Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 23:55:52 EST
Subject: 97fun
Greetings Dan,
Wanted to write in a review from a past Phish show, being 7-29-97.
 Lets start by saying how nice it is to see such a wonderful band of such
cosmic ability perform their magic in the distant regions of the U.S.  In a
land filled with untouched ancient rhythmic energies that overwelm one's
soul exploding in cosmic fury in the form of electrifying light via lightning.
With a touch of smooth L to entice the phlow to emerge from within the
soul of the land.  The band came out fresh from two days break with a
soothing Theme that swept us away well within the phlow, with us feeling
so good to be back with the boys.  Into the Beauty of My Dreams, mmmm.
  The Gumbo touched the moment, the energy awakened and the gooo was phlowing,
when dirt emerged the magic was upon the pavilion and the boys knew this was
to be a beautiful show.  A wonderous Dirt kept the glistening smoothness
phlowing which made us all Sparkle, :-).  Ghost is an incredible new song,
which totally Swept us Away, as if we were floating down the Salt River Tubin
the whole way.  I took just one drink, ohh what an incredible buzzzzz.  The
first set is just pure bliss.
  Set two, "The Awakening".  The energy abounding within the air the band has
summoned its prescence, and its prescence has summoned the band itself to
emerge on stage, if you'll don't believe this you'll go on like Oblivious
Fools.  Intense lightning exploding all around, it is so beautiful to be in
tune with the moment when such an occasion occurs.  This is why we'll go and
see Phish, in hopes of being apart of such universal oneness.  The tinglings
of Antelope purr upon the stage, dancing and prancing with its
  Connecting with the electricity of the lightning this Antelope soars into
the heart of the thunderstorms heartbeat, soaring, and soaring beautifully
enwrapping us with Phish's goo and the sky and the power, for we are in Desert
  Feeling as if it were an orgasmic connection within it all, into Velvet Sea.  
With Velvet Sea feeling so, so smooth as if it really were the after moments
of an orgasmic moment, calm and soothing.  The wind of the storm begining to
sweep into and across the pavilion it just shouldn't Twist Around that way,
but it feels so, so smooth purring and purring, softly.  I can understand some
peoples feelings that this show was mellow, in a way it is, but also so
powerfully blissfull.
  A feeling of how it feels when one is enlighteningly touched, especially by
  Sample emerged after Twist, it was like the moment when you emerge from an
inner trip, and notice that you' ve floated back into yourself.  A phan
appeared on stage, in a way in was like seeing a huge lightning bolt, it
sparked the band and audience up a bit, jumping the energy into Rocky Top.  
Sensing a fadingness the band goes into Squirming Coil, nice, especially when
entering the pavilion at the gates a group of us were mesmerized for some
brief moments watching a glowing orangessh red sunset dip into the
mountainside, mmmmm.  Page was absolutely beautiful with his solo at the end,
enwrapping the entire evening with all its wonderousness and orgasmic goo,
touching the moment with an acknowledging solo oh so pure and oh so true.  
Possum pumped up a funky rhtymic feeling, enticecing everyone to indulge to
the wonderous goo created this magical evening.
Thank You Phish, We Love You!
