey :) The second night may have been my favorite of my 4 shows in 4 days. Guyute was the song I needed to hear. Makisupa was a very appropriate opener. During the opening line when Trey says "woke up this morning" he added "SCHWAG" to the lyric. A band of 7 undercover officers were combing the lot busting everyone in sight. We followed along and got warned by the police for warning people about the police :) Horn was cool and Antelope to close set one was phat. Timber Ho is always a welcome opener to set 2 followed by Piper and Vultures (lots of jamming) and a rocking MY Soul. YEM was amazing as usual, the trampolines were brought out for the jam. Character Zero is really becoming a powerful set closer. After the show I heard people complaining how it did not live up to the 2nd night of Deer Creek last year. Myself, I was blown away. I feel 97' tour blew away 96' Fall tour. Hope some people feel the same, take care, Rob
Well, I apologize for my somewhat cynical reveiw of the shows I saw. It doesn't really bother me that Trey wasn't completely on top of his game the whole tour. Phish still impressed the hell out of me. I recently got some tapes from the summer tour and am now once again jonesing for Phish. It's only been a month, and already I need a show. I think the drum solo between Fish and Gulloti from Dallas is insane. Listen to what these guys are doing!!! They are totally locked into each other, but yet in completely different time signatures and are constantly improvising and changing tempo. I lost my shit listening to that tape last night. I really think that Gulloti was a lot more locked into the groove in this show than at the 10/23/96 Hartford show. In Hartford, he seemed to be guessing at the changes, which is really impossible to do with Phish. I'll bet that he went and learned a lot of Phish tunes this time around because at the Dallas show, he is so locked in you almost don't even notice him at times. Some of the Ghost jams I've heard on tapes of shows that I was not at have also blew me away. Phish was definitely heavy on the funk this tour, but it rocked! And don't worry Phish just keeps changing. Next tour will be completely different. That's the beauty of Phish. Nothing is permanent. (i realize I'm now babbling). But, For those of you who are saying, "oh, Phish isn't the same anymore", or "they don't jam like they used to", well of course they don't. That's their main objective...to always do something different. I now realize this. So as much as I loved '93 and '94 if they kept jamming like that it would be old and stale now. THANK YOU PHISH for the never-ending evolution of music... P.S. As far as the rumor of Trey and Fish showing up at the A.R.U/ Michael Ray & the Kozmic Crew/Moon Boot Lover Halloween show in Boston, I am not trying to further spread this rumor, but I keep hearing it from EVERYONE in Boston and from reliable sources also. Andrew, please keep us up to date on what you hear...(this show will be great none the less). PEACE - Jeff Waful, Boston
Tour started for me in Tinley Park at the World, possibly the worst venue in the USA. Actually the lot was pretty open, cops made their presence felt early and mellowed out. The show itself was average, a nice Lizards and encore with Sugar Blue. Alpine was incredible! The cops sucked and were busting people left and right, but the show was HOT. Now here is my statement to all people who have stopped seeing the band or complain about the band retiring songs and playing new songs. A friend of mine who has been seeing the Dead since 1976 and Phish since the beginning stated the jam at Alpine was the best he has ever seen in the last 21 years!!! This show smoked, highlights included PYITE, Ghost, Reba, Foam and then Mike's>Funny as it Seems>Simple>Swept away>Steep>Scent of a Mule>Slave to the Traffic Light>Weekapaug!! TOO PHAT!! On to Deer Creek which lived up to its rep as being the easiest venue in the country to get busted at. I thought they were going to strip search me as i entered the venue the first night! The show lived up to my expectations. If you were on tour, you know thousands of people needed tix for this show. Bathtub Gin to open > Sparkle, a fine Split Open and Melt and Harry Hood to close set one. Set 2 was outrageous!!! A 25 minute Cities to open followed by Good Times, Bad Times. Then the fun began, a wild jam that included Page on the Theremin (this is the weirdest instrument I have ever seen) and then the instrument switching with Mike on keys, Trey on drums, Page on bass and Fishman on guitar dressed up in an overcoat to perform Rock O William. A phat David Bowie to close the set. The Indianapolis newspaper reviewed the show the next day and gave it 1/2 of a star out of 4!! :) Stating that Phish could "piss in their fans ears and call it music" and stated they were directionless and no one took control of their jams and Down with Disease was the only song with any leadership show by Trey :) The second night may have been my favorite of my 4 shows in 4 days. Guyute was the song I needed to hear. Makisupa was a very appropriate opener. During the opening line when Trey says "woke up this morning" he added "SCHWAG" to the lyric. A band of 7 undercover officers were combing the lot busting everyone in sight. We followed along and got warned by the police for warning people about the police :) Horn was cool and Antelope to close set one was phat. Timber Ho is always a welcome opener to set 2 followed by Piper and Vultures (lots of jamming) and a rocking MY Soul. YEM was amazing as usual, the trampolines were brought out for the jam. Character Zero is really becoming a powerful set closer. After the show I heard people complaining how it did not live up to the 2nd night of Deer Creek last year. Myself, I was blown away. I feel 97' tour blew away 96' Fall tour. Hope some people feel the same, take care,
Second night at the Gorge- and I finally talked my traveling partner (and best friend) to venture to the front of the stage. We were standing directly against the wall that seperates the crowd from Phish on the far side of Page. Personally, I love being as close as possible where the music is really loud and I can see all the action. Maybe this is due to the fact that i am very short and deaf in one ear. But, anyway... Sometime during the second set, a girl approaches my friend, tugging on his arm. He turns around and is face to face with a stuffed Kermit. I am laughuing- he is embaressed. The girl asks him if he can throw Kermit on stage for her. She explains that she found Kermit in Phoenix, Arizona. She turns the stuffed animal over so we can read what is written on his back. Apparently, Kermit wanted to go on tour. There were instructions to throw him on stage at the Gorge. The girl was afraid that she would not be able to throw him on the stage without my friend's assistance. He takes the Kermit- hurling it towards Page's side of the stage just as Phish takes a breather between songs. I guess my friend forgot we were so close. Either that or he does not know his own strengh. As Page leans down for a sip of his drink, Kermit tags him in the head! Trey sees the whole thing, and I see him pointing and laughing. The crowd starts to boo. All I can do is laugh. So as the night fades on... I nearly foget about the hurling Kermit into Page's head. As tour goes on, my friend and I meet lots of wonderful people. We met quite a few kids from Michigan, many whom we ended up spending quite a lot of time with. (I will add here how much I love all these Michigan kids, and I am thankful to have become so close with several of them.) We traveled with various members of this bunch from St. Louis to the Great Went. The second night at the Great Went. Everyone is excited- anticipating the summer's grand finale. We also started to realize that it was almost over. Summer tour was coming to an end- before our very eyes. The energy level was high. We were all strangly drawn in by the bonds tour had created. What were we all going to do tomorrow? During the first set break, I am reminded of the ridiculous Kermit hurling incident. I start to laugh, and I have to tell one of my Michigan friends about Kermit. When I get to the part about hitting Page in the head, I notice my friend is staring at me with blank disbelief. I think that maybe he is really angry that my friend hit Page in the head. "You have to come tell this story to Andy," he says as he grabs my arm- pulling me to where Andy is sitting. My friend's look is still one of disbeleif as we approach Andy. I am almost scared to tell Andy. I think that maybe they are very upset at whomever threw that kermit at Page's head. I wanted to yell- "I didn't do it! Ryan did!" But, instead I just tell the story. They are both staring at me in disbeleif. And they start laughing. My friend turns to me, laughing. He explains that he was the one who bought Kermit. The little doll that my traveling partner hit Page with had traveled with Andy and my friend for a week or so. My friend was the one who wrote the instructions on Kermit's back and tossed him into the crowd in Phoenix! I guess it is really RANDOM that my best friend hit Page in the head with a Kermit that was purchased by a stranger I was soon to meet- and become very close with. Now, summer tour has ended and I have returned to North Carolina to finally finish college. I miss all the incredible people I met on tour- especially my friends from Michigan. I love you all very much! I cannot wait until fall tour (see you in Vegas!) I am currently looking for a random Miss Piggy to take on fall tour! Pocohantas Pigtails
