, attached to 1997-07-02

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This review references the Amsterdam archival release. Nederlander phans who'd seen the previous night's show probably knew to expect something similarly astounding on this night, and as they usually do, Phish delivered in spades. Mike's opens, and to me is a pretty standard, average-great version, though it would probably be lauded more highly if played this year (2016.) Simple follows the closing crescendo of Mike's, and displays Trey leaning back from the leadership role, at least musically, which would become very important from this time forward and arguably began closer to Fall '95. A tight Maze follows after a segue from Simple including a key change. Maze doesn't go Type II (has it ever) but it doesn't really have to, particularly in this show. I love Strange Design, and until recently believed that Page wrote it (a more knowledgeable phan politely corrected me.) I've got to wonder how Ginseng Sullivan went over in Amsterdam, but it sounds like the crowd enjoys it. Vultures is new at this point in Phishtory, and is recited admirably, with some enthusiastic drumming by our little Tubbs. The non-arpeggiated version of Water in the Sky is next. I'm glad we got to hear it this slow, countryesque way again here in 3.0. Finally, the first set closes with Weekapaug, which features ripping leads by Trey before morphing into a full-band funkfest.

OK, the Stash to open the second set is serious business. There's a jam into Stash, a Type I Stash jam, a happy, melodic Type II jam, a quiet, tinkly near-conclusion, and then a feedbackathon that somehow lands in Llama. Llama is played at a somewhat slower tempo--not as slow as the legendary 8/14/15 Raleigh Llama, but slower--and segues into the "Wormtown Jam." Eerie soundscapes, Worm banter, and a Steve Miller Band interpolation, who'da thunk it! The Wading that follows features a well, loopy, loop from Trey that goes through the majority of the version. It's poignant and well-appreciated in its placement in the set. Two encores in this show: a Free replete with breakdowns in the middle, and a Bowie for the ages, and I'm not just saying that because Bowie is my second-favorite Phish song of all times ;)

I've rated this show 5 stars, because of all the noteworthy jams but also for the sheer exuberance on display, particularly in the Wormier segments of the show. Must-listen quality Phish.


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