, attached to 2004-08-13

Review by NigelTufnel

NigelTufnel Get this soundcheck (it exists is SBD quality) and listen to "Check 1", which is titled "Jam" above. It is my all-time favorite half hour of Phish (narrowly edging out the first 30 minutes of the IT Soundcheck), and is the most expressive and creative jam they ever played, in my humble opinion. I touch upon it some in my review for 8-12-04, but I will rehash here: The band is able to capture their feelings in such a way that it almost defies the improvisational realm - no way could they have been able to express themselves as deeply and clearly all in one take. But perhaps that is the charm of 2004. When they connected, it was definitive material. When they missed, on the other hand...look out. This 30-plus minute masterpiece begins in a rather jazzy and upbeat fashion, with the band kickin' it until Trey joins around 5 minutes in. The rest is a roller coaster of emotion that is perfectly paced and perfectly fluid - so fluid in fact that the movements bleed together in a dreamlike manner. What you hear is the band saying goodbye. It's heart-wrenching and melancholy as Hell...but it's REAL. They laugh, jossle and joke with their instruments, they get dark, they build and build until they BURST into tears, crying with their instruments. And in the end, they reminicsce, looking out into the Vermont sunset, as Mike wistfully says: "Sometimes...sometimes..."

They cried with their instruments. It was the end. And they captured it like lightning in a bottle. Hear this jam.


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