, attached to 1997-03-01

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Having heard Slip Stitch and Pass a few times, I dove into this show not expecting too much of a surprise. I mostly anticipated a few fluffed songs to fill out the sets and figured all of the especially praiseworthy material would be in the SS&P-featured tunes. While the band certainly curated some great highlights from this show for their second official live release, there is plenty left on the table in terms of meaty jams and expert musicianship. Top to bottom this show brings high energy and lives up to the Europe ‘97 hype. I’d highly recommend digging through this whole show (including the super fucking fun Attack on the Bass sound check!!)

[/u]Setlist Thoughts[/u]
- Cities is slightly upbeat and brings a bouncy funk to start the show. I also learned that this was a major bust out that hasn’t been played since ‘94–never realized that on SS&P
- First new track, Oh Kee Pa is short, sweet, and tight. Gets the band fired up for a nice DwD. Primarily Type I, Disease maintains a high energy beat for a while, dips into a funky wah groove, and even ventures for a moment to a rock blues cadence for a bit. I was expecting the band to pull out Johnny B. Goode, but Trey decides to take us back to finish DwD instead.
- Another reminder of the show I’m listening to, it’s interesting to hear Weigh come in before Wolfman’s (as I know it from Slip). This one poses a bit of a challenge for Trey (“Practice,” he reminds himself afterward), who can’t quite nail all the riffs from the studio track. That said, the band pulls a quick audible and Fishman steps in with some sweet drum fills to take up the empty space. Page and Mike are groovy.
- Beauty of My Dreams is one of my favorite bluegrass tunes these guys do. Page owns the keys super well here.
- Ah, here it is. Wolfman’s Brother -> JJLC is a major high point of this show. Wolfman’s settles into some tasty funk and let’s Mike establish some great melodic themes. Trey takes us into a JJLC for the absolute ages. Page is killer on vocals and absolutely lethal on his piano solo. Trey follows suit, first bringing the volume down to literal 0 (you can here his unamplified guitar continue to solo for a minute between woo’s and shush’s). From here, the whole band catches fire and blasts off into another level of the atmosphere with a solo section that makes one say “Jesus.” Only thing they can do from here is pull the plug on a dime and waltz their way into the final verse. And boy do they do that perfectly.
- Boy is it rare to hear me say this, but Reba might be the low point of the set (at least in comparison to expectations). It’s still a great performance: the band navigates the composed section well; Page, Mike and Fishman lay a good backdrop for the jam; Trey begins with light playful staccato licks and works his way up the fretboard to some nice peaks. In my opinion they pull the plug in a weird spot. It feels like Trey has more gas in the tank. But hey, still a good Reba. They cool off with an a cappella Hello My Baby (the third cover song to make it’s way onto Slip)
- Possum wraps up first set with some fucking POWER. Frankly I’m surprised this one wasn’t included on the official release, cuz this tune is HOT. Trey introduces some heavy tri-tone power chord patterns from the second the band hits the drop. This reprises later in his solo, acting as a trebuchet to launch the whole band into orbit to wrap up the tune and set.
- New kid on the block Carini gets a shorter treatment (rare to see this one clock in at less than 4 minutes these days). It’s clear that this tune isn’t yet the anthem it will soon become, but Page gives this one some nice highlights (namely the heavily filtered acid bass synth hits, and some awesome organ harmonization on the final lyrics).
- Dinner and a Movie gives Trey a little bit of trouble, but ultimately still a fine tune to precede the beast that is to come.
- This Mike’s Groove is absolutely beastly. Trey absolutely shreds over the Mike’s jam before the band lands in some ominous, looking space. Page sets the tone with some fugue-like organ notes, and the energy drops to take the shape of a The End-esque groove. Trey keeps a high note swirling in the background, as if to keep a bookmark for the energy that they’ve stored up and will revisit in Weekapaug. But first, Trey takes a really sweet solo, we get some Doors/Pink Floyd quotes, and a nice Lawn Boy fills the sandwich. Weekapaug picks up the pace and eventually evolves into an awesome Can’t You Hear Me Knocking jam thanks to Trey. The band finishes it out as the Stones tune but brings some amazing pep as it does so.
- Not much to note about Mango Song or Billy Breathes, but both are played very well. Trey’s solo on BB isn’t quite as grand as the studio version, but definitely gets where it needs to be. The rest of the band is awesome support. Theme from the Bottom does its usual cacophonous build before bringing it home to close Set 2.
- Taste encore is sweet. Not quite as grand as the thunder-driven version that comes later this year at Walnut Creek, but definitely one for the books. Page, Trey, and Fishman are crazy. Fishman’s drums make it sounds like some sort of tribal ritual for a minute there, very cool.
- The band capitalizes on the small German venue once more for an a cappella Sweet Adeline to finish the show.


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