, attached to 1997-11-19

Review by Piper72

Piper72 I'll try doing some justice at a review, having only remembered the other day that I was at this show. Yes - 1997, perhaps the most talked about year in Phishtory, one I thought I had snoozed on - I was there. Amazing what a year of sobriety can do for your long-term memory. A fresh listen helps, too (as I'm doing now).
One thing that holds up in my memory was how schizophrenic this show is, and this listen reinforces that. There were moments (Bathtub > Llama, Wolfman's > WTF > Makisupa) where a nice, thick Fall '97 Cowfunk foundation was being laid nicely by the Phab Phour to build on, and then Trey would stomp on it and kick it apart with some searing Machine-Gun type playing. It works for the former (when Fishman catches on), not so much for the latter. What hurts is hearing the rest of the band either glaring or glazed-looking at Trey, going "ok...um...sure, give us a sec" before finally all giving him a nice sonic dancefloor for him to spaz out on. It gets better as the band sells you on it with some serious facemelt rockpile jamming, whether it's Crosseyed-related or some distant cousin. The segue into Makisupa is clever and sublime. Actually, that whole jam redeems it's mutated predecessor (as well as providing a much-needed cooldown for the band I'm sure). And that's what jogged my memory - that Makisupa. I was there with my friends Kevin and DJ, and DJ, who was older than us and had had a few more run-ins with the law (not to mention his first show) during the "cased my house" portion of Makisupa put his hands to his head and yelled "Nooooooooooo!!!", which freaked me out and probably those in our section (who may or may not have been on as much acid). Funny, that one memory all these years later.
Looking back, this show proves how much 1997 was an influence on Phish during 3.0 - in both good and bad terms. 3.0 took the 1997 Cowfunk throwdown, and made it an altrustic listening experience, patiently developing ideas from their different eras to build shimmering sonic statues onto that stand the test of time. This show is a reminder of what we love - and don't so much - about The Phish From Vermont.


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