The Island Run: Providence

Exiting the Coliseum at Nassau and preparing for our trip north, spirits could not have been higher.  We were smack dab in the middle of some crazy-ass Phish, and we just left one of the most transcendent musical experiences of our lives.  The drive through the night to Rhode Island was fun and refreshing, trying to replay the nights events in our mind.  As The Beatles once sang, “It [was] all too much.”  The entire community was juiced after the first two episodes of The Island Run, and they brought every ounce of that juice up to New England.


phish-providence-4-4-98There was quite the scene outside the Civic Center on Saturday night, as fans congregated in the streets and lots surrounding the venue.  The hardest ticket of the four, many sought out extras to get themselves into what would surely be another outlandish event.  Never were you so sure that a show would blow up than this one on 4.4.98.  Following Nassau, everyone knew Phish were knee deep in IT, effortlessly creating masterful music.  Everyone wanted in, and those who found their way through the threshold were treated to a show they would never forget.

As many fans predicted from Nassau’s closing “Reprise,” the band opened up the Providence weekend with “Tweezer.”  But this was no standard “set-opening” jam, rather a deep exploration into the groove-based ethos of the song.  Complete with multiple improvisational segments, much like the Nassau “Mike’s” did, this “Tweezer” gave us the impression we were far into the show already.  Phish didn’t need to warm up  for these nights, they were feeling IT, they were living IT, they were IT.  As soon as the jam dropped, Mike led the band out of the gate in a patient opening before the band dove in earnestly.  What came out was a near twenty-minute groove-fest that sparked the Providence crowd, catching them up to what went down in Long Island.

Trey stepped in, providing guiding rhythm guitar patterns that framed the jam flawlessly.  This was one of those moments that I couldn’t help letting out a somewhat maniacal laugh while raging, just pondering the sheer absurdity of this colossal opener.  This jam existed as a measure of how balanced the band’s playing was at this time, with no one member dominating the textures, yet churning out amazing music like a machine.  Interestingly, Trey introduced a melody in this jam that he would toy with and carry throughout most jams in this show- a sort of themed lick for the evening.  (For those who care, it comes at about 12:25 on the SBD).  This “Tweezer” grew out of the funk and into its more climactic space.  Once the jam peaked, the band settled into some late ’97 stop/start solos before dripping into a smoking version of “Taste.”  Despite a nice “Limb by Limb,” the rest of the set was filled with fun, yet composed pieces.  The stage was set for what was sure to be an epic second half.

511609734_ae413fe390The buzz that had began in Nassau had traveled to Providence.  Setbreak had a tangible vibe of excitement as everyone knew that the second set would be epic- there was no doubt.  And everyone was right. The upcoming frame would be composed of some of Phish’s biggest songs, all magnified under the almighty lens of The Island Run.

They opened with the quickened drum beats of “Birds of a Feather,” and it took a moment to place the song, due to hearing it for the first time only two nights before.  They never repeated songs over four nights, so if Phish was opening this second set of this show with a song they debuted in Nassau, you knew there had to be a reason.  Over the course of the next 17 minutes, the reason became evident as the improvisational potential of “Birds” was wholly uncovered in a fiercely psychedelic odyssey.

Creating an intense jam that went beyond the typical aggressive rock rhythms of “Birds,” Phish engaged in some intergalactic communication, playing one of the definitive jams of the run.  As the band engaged in improv, it was as if they were collectively sailing the smooth strings of the universe, playing with no hesitation whatsoever.  About halfway through, when the band diverted their course into some chunky and locked music, effects were layered onto the jam and it adopted a certain outer-space quality.   Possibly foreshadowing the upcoming “2001,” it was at this point that Trey returned to his “4.4.98” melody, integrating it into this building jam artistically and with slower phrasing.  The band was passing musical ideas as easily as a spliff, tearing through sublime improvisational planes at a breakneck speed.  Gradually, they brought the music back to the song’s lyrical refrain, completing the high-speed chase through spacetime, and leaving the arena drenched in sonic residue.

