the show starts out in nice festive fashion with a my soul, yamar opener. good summer time tunes. oh kee gets the crowed anxious for whatever may come next, then they blast into a nice sharp ac/dc bag. nice classic phish. they don't take this one out to far, but it is a nice precursor to the rare, for the time, wedge. this one is pretty well played, but it still lacks the fluidity that is present in this tune later. i love vultures. this was easily one of my favorite "first set tunes" from this era of phish. they just played this song so well, and this one is no exception. the tension of vultures is resolved when the band gets back into fun mode with i didn't. fefy cools things down before a nice firey bowie closes the set. fishman plays really well on this one, and trey navigates through this jam seemlessly.
ghost is a great party time/fourth of july opener. they take a nice textured funk jam on this one, similar to most this summer. i would say i still like the columbus version a lot better; that one cant be beat, but this one travels into some nice dark territorities before rolling into a very pleasant slave. this slave just has a wonderful layed back tempo, but it the band does not seem to lose focus. trey and page play off each other very well, and after that monster opening duo, the band earned a quick breather. they picked horse>silent, which is one of my favorite breather selections. well played and it works nicely into what's the use. not my favorite tune, but there are a few sets, namely this one and first night of deer creek '00, where i feel it just seems to fit well. wilson gets the crowd back and fired up after the opiated daze of wtu. they let this energy roll right into a very strong mike's song. i, unfortunately, feel this song really peaked between 95 and 98, but this one is still worth the listen. page plays under trey brilliantly, while gordo and fishman just drive this one way up high. while i feel this song was past its prime, i do feel this one is completely worth the listen. in fact, and i need to check my tapes out to see if there's one i'm forgetting about, this may be my favorite mike's groove of the year, except for memphis. anyway, after the mike's jam eases off, they roll into sleepy monkey. gordon seems extra fired up for an excellent set closing weekapaugh. trey rips off a really nice solo in there to...certainly inspired by gordon's firey playing.
carini is somewhat of a surprise encore, but hey, why not? it works. then, as they were proned to do in 99, they took every chance they could to get everyone into the meatstick dance. not my cup of tea but hey...
are they leaving without performing their patriotic duties... oh no...they rolled out in these goofy stars and stripes outfits, some more clothed than others. a nice little run through the ssb before the fireworks kicked up....
overall, this is an excellent show. it's not the best of the tour, but the playing is sharp, the setlist is rock solid, and the boys seemed to really be gassed for this one. if you don't have this show, pick it up. if you like this one, see columbus 99. the first set is not as strong, but i like its ghost>free combo better than this very good ghost>slave combo. also, it has an interesting 30 min birds of a feather.
the wedge, vultures, bowie
ghost>slave, mike's song>sleeping monkey>weekapaugh