Ah, Phish Friday. It’s always an exciting day to me now because I know I get to reach into my musical past (like, from six years ago) and listen to a bunch of stuff that I haven’t listened to in a long time. Andy Gadiel and I alternate picks each week and this one came from me. Make sure you head on over to his retired Phish Page blog (or subscribe) and keep checking back in for Phish Friday every week…

When I first started actively trading Phish tapes in 1998 — yep, I know, 1998 — one very nice soul sent me a copy of their April 4, 1998 show in Providence, RI as part of one of my first B&P’s.

This tape was easily the one I listened to the most of all the other ones I had. Well, that and the 12/7/97 tapes (part of which was already featured on Phish Friday).

When I was in Hawaii for the turn of the millennium, I fondly remember driving through the pineapple hills listening to this tape. The second set was the tape I listened to much more than the first set; you’ll see why once you sample the MP3’s below…

I even had a stupid tape cover printed from the internet that was to be used for *bootlegs* — man, there’s something about discovering that Phish community that thrived on the internet that was truly exciting. The tape itself had started to develop that high hiss that only old tapes really get. I literally listened to this a couple times a week for a good year or so before I decided to look into getting some better quality CDR copies (from yet another soul met online — god bless the tapers for that shit). Sure enough, I found a copy of that show that I’m still listening to today…

Phish was smart enough to release this show along with the three others as a set of CD’s and digital downloads; these four shows made up famous Island Tour 98 run. The 12-disc set is quite impressive and it definitely has gotten plenty of airtime on my iPod.

But why the hell would I stop there? I also have a downloaded copy of the video from this show — yes, that’s right — a FULL DVD AUD/VID copy of this show. How is that even possible?

I just think there’s something to all that (in my opinion). There was a weird magic feeling/control that Phish had over me that had continued for a while. I don’t listen to them nearly as much now, especially since their Coventry disaster (for known reasons). Even though I’m kinda starting to feel like Trey is the Sting of our generation, Phish was really a band that touched me pretty hard. Maybe I’m a little too worried about protecting that sometimes…

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