I'm so stoked to be online! I've been into phish since '92. My phirst show was 2.13.93. And just a week ago, my girlfriend buys a computer and I'm linked to this incredible resource. Great site Andy, keep up the good work! I am a phish addict. Their music dominates my thoughts,my stereo, and my dreams. I'm suffering from serious withdrawl, since my last show was NYE at the Fleet Center. I thought that show left a lot to be desired, and there has been a huge void to fill ever since(no offense to Andy and everyone else who thought the show rocked.) I'm desperately awaiting Vegas and a 4 show mini tour afterwards. I was supposed to go to the Gorge this summer,but my ride sold me out. It was the phirst tour I've completely missed since my phirst show! Ouch!!!!Who feels my pain?Who understands? This schwag experience lowered my already tarnished image of Phish fans. I was beginning to think the only people who went to shows these days were selfish,stuckup, pseudo hippies,who think every show sucks. Then I get online and start reading articles and reviews from kind, lively people who are their for the music. Phish online makes me think my kinds of Phans are still out there I just have to look harder. I finally have a place to share my thoughts, dreams, reviews and whatever on my phavorite subject. So Andy loved NYE and I was dissapointed, SO WHAT?!? The point is neither one of us would have wanted to be anywhere else. So, I look forward to meeting all of you. Please email me with lists or hellos. My address is Icculus132@aol.com Ihave about 60+hrs -chris
O.K., some mixed thoughts from tour....anyone else notice how much Trey messed up? I saw him make some blatant errors in standard songs: Runaway Jim 8/13, Chalkdust 8/16. I think he may be drinking or something. He was definitely boozing at the Went. That's cool I guess, i was just surprised to see him screw up as much as he did, he seemed almost human. I started tour at Alpine Valley and continued on through the Went....I thought that musically, the Went was easily the two weakest shows I saw. Alpine Valley was great, Deer Creek was very solid, Darien, well, Darien was the best of the tour. I think Phish definitely heard that a lot of people on tour were skipping Darien to head to Maine. I think they also knew that people were a bit let down with Hershey last year (being the show before the Clifford Ball). THANK YOU PHISH for rewarding those of us who made the trek to Darien! The Pennsylvania show was a bit mellow, but still very strong...I think most of songs were played for Trey's wife- (it was here birthday), hence the Elton John mellow opener, Amorenna, Beauty of My Dreams, Sweet Adeline. I think Phish was really trying to avoid repeating a lot of "big" songs from last year's Clifford Ball at the Went. I love the fact that Phish is always trying to be different and do something new, but I don't think anyone would have minded Mikes Groove or Antelope....I'm having a hard time imagining the boys making out the setlist (if they did) and deciding to end with the not-so-mind-blowing Prince Caspian. And, Did anyone notice how long they waited to turn the lights up after Tweezer Reprise? Either they did that to let people observe the fire, or (what I thought) they wanted to do another encore, and the crowd wasn't loud enough. I've never seen that...usually it's obvious the band isn't coming back out cause Paul brings up the music and Chris bring up the house lights, but on 8/17, they waited a good 5 min. and the crowd was just mellow...because of an extremely mellow 3rd set. Oh well, I'm probably just over analyzing. I thought the Clifford Ball was AMAZING. Both nights were my dream setlists. The Went (musically) were just two average Phish shows. I still love Phish and an average Phsh show still blows away any other band's best show. Can't wait for fall tour. WHY NO HALLOWEEN??? (or will they announce a surprise show a couple days before.....? - Jeff Waful
The vibes put out by Phish this summer were intense. I was glad to part of this whole thing of grooves. You can tell they are changing in many different ways. Leaving some songs out-Suzy G., and not a whole lot of Gamehenge songs played this summer. Virginia Beach was great..hearing all these new songs..my common experience w/ Virgina shows is that security is always way too tight..Big burly knuckle heads cracking down on every pot smoker in sight.(same thing @ blues traveler in manassas and smashing pumpkins in USair arena) Raleigh was just increadible, the parking lot was nice and quaint back in the woods..the lightning was great and Taste was rippin'. the second set was the best! DWD>Mike's>simple etc..,,Atlanta awsome! What a crazy section of town? Good photo opportunities. By the time I heard Ghost for the second time I knew it was on its way to being a classic. The YEM was one of the best I've ever heard.(Philly 12/29/96 pretty close) Austin was a great show musically but you could tell all the band members were trying really hard to get the crowd going..I think when they played Stash and maybe 15 people clapped, they new there was alot of newcomers there. I think in the second set, trey scratched the set list and just jammed off of instinct. The Bouncin'.Cavern encore was the best on the tour so far in my taste. I really trully enjoyed Phoenix the best. Even my friends thought in all it was the best. If anyone picked up the tour here, they saw alot of new stuff and might not have been impressed. I love a Theme from the Bottom opener..Its so groovy. Sparkle..Ghost great. Second set was mind blowing, Antelope was so good, Taste was perfect, And by the time Sample in a Jar came on the crowd was just exploding..The show came to a head during Sample in a Jar when this Phish Head with long dreads walked right up on stage unnoticed and stopped right in front of Trey and just started spinning. all they while they just kept jamming, lights everything--unbelievable...security came up and got him and Trey just looked at Page and was like That was cool! Rocky Top..Squirming Coil...just awsome set closers....Finally...Possum...Perfect! This show was the greatest to end my tour...I introduced myself to Trey's Grandmom (who lives in Sun City) during the set break..She was so cute all dressed up with 4 other friends from Sun City all in suit and ties and dresses. She must be proud! And before the show I said "whats up" to Mike Gordon riding around on a Golf cart w/ two chicks...I can't wait till Las Vegas!!!!!!!!!!!!! j wright send
I think the only band I know of that could open up for Phish has got to be Rusted Root. They have that heart-pounding, body-buzzing energy that Phish is famous for. Also, they have killer bongo jams and they really get you dancing. Another thing: I understand why the Dead and Phish are compared so much. No other bands in history besides these two have ever been as innovative and positively crazy as them. They share a great parking lot scene, pschadelic shows that always make you come back for more, and, both bands have made it big without losing touch with their fans. They sacrifice their lives to entertain us, and that much deadication makes both bands truly unique, and in their own category altogether. Dawn "like the sunrise"
Right now, I'm sitting at home still swaying to the most incredible tunes in my head that have stayed there since last night. Darien Lake was an amazing show. It was my phirst show so, i don't really have anything to compare it with but my phriend has been to nine phish shows and he sayed this is one of the best ones he's ever seen. the night started off with a really nice intro to Yamar. I've never felt such a feeling. Being with so many people under the same influences. crazy. A while after setbreak, these Bozo people came on and it was a good laugh. I think the ending could have been a little more effective if they had played a different song. Bouncin' Around the Room was a little too light and something like Gumbo or maybe tweezer could haev been played. Whatever. It didn't ruin the show. i've never met and seen so many phriendly people and it was really interesting to see so many people traveling from so many different places. Darien Lake was one great show and i really wish I would be going to Maine. Fall '97 maybe??? See you there.... harry..harry..where do you go when..........................
