Set I: My Friend My Friend, Lonesome Cowboy Bill1, Scents and Subtle Sounds, You Ain't Going Nowhere2, Spock's Brain, Chalkdust Torture, On Your Way Down, Fast Enough For You> Taste
Set II: Twist, Bug, You Enjoy Myself, Walls of the Cave
Encore: Secret Smile
1 First since 10/31/98 or 169 shows
2 First time played
This was my first Phish show. I wouldn't get to many more until 2009, since they called it quits in 2004.
My friend who had been doing the entire tour, as Phish fans are apt to do, called me up on the day of the show and offered to drive me down. I was basically broke at the time, but I decided to empty my bank account to see the band with whom I had been steadily becoming obsessed.
Somewhere in Israel, my tastes turned from pop punk and third wave ska to jam. Maybe it was Boombamela and maybe it was the mescaline-infused hike through the hills, but I would soon be sucked irrevocably down the proverbial rabbit hole of improvisational rock music.
That shift in the winds came to a crux at this concert, featuring the band at the pinnacle of the modern jam scene.
I wasn't too familiar with the band's extensive canon yet, but I recognized a few songs. In retrospect, knowing far more now than I did then, the set list was rife with rarities and interesting selections.
I recall hacky sacking in the grassy lot with a ballet dancer, drinking beers bought out of a random cooler, selling cigarettes to finance my friend's touring, and wondering what was up with all those balloons.
While standing on line for a burrito after the show, someone gave me two free tickets to the next night's show, also in Camden. Emotionally and financially drained, I passed the tickets on. I still regret that decision, but the return of the band in 2009 certainly softened the blow.