, attached to 1999-12-31

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks (part 2 of 2)

It worked, and works. Fans weren't prepared for how deep the band dug at this show: not just a jammed-out Roses but a great distended 35-minute dance trance (perhaps); not just a swampsick Drowned > After Midnight > Jam but a slow sludgy all-the-time-in-the-world chillout; not just the maybe-best-ever 22-minute Sand but a supernaturally patient 'Topplings' coda that bled into a rare effects-laden solo for Gordon on the bass; not just a wee-hours Bowie but a wailing mid-90's throwback with ostentatious virile noisemaking from Trey. The Twist previews the canonical 6/14/00 Fukuoka version, R'n'R billows and bellows and explodes before dissolving into heady narcoticism, and the whole thing feels like a hypnagogic descent into another world.

It may indeed try your patience and it's less varied than you'd expect from a seven-hour Phish performance, but the after-midnight show remains the dream-logical endpoint of a certain style of Phish, the experience they spent the last decade chasing (before their 2009 renaissance). There are late-90's shows to hear before this one, but Big Cypress remains an essential passage for Phish fans.


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