Well, not a story, but an out of this world experience. It was 7-21-97 and I was shakin my bones in Va Beach. The rain stops, and I turn around to witness the two most beautiful rainbows in my life. I look to the girl behind me, and said "hey, turn around". She turns around, absorbs what she sees and looks at me and says thank you and gives me a huge hug. So, like we all would, I said "thanks you" back to her, and we danced the set away. Thank you Phish, thank you everybody for times like that!!!! ~~chris
Billy, you're not crazy. Try putting on a version on Col. Forbin's Ascend>Icculus>Famous Mocking Bird and watching Beyond the Mind's Eye. Every time I do it, it synchs up differently, but it always looks like the song was written for the video. People ask me, is this the real soundtrack? It is freaky.- REX
Ever listen to a tape and watch the cartoon network at the same time, man some freaky timing happens. Come to think of it- coincidental timing stuff happens all the time when I listen to tapes. Of course, sometimes you sort of make it happen ("Stop switching lanes to Landlady"-Steve) but other times the band seems to be playing music coming straight from the spiritual mix at the center of the universe that creates coincidence. Anyone see the lightning dance to Makisupa? Freaky. -Billy (maybe I'm just crazy)
So who saw my car accident just before the show at Virginia Beach? It was the gray oldsmobile that is practically totaled cause this guy wasn't paying attention. But thank god we made it to that show, and even drove my car (with the bumper falling off) to North Carolina. But it wasn't drivable to Atlanta, and now I don't have a car. And I just looked at the setlist for the Atalnta show I missed and now I'm completely depressed. I guess it was all worth it though. -- Amanda
in VA beach before the show in the parking lot many of you i am sure must have noticed but if you happened to see some guy riding around in a gulf kart it was Mike gordon!! we saw him drive by like 10 feet away from us and everyone started cheerin!! where else can you find a band that does awsome stuff like this phish is truly great. we were thinkin at like 7:00 if we were gona miss the start of the show but then how could they play with out mike!!! phish rocks - rick campitelli
Well the magic of phish definitely extends beyond the music. The music, IS obviously the most important and most amazing aspect to this truly unique band. But, a cool thing happened to me recently. I found myself without a ride for an upcoming string of summer dates. I have tickets for shows from Wisconsin back to the Went. I put up a flyer in a local head shop and within 48 hours a woman called me. She wanted to go. A total stranger. I'm going half way across the country to see the best band in the world with a total stranger, but the way I see it we must be very similar if we;re both willing to spend 11 days together following Phish. I don't think there are very many bands that would attract this kind of "gung - ho" attitude. I cannot wait to go. Phish continually warms my heart.....-REX
What does Phish mean to me? I was a late bloomer in terms of really getting into music. I'm 25 now and PHISH has taken my music listening to another level. Of course, the live shows(been to about 30) cannot be compared, but for me to listen to them when i'm in a bad mood is more therapeutic than anything in this world. In fact, my girlfriend and I just recently broke up and I've been pretty down. But, even though it's temporary, when I turn on Phish, I feel like I have no problems at all. I'll see you all at the Great Went! -- Brett
7-2-97 Amsterdam, Paradiso OK, so the second night started out kind of slow... The opening notes of "Mike's Song" are about the last thing you'd expect to begin a show -- but I guess we were blessed by our religious surroundings and the vibe of the amazing town that was hosting us. This Mike's had crazy energy for so early in the evening -- we knew for sure that we were in store for another night of who knows what. Trey was ripping the laser sounds (serious chorus processing) and the "Mike's" jam followed suit in a very futuristic fashion -- while still staying relatively grounded in terms of the groove and the melody of the jam. Ten minutes in, they directly launched into "Simple", with the harmonies boucing around the old church in splendid fashion. The Simple jam wound down to Trey and Fishman jamming together subtlely -- with emphatic eye contact between the two as Trey danced close to Fish's set, facing the newly buzzed (haircut and otherwise?) drummer. The fade-out of the Simple jam led nicely into the fade-in of "Maze". This Maze was particularly nice because it found Page switching frequently between all of his keyboards -- synths, moogs, elec. pianos included. It seems that the focus of Maze is usually just organ, then piano -- not that there's anything wrong with that. In this version, it was cool to hear the bendy notes that he pulls out of the moog as well some of the other Casio synth noises he taps out of those little tiny synths he now has. Trey's solo was nothing to blink at either -- a less busy approach with more sustains and a few blurts of definite Santana references (not sure which song it is, but it's one of Carlos's phrases that Trey was playing). Perhaps as a nod to Page's contribution to a stellar & unique Maze, they then broke into Page's singing song "Strange Design" -- of course nothing unusual here. I found it to be a good time to head up near the front of the stage -- an easy thing to do in such a small little place. "Ginseng Sullivan" was next with some nice liquid leads from Trey. "Vultures" is truly a cool new song, and it was a nice way to slide back into the experimental phase from earlier in the set. "Vultures" is absolutely unlike any other Phish song to date -- very Zappa-esque in terms of the sonic feel, and a very open-ended jam segment that featured some truly off-beat work from Mike and Fishman. On top of the killer music, the lyrics are killer and they come at you rapid fire style -- like rounds from an AK47. ( I only use that analogy because one of the finest new strains at the coffeeshops was aptly called the AK47 (at the award-winning Dampkring)). Fully expecting a segue into Weekapaug from the killer Vultures groove, they instead wound the jam down and next stepped up to play the Stones-y country shuffle "Water in the Sky". Kind of a catchy ditty that has a nice varying chorus with pleasing harmonies. Similar feel to the slow version of "Poor Heart" of Fall 95. Finally, they ended the set with a standalone "Weekapaug", with full on jamming from everyone. Page was stretching all over the place hammering down different keys (synth and organ, piano and electric piano, etc.) and Fishman was in a world of his own, bringing out nuances in the beat that I didn't think were possible. On top of it all, Trey and Mike seemed to be feeding off each other, both melodically and spiritually. Mike has rarely looked as intense as he did during the peaking moments of this jam. As "Weekapaug" ended, it was evident that it was a perfect conclusion to a cohesive set of both intense jams and nice sounding songs. Set 2 no doubt held much promise as we waited at the set break. They played the entire "Crooked Rain" album by Pavement at the break (night before was Primus) and we theorized about Trey backstage partaking of the AK47 and not wanting to take one of his favorite albums off of the PA. It was a long set break indeed (not sure if that's why set 2 was exactly 50 minutes long.....) Set 2 _was_ short, but it contained no fluff at all -- just pure experimentation and exploration. The commenced the set with two or three minutes of space noises -- it seemed that they were considering "2001" before finally dropping into "Stash". The "Stash" jam covered all of the bases -- it was a little longer than 30 minutes -- ranging from harsh grooves to delicate on-the-spot melodies to raging improv. "Stash" did not resolve and conclude -- instead they faded from an intense space segment directly into the opening blasts of "Llama". "Llama", too, was not completed -- again, a killer, raging jam that dropped into a volume-swell of space. As the space sounds built up, Trey put both his palms down and signalled to "push it down". Page gently continued on piano the chord progression to Llama, but eventually he gave way to the waves of sound that Mike and Trey were working on. Full-onpace ensued. As the hollowness of the space rung out, Page began playing a familiar little r&b line on the organ -- almost sounding like the intro notes to CTB but to a different groove -- in single notes. I did, in fact, think that they were doing an ultra-spacey segue into Cars Trucks Buses. Instead, Trey and Mike followed along on the single-notes that Page was playing, and the groove continued along in a somewhat tweaked manner. Trey then stepped up and sang -- tweaked sounding as well -- "Come on and dance...come on and dance...make some romance...cause the night is coming and the music's humming and you've got to get down to the ....Worm Town!!". We realized it was a play on the Steve Miller tune "Swingtown" and apparently they were continuing the worm theme from the night before. Trey promptly launched into a story about getting sucked into the canals and having to ride along with the giant worms there. With that, they sunk into a nice rollicking space worm groove (I don't know any other way to describe it)...eventually they included the ubiquitous new catch phrase "I think you know where you are....you're on the back of the worm!!!" --- with call and response type vocals between Fish ("I think you know where you are") and Trey ("You're on the back of the worm!!!"). Again, they sunk into volume-swell space and Fishman repeated his line over and over ("I think you know where you are") as we in the audience contemplated whether in fact we did. The space rung out again and this time led into the slow, lilting piano of "Wading in the Velvet Sea". Sure this song is a bit repetitive and slow, but it has some really nice counter-melody singing from Page. It was certainly, however, a disappointment that they ended the set on this song. As I said, the set clocked in at only 50 minutes. I was sure that the encore would be fat...but why not at least make set 2 over an hour? So the encores were fat. In fact, the "Free" is one of the best I've heard in a while, with some nice slow funk emphasis from Mike complemented by unusual squelches and squaks from Trey (or was that Page?). A bit over ten minutes, and they left the stage. I would have been insulted if they hadn't come out for another encore....it wasn't much of surprise that they obliged. The "Bowie" here was killer -- Mike made an early reference to the "Maze" bass line (I know we've all been thrown a few times by the hi-hat intro similarity between "Maze" and "Bowie") and he got a burst of laughter from the crowd. Intimate venues are nice. The jam in "Bowie" was killer, but hard to describe in the way that "Bowie" jams seem to be. Suffice it to say that it felt like an appropriately experimental way to end the two-night run. Also appropriate was Chris K.'s lighting of the stained glass (lit from the outside in) during the concluding sequence of "Bowie". I'm sure the temptation was there to light up the stained glass all the time, but he did it sparingly over the run (only "Reba" first night and "Free" and "Bowie" second night) -- the effect was that much greater. Thank you Phish, for a wonderful time in a wonderful venue in a wonderful town. And thank you all on the net for the bw -- I hope this has shed some light for what to expect for Summer here in the States. We're loving it! JWeber back in Sunny San Francisco
Why are so many people worried about what Phish is going to play this summer? I just don't get it. They have proven themselves time and again and still there are those who doubt. All of these rumors of Phish not playing YEM or Wilson or Mike's anymore have all been proven wrong(see recent setlists). This summer is going to blow our minds! If you doubt this, you will be that much more blown away by how wrong you were for ever doubting the ability of Phish to turn your mind inside out. See you on tour! -Andrew M.
