, attached to 1999-09-22

Review by n00b100

n00b100 First of all, I love that Phish played in such an out of the way venue; sure, they didn't sell it out (or even come close, according to the other reviews), but I like that they'll a) head to venues like this or Chula Vista or West Valley City, Utah and b) reward those that do show up with kickass shows. You Snooze, You Lose, indeed.

Set 1 immediately gets on my good side with a sweet 2001; Trey cranks out some nastiness in the first half, and lays back in the 2nd half so Mike can play some burbling notes. The band then knocks out a few "song" songs, all well-played to be sure, before we get to the next big highlight - a Gin that carefully makes its way into a "Classic Gin" upbeat jam that doesn't quite reach the hallowed heights of 7/29/98 or the Went but still features some joyfully sweet Trey soloing and is worth the listen for those that enjoy "bliss" jamming. I also like the Sand in this set; the band hadn't quite developed the lockstep groove of even three months later, so the jam is a bit looser and therefore more interesting to my ears, kind of like what they did with Antelope in the late 90s. So that's a thumbs-up first set right there.

Set 2 starts with Jibboo, and I'm tempted to give away the points earned by the 2001, but this version at least has some spaciness to it that helps me like it a little more than usual. But then in comes Ghost to redeem things, and halfway through the jam starts heading towards slightly darker waters, Trey really making his guitar walk and talk, the groove sharp and muscular (Mike really makes his presence felt as well), until things slow down and things get ambient and spooky. Such a delicate coda makes for a natural lead-in for Taste, and this Taste is not spectacular but features some nice band interplay. Brian and Robert serves as a breather, then comes Mike's Song, and it brings some funky guitar licks (with loops fluttering around in the background) and Page's added color on the organ as the groove stays more mellow than angry (see: 7/17/98). You will want to dance to this Mike's, believe me. Mike's leads into Simple (kinda odd it's not a ->, as it sounds a lot like every other Mike's/Simple transition ever), which is standard but leads to a pretty ending as it so often does. Train Song is next, then Weekapaug, which teases *something* early on (Trey does, I'm sure of it, but I can't tell) and is perfectly fine (the jamming chart's analysis seems a bit harsh), maybe not as massive as one would like but still full of nifty guitar playing. It's a fine way to close a pretty strong set, and La Grange is one encore song I have yet to tire of hearing (probably because it's so relatively rare).

Shows like this are why I think Fall '99 is better than December '99 - there's spaciness and thick grooves and moments of hushed beauty like the December shows, but greater consistency (at least in terms of sets, if not full shows) all around. Along with 9/14 and 9/18, this is the third part of Fall '99's Holy Trinity. Big thumbs up.


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