10-31-98 Wolfmans Bro Review

Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 16:03:44 EST From: Jsemmler@aol.com To: dws@archive.phish.net, phish@phish.net Subject: 10-31-98 Wolfman's Brother My DAT of this show (Neumann KM184's > D8) is exceptionally crispy thanks to the generosity of Mr. Aaron Smith. Are we making the trip back to Sandstone this summer or what Aaron? :o) 10-31-98 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, Nevada III: Wolfman's Brother > Piper > Ghost Wolfman's opens the final set after a rowdy musical costume of the Velvet Underground's "Loaded". It's my best guess the set began around or just before midnight Vegas time. As memory serves me the stage remained very dark and unlit as the band comes out to a rousing approval from the crowd. As Trey approaches the microphone it looks like he has painted his face until he appears under the light to reveal a catlike plastic mask with no mouth. He threw off the mask somewhere during the first ten minutes off the song. 0:00 Page starts things off with the signature piano intro, around 1:24 the telephone was ringing and the lyrics and accompanying music were pretty standard. At 4:03 the lyrics are finished and Trey begins typical Type I noodling still in the main chord progression. Mike is very evident as usual in cementing the bass in the beginning foundation of the jam. Fishman imputs a heavier beat around 5:35 as Trey noodles more and more away from the main structure of the song. By 6:48 Page takes over the focus of the jam with some very trippy organ playing as Trey slows his riff to an absolute minimum. Mike continues laying the bass track for the Type II improvisation they're about to head off into. Page continues building the trippiness as Mike's heavy bass slowly fades into the background of the music. Fishman is much more active on the cymbals as Trey unfolds back into the mix around 8:35 with a faint approval from the crowd as the groove of the music takes a turn for the unusual side. The organ and drums are the only thing left around 9:45 as the crowd pacifies into a silent hush. Page and Trey are mixing a semi-loop jam together around 10:40 as Mike consistently focuses on the same bass track he's been thumping for the last few minutes. The loop takes us into a spacey free form industrial type jam unlike anything they've played as the crowd is completely nonexistent as to how to react to this type of music. At 12:20 Fishman picks up the consistency of his cymbal and becomes more of a focus in the jam. By 13 minutes the loop slowly disintegrates into a slow creepy pace until the crowd roars to life with an intense glowstick war. By 13:45 the crowd roars again as the war intensifies at which time Trey scraps the original delay loop to start a second higher pitched loop during which he continues to noodle around for the next minute or two. The crowd roars to Page's contribution to the mix as the organ takes the lead directing the trippy nature of the adventure. At 15:41 Trey is floating around with several different melodies as Mike's bass tone turns heavier to the delight of the crowd. As the organ jam draws creepier into the darkness Page introduces a sinister background during which Mike and Fishman are essentially quiet and unnoticeable. Around 18:22 the organ has become the complete focus of the jam leading it into a new direction as Trey turns down the digital loop riff he had be drowning the music with. By 18:50 the delay is completely gone until Trey reintroduces it again at 20:04 when Page slowly returns to the piano and abandons the organ. Fishman picks up a quaint drum beat as Mike slowly and quietly pulls back into the music. The delay loop is still dominating the music as Trey noodles here and there at 21:30. Cymbals sporadically sound the end of the line as the crowd is completely quiet waiting for the progression of the music. Trey again starts a third different and somewhat quieter delay loop. Mike interjects a steady bass riff around 23:00 as the crowd faintly applauds him noticeably coming back into the mix. Fishman is more active on the drums as the loop quiets into a fading glimpse of what it was. Mike takes a heavy lead as Page disappears until the sound band is just Mike. 25:05 Trey begins a simple riff the rest of the band follows as Page is back to the sinister organ he was once on earlier in the jam. Mike's bass is directing the slow moving madness in the typical Gordonesque laid back fashion as Fishman continues the steady progression of the beat. Mike picks up the pace and becomes the evident leader of the jam with Page's "phantom of the opera" organ playing adding to the bizarre nature of the moment. 27:10 Trey starts a new groove that is built on Page's organ as Fishman picks up the beat considerably. While it's still a free form jam Trey is obviously going somewhere he's been before as the noodling turns to a distinctive riff. Mike follows with a standard bass track and Page has returned to the piano for good. 28:58 brings the first noticeable Piper tease and by 29:10 it is evident the Wolfman's jam is over. While many people don't particularly care for this version just because of the overall weirdness of the ambient jam I loved it that night in Vegas and I love it on my tape. On the Scott Jordan scale I'd rate this about a 6.5 as a recommended version to check out just for the simple fact it is unlike any other Wolfman's ever played. For this and other reviews check the HPB at http://www.phish.net/reviews. 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