Italy and Phish: A Tale of Two Cultures February 20-24, 1997 Participants: Brian "Stu" Davidson, Joseph Dubin, Ted Kartzman Objective: two trips (not counting the many metaphysical ones): 1) To see a country and experience a culture I've never seen 2) To be part of a culture that a country has never seen or experienced To sum it up in one word: hectic. Not to imply that this was a bad thing, but there was a lot to do, and not nearly enough time to do it all. What we did get done was beyond hectic, but what a time we had doing it all! Priorities were priorities, and of course no Phish show was missed. The only thing we truly lacked was sleep, but we can do plenty of that on American soil. We didn't hit such landmarks as the Uffizi and the Colosseum, but they have been there forever and will still be there when I make it back. How often do you get the opportunity to see your favorite band in front of hundreds? Phish playing in front of "hundreds" does not happen here, and hasn't happened since the days when college felt like it would last forever. Today, tens of thousands is the norm. The cost of the trip was worth it to me just to spend an intimate weekend with my favorite band and a few hundred friends. In a country where you don't speak the language, instant friends were made with ease any time you saw some random head on a train or in a station or on the street. Phishheads and their attire and demeanor were as foreign to Italians as the Italian language and culture wereas to us. It was quite a comfort to have these Americans with the same priorities (well, generally) to share the experience with. Often, directions to venues or which train to catch to where was unclear, so having heads with European knowledge to learn from was invaluable. We won't soon forget Beth, Dave, Matt the Army legend who took off 28 days from the US Army to do the whole Phish tour, Jenn, Lisi from MSU, Driscoll and the Skidmore crowd, Mike & Derek, the "hat tapers" from Cinci, Tara and the Paris girls, drunk and obnoxious Angie, Dan "E.B." Greenstein, Craig from Penn State- enjoy the bat dude, and the beat goes on... I left my apartment at 11am on Thursday 2/20 (the fourth anniversary of the Roxy Reba, don't think fate didn't play a part), and by the time 11am Friday rolled around, we were eating Spinach and Prosciutto Foccacias in Milan. (Yes, we did have a stopover in Amsterdam, but only long enough to win 50 Guilders in Holland Casino in Schleispol Airport, not long enough to get down with DanK.) We caught a quick train from Milan to Firenze, and ran to Lorenzo di Medici (where Stu had studied previously- we thought we had a nice green package waiting for us, but to no avail). Don't worry, Joe had a backup plan (not to be divulged here). We got the last room right down the road at the Hotel Accademia on via Faenza. A quick bat hit (one each- rationing like champs all weekend) and we were off. We had time to see the key sights (Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce) and slug some cheap (L.6000) wine and the best sandwiches in the history of the world at Antico Noe before firing up for the first show. The Tenax is a discotheque on the outskirts of Florence, comparable to an Irving Plaza kind of setup (small balcony on three sides), only it holds 750 maximum. If it wasn't sold out, it was damn close. The crowd was 85-95% American (mostly students studying abroad), but there were quite a few Italians really into it. We couldn't have had a bad seat if we tried. We ended up about twenty/thirty feet on Fishman's side (this place was so small that this was where the dance floor ended). Fish was wearing jeans, no dress. Friday 21.02.97, Tenax, Firenze, Italia Set I (8:50-10:08) My Soul, Foam, Down With Disease, Lizards, Crosseyed and Painless, You Enjoy Myself Set II (10:25-11:55) Yamaar, Run Like An Antelope* -> Wilson** -> The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony-> AC/DC Bag, Billy Breathes, Reba*** Waste-> Prince Caspian E (11:55-12:03): Character Zero * Absolutely raging, turned into a heavy thrash metal type of tune and did not finish, but rather segued directly into ** Heavy Metal Wilson, Trey screaming lyrics and playing with his teeth *** Unfinished, but not diminished! My Soul is a bluesy rock and roll number, great for the opener in the same way that Runaway Jim (perhaps even Sample) is. The chorus is just Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-my soul! I love it. I thought it was super to hear Foam- I always feel it is underplayed on tour- you never heard me complain about a Jim/Foam opener. Mike was again the silent legend, speaking best with the thundering of his bass. The DwD and Lizards were great to hear, but they were standard at best (where does Lizards ever really go?) . I used this time wisely to get some quality photos of everyone but Page (you couldn't really see him from our side). Then Joe and Stu hit the fucking roof when Trey counted out Crosseyed and Painless. Perhaps it had something to do with feeling the Bombs, but these two jumped about thirty feet in the air. A SEVENTEEN minute Crosseyed followed by a TWENTY-plus minute YEM. The Firenze debut of YEM was not a joking matter. There wereas no slowed -down, crowd- silencing, hand-! clapping mellow- accentuating parts in this YEMmer. It was balls to the wall rock and roll, kids. Trey even broke a string, and y'all know that's a rarity. A six song first set that looks average on paper, but was actually 78 minutes. I saw multiple looks of awe by various Italians (remember YOUR first show, you know the look). I wonder how many Italians thought it was over there? Yamaar was the feel-good tune it always is to start the second, and "Leo" played the organ with style and grace as always. Then the most earth- shaking Antelope began, unassumingly. It got louder, denser, thicker, and most of all heavier as the minutes rolled on. It became the heaviest metal version of Wilson I've ever encountered (this includes 1.28.90). It was a totally cool segue, with Trey screaming the Wilson lyrics. This you NEEEEED to hear on tape to believe. As Wilson's reprise ended, Oh Kee Pa started up, and we all confindently called "Bag" over "Suzy.". It was a no-brainer. The Billy Breathes that followed converted me, because it contained the same amount of emotion that Fast Enough For You did at the Mann debut (7.16.93). Beautiful and spine-chilling. If you know me, you know that nothing but Reba could make me happier at this point, so they gave it to me. Profluent perfection. The jam was reminiscent of flying over the picturesque Italian Alps earlier in the morning, soaring over every peak, descending into the valleys and rising again, triumphant at last. Whatever was next didn't matter to anyone, we much needed a water break that Waste provided. It mellowed into Caspian, and it was a perfect closer to an almost perfect show. Only the Disease left something to be desired. After choosing to skip New Year's Eve and miss that Character Zero, I was ecstatic to see the levels at which it was now being played. However, many jaded tourheads were bitter at the proliferation of Character0, and voiced their opinions throughout the weekend with comments like "Welcome to the Character Zero tour" or "Do you think they'll play it twice tonight?" Look, dicks, it's arguably the best jammed song on the album, and theyi're tinkering with it in front of small crowds in Europe to get it right. Mid-first set (London), second to last in the first set (Paris), third song of the second set (Milan), encore (Florence), first set closer (Rome)- for the record, in case anyone of importance ever reads this, first set closer is where it works best for me. If you can't rock to this one, you'd better remove yourself from tour, pal. After the show let out at the Tenax, you wouldn't believe how far apart the two different worlds were in the entry hallway. The Tenax was open for club dancing after the show let out, so you had baked, sweaty, smelly, tie-dyed, patchoulli types clamoring for the exit on one side of the ropes, while slick, haute-couture, vino rosa sipping, buxom leather-clad Italians waited patiently for the Americans to take off. Aaaahh, finally, fresh air. Only one problem, the last bus took off around 12:15, and the rumor was no buses left that night to get back into Firenze "proper.". Stu's Italian speaking skills persuaded this hatchback driving legend, Andrea, to drive us back. He refused to take our money, but he gave me his address, and as an avid tape collector, he'll be excited to receive a few of my choicest tapes from my collection. Did you know: at least that 9 out of 10 cars are hatchbacks in Florence? I'll skip the sights we saw in Firenze that night and the next day, with the exception of The David: "Take a look at these hands!" and the Steak Florentine and Bread Soup at Mario's. That steak Split Open and Melted in my mouth! No time to buy leather, we barely caught our train to Rome by two minutes. Saturday 22.02.97, Teatro Olimpico, Roma, Italia Set I: (7:51-8:05) Walfredo*, 2001-> Funky Bitch, Theme From the Bottom, N.I.C.U., When the Circus Comes To Town, Talk**, Split Open and Melt, I Didn't Know***, Character Zero Set II: (9:50-11:04) Chalkdust