, attached to 1998-10-15

Review by westbrook

westbrook Maybe this secret show didn't quite meet the assuredly high expectations that are inevitable under these circumstances, and yeah, the second set does read more like a first set, but there are several instances of improvisation in this show that make it a worthwhile listen.

No complaints with a Ghost opener. This one probably won't crack your top 10 list, but it contains a nice jam that settles down into Water in the Sky. The following Wolfman's Brother is really solid with a great funk jam that uses dynamics to great effect. Following that up with a 9 minute Gumbo is fine by me. This Gumbo is a little different than its funky brethren as Page leads us down a more subdued route ending with some dark space, signaling the start of Bowie. Great mid-set Bowie with a cool intro and a strong jam. The Wolfman's>Gumbo>Bowie sequence is my favorite segment of the show. Brian and Robert is noteworthy for the humorous banter about the band doing things that Fish hates. October 98 was an interesting time for Reba, as the two most exploratory versions to date came during the month. The band doesn't pull this one of as well as the 10/29 version but it is worth hearing for the effort. A typically rousing Character Zero ends the excellent first set.

The Second set starts well enough with My Soul, but following that up with a standard Chalk Dust and Roggae leaves something to be desired. Moma Dance is good, as it was most of the time in 98, but Wading in the Velvet Sea prevents any momentum from building. Although, I can imiagine that Wading was likely a special moment for those in attendance in the intimate venue. Seeing Prince Caspian after Wading may make you groan, but let me tell you that this Caspian is the highlight of set and one of the finest versions ever. In fact, Kevin Shapiro released the SBD of it. The Frankie Says, BOAF, Lawn Boy segment is run-of-the-mill, but the set-closing Hood somewhat saves the set with an extended intro and a satisfying jam. Dirt and Limb by Limb are not usually found in the encore slot so it gets some points for originality.

Overall, this show has a very good first set and a somewhat disappointing second set, but it is not without material you should seek out.


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