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Review by JerrysMissingFinger
Funky Bitch gets things off to a funky-bluesy start, Page taking control on the organ before the jam fades into a floating groove, leading into 2001. This is a great placement for the 2001, here at the almost-hometown dance party, with Mike getting that super-flanged bass bumping going, especially after the first “chorus”. We get slithering synths, wah-chucked Superbad Trey, a ’97 2001 if I ever heard one. “This set has won me over already!” a friend comments. Camel Walk is the next call, opening up a chill groove with clav and wah’d-out lead guitar action in this loose rendition, staying on the rails but definitely getting the Fall ’97 treatment. Taste, next, gets that (in my eyes) perfect mid-first set placement, bringing the energy and peaky-ness through Page and Trey’s features. Bouncing settles things down a bit before Tweezer drops. First set Tweezers are always a great time, and this one holds to that rule. This one starts out a bit sparse, spacious, just bumping as classic cowfunk. Soon, Trey gets his wah-spotlight moment, leading into some low-geared, torquey Tweezah action. Trey takes control to build this one up to a peak, before fading into calm ambiance. Train Song follows, playing its role as the perfect calm interlude well, as always. Character Zero, closing the set, is another strong ’97 version, a total Hendrixian rave-up engulfed in wah-vortex shred.
Set Two Notes:
Saw It Again kicks things off as a novel, rare choice for second set opener. As the jam space develops, looming wah growls hover over churning, rolling, crashing rhythms. Soon, the music breaks free from the SIA structure, Fish pounding away. The space opens into a calm molten musical flow, liquid heat rolling down the mountainside, before lightness emerges, and the jam floats up into atmospheric melody-making, a real Type-II version. Piper, next, is very patient in its entry, a classic slow-builder. Soon, though, the band takes the song beyond its standard frame into some wah’d-out shred-jamming, soon coming to settle in a calm siren-space for a bit. Trey gets plucky with chord hits as Mike plays a little lead, before everything starts to build back into a bit of a musical tangle. As the energy builds, the Hendrixian raging emerges, giving way to some high-tempo bump-groove cowfunk. The peak troughs-out as clav-floating chord space, giving Swept Away>Steep a chance to emerge. Steep is interesting here, with some lilting delay loop effects. Caspian next, and man, Trey loves his Caspians. The Type-I section here is liquid fire soloing, then the big rock ending hits. As it turns out, though, this is no ending at all. Instead, the jamming keeps rolling and raging, lulling, then raging more, then lulling, then raging more… tension and release, turning the valve up and down… before dissolving into a puddle. A standout Caspian in a year of great Caspians. Izabella then gets laid down one more time for this tour, a tour whose sound seemed heavily inspired by the original composer, and this version is as energetic and triumphant as it should be. At this point, I definitely thought that the set was over, until Tweezerprise (Tweezreprise? Still don’t know…) hits, reminding me of the fact that they laid down that great cowfunk-reeking version of its parent song in the first set. Coming out for the encore, Guyute leads the way. That dissonant, heavy middle section is especially anxiety-inducing here, very intense, forming a highlight in a great, solid version of the song. Antelope sends everyone out with one more chance to get down. Mike really gets grooving as the jam heats up, leading to many rolling peaks, light/dark, tense/loose action, for sure, with that distinctly liquid ’97 flavor.
Best of the tour? No way. Five star, highly entertaining show, worthy of all the Fall '97 associations and accolades? 100%. I really loved it. Give it a listen, if you haven’t. You scrolled all the way down here reading reviews of it, anyway. Happy travels.