From: (Silke Siegert)
Subject: amsterjam reviews (7-2)
Date: 9 Jul 1997 21:09:44 GMT

The next night was the better of the two in my opinion.  'Mike's Song'
opener!!!  When was the last time that happened, eh?  One word to describe
this 'Mike's':  classic.  This was not too long, not to short; it would go
great on a live album.  It segued perfectly into 'Simple.'  This was not
jammed out, but like the ALO version;  I think the Simple jam is gone, and
thats fine by me.  It struck me as repetetive and bland, unlike a jammed
'Wolfman's' or 'Brother.'  'Simple' segued into a rocking (as usual) 'Maze.'
They then stopped and Trey walked over to  Page and I thought I saw him say
Crosseyed (as in Painless, I was holding a sign for it), but it turns out he
said 'Design' (as in Strange).  I actually like hearing this song more than
'Waste,' but maybe thats because they play 'Waste' a little more freqeuntly.
Then came a fun 'Ginseng' and a couple of new songs:  'Vultures' and 'Water
in the Sky.'  I like the latter a lot.  At the end all four bandmembers are
singing together, and thats kinda rare,eh?  The 'Weekapaug' that closed the
set was tremendous.  In part because of the bass solo beginning.  I think =
can safely say it was the longest bass opening ever:  a minute and a half or
more.  Not too creative, just long and loud (Mike has been turned up in the
ix :-)  The rest of the Weekapaug is unmemorable to me.  There was nothing
out of the ordinary to note if I'm recalling correctly.

The second set opened with another jam; could this be another amsterjam?  It
was.  The second set was 3 or 4 songs, depending on if you want to count
'wormtown' as a song.  The jam (type II) segued into 'Stash,' which segued
into another jam, which segued into 'Llama.' Then came a 'wormtown' jam. The
'Stash' was a very good one, in part because of the ensuing jam.
'Jam-Stash-Jam' =3D 30 minutes.  The Llama was fast and fun, but not as fun=
'wormtown.' Fish started chanting after Llama:  do you know where you are,
you're on back of the worm!!!  Nobody (band included) knew what was going
on.  Then came a jam, where eventually Page began teasing I think an old
Steve Miller song:

come on and dance
come on and dance
lets make a little romance
well the night is calling
and the moon is falling
and you gotta get down to swingtown (substitute WORMTOWN here)

This went on for couple of minutes, and then some more jam.  Next was
'Wading in the Velvet Sea' which reminded me of 'Caspian' probably because
of its simplicity.  Only new song I didn't like so much.  Two (separate)
encores.  'Free' then 'Bowie.'  'Bowie' was standard.  'Free' was not.
Ordinary until the jam session, where it strayed far from usual ground, not
necessarily in length, but in direction.  I don#t know how they managed to
get back to 'Free,' but they did.  This version, was long, experimental, and
very BBreathes like.  I really like it.  Well, thats it for now.  I would
highly recommend getting tapes of the show.

dan epstein

Homer J:  no beer and no tv make homer something something...

Marge:  go crazy?

Homer J:  DON'T mind IF i DO!


From: Jon Weber <74111.1427@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Review, Amsterdam 7/2/97
Date: 6 Jul 1997 21:16:19 GMT

Amsterdam, Paradiso

OK, so the second night started out kind of slow...

The opening notes of "Mike's Song" are about the last thing you'd expect to
begin a show -- but I guess we were blessed by our religious surroundings and
the vibe of the amazing town that was hosting us.  This Mike's had crazy energy
for so early in the evening -- we knew for sure that we were in store for
another night of who knows what.

Trey was ripping the laser sounds (serious chorus processing) and the "Mike's"
jam followed suit in a very futuristic fashion -- while still staying relatively
grounded in terms of the groove and the melody of the jam.  Ten minutes in, they
directly launched into "Simple", with the harmonies boucing around the old
church in splendid fashion.  The Simple jam wound down to Trey and Fishman
jamming together subtlely -- with emphatic eye contact between the two as Trey
danced close to Fish's set, facing the newly buzzed (haircut and otherwise?)

The fade-out of the Simple jam led nicely into the fade-in of "Maze".  This Maze
was particularly nice because it found Page switching frequently between all of
his keyboards -- synths, moogs, elec. pianos included.  It seems that the focus
of Maze is usually just organ, then piano -- not that there's anything wrong
with that.  In this version, it was cool to hear the bendy notes that he pulls
out of the moog as well some of the other Casio synth noises he taps out of
those little tiny synths he now has.  Trey's solo was nothing to blink at either
| -- a less busy approach with more sustains and a few blurts of definite Santana
references (not sure which song it is, but it's one of Carlos's phrases that
Trey was playing).

Perhaps as a nod to Page's contribution to a stellar & unique Maze, they then
broke into Page's singing song "Strange Design" -- of course nothing unusual
here. I found it to be a good time to head up near the front of the stage -- an
easy thing to do in such a small little place.   "Ginseng Sullivan" was next
with some nice liquid leads from Trey.

"Vultures" is truly a cool new song, and it was a nice way to slide back into
the experimental phase from earlier in the set.  "Vultures" is absolutely unlike
any other Phish song to date -- very Zappa-esque in terms of the sonic feel, and
a very open-ended jam segment that featured some truly off-beat work from Mike
and Fishman.  On top of the killer music, the lyrics are killer and they come at
you rapid fire style -- like rounds from an AK47. ( I only use that analogy
because one of the finest new strains at the coffeeshops was aptly called the
AK47 (at the award-winning Dampkring)).

Fully expecting a segue into Weekapaug from the killer Vultures groove, they
instead wound the jam down and next stepped up to play the Stones-y country
shuffle "Water in the Sky".  Kind of a catchy ditty that has a nice varying
chorus with pleasing harmonies.  Similar feel to the slow version of "Poor
Heart" of Fall 95.

Finally, they ended the set with a standalone "Weekapaug", with full on jamming
from everyone.  Page was stretching all over the place hammering down different
keys (synth and organ, piano and electric piano, etc.) and Fishman was in a
world of his own, bringing out nuances in the beat that I didn't think were
possible.  On top of it all, Trey and Mike seemed to be feeding off each other,
both melodically and spiritually.  Mike has rarely looked as intense as he did
during the peaking moments of this jam.   As "Weekapaug" ended, it was evident
that it was a perfect conclusion to a cohesive set of both intense jams and nice
sounding songs.

Set 2 no doubt held much promise as we waited at the set break.  They played the
entire "Crooked Rain" album by Pavement at the break (night before was Primus)
and we theorized about Trey backstage partaking of the AK47 and not wanting to
take one of his favorite albums off of the PA.  It was a long set break indeed
(not sure if that's why set 2 was exactly 50 minutes long.....)

Set 2 _was_ short, but it contained no fluff at all -- just pure experimentation
and exploration.   The commenced the set with two or three minutes of space
noises -- it seemed that they were considering "2001" before finally dropping
into "Stash".  The "Stash" jam covered all of the bases -- it was a little
longer than 30 minutes -- ranging from harsh grooves to delicate on-the-spot
melodies to raging improv.  "Stash" did not resolve and conclude -- instead they
faded from an intense space segment directly into the opening blasts of "Llama".
"Llama", too, was not completed -- again, a killer, raging jam that dropped into
a volume-swell of space.  As the space sounds built up, Trey put both his palms
down and signalled to "push it down".  Page gently continued on piano  the chord
progression to Llama, but eventually he gave way to the waves of sound that Mike
and Trey were working on.  Full-on space ensued.

As the hollowness of the space rung out, Page began playing a familiar little
r&b line on the organ -- almost sounding like the intro notes to CTB but to a
different groove -- in single notes.  I did, in fact, think that they were doing
an ultra-spacey segue into Cars Trucks Buses.  Instead, Trey and Mike followed
along on the single-notes that Page was playing, and the groove continued along
in a somewhat tweaked manner.  Trey then stepped up and sang -- tweaked sounding
as well -- "Come on and dance...come on and dance...make some romance...cause
the night is coming and the music's humming and you've got to get down to the
....Worm Town!!".  We realized it was a play on the Steve Miller tune
"Swingtown" and apparently they were continuing the worm theme from the night

Trey promptly launched into a story about getting sucked into the canals and
having to ride along with the giant worms there.  With that, they sunk into a
nice rollicking space worm groove (I don't know any other way to describe
it)...eventually they included the ubiquitous new catch phrase "I think you know
where you're on the back of the worm!!!" --- with call and response
type vocals between Fish ("I think you know where you are") and Trey ("You're on
the back of the worm!!!").

Again, they sunk into volume-swell space and Fishman repeated his line over and
over ("I think you know where you are") as we in the audience contemplated
whether in fact we did.

The space rung out again and this time led into the slow, lilting piano of
"Wading in the Velvet Sea".  Sure this song is a bit repetitive and slow, but it
has some really nice counter-melody singing from Page.  It was certainly,
however, a disappointment that they ended the set on this song.  As I said, the
set clocked in at only 50 minutes.  I was sure that the encore would be
fat...but why not at least make set 2 over an hour?

So the encores were fat.  In fact, the "Free" is one of the best I've heard in a
while, with some nice slow funk emphasis from Mike complemented by unusual
squelches and squaks from Trey (or was that Page?).  A bit over ten minutes, and
they left the stage.

I would have been insulted if they hadn't come out for another
wasn't much of surprise that they obliged.  The "Bowie" here was killer -- Mike
made an early reference to the "Maze" bass line (I know we've all been thrown a
few times by the hi-hat intro similarity between "Maze" and "Bowie") and he got
a burst of laughter from the crowd.  Intimate venues are nice.  The jam in
"Bowie" was killer, but hard to describe in the way that "Bowie" jams seem to
be.  Suffice it to say that it felt like an appropriately experimental way to
end the two-night run.  Also appropriate was Chris K.'s lighting of the stained
glass (lit from the outside in) during the concluding sequence of "Bowie".  I'm
sure the temptation was there to light up the stained glass all the time, but he
did it sparingly over the run (only "Reba" first night and "Free" and "Bowie"
second night) -- the effect was that much greater.

