, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

The previous night had a smoking second set, so the bar was high for night two. This show is a stellar performance. I had a good seat: a few rows from the floor, even with Kuroda on Page's side. I had used my previous night's ticket stub to get down to the lower level instead of my nosebleed seat. “PYITE” and “My Soul” were a good team for a high-energy opener, but “Drowned” is where I first got excited. Any music fan worth his salt knows that Quadrophenia kicks the crap out of Tommy. “Drowned” is one of the best songs off this album and has the best jam potential, as Phish demonstrated. An absolutely awesome jammed-out “Gumbo” came up soon after, similar to the 11/26/97 version. This segued nicely into “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. Now, this song is really cool and funky on its own merits, but it's also a chance for Chris Kuroda to solo. If you hear “2001” at an outdoor venue, it's just not nearly as good.
On this night, Chris blew everybody away. I love to hear this song indoors; the only thing that could have made it better would have been a straight-on view of the stage. A fairly straightforward “YEM” ended the set. An incredible “David Bowie” led off Set II. This version of “Bowie” is totally different then previous ones in Philly (12/15/95, 12/29/96, and 12/10/97). If this isn't proof of the band checking out old setlists before the show, I don't know what is. It clocks in at around twenty-eight minutes and it flew by for me, always an indication of a good jam. A raging “Possum” follows, and then the real highlight for me, the start/stop funk jam. This was utter musical euphoria. Especially during the first build-up, when they all started hitting the crescendo, Page did the build on the organ, and it all cuts out and the spotlight hits Trey. Wow. Unbelievable. Still probably the best moment for me at any concert. The end of the set was good, the “Harry Hood” was fun, but the real magic was in the first forty-five minutes. A rare Clapton cover (“Crossroads”) for an encore topped off the night.


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