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4/16 Lesh & Friends Review

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Charles Dirksen

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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Thank you for all of the responses to my review of Thursday's show.
Overwhelming, to say the least. I will respond to as many of you as I
possibly can. Thank you! You were inspirational! =^]

I should add: Phil wants us all to consider telling our loved ones of
our "irrevocable desire" to -- in the event of our death -- have our
organs donated. Please make it clear to your family (preferably in a
signed writing) that you would like your organs donated upon your
death. Your death could help others to live. There is perhaps
nothing more selfish than to die and take your useful organs with you.
Phil Lesh is here today because a family was thoughtful enough (in a
time of enormous suffering) to donate the organs of their recently
deceased kin.

Friday, April 16, 1999
THE WARFIELD
PHIL LESH & FRIENDS
Trey Anastasio (Phish): Languedoc Hollowbody
Page McConnell (Phish): Grand Piano & organ
John Molo (Other Ones): Drums
Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead, Other Ones): Lead Bass
Steve Kimock (Zero, SK&F, KVHW, Other Ones): Guitars (5+)

Special Guest: Donna Jean Godchaux

SET ONE (1:21)
Help on the Way (Trey on lead vocals, I think) ->
Slip Knot ->
Franklin's Tower (Page l.v.)
Wish You Were Here (Phil l.v.) >
Tennessee Jed (Trey l.v.)
Stella Blue (instrumental)
ALLIGATOR

SET TWO (1:42)
Bertha (Trey l.v.; w/Donna)
His Majesty, King Caspian
Saint Stephen ->
The Eleven (instr.) ->
Unbroken Chain
Chalk Dust Torture
Mountains of the Moon >
Scarlet Begonias (w/Donna) ->
Fire on the Mountain (w/Donna)

ENCORE: Ripple =^]

I was only a few feet farther back on the floor than I was last night
(I was straight out from Trey; Page was stage right (audience left),
then (from audience left to right) it went Kimock, Molo, Phil, and
Trey.. and Fishman, Phish's drummer, was off-stage Trey-side, during
the first set). There were a lot more young Phish fans on the floor
this evening than last night, or so it seemed. The area of the floor
where I was practically became a mosh pit (to a graying 28 year old
control attorney) for the first five or so Trey-led minutes of Chalk
Dust Torture.

The "vibe" in the Warfield was, once again, magical. Overall, the show
was more focused and tight than Thursday's gig, even though it was
about a half-hour shorter, and still contained a great deal of very
exploratory improvisation (a hell of a lot of dueling noodling 'tween
Trey and Steve, frankly).

Trey was definitely *on* this evening, and offered tasteful vocals
(try to sound like Jerry much? it worked well, IMO). His playing was
-- as Phil called it when he introduced the band before the encore --
"downright nasty, dirty funk guitar." Kimock, on the other hand,
played -- again as Phil aptly called it -- "anti-gravity guitar"
almost all evening. Once again, I don't think Steve was at his
finest. Maybe I'm just holding him to too high a standard, since I
know what he's consistently capable of at his own gigs. He just seemed
more self-conscious than usual tonight, and continued to play with his
equipment (particularly in the first set) far more than he ought to
have (he's a perfectionist, after all.. only trying to get That
Perfect Tone for the musical event at issue). Saturday night we'll
hopefully get more of the Fierce Kimockian Genius that led Thursday's
pre-Rider jam. Tonight was a much more ethereal, mystical, rhythmic,
playful Kimock (which, of course, might have been The Plan?).

Page and Phil were, yet again, outstanding. Stellar, perfectly
attuned playing from them. Phil's vocals have improved so much over
the years! Molo was very good, too, even if he seemed to tire towards
the end of Fire (Kimock was forcing everyone to be more creative with
the rhythm in Fire.. he didn't want to be in four -- except during the
refrains). And Donna Jean? Never looked or sounded better, in my
opinion!

