, attached to 1997-07-06

Review by ucpete

ucpete This is pretty damn cool due to the free afternoon soundcheck, essentially making this a three set show. In fact, you can find shaky video of the soundcheck on PooTube here:


They played some pretty random covers that have never seen the light of day during a show proper, so I recommend listening to the soundcheck too just for novelty's sake. As for the show itself... fans must have been thinking "they've GOT to play YEM today right?", given that this was the closest gig to Firenze the band would play all tour (~150 miles). And they'd go nuts in the vocal jam right? More on that later...

The Jim opener is spot on and works well, as usual. BoMD and DST are fine, but this Stash is pretty freaking great. The composed section is totally nailed, and the jam starts drifting in a sort of August '93 Stash style with undertones of DEG-like patterns and type II tomfoolery. By the 14 minute mark things are reeled back in a bit, but it's a highly percussive version of the Stash closing jam before one final build-up that Trey drives home. The rest of the set is just sort of going through the motions -- it's well played, but nothing crazy happens for the most part, though Scent of a Mule gets waaaaay the hell out there and should be checked out if you're a SoaMule fan.

The second set is really short at 51 minutes. This definitely isn't the same type of 5 song second set that would pop up in the fall (i.e. full of -> and over an hour of wall-to-wall improvisation). The opening Free is solid, and brings some filthy funk during the jam that sounds almost 2003ish. Then we get the YEM that was sure to come -- only the second of this tour actually. I can only imagine the goofy grins on people's faces who flew all the way across the world and were seeing Phish so close to Florence and hearing them sing "Wash uffize drive me to Firenze!". I don't know, maybe I think it's a lot cooler than it is, but I'd be giddy as hell. The YEM jam is funky and long, and they skip the vocal jam and instead -> Waste! Maybe they didn't want to offend any Italians in attendance with their fake Italianglish gibberish... around the 20 minute mark the mood moves from funky to spacey, maybe foreshadowing the predominant styles of Fall '97. This YEM is really great, but isn't necessary to hear by any stretch as there's nothing super unique about it except for where it was played. They end the show with three covers and we're off to France again for a chance meeting with the Flecktones.


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