Monday, June 24, 2013

Show #9: 7/12/99 Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA

Highlights: Foreplay/Longtime
Listen Here: Phan Reviews:


 This show will forever be known for its "electric" Foreplay/Longtime bustout, but features some nice ambient moments. Please note that their really is no "big" ambient jam in this show. Many of the ambient moments and jams are conducted with creativity and pensive precision, as Phish is clearly "locked in," only the delicate building ambient tinged jam in DAVID BOWIE is noteworthy.

 SET 1: Starting with a BANG! the band loads up and fires off a FOREPLAY/LONGTIME bustout for the Boston faithful and has the crowd amped early and often. Obviously they didn't take the jam of F/L to crazy ambient dissonance, but neither did they with the follow up 18 minute DOWN WITH DISEASE. Instead, Trey and the boys opted for a "meat and potatoes" guitar lead DWD with a pretty mild "ambient style" lower-tempered jam for the last 4 minutes before bringing back the central guitar riff and closing out the uneventful tune. A standard BACK ON THE TRAIN came and went with little fanfare. A bit of a pause before... WHAT'S THE USE slides into a great first set slot. Bringing a beautiful texture, the ambient tune dipped and swayed it's way through a very lowfi but awesome jam section that chose Radiohead sparsity over swirling "wall of sound" effects laden landscapes. Great minimalism ambient style. The gorgeous underwhelming continued with a rhythmic lowfi ambient tech jam in SPLIT OPEN AND MELT. A very understated but sonically strong version for Phish, probably overlooked by most. Trey channels his inner Hendrix on a scathing Character Zero set closer.
SET 2: TWIST opener is always a good idea. The band decided to go minimalist again, but opted for a bluesier take and really only hinted at the ambient jam that could have been. Playing it safe. I get it. It's a two night run and maybe they are saving the "weird" for the next night. MAKISUPA features some spacey weirdness started by Page and Mike, and finished off by Trey throwing down some reverse loops. Real reggae fans may shudder to think of Bob Marley approaching a reggae jam with alien sounds and reverse guitar loops, but this is Phish and this is what we want to hear! The rest of this set and encore are standard summer fare, aside from the DAVID BOWIE. The BOWIE has a really gorgeous and intricate building jam that starts off with almost complete silence and slowly builds through some clouds of ambient fluff and mini whale calls from Trey. Gordon plays some of his most thoughtful bass runs during this jam as clearly the band is seeking more from this BOWIE than any other song not called FOREPLAY/LONGTIME. 

Link Monday, 07/12/1999
Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA

Soundcheck: My Best Friend's Girlfriend, Centerfold, Dream On, Rift
Set 1: Foreplay/Long Time[1] > Down with Disease, Back on the Train, What's the Use?, Split Open and Melt, Water in the Sky > Character Zero
Set 2: Twist > The Moma Dance > Makisupa Policeman > David Bowie, The Lizards, Guyute
Encore: Rock and Roll
[1] First Phish electric version.
Notes: Foreplay/Long Time was played for the first time since December 9, 1994 (310 shows) and was the first time Phish had ever performed it electric. Guyute was followed by band introductions, including Mike Gordon as “Michael ‘Soft G’ Jordan.”

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