, attached to 2003-11-29

Review by nichobert

nichobert In an era that spawned truly jaw dropping levels of entitlement amongst the fanbase, I always thought the responses to this show were a fine vintage of whine that appears ludicrous 10 years in the rear view.

But sticking with the show. Limb has a nice fairly atypical fan/shredding crescendo that works nicely. Dirt> Seven Below is a sweet pairing, the Seven Below being hit or miss but having some truly inspired moments especially right in the middle as it has the -7 bounce but some inspired piano work. It feels really concise but ends up having a little quiet coda tacked on. And the interplay sounds nice! Nicer than it probably would have in 1999 or 2004 anyway.

In a year full of really inspired Divided Skies where Phish blurred the line between improvisation and composition in some underratedly interesting ways, this is another cool version. Did they nail the composition? God no. But they probably came close to nailing it but a handful of times between 97 and 2013 so I'll appreciate the improv bleeding out of the seams instead of complaining.

Treys teasing the heck out of something in this Julius. Or maybe he just found a new wrinkle to add in. Not the most incendiary version.

Amazing Twist jam kicks off set 2. This version covers a lot of ground, taking its time disengaging from the Twist theme from 6 to 9 minutes or so. The first fully improvised segment of this jam has an excellent feel to it, sounding like a fragment of a much deeper segment of another jam. Funky and liquid, some cool synth textures peaking around the edges. Some Cavern / Antelope ending jamming with Trey playing decisive fills and Page fluttering about on the Hammond up until 16 minutes, and then an exquisitely drawn out back door segue into Simple. Wow! I love the 2003 -> Simples, and this one clearly learned from the YEM-> Simple from Shoreline. More than anything, this sounds like a kind of underreported jamming from 1997 I like to call "Sludgepacking" - they did it in like 12-15 jams, slow heavy thematic jams that don't sound much like anything before or after.. Except maybe the "don't shine that thing in my face man" or "I Saw It Again" .

It's a type I Simple for the most part, sure, but god I love how Trey approached it. Kind of like when people go back and write reviews of early 90s shows and complain that Tube didn't have a jam. Some perspective is necessary. This version is more atypical than most Simples. It follows the slow burnout but Trey is soaring in a different manner. More fighter jet going into the sunset, less eagle coasting around a canyon. One thing you definitely can't say is that they didnt try to do anything with it. It's not a crazy type ii version, but it's inspired and north of standard.

Trey unleashes a brilliant midrange run in the Taste for a minute or so and then perfectly flips it, there's an awkward moment where it seems like they're going to get a little weirder and they aren't all on board, and then there's another bad moment in there when Trey goes for the big chord and nobody thinks it's coming. It's a shame because a lot of the rest of the Taste is electric. The flubs come at some critical junctures though and certainly drag it down a lot.

Makisupa, Buffalo Bill is what it is. Can't really expect much more than humor out of those songs. Maybe a reggae jam that goes nowhere? Maybe 10/29/94 in reverse if you're really a masochist who wants to be let down. Can't go into every Fee ready to be mad if it isn't 7/9/99 and you can't get mad about those songs providing what they provide here.

Bowie works the major minor line really well. Page has some great playing throughout it. The moment where they re-engage Bowie proper on their way towards the ending is excellent. Trey putting that growling 2003 tone to great use and Fish punishing the kit. Like Taste though, they don't all seem to be on the same page. Nothing quite so dramatic, but they aren't in synch.

As for worse segues than 11/28/03 Bag-> First Tube... Uhh..literally dozens of them? The only problem with that is Treys feedback didnt sustain correctly. They still hit First Tube on time and in tune.


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