, attached to 1997-12-11

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
PYITE kicks things off, and Mike comes out punching (sorry) with heavy harmonics, leading to a strong version of this moody jazz-rock opener. DWD gets going next, a catchy rock song to keep the energy up. As the jam portal opens, the jam is Trey-centric, with a very focused wah-infused Hendrixian influence. Soon, Mike starts to change the terrain below as the jam nears its first peak. “Talk about shred!”, a friend comments. The jam is soon allowed to go offroad into Type-II territory, opening into a chill, bluesy, slow moving float-space with a major-key flavor, before Trey starts to take his leads into minor territory, shifting the band. UFOs start to hover and lay down synth scans in stereo, sirens whirling, and soon, a late-night stoner groove emerges, truly smooth, sophisticated cowfunk. The jam falls into gentle interplay, truly mellow stop-start action, before totally dissolving into foggy, swirling murkiness, the clav holding out as the Fish starts up Maze. “This is one of those noisy Mazes.”, a friend comments in regards to the sirens and loops whizzing away over the intro of this rendition. Page’s solo features many diabolical organ lines, before Trey’s solo gets a little strange, then a lot shreddy. This Maze is pretty long, and having a few extra minutes is definitely perceptible, especially in terms of how drawn-in you are to the jam. Recommend version, for sure. Dirt hits next, reminding me that these ’97 versions are so fresh and pure; this is a great place for the set to settle and find its way ahead. LxL comes next, building and upshifting into bliss, really getting going. “This is popping off!”, a friend remarks, a perfect description. This is my favorite LxL of Fall Tour. Loving Cup hits as what seems to be the big, cathartic set closing rocker, for the second time in two shows. Its not really the closer, though, as a Rocky Top comes charging forward to add one more to the set, topping everything off. Solid first set, with highlights in Disease, Maze, and LxL.

Set Two Notes:
Drowned kicks off the second set, and it’s nice to see this classic called up the be the decisive Set Two opener on this legendary tour. The jam really gets going on its way to a first peak, starting to break free of the Drowned-structure, maintaining intensity, before settling down into low bump-space, slowly turning its way through clouds of murky, low key groove. Sirens start flying around, musical clouds opening as rays of melody and floating chords come through, vibing for a while until Roses Are Free smoothly emerges. The debut version, I have always found this to be one that could be easily mistaken for a Phish original. Soon, Roses segues into BBFCFM, an unexpected turn for sure. I love this Phishy weirdness, and this version’s extended pause gets big crowd approval. Soon, the song dissolves into swirling abduction music, an absolutely freeform towering musical pummeling blob rolling over the audience. Pounding Sabbath-style riffs begin to loom over the arena. A ceiling shattering guitar pitch-up occurs, leading the way for truly Transylvanian organ stylings. The jam then falls into a pit of goopy seemingly-whammied clav and guitar, floating on a droning, deteriorating, octave-down guitar note. All-time version. Ghost suddenly jumps out. Page becomes Mr. Clav-man, stepping up and taking control of his solo section in the beginning of the song. The jam soon lowers itself into a pit of low-groove cowfunk. Mike lays down popping octave punching, then settles back as the piano and guitar riffing start, Fish 2K totally locked-in. Synth searchlights strafe the crowd, and the jam soon builds momentum on the riffing. Fish is laying down the “one-and” disco eight-note beat, building up to a high-energy dance party, soon finding itself in a Trey-shred focused space, very slippery and wah’d-out. The DWD solo-theme gets reprised, though DWD is never truly finished in terms of the vocal refrain returning. The jam segues into Johnny B. Goode, serving as the big, rocking close to a fantastically dark, weird, and certainly Phishy second set. Waste puts a finishing touch on the show as a very low-key encore call, heartfelt at that… and that’s all, folks.

Could’ve used one more on the encore. Other than that, I really enjoy this show. Hit those first set highlights, but don’t miss a moment in that second set. Or just hear the whole show. Can’t recommend this show enough. One more reason to listen to this entire tour, if you can swing it.
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