Pssst. After the show, lightning was exploding all around, seemingly ten feet
away, it would literally make you jump.  I would say this show is a hidden gem
amongst the summer tour of 97 and would advise anyone how loves Phish to enjoy
its incredible magic and tape or CD sometime. Peace and Love! Ohh, by the way
I met the Beauty of my Dreams at this show, she's so, so, cool!  :-)

From: Jason E Barker Subject: Phoenix Mini-review Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 13:27:21 -0700 hmmmmm. This was an odd show. The foremost word in my mind is *mellow*. I have simply never been to, or listened to, a more low key Phish show. There were definately some good moments, but I think this is one that may turn out to be more interesting on tape than it was live. Briefly: !*Disclaimer*! I am often a horrible judge of jams until I have heard them on tape - so I reserve the right to completely and utterly change my mind in the future on any and all opinions stated below :) Set 1: Theme: Surprisingly well played for an opener - but nothing outstanding. Beauty of My Dreams: I really like this song. Hopefully with this addition of another bluegrass song we will be hearing less of Poor Heart ;) Gumbo: I'm not up on my Gumbo history, but this could be the longest Gumbo ever - 12 minutes at least. Very laid back jam. As other people has mentioned, Trey and company have definately caught the funk! Dirt: I like this new tune as well. Very short, nice melody. Sparkle: Was sparkle. Ghost: This is a great song - whoever mentioned the Talking Heads influence on the new material is right on the money. 20 minutes maybe. Very slow deliberate jam that didn't really go anywhere, with a nice almost composed sounding ending. I see a good future in store for this song. Steep > Swept Away: This sounds a lot better live than it used to. Loving Cup: My first in 3 years!! - and my favorite cover bar none. This was in fact the high point of the show for me. One of the few times that the whole place was on its feet. Overall, a very short set - I doubt it even clocked in at a full hour. The Gumbo and the Ghost may turn out great on tape, but this set never really managed to get any *energy* going - with the exception of Loving Cup. I figured we were in for a monster of a second set.........but... Set II Oblivious Fool: A nice catchy song, nothing special though. Antelope: finally!! They again did the mellow, funky thing for some time in the middle, but then this one built and built. Not especially tight, but a satisfying antelope. I'm curious to hear this on tape. Velvet Sea: This song's alright, but it went on for FAR too long. Some nice harmonies to begin with, but then it became 6 minutes of a rather dull Trey solo over endless repeats of "I'm a waiting in the Velvet sea..." Twist Around: This one was easily over 12 minutes as well - and ended up MILES away from the original structure of the song. The jam started out good, completely fell apart in the middle (with trey even giving the 'cut' sign across his neck), but then picked up again nicely at the end. However, this was yet another slow, deliberate jam that didn't really attempt to go anywhere. Taste: Well, believe it or not, Taste was *yet again* accompanied by a lightning storm!! Really nice piano work by Page, and Trey's soloing at the end definately has been reworked. It was good, but I still long for the early days of Taste when Trey played a more melodic, Theme-like jam at the end. This could really start to go places though. Sample: Now, I am NOT a sample hater - The guitar riff is just too intoxicating for me not to enjoy it. But here it was very disappointing. With all the mellowness, I kept waiting for them to really pull something out of their hats - this wasn't it. Rocky Top: Standard. Great Fun though. Coil: Now, I love coil - and I especially love Page's outro - but here my first thought was, "uggh, more mellowness" Encore: Possum. Pretty unassuming. Not bad - but was played pretty laid back and lacked the *edge* of a really good possum. Well, that's it. This was not a bad show, but for me at least, they just never got any energy going - I would have enjoyed the long layed back ghost jam much more if it was preceded, or followed by something with a lot more umphh. Also, only 5 of 16 songs predated Hoist (and one of those 5 was Sparkle) - nothing wrong with the new stuff, but I would have liked a bit more variety. Oh and for anyone who's keeping track, Fishman was still dressed in the business attire. He had a coat rack by his drumset where he hung his coat upon coming out on stage. The funny thing was, even when they came back for the encore, he *again* brought his coat out with him and neatly hung it on the rack. My guess is that he lost a bet somewhere :) I think the Gumbo, Ghost and Antelope may be keepers, but overall I must say that this is the first show I've ever been to that left me somewhat unfulfilled at the end. It was somehow missing that edge. But hey, 24 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie is still a hell of a record! The new songs do have a lot of potential though - I'm more excited than ever for the Went. enjoy. | -j p.s. muchos thanks to the guy whose webpage has samples of all the new songs. Had it not been for that page, I wouldn't have recognized almost