“Reba > Walk Away”


Fall 1998 (B.Brecheisen)

The beginning of Fall ’98 was an exciting time in the Phish world.  The band had recently concluded a triumphant summer tour, capped with the festivities at Lemonwheel in Limestone.  While laid-back funk was certainly the theme of Summer ’98, the band began to approach a new style of playing toward the end of the summer.  On the hallowed Air Force base in the corner of America, a more abstract and ambient style began to emerge in earnest.  The best examples of this burgeoning style were the “Ghost jam” and the “Ambient Jam,” or the fourth set of the first night.  This style was less rhythmic and focused more on collective dissonant harmonies and exploratory soundscapes.  Less reliant on beats and more on flowing intuition, the band began creating jams that adapted the philosophy behind collaborative groove into the realm of ambient music.  Each member was responsible for pushing the music ever so subtly, and together, the band could move mountains.  After that weekend in Maine, it was clear that Phish would be entering new territory come fall, but how quickly that would develop was quite a surprise.

The Greek Thetare, LA

The Greek Thetare, LA

Opening the tour in the serene setting of LA’s Greek Theatre, Phish came out with a discombobulated first set that featured several songs from their new release, The Story of the Ghost.  Without any true flow to the set, the band warmed up their chops for what would certainly be a more impressive set two.

As the second set got underway with the diverse combo of “Possum,” “Moma,” the amphitheatre began to pulsate with life, and Fall ’98 was officially underway.  After the sinfully thick funk jam, Phish revved up the beginning of “Reba.”  Always a second-set highlight when placed there, this version would transcend anyone’s wildest dreams.

As the band moved through their pristine classic jam section, it was magic to our ears in the impeccable sounding Greek Theatre.  Trey’s delicate solo on top of the band’s relaxed groove was truly blissful as he improvised sublime melodies with masterful phrasing.  Yet, sailing blissfully through this gorgeous segment of the jam, nobody in the venue expected the psychedelia which was just around the corner.

Fall 98 (R.Bleckman)

Fall ’98 (R.Bleckman)

At the point where this jam diverges, Fishman initiates a more complex, less flowing, beat and the band begins to fade from groove into a more drone sonic canvas.  As soon as this shift is made, all band members hop onto this idea and begin to create an alternate path filled with ambient effects and heavy textures.  The normally light Reba jam all of a sudden becomes incredibly dark as the band dove head first into their alternate experiment.  With layered effects and a far different beat, Phish entered the clutches of the eerie, creating a haunting jam that carried a different sort of beauty.

Using alternate sounds, Phish created a creeping and delicate jam that proved to be a precursor for similar exploration along their fall tour- most immediately two days later with the Vegas “Wolfman’s.”  With a sonic mixture that sounded more like the laboratory of a mad scientist than a Phish show, the band created a completely unique jam that continued to grow deeper and darker, moving far away from anything ever heard in a “Reba” jam.  Jaw hanging, eyes closed, I followed this divergent path into the throes of abstract madness.  This was pure unadulterated IT, and this was only the second set of tour!

Fall 1998 (R.Bleckman)

Fall ’98 (R.Bleckman)

This alternate jam began to build until the band began attacking the music with more aggression, creating a supremely different sound; locked together like crazy glue and in your face.  Just as the band hit the most sinister part of their excursion, they gradually build a slow groove, taking them out of the fiery dungeon, and segueing, out of the blue, into “Walk Away” for the first time since The Bomb Factory on May 7, 1994.  Taking everyone by surprise with the landing point of their other-worldly excursion, the combination made for the outright highlight of the show, and one of the best moments of the entire tour.

Fall '98 (S.Tackeff)

Fall ’98 (S.Tackeff)

Not letting go of the musical momentum that was created over this adventure, Phish built up the end of “Walk Away” to a grungy, dissonant climax out of which they released into the melodic anthem, “Simple.”  (You can listen to the entire triumvirate below.)

Pulling out of the Greek and heading for a Halloween bash in Sin City, we popped in the DAT and relived the stunning jam in silence, still holding the magic energy inside, listening in disbelief.  This “Reba” was the first, and one of the best, abstract jams that would grace Fall ’98.  With many more to follow, this got the ball rolling for what would be an unforgettable month on the road with Phish.


LISTEN TO 10.29.98 “Reba > Walk Away > Simple” NOW! < LINKS          (Roll over, click play)



10.29.98 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA < LINK

10.29.98 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA < TORRENT LINK

In addition to the “Reba >Walk Away,” this show followed a pattern set at The Fillmore of big second set “Moma Dances,” a pattern that would hold true for Fall ’98.  A beautifully flowing second set was capped with a frantic, well-played “Bowie.”  The encore brought the sublime debut of The Beatles, “Something;” a perfect launch into a great tour.

