makisupa>maze is a red hot opener. maze in particular really burns. page and trey really light up the middle section of this one. water in the sky works well in the early set cool down slot. then they pull out a still quasi rare guyute. they really nail this one, much to the delight of the crowd. guelah papyrus is another nice cool down treat before they pull out the first new song of the night. limb by limb is not all that swell here, but they follow it up with a pretty solid horn. they pick the energy way up for the antelope set closer. the whole band is in sync on this one, and it gives the fired up deer creek crowd a lot of hope for the 2nd set.
timber ho! works well in the opening slot, repeating the first night opener from deer creek 96's first night. fishman and gordon lay down a nice foundation, but at times, trey seems a little lost in this jam. he finds some nice stuff, but they never quite get there. piper starts out promising but it never quite gets there in my opinion. vultures, another new tune, really works here. some friends griped about the placement, but i really like it. despite not playing exceptionally so far in this set, it did fit the mood extablished thus far. my soul was fun, but not really 2nd set material. then they drop yem. by drop, i mean they drop the ball. this one is sooooo long, and they never quite hook up with each other on this one. there is very little cohesive jamming. to their credit, they keep looking for that groove, but they never quite get there. character zero is very cheesey, so this is somewhat disappointing. i always welcome a coil closer too. nice to page last one off....
while i would not say that the deer creek '97 run was a "classic run" like '96 or '98 there are some good songs in the two nights to hear. this show is one of the rare ones in which i like the first set a little better than the 2nd. a bulk of the 2nd set is just spent searching for that groove.
makisupa policeman>maze, guyute, antelope
timber ho!, vultures