, attached to 1997-07-01

Review by uctweezer

uctweezer It's plain and simple: this show and the next night's are the peak of Phish's European Summer tour in 1997. The Ghost opener wastes no time getting funky and far out -- by the 8 minute mark we get the "I think you know where you are! You're on the back of the worm!", which, in conjunction with the references later in the night lead us to believe that Trey consumed some psychedelics the previous night and had a tough time using the public restrooms on the streets of 'sterdam. Ya Mar gives us some more Wormtowning -- and though the actual mentions of the large worm don't come till tonight, the types of jams associated with the worm were sprinkled across the non-festival sets all tour. Jams like the second set opener, the jam out of Cities, and the end of Stash the next night are all very specific to this pre-Fall '97 (but definitely post-1996) sound. LxL is very very good and they let the drum beat fade away and give way for Ain't Love Funny which is just beautiful. They should bring it back (I think I might say that too much). This is a random analogy that not many folks will get, but Phish doing Ain't Love Funny reminds me of moe. doing Cape Cod Girls. Saw It Again is jarring and excellent, with more "YOU'RE ON THE BACK OF THE WORM!", and Reba is well-placed and beautiful, warts and all. This first set kills the rest of the first sets from the tour to date, and we arguably haven't even gotten to the best part of the show yet!

Timber roams all over, covering that awesome, dark, space that Timber so often explores, and the ensuing Gin has got to be one of the darkest, scary-psychedelic Gins of all time. Creepy as hell Little Drummer Boy tease (influenced by Hendrix's LDB tease from 12/31/69, a show Trey said he listened to all the time in 1997?) in there -- I'd love to know what really happened on the proverbial 31st of June when Trey got trapped in time... speaking of creepy, that segue from the dust of Gin into Cities is painstakingly beautiful. Talk about a sneak attack! This is a slow Cities -- contrast this one to the last one they played on 6/20 and you have two different tunes altogether. This one pretty much ends before giving way to a far out there psychedelic story highly affected by the worms, with some more creepy teases: Santa Claus is Coming to Town and When the Saints Go Marching In. Is there another Phish show like this, where they randomly drift off to faraway lands, almost like they have no control over what they're doing and songs as we know them are escaping them altogether?! This is fucking amazing. The post-Cities jam IS a ride on the back of a worm cast into an improvised piece of music. Close your eyes and enjoy the ride. After what sounds like the beginning of Taste, that idea is trashed and Loving Cup brings us back to earth, and a slow-building, majestic Slave brings us to a close. As @waxbanks points out, Circus works *so well* here. The Circus definitely was in town this weekend in Amsterdam, and for the benefit of Mr. Mike, they melted some fucking faces onto the floor. This show is 5 stars, straight up. Oh, and there's a remastered AUD floating around out there that is top grade dank. Find that, turn it up, and tune out. Did I mention they played another show on 7/2 as well?


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