April 23, 2019

Phish: new archival release 11/11/1998 Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

Another archival Phish release is available for streaming and download: 11/11/1998 Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI.

After some one-off shows at Farm Aid, The Fillmore, and the Bridge School Benefit, Phish celebrated the October 27th release of 'The Story of The Ghost' with TV appearances on Sessions at West 54th and The Late Show with David Letterman before mounting a twenty-two show fall tour. Starting in Los Angeles, Phish hit Las Vegas and West Valley, Utah in an extended Halloween celebration that saw them cover both the Velvet Underground's 'Loaded' and Pink Floyd's ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.' Next came stops in Denver, Madison, and a celebrated 3-night stand in Chicago before the band’s second November 11th show in as many years at Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Van Andel Arena. Beyond the 11/11 date synergy, the return to Van Andel was auspicious as Phish was one of the first bands to play the 12,800 capacity arena (preceded by Neil Diamond and Rush) after it opened in 1996.

On November 11, 1998, Phish greeted Grand Rapids with a psychedelic dance party that featured a Punch You In The Eye opener followed by a syrupy Gumbo, fall's first Tela, and a set I closing trifecta of Birds Of A Feather, Theme From The Bottom > Julius. Set II blew up out of the gates with Halley's Comet > Simple > Walk Away. The Grand Rapids Halley's was a monster, spanning more than 25 minutes of explosive rock and experimental space-groove that secured this show's dark horse status. Limb By Limb soared and set the stage for an intense set-closing Ghost. A 3-song Contact > Rocky Top > Funky Bitch encore sealed the deal on a Wild Wednesday night in West Michigan.

Setlist and notes from phish.net:

SET 1: Punch You in the Eye, Gumbo, If You Need a Fool, Sleep, Tela, Birds of a Feather, Theme From the Bottom, Julius

SET 2: Halley's Comet > Simple > Walk Away > Limb By Limb, When the Circus Comes, Ghost

ENCORE: Contact > Rocky Top > Funky Bitch

» livephish.com

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