Torture, Bathtub Gin-> Sparkle, Simple-> Page Piano-> Jesus Just Left Chicago, Harry Hood, Free, Hello My Baby# E: Johnny B. Goode * new song from London/Brussels/Paris, with band members switching instruments ** Trey on acoustic guitar *** Fishman's vaccuum solo # a capella Rome was not as navigable as Florence, and leaving Florence late, as well as a misunderstanding on the ticket voucher saw Stu, Joe, and I sprinting down Via del Corso on a crowded Saturday night to try to get our tickets. We got to the theater (Teatro Olimpico) four songs into the first set, and walked in as NICU ended. Not the worst thing in the world, but we did miss Walfredo. I was a bit bummed about that, because the people we met had many good things to say about it. I guess that's why they invented tapes. Plus, I have that feeling I'll be seeing Phish again... I can't really comment on the beginning of the Rome show, since we missed it, but I will comment on the venue. This was a twenty-six row mini-theater with an empty balcony of about seven to ten rows, less than half of the size of the Beacon, for reference. Anyaway, as farfar as the setlist, Walfredo opened, and there was an instrument switch (a la Spectrum 12./29/.96) during theat songtune, which has happened every time they've played it seems to be the norm so faor that song. 2001->Funky Bitch couldn't have been bad, good thing I saw that combo at Penn State in the fall. We missed Theme From the Bottom, and came in towards the end of NICU. I was happy we got to hear the Los Lobos cover When the Circus Comes to Town, quite a nice, mellow Sleeping Monkeyesque tune. Trey took out the acoustic for Talk, keeping the mellow mood. An absolute raging Melt broke all that up. Having no interest in Fish's vaccuum solo during I Didn't Know, I checked out the venue. I looked up at ! the balcony, and there weren't even people dancing in the first row. I estimated the attendance at the Teatro Olimpico to max out around 400/450. The first set closed with an even better Character Zero than the night before. Being ten or so rows back, directly in front of Fishman, we caught his eye as Char0 raged, and although he was in a Homer-like trance state, we got him to crack a smile by some of our silly gestures. However, it's all about the second set here. Many people have been commenting on the recent resurgence of Chalkdust in recent months, as evidenced by the lengthy version in Sacramento (11.30.96). Rome's was well above average, featuring a lengthy solo by Trey and Bowie teases by the band. Super version, followed by Page showing off his chops during Bathtub Gin. I caught the widening eye of a piano playing Italian at the beginning of this one. Great Gin, never a complaint from me. It kind of faded into Sparkle, so I grabbed my camera, and much to my delight I had no trouble walking right to the front of the stage and resting my arms on it. I don't think that's ever happened to me. I got great photos of everyone, and made it back to my seat as Simple started. I'll be the first to admit it was no 12.6.96 Vegas and no 10.31.94 'Ween, but the Page piano solo outtro was particularly beautiful. What followed was a (not the) highlight of the whole tour. They begantook Jesus! Left Chicago slowly, and when the jam commenced, it began from the quietest pfrom the quietest point, and they built it up and built it up and built it up until the whole place was in a screaming frenzy. Then the Phish marionettes stopped it on a dime, like the geniuses they are, leaving the crowd breathless. The people wanted more, and in the same way that Reba satiated the crowd on Friday, the Italians were introduced to Hood. Harry Hood. I turned to the young Italian nubile next to me, and through a combination of Italian/English/International Gesticulation, I informed her that if she liked the last one, wait until you see this. It did not disappoint, and no words will do it justice. The ending was a bit extended, and segued directly into Free. The Jesus/Hood combo made my life, so I was happy just to recoup during Free. I don't think locals really recognized it as the single from the new album, and I was pretty happy that Free hasn't been overly pushed on the crowds! in Europe. I made my way back up front and center, and got some good photo opportunities during the a capella Hello My Baby. The Johnny B. Goode encore ripped the Teatro to shreds, and although we missed some tunes, I left satisfied. The band was really getting off on being able to hang out with their fans, something which is now impossible for them to do in America. They took every opportunity they could to let people in to their usually sheltered lives. We heard a few great stories (Lisi, Beth) of getting to hang out with Trey backstage. They know it makes our day, week, month, year, and seemed happy to give back to the fans for their fanatical support. Mike is always friendly and approachable, and spent a good hour talking to people outside post show at the Teatro Olimpico, until drunk obnoxious Angie drove him away with her screeches of affection. After the Rome show, our sights turned on the next night's show, in Cortemaggiore. No map that I had seen since our arrival in Italy showed Cortemaggiore on it. It's a small village (population 2000) about an hour southeast of Milan. We were told that we had to catch an 8:15am train, which didn't leave too much time to see Rome. We couldn't see Rome and make the show in Cortemaggiore, unless we went without sleep, so that's what we did. We got the mini-tour of Rome during the wee hours, walking the Spanish Steps, tossing coins into the Trevi fountain, etc. Quite a shady city, in my opinion. After a quick nap, we were running through the Termini to catch our train. However, the lack of both sleep and nutrition (we hadn't had a real meal since the steak in Florence), and the overexertion of our bodies from the second consecutive night of the Bomb, found Joseph puking as we ran to catch our train. Stu used his verbal skills to talk the Polizia out of detaining us, and we boarded the 8:15am train from Rome to Bologna. At Bologna, we transferred to a local train to Piacenza, where we met Carlo the Parachuter, who filled us in on the intimate setting of the Fillmore in Cortemaggiore. I had made a few extra Phish tapes to bring with me, to spread the gospel through Italy/Europe, and he was delighted to receive one in exchange for his help. Carlo informed us that we would most likely have to get the 20 kilometers from Piacenza to Cortemaggiore on our own. There were rumors of a bus from Piacenza to Cortemaggiore, but since it was Sunday, no buses were running (eEvi! dently, the band was providing for a bus, but we didn't find that out until after the show). In fact, I found out nothing really operates on Sunday, including cambio (change). So we've got maybe 100,000 Lire ($60) between the three of us, and we need to take a cab. The only cabbie around (Vincent) speaks no English, only Italian and French. I delveig deep down into the depthsrecesses of my burnt-out brain and have a full French conversation with Vincent, with mmanaginge to talk him into taking American dollars for driving us to Cortemaggiore. We arrive in this beautiful little village with hours to go before showtime, but we still cannot seem to get a meal, because of the siesta. Joe and I meet Paolo, a local student who spoke a good deal of English. He was He very interested in what kind of rock and roll music would cause us to travel into the Italian countryside. Paolo was super helpful ined us finding us a small pizzearia (Il Cenacolo) run by a super nice man (instaledge) named Angelo. Angelo felt bad that his pizzearia was closed while we were so hungry, so he made us sandwiches to save us from dying of hunger. I would have paid 30,000 Lire for this sandwich, but Angeloand refused to take our money from us. He told us to come back at 6:30, because the Phishband and crew would be eating at his restaurant. We spent the afternoon lounging, listening to tapes, meeting heads, and looking forward to dining with the band. When the band showed up, there were only about 100 people waiting around, so they were ! quite accessible. Everyone was thanking them for what they've done for each of us. Stu got to thank Trey for turning him on to "Remain in Light" at Halloween. Even reclusive Page is hanging around. When we went back for dinner at Il Cenacolo, Angelo provided us with our own private room in which to dine. The only other party with their own private dining room was Trey, Mike, Fish, Page, and crew. Mike was walking bystopped into our private room, so for a qu ick hello, and we called him in and toasted him for being Mike. As was the case everywhere in the whole country, the people, food and wine werewa alls excellent. We thanked Angelo profusely, and made our way back to the Fillmore. Sunday 23.02.97, Fillmore, Cortemaggiore, Italia Set I: (9:31-10:35) Lucy with a Lumpy Face*, Axilla Pt. 1-> All Things Reconsidered, Sloth, Treat Me Like a Fool**, Rift, Fluffhead, Frankenstein, David Bowie Set II (11:12-12:30) Daniel Saw the Stone, Suzy Greenberg, Maze, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Peaches en Regalia-> Mike's Song -> Why Don't We Do Iit In the Road -> HYHU, Good Times Bad Times*** E: Billy Breathes, Rockytop * began with a few seconds of a prerecorded soundcheck ** rumored to be an Elvis cover *** with Tweezer Reprise jam in the second solo The Fillmore had a tiny dance floor, and ten or so tables in the back where the bar was. Because of the location of the venue and the fact thatsince everything was closed on Sundays, everyone had their packs with them. We just checked them at the venue for a couple thousand lire. We sat and chatted and waited, and everyone that everyone had met at earlier shows wasere excited to see that their newfound friendseveryone had made it to this faraway village. This place was so small that I don't think there was even a backstage. The band walked right in the front door like everyone else. We saw Page get stopped at the door for not having a ticket. The crowd vouched for him that he was legit. What comedy. Total crowd estimates ranged from 200 (mine) to 400 (at the absolute max). You could tell that only the hard core made it to this show, and everyone was confident we would be rewarded for it. I wrote in my journal, ""There is a fine line about the kind of show you dream ab! out and tonight." There was a great feeling in the air before the show. Everyone knew it was a struggle to make it way out here, and people were confident that we would be rewarded for it. Rumors ranged from a four-set extravaganza until the first train took off to the taping of Gamehendge for a live album. Please. I didn't care- I knew it would be all good... They had soundchecked the Funkiest Bitch and this strange, trippy, Kashmir-sounding tune, which turned out to be the intro for Lucy With the Lumpy Face. What a weiierd, trippy tune, the lyrics tell a story about Lucy, her face, and how she died. They only played about twenty seconds of the prerecorded part before taking it over themselves. Wierd intro, though. Axilla got the crowd rocking, including the nice slow "don't shine that thing in my face" ending, leading right into ATR, a nice rarity. Sloth was great to hear, as always. The next tune, which we originally thought was I Cry Cry, then we saw it was being called Treat Me Like aA Fool, saw Mike in some of the funniest facial contortions I've ever seen. It's definitely got a 50's doo-wop-type sound to it, but we're uUnsure if it was an Elvis cover or not. Regardless, , but we gtootk some great photos of Mike during that song. Rift allowed me to explore and get some good photos, and basically rest up for... The thr! ee punch that followed was worth the plane fare alone: Fluffhead (with a longer and better solo by Trey than Clifford Ball, rivaling 5.14.92, I swear), Frankenstein (no better example of classic 70's rock and roll), and a gnarly, twisted, screaming, raging Bowie. You can't Couldn't have asked for a better ending to any the set. Second set gave this head Craig his wish- he'd been asking everyone in the band and crew to play Daniel Saw the Stone since London. I don't think I've seen it since the Mann (7.16.93) or Wolftrap (7.17.93). From the opening Whoooooooaaaaaaaaaaaa! to the end of the show, this set rocked. Hard. Sleep or no sleep, we rocked right along with them. Since they didn't really care what we brought in with us, Stu asked if he could bring his videocamera, and none of the Italians had any problems with that. We commenced filming during Suzy. Damn, was it fun-kay! Maze was thick and heavy as always, and there was a general feeling that the Horse-> SITM filler was the precursor to something great. I took over the film during Peaches, with close-ups on all four at the correct times. Peaches was perfect, and the last note was the first note of the first Mike's Song of the whole Eurotour. There were all kinds of rumors that Mike didn't want to play Mike's anymore, and they were taki! ng the entire tour off, but as usual, it was bullshit. The Mike's did not disappoint anyone. All four of them playing intricate, yet abstract solos in different tangential planes, all the while making coherent music. It really is mind-blowing every fucking time. It couldn't even disappoint Stuey, who had his videocassette ejected from his recorder by Brad Sands, the most unfriendly member of the Phish crew. It was a minor bummer, because we hadn't videotaped much of our trip, besides the Alps, and we knew you weren't allowed to videotape Phish shows. Stu rebounded like a champ, in time to CALL Why Don't We Do It iIn the Road? It was the best call of the weekend;, I was hoping for the more traditional Hydrogen myself, but no complaints. Trey announced the "return of Henrietta" (pure excitement for all :-)=(not) and when he got off his drum kit and picked up the guitar, you knew they were going out not with a whimper, but with a bang. Good Times, Bad Times was the perfe! ct closer, because of our video situation and the general weekend hecticness. It was a classic version, reminiscent of Vegas. Trey played Jimmy Page's solo, note for note, then upon taking his second solo, he ripped Jimmy a new one, absolutely blistering it. By the end of the jam, they had turned GT,BT into a full TweezerReprise jam, and the crowd was feeding off the Phish frenzyit. It was one of those moments, along with the Jesus from Rome and the Antelope from Florence. It was a fitting capper to the night and the weekend, and the beauty of Billy Breathes followed by one last gettin' down of Rocky Top was the cherry on the fattest fucking Phish sundae I've ever eaten (although I've been saying the same thing about every Phish weekend/extravaganza I've ever gone to, i.e. Vegas, Clifford Ball, ...). A breath of fresh air and plenty of goodbyes later, we bid farewell to the band and we caught the third round of the band-provided buses to the Piacenza train station. Beca! use the majority of people were catching the 4:29AM train to Milan, the station was filled with tired, poor, baked, huddled masses, yearning for sleep. Those that could remain awake got to listen to some taper replaying the show. We finished the last of our perfectly rationed twenty-seven bat hits for the weekend, and struggled to stay awake on our train to Milan. After sleeping about three hours in the last forty, we arrived at our gate at the airport and all passed out on benches. We awoke about five minutes before missing our plane; just another example of fate keeping us on track for the weekend and guiding us home steadily. This time during our stopover in Amsterdam, Joe was the big winner at the Holland Casino, turning 20 Guilders into the magical number 420. A fitting end... Epilogue: You never know how you're going to get it from Phish is going to transmit that emotion to you, what song it's going to come during, and how long it's going to last. It's a rarity if they leave you without one of those moments of pure clarity. That feeling is the highest high known to me, and is part of the reason I made this journey, and the reason I've seen them seventy-two times. Another reason was to do something fun and impulsive, something the corporate influence on my life would abhor. It keeps you on your toes, and young at heart. The clincher was to experience a beautiful land I'd never seen and to really see the history of it. We don't get history here in our two hundred year old country, and I don't think I ever realized it until I saw for myself. Sometimes you gotta just go. And that's one to grow on. -Ted Kartzman
I'd only seen one show before I went to the Clifford ball (Palace 95). I got there and had the best time in the world. I'd never been around so many heads in my entire life. It was like one big freaking zoo. I had the best time of my life there and have since seen twelve shows. This Summer I have tickets to eleven more (including to Great Went!). I just Can't wait. Halloween this year will be phat! So will New Years. If need be I will follow Phish to the moon (Wow, wouldn't that be a cool show?) -Jeff Hill
Im just listenin to Zeppelins dancin days and thinkin(which happens about as the band plays a bad Harpua) and i thought of somethin weird. OK, 1992-1994 was the more psycadelic PHISH, and 96(late)-present is more acoustic PHISH, but in 1994 they played HORSE(kinda acoustic/spanish)-->Silent and now the play Swept away-->Steep ( more psycadelic) isnt that weird actually thats not weird thats phish for ya. oh yeah NO QUARTER, cool well thats all DARK SIDE OF THE MOON for halloween, even though we dont choose anymore if i find that person who sent in the Alanis Morisette vote and got that(audience vote) taken away, well ill have a lot 2 say 2 them, i wont hurt em or anything, just that it pisses me off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
how about a "mike's picks", sort of like "phils picks" that just came out. of course, have mike pick out his favorite " mike's>hydro>weekapaug" -erik koral
