A new live release from Phish, the palace of funk

by Yome NetSan 25. September 2012

Just like last year late announcement during the New York webcast, Phish's brand new show from taken from the archives was announced last week for a release this very tuesday.
December 6 1997 The Palace at Auburn Hills is another installment of the famed "Phish Destroys America" fall 1997 tour. livephish.com has already officialy released a lot of shows from this tour like the next day show in Dayton, the one from Denver as Volume 11, last year's 3 shows boxset Hampton/Winston-Salem or 2 concerts from New Year's Run at Madison Square Garden (12/29 et 12/30).

As strange as it may seems, for someone like me who discovered Phish in 1997 and who downloaded countless tapes for the 97/98 era, I'm totally new to this show. I've never heard of the "Tweezabella" from Set 2 before last week, so it's with a virgin state of mind that I woke up this morning at around 6 AM to download my daily phix.

The first set starts oddly like a reversed set 2 with Golgi Apparatus and Run Like An Antelope. The second song already sets the tone for the night when you didn't expect it with a 10 minutes improvisation that goes seamlessly from funk to rock.
Train Song provides the first rest before the boys alternate big funky combos (Bathtub Gin > Foam and Fee > Maze) with fast rocking numbers (Sample in a Jar and Cavern).
The quiet little jam out of Fee merges into the intro of a Trey-leaded Maze that goes in every directions and ends in a big peak before coming back to the quiet outro. Roller-coaster style.

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As soon as you hear the unusual first seconds of Tweezer, you know a monster is coming. The intro is slowly built with scratch-like sounds from Page and menacing bass from Mike. After about 6 minutes, the funky jam really starts with more scratchy sounds and it keeps on growing patiently until it sounds like Moma Dance. That's when Trey adds loops to the mix and the overall sound becomes more spacy while anchored by Mike's bass. The guitar riffs above the soundscape go harder and harder until things start to soften a little bit for the band... but not for Trey who continues his hard-rock sounding solo without altering the flow of the jam, leading Phish to... Izabella ! Another perfectly-perfect segue !
The guitar-fest continues but 4 minutes into the Jimi Hendrix anthem it morphs into a Page-leaded funk, ponctuated by Trey and Fish's screams and supported by Mike's imaginative bass lines. The following jam is amazing with start/stops, keys/bass duel, guitar solo and bass/drums break down. Full funk madness !
Finally, Trey throws the intro of Twist like it's just another of his funk licks. The segue is a little more forced thant the others but still sounds great. The first lyrics of the song are sung quietly, almost like if they were about to wisper, until Trey calls "Leo !" for a unusually placed keyboard solo. The following improvised segment leaves a great place for Mike's envelopped bass while the boys sang "One twist around that way".
The song ends quietly with piano leading to a slowly-built Piper, the first vocals appearing only at the 3 minutes mark. The jam goes almost ambient for a while before fading out into... Sleeping Monkey, which is a nice way to calm down things after this non-stop extravaganza and before the raging Tweezer Reprise that ends the set.

The encore close the show in a full Phish fashion with a fast, funny and short Rocky Top.

Taken from Paul Langedoc's stereo soundboard recording, Fred Kevorkian re-mastering sounds loud, wide and deep. The bass is strong and every single note is crystal clear like you would expect.

Between heavy funk and hard rocking solos, this new livephish release is really a must-hear. But now I'll go on all listen (again) to the following concert at Dayton...

 

December 6 1997 The Palace at Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI is available exclusively as a download (mp3, Flac, ALAC) on livephish.com and as a limited edition double CD on Dry Goods.

Set I:
1. Golgi Apparatus (5:35)
2. Run Like Antelope (16:30)
3. Train Song> (2:44)
4. Bathtub Gin> (12:36)
5. Foam (10:24)
6. Sample In a Jar (5:04)
7. Fee> (5:36)
8. Maze (15:10)
9. Cavern (4:50)

Set II:
1. Tweezer> (22:25)
2. Izabella> (9:27)
3. Twist> (7:44)
4. Piper> (14:12)
5. Sleeping Monkey> (6:05)
6. Tweezer Reprise (4:33)

Encore:
7. Rocky Top (2:53)




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