, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by DriedupGoliath

DriedupGoliath This show really is a good as every one makes it out to be.

Golgi Apparatus is a great opener, I wish it was in this slot more often, rather than just a set closer. I remember when I first started listening to Phish that this was the first version of Antelope I ever heard. I had always heard that Antelope was a big jam song, usually featuring blistering playing. But I was absolutely blown away by this Antelope upon first listen, I hear them tinker around with the opening, and then just blast off. It starts funky and grounded, but then it just starts revving up harder and harder, and just keeps going, and going, and going- for someone who had never heard Antelope before, I was so confused. "Where's the song?" It was not until the huge peak, and the drop into Rye Rye Rocco where I realized Antelope was the rare song where the full jam preceded the lyrics. Real confusing to a noob.

Train Song cools off nicely, with a fairly normal Bathtub Gin that's most notable for the sickly sweet segue into Foam, which is nailed. The rest of the set is fine- Maze particularly rips, but nothing super out of the ordinary. I prefer Fee with the microphone, but it doesn't detract anything.

Tweezer opens the second set in utter style, they dick around with the opening for a bit, almost like the beginning of Possum or something, and then just slam headlong into the opening riff a little less than two minutes in. The jam starts in the low intensity funk realm for a little bit, with great interplay. They hit a short stop-start section around 12 minutes or so, only one stop and start again. When they come out Fish is just banging out this really clinical and cool rhythm. The jam's not funk anymore, it's just really tight knit and deep improv. It becomes almost march-like, and then hits absolute overdrive around 18 minutes. Trey solos like a psychopathic madman over a hazy background, and you just get the image of a monster- maybe a drooling minotaur- thrashing around, trying to break out of its chains...

...out of this cacophonous haze, Izabella comes tearing through. Izabella is high energy as can be, but as usual, Trey only knows about two lines of it- how many lines can he forget and just say "I dream about you, every night!" Doesn't matter, out of the back end of Izabella the groove becomes slower and funkier, led by really cool Page vamping, and they revisit the stop-start section from 12 minutes in of the Tweezer. This little section just makes Izabella feel like another section of a monster Tweezer. Of all the similar sections from Fall '97, this is definitely one of the best stop start funk sections, supremely high energy. The jam slows, and becomes a little percussive and plunky...

...and segues really inventively into Twist, one of the better segues I've ever heard. Twist itself is fairly straightforward, they weren't really stretching Twist out that much yet, save for a few exceptions (6/20/97, 7/29/97, 11/14/97), Twist ends...

...and Piper emerges from deep within and takes off. The opening almost feels breathless, like you're feeling lifeless, and then take a huge hit of clean oxygen, and you're energized, and ready to blast off. Piper reenters a jam space that feels like it's Piper, Tweezer, and Izabella at the same. It absolutely *rages,* and again feels like part of the greater jam whole rather than an entirely separate song.

Sleeping Monkey takes all the seriousness away from the proceedings- the proceeding jam quadruplet hits the darkest ocean floors, but we still see that Phish are a bunch of jokesters. Tweezer Reprise and Rocky Top send everyone home, fist pumping away.

This is a startlingly good show. They hit upon some serious Michigan voodoo magic in this one.


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