, attached to 1999-07-16

Review by TimberCarini


While so many shows we attend leave us feeling a variety of emotions, we often return to the shows that we enjoyed the most. I admit that I listen to (and defend) the shows that I attended much more than shows that have only heard through tapes and LivePhish.com recordings. At 100+ shows, I feel like I have a pretty large sample size from which I can draw these emotional attachments for the use of reviews. There are amazing facts about memories and re-living moments that your whole body experienced that goes way beyond hearing music on playback. Reliving those experiences is part of what makes listening to Phish so incredibly powerful. When it comes to listening and reviewing shows for a blog, you get a chance to immerse yourself into shows you never attended or re-live shows you did attend. Shows that you loved, shows that were uninspiring, shows that were "perfect," and shows that carried the emotional baggage of your own personal journey.

This brings me to the next phenomenon: the PAPER TIGER. We are all guilty of judging a show by its setlist. The age of the internet allows communication to flow so rapidly that we get setlists in real time and judge a show as it is taking place. This was not necessarily the case for normal people in 1999. Setlists would pop up the next day or a few days later online (if you had internet outside of your college campus), but with limited information. Tapes/CDs would circulate weeks or months later. CD burning trees would allow you to send blank CDs off to be burned by phans in other states and then you would wait for the return burned copy in the mail. Shows were judged quickly by a setlist or word of mouth - or both. A show with a huge bustout or new cover or crazy theatrics was initially valued higher than a show with an amazing jam. Plus, jams were longer back then so it seemed like every show had a 20+ jam after a song. Paper Tigers are shows like 7/16 with the Born to Run encore. Huge bustout cover in NJ with a special guest - initially thought to be Bruce himself! That was the initial word on the street - by regular phans (not hypercritical uber fans) - that 7/16 was a crazy show. It was not (Sorry, Tom).

Set 1: I cannot review this substandard boring first set of music. Not worth anyone's time.

Set 2
$$$ Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove $$$
The 2001 everyone was waiting for comes out to play. Great run of songs. They don't make Mike's Grooves like this anymore. Ambient and flowing right through the I Am Hydrogen into an excellent Weekapaug. It is great. Listen to these 4 songs from this set and enjoy. Maybe check out Tom Marshall pretending to be Bruce Springsteen for a laugh, but remember why you are here and it's not for Springsteen Karaoke.

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