, attached to 1999-12-07

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Holy moley! Andrew's review is spot-on: this show features a death-defying Halley's and an unbearably pretty Gin > Simple. I can't speak to the rest of the show, but that's nearly an hour of blissful music right there.

Within a year of their 'Remain in Light' set Phish had mutated into something new; 1997's funk got spacey in fall and mixed with proto-electronic ambient textures in 1998; and in 1999 (particularly the consistent December run) the band's turn toward minimalist ambience found blissful expression in tunes like this Gin (and was perfected in shows like 12/31/99 and 6/14/00). The complex darkness of summer 2003 and 2004's monochromatic rock seem to work in a similar register with different intent. This was the period where a pure strain of delicate post-raver-culture texture/rhythm experimentation threaded throughout Phish's entire concert repertoire (check out how quickly the scary intensity of the next night's Piper dissipates into sweet ambient melodies, or how the 12/10/99 Bowie melts effortlessly into Have Mercy). If you don't need odd time signatures, pinwheel modulations, and wonky nerdgasms in your Phish tapes, then December '99 will surely have something to offer you - even if (like me) you'd rather not listen to all of it just to show how *much* you like it. I don't think this month offers the same variety as November/December 1997, but then the set of all apples contains fewer oranges than the set of all oranges, and that doesn't mean I don't like apples...


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