, attached to 1997-08-06

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

The first set opened nicely with "NICU". This was only the second time they had ever opened with "NICU", the first being earlier this tour. The "Stash" was solid, but it was nothing outstanding. It doesn't hold a candle to 12/11/95 Portland, ME, for example.
"Beauty of My Dreams" was fun to hear for the first time; it's similar to "Uncle Pen". I really enjoyed "Twist Around". I thought that the jam had a very psychedelic feeling to it, much like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tunes have. It segued into "2001", which was a monster of a version. As usual, Chris was dead-on with the lights, but the boys really jammed it out. "2001" is no longer an intro, it is now a full-fledged song. Trey teased a James Brown lick, è  la 11/30/96 Sacramento, but I prefer this "2001". "Bag" was all right, but very mellow -  good, but not great. "Ya Mar" was also good. Leo (Page) took a nice solo as usual. "YEM" at seventy minutes into the set, and it was great! Both of Trey's attempts at the Note were strong, with Trey sustaining very well on the second Note. The jam segment was different from any other "YEM" jam that I am familiar with. Trey raged for a while, but the bass and drums section stood out. Mike had some weird effect on his bass, because it sounded like we were in outer space. This jam was remarkable!
On to the second set"...I had gotten the "Runaway Jim" vibe the day before the show, and I had predicted that it would open the first set. Well, I was one set off. As soon as they started it, I was reminded of the "Jim" -> "My Soul" from earlier this tour, and I wondered if they would repeat the segue. They did, but I was certainly not prepared for the monstrosity of this jam. The jam developed into a blues jam, based on the chords to and in the key of "My Soul". This was such a serious "My Soul" jam that I didn't think they would even bother to sing the lyrics! They finally went full-on into "My Soul", and it was a rocker. Very energetic, and very enjoyable! I cannot get over how hot the "Jim" was"...it was outstanding, monstrous, fantastic!
I had been personally told that I would really like "Ghost", seeing as how I love the Funk. I've always known that Phish has it in them, but I am so glad to see that they are finally taking advantage of it! "Ghost" is an incredible song. It was probably about twenty minutes long. Mike was laying down a phat bass line the whole time, and I swear, if there had only been a disco ball in Riverport"....At the end of the jam, they did a stop-time that blew me away, kinda like in the "Weekapaug" from Vegas, 12/6/96. This song is essentially a vehicle for jamming, and I expect that we will be treated to many different and astounding versions of it.
The "Ghost" was so damn good that I even enjoyed the "Caspian"! I really don't like this song, but I enjoyed it on this night. I sat down and laughed most of the time. It just seemed kind of funny that Phish was following up the last thirty to forty minutes of incredible jamming with "Caspian". The "Cars Trucks and Buses" was fun, and at times reminded me of Jimmy Smith. "Sample" was probably the lowlight of the show for me. I didn't enjoy it at all. "Antelope" set closer -  oh boy! Remember 8/2/93 Tampa? Well forget it! This one blows it away. With the quality of jamming in the recent past, I think I am starting to forget that August `93 ever happened. This "Antelope" was out of control. Right before they segued into a "Makisupa"-esque jam. Anyway, this "Antelope" must be heard to be believed.
The "Julius" encore was the best I've heard. I swear that ever since 10/24/95 Madison, each successive "Julius" that I hear is better than the last one. This one was probably about ten to twelve minutes and was on fire, and put a finishing touch on a tremendous show.


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