a full half of this show. Thanks again! -------------------------------------------------------------- From: Rob Winkler Sent: Friday, August 15, 1997 9:56 AM Subject: Phoenix & Gorge Reviews Just got back to Tucson from a 2 week road trip which started with Phish shows (Phoenix and both Gorge shows) and ended with a fun camping trip among the mountains and beaches of Washington, Oregon and California. After having read through all my Rosemary's Digests (thanks Rosemary!) and the many reviews of the Gorge, I felt the need to throw in just a few more insights. I'll mostly cover Phoenix, actually, since I was really dismayed by the lack of almost any posts regarding this excellent show. I mean, the Gorge shows were good, but not that good. I'll try to keep the Gorge section pretty short, since Chris, Darius, Charlie and others have all covered it pretty thoroughly. PHOENIX I only saw one review of this show, posted by Jason Barker. Jason's opinion of this show was that it was really "mellow". I quote, "I have never been to, or listened to, a more low key Phish show." Well Jason, I really hope that a listen to tapes of this show will change your mind. Unless maybe I was mistaken, I thought this show was really good. Especially the second set. Not in the top 5 best shows of the 24 I've seen now, but it was definitely better than either of the Gorge shows I saw. I know, that's not really saying much. Perhaps it was the awesome 5th row center seats I had (thanks Greg, you da man!). Then again, I sat (stood, really) within what would have been 10 rows from the stage at the Gorge, and the sound was absolutely perfect all three nights (including Phoenix). Outstanding mix, with Mike featured prominently. Whatever it was, mellow was definitely not what I was thinking when all was said and done. Of all the songs that were played at both Phoenix and the Gorge, all were better played in Phoenix, with the exception of *maybe* Wading in the Velvet Sea. Also, I had not heard *any* of the new summer songs, live or on tape. THE SCENE Can't comment, since we got to the lot at 7:15pm and headed directly to our seats. After the show we left immediately so as to make Portland Oregon by the following evening. Wanted to catch at least one Furthur Festival this summer, and this one was my only chance. Definitely worth it, though too bad we missed what looks on paper to be outstanding Cali shows. Oh well. THE VENUE Desert Sky is just another shed. From my fifth row center covered pavillion seat, everything was just groovy. PRE-SHOW TUNES Primus - Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Love it. Had just seen Primus in the same venue 10 days before, on HORDE, so this was a little nostalgic. Whoever thought Primus might show up at the Gorge should have taken a look at their tour schedule. Obviously not gonna happen. THE SET LIST, again, for your reference: I: Theme, Beauty, Gumbo, Dirt, Sparkle, Ghost, Swept Away>Steep>Loving Cup II: Oblivious Fool, Antelope, Velvet Sea, Twist Around>Taste, Sample, Rocky Top, Coil E: Possum SET I THEME: Seems to be getting more powerful everytime I hear it. No real exploration, but very solid, with a great solo from Trey. BEAUTY: Nice. Love it. GUMBO: Holy smokes! Easily the longest Gumbo I've ever imagined. They've taken Da Funk approach from Wolfman's and applied it to Gumbo. The jam at the end just kept going and going, til finally coming to a stop without any sort of real ending. This was really fun. DIRT: I guess I just don't get it. Lots of people seem to like this song, but it's my least favorite of all the new songs. Easily. Reminds me of Billy Breathes a little - practically the same tempo. I'll take Billy any day though. This song is almost depressing, and there is absolutely no solo. I can just see the same people who bounce with glee during Bouncin' holding lighters high in the air during this one. SPARKLE: I love this song, no matter how often they play it, no matter how many of y'all hate it. Flame away, if you like. GHOST: Really nice. Very accessible lyrics, way funky jam. Nothing about the jam sounded composed to these ears. Type II funk, if you will. I enjoyed this one much more than the one I heard a few days later at the Gorge. It's all about Da Funk! (from the Funky Muppets shirts my friends are selling on this tour). SWEPT AWAY>STEEP: This seems to transport me to another world. Very beautiful, very tight.> LOVING CUP: Wow!! This was extremely powerful. I've loved this song for years, but finally caught my first live Phish version (not including tape versions I've heard). Again, much better than the Gorge version. What a beautiful buzz indeed! SET II OBLIVIOUS FOOL: Really cool little tune, kind of has gospel/motown swing to it, not unlike the chorus and jam part of Julius. Didn't jam, but I imagine it could in the future. Definitely upbeat and fun. ANTELOPE: Oh my gawd. I was practically a puddle on the floor after this ferocious monster subsided. Antelope often has a way of doing this to me, but Fishman really seemed to take this one over the top up around 4th gear (or maybe it was 5th or 6th - I just couldn't believe they could keep taking it higher!) Whoever made the comment that his playing has improved is right on, I think. I always thought he was great, but wow! This antelope went from