, attached to 1997-12-02

Review by westbrook

westbrook These two Philly shows don't get the attention of say the Denver, Hampton, or Auburn Hills shows, but they include music that is up to par with the best of the tour. They both contain at least one phenomenal set. For example, this show's second set is ridiculous. But, first things first...

The opening set is average for the tour and anchored by a ripping Chalk Dust Torture, a thoroughly funky and enjoyable Ghost, and the only Divided Sky of the tour. This Ghost contains breakdown jamming similar to that of the Worcester (11/28) Ghost, but not quite as good.

The second set is absolutely filthy, boasting one of the best Mike's Grooves of all time. Mike's Song itself is ferocious, featuring that angry funk that permeated through the song during this period. The following Simple is a beauty as Page and Trey take a duet. Simple's outro slides into an uplifting take on Dog Faced Boy, as opposed to 11/14/95's version which comes out of a menacing Stash. Ya Mar comes next via a smooth segue. This Ya Mar bares little resemblance to a typical Ya Mar jam and the segue into Weekapaug is amazing, one of the smoothest transitions you'll ever hear. Weekapaug starts out very funky, but eventually becomes a raging, Trey-led jam. This Weekapaug is among the best, plain and simple. Bouncing Around the Room and Character Zero are just thrown in there as a bonus on top of the hour of awesome improvisation that preceded it. Ginseng Sullivan, my favorite of the bluegrass covers, (I seem to review a lot of shows with Ginseng Sullivan in them, coincidence?) and Sample seal the deal.

This second set is one of the best sets of the tour and must-hear. The first set is average-great Phish from this period and still well worth checking out.


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