, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by n00b100

n00b100 I'm with the other reviews that state that the first set is better than the second one in this show; neither of them match the astounding second set from the previous night's effort, but with the bounty of quality music from this show that's hardly anything to get upset about. The first noteworthy moment comes with the Drowned, which is one of the most pleasant surprises of a tour chock-full of surprises, as the band shifts out of the usual hard-rockin' Drowned jam into a funk extravaganza that might be the purest form of the cow-funk that everyone associates with Fall '97. Trey gets in his funky licks and Mike does very fine work, but this is Page's show through and through, as he abuses his clavinet, tosses out all sorts of nifty organ stings, and takes the lead in lieu of the usual Trey riffing. This is as superb a funky jam as the band ever played, and deserves much more attention. A nice Gumbo > 2001 > YEM stretch, with Gumbo's ending dark and downbeat before transitioning into 2001 and the YEM cool if not mind-blowing, ends a high-energy set.

The second set kicks off with Bowie (I wouldn't mind them giving Bowie the 2nd set opener slot and taking it for a ride again), which has a particularly elongated intro and stays in usual Bowie territory for a good spell (with the occasional spacey excursion) before launching into an uplifting major-key groove, Trey alternating between warm Weekapaug-esque chords and elfish soloing with Page (again!) doing some lovely work on the keys and Fish playing a nicely busy beat. The band works their way back in Bowie's usual jam space, and like a particularly charming phoenix rising from Bowie's ashes Possum works its way out of the jam in a great segue. Possum is its usual fiery self (boy, imagine the outcry if Possum showed up in this spot in a Set 2 today), and the jam that they launch into right afterwards is nearly as powerful as the first set Drowned, very close to the legendary Tube Jam from the Dayton show (even more wicked clavinet work from Page here). This nasty jam slows to a crawl, gets dark and spacey...and then Trey starts up Caspian, something of a buzzkill (some things never change, I guess), and Frankenstein and a sweet Hood close out another fine set.

Final thoughts: I'd still take last night's show (that second set is an out and out masterpiece), but wouldn't blame you at all if you preferred this one. The Bowie's major-key segment is truly great, and both the post-Possum Jam and Drowned are red-hot funk jams that demand hearing.

Oh yeah, I hope @MDosque has heard the Drowned since the night of the show. Rough time to take a bathroom break, my friend.


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