, attached to 1998-08-01

Review by Icculus

Icculus I reviewed this show's Tweezer in 1998 on Rec.Music.Phish, and here is my two cents on it:

From cdirksen@earthlink.net Sat Dec 12 16:21:27 1998
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 04:15:14 GMT
From: cdirksen@earthlink.net
Newsgroups: rec.music.phish
Subject: *8/1/98 Alpine Tweezer*

08/01/98 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI

Sean Orzol and Jason (xynophobe@aol.com), among others, requested that I check this one out. Sick Wilson in this set, fwiw. After Magilla ends, Mike and Fish kick back into Also Sprach for a measure or two, before everyone leaps into Tweezer. Very smooth. Thanks are due to Mark Hutchinson for the tapes!

This version has the same punchy vibe as those from 1997-98 overall. Slower and much more funky than the versions from the first years of Tweezer's evolution. The opening segment, however, is otherwise standard. The jam segment begins around 4:40,

with a deep, rich growl from Mike. Nothing from Trey until just after 5:10, when Page plays and sustains a few notes on what I believe is the moog. The soft rhythmic chords that Trey throws down in this
first minute are practically "Moma Dance" chords, but not quite. A tease? Perhaps. Sounds like it to me. Mike leads the groove with melodious playing for this first min or two of the jam, until around

7 mins, when the groove takes on a wondrous and mystical quality! The jamming in this section is GORGEOUS! The entire band seems to soar in a semi-sweetly psychedelic haze, which builds and climaxes around the 9 min point. It doesn't climax triumphantly and melodically, though. Just gets louder. Trey doesn't begin playing anything mellifluous until around 9:30, and even then, what he plays merely complements the arguably ambient groove that Mike, Page and Fish dish out. He's not showing off (he's not lost in his own world, as he appears to be in the 10/30/98 Vegas Tweezer). This groove is DIVINE around 10:30. Mike, Page and Trey seem to weave complementary melodies and chords in and out of each other to spectacular effect (11 mins).

Around 12 mins the charming, ambient groove cools, and Trey begins noodling around peacefully, as the others gently coast beneath him. He flubs a note at 12:53, which is unusual in Tweezer.. but it doesn't dent this sweet, sensitive version at all. Trey soons begins trilling softly and sweetly and repetitively, over and over again, and overtop some enchanting chords from Page. Mike is repeating the same note in this section (13:45 now) o'er and o'er.. Wow. Hypnotic, ambient jamming. Some of the best I've heard them play all year, for sure. It isn't "typical" at all for Tweezer. An extremely unusual version.

Even around 15:30, the jam is still meandering aimlessly, but not lifelessly. At 16:20, Trey begins playing some off-kilter notes, as if to wake them out of their dreamy state and kick things into something more intense. As a result, though, the groove seems to dissipate and meander anew -- while becoming increasingly psychotic at the same time. Fish begins playing an almost LimbxLimb-like rhythm, only to drop it after a few measures when there wasn't any response from the others. It isn't long before things cool off (again) into a spacey fog, out of which Trey begins playing Fluffhead's intro, around 18:34.

I'm not very fond of the final few minutes of this version, as you may have been able to tell. It sounded like the band wasn't at all clear on where to go or what to do. It's incoherent. But there is definitely some "teary-eyed" jamming in this Tweezer, and it is worth hearing for yourself. This jam segment is also extremely UNIQUE, given what I've heard played in Tweezer in the past. For those who care, I'd give it an 8, primarily given the version's uniqueness in Tweezer history. It is about as far as you can get from "typically dark, evil and Tweezeresque," in other words. The funky flavor of the first 7 or so mins of this Tweezer didn't last very long, as I hope you gathered from the above paragraphs. This version is without question one of the most interesting versions of the last few years, though definitely NOT a "rocker" or a "rager."

If you would like to hear some killer versions of Tweezer from the last few years, I urge you to check out 11/03/96 Gainsville (one of the most excellent 1996 shows), 11/27/96 Seattle, 11/26/97 Hartford, and, of course and especially, 12/6/97 Auburn Hills and 10/30/98 Vegas (!!). If you are interested in amazing, incredible pre-1996 versions of tweezer, check out http://phish.net/reviews/archive/tweezer/ for more info.

two cents


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