, attached to 2003-02-24

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Like an apple with one side that is just plain unappetizing but otherwise quite tasty, this show evokes mixed reactions. Because of the above average quality of some of the earlier/later shows on this tour (2/14, 2/16, 2/20, 2/26, 2/28), it's easy to just remember this as "the B.B. King show," narrowing its identity down to its most disappointing segment. Upon first listen, I held out hope that the negative reviews would just be Phans disapproving an unexpected deviation from their regularly scheduled programming. Alas, the sit-in is just...boring. And it isn't just because it's the blues. Nobody commits to taking anything anywhere. While I'm sure there was some novelty involved for attendees who can now boast their "I saw Phish with B.B. King" badges, there no such consolation prize for the at-home listener...

...at least for that portion of the show. Eating around the mealy part, this show does have some praiseworthy moments. DwD is a cool opener with some more improvisational elements than the 2/21 version. Wolfman's has a great build to the peak and features wonderful Mike and Fishman as Trey lets his guitar soar. LxL also brings a little extra heat. Set 2 has a bit of a weird flow, but is dotted with excellent jams. Perhaps my favorite is the dynamic and groovy Halley's Comet opener. This one honestly reminds me a lot of Fall '97. Hood is an '03 style ripper. Twist goes pretty far type II to reach some cool dark and ominous spaces after grooving along for a bit. CDT and Farmhouse are typical in structure, but each has just a little more oomph that make 'em worth visiting. CDT in particular brushes up against Bowie territory in some parts (see 6:00-6:35 with Trey's frenetic guitar playing and Page's wonderful comping).


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