, attached to 1997-11-13

Review by Mikesgroover

Mikesgroover Fall '97 tour opened in Vegas, and is frequently overlooked given the stiff competition from other shows on this incredible tour. The lot scene was actually pretty mellow and the show was so far from sold out that they cordoned off the backstage of the arena, making the Thomas and Mack feel even more intimate.

The first set gave us our introduction to Black-Eyed Katy (later to become Moma Dance) and the first taste of the funk sound that would eventually dominate this tour. The YEM isn't extraordinary but the Stash that opens the second set stretches out to nearly 30 minutes and visits numerous themes. After getting a standard Caspian and Bouncing, the band turns up the heat with a blistering Mike's Groove, with a faint Born on the Bayou tease. They hadn't been playing Hydrogen much during that era (it was the 7th version since Dec. 1994) and Trey botched it somewhat badly. That was more than forgiven by a BLISTERING Weekapaug, easily among the fastest versions every played. Just when it seemed to be over, Trey drove the band into double-time, Fishman struggling to keep pace.

During the encore, people cheered the "I know I play a bad guitar" line, with Trey grinning ear to ear. Stash and the Mike's Groove are definitely worth checking out.


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