Played in concert for the first time.
 Pete Wernick on banjo.
Mule and Poor Heart featured Pete Wernick on banjo. Mule also included a brief Foggy Mountain Breakdown tease. The jam out of Timber included a Frankie Says tease. Harry Hood was unfinished. Farmhouse was played in concert for the first time.
6th row center. Amazing tix-thanks, Phish Tickets By Mail. The dude who carded me for a beer out in the concourse shouted "Idaho" (my driver's license was issued there) and the Phans took up an Idaho chant for a bit. On the way there my truck's alternator died in Laramie, Wyoming in a brutal blizzard but we got it replaced and still made it to the gig in time. Some ahole stole everything we had from my truck (both me and my buddy)....our backpacks, money we didn't have on us, extra clothes, tapes, weed in the McNichols Arena parking lot one of the two nights of this run. We still had phun. Terrific show.
NICU is a fun opener. My Soul is good, Trey's solo is solid. BEK is throws some funk into the mix. Farmhouse is awkwardly placed, but is well played and sung. I like Old Home Place, but this ensuing string of breather songs kind of diminishes the value. Cars Trucks and Buses is a great song, so even though it's another short/no segue song I don't really mind it. Page has an unusually long solo, and it's really good. Gets kinda abstract in the middle with a descending chromatic pattern. Scent of a Mule is next and only had a page solo. Pete Wernick adds some nice flavor to this version. Poor Heart is fun with the banjo. Taste is the first really high energy song, and is played very well. Both Trey and Page's solos are really tight. Page is really on in this set. Hello My Baby closes. One of the few skippable sets this tour. Not BAD by any means, just not great flow and not much jamming.
Timber begins with a minute or so of space, follows with a minute or so of composition, then jumps right into a very heavy jam. It begins with a very nice Trey lead, and then turns into a wall of sound, and then peters back into space where Trey sorta clumsily makes his way into Simple. The jam has a very heavy psychedelic feel. It's not the tightest jam, but it's very ambitious and has some interesting work from everybody. Simple has a short "jam" who's only purpose is to segue into Wilson. Wilson is good and leads into a pretty decent Hood. All Hoods from '97 have great, emotive playing from everybody. This one has an especially powerful peak. The > Isabella is fun, and Trey goes machine gun at the end.
Cool to have Bowie as an encore. Not very exploratory, but has a couple type II excursions. The entire jam has a very heavy feel. Not metal necessarily...there's just a lot of things happening at once, and Trey plays around with what sounds like power chords for a bit.
First set doesn't do a whole lot, second set is decent exploratory '97 Phish. Timber is probably the only thing from this show that I'd listen to again. This is only a testament to how great the rest of the Fall was, because this is by no means a bad show.
This was my first Phish show and my first ever show at an arena. I was 17. It was with some help that my friend and I were able to me make it to the show. Neither of us had a car so my Stepmother drove us down to Denver from Boulder and his Dad picked us up in the parking lot at Midnight. We didn't really know anything about Phish at that point. I remember talking about the band with some kids in my math class in school. That was my introduction to the idea but my real introduction to the band came with their performance on this Sunday night. We were both blown away. Trey particularly impressed us. We kept saying "that guy is an amazing guitar player!"
as my at-the-time-girlfriend and i were lazing around in our hotel room the morning of this, the first of a two night stand in the Rocky Mountain High, we were watching the Andy Griffith Show...knowing the "link" between the two bands, as the program progressed, i was utterly astonished when this particular episode featured the Dillards (as The Darlings) who penned my favorite Phish b'grass cover, Old Home Place...as we watched, i wondered aloud what the possibilties were that any of the band memebers were also watching this ol' slice of TV Americana and, if so, would it provoke them to throw down some hoedown*...well, hoedown they did as they treated me/us to the always welcome "OHP" (which i firmly believe was prompted by SOMEONE in the posse de Ghoti having seen Mayberry's finest that morning)...now that i think about it, i find it strange that they brought out Dr Banjo for "SOAMule" & "Poor Heart" but NOT "OHP"......things that make you go "hhhmmmmm", indeed
*--all apologies for the Hannah Montana reference!!!!!
Although the guest appearance is nice, this first set is my least favorite set of the tour. I like the segue into Izabella, and a Bowie encore is impressive, but the Timber is the only song I wanted to listen to a second time. Still, this show would have been a standout in '96 or 99-00, which says a lot about how great this tour was.
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