The tremendous Phish concert that capped their 1998 Summer tour on August 15-16, 1998. The second of two such shows held in Limestone, ME at the former Loring Air Force Base. While the road infrastructure had not changed since The Great Went, the internal services, such as trash removal and water delivery went more smoothly. Camping was not allowed in with the parking, but there was a pagoda of portapotties inside the concert ground to make up for it. As of this writing you can view a photo of this tower at the website.

Having suffered through extended traffic on the way to The Great Went, the two car caravan I traveled with decided to take an alternate route. Instead of following Interstate 95 all the way to where it bends East at Houlton, ME and heads into New Brunswick, Canada and then getting on Route 1 with everyone else, we followed Route 11 (I think it was 11). It leaves the relatively developed area along 95 where you can see signs reading "Now Entering T2-R5" and struck out on its own through vast stands of trees, with only semis for company. And Phish fans, of course.

We stopped along the way to verify that we were heading in the right direction. I pulled up in my vintage 1989 Honda Accord Hatchback behind my friend and pointman in his 1983 Jeep CJ7. I parked in a sandy area next to the road, he pulled into a driveway that spanned a ditch, parking parallel to the road. Across the street a middleaged man was tending his lawn and assured us that we were going the right way to Limestone. Not wishing to waste any time and let the traffic get ahead of us, we jumped back in our cars, and I had just put my seatbelt on when I looked up to see the black Jeep drive forward, straight into the four foot deep, sheer sided ditch. Fortunately the driver was off-road savvy and when he realized what he had done, gunned the engine to prevent getting stuck. The result was that the Jeep leapt out of the ditch, propelled into the air even while in rear wheel drive mode and came down hard, back on the road surface.

We got out again to check on the occupants to find the driver laughing loudly, buzzed on natural endorphins and the other two passengers extracting themselves from the camping gear, food, beer, and random paraphenalia we had brought along. Neither had had time to fasten their seatbelts, and had been flung bodily across the interior of the cabin. To this day my friend will occasionally burst into laughter at the memory of this event.

The rest of our concert stay had more stories, including getting separated into two groups in the crowd of thousands, and passing a sign reading "Welcome Phish Phans to Phriendly Phort Phairfield", but none lived up to the tale of the Jeep in the Ditch.

The following is taken from the Helping Friendly Book (see footnote). The times in parentheses indicate the duration of the set. I fell asleep during the fourth set due to excessive partying. If anyone has a copy of this set, please /msg me.

08-15-98 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME

1: Mike's Song > Simple, Beauty of My Dreams, Roggae, Split Open and Melt*, Poor Heart, The Moma Dance, The Divided Sky, Water in the Sky, Funky Bitch > Cities** > Weekapaug Groove (1:51)

2: The Wedge > Reba, Gumbo^ > Sanity, Tweezer > The Horse > Silent In The Morning, Chalkdust Torture, Slave to the Traffic Light^^ (1:25)

3: NICU > David Bowie, Strange Design, Limb by Limb > Brian and Robert, Loving Cup

E: Halley's Comet > Cavern, Tweezer Reprise (3/E 1:20)

4: Ambient Jam+ (0:55)

Lemonwheel Day One. *"By request, for a little boy named Sam." **Third verse was about "The Garden of Infinite Pleasantries," instead of the normal verse about Memphis; with "Sneakin' Sally" teases. ^Jam out of which sounded very much like "Tweezer Reprise." ^^With glowstick war. +After Tweezer Reprise, Trey explained that the band wanted to do something to combine ideas from The Clifford Ball and The Great Went, going into detail about the band/fan artwork from last year, and announced that the band would do a freeform ambient jam (lyric-less; nearly an hour long; "in the Brian Eno style of ambient music"), surrounded by candles that were made by the audience throughout the day. There were no other lights used during the jam.

08-16-98 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME

1: Ginseng Sullivan, Bathtub Gin > Rift, Punch You in the Eye, Lawn Boy, Ya Mar > AC/DC Bag, Frankie Says, Birds of a Feather, Guyute, Possum (1:38)

2: Down With Disease -> Piper -> Ghost* > Fluffhead, When the Circus Comes, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Hold Your Head Up+ > Sexual Healing++ > Hold Your Head Up, Run Like an Antelope# (1:41)

3: Sabotage > Also Sprach Zarathustra, Wilson, The Mango Song, Character Zero, Bittersweet Motel, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (0:55)

E: Harry Hood*, The Baby Elephant Walk^ (0:25)

Lemonwheel Day Two. *With glowstick war. +Long and drawn out; Fish introduces "his band": Trey Anastasio on drums, Mike "Cactus" Gordon on bass, "Chairman of the Boards" Page McConnell, and himself as "Bob Weaver." Fish introduces the next song as "a love song about a turtle" (which would have been "Terrapin Station"), but instead he performed Sexual Healing ("a much better song anyway") after "his band" finally ended "Hold Your Head Up." ++Includes "Sounds of Love" vacuum solo. #With "Sexual Healing" teases in the intro. ^Henry Mancini cover; see 12-01-92. Trey lit a tiki-torch (that looked like a "giant fake doobie") and used it to light a fuse which ran up Page's side of the stage, across the backdrop, down Fish's side of the stage, along the fence to a giant elephant-shaped structure near the stage, which came to life as fireworks went off both above it and from behind the stage. Fish made elephant noises with a trombone. Then, as they played the song, the elephant blew water out of its trunk (while smoke came from underneath it) and led the crowd towards the campground.

Setlist and italicized text from which is the Helping Phriendly Book online. The rest is from personal experience.

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