Samson Variation debuted at this show. This single-set performance was part of the inaugural Hurricane Festival that also featured Ani DiFranco, Bad Religion, Ben Folds Five, Elegantly Wasted, and Primus.
The source I'm listening to now is far shittier than the first five shows of the tour -- likely a function of it being the first outdoor show of the tour and being in a much larger crowd it may have been difficult to get a better distance and angle from the stage. Oh well. This one setter is straightforward for the most part, and it's not surprising that they'd start with Sample, 2001. We get Taste for the third straight show and the fourth time in six shows this tour, and it's no slouch like all the other '97 Tastes (there were 30 of them!). I wonder if this was the most frequently played song in 1997 -- if it was, that would be pretty awesome as it was also one of the best songs of that year (probably not coincidentally). And unlike last night, Trey nails the final build. *fist bump* for Big Red. Speaking of oft-played in Europe Summer '97, Dogs Stole Things pops up again after a one show absence following four consecutive appearances. They played DST 20 times from Summer to Fall '97 and have only played it 15 times in the last 15 years since (of which I've caught two, Gorge '03 and Tahoe '11). It's a fine version, and you can hear that through rote, the band has already built up a tightness and confidence with this tune that was ultimately left off of Story of the Ghost. Theme is up next -- it seems like Theme and Taste are co-occurring in the same set this tour -- not sure what the covariance looks like all time, but these are two of the best tunes from Billy Breathes so it makes sense that, being their last album to that point, they'd get a lot of play. We get a nice mix of Billy / SotG with the Swept Away > Steep > LxL, and this may be the best LxL to that point. And actually I just realized that in my last review, I claimed that Dogs Stole Things was being played a lot on this tour, but holy shit, LxL pops up in the first 7 consecutive shows! I redact my statement re: DST and now posit that there has not been a song repeated that many consecutive shows since LxL's debut in Summer '97. After LxL we hear for the first time that Trey wrote the drum beat for the song on a drum machine, and thought it was impossible for a human to play, and he asks the crowd to give Fishman a hand for proving him wrong. Ah, good stuff. Dirt follows, and though the song underwent no rearrangement between 1997 and 2000, it was also left off of SotG and stuck on Farmhouse instead. I feel really good about Hood, and this Chalkdust really smokes -- Chalkdust really is a good outdoor venue / Festival song isn't it? Something about a mass of people screaming "Can't I live while I'm young?" while standing on a lawn in front of their favorite band just seems strangely appropriate. We get the first of two ever Samson Variations, a song written by Trey and his mentor, Ernie Stires, and basically it's weird as shit. This Twist is excellent and dark and more hard rocking than some of the more ambient late '90s renditions. The Germans must have lost their sheiße when they saw this! I personally like this version better than the previous night, though it appears 6/20's rendition got the "bold" treatment in the Twist Jamming Chart. 2C: Cavern, E: My Soul, fine fine, auf Wiedersehen!
Sample has a nice extra explosive guitar solo. 2001 is in a weird slot I've never seen it in but it is short & sweet as a festival set would permit it to be. Yet another strong Taste. Why is every Theme during this tour so good? Just another great fluid version. Dirt is strong. Hood is cohesive and good. Twist has an odd mellow start to the jam. But it builds thanks to some Thunder provided by Fish. It mellows again and goes into some Trippy Ambience before finishing with some more Thunderous playing. Overall it feels like a pretty forced jam, but hey it's a new song so they are trying to figure it out.
Overall a decent festival set unloading some new songs.
Let me start off by saying that the quality of this recording is horrible. No one's to blame for it, as I am extremely grateful for the unnoticed efforts tapers go through. However, there are some points during the show where its legit impossible to hear the songs. Harry Hood sounded like a constant mumbling and Twist felt like I fed my ears a hissing noise with a huge side of static.
Nonetheless, it feels like a long set, much longer than the next night (I dont know how the two compare but maybe it was the quality of the recording that was really beginning to get to me!). We see Dogs Stole Things and Limb By Limb again, just like every other show on the tour so far. But the tiny light at the end of the tunnel is the fantastic Theme From the Bottom. Totally unreal version...Trey stays melodic the whole time and the band successfully follows. It's too bad the quality of this recording sucks, as I would assume this Theme would be higher on most people's lists.
Check out the Theme but move on to the next night where we get a breathe of fresh air with an awesome SBD and some top notch jamming...
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