, attached to 1997-06-16

Review by ucpete

ucpete Third show of the European stretch of Summer '97 and we're in a historic venue -- The Beatles played here multiple times in the '60s, and one of my favorite Jimi shows was played here as well (2/24/69). Would Phish pay homage? Would they play ADiTL? Did they figure out how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall? The short answer is no, they did not.

This show is the epitome of the rapid metamorphosis of the band's sound. On the European Winter Tour in 1997 they started going deep on a lot of their repertoire, but they hadn't yet introduced the Story of the Ghost material -- by Fall, they were going deep on *everything* including the new stuff. But on the Europe Summer Tour, it was sort of a mix of the depth on the old stuff and, at least in these first few shows, a palpable tentativeness on the newer material. Tonight's show they played Dogs Stole Things for the third straight show, and were clearly trying to do some battle testing on these new songs by straight repetition. The reason this show doesn't get much hype is because they didn't take anything too deep, new or old. That being said, Taste is typically great (by '97 they were *killing* Taste -- check out the lightning storm version from 7/22, the awesome Gorge version from 8/3, or the 12/30 version that Trey just *shreds* -- there are many other great renderings in Summer and Fall as well though!). The first set highlight is probably the Wolfman's -- damn this tune really blossomed in 1997. Ghost goes a little deeper than in its debut, and again segues into another debut. The Reba is a real blue-baller -- just when it seems like they're about to break into a full on Reba funk jam (?!), Fishman mashes the toms signaling the end -- too soon! After Reba they pull the double slow song -- *hate that* -- even though I like Dirt just fine. Velvet Sea is a tough one for me. I think it's beautiful but I can't not think about Coventry every time I hear it. It's a sad song now... Anyway, it's always good about Hood, and a short Cities ("Think of London! Small city!" -- reminds me of my best in-attendance Cities experience: the 8/6/10 "Home of Elvis / and the / Ancient *Greeks*!") and Poor Heart encore brings us home. I was hoping for something more special given this special venue, but I guess it was not to be. In fact, the beginning of this tour starts a little slowly, and then they have a couple festival sets, but then... comes... Amsterdam! More on that when I get back there in my listening adventures.

N.B. These AUDs are great so far!


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