Phish Plays ‘Wipe Out’ Set In Worcester On Fall Tour 1998
This year marks 25 years since Phish’s historic Fall Tour 1995. In recognition of that noteworthy tour and to make up for the lack of shows this fall, JamBase presents a daily retrospective highlighting a noteworthy moment from a Phish fall tour concert that took place on that date over the past 25 years (read a note on Fall 1997 here). The 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour series runs each day between the start of Phish Fall Tour 1995 on September 27 through that tour’s finale on December 17.
Phish’s Fall Tour 1998 brought the band back to The Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts for another three-night stand almost exactly one year after doing the same on their Fall Tour 1997. Opening night on November 27, 1998 had many memorable aspects, most notably the second set’s infusion of “Wipe Out.”
More 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour on JamBase
As noted in the 25 Years Of Phish entry for the “Guyutica” set from Fall Tour 2010, Phish has a history of playing impromptu “themed” sets like “Moby Dick” at Deer Creek in 2000, “I Saw It Again” at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2010, “Martian Monster” at The Mann in 2015, or several instances of “Crosseyed And Painless” tease-fests (2019, 2017, 2016, 2016, 2011).
Before getting to that second set, Phish first delivered an impressive first half of the show, opening with “Funky Bitch,” followed by a 10-minute “Ya Mar” with “I Dream Of Jeannie” teases. Guitarist Trey Anastasio solidified the alternate “Carini” lyrics mentioning a stage streaker from earlier on the tour with the song’s second performance since that “naked dude” incident. Other first set highlights saw the pairing of “Meat” with a gorgeous “Reba,” a cover of Los Lobos’ “When The Circus Comes” and the “Birds Of A Feather” closer.
The instrumental “Buried Alive” was chosen to start the second set and segued into a bust out of another instrumental, “Wipe Out.” Phish had performed The Surfaris’ surf-rock classic on April 15, 1991, and again on April 27, 1991 — the second time with drummer Jon Fishman on vacuum — and not since (a 722 show gap). Trey shouted “Jon Fishman! Wipe Out! Wipe Out” at the end of the first “Wipe Out” of the set, before firing up “Chalkdust Torture” and teasing “Wipe Out” throughout the first part of the song.
Bassist Mike Gordon subtly teased The English Beat’s “Mirror In The Bathroom,” which led to the full band transitioning into the 1980s hit for a partially performed debut sung by Trey. The band then seamlessly transitioned back into “Chalkdust Torture” charging along until they landed on a blues vamp over which they segued into a partially played “Dog Log” that circled back to “Chalk Dust Torture.”
The set rolled on with a transition into “Sanity” and another rarity, “Buffalo Bill.” The band then drew up the classic trifecta of “Mike’s Song” into “I Am Hydrogen” into “Weekapaug Groove.” The wild 20-minute “Weekapaug” led to another extended “Wipe Out” sequence that led back into “Weekapaug.” The band played what was essentially a false ending, jumping back into “Weekapaug” after what sounded like its usual final notes. The subsequent “Weekapaug Groove Reprise” quickly morphed into Type II improvisation, deconstructing into a minimal, ambient theme that was becoming prevalent during that era. After several minutes of free-form jamming, “Run Like An Antelope” emerged as the set closer.
The encore began with keyboardist Page McConnell leading the band on the tender ballad “Wading In The Velvet Sea.” The energy picked back up with the old-school original “Golgi Apparatus,” prompting a final, punctuating run through “Wipe Out.”
Phish officially released their November 27, 1998 show as Live Phish Volume 6. Watch audience-shot video of the second set (minus the encore) and stream the entire show below: