, attached to 1997-07-25

Review by NickSalv

NickSalv just looking at the rating here, this show should probably get more credit. early on, this 15min Wolfman's provides some patient, relaxed funk leading into Trey amping things up with a slow C&P-sounding riff. the jam slows down and eases into Maze, which Page absolutely rips as per usual, and Trey uses a few of his pedals to get some creepy effects going, another killer Maze. the real good stuff, however, starts with the 22min Bathtub Gin. Gin is very well-rounded. tons of funk, Page playing around on synths, Trey using a lot of that dark wah pedal sound, Fish throwin in some great fills every which way. the jam turns very beautiful later on with Page back on piano, somewhat foreshadowing the amazing Great Went Gin. Makisupa is a fun ride as usual and segues very smoothly into Bag. i really wish they would have kept Bag at a slower pace and maybe sped up the tempo gradually, just to change things up a bit (thinking about that crazy-slow Cities intro from Amsterdam a few week prior, oozing out of that Gin).

2nd set, Gullotti on the drums is a nice change, but at times it seems like his style just doesnt fit with the band. not compelely a bad thing, there were great moments in this set with both drums working very well together, just a few weird moments here and there.

an extended, patient, atypical CDT is a treat to hear, both drummers trying to feel things out for the set to come. Taste sounds terrible with two drummers though, and im a big fan of that song for some reason. not a huge speed bump, as things get going again, interesting year for Ya Mar, kinda cool to hear a little drums solo action.

decent set so far, but then comes GHOST. one of my favorite songs, but bias aside, why has no one mentioned much about this one yet?? incredible drop into Ghost from Ya Mar, came outa nowhere. things sound a little strange in the jam with the two drums at first, but they very quickly hop on the same page and the funk gets going. Trey injects his space loops into the mix, as usual through US-summer to fall 97. very patient jam, and they explore quite a few directions. i love these US-summer Ghosts. theyre funky and groovy and still carry that darkness that was birthed in Europe just a month prior. Page adds those creepy synth noises as Mike lays down some very groovy basslines. Mike is seriously the common denominator for all great Ghosts from summer 97. Trey is playing with the effects and using that violin-guitar tone a lot, but the best jams for Phish in 97 were those that Trey really took a step back and let the band breathe a little more, so im happy. the second half of the jam tumbles you into space (or possibly into a different dimension). you'll have no clue where you're at by the last minute of the song. of course, maybe im a little more hyped because Ghost is one of my favorites, and yes it doesnt touch 7/21 or 7/23, but its still a strong highlight from the summer tour thus far.

Character Zero is solid and i really like Theme as an encore. a very beautiful jam to close a solid show. you really shouldnt miss any show from the second half of 1997: there are some very good shows prior to July, but if you want the full-funk-darkness effect, PLEASE start at 7/1 and work forward. you wont regret the time spent listening.


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