Phish Friday | Europe ’98 Redux

Live Music Blog friend, Stanley T. Roper, continues to let his Phishy thoughts and comments flow freely. This week, he’s brought us a short-but-sweet review of his favorites from Phish’s 1998 summer stint in Europe (basically one-upping my Phish Friday post from last week, by saying, “ha, one show? Well I can do the entire run!?!”). We certainly appreciate Mr. Roper’s fine submissions (and you can check out his previous efforts here and here). But keep in mind, we love hearing from all the rest of you, so feel free to send those our way whenever you’re in a Phishy mood. Hope you enjoy another installment from Stanley T. Have a killer weekend!

Phish performed a nine-show Europe run in June-July 1998 after completing the studio sessions for Story of the Ghost. The last live shows before these – the Island Tour – have since been released in their entirety and quickly assumed their place in Phish lore. The next live show upon their return stateside (7/15/98 Portland) was later released as Live Phish Vol. 17. If proximity to official releases is any indication, these shows were sure to be some good stuff.

They didn’t disappoint. I listened to every note of every show – hard work, but that’s why LMB pays us the big bucks. (Hey, LMB sent Whitperson to Langerado, right?) Here are some highlights…

“Ghost” – 6/30/98, Copenhagen (night I):

  • Phish – Ghost – 6/30/98 [mp3]

First-ever “Ghost” with the new arrangement. Listen to the heads in the crowd when they realize that this is “Ghost.” Cool. Also some top-notch banter after the song.

“Moma Dance” – 7/1/98, Copenhagen (night II):

  • Phish – Moma Dance – 7/1/98 [mp3]

Second-ever “Moma” (i.e., new lyrics), with the first-ever coming the night before (this one’s better). Disgustingly nasty funk. Again, good post-song banter. The band was in a good mood this tour.

“Piper>Makisupa” – 7/6/98, Prague (night II):

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

At about 16:30 you can hear a guy in the taper’s section ask “what song are they playing again?” That pretty much says it all. Long, raging jam, then some funk that finds its way into “Makisupa.”

“Halley’s Comet” – 7/10/98, Barcelona (night II):

  • Phish – Halley’s Comet – 7/10/98 [mp3]

This jam gives an early preview of the groove-heavy 1999/2000 sound, with Mike and Fish at the helm. Also of interest: Trey teases “First Tube” a year before there was even such a thing as Trey Band. I had to do a little research to find out that Trey had performed the song for the first time in April 1998 with Eight Foot Fluorescent Tubes, a side project that grew into TAB.