, attached to 1999-07-17

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Ah, Oswego, the festival that time forgot. I have a much stronger relationship with Fall '99 than with Summer '99, so I'll be interested to see how this stacks up not just as a major event, but also as an example of what Phish were up to then.

Set 1 gets off to a pretty ordinary start, nothing rising out of their melodic boundaries but still played excitingly; however, a three-song sequence gives this first set some added oomph. The band start up Tweezer, which enters its usual late-90s smooth groove space, rather akin to the 9/18/99 version I love so much. It's not quite as good, to my ears (then again, you may disagree), but the jam has a fine moment when, out of the digital looping Trey's guitar playing gets spiky and the band goes into a much-welcome Have Mercy. That song books along before going into its own swirling guitar/piano climax, which makes a natural segue into Taste, a version that also stays within its Taste box but still manages a decent peak. Not a bad first set, all told.

Set 2 starts with a very cool guest spot, as Son Seals comes in to drop some stinging blues riffs on the crowd and offer his vocals to Funky Bitch and On My Knees. A quick blues jam as Son Seals exits gives way to DWD. And the DWD is a huge jam, furious and messy and even melodic somewhere towards the end (before a return to the main theme). There are better DWDs in 1999, but this is a very good version nonetheless. Then comes a (sadly) short Wolfman's, which chugs along amiably enough before a warm, easy segue into a (also sadly short, relatively) Sneakin' Sally, which also chugs along amiably enough before hitting a big rock climax and giving way to Timber. I love Timber wholeheartedly, and this version is pretty swanky, getting dark like a good Stash at times. I'd actually call this Timber my favorite part of the set. I've heard better YEMs; Coil and Tweeprise make a fine end to the show.

On to Night 2!


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