, attached to 1997-11-26

Review by NickSalv

NickSalv Amazing stuff, obviously. 11/26 is a standard above-avg Fall '97 show. Though, I think I would give this one 4/5 stars, especially when looking at the EASY 5-STAR shows surrounding it (Hamptons, NC, Worcester). I don't feel a need to give a full review here, as quite a few others have already touched on mostly everything from this show, so just some quick notes for those skimming through...

The Tweeze opener is big but doesn't sit as high as the other great ones from that tour (11/17, 12/6). Rather, I think it's on par with the Island Tour 4/4 opener - tons of sick funk morphing then growing into big arena rock and settling into stop/start or space. Perfect opener, but nothing out of the ordinary for the tour. Some more great funk in Gumbo, of course, but a smaller serving than the big bowls from the summer. Always love McGrupp; Melt is nice, pretty average though, similar to the Hampton take; Taste is intense, as was the case for the entire year with the tune. 2nd set means MORE FUNK in 2001>Cities, mix of very tight then loose playing. A bit more fun for the crowd with YaMar>Punch. Caspian serves as the big arena rocker to counter the opening rock from Tweeze, bringing the show closer to its end. Goofiness ensues with the RockyHeart mashup. Reprise fire. Cavern is unusual as well, as it features an alternate lyrics/hard rock section and an ATC tease. Definitely a fun(ky) & rocking show, but I'd still give it 4/5 (which isn't really a huge step down, considering I wouldn't give any show from the tour less than 4 stars / maaaybe the opener 11/13 which still has a Top 5 Stash all time, or 12/5 but even that one had a unique 2nd set)...

What I left out above and what I mostly wanted to point out with this post, however, was the lack of mention of Character Zero in the Noteworthy Jams section. TBH, that is the biggest "highlight" of the night to take away; that is, this is the unique marker for this show. Lots of standard/avg Fall '97 material throughout the show, no question, but nothing they haven't done before in that tour or months leading up to it. This is the standout tune that people should recognize from this show, as it's the most unique version to date. I'm barring those versions that feature guests (Gullotti, Perazzo, Grippo, etc) because I wouldn't say those break far from the tune proper. Now, this one doesn't go completely Type 2, but it definitely stretches a bit and tries to break free from the pre-97 shackles.

To sum it up: Char0 starts with a couple minutes of space almost like they'd planned on rocketing into 2001 before Trey starts up; I'd say the rocking section goes faaar harder than some other Zero's from the tour; then there's a segment at about 13min where they bring down the heat on a lower-key groove while Trey uses his pitch shifter(?); they soon lock into a unique hard-rock riff (~15min) and ride it for a few min (oddly similar to Foxey Lady, no? am i the only one? lots of Jimi in Trey's soul during those shows); MORE FYF ROCK & WAH ACTION, never gets old for me; Page on the organ; Trey starts adding eerie looping effects as Mike puts this one to sleep with some odd basslines. Finally, Fishman---->>>> into 2001 with a very solid segue. I know it's not a top 15, or maybe even top 20?, jam from the tour. I just wanted to make notice of this standout version just to give a bit more credit to the band's ability in that period to turn ANY song upside down/inside out during that period (as if more credit is actually needed, CHYA RIGHT). Bet you never thought anyone would get this excited about Zero.....

Welp, there's my two cents. Clear your schedule for the next couple weeks, download the whole tour ASAP, let it envelope your entire life/being/soul, dwell on it, dwell in it, dwell around it, REFLECT, rinse, repeat, reverse, rewind, recalibrate, rejuvenate, TRANSCEND . . . . . .


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