1998-04-04gn2Yet, these residual textures soon developed into an intro to a larger-than-life “2001.”  As the band brewed their aural stew, the crowd was perched at the edge, waiting for Fish’s snare hit to transform the Civic Center into a space-aged dance hall.  And then it happened- the band entered the crack-groove as the lights dropped; only colored rays danced around the arena (see video below).  The grooves were straight slammin’; the band was subconscious yet again, effortlessly creating some of the best music of their career.  This “2001” doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough with top versions, but I would challenge anyone to find 20 more intense and  coherent minutes to ever come out of the song.  Sure, there are longer renditions (The Went, The Gorge), but they don’t hold up to the insane tightness and urgency of this version.  This was a perfect example of the band members playing as one entity- they may as well have had one brain- as they flew through grooves like never before.  Trey absolutely annihilated this jam with far more aggressive leads than usual for the song.

Ironically, one of the best versions of “2001” ever unveiled only moved through the theme once.  The band spent most all of their time improvising like never before.  The post-theme section of the jam was fairly succinct, as they created a sparser palate colored by Page’s Rhodes washes.  Cleverly, the band broke down the groove piece by piece, eventually landing in a vocal jam!?  Yes, this is how spontaneous the band felt during these nights, bringing one of their most intense jams to a quirky conclusion before Trey, in rhythm, strummed the beginning chords to “Brother!”

508818184_8994fa2000While most renditions of “Brother” focused on brain swelling intensity and seeing how far the music could be pushed before it imploded, this version grew quite differently.  Following the initial high-paced section, the band entered some surreal improvisation that brought the maniacal jam to a place of beauty with its odd time signature; like a ride on a psychedelic swing set.  Leaving the song far behind, this turned into a completely original jam, and one of the true highlights of the show.  Beauty and delicacy after such bombast lifted up people’s souls.   It’s hard to claim any band member “stood out” in such a collective effort; this was pure Phish, plain and simple.  Ending in cacophonous dissonance before returning to the song’s theme, this was a bona fide Phish adventure.

Following a second 15-second “radio friendly” version of “Brother,” Trey explained that the next song was “radio unfriendly” because it was “really long and really slow.”  Following the build-up, Phish dropped into the old-school opening of “Ghost,” automatically upping the ante of the set.  Often overlooked due to the plethora of stand-out “Ghosts” in this era, the Island version deserves its proper credit.  This 4.4 rendition didn’t focus on thick funk, but rather an eerie climbing melodic theme.  Ridiculously patient, the band allowed the jam to evolve organically, again complementing each other as if using ESP.  Latching onto each other’s phrases, and building the jam like a psychedelic construction crew, Phish built a swirling peak of harmonic melodies, seemingly levitating the venue.  Quickly popping from his plane, the band segued jokingly into the “Blues Brother’s” theme they had bust out during the 12.29.97, telling us they hadn’t forgot about those MSG shows either.

508843989_25d12a8c62Following the non-stop hour of intense psychedelia, the band used a Gamehendge centerpieces, “Lizards,” to provide for some breathing space and reflection.  As we tried to wrap our minds around the madness, Trey’s “If I Were a Dog” solo in the second part of the song gave every one the space to move inward.  This song couldn’t have been more randomly placed, and it couldn’t have been placed more perfectly.  Everything was clicking, we were fully immersed in Phish’s power.

This marathon set had to be coming to a close soon. And with the signature cymbal hits of “David Bowie,” we knew how things would wrap up- with another dark journey.  The entire set had an “unknown space-age” feel to it, with each jam more unique than the next.  This set created a powerful counterpart to the previous night’s in Nassau .  The band’s enthusiasm was indicative by the fact that every song in this set, with the exception of “Lizards,” extended beyond fifteen minutes.

“Bowie” was the ideal closer for this set of super-stardom.  The effortless quality of their jamming continued, quickly translating into a vintage version of the classic song.  In a set that favored darkness over light and madness over calm, “Bowie” served as the only fitting punctuation to the set. With the encore drop of “Harry Hood,” the crowd exalted in what was to come.  A twenty-minute pristine “Hood” put a sublime exclamation point to a night of menacing mania. It was crystal clear that Trey ‘s melodies were flowing directly from his soul as he gazed up into the rafters while losing himself in the music’s majesty.  Intricate and perfectly played from note one, this fantastic voyage landed us exactly where we needed to be.  As the poignant music washed over me, I felt so lucky to be there.  Not just “there” as in Providence, but “there” as in the era of the Phish.  As my mind spun with dizzying realizations and was flooded with sublime music, I felt an overwhelming sense of bliss and an appreciation for life in all its majesty.  I was alive, Phish was alive and things had, literally, never been better for me in my entire life.

