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R17/W02 1997-07-03 Serendenhof, Nuremburg, DL

Started by twatts, January 19, 2014, 10:29:28 PM

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Yay, another July 1997 show.  This is a nice way to catch up on a tour that I don't know that well, and this is a show I don't think I'd listened to before.  Cool.

Piper-Was surprised upon first listen to hear it cut in.  As the song sounds like it is in its infancy, I'm guessing we didn't miss one of those epic 20 minute pre-lyrics intros.  I've gotta say, this version does nothing for me.  It sounds like the song is just a 6 second loop played continuously.

My Soul-So I have never liked this song.  It sounds like the Germans like their rock and roll, as there is some noise as soon as Trey busts that initial blues lick.  Page is great through the 2-3 minute mark, and I especially like the quick drop down he does at around 2:25.  Subtle, but I love when he adds weird flourishes.  Like my review of the last show we had, I think I would have had questions as to what band I was seeing after these two songs.  My setlist notes would have been poor.  This seems to be more practiced than the preceding Piper, perhaps it is just the comfort of the standard blues progression.  Meh.

Divided Sky-When there are no flubs, I have a hard time saying anything negative about this song.  I hear no flubs.  This version moved me.  This pause feels really long.  Perhaps it's because the crowd may not have known what was going on and was close to silent.  I mean, it's barely a minute.  Eh, standard version, which means I loved it.  I'm sure the Germans LOVED that nice structured jam.

Beauty of My Dreams-Thus begins the Catholic mass part of the show.  Up, down, up, down.  Big song, shorty, big song, shorty.  The fast arrangement of this rips, so that's cool.  Really working in the new material.  Vocals sound nice.

Taste-I really like versions of this song from this period.  Trey makes it dark starting around 7:30, and I hear 1970 Dead at the 8:25 mark.  Whoa, 8:50 gets weird.  And then the shraging takes it to the conclusion.  I don't like this one as much as the 7/29/97 version we reviewed last week, as it doesn't seem to have that constant acceleration that I love.  Still pretty damn good.

Train Song-I'm not sure I needed a cool down after that Taste.  I do love me some Train Song, but it seems like a bit of a buzzkill here.  Again, weird flow this set.

Theme From the Bottom-Love this song.  I have listened to this one a few times, and I love the way they melt it down at the end.  Otherwise, it's pretty standard to these ears.

Rocky Top-A treat for the rain-soaked crowd.

Overall, I'd grade the first set as a C-.  Weird flow, not really much jamming.  I mean, I own this album.  Onward.

Ghost-So, somewhere around the 8-9 minute mark, my attention has been caught.  I'm not sure what it is about Trey's tone that stands out, but there is something here that I don't ever hear anymore.  It's a more liquid sound, due in part to Big Red having complete control of his music and his instrument.  I love the drop around 11:25.  Trey creates a new melody on the spot and the band slowly forms the cushion around him.  Within two minutes, Trey seems to repeat himself and allow Page to take over from underneath.  I love what Page is doing, even if Trey is seemingly the "lead".  Wow, another new theme explored by Trey at 15 minutes.  This sounds like it is on the verge of ending up in 2000-style ambience, but never gets there.  Just on the edge.  I like that.  And, on cue, Trey goes into the scary wah.  At 18 minutes I swear it's about to drop into Lizards.  Again, teetering on the edge of ambient groove.  Trey has found something new within a minute, and it sounds like the Lone Ranger or something.  This plods along a bit from 20-25 minutes, and then returns to an awkward vocal reprise.  Fish's scat-style solo vocals are kinda funny.  Sounds like they are about to drop into the WOO jam at 27:45.  The last few minutes sound like a collection of syncopated farts.  I think I like it.  Overall, it lost steam a bit about 2/3 of the way through, but a really nice exploration of a new (at the time) song.  Washes into...

Cars Trucks Buses-Great call here.  Standard version.

Billy Breathes-I am a big fan of this song.  I think I like how it flows in the set.  Wonderful Trey tone.

Sparkle-The Germans seem to also love them some piss break songs.

Harry Hood-They kinda had to go big after the trio that followed Ghost.  Standard good version, nothing stood out to me while I was double-tasking.  Well, except that the end reminds me of how they ended Hood at Clifford Ball a year before this, playing along with the fireworks.

Cavern-Trey's wah before the words kick in sounds pretty cool.  Actually, he seems to employ it for most of the song.  It's weird, this version of Cavern, with all the wah work, lacks a bit of punch that you'd maybe hope for out of a second set closer.  Makes the ending seem a bit anti-climactic.

Character Zero-Fish's vocal shenanigans are kinda funny.  I also like how Trey responds by asking for more Mike in the monitors and then for Mike to just "sing it".  Other than that, it is a carbon copy of basically every other set-closing Zero.

