, attached to 1997-06-25

Review by tubescreamer

tubescreamer Anyone who is interested in shows that showcase the antics of Phish (fans of MPP 7/27/14 II) with fresh and unique takes on old numbers are going to love set II. The kick off is a highpowered romp that starts to dig, and deep it goes. Who knew the controls were set to the center of the earth for this one. Who knew the center of the earth was a shockingly silly, hilarious and deranged Phish show? I digress. The meatstick debut-- completely different than any other version every played, segues masterly into THE most different uncanny improvised version of McGrupp, how does it sound? well I will preface this whole review by reminding you that this was the part of summer 97 when the band was reaching their apex of otherworldly swamp on the edge of a black hole sound (read: Paradiso 7/1 + 7/2), complete with audience participation encouraged by the band, this McGrupp is a once in a lifetime performance that in retrospect could only have been followed by the dance throw down-inside joke that is Makisupa. However we get it just after the dark predatory sirens that we come to now know as a ghost intro, (this is all dark humor afterall) and we get a raucous and banter filled Story of the... Nug. The mood and subterranean reggae feel had been rolling over the past fifteen minutes to set up the segue perfectly. Then, if you think the jokes couldn't get any stranger, ladies and gentleman the greasy troll comes out and sits on a chair and plays his drumsticks on a towel on his lap while trey mics them, and belts out Celicia- acapella, managing to go on and on while forgetting most of the words, per usual. This show is Phish as comedic magician, dazzling, confounding and leading up to a climax that will cut you in half for all to see... Then HYHU ensues, and after the expected victory lap finale fishman hops on guitar, subsequently, Mike hops on the Piano, and Page gets on the Bass. [There needs to be a Rotation Jam noted put into the notes of this show] After that they go into a haunting rendition of Rock A William. Given the strangeness of this show, this song just slays it as if drawing the ghost of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing "16 Tons" from inside the ground, maybe on the back of the worm. By now is this the longest stretch fishman has ever been on stage? Antelope brings the bivouac back towards the surface of the earth by climbing into a sonic slow ascent, with trey hanging on long notes, like in Maze but a 'slightly' different context. It is a harrowing mad dash for air. The show concludes with Trey thanking all sorts of people- Fans who like banter are going to love this. As an encore they break out Guyute. The thing is that gets forgotten all too often about Guyute is that when it was busted out in the beginning of it's life it had a magical reverence the song has certainly lost with age, (read: me, the jaded vet.) The first set is just a whole lot of fun with Summer 97 flare all over the place, but the second set is that carnival at the bottom of the Mariana trench we so rarely get brought to by the band.


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