“2001” 4.4.98

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


1998-04-05gnIt felt so strange to be entering the fourth show already; the first three blurred together like a dream.  Following up their “Tube,” “Mike’s” and “Tweezer” openers from the first three nights, the band raised the proverbial curtain with another huge bomb- “Oh Kee Pah > YEM.”  With everyone in the venue expecting a transition to “Suzy” or “Bag,” Phish surprised all with the opening to “You Enjoy Myself.”  Not only did the band open with “YEM,” they opened with one of the most defining “YEMs” of the late ’90s; the show’s highest highlight came right off the bat on this night!

With the dive into the jam, the Civic Center exploded.  Laying back and listening to his bandmates set up an insane groove, Trey entered the jam with a set of rhythm licks that could not have been conceived any better if composed.  This was some funky Phish music, far beyond a conventional “YEM’s” rhythmic patterns.  Subtly adding layers to the jam, the band set up Trey’s entrance.  Using the space perfectly, he brought some infectious rhythm playing to the onset of the jam, before his licks gave way to a sublime guitar narration.  Sounding as if telling a story to a group of children, Trey delicately accented his phrasings, lending emotional meaning to his notes.  If I were to pick one “YEM” to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be the one.  Yup, it’s that good.  It is so coherent and smoothness is surreal without being in your face.  There are so many distinct parts of the jam that we used to have own ideas on which part was the sickest, and the choices were manifold.  This was a huge highlight of the run.

862779724_8182271e4fA serene “Theme,” “McGrupp” combo brought the aqua blue lights out and chilled the arena with soothing songs before the next significant improvisational segment of “Bathtub Gin > Cities” took over.  While not incredibly extended, the “Gin” featured tight playing and a feel-good vibe that infused the audience.  The band’s methodical playing stood out during this jam which remained harnessed to the song’s melodic theme.  Yet, instead of returning to the original melody at end the song, Phish spent the last couple minutes of the jam improvising away from “Gin’s” structure, creating a funked out texture that seemed to be heading elsewhere.  Pretty quickly, Trey started slowly playing the chords of “Cities” over this canvas, and the band gradually all caught on, creating a less-than-perfect transition into the Talking Heads cover.  But once the opening groove hit, any small stumble was meaningless.  The composed section of the song featured many subtle improvised variations that always stood out so vividly in Phish songs.  Mike hits up a melodic bass line at the end of the jam that sounds like it belongs in a Wu-Tang verse; it’s quite nasty.  This wonderfully satiating dose of dance grooves absolutely hit the spot, as everyone wanted to hear “Cities” any time possible over ’97 and ’98.

“Sparkle” was the calm before the set-ending storm of “Split Open and Melt.”  A menacing jam saw the band play with the same effortlessness that had defined this entire run.  As if the instruments were playing them, there was no separation between thought and musical expression.  Basking in IT for four straight days, the band could do no wrong, regardless of what song they chose to play, and that is an absolutely literal statement.  There are simply no low-lights from the run, and this “Split” fit right into character. A ridiculously coherent jam, it is almost hard to distinguish any of the member’s playing as their musical offerings morphed into a complete whole; moving, twisting, and growing as one.

1874641252_ea3120c8f4When the lights came on after yet another absurd set, we looked at each other glowing, yet realizing there was only one set to go in this extraordinary place called “The Island Run.”  Yet savoring the moment, we tried to fathom what musical feats the band could possibly still pull out.  The last set grew in theme, favoring melody and triumph over rhythms and psychedelic dance music.  The set-opening “Disease” felt like a community celebration of all that had happened over these four nights.  Completely ripping joyful Phish rock carried the beginning of the set.  Yet, the jam grew dirtier for the second half, with the entire band crushing far more improvisational patterns.  This “Disease” moved from a gleeful stomp through the meadows to a brisk walk through the urban nighttime, growing in intrigue as it progressed.  Winding up in completely improvisational land, Phish finally left all traces of the song behind, creating an eerie canvas.  Just as we thought we might be heading way out into the stratosphere of psychedelia, the jam came to a natural end in silence.