1998-10-29moI: Julius, Roggae, Llama, Limb by Limb, Driver*, Sleep*, Frankie Says, Birds of a Feather, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Character Zero

II: Possum, Moma Dance, Reba > Walk Away > Simple, Albuquerque, David Bowie

E: Something**

*Trey on acoustic guitar **First time played

Source: Unknown

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121 Responses to ““Reba > Walk Away””

  1. camman Says:

    i love alaska, defintely as much as i do BDT#L

  2. camman Says:

    its jsut a cathy tune man

  3. old dude Says:

    which show dost i seeketh to hear this “Alaska”? is it a TAB song?

  4. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @old dude – Trey was playing Alaska on his Classic TAB fall tour. I think they’re on this site somewhere.

  5. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    I know for sure Trey played it in Wallingford, CT on 10/17/08, but I remember seeing it pop up pretty frequently in the setlists from those fall shows.

  6. gus Says:

    Trey first introduced it at Rothbury last summer – if you want the acoustic version of it with Mike, then here is the link.


  7. Whole Tour! Says:

    the intercontinential is the dopest hotel in miami….just a few blocks from the AA arena…i stayed there for 3 of the 4 nights in 2003 and the hotel is sick. Trippy artwork and carpets throughout the entire hotel…every room has sick marble in the bathrooms that seemed to breathe everytime i looked at it. There is dali-esque artwork in all the rooms and on several floors there is a VIP room that serves free food, coffee, and alcohol. It was great mingling with other phish folks pre gaming before the shows in the VIP lounge. It’s sersiously like 5 ot 6 blocks from the arena so the drive to and from is very short. If the rumors are valid, i’m making my reservations there!!

  8. snigglebeach Says:

    Sounds like another ticket disaster if Miami goes down. Every phan in the country angling for tickets.

    i say Cypress

  9. voopa Says:

    Wow…BC 2.0

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    @olddude: Miner had a DL of possible new Phish songs right before Hampton(I think) and Alaska was one of them. Dank ass song.

  11. Mugician Says:

    Anyone else here play lead guitar?

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    Alaska is fun and definitely catchy but any song based on a joke is going to get old – plus I’m not sure how much Phish can add to that song – but I’m not sick of it yet. Also I thought I’d get tired of Farmhouse more or less immediately and I still like it…maybe its cause we have cluster flies (alas)

    I don’t remember Light…I am grabbing it from here http://phishthoughts.com/2009/02/18/tab-phish/ – thanks for the mention @Bingos & will give it a listen

  13. Whole Tour! Says:

    @mugician: i’ve played guitar for 20+ years…

    Also..AA arena in miami is huge! for nye 2003 people couldn’t give tickets away. I’m sure that scalpers will ruin it this time like usual, but the arena being so large, everyone might have a better shot at acoring tickets.

  14. Whole Tour! Says:

    funny story about “alaska”. The other week i was gettin g something to eat and the girl behind the counter saw that i was wearing a north face hoodie. She said something like “i don’t see many of those around here”(in florida). So i asked where she was from. She told me she had just moved from alaska. As soon as she said that the song popped into my head. I asked he waht hername was and she told me that her name was also alaska…lol. I think she was being serious and i culd tell she wasn;t from around here since she was being so nice, something the chicks around these parts tend not to be. So now when i think of the song alaska i think of that chick…lol

  15. Whole Tour! Says:

    if cypress does happen again for new years…i’m leaving a week early just so i won’t have to sit in 20 hours of traffic hell again. We thought for sure it would take only like an hour to drive through alligator ally. Big mistake…it took 20 hours to drive 2 miles!

  16. Mugician Says:

    Whole Tour: put on Antelope for Worcester New Years 93, crank your shit and rage on it.

  17. Mugician Says:

    Antelope from*

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    If I ever get sick of the monster opening chords in Antelope then I am officially sick of life.

  19. Mugician Says:

    Right? I think while it’s not my favorite song (though certainly up there in the top 10), it definitely gets me the most pumped hearing those wonderful, bouncy riffs floating around.

    It’s a fucking blast to play.

    20 years huh Whole Tour? Fuck, that’s so goddamn awesome. What styles do you play? What kinda gear? In a band?

  20. voopa Says:

    @BingosBrother Nicely said. Agreed.

  21. whole tour! Says:


    gear: 3 fender strats, one japaneese with lace pickups, one american with modified humbuckers, one mexican cheapie. yamaha and martin acoustics. amp: hughes and kettner half stack. reverb, vibratto, wah wah and volume pedal.

    i play every style with main focus on jazz,rock,space,cowboy funk with a twist of classical.

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