Soundcheck: Drum Jam, Brian and Robert, Blues Jam
SET 1: Punch You in the Eye, Gumbo, If You Need a Fool, Sleep, Tela, Birds of a Feather, Theme From the Bottom, Julius
SET 2: Halley's Comet > Simple > Walk Away > Limb By Limb, When the Circus Comes, Ghost
ENCORE: Contact > Rocky Top > Funky Bitch
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Review by MiguelSanchez
PYITE: Punch is always a great way to start the night. This one is par for the course for a '97-'99 version. Of course, that means it was dark, funky, and it got the room moving.
Gumbo: This was a great pick to follow Punch. It also offered the firs jam of the night. It was a complete 180 from the one that I caught at Deer Creek over the summer. It was a great taste of '98 ambient funk. Gordon and Trey had some pretty nice playing as this jam progressed. They bounced off each other all the way through.
If You Need A Fool: This snappy bluegrass tune picked the crowd back up after a nice swim through the abyss. Good version.
Sleep: A bit of a cool down here. Nothing much to write home about.
Tela: They kept mellow for another tune. No complaints. A nice Tela is always welcome, especially in the first set.
BOAF: This got everyone geared up for the first set home stretch. At this point, they had not turned birds into a jam vehicle, but it did offer Trey an opportunity to deliver a tight, explosive solo. This is one of the better versions you'll hear from '98. By the fall tour, they were really starting to get a handle on this Talking Heads inspired tune. I really like to listen to the evolution of this song from summer '98 to fall '98 to summer '99. There's a lot of growth there.
Theme: Another sharp solo by Trey. He really turns this one inside out. There isn't any "type 2" jamming here, but this one is a must hear for Theme fans.
Julius: Another Trey centered tune to close down the set. He gets some good backing from Page too. This one is not my favorite tune, but it was a nice rousing set closer.
Set 2 (Here's where the real action starts):
Halley's Comet: I'll lead with saying this may be my favorite version. It is definitely top 3 for me. This jam offers up a little bit of everything- space funk, a touch of ambience, and barn burning rock and roll. Fishman holds this one down well, and Trey paves the way for everyone else. Trey really sinks his teeth into this one the last 6-8 minutes. They are deep in a very serious rock groove when this jam slams into...
Simple: Some would call this a rip chord, but I feel like this transition works well. It is a bit sudden, but everyone is in sync as Trey starts the opening riff. The Simple jam fits real well here. It balances out the balastic Halley's jam very well. As a stand alone Simple, it's fairly standard, but it keeps a nice flow going.
Limb by Limb: Limb is a song that developed pretty quickly, and this one offers up a nice cosmic jaunt before returning to the song. Page really takes over, offering up some beautiful playing in the middle section.
Circus: This very well may be my favorite slow song they do. There is no real side excursion to speak of here. It's just a beautiful take of Circus.
Ghost: Coming out of Circus, most people were thinking Antelope or Hood. Well, they don't always play what you expect, and that's why we go to the shows!!
At first, this felt a bit odd in the show closing slot. By the end, i felt just right. The first half of this jam is a very easy going funky groove based excursion. Around the ten minute, Trey hooks onto something and just takes off. You will think this jam has reached it's peak 2-3 times, and each time, Trey kicks it up another level. By the end, he is absolutely shredding, bringing the house down. WHAT A CLOSER!!
Contact->Rocky Top->Funky Bitch: After such a strong, jammed out second set, this three song encore was just the icing on the cake. Anyone that thought the ghost set closer was unorthodox definitely felt that way about walking out the door to funk bitch. Musically, there is not much to seperate these versions from other versions, but they closed this show down in style, with tons of energy.
I would not describe the first set as "must hear," but there are certainly things there that are worth checking out. Now, the second set is one of the best sets of the Fall '98 tour. I would definitely pull this one down and give it a spin.
Gumbo, Theme, Halley's, and Ghost