I was in Amsterdam for one night on June, 28. I was back in my hotel room at about 12:30-1:00 am. I was flipping through the tv stations and I saw some of the Glastonbury Festival, but not Phish. Then at 1:30, I went to another station and saw the whole 6-22-97 Phish show from Germany. I caught the middle of taste and on. I was dancing around my room the whole time. The show seemed really weird though and the band really didn't seem into it. Fishman really seemed out of it and what's up with Fishman and his suits. The music was alright and there were only 75 to 100 people in the crowd. The new songs are pretty good but again, they make the show seem very different. Water in the Sky is a good song. It's kind of like the Dead's Lazy River Road. Dirt should be fit nicely into the rotation. Story of the Ghost is a great song with some funky jams at the end. Limg by Limb is nothing special and I really didn't care for it. The highlight of the show was Uncle Pen. When phish started playing this song, everyone went crazy and started dancing. If you haven't seen phish in a while, you might be in for a big disapointment. The band has changed and to me, it doesn't seem to promising. Paul Crispignani
when i woke up i wanted to hear the same song hat was on when i had fallen asleep. the cd was still on so i pushed play and rift came on. -Joey Pine
i would just like to say that 8/13/96 was my second show and by far the best and i was even at kiel center. It was a very mellow, chillin show in a great place to see a show. thanx Pnkflyd79@aol.com
They are a great band. No other band really catches the great concert feeling as well as Phish. Love to trade, e-mail me people. -Brian Bonanni
Hi To All Phish Fans Around The World. Hear Phish First Time In German TV And They Blow Me Away -V.Skrzeba
Where should I begin? What, where, why and when well let me explain like instructions to a game. First lets speak about the teachers and what they do for the young. student:"Miss Wah,Wah may I please go to the bathroom?" teacher:" No! I'm sorry Bobby, but I can't let you leave at this time it's much too dangerous in the hallways at this juncture." WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN??????????????? IT'S JUST A THOUGHT, A DEEP THOUGHT!
Well, I have a Sanity sticker on the rear window of my car, and I enjoy driving along jamming out to a hot tape or something when another car pulls up and a cute girl points at the sticker, smiles, waves and drives off. It's pretty cool. -Kevin Lally
From my first experience with phish several years ago.. one thought has remained crystallized in my mind. Phish, as they were then, and as they are now...continue to explore new realms in music. experimental in nature, phish pushes the envelope. there were the monster tweezers of 94, and the epic YEMs of 95. With the band picking up more phans as they tour Europe the creativity has continued unabated. i saw them most recently at the Royal Albert Hall, and at the rockpalast in germany (actually that was on tv) and they ARE a drug- of the purest form. Able to transport you to the edge of mortality, phish shows each and everyone of us the beauty of life, the horror of death, and the simple elegance we have in existing. One of the most miraculous things, is that Phish is a group of regular guys that have found their place. They are the best are what they do, and only contune to do so through the incredible talent they all possess as musicians... New Album Ideas: One the of Roxy shows from '93...that's phish at their best but more recently a compilation of the second set of Clifford (first or second nite) and some clippings from the NYE Tour gabe flores
It would be cool if there was somewhere big enough for them to pay in VT. Maybe Highgate (GD)? -Rob Juzek
Thoughts : OK - so maybe I shouldn't have dissed Puppetmaster in my other comment. It really isn't TOO bad of a movie. In fact, I think it's great! In fact, I think it is the greatest movie ever made. I hope there are a thousand sequels to it. Puppetmasters for the Oscars, baby! Go Royals! Anthrax! Hugs and Kisses, Rob Reiter
On October 20th 1996, I sat at the foot of my bed with phone in hand. The repetative redial and busy signal were becoming boring. Until finally a ring. "Hello this is Mordern Rock Live. What question do you want to ask PHISH?" I couldn't believe it. 15 Minutes of being on hold was well worth the wait. Gak Gordon answered my questions. It was an unbelievable experience. Ever since then ,all I want to do is meet them. For about a month later, all of my dreams at night involved me meeting the band in some strange setting. What I do is play an album or a bootleg while I am sleeping, and I can dream to the music. It is fun. Try it. In one dream, I saw phish in a small 200 seat theater. Everyone in the crowd stayed in their seat during the first song, Character Zero. However I was up front groovin' to the tune. At the end of the song, Trey commented on my addidas shoes and asked if I would trade. Just one of my funny phish dreams I am in a band in Milwaukee, called the PRIMARYS and we are proud to call PHISH our number one influence. The 3 of us and three other friends are seeing them from ST. Louis to the last Deer Creek. What I'm trying to say is that Phish's incredible sence of musical expertise has shaped my life so much. Not a day goes by when we don't use their inspiration during a practice or show. Is there anyway way to get a hold of them or possible meet them? Any suggestions? CJ Wagner
phish during their concerts at random: select or grab a fan out of the audience and pull em to the stage to jam a song with them!! cool, huh?? -chris charapata
I would sell my soul to the Devil (or just about anyone else, for that matter) to see a concert featuring Phish, MMW, Parliament, and Beck (yeah, he's that good live). Then we'd all be able to see an a capella "Like a Virgin" sung by Fishman, Beck, and George Clinton (none of the guys from MMW are wacky enough to sing that, but I like them enough to throw them into this little tour of mine anyway). Just a thought... -Joe Cohen
the george is going to be more fun than you can shake a stick at. Did anyone else notice that there was a shortage of drugs for sale at the clifford ball?. Everyone I met had a long drive home ahead of them with no doobie. I guess there were just too many people, not enough goods to go around. Hey, let's not let this happen at the Went- growers get on it! If I were you I'd steer clear of the border though, It's quicker but not worth it. Those border police are assholes. I hope to see everyone in good health and spirits on summer tour, drive safely. ps #1 tour tip: bring a good multi vitamin. -Petrea
Haven't seen phish for three years. In july, my day will come. -Andrew Gann
I'd like to see Mike Gordon carry a video camera with him on his bike travels thru the parking lots. He could interview folks, get their take on Phish, current tour, new songs, etc. It'd be interesting to see things from his/their point of view. -Atilla Akgun
as I write this, the circus has already moved on to Prague and beyond - myself, I had to drive back to Munich the morning after the show in order to make it in time for the late shift.. anyway, I didn't see any set lists or reports here, so here goes: 06/19/97 Arena, Vienna, Austria I: Limb by Limb, Dog Story, Theme from the Bottom, PYITE, Water in the Sky, Maze, Waste, Runaway Jim II: Stash-> The Ghost-> I saw him again-> Wading in the Velvet Sea, Piper, Jesus left Chicago, Prince Caspian e: Beauty of my Dreams, Character Zero; Hello Ma Baby the first show of the current tour for me, so I can't compare, but the consensus among the travellers seemed to be that this may have been the best so far. in any case, it felt different to what I seen and heard of the February tour, not just because almost half of the material is brand new. the band is jamming more, taking their time to expand and work out the nuances. I had a chance to talk to Trey for a few minutes after the show, and he enthusiastically agreed to the above observations ("I'm glad you noticed") - he told me that over the last couple of months they wrote about 16 new songs, experimenting with different structures and trying to avoid the regular verse/chorus/verse schemes. for the time being, he mostly feels like playing the new stuff and some from Billy Breathes, but not too many of the older numbers. (american listeners beware: if you haven't seen Phish perform since last fall, you might be in for a renewed band in the summer..). he also told me that they were talking about putting out one of the February shows out as a live album (Hamburg seems to be his favourite, then Stuttgart), but it may not happen - it already seems so long ago. --------------- Looks like the "retired songs" rumors are true, and least in part. Kinda scary, if you ask me. I'm still confident that they'll break out a bunch more old stuff when the hit the states. Should be an interesting tour, though. Later... ~~josh
I hope Phish takes their music back to some small clubs just so we can see the band like they were back in the late 80's early 90's What I would not do to see Phish belt out a Space Oddity tease-->David Bowie at Wetlands
As for a live album. I think it should be an ongoing project. Kind of in the vein of Dick's Picks for the Dead and Allman Bros. I would love to hear a crystal clear Horns show from '91, esp. with frankenstien, or songs that don't normally have the horns, like D-sky. There are some great shows from the past, as well as the present that would be great on CD. I wish that they would make it an ongoing project, instead of one shot deals.