Out of the silence came a change of vibe with the opening guitar chords of “Yamar.”  While this seemed like rather odd placement for the island cover, it kept the set moving along its upbeat theme.  Once the band entered the improv, this “Yamar” became magic.  Trey absolutely slaughtered this, playing lines as if they were coming off a record.  It was a joke; he was spewing gorgeous melodies as easily taking a pee.  Completely going off, Trey mesmerized the crowd, and his own band with his work.  Mike, Fish and Page quickly stepped out of the jam’s prominence, and then into silence, allowing Trey’s quiet solo melodies to take this version to the bank.  The whole arena was silent, listening to Trey play exactly what was in his heart at that moment of glory, his emotions to pour directly out though his guitar. The band emerged from the darkness with a stunning musical bliss, sounding like we were gradually headed for “Slave.”  The following portion of music is some of the most soulful of the weekend, as the band complemented each other subtly, flawlessly and beautifully.

2963669909_8b7183aff1This segment ended in some more solo playing by Trey that instead of leading into “Slave,” brought us into a classic second set “Prince Caspian.”  Love it, or hate it, late second set of a great show is when “Caspian” appears.  Bringing us childhood memories of Narnia, the band unleashed an awe-striking jam.  With stellar piano work by Page, classic Gordeaux bass lines, crashing cymbal work, and Trey wailing in a distorted tone, this wasn’t your every day “Caspian,” it was Island “Caspian;” there is a huge difference.

The rest of the set unfolded quite unexpectedly.  “Maze” thumped into play, seeming to not fit with the set’s or weekend’s feel, but Phish had a different plan; wanting to return to the funk, but in the Phishiest of ways.  Using “Maze” and “Possum,” two of the least funky songs in their repertoire, the band segued creatively into two last doses of dance music.  As “Maze” raged along as expected, the band used one of the “white-light crescendos” to smash into a bass-led song that was unrecognizable at first.  But as the band began to sing, it was apparent that they had re-arranged “Oblivious Fool” more than a little bit, transforming it into the bizarre and funky song we were seeing.  Even in the last minutes of their run, Phish was bubbling with tricks and energy.

Smack in the middle of what seemed to be a shredding set-ending “Possum,” the band pulled a similar stunt, transitioning on a dime into one of the most memorable jams of the weekend.  All off a sudden, Trey was tickling the crowd with his rhythm licks and the band cannon-balled into the jam with some the thickest funk of the weekend.  Trey summed up everyone’s feeling in his classic speech:

So it’s getting near the end of this little four day run. It’s been really fun, and its kind of weird having to stop after four days…And i started this little funk groove because we can’t end this whole thing without a little bit more funk, since that’s kinda been the theme.  So for those of you want to take off, take off, but for those of you who want to just dance to the funk, we’re gonna stay around and keep grooving.

4.3.98 (Joel Price)

4.3.98 (Joel Price)

Igniting the crowd to its highest possible point of energy, this banter will live eternally in Phish history.  The band proceeded to play the deepest funk of the weekend, cleverly building into “Cavern.”  Moving into the classic set-closer, the crowd was blindsided one last time, and roared in response.  Ending the run with possibly the Phishiest moment of the four nights, the bittersweet reality had come to light, the run was indeed over.

The Island Run remains a pinnacle of Phish’s career; a moment defined by such communal energy and enthusiasm, from the audience and band, alike.  The supreme magic of those nights remains a lingering mystery.  Never to be approached by another run for the rest of their career, these four nights were of another dimension.  The music created over those four nights is timeless, needing only a reference by song combos for everyone to understand what you are talking about. “Roses > Piper,” “Birds >2001 > Brother” “Oh Kee Pah > Yem,” “Wolfman’s > Sally,” Mike’s > My Old home Place,” “Gin > Cities,” “Disease > Yamar,” “Maze >Shafty”- you get the drift.  This was not everyday Phish; these were the best four consecutive shows ever played.  This was The Island Run.



