, attached to 2000-06-14

Review by dr_strangelove

dr_strangelove The Japan tour... chock full of gems but this is undoubtedly the most infamous of the set. This is one of those rare shows where both sets provide the meats, making this a show well-worth listening to in its entirety. The whole show is saturated with laid-back, relaxed vibes and the jams that develop throughout are meditative & exploratory, with lots of funk and even some patent evil phish mixed in. Phenomenal show and should be high on anyone's 'to-do' list when searching through the incredible history of this band. Highlights:

1) Carini, The Curtain> Cities: Are you F***ING KIDDING ME!!! Carini opener! OMG, yes!!! Nice little jam on the back end of this demon. Wait... Seriously!? The Curtain to follow!?? And a slam stomp transition into Cities?!?? I hope these Japanese fans appreciate this opening segment of stellar tunes played with gusto galore.

2) Gumbo: Great song selection continues with Gumbo, spacey little outro jam. Nice. Wait... Mike's throbbing is getting faster, while Page is dialing into interstellar synths, and Fishman is circling the room with his propulsion beat. Trey leans and startss riffing hard on this unexpected Gumbo groove until we've lost all sense of where we even started. An incredible must-hear example of full-band improvisation, made even more impressive by the effortless transition into a fiery Llama

3) SOAMelt: Nothing too crazy, but a patient tension-filled piece of psychedelic where Trey's guitar effects chase you around the room

4) Twist: From the first meaty chunks of Mike's bass, this version already is dripping with A1 steak sauce (that is to say, the intro of this Twist is just different enough to make it instantly recognizable, leading to an unavoidable Pavlovian response for those who know what is in store). For a while, the jam meanders in a relaxed mode that slowly drifts further and further from the shores of "Twist" to unrecognizable shimmering sunset seas. The patient playing from everyone recalls vibes of "In A Silent Way" by Miles Davis or 90's trance music. What impresses me most throughout this whole "Twist" part of the jam is the way everyone meshes together: Page's timbres, blowing light springtime winds; Mike's transition from chunk bass to murmuring amongst the lite psychedelia; Fishman's ability to remain a vital but not overpowering voice as he colors the end of the jam with perfectly punctuated & quiet dins on the hi-hats; Trey's use of loops while whispering a mess of fairy tale phrases. If this were the end of the jam, it would be noteworthy in its own right. But oh no, this is not the end... Hold on to your butts! The ensuing Fukuoka Jam might as well be called "Pink Floyd nightmare hellscape". Page leans into some creepy synths, Fishman takes off into sly quick pitter patters, while Mike returns to swamp mud thud bass, starting on a riff that is very akin to the "Ghost" bass line. The jam morphs from creeping death vibes, to nasty groove funk, to rambling rock n' roll that, after 16 min. of this glory, transitions unexpectedly and perfectly into...

5) Walk Away: What a journey! Although a little restrained with the tempo, the real reason you want to listen is because, for whatever reason, the stars have aligned and compelled Phish to continue their path through patient, trance-like jamming. The jam here finds everyone in a low pitter patter rhythm while Trey rings out two-tone whole note chords before melting into the buzzing summer heat, beneath Fishman's distant tom tom thunder and the insect swirl of Trey's delay loops.

6) 2001: So choice. Not only is this a great coda to an amazing second set, but the funk bubbles & builds. Hot, hot heat!


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