, attached to 1997-11-19

Review by markah

markah (posted to rec.music.phish in 2002)

11/19/97 Assembly Hall - Champaign, IL

Greetings to everyone, especially those of you whom I've not seen in quite
some time!

I haven't been listening to a lot of Phish lately, so my observations may
sound shockingly un-jaded to those of you who've known me. Especially for
me to be commenting on a "lesser" of the Fall '97 shows.

As I said, my ears are not as saturated as they usually are as of late, and
I've been doing most of my listening during my 30-minute commute each day.
Today I herd the 11/19/97 Champaign first set, or at least the first part of
it, and I was really impressed by the opening. Not the Julius so much, but
the Gin in the second slot was particularly inspired, not to mention for a
first set. There is a particular passage a minute or so into the jam (I
really wasn't keeping close watch on the time, but it was about 2
stoplights...) where Mike starts playing sevenths. The jam is
really...viscous here: flowing, but not too freely. Serendipitous! Then
when they really get down to it, you can really here the funk beginning to
ferment - the same funk that bubbled over soaking everything in its path
during shows like 12/6, 12/7, and 12/13 (Bringin' the Dude!) later that
tour. Certainly the funkiest Gin since the 7/21 VA Beach one earlier that
summer (not including, of course, the Went Gin which doesn't count because
it was from another planet, and the 8/3 Gorge Gin because I haven't heard
it) as this was the first of this Fall tour.

This simmering funk stew then abruptly had the heat cranked up by Trey. It
took Fishman a couple of measures to catch on, but they were instantly
boiling. This was the segue (if you use the term loosely) into Llama. On a
scale of 1 to 10, Llama is typically a solid 5 for me - a good song that I
can't really go nuts over. This was certainly one of the better ones I have
heard, though. With a creative beginning that resulted mostly from what
sounded like an uncertain Trey, this particularly firey version had some
particularly creative solos from Page and Trey. Page's featured some
interesting chord choices toward the beginning of the solo, and the entire
first half was really quite brilliant. Trey's also began strong and unique,
and the final climax was absolutely tremendous. This Llama also had one of
the tightest endings I've ever heard. In between the "taboot, taboot" the
guitar punches were particularly staccato and forceful, and the final note
packed a particularly powerful punch.

I like Dirt. Remember the Halloween '98 Phishbill with the ad for all
natural Organic Vermont Dirt? That was some funny stuff. If you haven't
seen it, let me know and perhaps I can send it to you.

Hope you enjoyed my random interjections.


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