From Sat Sep 12 23:35:43 1998
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 02:36:06 -0500
Subject: 6/24/95 Bowie **Review**

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6/24/95 Mann Music Center- Philadelphia, PA.

SET II: 2001-> Halley^s> BOWIE, Lifeboy, Suzie, Harry, Acoustic Army, Golgi

Encore: Bold as Love

The tape I listened to for this review was a decent sounding daud/2.

After some droning spaciness leftover from the end of Halley^s Comet the
signature hi-hat rhythm from Fishman gets the festivities underway^

0:00 HI-HAT- This HHS features the usual characteristics of countless
others, with the standard swirling noise from Trey, sporadic bass noodlings
from Mike, ominous piano from Page, and of course the driving hi-hat from
Fishman. Pretty spacey, pretty standard.

1:59 COMPOSED SEGMENT- A slightly haphazard segue from the HHS leads to this
fairly standard segment. It is played at a normal pace, with little or no
effects on the vocals. Fishman slightly alters a couple of his standard
fills, but otherwise nothing really notable is heard.

5:23 THE JAM- Right at the start, this JAM establishes itself as something a
little different than the standard Bowie fare. It is faster than normal and
Trey starts with some rather heavy wah-wah guitar. This jamming sounds a lot
more like the summer 97 through 98 funk style jamming then the experimental
summer 95 style. By 6:30 a cool little riff/groove starts from Trey and is
accompanied beautifully by Page through the use of his Funk Machine. This
riff continues to groove along in a funky style to about the 7:45 point. The
only thing that truly separates this from the their current funk jam style
is the prominence of Mike^s bass. He seems to sound distant and slightly
muffled, however this could be a flaw in the venue sound or my tape, I don^t
know. At 7:50 Trey opts for a new jamming style and directs the jam into a
more arena rock style. He happily plays some guitar chords that could easily
be mistaken for a number of Foreigner songs. So far this Bowie is severely
going against its traditional jam style and resembles a YEM jam more. While
Trey continues riffing, Mike seems to be laying down a undercurrent of
darkness and dissonance. Page is still on the same wavelength as Trey, when
he pulls out the Funk Machine again at the 9:45 point. Around 10:06 is when
this Bowie takes a huge turn when Trey and Mike introduce an elusive
descending riff. This slippery riff is extremely mysterious and cleverly
crafted. It serves as a compelling little musical thread the will weave
together a good portion of the rest of this JAM segment. At first this
little melody starts of as a slightly minor sounding musical segment,
however, Mike and Trey go back and forth with this melody and continue to
expand on it. Many Bowies feature plentiful, elusive themes and melodies,
but this is on the best ones I have ever heard. This riff gets more and more
maddening, and at the 12:00 minute point, I had conjured the classic
nightmarish image of not be able to run away or escape from something in a
dream. My legs wouldn^t move or would be bogged down in quicksand or the
floor or stairs would be moving against my movements forever impeding my
escape until my consciousness saved me. Trey ups the ante in this madness by
adding the warbling Leslie effect at 13:09. The riff will disappear for
short spurts but always reappears hauntingly during this segment. At 13:40
things clear up a little and slow down somewhat. Trey starts playing some
slow, warbled arpeggios as Phish pulls this musical train into UMMAGUMMA
station. At 14:53 Page powers up his Space Machine as the band creates a
musical landscape very similar to the way Pink Floyd sculpted them during
the late 60^s and early 70^s. This part of the JAM is the peak! You have now
reached your destination on Neptune. The jam is dark and quiet, with no
drums, as a foreboding, muffled riff develops as the drums start to slowly
enter again at the 16:06 point. A crazy Pink Floyd-ish riff is then
constructed and slowly gets faster and faster and a regular rhythm is
established at 17:10. By the 18:00 minute mark this jam has taken a drastic
change for the worse, gone is the mysterious majesty created minutes
earlier, enter a fast riff that has Trey emitting a nasty sounding distorted
effect. Things are full speed ahead at 19:30 as the ugly sounding riff
gallops and tramples around madly like a Metallica song. The jam now seems
to be lost, there is no focus or purpose anymore, just rambling noise.
Thankfully this quickly slips into a familiar Bowie-esque jam and the outro
progression is first hinted by 21:40. Fishman gets really aggressive
providing some powerful fills as the trill segment quickly approaches.

23:20 THE TRILL- There is actually a pass at the Trill at 22:45 but it
formally begins at this point. This segment is rather sloppy and over the
top as Fishman goes nuts and starts playing a double- bass sounding rhythm
which sounds hilarious, however, disrespectful of the great JAM that had
seemed to be thrown away. There is also some frenzied on-stage screaming,
seeming to be coming from Fishman, again entertaining, if this didn^t come
after the destruction of a really cool Bowie JAM segment. Overall the Trill
Segment is sloppy and a disappointing end to this Bowie.


SUMMARY: All in all, this above average version is severely maligned by the
harsh, boring last third of the JAM segment, the first fifteen minutes of
the JAM that precede it are truly powerful, with the funky beginning and the
more mysterious middle part. The slippery, descending theme that reoccurs
sporadically during the jam is one of the best that I have ever heard in a
Bowie. The jam after the Pink Floyd style musical interlude deteriorates
quickly into a senseless and musically uninspiring jam that sucks away the
true splendor of the middle jam. Still this jam should be heard, at least
until the 17:00 min. point.