Czech Your Head

Prague '98

After their first night in Prague, Phish came out with a purpose. Opening Europe ’98 with a phenomenal three-night run at The Grey Hall in Copenhagen, the band stopped at the Midtfyns Festival in Denmark before shifting the scene to Eastern Europe. Descending upon the culturally revitalized city of Prague provided a completely divergent different vibe after spending a stint in Scandinavia, particularly with a great exchange rate and the popular, psychoactive alcohol, Absinthe. Carrying a certain lucidity to its bacchanalian buzz, Absinthe knocked more than a few American fans on their heads with its particularly high proof and disorienting feel. Rumors surfaced after the fact, that Absinthe had been the very same spirit that knocked the band off their game in a forgettable opening night on July 5th. Within the intimate and elaborate Lucerna Theatre, Phish stumbled through a show that seemed horribly out of place, especially considering their last seven outings comprised the Island Run and Christiania.

Lucerna Theatre (No seats For Phish)

Lucerna Theatre (No Seats for Phish)

So as the band emerged for their second and final night in Prague, they had something to prove. Throwing down from note one, the show sprinted out of the gates with “Buried Alive > AC/ BAG,” and never broke stride , flowing right into a show highlight,”Ghost > Cities.” The band gathered a colossal head of steam as Trey annihilated the third song  of the show, a feat made famous by a You Tube clip over the years (found below.) Playing with an intensity and an urgency that simply lacked the previous night, Phish locked in right away, crafting a stellar opening frame. After a  full-speed transition into “Cities,” Phish dropped from the upbeat tempo into half-time following the opening verse, creating the gooey textures that had come to define the song. This opening sequence clearly illustrated the band’s intent, seeking to seriously throw down to make up for a cloudy effort the night before. And they most certainly succeeded. The first set continued with captivating versions of “Limb” and “Maze” before “Golgi” brought the show to setbreak.

Europe '98 Poster

Europe '98 Poster

Phish played a blistering second frame, highlighted by an extended, twenty-minute “Piper” long before they were the norm. This high-speed, multi-faceted chase showcased the band’s single-mindedness on this night, collectively breaking new ground within this torrid version. Eventually moving into murkier realms, this jaunt didn’t remain cranked up the entire time, but offered an eerie-turned-lounge-funk final segment.Winding into “Makisupa,” the energy in the room dripped from the theatre’s gilded decor, as everyone felt the feeling of what had just transpired. A smoking “Bowie” capped the nights explorations before “Loving Cup” closed the set.

Walking from Lucerna to F/X  – a multi-room night club that hosted the post-show party for band and fans alike – we spoke of the night and day experiences of the past two nights. The show that has just gone down carried a certain energy and intensity throughout, crafting a different type of standout show than we’d seen up north. This night had been full-throttle Phish, and everyone knew it. As we partied through the night until a morning train departed for a cross-continental trek to Barcelona, the band had righted their ship after a brief, “culturally-induced” fumble. And as we headed for sunshine, despite the overnight journey, spirits soared as European vacation rolled on.


Jama of the Day: 7.6.98 Prague, CZ

AC/DC Bag > Ghost > Cities” I

This segment stoked an early fire in Prague’s standout show. “Ghost” featured a ridiculous shred-session from Big Red; check out the video below.


Piper > Makisupa” II

In my opinion, the most impressive jam of the show.




7.6.98 Lucerna, Prague, CZ < Torrent

7.6.98 Lucerna, Prague, CZ < Megaup

Probably the most impressive show of Europe ’98 that didn’t take place in The Grey Hall.

I: Buried Alive > AC/DC Bag, Ghost > Cities, Limb By Limb, Train Song, Roggae, Maze, Golgi Apparatus

II: Julius, Meat, Piper > Makisupa Policeman, David Bowie, Loving Cup

E: Possum

Source: Schoeps MK4 (FOB; mics in a hat) > VMS IO2b > DA P1


“Ghost” Jam 7.6.98 I

Tags: ,

1,017 Responses to “Czech Your Head”

  1. garretc Says:

    Thanks KWL

    Yeah, I made sure to post this late night, cause, like I said, I don’t like being a downer on everybody, but still think it’s important to remind people to acknowledge their loved ones…

    Wow, thank you Phish, for the Great Went Halley’s > Cities transition… I dig, very hard!

