, attached to 1998-06-30

Review by ucpete

ucpete The first show of the 1998 European Tour is a solid, song-based gig. First set highlights include a tight opening LxL, and a smooth Stash -> Cities segue. The Bowie has some moments, including a nice major mode portion of the jam before getting back to typical Bowie darkness. The second set is of similar flow to the first-- with another debut (Roggae debut in the first set, Moma in the second, Brian and Robert in the encore). The Wolfman's had a little Mike confusion during the second verse, but things resolve nicely into a typically great jam, and the -> Frankie Says is nice. I like the Swept > Steep in the Mike's sandwich actually-- it only happened three other times for those keeping score at home.

Overall this is an average (i.e. great) Phish show, and the current 3.5 rating is about right, maybe a little high if you normalize to the fact that this is Phish we're talking about (i.e. the worst Phish shows are 4-5 when compared to most other bads, but if we set the average Phish show to 3.0, this show lands right around the top of the bell curve). One other thing that struck me: this is actually in some ways a typical 3.0-type show, given how song-based (vs. jam-based) it is. As others have mentioned, there aren't really any jams that will keep you coming back for more, but it's a solid tour opener nonetheless.

N.B. I couldn't find the "Sand" tease in Tube, but after talking to the .net staff, it's at about 1:35 in the spreadsheet version, and it's pretty subtle. "Sand" didn't debut with Phish till Fall '99, but 8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes did debut it a few months earlier at Higher Ground (4/17/98). The spreadsheet AUD is actually quite nice-- it sounds like a very attentive, smallish crowd.


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