, attached to 1997-07-10

Review by Dressed_In_Gray


This show has so much to offer, it makes a review difficult, as I only can enumerate facts and stats. However, the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts, and although this is a exercise in futility, my review follows:

The Tunes:

A glance at the setlist is admittedly underwhelming. There are only two or three bread and butter jam tunes present, and not a single intricate multi-beast composition. Yes, Bathtub is a wicked 20 minute journey, but the brilliance of this show lies in the previously unexplored corners of the Phish cannon.

Set I: Llama in the first set clocks in over 12 minutes, a fantastic Type II jam that devolves into Velvet Sea. The Lizards jam that follows Sea is similar to how Rift's jam was altered for The Curtain With. Also, personally, I always prefer Olivia's Pool to Shafty.

Set II: Comprised of two thick tasty musical chunks. The first is dominated by the tight funky dance party in 2001>Julius, while the second chunk is unbridled rock after the calypso goofyness in Ya Mar. After a fast and snappy Ghost heads toward Type II, Take Me To The River comes on with a ten minute Trey tour-de-force. He is screaming lyrics, playing hard and loud, and loving every minute of it. The weak encore is redeemed by horns and sweet teases.

The Banter:

Trey is truly Chatty Cathy this night. It's as though Brad Sands is stationed behind Trey's rig, and repeatedly pulling the string in the middle of his back. He is in turns nostalgic, whimsical, faux chastising, and always has a smile in his voice. They are reveling in the intimate atmosphere of these European shows, and it takes 3:30+ for the banter to end and 2001 to start. This show could have happened at Nectar's, home of the world famous Orchestral Greasy Troll.

The Verdict:

With both sets minus the encore clocking in barely over two hours, this show is not one to fall prey to dead spots and bathroom tunes. The show opener is weak, but the rest of the show flows from one musical emotion to another without any real breaks. The band and fans are directly feeding each other, and it's as though crowd participation was mandatory this night.

While the poor quality audio currently in circulation has done this show no favors, those who have tasted it understand, and keep coming back for more.

To all Vampire Children, this is Funky Nectar.


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