I'd give the second set and encore a C+.  I feel like they lost all their steam after Ghost and mailed it in completely after Billy Breathes.  Overall, I'd give the whole show a C.  If not for the Ghost, it would likely be a C- or D.  Will definitely give the Ghost another listen, but nothing beyond that.
"I'm singlehandedly responsible for poisoning the entire local ecosystem with all my fluids spilling onto the ground." -birdman, while plowing

"Mushrooms were a good idea!" -wtu


Thursday, 07/03/1997
Serenadenhof, Nüremberg, Germany

Set 1: Piper > Solid start with this new tune... Not much to report as they are clearly still feeling Piper out.

My Soul > Guitar shreddery of the tallest order. I love this tune. I really do.

Divided Sky - is it just this recording or was the crowd basically quiet for much of the "pause?" Must have been nice to see these small shows in 1997.

Beauty of My Dreams - preceded by some banter about the beautiful room. Man, I am really jealous of the folks on this tour. Another great tune that, like My Soul, was great in this era. Just perfectly played, especially by Trey.

Taste - I love the Page jam here. Not that it's out of the ordinary for Taste, but it's great. Then Trey is in machine-gun mode. YES!!

Train Song - how many in the crowd had a Eurail pass in their backpacks?

Theme From the Bottom - not much to report, but a great Theme. Lots of swirling pedal work from trey at the end.

Rocky Top - Woah - did he just say "get out of the rain?" I thought up until this point this was an indoor show. Hmmm... Is this the Rocky Top featured in the 20th anny video with the rain?

Set 2: Ghost > I looked this up on .net because I was shocked... this is only the 8th Ghost ever played. It was debuted less than a month earlier. And it's 30 minutes long. That's insane. Speaks to the purpose of this song. How and why it was written. It's always meant to be a vehicle for exploration. I like it! And the band is clearly having so much fun with it. Page starts out the jam with these washes of sound that we're all familiar with now, but were really new at the time. Then he moves to piano and things get interesting. 17 minutes in and I don't know what the hell is going on. But out of it springs this beautiful little jam that it at once mellow and quiet, yet hyper fast and energetic. Then a little vocal thing at about 22 min... yeah, I think Fish just wanted to remind people (within the band) that they were still actually playing Ghost. Good call, too because by 25 minutes they are solidly back into Ghost proper complete with lyrics that then melt into fun. Actually, the whole rest of this is melty.

Cars Trucks Buses - They come out of that funky Ghost with this as if to say "we've been playin' funk for years."  Perfect!

Billy Breathes - Yup.

Sparkle > This, too.

Harry Hood > Solid Solid Solid Hood!!!

Cavern - Closer... and funkier than usual thanks to Page on Klav and Trey on Wah. Dig it.

Encore: Character Zero - Send 'em out wanting more!

Good show. Better than I expected. I actually was not bored by the 30 minute Ghost. Solid playing. Some odd song choices. I give it a solid B.

Let me add that the crowd was either tiny or just really quiet and listening. I love that about this show. You can tell it's an attentive crowd.
I've been coming to where I am from the get go
Find that I can groove with the beat when I let go
So put your worries on hold
Get up and groove with the rhythm in your soul


Never heard this show, which is the precise reason I subject myself to the show club.  Forced listening.  Here goes:

Piper:  Immature version.  No extended intro, verses are played well enough, but goes nowhere.  Would have liked it at the time, but knowing the tracks potential with hindsight, this version falls short.

My Soul:  They lock into the groove out of the gate.  Great playing by Payjorgan.  Nice, straight ahead funky blues.

Divided Sky:  Nice slot for this one.  Solid composed section up to the pause.  Nice to hear like 3 people hooting during the pause (vs. 3000).  Well played, nice pacing.  It's such an epic track but hard to get excited when they trot it out so much, but shit, this is a top 5 track easily.  Good version- the jam gets cookin'......

Beauty:  Slow start but they pick it up....Standard chickin' pickin' fare.  Little extra flair than we get these days (even though it's obv an early version)

Taste: I am liking the sparse sound of this show far.  Sounds way different than an arena  or shed show...good jam on this one.  Page continues to shine....and Trey lays into it.  I like when he finally reaches for the wah....

Train Song: sounds like the album version.  Doesn't add to cohesion of the show like Hampton 97.....

Theme:  Not gonna lie, after 2 min in, I skipped to the jam.  Glad I did.  Really like Trey's tone on this.  Nice playing.  Earth shattering?  Nope.  Would I have had fun?  Fo shizzle.

Rocky Top:  Weird slot but I like it.  I like this song anyway, anywhere, anytime.  Count me in.

