Runaway Jim

, comment by Timpanogos
Timpanogos They really used their Runaway Jimmagination on this one. So stellar!
, comment by Pinhead_Larry
Pinhead_Larry 1998, or more specifically, the Summer of 1998 is one of my go-to tours to listen to when I don't know what else to listen to. In some ways, I actually probably *prefer* Summer '98 to Fall '97. But I know that Fall '97 has something that Summer '98 doesn't, but I can't put my finger on it...

Anyway, going back on topic; this Jim was my first exposition to the extended Jim Jam. And I wasn't quite sure what to expect (only other Jim I knew of at that point was Walnut Creek '97, and a few Summer '93 versions). I looked up the song length online before watching my Star Lake DVD (which compiles lawn feeds from this show) and I thought, "so is it 34 minutes of country-rock style jamming?" Haha boy was I in for a surprise.

I can't even count/recall how many twists and turns this jam takes. Just when it calms down into ambient bliss territory, Trey starts shredding a really cool guitar lick. And just when you think that's over, Page plays some weird techno-esque grooves similar to the NYE '95 Jim breakdown.

I will be honest, though. For me, personally, this Jim was something I had to kind of force myself to keep listening to. In other words, I didn't quite get it, or even appreciate it at the time I first heard it. I thought there were maybe too many sections to wrap my head around, or whatever.

But upon MANY listens, I can say that the wait to understand the jam was worth it. And the more I listen to it, the more each individual section of the jam seems to flow together, and now the 34 minutes hardly seems like 10 minutes.

If you're a fan of the ambient style Phish was playing during this period, I think you'll love it (that might have been the problem too. This was also the first or second show I listened to in complete from 1998). The jam contains many intricate and delicate ambient structures and it creates a nice soundscape. The many sections of the jam, along with the Maria jamming make this Jim a personal favorite of mine. But some like it, some are indifferent. I like it. A lot.

But like I said, you may want to acquaint yourself with the '98 sound before delving in. Or just dive in like I did. One thing I love about Phish is that sometimes their big jams take multiple listens to finally pay off for the listener. But if you give them honest listens and keep an open mind, they will pay off, and in a big way. This jam (for me, at least) is one of "those" kinds of jams.

Enjoy the journey.

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