The show opened with a majestic 37 minute Help->Slip->Franklin's,
which propelled many a spirit into the infinitely expansive, heavenly
realm of **IT**. The improvisation was, as you might expect,
INSPIRING, but the composed section of Slip Knot was unfortunately a
train wreck (they laughed about it, though, and we laughed with
them). The rest of the Slip, on the other hand, needs to be heard to
be believed -- intense, awe-inspiring playing from everyone (but Trey
led most of the time). And Franklin's!? It too was excellent, even
though the ending was rather tepid.

"Wish You Were Here" was appropriate, of course, but nevertheless
unexpected. The "jam segment" was gorgeous, imo, and will make for
pleasant listening, even if it dissolved into space. Trey started
"Tennessee Jed" out of this space, and though he didn't nail all of
the right chords all of the time, I enjoyed his vocals very much. It
was fun to hear this, but I've heard plenty of more spirited Dead (and
even Other Ones) versions.

"Stella Blue" (instrumental!) featured Kimock on lap steel,
accompanied well by the rest of the band. The Mighty Little Toaster,
however, didn't seem to be able to truly find IT. His soloing wasn't
the start-to-finish Story That Brings Tears to the Eyes that I yearned
to hear -- even though it did peak (check out the July 1996? Missing
Man Formation Fillmore version!! CHRIST ALMIGHTY!!! =^).
Nevertheless, many in the audience were clearly touched.

Kimock -- and everyone else -- tore it up on an upbeat,
Franklin's-tempo, set-closing "Alligator." **WARNING: THIS
RAGED!!** Hear it and prepare to dance your ass off!

Second set opened up with a strong, fun BERTHA, with Donna Jean on
supporting vocals. A much stronger second set opener than Thursday's
Alabama Getaway, as I heard 'em.

This Caspian is absolutely must-hear for Phish fans. This was no
"Fuckerpants!" When I first heard Caspian in June 1995, I enjoyed it
(really), and hoped that it would one day truly SOAR. It finally did,
earlier tonight, given the festive, mystical, and mellifluous
back-and-forth noodling that Trey and Steve engaged in. Trey, from
the start of the jam segment, chose to avoid the textural la-ti-da of
Caspians past -- and to actually SOLO to glorious effect. And
Kimock? "Anti-gravity" to say the least! =^] Kimock didn't really
know this song, though, and it showed towards the end of the jam. I
think this Caspian lasted around 15 minutes.. probably the longest
version Trey and Page have ever played. If memory serves, Caspian
just sorta dissolved into a soft, wussy ending.

The rest of set two, in my opinion, was some of the most enchanting,
wondrous full-band (rock) improv that I've ever heard. Words won't
even come vaguely close to doing it justice, I'm afraid. You'll just
have to hear the tapes. I'll try to communicate the power of this
set, though, by saying that I couldn't help but reflect on all of my
"favorite show experiences EVER." Dead 9/26/91, etc.; Other Ones
6/4/98; Phish 10/31/94, 12/31/95...; as assortment of Zero and KVHW
shows.

Can I take another night of this!? I think so. I could probably take
AN ENTIRE BLOODY TOUR OF THIS!! (A Wise Man said, after the show, that
this was his favorite band.. I have to agree!!)

EVERYTHING in the rest of set two seemed to contain beautifully
intricate, mesmerizing, hypnotic, and brilliantly complementary
playing, that reminded me of some of the finest Dead shows/tapes that
I've heard over the years (late 60's and early 70's, mostly..). Trey,
Page, Steve, Phil, and John were all listening closely to each other
and feeding off of one another, in varying degrees at different
moments.