Ghost:  I used to like the cold starts more.  Now I like the build up ones.  Still, early Ghosts are clutch.  They sound so much younger than they do now (duh).  Jam is a little slow and plodding but picks up some steam.  Cool to hear them finding their way through this "new" tune....starts to get deep around 15 min in....Love where they start heading around the 19 min mark...could be any song and they could be going into anything.  Sounds like they are about to go into another cowboy tune, but it's funky at the same time.  Great stuff!  Solid funk groove at 24 min, when they reprise the lyrics.  Surprised I have never heard this one before.  Digging it.

Cars Trucks and Buses:  Filler...we're on tour, let's play a show and get to the next one

Billy Breathes:  Weird slot but I like it.  I like this song anyway, anywhere, anytime.  Count me in.  Wait, what?

Sparkle:  This version was entirely too short for me.  Should have been at least 10 min.  Fail.

Harry Hood:  OK for a song about mail, milk and refrigerators.  They actually enter the jam in a unique fashion.  Dissolves into standard Hood jam territory but the way the beginning is unique and the whole jam is played with a fair amount of gusto.  I feel good about this Hood....hits some genuinely unique spots.

Cavern:  One of the most rushed versions I have ever heard...these guys were anxious to get off the stage at this point....still, there is some funk in the slop, but it's a throwaway...

Zero:  They give it up to the peeps for this one....not as much as a mail-in back in '97, but not blowing the doors off either.  Pales in comparison to Rocket Man post show track...

I dunno....Interesting show. Great pick as I had never heard it, so I really appreciate it from that perspective. Not a barn burner but a good show.  Divided Sky sticks out for me in the first set, Ghost is obv the show highlight and elevates this show singlehandedly from meh to worth a listen. B-.....kind of a low grade, but this is a good show imo.


Set 1
PIPER – Gotta be the shortest Piper I've ever heard. It surprises me that even a handful of performances in, they hadn't started trying to stretch this one out a bit. I guess even epics start small sometimes.
MY SOUL – It's My Soul. Played fine, good blues-rocky energy. Not much else to report.
DIVIDED SKY – Standard, well played version. Sounds like the boys are well rested. Some nice little melodic lines thrown in during the pretty part between Little Lamb and the silence part. It's not much, but it's the only jamming so far in this show....
BEAUTY – I kind of thought Trey's comments about them really liking being in that room might be an indication they'd start mixing it up, but instead it's Beauty. Beauty's fine, but nothing special.
TASTE – Relatively typical version of Taste. Some really nice Machine Gun Trey in the jam.
TRAINSONG – I love Trainsong. That said, it's not really a sign that this set is going anywhere.
THEME – Typical, soaring version of Theme.
ROCKY TOP – It's Rocky Top.

Set 2
GHOST – Somebody really wants to hear Tweezer... Ghost is still really young, so they haven't quite discovered its potential yet, although they obviously recognize that it has potential. I like the funky little flairs they're putting on it during the verses. After the verses - fooling around with standard funk rock jamming for the first 8 or 10 minutes, not really finding "it". The jam shifts at around 11m, into some harmonic noodling, then at about 15m into a sort of ambient space. Where's this going? Around 18m a whole new melodic bit emerges, and it is awesome! 20m –sounds like an attempt to segue into something fast, possibly bluegrass, but they keep exploring. At 22m, it's got a funky vibe. Sort of a Bomb Factory-ish feel to some of the transitions in this jam, or maybe not. The Ghost lyrics come back around again. I kind of get lost in the fun after this, but there are a couple more shifts over the next few minutes, they slip into ambient space, some looped whistling sounds, and then the segue into CTB...
CTB – I love Cars Trucks Buses, but it's a lead-in song. It's best placed before an amazing jam or sequence (11/30/95, Jazzfest, etc). It just feels out of place after "the meat".
BILLY BREATHES – Aaaand a breather song. Hrmm. Some sloppy bits in the guitar solo.
PARKLES – Jeez. In a great set with lots of energy Sparkle has its place, but this just isn't going anywhere.
HARRY HOOD – Always welcome, and good placement. One last pick me up to save this show. It's an average Hood, which is to say it's very nice and played well, but there's not really anything special about this version as far as I can hear.
CAVERN – Autopilot
CHARACTER ZERO – Back when a Zero to finish wasn't a groaner. Good rock energy, searing guitar solo. Not bad.
Honestly, most of this show just doesn't do anything for me. Maybe they're just spent from Amsterdam. It's not like they're playing badly, it just seems like they're playing the songbook. Ghost is an obvious exception - it takes while to get anywhere, but it ends up being well, well worth it. Alone, I give it a solid A-. Taste has a few moments too, as does Hood, but the overall flow of the show is weird and sputtery. As a whole, this show is probably a C, maybe a C+ for me, but I'm glad I heard the Ghost.
I'd rather dwell in some dark holler where the sun refuses to shine, where the wild birds of heaven can't hear me when I whine.