, attached to 1999-07-13

Review by TimberCarini

TimberCarini FIRST SET SMOKE SHOW WITH A SECOND SET MIND ERASER

Hard to top the opener energy from the previous evening (Foreplay/Longtime), so the band opted to go in a different direction: jams... glorious, amazing jams. There is nothing better than Phish outdoing itself through pure creativity. Who needs a straight out of left field cover song, when you can play your own music in such an artistic and captivating manner? Set two is anchored with a mind erasing 21 minute Wolfman's Brother. It is the ambient take on the 97 versions of the jam. Stop what you are listening to and throw on this Wolfman's Brother. I am 99% sure it's better than whatever is currently embracing your ear drums. Hell, it gets so deep that Mike needs the FIGHT BELL to call the match.
Prepare thyself, the aliens are coming.

SET 1
NICU opener is funky, calypso-groove fun for the masses, but it is but merely a placeholder in this set. The monster segue of THE CURTAIN > HALLEY'S COMET > ROSES ARE FREE > N02 is the "raison d'etre." THE CURTAIN brings with it a feeling of past greatness and has many of the parts of Phish that we all love - singalong choruses, intricate composed sections, slashing guitar riffs and the feeling of being transported to another world during those opening notes. Where were we going? Wherever it was, HALLEY'S COMET was
taking us. We go through Cadillac rainbows, get tangled in spaghetti, get served our thick strawberry goo, all along the way to the central part of town. Trey wastes no time peeling off squealing riffs and fast-fretted runs, instead he goes straight for the ambient groove. The central part of this town is ambient funk-ville. This groove is the anti-Halley's Comet solo and jam of the past and veers towards the core of Phish as one. The 2012 Summer Tour "all are one" jams should thank this grandfather of greatness. This Halley's Comet jam is a lesson in sum is greater than parts. The monumental jam leaks into what seems like Ghost.... but then a last second right turn takes us to ROSES ARE FREE. Roses was so under-played at this point in Phish's career it was a huge treat to get this tune. The song gets the crowd going and pours into a very loopy, soupy ambient jam that seems to be spiraling out of control (because it is) as it drops into N02. This N02 is unique because it contains the actual "composed" section atop the swirling loops and sirens. A first time play. Ever. A very beautiful and almost Crosby, Stills and Nash style composed jam of delicate chord changes and patient loving playing by the band. All that over some weird ambient siren loops. Quite a sonic buffet. An excellent Reba > Carini adds another set highlight.

SET 2
WOLFMAN'S BROTHER goes ambient early and often in this stellar dark and dirty version of the classic Hoist cut. Just so deep and layered and funky before it gets sucked into the galaxy. Mike's finds a very unique riff early and steers Trey towards the dark side. Soon enough the drone loops and feedback starts. Mike drops into slap groove mode. The crowd erupts for the glow-stick war. The funk gets deeper. You can feel the energy on playback. It's what you want... hell, it's what everyone wants. Darker, funkier, deeper into the groove. Page is so in the pocket he's invisible on the low clavs - like Bernie Worrell under water. It sounds like the entire amphitheater is slowly sinking into the ground and everyone loves it. Mike incorporates the Fight Bell just to let everyone know that this thing ain't over yet. The band melts into a subsonic spacey wormhole and the jam gets sucked into the vacuum. The rest of this set is nothing compared to that Wolfman's Brother, so I will pretend like it doesn't exist.

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