(updated with video below on 3.18.07)

So I had all sorts of directions to take Phish Friday this week, but decided on a recent acquisition from a tour that, at least from my perspective, has not gotten a ton of recognition: Europe ‘98.

I just recently grabbed this show from the Prague (7-6-98 at the Lucerna Theatre, to be exact). Upon first listen, I started to realize that it’s quite a little gem, and if anything, it brings to mind Trey’s quote from “Bittersweet Motel” about why the band loved their Spring 1997 tour through Europe…something along the lines of the band feeling like they were teenagers rockin’ out in their garage again.

Well, in this little “Piper > Makisupa” segment, it seems like they found that moment in Europe for second time around:

  • Phish – Piper – 1998-07-06 [mp3]
  • Phish – Makisupa Policeman – 1998-07-06 [mp3]

Now, I’m sure there are plenty of “better” Pipers out there — and I’m certain there are a bunch that clock in beyond 19 minutes — but I’m not sure too many of them feature such a relentless and ragin’ segment of rock (or “rawk”) and roll. Sure, there are peaks and valleys in this one, but the energy here is intense! About 13 minutes in, you can hear the crowd get worked into a frenzy, and then again a minute or two later, and then it just keeps on speedin’ along and plowin’ ahead.

Once all is said and done, they finally slow it down to let things mellow out a bit (and presumably, to let fans catch their breath). They noodle around some darker thems and then somehow drop into the happy reggae-funk of “Makisupa Policeman.” And although it’s a bid of an add-on after the long and raging craziness that preceded it, it’s just another one of those silly Phish moments that has you smiling. This “Makisupa” features various band hyjinks including: banter from Trey and Fishman, a peppy uptempo section started by Page, and even (gasp) a Fishman drum solo (comlpete with Trey’s explanation of the band’s “Fish whistle rule” which you just have to hear to understand).

This really made my day as I’ve been struggling with this recent flu/cold bug and wishing I was not only not sick, but also that I was down in Austin with Justin enjoying the SXSW festivities.

Hope you enjoy. Have an awesome weekend!

Video update just for s***s and giggles (after the jump)…

…I was cruising around YouTube late-night, and came across a pretty solid video of the Ghost jam from this show. It ain’t too shabby and features some serious Trey headbangin’. Figured I might as well give this post a little update.

WHITperson -- aka Marc Whitman or simply "Whit" -- is a long-time LMB contributor known for his in-depth posting style and his knack for crafting interesting podcasts. Whit currently resides in Brooklyn, where he's building up his web development chops and hoping to put his technical skills towards something interesting in the music world. Follow his updates over at whitperson.com...