, attached to 1997-07-21

Review by Anonymous

"BACK ON THE WORM!!"

7/21/97 Virginia Beach Amphitheater GinStats: Set I Total Time: 21:32

This is no regular shot of Gordon's Dry Gin...no, nope, uh-uh...This epic version is pure GINiside!

After, ironically, GINseng Sullivan ends, the familiar strum kicks in, amidst some triangle action from Fish and then HOLY SHIT DOES PAGE EVER WIG OUT!

Page jumps in at 0:16->0:48. He may be silent in the morning but he's BALLISTIC IN THE BATHTUB! He's found his voice that brings soap-on-a-rope to utter shame, disgrace and embarassment. "Down with dicking around!" Page advocates by immediately going into a straight derivative of Rhapsody In Blue...Page is all for deranged derivative until'...

Lyrics Segment: 0:48 Trey sounds pretty glad to be singing about Martinis and Hot Tubs...

Page Fill 1: 1:18 -> 1:35 with some hyper-ritalin.kid-ADD-through.the looking.glass takes on Rhapsody In Blue. Okay, okay, this is no longer "through the looking glass," - this is through the chillum glass, kids. And our little "derangment derivative" of Rhapsody In Blue has become a pure derailment of it...and I like it.

Fill 2: 2:05 -> 2:21 If the word SPASTIC ever held any musical value, this would be it! Page is it! Page IS spastic! (R.I.B.ing)

Warm it up Page - he's about to. Warm it up Page - cause that's what he was born to do FAUCET: 2:37 Trey plays this lick staccato, as is the norm in recent times...botched so minimally that while it isn't a studio take, it goes so smoothly it doesn't matter...

SINGING W/THE FAUCET: 3:18 And like the 4/92 versions, Trey is spicing up the scat singing, adding notes in here and there...around 3:40 I swear Trey is saying something, but then again, W-TheFuck-ATSIYEM

WATER FROM THE FAUCET: 4:29 immediately staying put in the Classic Faucet Lick Region before Trey takes a dive to the lower regions of the 'doc, and Page continues the Faucet on piano. Fish spices up the rhythm, Trey plays a note-for-note CFL around the 5 min. mark, but with a completely different phrasing and continues to splash up the rhythm of the lick. Rhythm and feel do a complete switcheroo here.

Meanwhile, in the secret corridors of the Cactus, Mike funks out some butt-bottom but ever-so-perfect bass notes. Page chimes in happily on the piano. Fish keeps it solid, changing things up a bit now and then, dropping out a little and coming back in periodically. Around 6:09 the jam drops completely, almost like a '96 YEM jam, with Trey spurting out wonderful licks straight from a water-tap-dance, fire hydrant HOSE! At 6:37 Trey hits upon something not too unlike the Bonanaza theme. Whoa there cowboy!!! Some PORNO-FUNKING at the 7:00 mark, Trey continues tinkering with the faucet and related hot-tub jet streams, as he sends us down the slipstream. PORNO-FUNK!

At 7:19 we all must laugh as Page, the joker, breaks out this THING. (He starts on it around 7:12 but at 7:19 makes it prominent) Is it a moog? Is it a clav? I don't know what they hell it is but it's fuckin schitzo, and perfect! Loud, obnoxious, uncalled-for and damned is this great! Then he switches to some other sci-fi instrument of abuse...At 7:56 it sounds like Trey is teasing something, but not really. I think he just want to be a rock star, although Stretch maybe this is the Crosstown jam you heard? I'm familiar with MMW's cover of it, but only acquaintances with the real thing, so I can't really say for sure...It sounds more like a possible LLama segue than anything, to me... but who cares, by 8:33 Trey is back in the CFL regions, 8:47 Trey is definately hitting something here...sounds VERY SIMILAR to 12/28/95 pre-Real Me jam!!!!! But somethings a little bit different this time....Somethings gonna happen, CAN YOU FEEL IT CAN YOU FEEEEEL IT? OH BOY! HERE IT IS....

By 9:17 it's an out-and-out DROWNED jam. There's no turning back now! This is the Real Thing baby! This is Drowned! They've opened up such a hose, a hose so wide, so golden, so flowing, that they're now DROWNing in it! I'm getting fuckin' soaked here, that's how golden this hose is! No pansy panty hose here boy, no no -- this is 24K! Around 10:56 the DROWNED JAM is still going strong but finally breaks out of what could actually be the song and Trey veers off by means of some awe-inspiring licks, literally flying out from the chords under them....After the 11 minute mark Page picks up the pace and continues to go completely nuts....go ahead Page, we didn't mean to interrupt...don't just stand there - BUST A MOVE!

Page Trey Mike and Fish are mixing so perfectly at 11:56 that they are all four just one, simple, funky, Talking Head...with hair on fire -I swear- eyes wide, nose light...12:21 Page teases something on piano briefly, sounds like it could be the Real Me?...maybe Sea and Sand? Nah...just Drowned offshoots? Fuck - well, it's Who teasing, whatever it is. I know Who...just not What. (Craig, how could you, Who fan, miss this at the show?) There are Real Me references here, but the Drowned wasn't mere referencing - that was a full-throttle drowning, baby!