I could quibble here and there (Kimock could have learned "Chalk Dust
Torture," and torn it a new a$%hole, if he'd only made the effort, or
even pretended to care; the bridge into "The Eleven" could have been
stronger...), but what's the point? Saint Stephen: AWESOME. The
Eleven: MAGNIFICENT. Unbroken Chain: GLORIOUS. (all these versions
moved me profoundly more than any Other Ones or other recent version
that I've heard.. although, then again, the 6/4/98 Eleven breakout
really did IT for me, given the context!) Chalk Dust Torture: KICK
ASS (for the most part, thanks primarily to Trey). Mountains of the
Moon: CHARMING, STUPENDOUS, ALMIGHTY! Scarlet->Fire: OH MY LORD, CAN
YOU BELIEVE THIS!? How blessed we were.. and are!

And the Ripple encore? Many were moved to tears.

Hear this show at all costs.

And so to bed,
two cents,
charlie

p.s. I wasn't able to read/skim even half of the emails that I
received on Friday concerning my Thursday review. Thanks so much for
inspiring me to get this out. I will try to reply to as many of you as
I possibly can within the next several days. If you do not hear from
me, I apologize. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! If, though, you
groveled to me for tapes already: I'm sorry, I can't help you (I'm
dubbing ZERO right now; besides, I don't even have the tapes yet..
and there will be THOUSANDS of tapes of these Philsh shows spreading
within the next few weeks, I'm certain).

Jfitz0420

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to

Heh-heh,

You called them Philsh shows!

Funny.

Thanks for the detailed review!

Jamie


MaBrut

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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cdir...@earthlink.net wrote:

<Once again, I don't think Steve was at his
finest. Maybe I'm just holding him to too high a standard, since I
know what he's consistently capable of at his own gigs. He just seemed
more self-conscious than usual tonight,>

and

<(Kimock could have learned "Chalk Dust

Torture," and torn it a new a$%hole, if he'd only made the effort, or
even pretended to care;>

Now I have a question about Kimock. I will admit I have not heard enough KVHW
to pass judgment here. BUT every experience I have had watching Kimock shows
him as someone who oozes talent, but often looks extremely apathetic to what is
going on around him, are rarely lets loose. Frustrating? Comments?

MARK

Andy Roberts

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to Charles Dirksen
Concert of the millennium?

To me, this show (4.16) had three highlights. The first and last notes
of the show were very fine, what came between was absolutely amazing.
IF words could tell, I would try. Perhaps if I was a gifted poet....

I'm not one to gush over every concert I go to, and there have been
MANY. I thought the first show was 'very, very not bad'. The show last
night was EASILY better than MOST dead shows I went to (although I
didn't start going till 80)

The only negative thing was that "Wish You Were Here" (WOW, Phil picks
great covers for his voice) will now always be a "sad song" and make me
think of Jerry.

I feel incredible blessed to have been there last night. I'd like to
offer up a special thanks from the heart to the VERY KIND RMGD
contributor who made it all possible by coughing up tickets for last
night and tonight.

1999 is turning out to be quite a concert year for me. The 3 1999 KVHW
shows and last night's P&F have all been 'among the best' concerts I've
ever attended (perhaps 500?) And it's only half way through
APRIL!!!!!!!!!!!! Dylan/Simon in June, CSNY in September, and as much
STEVE KIMOCK as I can fit in....

Anyway, if tonight's show comes even close to last night's I will be
very pleased.

--
****
* *
****
Blind folks do it with feeling.
Andy Roberts

egb

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Thank you Beverly. It was a great seat for a once in a lifetime show.
You went out of your way to get that ticket to me. I had a great
time.
Thanks for sharing, as we've seen from the reviews.....
Phil is back and the bus is in overdrive.

Thank You Phil.
Thank You Beverly.
Thank You rmgdead.


And for everyone who's going tonight....
shake it on down!


On yes and for all the PhishHeads, thanks for sharing.


egb

JC Martin

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
MaBrut wrote in message <19990417123051...@ng-fu1.aol.com>...