Thank you Phish, for a wonderful time in a wonderful venue in a wonderful town.
And thank you all on the net for the bw -- I hope this has shed some light for
what to expect for Summer here in the States.  We're loving it!

back in Sunny San Francisco

Kevin Shewan 
Paradiso - Amsterdam 2nd July 1997 

When I woke up the next morning I managed to sort out the bed I was meant
to be in that night and put my bag into it's locker. I wandered out for
breakfast at Garry's muffins (if you are ever in Amsterdam check it out -
it's "sex on a plate") and then meandered around for a while. I went back
to the hotel around midday to collect some money I left in my bag and at
this time I met a Scottish girl who was in the same room as me. On leaving
the hotel I bumped into Bill who it turned out was staying there too. We
arranged to meet back at the hotel at 6pm and go to the show

I spent most of the day sitting drinking beer outside the Bulldog Palace
on the Liedersplien and at about 5 pm I set off to return to the hotel to
meet Bill. I managed to get 100 yards up the road and the heavens opened!
I beat a hasty retreat back to the Bulldog for more beer. Incidentally
this meant that it had rained before every Phish show I saw on this
"Summer" tour!

Once again the venue opened about 8 pm and this time I actually remembered
to buy that T-shirt that I'd been after since the first show. I met up
with Bill and we waited for the second night to start.

This was my eighth Phish show and 7th this year but in the first set they
managed to play only two songs that I had seen them play before and one of
them was a new song. The band came on at around 9.30 again and opened with
Mike's song and then out of the jam at the end they launched in Simple.
During Simple I saw Trey signal to Mike and point at the drums. I thought
that maybe he wanted to play the drums, maybe because his own little kit
wasn't there and he was suffering withdrawal symptoms but in the end he
and Fishman ended up trading licks with each other while Mike and Page
looked on.  Simple became Maze which featured Page on almost every
keyboard he had and then the band played Strange design with Page singing
and then Ginseng Sullivan.

Two new songs followed Vultures and Water in the sky before the first set
finished up with Weekapaug. The first set had been shorter than the
previous night only an hour but it had so much crammed into it especially
for me.

The break between sets was nearly an hour tonight but just after 11.30 the
band returned and set off straight into a jam which for the second time
that night sounded like it was going to become 2001 but instead it headed
off into Stash. Stash didn't finish but instead segued into Llama - see my
theory about some venues inspiring certain songs.  Llama then set off into
a space jam that eventually became "Wormtown" a neat improvised play on
Steve Miller's Swingtown which picked up on Trey's recurring theme of
worms that had run through both nights. Trey then told a little story - a
cautionary tale about not going into the green urinals beside the canals
because you would get sucked down into the canals and have to ride on the
back of the worms all night. He ended by saying "I know it happened to me
last night". The space jam continued and turned into the new Waiting in
the velvet sea.  This finished what was a very short set - only 50 minutes
and I thought I was in for my first sub 2 hour show. 

The band returned to the stage to do an extended version of Free (another
first for me) and this took the show to about the same length as the RAH
show. After Free the band left the stage but the audience were going wild
and so after a few minutes the band came back for a second encore and gave
us a 15 plus minute version of Bowie which took the length of the show to
nearly 2 and a half hours. We all staggered off into the night after
nearly 5 and a half hours of Phish over the two nights.

As I was climbing the 3 flights of stairs again I suddenly remembered that
I hadn't made my bed again and thought I was going to have to do it in the
dark again.  When I reached the room I opened the door and found all the
lights still on (It was about 1.30 - 1.45 by this time). Just inside the
door was the Scottish girl I had met that afternoon and her friend with,
well a towel wrapped around her and a big brown cardigan. It was soon
obvious that they were getting ready to go out. 

They asked me how I'd enjoyed the concert and I mumbled that it had been
good - the powers of speech were starting to desert me by that time. I
proceeded to start making my bed and while I had my back to them I heard
the scottish girl say

"Michelle, I don't know how you can wear a dress that short without any
knickers on." 

Well natural curiosity and a sense of duty to report to you dear reader
lead me to investigate and I can safely report that yes the dress was
short and no she wasn't wearing any knickers. I think the real problem
however was the slits that went from the hem to the waist at the front and
left little to the imagination. 

Up until this point I had assumed that there were only the three of us in
the room and then I heard an Australian voice from one of the bunks.

"Can we turn the lights off now please" 

This of course got up the noses of the two girls who fussed and fussed as
long as possible just to annoy him. Eventually about 2 am they went out.
Just before they left the guy from Oz knocked his rucksack off the top of
his locker and has to repack it all. Eventually about 2.15 the lights went

Ah Sleep..... 

At 3.30 they came back and switched all the lights on again! 

                                The next day

The two girls slept through every attempt we made to wake them up the next
morning and I got stopped by Customs on my return to the UK. I am that

"Are you aware that it is illegal to bring drugs into the country sir?" 
"Did you take any drugs while you were over in Amsterdam?" 
"That's rather a leading question isn't it!" 

So that was it my second Phish tour in four months I really enjoyed it and
can't wait for the next one!