, attached to 1997-02-17

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1 is perfectly fine - note the Gin here is more or less what Gin is in 3.0 now, give or take the occasional massive version - but Set II is truly fabulous and well worth the archival treatment. A nice opening Coil gives way to a delicate proto-ambient noise that resolves into the fabled fog of noise that heralds Disease (and proof that there's a *ton* of ->s into DWD out there). Disease charges forward at its pre-3.0 (or even pre-97) freight-train speed, nearly makes a move into major-key land (you could bet your bottom dollar the band would've explored that space in 2015), then find themselves in a stomping and gnarly jam space as Page flashes on the keys and Fish really goes into showoff mode. The band lopes along in this dirt-nasty '70s funk space for a few minutes (Christ, what it must have been like for a Phish fan that only knew the band from NYE '95 to hear this for the first time...), then makes an unexpected move into the debut of Carini via a particularly nasty segue. And this debut of Carini is an absolutely gigantic version, probably 1.0's truest match for the big-time Carinis of 2012-13. The band moves into an upbeat zone almost right out of the gates, with Fish and Trey doing some, um, "harmonizing", then absolutely explode into a ferocious off-to-the-races jam like it's an Antelope from 1995 or something, Page absolutely clattering away on piano as Mike works double-time on the bass and Trey fires off some gruesome riffs. Then, without warning, Page goes into his "alien notes" bag of tricks and the band snaps into a new almost *vicious* segment, clanking and clattering and almost Mind Left Body-ish in its descending wah-wahed chords from Trey at points. This segment dies away with a screech of feedback (like it's 1994 or something) and a drumroll from Fish heralds some sympathetic organ/guitar melding, a beautiful little dip into the pool Divided Sky swims in, and a build to a wonderful peak that segues very sweetly into Taste, a perfectly good version that ends in brilliant fashion as Trey gets that idea of his and whips out the DWD riff to lead the band brilliantly back into a Reprise that caps off 47 absolutely superb minutes of music. Europe '97 is where Phish really put a stamp on their reconstitution from Big Loud Rockin', Maaaaaan to Laid Back Funkers, Brah, and this is the deepest show of that very important tour.


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