first gear down into a slow funk section (what a surprise! ;^) ), then shifted flawlessly back into first gear again - perfect transition! The rest was pure controlled mayhem, just the way a great antelope should be. And this one was pretty darned great. VELVET SEA: Perfect choice after the Antelope! I remained a puddle on the floor, basking, my brain slowly turning into a pile of mush. This song is like candy, or as Memi from Cottonwood suggested, marshmallow cream. So, again contrary to popular opinion, I really like this song. I think more people might like it if Fish and Mike didn't keep repeating the "I'll be Waiting in the Velvet Sea" line. To me though, it was just part of the atmosphere they were creating, and it took me to a beautiful trance-like state while Trey solo'd gloriously over the hypnotic chorus. Yes, that was solo'd gloriously. Unlike Dirt, where Trey just repeats a slow grandiose sounding refrain a few times. Also the verse (there's only one) is stunningly beautiful, with the first few lines sung by Page alone before Trey joins him for some beautiful harmonies. TWIST AROUND: Interesting. I was briefly fooled into thinking this was Guyute (d'oh!). I really liked this song, much better than when I heard it the second time at the Gorge, probably because the jam in this one was much more interesting. Musically, it's got a very minimalistic, bare-bones feel to the verses, and the chorus is really jumpy with round-robin singing, kinda like the end of Maze. The jam was really long, and went to some radically different kinds of places. Early in the jam, I swear they were playing Trey's solo from YEM. It sounded exactly like we were in the middle of a standard YEM. This didn't last long, though, before going into some funkier jamming, then dissonant, then finally into some dreamy slow meandering. Major tease of something familiar in this part - Chariots of Fire maybe? This finally segued into TASTE: Holy bazookas!! Pure *golden hose* for a good two minutes near the end! Yes, even better than the outstanding Gorge Taste played 5 days later. This one seemed to hover on the edge of golden hose for several minutes, with Trey digging deeper and deeper, and the jam just boiling over with tension, before finally a *huge* release into *****HOSE****. Wow!!! I looked around me at the end and saw people's eyes just bulging with sheer awe. BTW, seems Trey's made the part that sounds like a Norwegian Wood tease a standard theme in the early part of this jam, as it was played almost identically at Phoenix and the Gorge. SAMPLE: Solid. Not my favorite by any stretch, but it was obvious Trey loves it. Especially the way he was jumping around. At one point near the end, he turned his back and started shaking his booty at us, grooving hard to the beat, as if he wished he were in the audience dancing with us. Methinks he was hearing Da Funk, even though he was playing Sample. No deviation during the solo at all, btw. Very short, straight to the point. I was hoping they weren't going to end the set with it. ROCKY TOP: Okay, I was convinced they might try to end the set with this one also. Always fun, and I agree with whoever made the comment that Trey's bluegrass picking is improving these days. SQUIRMING COIL: Finally, I was sure this would end the set, and much happier than I would've been if they'd have ended after Sample or Rocky Top. I like hearing this as a set closer. Page strayed pretty far from the Coil theme during his solo at the end. ENCORE - POSSUM: I knew we'd get an upbeat encore after the coil, and this was a nice choice. By no means an exceptional Possum, with no teases that I heard, and no screaming raging climax in the jam, but lots of fun anyway. After the show, my friend Jon comes up to me, eyes dazed. Not from any psychadelics, btw. He's kind of an old-timer, had heard Phish tapes but never seen a Phish show before, and says to me: "That was the best concert I've ever seen, bar none! I've seen hundreds of Dead shows since 72, Allmans, you name it. But nothing like that! That was just incredible!" Well, I personally wouldn't go that far, but indeed everybody I talked to thought the show was pretty rockin'. Just another night on tour with the best band in the world, I s'pose. Okay, this is getting pretty long, so I'll try to keep the Gorge section really short. In summary, the weekend was more about being at the Gorge with Phish for the whole weekend than about hearing over-the-top shows, really. Nothing in either show sucked. The scene was generally cool (with one exception on Friday night, about which I'll probably be compelled to write another completely separate post). And the venue - just beautiful. I had no hassles from security entering the show either night, no problem bringing in a glass pipe and plenty of nugs with which to fill it. I think the key was to go in early, which we did to get nice spots very close to the stage. I love to be able to watch them interact with each other. As a side note, one of the nice things about my having skipped the Cali shows to go to Portland was that we were able to arrive at the Gorge on Friday afternoon. Very relaxing, and no hassles at all on Saturday. Got a nice shower when I got there too. No line! Peace & brownies rob --------------------------------------------------------------