, attached to 1999-12-31

Review by jerryguscia

jerryguscia I used to think this set was, to quote Bug, "overrated". I listened to specific parts and thought,"wow, that's good jamming, but..." and think of better versions. I actually listened to the whole show this morning (from 12-7:20) and ...wow. My review's below, but I must give a word or two. The reason this show is amazing (best ever is still a word I would like to fend off because I think it's all perception, some don't like spacey and ambient) is the fact that there is not one low-point (that I could find) for 7 and a half hours. Phish went up there and kept up greatness for 7 and a half hours. These songs are all GREAT versions and have incredible communication with all 4 seeming possessed by something. Anyways, here it is (from the thread I made):

"Okay, so I'm ready for my review (I'm going to listen to Roses later today):

First off, WOW, what a first set! I loved the Tube, Funky Bitch (which I don't usually enjoy), Roggae (it seemed even more beautiful than usual on this wondrous night), Back on the Train (a little funky, this one), and that dark effect Page added during Guyute (which was certainly no slouch). And that Split! Holy crap, it was shredding, then it settled into one of the most beautiful grooves ever! And I loved how you could tell they were excited during "After Midnight", they were enjoying and you knew what was coming.

Now, The Show (I know why it's billed as such). Disease shreds balls for half the time, then it settles into the jam style of the night: thoughtful, mellow, and patient jamming (with fun for all of the guys). Then the way Llama jumps out is like when the bad guy bursts through the walls during a romance scene in a comic book or something, it was awesome; Trey and Page once again DESTROYED! Then that Gin...that freaking Gin, the vocal/instrumental harmony jam is incredible (with Cactus doing some major awesome here, don't miss him, his voice is killer on this one) and then it settles into perfection in space (it's beautiful). Then...hilarity ensues with the ABC coverage, all that needs to be said is "Cheesecake".

Actually, I keep looking over the setlist and I can't go on, everything was a highlight. The Reba, the YEM, the Sand -> Quadrophonic; all of them are astounding versions of each song with beautiful jamming. It's spacey, ambient, and majestic. It's seriously like someone made a 7-hour "Best of 1999" and this was it. While they felt they were done, I feel that this was just the next big step (from all of '95 to the funk/jam evolution in 96 to the straight destruction of America in 97 to the beautiful ambience in 98 to here); I'm so glad they're back and can't wait to see where they go next.

My personal favorites from The Show: Gin, Twist -> Caspian > Rock and Roll, YEM, Crosseyed, Inlaw, Sand -> Quadrophonic, Slave, Reba, Piper, and 2001. But once again, everything was top-notch."


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