, attached to 1997-08-16

Review by Campster

Campster There's plenty already written about this show - but considering it was one of the first live SBDs I was fortunate enough to stumble on, i'll give my take.

Set 1 is maligned in Bittersweet Motel by the band, and certainly has it's sloppy moments. In spite of this, there's some GREAT jamming and killer song selection.

Makisupa feels like a great way to break into a long festival and open the festivities. The Gooball lyric is an inspired choice and the slow reggae tune is a nice place setter for the slow funky jamming to come.

The segue and culmination of the Clifford Ball Harpua in the two slot must have been something to behold. Really cool nod by the band and can't go wrong with this one.

Chalkdust Torture is a bit rusty at the finish, but the road the band takes is inspired with a frenetic full band peak and some wizardry from Trey. Fantastic take if your willing to eschew some flubs in favor of guitar theatrics.

Theme is up next and, like CDT, breaks some new ground within the jam. It's "type I" but wholly unique and has a really fantastic middle section before the conclusion that's a little more spacey than you'd expect from the normally soaring linear peak.

PYITE carries a funkier than usual intro and, while not perfect, is a great festival tune.

Ghost is a good take, without being as clinical as some of the versions from earlier in the summer. It's nonetheless a good funky and fiery rendition. Pantheon of Ghosts - no. Fine set I addition, absolutely.

Ginseng is the odd man out, but a little does of Mr Sulivan never hurt nobody. YEM follows up and returns us to the funk. It's not perfect or particularly exceptional, but it will get you moving.

Train Song is a breather and is promptly obliterated by a fiery Character Zero.

The Squirming Coil closes out a long and funky first frame with a gorgeous festival sized outro from Page, who encourages the crowd to "Stick Around" - as if there were any other place to be/go.

Overall it's a very fun set. While there is plenty to hard on from an execution standpoint, the jamming is actually quite good and atypical takes on CDT & Theme provide really wonderful surprises.

Set II is where things get legendary. The opening Wolfman's is LONG and FUNKY with a molasses thick funk work out that features Mike absolutely thumping on the bass. An inspired full band groove at the end sees Trey lock into a fantastic little lick/melody and the band creates something purely cohesive resolving into Simple.

The Simple is also inspired with a Trey solo that is pure perfection. Magical notes seem to simply flow through the guitarist as he channels the heavens in this version which finds its way into a weird odd couple jam before a strange turn into the maligned My Soul, which is adequate.

After a spacey interlude the band drops a devastating Slave, which is perfection in placement and canonical in its jam quality.

Rocky Top>Julius is a fun finish. Looking at the setlist on paper its something that is completely off the wall and unexpected but seems to work just perfectly. Must hear Phish.

Set III closes out the first night with aplomb.

A jammed out Halley's features a throbbing bluesy kind of groove with a nice magical segue into a thick and funky Cities. It's so slow and funky ... damn. The two opening jams are concluded with a fiery segue into a maniacal Lllama that snarls to a finish and resolves in Lawn Boy. What a whirlwind!

Limb x Limb follows up a wild sequence in perfect fashion. This is extended and contains excellent full band improvisation before e set closing Funky Bitch ends the set in fiery style.

Contact>Loving Cup is a perfectly fun encore, with Contact always being a treat and Loving Cup providing a good exclamation point to the show.

Overall: Fantastic playing throughout. Plenty of unexpected jams alongside the typical big boys. Great festival set, perhaps only slightly weaker than the next day's show (although if we are scoring all 3 sets, I just might take this one in light of the next days "weaker" set III)



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