4.25.92 Evergreen College Rec Center, Olympia, WA SBD 

phish-picture-of-nectar-tour-92Here we dip into the standout month of April ’92 when Phish visited Evergreen before their legendary Fall ’94 gig.  The setlist reads like a cannon of old-school Phish, and the second set is anchored by the “Bathtub Gin,” “YEM” combination.  A great SBD nugget for your Friday afternoon.  Enjoy!

I: Suzy Greenberg, My Friend My Friend, Paul and Silas, Reba, Brother, Tela, Chalk Dust Torture, Bouncing Around the Room, Rift, Magilla, Run Like an Antelope

II: Maze, Bathtub Gin, You Enjoy Myself, Silent in the Morning, All Things Reconsidered, Dinner and a Movie, Harry Hood, Weigh

E: Cold as Ice > Terrapin > Cold as Ice, Poor Heart

Tags: ,

98 Responses to “The Island Run: Providence”

« Previous1234Next »
  1. Al Says:

    Good morning! I love the 04/04/98 in particular. Great Tweezer and an awesome second set! Completely off subject: I just keep on imagining what happens if the 15000 Springsteen fans in the first rows at Bonnaroo start to booohh when Phish is treatin’ them with a 25 Min. Type III jam of Bathtub……………….when Trey, Mike, Page and Fishman are really “back on track” they will start to jam in the key of their boohhhs – imagine what fun that would be!

  2. Matso Says:

    “It was a joke; he was spewing gorgeous melodies as easily taking a pee.”

    Isn’t there a scene in Bittersweet Motel when Trey gets upset because some critic said that Phish could piss in their fans’ ears and we’d still lap it up? Well, if its the Golden Hose along the lines of the Island Run… anytime!

    Like most fans, I’ve missed various classic shows over the years (too many to list here), but this is the only run that really, to this day, makes my heart ache with regret.

    Again, after Fall 97 and then those 4 days in April, everything that came afterwards was held up to a ridiculously high standard and almost always fell just a bit short.

    Btw, Miner, I think these two posts are the definitive review of those 4 nights. You’ve managed to convey some of the anticipation, energy and continuing bewilderment of what it must have been like. Well done!

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    awesome. These two nights stand out to me as possibly the greatest phish shows I’ve seen to date… (11/21-22/97 are probably tied) You help the memories come flooding back!

    The mob scene in front of the Prov CC was in great spirits. Tickets were *very* difficult by that day’s standards. I remember standing out front, a group of cops nearby, and a girl passes yelling “Kind Crystally Nugs for your extra!!!” The cops jerked their head around, the girl smiled and goes “oops” and smoothly disappeared into the crowd.. just one of those moments that stands out.

    My first Brother was a huge standout, the blues brothers jam and the Lizards also come to mind as especially thick moments.

    Night 2 — Oh kee pah > YEM ? WTF ? Are you kidding? The second set to me is a masterpiece. jam out of Ya Mar is a moment that will always live on in my mind — the crowd started a clap along (which I usually hate) but Trey took it and used it to develop a great little groove that morphed into an awesome melody. It always makes me think of the GD show 2-26-77, the jam out of eyes before dancin for some reason. And then you have Possum > funk jam > cavern. You forgot to mention that the Cavern was half-time and Super Funky. So slow the band had a hard time keeping the lyrics in time.. but great, permagrin kind of stuff.

    mmmmm thanks for the memories!

  4. camman Says:

    Al…. i think that pish phans will have rushed the stage for their sets.. and i seriously doubt that many sprinsting people will be there

  5. soam Says:

    For all you ticket tweakers- 2 stories from Providence
    night one sat- no tix 2 guys- scored a single 1 hr bf show-little rain I think-waited-and discussed the dillemma of one tix 2 bro’s-you know the deal then went to will call and met a dude who was nervous-he said his friend might not show but he was waiting-just then the lights go out- we hear the cheering from out side and I tell the kid-politely-I;m sure that extra you are holding is mine, little more coercing-mention the potential of a first set break out and bang..done 2nd tick hooked 2 bros who had no ticks at 6 were in at 7;30

    Second night lost wallet 100 bucks and tix-met some old kind buddies from way back- they pooled 40 bucks or so and Bang…done, in again.

