The Drowned on 12/3 is top 5 Phish jams ever for me. If the regular '97 funk (if one can even say those words convincingly) is like mid-tempo dance music, a la Mushroom Jazz, then the Drowned funk here pushes past groovy house into something more akin to breakbeat. No, not in a strict tempo-equivalent way, but y'know, by 'analogy'...yeah, it's deep. *grin*
It is the most frenetic, quick funk improv in the canon, while never losing its soft touch or getting ahead of itself. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The 2001 is short....BUT, not short like post-hiatus 2001s, which are short because the band just isn't selling the song anymore. Rather this one is short because there's a fine YEM to come and, almost as if they realized that they shouldn't have tried to squeeze it in but simultaneously wish they had time to give it they HEAT it deserved, Trey (with Mike jumping in to help with the most perfect expression of his underwaterenvelopefilter tone in my memory banks) manages to crystalize the essence of the tour's groove into one single lick -- just one lick, repeated just the minimum number of times so that that they can move on to YEM while knowing that asses were properly moved...
Yes, the lick. You'll know it when you hear it.
You hear Trey break it out now and again even nowadays. My friends and I just call it "the Lick", but its full name, in Disco-Boogie-Heaven, is probably "The Essence of Phunk Lick". By whatever name, it manages to make you not even worry that the 2001 is among the shorter of the post-Awakening era Phish (everything that happened after the Wolfman's Brother you can hear on _Slip, Stitch and Pass_).
In Set 2 the Bowie falls apart tragi-wonderfully into Possum and then you get one of those great nuggets of ambient/pure boogie which dot the Great Fall tour and the killing-machine of a tour that is the Great Summer to come. And you will lick it up off of the greasy-nasty, sweat-stained floor...if you know what is good for you.
Thanks for listening.
-Chad (who was, is and will remain as full of shit as the next guy)