, attached to 1998-07-15

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: The opening Wolfman's sets aside its usual late-90s funkiness for something more bluesy and rollicking, with Page doing some really fine piano work throughout; it's a fine way to start off the summer. The rest of the set is decent enough, but the Horn -> Portland Jam is a legitimate treat, as from an unassuming Horn the band launches into a thick, buzzing ambient jam, not entirely dissimilar to the FYF-ruining Jam out of Farmhouse on 8/31/12. The music doesn't so much flow as it does drift, Trey's guitar work more accompaniment than solo, Fish gently urging the band onward. It is a truly marvelous piece of music, and all the better by the fact that it is played without warning.

Set 2: Limb By Limb kicks things off with a nice understated jam (the sort you often get from LxL), then collapses into another ambient jam (with some terrific rhythm work from Fish). Trey starts working out a familiar riff, and Simple worms its way out of the muck in a lovely segue. Simple books along with a nice Type I jam, then enters the land of loops as the tempo slows to a crawl, then from the weird oxygen-hose noises comes Tweezer. Tweezer is its typical laid-back 1998 self, which makes the California Love jam not much of a surprise (well, I mean, it IS a surprise, but not as much as it ought to be), and once they get that out of the way the actual Tweezer jam is a fine piece of business with another nifty segue, this time into Free. Free, much like the vaunted 11/30/97 version, heads straight for the funk, with Mike really making his presence felt here. Page starts tossing in some organ stings, really giving this jam some added pizzazz. The band's so taken with this jam that they decide not to go into the usual Free ending, instead just coming to a dead stop, then rolling into Meat. The closing Hood is a lovely way to end a great second set, and a surprisingly extended Wilson (with an AM radio-friendly jam) makes for a cool encore.

Final thoughts: I like this show the more and more that I hear it. Summer '98 isn't quite as near and dear to my heart as it is for others (the quality of shows fluctuates more than I'd like from an all-time tour), but the best shows deserve as much attention as anything else, and this is a strong contender for best show of the tour. The second set, in particular, flows incredibly well and easily justifies this show's official release.


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