, attached to 1997-06-16

Review by duggy


- SET II -
Limb by Limb to open sounded like a distant cousin to Taste, BUT also oozed influence from the '96 Halloween musical costume -- the layered vocals and rhythms seemed born out of the Talking Heads study the band had done the previous fall. I remember marking the title of this song on my setlist as "I Am Taken Far Away" because I really focused on Mike's vocal in the chorus ... next up began my love affair with Ghost -- the 2nd live performance of the tune, unlike Limb which was played for the 3rd time after 2 Irish renditions -- but back to Ghost: WHOAH! When that hard funky groove began I was hooked right into the Story of the Ghost ... I don't feel they ever told me before ... and this Ghost, moreso than Ireland or any since, is closer to the Tom/Trey version we got to hear in the demo released on 'Trampled By Lambs & Pecked By the Dove' - this is a VERY raw Ghost, returns to a more heavy rockin' "I feel I never told you!" before sliding right into the debut of I Don't Care -- what is this?!? The band is sounding HEAVY to my ears but I'm digging! At this point in the set my head is swimming a bit trying to grab onto what I know about this band but loving the overwhelming new sounds ... then Reba sings out so beautifully in this old building, really wonderfully, one of 3 we'd hear in the coming weeks, all found in different spots in a show's 1st/2nd set and all building in a different way ... this London version has a nice groove section before the final build that I just love ... then the 2nd live performance of Wading In the Velvet Sea (or as I noted the title in my setlist, 'I Am Taken Far Away' -- again focusing on Mike's part) and this song really sang well in the space of the Royal Albert Hall and I welcome this side of the PHISH sound into the overall repertoire, but again the layered vocals and such seemed like a lesson learned from the Talking Heads ... same with Dirt ... a lesson then applied to ballads, the band involvement overall in the vocals really helps sell these songs to me ... and then the set-closing Harry Hood, like Reba earlier, was a nice reminder of the PHISH I knew but now with different ears and played with a new energy, that '97 energy, it again just soared out through that space ... just wonderful to hear and think back on ...
The encore of Cities ("Think of London!") seemed appropriate and was VERY cool to hear! Wasn't expecting the band to pull this out again but happy they did ... this version would end up being the most straightforward funky version of the tune I'd hear this year (Amsterdam and The Great Went being my other live experiences with the tune in '97). At the time the tune was a rarity so I was stoked to hear it at all, let alone have the band weave it so wildly the next couple of times I'd catch it ... and Poor Heart was a hilarious tune to finish on in the fancy room we were in ... we waded out into the London night, made our way back to our campsite and then ... onto Vienna!
Seeing the band in The Royal Albert Hall was a unique experience for me, for sure, and would turn out to be the largest venue we'd see them in, by far, over the coming weeks ... the sound in the Hall was epic and beautiful ... moving onto Vienna, this tiny club, was a whole new unique experience ... such an incredible time to be following the band, in restrospect, hearing these sounds and new tunes develop ... very grateful for the times I had ...


enjoy the grooves,
http://theshackproject.com - Live MMW streams/downloads!


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