, attached to 1997-11-14

Review by Ez_and_not_so_Fast

Ez_and_not_so_Fast So Joyful. So Chilled Out... I splashed out to get my brother and I front row tickets for his birthday. And we were rewarded. The arena was about half empty as most of the drug scene, quite understandably, avoided Utah. The police were out in full force, too, although they also relaxed as soon as they figured out that we cold, hardcore mountain types, who came out for a nicely scheduled weekend tour, (together with Denver) arrived tickets in hand, bright-eyed and were actually there for the music. Seriously: A lot of people 'on tour' just elected to not put in the effort to hit this show. I am quite confident that it was because of the quality of the audience at this spectacular show that a year later, Phish chose to play Dark Side of the Moon not in Vagas, as everyone was expecting, but at the E Centre in Salt Lake. Such a great atmosphere, you can really hear the unity in the second set. The first set we were pushing pushing them, faster and faster, (Page was ripping!) and they were almost competing with one another in Runaway Jim and Maze (They were all four just... Blistering!) until Trey broke down and started playing Fast Enough in the middle of Maze!!! It was too good, too right, too real to just let the song end... so they simply didn't finish it. To let us cool down. Brilliant. And it was during Also Sprach Zarathustra that security decided they had no reason to have so many officers around and sent them home to their families. It was almost a security-free show after that, although I saw a few offstage during Antelope who had stuck around to dance.
But it is the second set that makes this show really stand out. I wish I could say that they played only four songs in the second set but I cannot. They played one block of solid music around some tunes, including two new ones we had not heard before: the fourth Piper and the fourth Twist to be played in the USA. They were still working out the chords, harmonies and lyrics for Twist, too, not always 'agreeing' on what to sing or play; all in perfect synchrony somehow. Twist and Slave here in this show are something... something special. Something you don't get at many shows. The list could read Twist > Space > Slave. I am so lucky to have been part of this uniquely patient, fearless and peaceful show. The next year I gave my brother his 2 birthday tickets to Salt Lake again but I didn't go because I had to work!


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