, attached to 1997-11-14

Review by MrPalmers1000DollarQ

MrPalmers1000DollarQ Second show of Fall '97 produces some absolute heaters, but is overall overlooked because pretty much each of the highlights are arguably topped by more noteworthy versions over the next few weeks (this Twist might take the cake, but look to 11/26 for Gumbo and 2001, 11/22 for Antelope, 11/19 for Wolfman's Brother, and 12/7 for Slave). Nonetheless, in a vacuum this show is absolutely spectacular front to back. Set I Gumbo brings that great, extended, laidback '97 funk. Maze features an extended Page solo in which he really works the organ for all it's worth. After a great Trey peak, he decides to turn just before the finish line and ripcord into FEFY, which is glorious as ever. 2001 has some excellently tasty Mike involved, and the transition into Funky Bitch is a great catapult. The Guyute whistling influence in Antelope makes for a very fun twist, but the jam itself is also worth noting for its great drum and bass work.

Set II greatly illustrates Phish's excellent ability to seamlessly morph. Wolfman's, Twist, and Slave each evolve so gradually and subtly, that you're not quite sure how you got from point A to point B. In fact, you don't even remember leaving Point A to begin with. Wolfman's remains largely mixolydian funky, but in the final minutes takes on a darker aura almost reminiscent of a deep jam Stash. The transition to Piper is silky smooth. Twist is probably highlight of the show for me. The band reaches a floating, mystical soundscape fully of great bass, synths, and spacey ambient guitar. The walk to get there is gradual, so its worth stopping every minute or so to take stock of what's going on. The Slave closer is a gradual crescendo, demonstrative of the band's great propensity for patience before the peak.


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