, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by Campster

Campster Last on my little box set review kick...the legendary Hampton/Winston-Salem run.

I've spun these discs over and over, all classics. Hard to pick a favorite as they are all fantastic.

Night 1.

Emotional Rescue to open is an amazing choice, but quickly moves beyond novelty into a nice funky '97 workout. 17 minutes of straight up awesome. That's how you open a set!

Split Open and Melt is awesome in the two spot. This is a fine version indeed. Mega jamming. What a 1-2 punch.

*If you only want to listen to the first two tunes of this set I'd forgive you, but you might as well listen to the whole set!

Beauty of My Dreams doesn't pop up to often, so it's a nice one here.

Dogs Stole Things is kind of funny, for whatever reason I always liked it, ever since spinning the Virginia beach opening summer 97 show when Trey has the funny little explanation about pets stealing your soul. "Obviously by the way he's playing they didn't steal Fishman's soul"

Punch You In the Eye is a great song. Nice placement.

-> Lawn Boy give Page the floor.

Chalkdust Torture felt a little soppy, in kind of a good way. Not super notable, but good energy following Lawn Boy.

Prince Caspian isn't usually something worth checking out, but this one is sweet with a nice DDL Jam following the song. Pretty darn cool!

Overall a pretty good set, definitely the first two songs are worth listening to.

Set II is a personal favorite, but I'll try and keep it objective.

Ghost opens up - and this one is pretty different from the typical funkified versions. It's kind of slower and less straightforward. I really like it, but I could see someone not thinking of it as a great version if you are looking for the hose jam or the wah wah funk dance grooves. I find this version both notable and enjoyable despite it not fitting the standard Ghost trope.

Great segue in the end -> Bag as well!

ACDC Bag is the shows showpiece. It's personally my favorite version of all time - go ahead give me grief 12/30/97 (and Boise Bag lovers). It's nice and peppy after the segue and then Trey kind of hammers along on a chord for a bit as the band begins to look for some ideas. They find some incredible passages, one with a beautiful spacey and serene jazzy section and another with requisite building shredding atmospheric peak. It's kind of all over the place (in a GREST way) exploring lots are different tangents. It sounds very organic, which to me makes it very magical. Go grab this one - it's about 25 minutes of awesome!

Another stupendous -> Slave as well.

Slave to the Traffic Light is tremendous. I think one reviewer said devastating and it's apt. There's a slow churning build with the whole band showing delicate patience and eventually they reach a wonderful trilling climax and release. The whole sequence from Ghost->Bag->Slave is top shelf.

Throw in a fun and rocking Loving Cup to complete a four song set and we are talking about one heck of a show people!

They encore with Guyute, which I find to be a fantastic call - as the composition side of things is probably the only aspect of Phish missing from the show. This is great if not perfectly played.

Overall easy 5/5 - classic show. Set II is a personal favorite, and I probably rate the Bag higher than most, but it's certainly worthy of its reputation. Go Get It.
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