Sand

, comment by Pinhead_Larry
Pinhead_Larry I'll just put it out here; I'm a sucker for the '99-'00 sound and this Sand is a big reason why. I love the rhythm textures, the dark ambiance, the Mike grooves, the delay loops, most anything. And this jam has all that.

Sure, there may be "better" (Dick's 2012, Cypress, etc.) but I think for me, this Sand is the closest Phish jam to embody the sound they were going for back in the late '90's. Obviously, I'm going to be biased in my review because of the fact I LOVE this period for the band (for the music, not the drugs/scene/whatnot) but I'll do my best to give this Sand the justice it deserves.

To start the jam, Trey wastes no time hopping on the delay looping effects with 2 (maybe 3?) loops happening. This makes for a very eerie atmosphere and gives the jam a sort-of "presence." I don't know how else to explain it-I feel like I'm being propelled into deep outer space when this part kicks in (and I'm pretty sure I wasn't dosed).

Up next-it's the odd sounding keyboard Trey so loved during this time. It only adds to the spaciness of the jam, and Page hops in to help, all the while Mike keeps playing his rocking bass groove and Fish helps hold down the rhythm section.

If I'm not mistaken, this takes up probably the first 10 or so minutes. It's been a little while and I can't remember exact timings. Anyway, if I'm right, then Trey grabs the guitar for some lead playing. Starting out subtle to blend in with the background, Trey gradually makes his way forward with the volume getting louder and the tone getting clearer. Page decides at this point that he too will show off some abilities and the two work together to build a solid lead duo with Mike and Fish still holding off the rhythm. At this point, Trey and Page are on fire, playing off each other like they were damn pros (well, who am I kidding?)

I don't use the word "hose" very often, but I'd say the final couple minutes of this jam are apt to that term. If not, I'll go with "melodious," "beautiful," "awe-inspiring," or any combination of those words. In other words, this is one for the ages, but really only if you really like what they were doing sound-wise back then. I love this era, so I'm biased, and someone who likes Spring '92 Phish the best may avoid this era (or Sand in general), or they may not, but either way this one is worth checking out. It's got kind of the "best of both worlds"-spacey/trippy effects-laden grooves with shredding Trey leading to a glorious peak.

This jam gets my stamp of approval. A solid 9/10. Highly recommended.
 
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