>
>cdir...@earthlink.net wrote:
>
><Once again, I don't think Steve was at his
>finest. Maybe I'm just holding him to too high a standard, since I
>know what he's consistently capable of at his own gigs. He just seemed
>more self-conscious than usual tonight,>
>
>and
>
><(Kimock could have learned "Chalk Dust
>Torture," and torn it a new a$%hole, if he'd only made the effort, or
>even pretended to care;>
>
>Now I have a question about Kimock. I will admit I have not heard enough
KVHW
>to pass judgment here. BUT every experience I have had watching Kimock
shows
>him as someone who oozes talent, but often looks extremely apathetic to
what is
>going on around him, are rarely lets loose. >Frustrating? Comments?


I think he lets loose sometimes, but (at least to me) I find that he's often
in his own head and not paying attention to the other musicians around him
in new situations. I also find that he's slow to adapt to newly learned
compositions and he doesn't seem to care much to invest time into learning
the basic chord changes of a tune. To my ears, Kimock plays at his best
with a solid *groove* behind him. He can be a madman with he's playing more
funky/bluesy based material. Otherwise it's a matter of taste. His noodles
can be grating to some, heavenly to others. I prefer Trey at this time
(haven't heard KVHW yet), but fully understand the x-factor Kimock fans
speak of.

-JC


Andy Roberts

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Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to JC Martin
JC Martin wrote:

> I think he [KIMOCK] lets loose sometimes, but (at least to me) I find that he's often


> in his own head and not paying attention to the other musicians around him
> in new situations. I also find that he's slow to adapt to newly learned
> compositions and he doesn't seem to care much to invest time into learning
> the basic chord changes of a tune.

If you really don't hear it JC, you must be about the only one. :)

I hereby submit that your deafness is willful.

Eric Moser

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Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to

Andy Roberts wrote in message <371A4E41...@gsm.ucdavis.edu>...

>JC Martin wrote:
>
>> I think he [KIMOCK] lets loose sometimes, but (at least to me) I find
that he's often
>> in his own head and not paying attention to the other musicians around
him
>> in new situations. I also find that he's slow to adapt to newly learned
>> compositions and he doesn't seem to care much to invest time into
learning
>> the basic chord changes of a tune.
>
>If you really don't hear it JC, you must be about the only one. :)
>
>I hereby submit that your deafness is willful.


...I agree w/ JC here, so I guess he and I are the only ones ;^)

Seriously, he's not like this all the time, but I've definitely heard him go
into his own space where he's playing something beautiful that just doesn't
fit in with what the rest of the band (...whoever it may be at the time...)
is doing.

-eric


JC Martin

unread,
Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to
Andy Roberts wrote in message <371A4E41...@gsm.ucdavis.edu>...
>JC Martin wrote:
>
>> I think he [KIMOCK] lets loose sometimes, but (at least to me) I find
that he's often
>> in his own head and not paying attention to the other musicians around
him
>> in new situations. I also find that he's slow to adapt to newly learned
>> compositions and he doesn't seem to care much to invest time into
learning
>> the basic chord changes of a tune.
>
>If you really don't hear it JC, you must be about the only one. :)
>
>I hereby submit that your deafness is willful.

I think my ears are pretty good actually.

-JC


la...@surfree.com

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Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
to
In article <19990417123051...@ng-fu1.aol.com>, mab...@aol.com (MaBrut) wrote:

>
>cdir...@earthlink.net wrote:
>
><Once again, I don't think Steve was at his
>finest. Maybe I'm just holding him to too high a standard, since I
>know what he's consistently capable of at his own gigs. He just seemed
>more self-conscious than usual tonight,>
>
>and
>
><(Kimock could have learned "Chalk Dust
>Torture," and torn it a new a$%hole, if he'd only made the effort, or
>even pretended to care;>
>
>Now I have a question about Kimock. I will admit I have not heard enough KVHW
>to pass judgment here. BUT every experience I have had watching Kimock shows
>him as someone who oozes talent, but often looks extremely apathetic to what is
>going on around him, are rarely lets loose. Frustrating? Comments?
>
>MARK

Kimock kicks ass on Merl Saunder's "Live from The Rainforest" double cd. He
must deliberately string and tune his guitar like Garcias to get that "sweet"
sound.


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