, attached to 2009-11-28

Review by Icculus

Icculus Right at 3:41 when the jam in 7Below starts, you know Trey is on IT for this version, the finest 7Below to date. While he kinda noodles around a bit in the first few minutes of the jam, above strong accompaniment from Mike, Page and Fish, he starts taking off around 6:45 and soaring. At 7:40 or so Trey returns to the 7Below theme again for several measures before kicking into a SECOND jam segment at 8:06. After a measure or two the jam kicks back a notch and opens up as Page becomes more prominent while Trey rhythmically chords along.

The jamming around this point (9:30) is clearly "Type II" -- the 7Below typical jam structure has been transcended and they're improvising above and beyond the ordinary and customary 7Below structure. At 10:25 or thereabouts the jam gels as Fish and Mike pick up the pace and although it flounders a bit in here (11 mins), Fish kicks out an almost 2001-like rhythm (11:15) for a few measures as Trey gets very spacey, sustaining some eerie effects. But then Page starts pounding out some chords (somewhat reminiscent of Tweeprise though not a tease) and Trey starts repetitively chording along. I believe that it's around this point (12:25-13:20 mins) or so that some folks hear "Cool It Down" being teased. But I disagree. The jamming around this point is sweet, melodic and repetitive and reminds me of something -- but I'm having trouble ID'ing it. It's awesome, though (13:20). Could be a tease of something...

Mike at 13:30 is playing BEAUTIFULLY, and then Trey starts soloing in a gorgeous, hose-everyone-off manner (13:50 or so). LOVE the jamming at this point but it cools down much too quickly into a spacey-yet-still-melodic jam that's reminiscent of a lot of late 1990s jams. (14:50) I really love Mike's playing in this jam in particular. He's just on IT!! I really wish this jam had gone on much longer. There's an off note or two from Trey in the jamming in here, but around 16:20 Trey starts repeating a catchy theme and then Mike, Page and Fish just groove on it with him. Gorgeous jamming around 18:10 -- they are improvising as ONE at this point. It is for jams like this that I still love this band's music and download and listen to every note. A triumphant, life-affirming jam ensues around 19 mins. A gem! Definitely the most inspired improvisation of 2009 imo. Trey's soloing around 20 mins is just phenomenal and he continues to hose everyone down! Those of you up close and personal with the band at this second Albany show were B L E S S E D!! Hallefckinglujah! Around 22 mins the jam begins to chill and by 23 mins the air is basically let out of it as Trey lets loose a few effects here and there and Fish retreats to the cymbals alone. At 24 minutes you'd be hard-pressed to guess the next song, since Fish's drumming at this point (23:45) is 7Below-like -- as if he was expecting or inviting Trey to return to the 7below theme. But then Trey starts up Ghost...

And damn. If you haven't heard this Ghost, fyi, it is one of the best Ghosts since the late 1990s. It certainly isn't THE best (there a ton of awesome GHOSTs out there, check out the song history), and the jamming kinda goes all over the map (great and not so great) in this version, but it's definitely one of the most adventurous jams since Summer 04. Not long after Trey teases 7Below (6:03-6:10) the jam segment starts to fly. Mesmerizing improv around 9:30. It gets a bit spacey and repetitive around 13 mins, and even a bit ugly... before taking off again around 13:50. The jamming in the middle of this Ghost is a bit aimless until around 15:50 or so when they start grooving in an almost weekapaugian-like manner. But this doesn't last very long when a heavy, pounding, theme takes hold (around 16:50). The jamming in this Ghost is kinda haphazard and old school, like parts of the experimental, neverending Tweezers were back in the mid-1990s. At 17:30ish the jam explodes back into a RAGER and gets progressively more ferocious and twisted! Anyone who has doubted whether Phish is "really" BACK needs to hear this.

This siiiick Ghost jam (19 mins) eventually, slowly but surely, fades away into a somewhat spacey, but still preciously melodic, haze... Download this show! Albany II and Portland are easily the top two Fall tour shows IMO.

two cents


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