, attached to 1997-12-29

Review by desmondthefamilyberzerker

desmondthefamilyberzerker They don’t get much better than this one.

After an extremely successful fall tour the band stepped into MSG oozing confidence. You could see it in every song they played and every jam they extended. There is so much going on in this show and thus it has never strayed too far from my go to phish show rotation in the 17 years since.

This show has Trey putting on a clinic in balancing impressive technical skill and emotional energy throughout. It’s also got the four headed monster pushing the improvisational envelope, and a nice couple of doses of shake your tail funk that began to dictate the pace of shows throughout the aforementioned fall tour.

Highlights you ask? How about everything after Golgi!! Seriously. Even Train Song and Dirt, songs that aren't going to bowl anyone over were impressive in that you could hear a pin drop during these two songs just moments after the band had whipped 20,000 souls into a rip roaring frenzy.

I'd also contest that Crossroads should be mentioned in the show notes as a notable performance. It's so good.

I don’t know if there is a more balanced, musically impressive show out there that represents the band and what they were trying to do at a particular time better. I've always felt that the next night was as good as it was partly because the band felt they’d played such a monster on 12/29 and felt the need to throw the kitchen sink at 12/30 in an attempt to top themselves.

Now it’s debatable as to whether they did or not. Some say yes, some say no.

If you had to put a gun to my head I’d take 12/29 simply because it didn't have a 2 hour 15 minutes second set, four song encore, a show opener that hadn't been played in over 900 shows, or Harpua and was still one of the bands all time great performances.


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