, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
Golgi kicks things off, taking a roll call of the ticket holders in the arena. Antelope hits next in an interesting set position. Where the jam would usually begin to build, Trey leads the band off into the deep end. The sirens get going, the beat dropped down low, wah-chucking in full effect. The jam starts making upshifts, gaining momentum into a more traditional Antelope-style build, heading for a melty peak, crashing into digital mayhem, with a clean drop into the Marco-section. Train Song remains the perfect interlude after a jammed out rager segment, such a calm and collected space. Gin starts with some nutty, hammering Page, the jam orbiting the Gin theme for a while, before it starts to gain in elevation, eventually soaring its way to a peak, before settling into a mellow return to the Gin-jam, emerging into a little bit of funkiness with a not-quite-Manteca flavor. This is a great placement for Foam, mid-first set, a slot in which I love to see an instrumentally complicated Type-I jam, like a Taste, Reba, Divided Sky, or, of course, Foam. This Foam has a strong peak and clean execution. Sample In A Jar keeps that energy up. I will always take a Fee, just thinking about how amazing it is that a song like this is getting played at the big Saturday night arena rock show. Clean execution. Maze gets lots of squiggly guitar/siren weirdness during its foreboding intro. Pages’s organ solo is haunted by growls that accelerate into guitar chords, before Trey’s solo builds into a swirling storm. A well-played version, for sure. Cavern serves as a strong closer to an all-around solid first set.

Set Two Notes:
Tweezer starts with a lot of messing around, Phishy for sure, “Tweezer or Possum?” a friend jokingly asks in regards to the big build-up before the Tweezer drops. The jam embarks as low-slung cowfunk, Trey yelling in approval at the sparsity of the jam, Mike laying down spot-on slap/pop to wah-chunked clav-crunch over disco ball Fish beats. This jam really pushes into top-quality, textbook Fall ’97 funkiness, sirens rolling, totally fulfilling the promise of shows built “for your dancing pleasure” made a few weeks ago in the Rockies. Gears start shifting into double time before the wah-spotlight hits Trey, the jam then beginning to ascend into galaxy-cruising music. Trey’s guitar is a comet flying through nebulous clouds, Mike and Page setting up floating chord pads on Fish’s cymbal dancing. The jam evolves into swirling three-dimensional waves of music, spiraling on the Axis, dead serious, not quite a groove, crashing over itself by design, Fish 2K manipulating the beat at will, never losing the rhythm. Trey is dripping molten guitar lines out of a coiled ball of plasma, before making the push into Izabella. The song itself is a short orbit of the gypsy sun and its rainbows, delving straight back into the cowfunk. Trey is enthused for sure, Page doing work on the organ, with a great Fish + Trey dropout, Trey gleefully re-entering the jam. This is pure, 100% organic Vermont dance music. Page transforms into Mr. Clav, wah-Trey gets the lights, then Mike and Fish get the floor as a single, locked-in unit. Page lays down some malfunctioning-alien-disco-melody-simulator music, segueing into Twist. I like the old intro, and I wish that the arrangement stayed interchangeable, using whichever lead-in works best for a smooth segue. This is a contained version, with a quiet, gentle outro into Piper. This is a classic slow-build Red Worm, but it begins to dissolve into Trey shredding, pushing outward into a jam. Soon, the jam falls into a swirling cloud, before igniting and exploding upwards into peaky shreddyness, then imploding into ankle-deep wave-space. Sleeping Monkey is a very Phishy call, after the trip of the last four songs. This is the landing pad, but the set is not over, with Tweezerprise called up to close Set Two and the Tweezer loop. This version definitely rages, very loose Trey. This band conjured a new musical world and explored it during this second set. Rocky Top is the high energy, short and sweet closer, Trey being very encouraging towards Leo’s Playing It, the band really had a good time, goodnight.

All-time Set Two, all-time show, all-time tour. Hear it if you like Phish.


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