Wow. I really like this show -- it may be the best of this tour to that point, with 6/20 its only rival so far. While 6/20 was just weird and hinted at some of the Wormtown-jamming to come, this is a little more typical '97 style jamming. SOAMelt is a hell of a way to open a show, and this one is no slouch. First Melt of tour by the way. BoMD is nice and well placed, DST pops up again and is executed properly. Vultures is solid here -- this song is a bit strange because up until about five years ago I hadn't heard it. I hadn't gotten into '97 yet, and for some reason it just eluded me and was off my radar. I like it though, and this version, despite being only the third ever, is played perfectly as far as I can tell. Then shit gets weird -- Guelah, a song that I love, especially in the first set, ends up getting aborted because Trey makes an Asse of himself in that section. As the other reviewer points out (as does Trey following the debacle), "as long as I got to sing that Paris line I'm happy" -- another nice topical lyric for the Euros and American hostel kids. Jim is up next (a song Trey couldn't fuck up if he tried), and they sneak Gypsy Queen in the middle of the dog's adventures for the third and final time. This Gypsy Jim is straight ahead but very powerful -- I love it when they go completely quiet before the explosion (you know which part I'm talking about). The second rendition on this tour of the rare Talk is fine (I have a funny story about this song that I just left on Talk's Song History page) and leads into another Billy song, Free. This one's long for a Freeeeeeeeeee, and it gets funky. After a Caspian down a notch from the beautiful one from the previous week, Rocky Top closes the first half. I think I'd give 6/20 I the nod as a better first set but this one is quite good as well, though definitely not as weird.
The better half opens with a funky ass Wolfman's. Were there any tunes more consistently funky than Wolfman's Brother in 1997? I guess BEK was pretty god damn funky every time -- in it's pre-Moma form it was basically a vamp and groove fest -- but BEK was only played a handful of times while Wolfman's was just killing it all year. This Wolfman howls for 17 minutes and contains some Tweeprise like jamming towards the end -- check it out. The jam gets a lot darker towards the end before simmering down, making way for Reba. This Reba has some nice interplay, especially between Trey and Page, and Mike and Fish sort of sit back and let them do their thing until Mike gets sucked in for some great up-beat jamming around the 12 minute mark. NICU, Twist, and Piper are nothing to write home about (short versions of each -- such a shame to have Twist and Piper so late in the second set and not go deep at all, but they were new songs...), and after a soulful Wading, we get one hell a Ghost. I know it's ridiculous to keep saying this, but to this point, this may have been the best Ghost ever. True story. It keeps getting better almost every time they play it, and this time they take it almost 15 minutes deep. Unbelievable to think that two weeks before this show they'd *never* played it live, and now it's blowing the roof off of European venues and closing second sets. They get super YEM-y / Oye Como Va-y with this one and there's some improvisational singing / screaming throughout. Excellent work boys. The only surprise about this Loving Cup encore is that it was the first one on tour. On first listen, I thought I liked this show better than 6/20, but on second listen, 6/20 is a shade better. This one is no slouch, and the build towards Amsterdam has commenced. Bring it!
Great show! Definitely one of the better shows of the tour so far. This recording also sounded exceptionally better compared to the other AUDs we've heard.
Highlights of the first set include a great Runaway Jim with a nice jammed out section that leads flawlessly into Gypsy Woman. This version of Free truly makes this show awesome. The boys waste no time in getting down to business and spend a ton of time laying down some pure funk! The second set shines through this early yet intense Ghost. This great version really foreshadows what's to come in the later months. While they still hadn't gotten the song down quite yet, the jam was stellar and proved they knew exactly where they were going with this jam vehicle.
Set 1 is a pretty straight forward set the Guelah was butchered because Trey couldn't
remember how it went at least they made it through "Rode to Paris in twelve days" line.
Very nicely funked out version of Free had a bit of a Cities theme going for a second then
pure funkness take a listen.
Set 2 is also another great set which i recommend you taking the time and listen even if its not
for the great crazy out of this world jams which everyone is on such a craze for. The music is well
played and that should be enough for anyone just to take some time out and listen to something
other than the majorly hyped shows. BTW the Ghost rips and you will not be disappointed in this show.
My friend and I were recently discussing the evolution of Ghost and this show came into our discussion. The version here is indicative of how quickly the tune became a showstopper. Closing out the second set, this Ghost feels fully developed. But the show itself is excellent and I'd venture to say is pretty underrated. I don't know how big this venue was but it sounds like there are no more than a couple of hundred people there and the recording is crystal clear.
The first set has three standout tunes. Melt to open, a phenomenal Runaway Jim with a Gypsy Queen jam, and funkified Free. The latter two are examples of songs the band regularly jammed out and along the way they seemed to have forgotten about them or have lost interest in taking them places. Too bad too because here they're both quite interesting versions. The Melt opener rages, getting mean and nasty just the way I like 'em.
Plus we get Vultures, a tune I'll never complain about hearing. Sadly, Guelah is aborted. Trey makes some comment about just wanting to get the Paris lyric in there.
In addition to the aforementioned Ghost, we get a lengthy Wolfman's Brother to open Set II. This Wolfman's is funky but of the higher energy and speedy variety, and is one of my favorite takes. The Reba that follows is well-played, and then we get short versions of both Twist and Piper, both in their infancy. Wading is a nice breather before the fireworks in Ghost. As with Wolfman's, we get speedy, energetic funk that just builds and builds and I like how the set is framed by the same type of jam. I can't recommend this version enough. The Loving Cup encore is pure icing at this point and caps a great, underrated show.
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