, attached to 1997-11-23

Review by Campster

Campster Like the previous 2 nights, Phish managed to throw down another classic. You could certainly place this one as the best show of the run if you wanted to. I won't, but the margins are razor thin.

Set I opens with My Soul giving us the least awesome opener of the three nights. (sure it's going up agains a monster Mike's and a long Emotional Rescue...)

Theme From the Bottom is in the two spot, and this version soars. It's awesome, and certainly noteworthy.

>Black Eyed Katy, which is the best version of all time. Yes, this is perfection. Explosive full band peak. Rock out shred fest whatever other hyperbole I could throw out wouldn't be enough. This is the only version.

Sparkle is a nice comical blip on the setlist.

Twist isn't overly long, but it's good, dark, and serious. This is a great version. The "in the box" versions of songs were just better in '97 that's a fact. This is good and funky.

Stash is up next and represents the antithesis of the wonderful Ventura '97 release version. This is great and dark and complex. Highly recommended for a reason. So so good. It also has a cool -> NICU

NICU rescues us from the darkness in a fun danceable way.

Fluffhead? Oh yea. Great call, giving us that Phish X-Factor. Awesome.

Character Zero gives Trey the requisite platform to perform more Hendrix style throw-down riffs. It's a nice exclamation point.

Is this the best first set of the run? (probably in any other year!) Seriously it's a great first set.

Set II kicks of with Gin.

This is a big long monster of a Bathtub Gin. It has a great type I jam section and an even better ensuing arena rock jam anchored by just explosive shredding from Trey (and the immaculate stylings of a Mr. Jon Fishman). The shred fest lasts a long time too! They settle into a space funk jam towards the end for a few glorious minutes as well before the bubbling DWD intro kicks in.

DWD is incendiary. This version drives hard, rocking away, before finding a nice funky space which slides easily into Low Rider, which in turn finds its way perfectly back into Down With Disease. It's an amazing segment. The fact that it is not marked up on the setlist as a "Noteworthy Jam" is comical. Whoever determined to not award it such distinction should have their head examined. It's disgraceful. OK seriously though this is awesome music and the whole run through the Disease reprise is true segue perfection.

Bold As Love is an awesome closer choice and completes another 4 song second set from the era.

Julius encores in fun fashion. Nice and loose.

Overall 5/5 - again this one is up there with the best. For some reason, I don't think the Gin seems to get its due (as a top version of all time - top 5). Best box set ever, and this show stands with the rest as legendary.

P.S. Whoever makes the setlist annotations - please mark the DWD->LR->DWD as notable. Please. How is it not noteworthy?
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