12:56 Page is on clav, Trey is funking out, Mike is appregiating scales in a funky manor....okay by 13:28 I can see how somebody would call this Real Me teasing...although I wouldn't call it that, but it could easily be a something-jam. Around 13:51 Fish yets out a "woo!" and I'm with you man, I'm with you - "woo!". ("Amen!", right Brian H.?)

This wha-hooing continues and Fish is more and more convinced that he knows James Brown and has picked up a bit of legacy...more on this soul thing later though, for now, we are in a funk ass sheick yer booty jam that has Page funking on piano, Mike going all over the place, Trey chording in a PORNO-FUNK FASHION....then STOP-ON-A-DIME pause at 15:37....at the show, Trey then held up four fingers at which time they stopped four times, bam-bam-bam-bam starting at 16:09 and then Trey held up all 14 of his fingers (I told you he has something extra going on) and which time they stop 14 times starting at 16:54 bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam

and then RIGHT back in the PORNO-FUNK jam as if nothin' happened, Fishman still faintly yelling out "whoo" and "huh" and "good god"'s from behind his kit. Dogs Stole Craig Delucia but nobody stole shit from Fish...but SHH! I'm ruining the surprise.

Around 17:57 Page goes serious sci-fi sweaty-tooth mad.

At 18:08 the jam drops for a Trey narrative that goes a little something like this: "Thanks everybody, welcome to the, uh, first show of the North American Tour. It's good to be back!" Then he chants, with fists pumping- "U S A! U S A!" Nobody continues chanting....Fishman says very faintly, "You can do better than that" but the problem at the time was that nobody understood what Trey was chanting...at least no one in my section (Front section, Fish's side). The other problem is that I'm not sure anyone would *want* to be chanting this...at least not at a Phish show. BUT by the way Trey laughs while chanting, it's pure humor and come to think of it, it would have been rather funny to see 20,000 or so phans chanting "U S A U S A." This is not a political arena here, so Amrit sit back down. The mocking is of arena-rock and not patriotica.

Anyway Mike funks along underneath, as does Page and Fish, Trey chiming in chords in between sentences --

"Yes, we do have a lot of new material for you - I know most of you probably know that already - but we did start off the show tonight with four new songs. Just so you get it right, and you make sure that you know all the names and titles of the songs, I, uh, I'm gonna tell you right now.

The first song was called 'Ghost'. Um, that was that funky thing that went into the long jam.

Ah yes, the second song was called 'Dogs Stole Things' so make sure you get that right. That was the, uh, bluesy number about, um, how your pets, your dogs and your cats, you know, during the day they're sleeping and they're feeling good and everything but at night they come and they try to Steal Your Soul. So you gotta watch out for that. Obviously by the way he is playing they have not stolen Fishman's soul yet!"

{Trey turns to Mike and Fish, not directly into the mic.}- "What was after that? What'd we play? [back into the mic.] What was after that? Ah yes, song number three was called 'Piper' and that was that one that build way up, um - 'The words were the words I sailed upon' - This is the last time I'm going to say this, by the way, so those of you who are travelling from show to show make sure you remember this 'cause I'm not going to say this again. I'm only saying it 'cause it's the first show of the US tour...

And the fourth song new song you, um, which is one of my favorites, is called 'Dirt' and that was the slow one which is about 'I'd like to live beneath the dirt'. And after that you knew the names of the songs.

So we're gonna do one more....and then we're gonna take a break. So don't go away...don't do anything I wouldn't do...or you might end up on the back of the WORM! On the back of the WORM!! Okay, so after this next song we'll see you in about fifteen minutes with alot more music. Thanks."

"Popcorn" things at 20:15 or so from Fish...mocking the unability of the Dogs to Steal Things...Fish has been doing James Brown throughout this little song introduction section...after which there is another second or so of the funk and then - bam! Jam ends at 21:32. Nanosecond pause before a jammed out Character Zero starts up.

WE'RE ON BACK OF THE WORM, BABY!!!!

"BATHTUB GIN" REFRAIN: none, leaving this Gin unfinished in a way.

Rating: N/A. This Gin is more potent than Grain, perhaps more pleasing to me personally than RUPP ARENA's 11/7 and easily one of the Greats. But, as Craig Delucia said on the car ride home, "You can't rate that Gin you know." And he's right - I can't. Trey talked over the ending jam, making it essentially a background jam for his li'l "Here's the deal" stuff, and then ended without any return to the Faucet whatsoever. Instead this is more of a pure funk jam than a Gin jam, which seriously effects the Gin....where does Gin really end? Does it end in SET II when, in the WOLFMAN'S BROTHER, Page plays the Bathtub Gin riff ("the faucet") again? Does this signify a reprise? Not really, it's just a tease. Does it end before Trey even starts talking? Not really...so where does it end? Does it ever end? Or is it just unfinished? It doesn't really matter... Let's just say that if I were to rate this, it'd be somewhere above a 95 proof (A -> A+). And that ain't bad :) :) :) (fwiw, only a precious few Gins have attained a rating of this caliber....) But then again, we're BACK ON THE WORM BABY!

"And after that, you knew the names of the songs...."

Walk with light my friends,

Benjy


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