Highlights: Bluegrass Style First Set (one big highlight), DWD, YEM
Listen Here: http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1999-07-01
1999 is Full of Unique Phish Shows.
On the heels of a brilliant ambient jam-filled show in Bonner Springs, Kansas, Phish seemingly spun 180 degrees in the opposite direction and proceeded to drop the Antioch, Tennessee bluegrass tinged gem of a concert. A stunning collection of country and bluegrass influenced takes on heavy tour rotations and a smattering of special guests from the Tennessee hills seemed to take over the first set of this show. The second set - free of special guests - was a bit more experimental but brief due to extremely violent summer storms that enveloped the venue (even folks in the pavilion were getting soaked).
This blog is currently tasked with rating 1999 shows based upon how they fall on the "ambient jam grading scale," and thus every GREAT show might not necessarily score well for ambient style jams. This is a prime example of a Phish concert that is extremely unique - and should be heard by all Phans - but that does not necessarily fit the overall theme of 1999's sonic explorations. The guest sit-ins during the first set of this show are really spectacular - Jerry Douglas on dobro, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin, Tim O'Brien on fiddle (and vocals) and Gary Gazaway on trumpet.
SET 2: A 3 song set with a 1 song encore. That's it folks. Dropping the all too common Down With Disease opener for the second set, it is evident the band was feeling the pressure of the inclement weather and was anxious to get to the centerpiece jam of the night. Trey blazed through the initial solo with precision, intent and fire-wrought licks while the band did its best to stay on pace with the guitar virtuoso. Anastasio spent almost 6 minutes of the initial jam putting on a clinic before descending into what is the only ambient jam of section of a jam seen throughout the night. As the band lets the jam descend into a feedback drenched chaos, Trey layers his guitar with the similar effects of the My Left Toe jam from Kansas on 6/30/99. The ambient jam builds for a couple minutes before Trey returns to the signature DWD guitar lick and the band returns for the final stanza of the song. The Prince Caspian that follows is delicate and beautiful in its own way - a definite must-hear for fans of the mighty water dweller. The You Enjoy Myself is a funky throw down harkening the Fall of '97 and expansive in a way that modern YEM jams fail to achieve. No ambient jam in this classic take on YEM, but it certainly isn't needed as this one speaks for itself.