Wolfman's Brother

, comment by Pinhead_Larry
Pinhead_Larry 1997 is a year many fans consider to be Phish's peak year, and with good reason, too. This was the year that Phish finished their biggest incarnation yet, with their foray into funk territory. Although I might argue that there really isn't a distinct sound during the Summer of 1997, I will say that the band interplay was wonderfully mastered throughout the whole year. This is why I love 1997 as much as I do; the cooperation amongst the band as a whole had never been higher. Before it was divided into individual solos by the band members, but now with their new sound, it is all one big vehicle with all four members participating and heading toward a single goal or idea.

This Wolfman's epitomizes that idea I think. Although I will admit upon first hearing, I didn't really find this Wolfman's that appealing. But for some reason or another, I kept going back to it, like something was drawing me in to the jam. And I can quite honestly say this jam ages well with time. Each relisten I can hear something I didn't before, even small things like a little fill Fish did that I didn't catch the first few times.

While this is not my favorite WB (that goes to 9/24/99), I can see the genius behind it. And though at times it does meander for a bit, the jam starts picking up right where it left off but in a bigger way. The eerie and dissonant space about halfway through is what I'm talking about. But Page cues up the piano and Trey catches on and then they're both on the same page (no pun intended).

Give this WB a listen. Actually give it a couple listens. There's much more than meets the ear with this one, and it cracks my top 5 favorite WB. Even for 1997 standards, this jam stands out.

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