  2. garretc Says:

    If anyone is interested in graffiti in general or Banksy in particular:

  3. KWL Says:

    i hear ya garret. been spending a lot of time traveling, and thus away from my loved ones. definitely take those relationships for granted sometimes.

    miami sand = *ting*

    night folks

    excited at the prospect of hitting alpine. whose got my pavs?

  4. Tba Says:

    Barcelona 2nd night was as good as any IMHO. The 3rd night is what makes people bum out a bit on the 98 Barcelona 3 pack run. I remember when first hearing the sound issues, thinking wow what did I take, am I OK, lightening is all around me. But no it was the sound system; weird how a sound system would lose it on night 3 of a 3 pack. Then the disco late night made them so they just couldn’t jam out later. Yes the same guy who once forgot all the will call tickets at Keene theater (Wooks and Grogs, seeing the opportunity to get into a sold out show, were clawing at me cause I only had $16 cash for my friend and I, and tix were $10 each-thankfully after begging and battling off the grogs/wooks we made it in) long ago right after Phish had gotten to the point you needed will call tix, had booked Phish into a place twice the original Barc. venues size and with a curfew for their final night.

    Frankly, not to be a downer but from those shows, I also was a bit bummed a gem like Black Eyed Katie had morphed into Moma Dance with lyrics I, to this day, find very unnecessary. Also I like the Bang immediate Ghost opening over the post Island Ghosts. Just my opinion, but why mess with BEK. Miner likes Light as a jam vehicle and he’s right on as per, but how about BEK from Hampton or any other fall 97 monster (The BEK>Carini from MSG NYE run 97-98 HUGE; forgettaboutit.)

    Still 2nd night 98 Barcelona: The Drowned Mule Blister is Fing sick. Anyone who has a video of that night I would really really be happy to get it :<) 1 of my top 5 shows.

    Can't believe both my BFF and me got T-Ride, and can take the wives. Anyone figure out what the % of MO success was for TR? I finally won a modern/computer mail order. :<) Felt like the Sox winning in 2004. Back when it was mail in, never ever got shut out once.

  5. garretc Says:

    Night KWL!

    Don’t have your pavs though…

    However! Somebody does, somewhere…

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    Barcelona 2nd night was as good as any IMHO.

    ^ this was the only show that equates this show. But I think this one might edge it out. Needless to say, they all fall behind the grey hall.

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    (The BEK>Carini from MSG NYE run 97-98 HUGE; forgettaboutit.)

    ^ Carini > BEK – best ever.

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    At the time, Moma was sick. Though now, I completely agree

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    Wow, thank you Phish, for the Great Went Halley’s > Cities transition… I dig, very hard!

    ^ my favorite part of the went

  10. Tba Says:

    Thanks Miner…got the order messed up…As usual you are my hero :<)

    Got tix to T-Ride? Still trying to convince the wife it will be fun. Like to meet you :<) As per lately, the site has been sick-so much great music.

    Going to a few Pjam shows in May.

    As for Mr. Completely…Hampton 86 was 2,3,4 Dead shows for me; they were awesome I thought, but I was only 17. You didn't think so?-sorry from another thread. And I had NO IDEA what Box was-why people were freaking, felt like an idiot (what else is new?), but all I had was dozens of bootlegs, had not listened to any of the albums hardly at all, thus had not heard any Boxes up until then.

    As for dead's version of RRunner ehhh.

  11. ChefBradford Says:

    I’ve been a fan of Terry Gilliam since I was a kid; the Monty Python stuff I saw through my family and church (I grew up Episcopalian, son of an Episcopal priest, pretty laid back, open-minded stuff), Baron von Munchausen at a pool-party (?), my parents taking me to the theater to see the Fisher King when I was nine or ten (still a favorite movie).

    Brazil: meh

    Contains many of Gilliam’s common elements (and, I believe, Terry himself), but isn’t as uniformly excellent as some of his later projects

    Fisher King is my all-time favorite.

  12. ChefBradford Says:

    The Went Cities makes me feel like I drank a bottle of codeine cough syrup before listening…in a good way

  13. ChefBradford Says:

    Now that’s a shock, Brazil just copped a scene from Empire

  14. ChefBradford Says:

    ah, f’n mytzylpyx

  15. ChefBradford Says:

    Corrina = mellow gold

  16. ChefBradford Says:

  17. mister id Says:

    any alpharetta extras floating around on here? I need 3 for 7/3 and 2 for 7/4

    I posted on the ticket exchange with but no responses yet.

Leave a Reply