In 1998 Phish were at the top their game in the USA. Europe was another story. There had been tours in 1996 and 1997, and those journies brought the band back to basics, playing club sized venues which they had outgrown in the States. Especially the 1997 tour was a huge success. Tons of fresh material was introduced and after the funk-driven Fall 1997 tour and the release of the studio album Story of the Ghost a new tour was scheduled for the summer of 1998. Traveling by train, the band reinvented themselves yet again, stretching out the new songs, polishing off old warhorses like AC/DC Bag, David Bowie and Maze. A new jamming vehicle was found with Piper, a song that would end up on the Farmhouse album in 2000.
Phish has been releasing tons of live shows over the years, and Live Phish 7/6/98 Lucerna Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic is the first European gig to make to an official release, culled from 2-track soundboard reference DATs.
So, is it any good then? Well, yes, especially the second set with a drawn out Piper that runs for nearly 20 minutes and a solid David Bowie with a spacey intro. The last song before the encore is the Rolling Stones'' Lovin' Cup in which the band can pull out all their love for seventies classic rock. But it is the Ghost > Cities twosome that will please the Phish fans most. There's a Jumpin' Jack Flash tease around 13:30 in Ghost, which might well have been serving as a hint for the inclusion of Lovin' Cup. Add an amazing (pun intended) Maze and the lyrical weirdness of the old school Golgi Apparatus and you got yourself a show that will turn a long, boring drive into a musical joyride.
Tracklist for 7/6/98: