, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by Campster

Campster It didn't take long for the U.S. tour to hit some major high points. (just check out the opening show!)

As for Walnut Creek and it's fantastic official DVD release here goes...

The first set is pretty short, cut off by an epic rain storm.

Runaway Jim works well as an opener and is plenty crisp ->My Soul (or as I call it, my least favorite overplayed song from '97)

Water in the Sky is fitting.

Stash is pretty good, without being anything too special. It's still nice to hear and has a capable jam.

Bouncing slows it down for a second.

Vultures is a nice treat and is well played. Always welcome.

Bye Bye Foot is cool and gets the major rarity points.

Taste is surely the highlight in closing the set prematurely. The epic rainstorm kicked in and the song is infused with incredible energy. This is a must hear version and the DVD even gives us the evidence of the crazy lightning. Suddenly I heard the crack of thunder indeed!

So overall set I is a bit tough to judge because it's quite short. That said, the Taste is certainly worth your time.

Set II is a very well respected set with impeccable flow, song selection, and jamming. It's a set that certainly solidifed my fandom.

They open with DWD, which has a great jam. Nice rocking section and then just funky '97 madness. It's a nice length and they give it good patient treatment. It's a lot of fun on the DVD/SBD to hear Trey's vocal enthusiasm during the swampy funk jam. Eventually they slow down hitting an oh so familiar vamp. They milk this slowly progressing in one of the ultimate segues -> Mike's song. Side note, my favorite moment in the DVD is when they craft and execute this segue, which culminates in an absolutely infectious smile from Page (who is usually understated on stage). It's a legendary moment.

Mike's is fantastic as well. The jam proper is a good one, and Trey's playing is funkalicious. A second favorite moment for me is the evil dark jam at the end, with Trey wobbling maniacally back and forth backlit by a couple of candles. It's menacing stuff.

Simple is up next and is a nice version. It's not majorly jammed out or overly long, but it's more than capable. Always a fun one to belt out.

They ->Hydrogen with aplomb, which is a beautiful treat. This is a very nice version as well.

Weekapaug serves as the instrumental closer and rages very well. Very fun version and completes the flow of the set to perfection.

Hello My Baby is a nice choice for a little a capella.

So the set was a bit short - but not to worry - a double encore of Circus and Harry Hood close out the show.

When the Circus Comes to Town is a very well played rendition of a great tune.

Harry Hood is equally well performed. This is a very nice version. It has a great jam in the traditional Harry Hood mold. Very fine ending.

Overall set II is a monster with no let up. The whole thing is one beautiful suite of music and the opening pairing is monstrous jamming. It's a damn near perfect set.

4.2/5 - just knock it because environmental factors cut the show a bit short. Go get this DVD!!!


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