, attached to 1997-12-12

Review by TippyBonanza

TippyBonanza This show was a very important one in my time seeing Phish. I had begun to feel quite disconnected from the band by fall '97. The increased reliance on groove-based jams and Trey's insistence on overusing his wah-wah pedal combined to leave a sour taste in my mouth. I'd nearly given up on the band during the Hartford and first Worcester shows (I even skipped Saturday's Centrum show to see Moon Boot Lover in Boston), but I thoroughly enjoyed the 11-30 show with the crazy-ass metal jam early on. So my hopes were up for these two Albany shows. This night, the 12th, was my 27th birthday, and I was excited to celebrate. The opening run of songs was outstanding and featured, as usual, superb light work. The second set, though, is pure magic. There is an intensity to the jamming that was palpable that night, especially in what is to this day my favorite Piper. Instead of concluding this version with the typical ending, they just let the jam go and go and go into a superb Swept Away>Steep. Prince Caspian, for all its simplicity, has always been a favorite of mine, so that felt a bit like a birthday gift. And it did nothing to diminish the intensity they'd begun. A ridiculously cool encore was a great cap on a terrific birthday celebration.


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