, attached to 1997-11-14

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger S1 Notes: I will take a Runaway Jim to open either set at any show. I like the way it gets a place moving and slow builds towards that big ending. "Slow build" is going to turn out to be a theme of this show. Gumbo brings a lot of excitement when those opening notes kick in, and I’m hanging on Trey’s guitar coming out of the song proper. Soon, Mike begins to drop the chord progression, pushing towards Type II, and such a patient space jam develops, in fact, I think, the most patient and spacious jam of the night, that whole second set considered. Maybe spacious is the wrong word, but it is definitely a high-fidelity three-dimensional space that gets opened up. Maze emerges from this, bringing a good contrast, and my mind is brought back to a strange experience out in the desert witnessing a strange aerial phenomenon officially explained as a Starlink launch… it left doubts, man. FEFY comes out of an unfinished Maze, and it provides a great space to come down and just have calm for a few minutes. It feels like a nice mental breather. Some interesting full band improvisation obscures the true identity of the jam about to start, until that familiar hi-hat-kickdrum-snare beat kicks in. 2001 is certainly welcome at this point, as I’m ready to embark back out there for a little while. We make a close observational pass of Crosseyed and Painless, continuing into a second peak that delivers a Funky Bitch. I realize, if Phish every plays Utah again, I’m there. What an amazing, beautiful, and often, profoundly strange place. At this point, I felt that I had gotten a set worth of music, and it goes to show how deep I felt the set had already gone. But then, the ugly pig appears. I am honestly neutral on Guyute. I know, I know. But this one is, honestly, a little sloppy. Whistling banter leads to Antelope, with foreboding Page, Trey twists up his guitar lines, then bursts them open in an uncoiling, and at some point, the rhythm drops out and the band is playing in zero gravity for a few moments. The entry ramp of the ship drops open, and They speak Whistle.

S2 Notes: A patient Wolfman’s kick’s things off. I would call it low-swing funk, for a certain almost-tangible quality of something swinging below your perception and bobbing you along from below. Mike starts igniting the thrusters, getting the old ship ready to go, Trey begins to set a destination to depart for. We embark, and set a gentle course towards the Red, Red Worm. This is a museum grade, textbook slow-build Piper. At this point, I noted that I fully left the room, and apparently my listening session, as I remember nothing until I snap back into the opening lyrics of Twist, fully awoken by the first “Woo!”. As the jam reveals itself, I realize that I think this has been a “Mike” show, with him being the main driving force in the improv, as far as my perception is concerned, as he lays down contrasts of pounding low notes and melody interchanges. My mind begins to receive a strange tour of a seemingly random survey of the week’s events, with minor incidents suddenly taking on weird, often unnerving significances. I work to quiet my thoughts, reaching a calm, still place, and it becomes clear that this whole show, and especially this second set, has all been in service of reaching this point, somewhere deep in Twist. Slave flies outward assertively and triumphantly, as if we have suddenly escaped the gravity of Twist. This is a slow-build Slave. It is really a slow, slow build Slave. It takes its sweet time getting there, and by the end, that’s alright. The Bold as Love encore evokes the “transportive” nature of much of the show. The second set was about one-hour, that’s why it felt short. You know, it works, but it’s hard for me to see an argument against even 10 more minutes of deep space jamming somewhere in this set, maybe in Wolfman’s. I'm asking for extra dessert at this point, though.

If you like late 90s-Phish, there is no reason not to have heard this show.


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