the herbivors ate well cause their food did never run! -my sweet one -Jenny Alletto
In the space between songs during New Years Eve 1993/4 at the Worcester Centrum my friends and I, all locked into the groove, would take turns stating the next song we'd like to hear only to have the band kick right into the exact songs each time we named them. After this happened about 7 times in a row, we all were more then spooked. Maybe they are really aliens. -Ted Singer
The best possible thing that could happen to me would be Halloween '97 at CSU Convo in CLeveland, playing Neil Young's Decade. This would be pretty bitchin, no? New Album Idea - Boxed set of all Halloween shows Boxed set of Red Rocks 96 heidi-hildey
I'm the Phish fan everyone loves to hate.....I remember all the Phisheads from high schook, I remeber thinking what losers they were...though I never listened to the music...My frshman year one of my good friends forced me to listen to one of his tapes and I was awe-struck....why had I laughed at those who had such good taste??? 2 years later, 8 shows and one New Year's tour behind me, I find myself drowning in a sea of tapes wishing that I had grown up in Burlington in the 1980s.....but then I'd probably just be bitter...... -Steve Chiaramonte
I think that the reduced touring in 96 enabled them to rest after BB and has obviously resulted in a creative refreshening of sorts, at least in terms of songwriting. A good thing for any band, and resultingly, for us appreciators. -Sam Rosenbaum
For all y'all joining me on tour for the Tinley Park show in Illinois, keep your eye out for me- I'll be the girl with the biggest smile in the world on her face that day.....I don't know of any other way to ring in my 20th birthday {DOB 8/8/77} than with Phish and 20,000 some of the greatest people in the world. It's gonna be one long birthday celebration from Illinois through Maine... So look for me- I'm the one known as :)littleblondesmilingone:) -Sarah J. Van Cleve
I have listened to phish for four years but not until recently have I been a diehard phan. Monday at the Royal Albert was my third show. I went with three of my best friends and that night became one of the most moving and emotional experiences of my life. The way the band can evoke such a range of emotions during one show is amazing. I can't wait for the next show. Riles, Tubbs, and Cohrs, I love you guys -guido
well got my tix, and im so goddam happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but thats not y im writin a few weeks ago me and my friend volunteered to do parking for this little festival at a church. it was pretty cool, and i hadda helluva time, but this will sound weird but GIVE PEOPLE WHO WORK AT VENUES/STADIUMS (security and traffic directors) A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was hard, i had to run people to their spaces. had to find out if we were full and take complaints if we were, if we were and i told them we werent people complained. this was at a tiny little church, think about what it's like at a huge stadium or amphitheater. unless ur missing the show dont get pissed and yell, if ur missin the show then do that, but otherwise u just get us banned from great places -COUGH COUGH RED ROCKS-!!!!!!!!!!1 and that pisses me off, and u give us a bad reputation so that MORE SECURITY will be at the next show in that area. On another note: Halloween, what does eveyone want??????? 1. PINK FLOYD Dark Side(after 10/31/94 maybe they wont) or THE WALL, its awesome, i dont know if they could do it or if itd be good for halloween, Dark Side would be good 2. Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy or the Four Symbols album(untitled), Houses is better even though people who dont know what theyre talkin about say "UNTITLED!" of course these people USUALLY are as i call them "Free-heads" 3. Grateful Dead- maybe Workingman's or American beauty? personally my 2 fav all time albums are QUADROPHENIA and THE WALL and hey what's up with Talking Heads??? I don't have the tape and Im kinda bummed out I WANT ROCKNROLL!!!! but im just happy they do that so its their choice is PHISH banned from Great Woods? i know in 95 phans ripped up the sidewalks all around great woods, are they banned????????? i have relatives there and i wanna c em there!!!!!! y arent they playin the Northeast except the WENT? Y NOT SUGARBUSH and GREAT WOODS????????????
Whatever you do, take care of your shoes
New Album Ideas: 1) Two discs...one featuring the complete Gamehange Saga and the other featuring entirely Phish cover songs, like Funky Bitch, Curtis Loew, GTBT, Fire, Rocky Top, Jesus Left Chicago, something Syd Barret...I think these two threads (Gamehenge and the covers) is what really distinguishes Phish from other bands of the same genre. 2) Two discs of an entire show voted for by the fans. Phish should choose a handful of shows that they really like and then let everyone on RMP vote. Random Thought - Who would be the best opening act for Phish if they decide ever to have one? ARU and MMW can't be chosen since they have already opened for them. -John Gillett
AMSTERDAM!!!!AMSTERDAM!!!!AMSTERDAM!!!!!......I'll be staying right on the Leidseplein(beside the Bulldog) with about 10-15 of my closest Phriends....Anybody up for some before,between,and after show parties!?!? BCJACKSON@HOTMAIL.COM -Brian C. Jackson
At my first show, at the Ball Park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 7/3/94 me and my friends were walking out to the parking lot after the show. Phish had just finished a Fire encore and we were awstruck at the power of the band. Walking underneath the bleachers we heard someone yelling something and we looked behind us to see Fishman driving toward us in a golf cart. He was wearing his usual pink dress with googgles. We did not talk to him because he drove right by, but this showed me how accesible this band was. This feeling has stayed with me for a long time and is why I keep coming back. -Andrew Townsend
Nothing really out of what you would ordinarily expect has happened to me at a show before. I'm sure that will eventually change. I can only make it to the Virginia Beach show on the summer tour but hopefully I can catch a few more shows in the fall. Probably one of my favorite moments so far was the first time I heard their rendition of "A Day in the Life". I'm also a big fan of the Beatles. I would like to hear them play "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" (Pink Floyd) more often. -David Marshall
I'm at work. About 30 minutes ago I was ready to put my fist through my computer screen. Then I threw in a tape and on came hood. All of a sudden, I feel good! craig
This is a Dream Set List 1: Timber Ho! -> Rift -> Reba, The Sloth, Divided Sky, Mound -> David Bowie, Taste, My Soul, Good Times Bad Times 2: The Curtain -> Simple -> Esther, Mike's Song -> BBFCFM -> Bathtub Gin -> Catapult -> Bathtub Gin -> Swept Away/Steep -> Harry Hood -> Weekapaug Groove E: Johnny B Goode That's all I wanted to contribute today - Thanks Andrew. TOMMI IOMMI (Black Sabbath)
phish was my first show i have ever went to,... three days after graduation from 8th grade.. it was quite an experience no only did i have to get stitches in the back of my thigh from having to jump over a fence when leaving, but i also *though not something i want to remember* saw a man fall of the back of the car and die.. this was at the june 1995 Waterloo show in NJ.. i have to say though that the music made me fall into the grip of phish forever.. though they had always been a part of me since 5th grade, i never heard them in this way... PHish is truly amazing XpeaceX
Please oh please a Clifford Ball/Great Went double boxed set!!! -Eric Bartoszak

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Andrew Gadiel
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http://www.gadiel.com
(12/5/96)