, attached to 1998-11-11

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Fall '98 is such a weird tour to me - there are many shows that have seen official release, far more than other (perhaps more deserving) tours like Summer '95 or Fall '99*, as well as the legendary 11/2 DSOTM show, but the quality *wildly* fluctuates from show to show and the music is not quite the drop-dead wicked funk of '97 nor the float-on-a-cloud ambiance of '99 (think My Left Toe, or the December tour). There are certainly strong shows, but the hit rate is not as high as the best tours. This tour is as transition as transition gets; that said, the best of the year deserves as much attention as anything else.

This show is one of my picks for best of the run; I might make the argument that it's *the* best if the wind's blowing the right way. The first set is reasonably good, with the highlights being the one-two PYITE/Gumbo punch (with the latter entering loop-and-organ chillout land, to really beautiful effect) and a cool Sleep/Tela mid-set combination, plus a pretty gnarly Theme to boot. The second set, however, is where the action's at - Halley's charges into a strong uptempo jam out of the gates, then about 5 minutes in things get more relaxed and streamlined (think the 11/17/97 YEM), then Mike starts really doing some work as Trey goes into "throttle my guitar" mode and the jam builds to a wicked, snarling climax. This is a great, great Halley's, a song with no shortage of great jams, and would be nearly enough for a listen-worthy set by its lonesome.

Simple comes in pretty much out of nowhere, and it's a perfectly fine version, as is Walk Away. But the Limb that follows is rather nice for a Type I version, with Page getting a chance to shine Squirming Coil style before everybody joins back in and finishes with a flourish. Then, as a fine close to the set, we get a very strong Ghost, half bouncing funk (a la the '97 Ghosts) and half sheer atomic-powered explosive jamming (a la 7/6/98). There's a surprisingly long encore, as well, which makes for a nice capper to the night. Give this show a listen - this is as good as Fall '98 gets.

* official count: 10/30 II, 10/31, 11/20-21, 11/27. Four full shows, a (great, btw) set from a fifth. That's more than December '95!


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