, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by smoothatonalsnd

smoothatonalsnd My first show...16 years old. I had 1 tape (7/8/94 set 1), ALO, and Junta, and I think that was it.

I'm mostly in agreement with a lot of other commenters here...the first set is very song heavy (12 songs in fall 1997 feels like a crazy number!) and nothing too special (a nice but not standout Bowie to close), and of course the Jim is THE Jim and has moments of brilliance, especially in the first 1/2 hour or so, but it definitely has moments that lag where you're surprised they didn't end it. All that's said from the perspective of me 23 years and almost 200 shows later though...

At the time, I just remember being awed by all of it. I recognized Foam and Simple in the first set, I was floored when they played Avenu Malkenu since I knew the melody so well from being Jewish and going to temple on High Holidays, I loved that they played a Gamehendge song since that was my first love with this band, and the Bowie was very cool, I remember thinking the ending was really amazing. I loved the lights, I loved the scene, it was so fascinating. I liked hearing lots of songs in the first set. I had no idea of anything that was happening on this tour.

Honestly, I don't remember being cognizant of the Runaway Jim being that long. When it's your first show and they do something extraordinary, you don't necessarily realize it's anything out of the norm because you have no norms. I don't remember being aware of the time other than just realizing that they were playing for a while, but I had no clue it was all one song, or that this was significant in any way. I remember being a little bored, even, during parts of it (I still am during some of those spacey parts!). When they went into Strange Design, I remember people all around me being in shock, like something amazing had just happened and people were freaking out. The Hood was glorious, and my girlfriend's mom was now waiting outside to pick us up, but the show was far from over. This was pre cellphone, so we just had to hope she would still be there and wouldn't be mad (she wasn't mad! Thanks, Galina!). I recognized Suzy as well, and had no idea it was a bust out. The encore was super cool, two covers of classic rock tunes and I was really into classic rock when I was in high school.

All in all, this is such a weird first show to experience. I wonder if its uniqueness is part of the reason I wasn't hooked right away...it took me a few more shows to realize that I needed to see every show I could. This was a show that was really taylor-made for advanced fans, not noobs like myself. I wasn't ready yet. But the Jim has moments of pure brilliance that are worth listening to even if it wasn't the longest single song in their history.


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