, attached to 1999-12-17

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm kind of puzzled by the current ~2.7 rating on this show: it may just be "average-great," but it's a high average-great. The setlist is a high recommendation in favor: you get a show-opening jam in Piper followed by Meat > Sparkle, with Meat placed quite intelligently so as not to gum up the works with its methodical funk. Sparkle is a spirited rendition and then there's Gotta Jibboo > Punch You in the Eye, with Jibboo taking a solid Type-I turn as one of the centerpieces of the set. I know some phans don't love that song as much as I do. The lyrics may be silly, but I really dig the groove of it. Not much to say, here, about When the Circus Comes, Water in the Sky, but the set-closing Twist is great! Birds of a Feather to open the second set is marked down as a Noteworthy Jam here on .Net, and I must say I agree. The most unusual thing about this show, however, is that there's about a 5-minute Ambient/Shoegazer Jam between The Moma Dance and Bug. Then comes Jennifer Dances, a song which I'm truly disappointed was abandoned so quickly; I'm mostly a stay-at-home phan, so I don't really care whether something "rages" or is a "dance party," or whatever... I just want to enjoy the songs and the shows. Split Open and Melt is a long version that leaves me feelin' kind of hazy... it's almost 20 minutes, which is rare for Split nowadays and was in 1999 as well. Character Zero is a particularly good version to close the set. Now: the triple encore is outstanding! The Old Home Place doesn't often get played in encores, and then there's a The Squirming Coil > Loving Cup, and though Coil is abbreviated somewhat (only about 7 minutes long), Loving Cup sent phans back out into the Virginia night with one to grow on! I'm not one of those phans that idol-worships Hampton '97 to the exclusion of '98 or '99. Hampton Comes Alive was one of my first Phish purchases, and this two-night run--as you'll see if you read my review of the following night--has a lot of weight to throw around.


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