4

Phish: 12/6/97 The Palace of Auburn Hills and Star Lake '98

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
As with other Phish archive titles such as Chicago '94 (Jemp, 2012), The Palace of Auburn Hills December 6,1997 and Star Lake '98 offer more than mere comparison and contrast of musicianship: the download/two-CD set and DVD alternately accentuate and complement the band's current activities. And while both titles boast eye-catching graphics (the former eschews generic bootleg style for downright dazzling stage photos), neither title includes historical content to put the music within into some historical perspective for those outside the band's loyal community. Phish is clearly confident enough to let its music speak for itself and rightly so.

Phish

December 6, 1997 The Palace of Auburn Hills

Jemp Records

2012

The immaculate recordings here, by Paul Languedoc , almost but not quite make recommendations for headphone listening irresistible for this December 6, 1997 release. Especially in regards to the non-stop second half of the appearance, the title reaffirms its hallowed status in Phish lore, as the first set is also a great example of the group's willingness to take chances with an unconventional approach to a show. So, after rushing from the gate via "Golgi Apparatus" and "Run Like An Antelope," a reversal of the usual dynamics the group employs, the foursome builds up speed during the first half, staking out the territory for later in the evening.

The instinctive abandon within the subsequent improvisations in the second set, through "Twist" and "Piper," may be far removed from the measured inspiration of so many post-2009 reunion shows, but the breathless momentum arising from the uncanny collective interplay, led by guitarist Trey Anastasio, is much the same. Thus, while the inclusion of Jimi Hendrix' "Izabella" might seem incongruous with the funkified likes of "Bathtub Gin," it's well to note the late guitar icon wrote this tune as he was delving into earthy musical realms himself, via post-Experience projects including Band of Gypsys (Capitol Records, 1970).

Phish

Star Lake '98

Jemp Records

2012

Taken from the video feed of this shed show, judicious touches such as close-ups of drummer Jon Fishman's footwork and stick work, not to mention artful superimpositions of guitarist Trey Anastasio, become bona fide highlights (and how far has Chris Kuroda's light work come in the near fifteen-year interim?). Phish's selection of covers remains notable today and may in fact have its most significant roots in the tour from which this DVD is taken. The quartet plays such tunes as Bob Marley's "Trenchtown Rock" (as show opener?!), Little Feat's "Time Loves a Hero" and Los Lobos' "When the Circus Comes to Town" as fans of the respective bands, so the lightheartedness Phish brings to such songs aids in maintaining a healthy detachment, as well as an emotional commitment to its own compositions, even those so slight as "Bittersweet Motel."

The choice of outside material also affects the logic of the set progressions, which here are markedly different than the cumulative momentum the band sustains during the LivePhish piece. The respective segues that conclude each disc of Star Lake '98 mirror each other as "Fee," into "Maze" followed by "Sample in a Jar," simultaneously accelerate and brake the momentum much like the combination of "Wilson" and "Golgi Apparatus." The end result is, perhaps, the ideal state of mind in which to leave Its audience, simultaneously satisfied and hungry for more.

Tracks and Personnel

December 6, 1997 The Palace of Auburn Hills

Tracks: CD1: Golgi Apparatus; Run Like an Antelope; Train Song >Bathtub Gin>Foam; Sample in a Jar; Fee>Maze, Cavern. CD2: Tweezer>Izabella>Twist> Piper; Sleeping Monkey>Tweezer Reprise. Encore: Rocky Top.

Personnel: Trey Anastasio: guitar, vocals; Page McConnell: keyboards, vocals; Jon Fishman: drums, vocals; Mike Gordon: bass, vocals.

Star Lake '98

Tracks: CD1: Trench Town Rock>Julius; Wolfman's Brother>Time Loves a Hero; Bittersweet Motel; Reba; The Sloth; Ginseng Sullivan; Fee; Maze; Sample in a Jar. CD2: Runaway Jim; Meat>Limb By Limb; When the Circus Comes to Town>Down with Disease. Encore: Wilson>Golgi Apparatus.

Personnel: Trey Anastasio: guitar, vocals; Page McConnell: keyboards, vocals; Jon Fishman: drums, vocals; Mike Gordon: bass, vocals..

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad" Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads" Multiple Reviews Paul G. Smyth: Weekertoft downloads
by John Eyles
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago" Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!