, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin [Posted to rec.music.phish immediately following the show]

The Scene: Downtown Worcester does not make for a great scene. A lot of fans were chilling in the shopping mall nearby; while we were eating at the food court, some girl came up to us and offered us shrooms and kind buds. Oh yeah, we were accosted several times outside by people trying to sell us fake colonge and perfume. Weird.

Security: No problem getting in, dicks during the show. Nuff said.

The Crowd: Did anyone else think the crowd was really LOUD? Not during the songs or anything, but the cheers were crazy!

Set I

THE CURTAIN: I was pretty psyched they pulled this out of retirement for me. Nothing you haven't heard before, they may have been a bit rusty with this song on the shelf for so long...

YEM: Oh boy, I was excited to hear this as the second song. It was a DAMN good version too. Pretty standard opening section, and the tramps were in full effect. Once the jam got kicking though, things got interesting. The C&P jam was amazing; my friend and I both recognized it as a song, but it took us a couple minutes to figure it out. Trey jammed on the MELODY to C&P; not sure if the teases in other shows have been like this. Trey was ON FIRE during this part, and then they went into a stop jam like the 96 Vegas Weekapaug. Man, this YEM is a must-have! The jam kind of faded away and I heard some singing; at first I though it was Kung, but as I heard it more clearly it was...

I DIDN'T KNOW: I like vocal jams and all, but I'd rather hear I Didn't Know instead. It was the "Return of Henrietta" as Trey put it, and Fishman proved that he still had the skills on the electrolux. Was this song retired too?

MAZE: This was a great Maze, definitely above average. Much better then the Went, which is the last I'd heard. The energy was REALLY high throughout. Page really ripped it up on the keys during this Maze, as usual.

FARMHOUSE: A welcome respite from the intensity of Maze. I liked this version better than the Conan version, but it wasn't anything special.

BLACK-EYED KATY: This is the song that Phish will destroy America with. I couldn't possibly do it justice without the tapes, but it contained a long funky jam at the end that sounded like it could have come straight out of YEM. Jake, who had heard the Vegas version off the web said this one KICKED ITS ASS! This song is what I have been looking for from Phish for a long time. A song that is just a jam. No stupid words screwing it up ;-)

THEME: I don't remember much about this Theme, but I do remember enjoying the jam a lot. By now you should want this set anyway, so you can hear it yourself when you get the tape.

Rocky Top: Was Rocky Top. Not much to say here...

Set I rating: 8 (and I mean it!) The YEM and Black-Eyed Katy warrant this rating, and the Maze and Theme reinforce it.

Setbreak music: Some Irish-like stuff. Setbreak lasted around 45 min.

Set II

TIMBER HO!: This may just be the best Timber Ho! ever. It actually contained an extended jam segment, with Trey taking the lead, using effects to achieve that "textural" feel of the old-school Frees, but this jam was a lot more melodic. Type I all the way. If you've heard a better Timber, let me know, because I'd love to hear it.

LIMB BY LIMB: I love this song. This had a nice jam in the middle, as usual. I liked this jam better than the Went, it had a little less of the Circus guitar effect that Trey likes (I believe this effect raises the ptich an octave...) and a little more of a full-band approach. The ending with Fishman playing by himself seemed a little odd, he may have screwed up.

SLAVE: I have a tough time distinguishing between good and great Slaves. I do know that I experienced the same teary-eyed transcendence that I usually do during Slave. Trey circled his finger in the air at the end for the band to hold the last chord and they went into...

GHOST: You saw the notation in my setlist. I'm not kidding, this is the best Ghost that I have heard (and I've heard a bunch), and probably the best of all the Ghosts I haven't heard. The jam was ALL Page for about 5 min., using the synth on top of the baby grand. Mike was spanking the bass to accompany him, and Trey was strumming nearly inaudibly. But when Trey came in, the Jam TOOK OFF. Trey soloing, then the band all joined, them back to Trey alone. They threw everything into this jam. The Stop-Start thing. Nice Type III going on in here. This Ghost is what the new Phish is all about, IMNSHO. I might even call it the Albany YEM of Ghosts. Then, they segued into:

JOHNNY B. GOODE: I've only heard a couple other versions of this song, but I have never heard the energy level this high, nor the solos this fierce.

Encore

MY SOUL: Pretty standard, nowhere near the level of the Went. Frankly, Phish had amazed me enough for one night...

Second Set Rating: 8 (Ghost and Timber Ho take the cake)

Total Show rating: 8


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