, attached to 1998-07-29

Review by westbrook

westbrook Alright, so most fans know the Riverport Gin (and if you don't, listen to it immediately), but you should do yourself a service and listen to the rest of this great show, as well. It's one of the best shows from the strong Summer tour.

The Gin opener is a fan-favorite and, in many peoples' eyes, the band's best jam ever. Maybe I won't go that far, but it is my favorite Bathtub Gin and sits firmly on my list of top 10 jams. It begins with a soaring opening section led by Trey, while the second half of the jam features a fantastic funk jam. This is a great example of the 4- headed monster doing its thing, where it seems like the whole band is being controlled by one brain. Each member plays awesomely in this jam, but I gotta single Mike out because he just fucks shit up, and I mean that in the absolutely best way possible. This is one of Cactus' most groovealicous moments. The seldom-played Dog Log (dedicated to Paul) makes a great landing pad for the epic opener, and then we enter the portion of the show brought to you by the letter F, featuring the first Foam since 12/6/97 and the second appearance of the SOTG rarity, Fikus. Farmhouse serves as the final breather of the set, before the fan-favorites Vultures and Glide liven things up. A short but hot BOAF ends the set. There is not a whole lot of jamming in the first set besides the Bathtub Gin (and that's a BIG besides), but several lesser-played songs are present, and I can't imagine rating this first set as anything but a 5. I mean come on, any set that contains a contender for best Phish jam ever doesn't need a whole lot else to deserve a 5 rating.

The second set doesn't have any moments that contend with the Gin, but this is still an excellent and balanced set. The set opens with Buried Alive, but this is not the typical short,high-energy tune it usually is. For whatever reason, the band decided to give it the treatment on this night, and what results is a high-quality, dynamic jam that keeps hinting at returning to Buried Alive, only to swerve off in another direction. If you Need a Fool is a fun bluegrass tune, and Trey rips in the following AC/DC Bag. This is a straightforward version, but it is definitely above-average and has an explosive build up and release. Lizards fits right in as Bag's jam winds down, and Tube>Kung>Antelope ends the set on the right foot. This Tube gets my vote for best of the summer. Its jam is a great blend of ambience and funk and is representative of the band's sound at the time. Waste>Golgi>Bittersweet Motel makes for a nice closing suite.

Long story short - Come for the Gin, stay for the rest of the party.


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