, attached to 1998-12-29

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez Good golly, this show was a doozey. I've been to quite a few shows, and this one easily lands in my top 3- right up there with the 2nd night of deer creek '96.

The garden was packed, and this one was a tough ticket. a ton of people got popped with counterfeit tickets, me being one of them, but alas, my brother and i got in.

now to the tunes:

rock and roll: the boys came out of the gate rocking tonight. a couple months after the halloween show, they confirmed that rock and roll was going to stick around for a hot minute. they did not do anything out of this version, but hell, nyc, msg, what a good selection. this slams into...

funky bitch: mike was gassed for this one. like i said the boys came out of the gate hot, hot, hot. trey rips a nice bluesy solo. very good bitch

pyite: they really built the groove on the intro to this one. this punch seemed to be a little darker. it was still funky, just dark funky... muy bueno

horn: this one sure kept the ball rolling. you don't hear this one too often, and it was appreciated by the now buck wild garden crowd.

ginseng: this lightened the mood a bit. another nice selection.

soa melt: this was a good/unusual melt. the "song" portion was very well played. as soon as they got done breathing deep in the steam dream they hit a nasty space jam. this is not a grateful dead space jam; this is a phish space funk jam. kuroda had these wild spinning lights. i wasn't quite sure how they would bring this one back home, but by god, they did.

brian and robert: this is not one of my favorite phish songs, but at this point in the set, i needed a seat.

guyute: this song had been getting a lot of action over the past two years, so it was, to say the least, well practiced. as such, they buried it. very nice guyute.

my soul: speaking of getting a lot of action.... this song was getting thrown out every other show. either way, decent version...

free bird: here we go. this was a very nice treat. they dropped it a couple times that year. i was pissed to miss it at the uic, but here i am now...

Over all: very good set. It is certainly one of the best first sets i've seen. rock and roll>bitch and melt are highlights.

set 2:

FREE: like the first set, they came out of the 2nd set with guns blazing. they stayed on the harder side of this one. very strong version... great set opener

limb by limb: after the "song" portion ended, they stretched this one into a very nice spacey jam. in fact, i labeled it space jam on my set list. this slowly built back up and found it's way into...

2001: first and foremost, this is the best 2001 i have ever heard, hands down. coming out of the limb space jam they took their time and built this one up right. they had such a solid funk groove going that you almost forgot what song they were in, then trey hammers down that ripping 2001 riff; the crowd went berserk. they bounced between the funk and 2001 theme for a good 8-10 minutes before they took a longer trip to funk land. Once there they found themselves in a very "remain in light'esque" jam. Trey jumped all over it starting laying down some nasty crosseyed and painless rips. this is very reminiscient of how the talking heads do the intro on "stop making sense." of course, this had a bit more going on. as they proceed this one gets back into that dark funk before finally giving away to the 2001 theme again, and bopping off into...

boogie on: this certainly eased the tension that was built during 2001. after dropping this one in dayton in 97, it was played pretty sporadically through '98, so this was still a real nice treat. they did take this one deep like they did later at chula vista in '99 or cuyuhoga falls in '00, but it was a crowd pleaser none the less. good fun version.

yem: like 2001, this was the best yem i have ever seen. i might have heard a better one but... they nailed the composed portion, then page and trey give gordon and fishman room to build a nice groove. trey and page work their way in. then they find themselves in such a hard funky groove, the audience is going sooooo crazy that the whole garden starts shaking to the music. the garden was shaking rhythmically to yem... amazing. they really ripped this one.

overall:

from start to finish, they nailed this 2nd set. not a dull moment. no song played that made me say, "ah...shit." they were so sharp, so in sync. fishman and garden were so tight. trey and page bounced off each other brilliantly. this show was so good, surely they will bone the encore.

the divided sky: holy crap. i believe, this was the 4th divided sky encore ever. sure, this divided sky doesn't not necessarily stand out in the whole shit ton of divided skies they have played, but the placement, the garden... perfect. this version was played well. great improv section. not one disappointed fan at this show.


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