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Published: 2012/10/24

Kevin Shapiro Talks Phish ’98 Release

On Monday, Phish confirmed that their next archival release would capture their August 11, 1998 performance at Burgettstown, PA’s Star Lake Amphitheatre. Located in the shadow of Pittsburgh, the amphitheater has hosted several classic Phish shows over the years, including a 1997 performance where the Vermont Quarter debuted Elton John’s “Amoreena,” a 1999 gig where the band covered Pavement and a bust-out heavy performance in 2003.

Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro has now shared his thoughts on the show. In a statement he contextualizes the show as the following:

On August 11, 1998 Phish played at Star Lake Amphitheatre in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. This was their second visit to Star Lake of seven to-date starting in 1997 and including 2003, 2009 and 2012 shows previously released at

The Star Lake 98 show was the 20th of summer to showcase the loose, experimental vibe of a tour that began in Europe and jumped to the United States enroute to the summer’s ending Lemonwheel festival. The introduction of a never-before-played cover each night earned the tour the nickname “summer of covers” from fans and Star Lake’s contribution was a Trench Town Rock opener. Star Lake also saw the return of Time Loves A Hero which was played for the first time in a decade and segued out of a sultry Wolfman’s Brother. Julius, an extended Fee outro (during which hip Pittsburghians clapped along on the 2 and 4) and deep renditions of Maze and Reba set the stage for set II. The second set featured a super-swinging, ethereal Runaway Jim that foreshadowed 2011’s Storage Jam and an unusual pairing of Meat > Limb By Limb. Local flavor of the Commonwealth was provided by Bittersweet Motel (the title of the Phish documentary recorded during Europe ’98 dates) and Wilson, King of Prussia.

Star Lake 98 is the only full show available as video from summer 1998. The 2-DVD set was created from archival VHS videotapes of the 3-camera lawn screen feed. The audio was mixed from multi-track masters in stereo PCM and 5.1 surround. It will be released on DVD and digital audio download December 11 on JEMP Records.

The set was created from VHS videotapes of the lawn feed from the concert. The audio was mixed by Jon Atschiller from Paul Languedoc’s multi-track masters.

The two-set DVD is slated for release on December 11. All Dry Goods pre-orders will receive “So Inclined,” a bonus CD featuring music from the three remaining unreleased Star Lake concerts (1997, 1999, 2000).

“So Inclined” Tracklist:

1. Gumbo (8/13/97) 2. Maze > (7/7/00) 3. Shafty > (7/7/00) 4. Maze (7/7/00) 5. Simple > (7/21/99) 6. My Left Toe (7/21/99) 7. Stash (8/13/97)

"Down With Disease" - Star Lake 98 DVD from Phish on Vimeo.


There are 11 comments associated with this post

Ryan October 24, 2012, 12:06:25

Of all the shows Phish played at this venue, this is the last one I would have released. Not to mention there were much better shows the same week.

James October 24, 2012, 12:21:55

Two days before, Virginia Beach 8/9/98, release that show. It’s one of the best shows I have ever seen, and that Terrapin encore still gives me chills.

monkey October 24, 2012, 13:16:05

I agree with Ryan. The 97 Starlake en route to the Great Went was a stellar show. Much better than this one. Also, the Merriweather show three days before this was stellar.

Dunwoody October 24, 2012, 14:12:49

Yeah, there are other shows from the tour that are better, but: “Star Lake 98 is the only full show available as video from summer 1998.”

Mike October 24, 2012, 15:22:20

While all of those other shows are great, Kevin clearly says at the start of the 3rd paragraph of his statement that this show is the only one available on video for both sets: Star Lake 98 is the only full show available as video from summer 1998.

Ezz October 24, 2012, 15:54:36

Fuck Your Face

Jim October 24, 2012, 21:49:21

I’m looking forward to watching this. It’ll bring back alot of memories. It may not have been one of the strongest shows of that tour, but even average shows from 1998 were so much better than anything they’ve done in the past few years.

clarify October 25, 2012, 12:12:27

I think Kevin means this is the only full 1998 show available in Phish’s catalog, so far.

Ezz Douche October 25, 2012, 15:44:28

Fuck Your Mutha

Matt October 25, 2012, 16:29:50

Ditto on the Merriweather ’98. And what about 8/12/98 at Vernon Downs? Does anyone remember the sunset behind the stage during the first set? Watching it tv is far from experiencing it live, but being able to see that again would be awesome (not to mention it was a damn great show).

Marty December 24, 2013, 03:40:51

Vernon downs was the best phish show ever, they played tighter and more masterfully than any improv- based musicians I’ve ever even heard.sunset on la grange-makisupa was special too

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