    I believe that if you love something with a pure heart you will get what you deserve, you gotta believe, sometimes pay a little xtra and just want it. Do you want it? I sure as fuck do and can’t wait to get off to those jams.-Peace “the east coast tune caller” getting clean and feeling mean.

  6. Wilfred Brimley Says:

    Happy friday to all! I’ve always considered myself to be on top of having listened to what others claim to be definitive shows or versions of songs, yet the Island Tour slipped through the cracks…My test song that I used yesterday was the Roses>jam…and I was so in awe of what i’ve never heard before that I downloaded all four shows last night…This weekend will be great as my fiance’ is leaving for Chicago and I have nothing to do but relax, grab some reading materials and throw on my i-pod… By the way, as I type i’m listening to Worcester 97′ Runaway>jam and all 50 minutes of it are completely dope as well as the sick!! segue into the weekapaug jam… Let me pose one question also- which jam at the Island Tour is the best in your opinion hands down…?

  7. camman Says:

    4 weeks guys…..

    just 4 shorts weeks from today

  8. Frankie Says:

    Thank you once again Mr.Miner… You should write a book about your show experiences, i know i would buy it and it would be better than that book i read about Summer Tour ’99, i think it was called Run Like An Antelope or something, anybody else read that? It was meh…

    I like Trey’s nod to his grandpa who was there that night in Ya Mar…
    “He was a no good pa, he was a mean ol pa, he had an oh kee pa, he was MY grand pa!!” 🙂

    @Wilfred: My top three jams of the Island Tour are 1. ROSES!! 2. Tweezer 3. YEM

    It’s funny how two of those threes were the opening songs OF THE SHOW!!
    Goes to show how dialed in they were on those nights, must be something they ate backstage… what did the Chef cook?

  9. RobAins Says:

    Geography check….where is everyone from, and where do you live now?

    Me, from Northern NJ and now am kind of grown up, married and living in the Phiadelphia area. First show was 7/2/94 mmmm, second set Mike’s Groove. I was already really into the band, but this show fucking annihilated any other bands chances….:)

  10. soam Says:

    who put you up to it Fredo?

  11. Clod Says:

    I missed this run. I have no real good excuse since I was in New England at the time and my job was hardly keeping down. The first time I listened to this run was when I purchased the cds about two years. From about 1997-2006, my knowledge of these shows was really based on what my friends related to me (and they assured me of the run’s epicness(sic). Over the last two years, the cds have been in pretty much constant rotation in my car. As a result, the run kind of morphed into one giant show for me. I never really knew (or really cared for that matter) which night/set I was listening to. Thanks Miner for putting all into perspective for me.

  12. R1 Says:

    I’m kinda shocked how many folks are saying they’ve never heard these shows, especially since they’re official releases, and happy that because of Miner’s sparkling descriptions, you now will. The Roses jam IS Phish to me. It is not only the jam of the run, Wilfred, it’s the jam of the fucking century. (That and 11.17.97 Tweezer!)

  13. John Campion Says:

    Ahh…good ol Providence! I remember these 2 shows VERY well! The streets of Prov were packed!! It was really kinda nuttie! haha. Highlights for me are the 2001, oh kee>yem, Tweezer, Cavern! Loved that little run. Also… for this show were announced very close to show date. I remember standing in line outside the civic center when tix went onsale and EVERYONE that waited got a ticket! Such good vibes! See ya’ll in Hampton!

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    re: geography

    did most of my touring from Northern VA or Blacksburg, VA, depending on the year .. moved to Asheville in, summer 2000 and been here since.

    funny story about moving :

    We went to the fourth of july shows in Camden (my wife was in Philly at the time), moved all our crap to asheville on the days between, grabbed an hour of sleep, drove through the night to alpine, with no money but for gas to get there, tix in hand, sold 250 grilled cheeses when we got there, and proceeded to do the tour alpine > deer creek > columbus, then came back to asheville and stayed for good! Was quite the whirlwind!

  15. Selector J Says:

    Thanks Miner. You’ve done it again. I couldn’t go to the Island Run because I was just a senior in high school and lived in VA. (By the grace of God, I did get to see Hampton ’97, though.) After reading the last two days’ posts, I feel as if I were there.
    It’s been a while (too long) since I’ve put on these shows. I’m going to listen them with whole new ears.

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    taking a spin through the islands today. end of set 1 nassau “we are leaving you on a low note, so just for the sake of contrast and composition, we will leave you on a high note..”->squealing loop sound from trey .. hilarious.

    That stash is certainly a gem. I listened to it as I wound my way up the snowy mountains, nice morning.

  17. Chris notkuroda Says:

    granted I wasn’t there. From reading all this, it seems like the crowd energy was tremendous. But am I the only one who feels like this is not even close to the best run of their career? I mean I’ve listened to the whole four show run, twice. And I just plain don’t get it.

  18. c0wfunk Says:

    Chris, for reference, what would you call the greatest 4 night run? (consecutive shows…)

  19. Mitch Says:

    MINER, I WIN! I’ve been trying to search google to find a show with Antelope, Gin and YEM. A Hood in there too would be bonus but I’ve been having a tough time searching. I hadn’t resorted to sitting down and reading every setlist in my Phish companion yet.

    HERE IT IS!! and in crispy SBD fashion no less. Thanks. This will go well on my next car trip.

  20. R1 Says:

    No, Chris, it seems you don’t. Not even close? Not to say valid arguments could not be made for others, but what other run do you suggest might top this? I must admit that the special nature of this mini-tour and the fact that I was there do enter into the equation for me.

  21. cottle Says:


    From Raleigh, NC..lived outside of Asheville for a few years, now back in Raleigh. First show was 10/25/96 at Hampton…still one of the sickest shows I’ve ever seen. Pretty sure that’s the only Makisupa I’ve seen to date. I swore after the ’97 run that I’d never miss another Hampton show/run, but ’98 didn’t work out. Niether did any post-hiatus hampton shows. I’ll be there in March though! (with or without a ticket)

    The Southeastern US was always our stomping grounds, but been to Vegas, Limestone, Coventry, Cypress, Deer Creek…Of all the states I’ve visited…all but one were because of Phish shows.

    One final plea: if anyone wants to get rid of Hampton or Asheville tix (for Face!) email me at

    I love the posts/comments on this board. Everyone keep it up.

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    cottle that was my first show too 🙂 Spun out of my gourd, a girl I was with left during the first set for the bathroom, fell and hit her head on the toilet and half my crew left for the hospital. In my condition, I was no help, so I remained and proceeded to have my mind blown.

  23. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    I think I said it on yesterday’s thread, but these two shows are among my top 5 best times as Phish shows (with the Ball, Merriweather Post summer 1998, and a random North Charleston, SC show in the front row). But these Island Tour shows are hands down my favorites musically (with Sunday just a tad over Saturday).

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    “this album’s from our last week’s concert” lol I love the trey banter in these shows!

  25. Frankie Says:

    From Montreal, Quebec here…

    Probably the only french canadian fan on here too… i haven’t come across many in Montreal but my Phish disease is spreading fast among friends… we’ll have our own little Clifford Ball fest when the DVD’s comes… I’m already building the hype!!!

    Discovered Phish in early ’98 (through the 8.9.97 tapes, i was hooked by the Ghost!!) so most of my experiences with the music come from listening… i saw Phish only once in Toronto in summer ’99 which was the Misty Mountain Hop bustout and had a really really good time!

    Didn’t have a car for a while but i got the chance to see Trey and his solo band twice in Burlington and the Mike w/Page show last summer by the lake… I missed IT in favor of the Berkfest that year and I didn’t go to Coventry ’cause of money issues but in retrospect i don’t regret that decision even though it would have been the closest show ever apart from Plattsburgh… Who said something about a show in Highgate, VT?
    Anytime for me!!! 🙂

    I wish Phish would put Montreal back on their touring schedule but i doubt that will happen… I was 14 when they last came at the St-Denis Theatre and didn’t know who they were at the time… I worked last year for the Just for Laughs festival so i had a chance to stand on the St-Denis stage and i was daydreaming about time travel… 🙂

« Previous1234Next »

Leave a Reply