From Sat Oct 24 16:24:49 1998
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 06:50:26 GMT
Subject: **12/31/97 Mike's Grooooove**

12/31/97 MSG, NYC, NY

Mike's Song's opening is ok.. Trey flubs a wee bit here and there.  It
could have been tighter.  It's a bit slower than early versions (but
about right for 1997 versions).  Tramps jam at 2:50.  Good opening to
the tramps jam, with a BEK-lick from Mike around 3:29 if you listen
carefully.  Page is unusually evil and spastic on the clav.  Trey sets
off a bunch of digital delay loop notes at the beginning of the tramps
jam..  he eventually begins soloing maliciously in the lower
octaves.  Very DARK tone to this groove -- but it isn't the
anti-melodious, off-key crap of yesteryear.  It's *gripping*.  Trey
gets more and more funky as it moves on (he pulls out of the DARK
groove).  Fish and Mike keep ripping out a solid, typical Mike's
rhythm.  Page is also playing quite spiritedly.

Trey begins soloing again around 6:30, only this time mellifluously
(he dumped the funky rhythm guitar chording). He gets *very* intense
around 8:30, after wandering around for awhile.  Excellent jamming
throughout this stage of the groove, particularly from Page (9mins).
At 9:11 Page sustains the chord that would usually begin the "closing
chords" to Mike's, but Trey starts funking along rhythmically.. then
there's more/less a dead stop. =^]  Niiiiice!  They segue into a
renewed funk jam, and Page takes off on the clavinet.

The groove gets mellifluous and somewhat spacey (Fish begins slowing
down the beat) around 10:10 or so.. and at 10:35 Trey begins
beautifully noodling, accompanied well by Page. =^]  A very sweet
little improvisation ensues (11mins). Mike and Fish are very reserved
in the background. Enchanting jam.. serene... wistful... this Mike's
Song is "1997 In Review" in a way. Check it out.  At 12:45 the jam is
still in this wistful, enchanting stage.. but Fish drops out around
13:05 completely, and the jam segues magically into True Space (almost
sounds like the "pre-Nirvana" segment of YEM, frankly, around 13:40,
given the mystical notes that Trey sustains).  Trey begins playing
Piper at 13:56.

Excellent Mike's Song.  Started out very poorly in comparison to most
versions, but the jam segment is a work of Art.  As I said, it
contains a lot of variety -- funky here, spacey there.. jams..
improv.. it's all here.  1997 in review.  Hear it for yourself.  I
really enjoy it on tape. (I enjoyed it very much at the show, too) One
of the better Mike's Songs of the last few years, imo, despite the
somewhat sloppy opening.  Listen to it again.  I didn't remember it
being this good.

I'm skipping over the Piper (which is very good) and the Circus &
Roses (set killers, at least on 12/31/97, imo).  Fish kicks Weekapaug
out of the closing chords of Roses, and it's very upbeat from the
start!  Good, fast pace to this version right from the beginning
(definitely faster than most versions).  At 00:58 Trey and Page begin
singing the lyrics (no opening Mike "solo," really).  Jam segment
begins at 1:35 (early!), and Trey wastes no time.  He starts
passionately soloing immediately.  Jamming is pretty standard 'paug
material until around 3:19, when it quiets down a bit and Page goes
OFF on the clavinet, tooling around! Trey accompanies with rhythm
guitar work.. GREAT PAGE IN HERE!!!!!!! =^]  Page is really the LEADER
for these next few minutes!

Trey comes back in soloing around 5:40 or so, and Fish renews a more
powerful 'paug beat (the rhythm was consistent in the previous couple
of mins, but was a bit softer).  *Very* intense playing from all
parties (6:15) -- this is the sort of 'paug that's few and far
between.  A True *Rager*.  *MADNESS*.  TREY IS ON FIRE!!! (8:30)  This
is a jamming motha fucka.. not an improvisational Wonder like
12/31/95, but a "I'm going to KICK YOUR ASS" 'paug.  At around 9:10
Trey chords like he's going to segue into CYHMK but he doesn't do it
-- keeps pushing out this 'paug JAM.  He flubs a wee bit in here
(9:40) before recovering nicely and ***TEARING UP THE FRETS***!!!!

OUCH!!!  Fish starts picking up the beat EVEN MORE!!!  This is Crazy..
just crazy.  At the show everyone was oogling at the stage with jaws
dropped around this point (11mins).. The neverending weekapaug.  Trey
would occasionally play the first closing chord of the closing
segment, only to keep busting everyone's balls with more fiery licks.
Just madness.  It's hopeless to say anything more about this 'paug,
except "Hear at all costs." All hell breaks loose.  It's not a
Weekapaug for the timid.  It isn't an orderly improvisation like

Closing chords, finally, at 13:34.. but no lyrics.  At least not yet.
They take turns soloing after dead stops.  First it's Mike.. Mike
takes a good solo.  Next Page.. Then they come back with more closing
'paug. And Trey starts talking.. see y'all next year.  "It wouldn't be
fair not to give Fish one of these breaks.. give it to us, Man, give
it to us.."  (Trey)  Fish gives us a little solo (this is a very, very
fast rhythm to be soloing in..).  Dramatic close to the year.  Total
time for this 'paug is roughly 17:42, which makes it one of the
longest Weekapaug Grooves that I've ever heard. (it may actually be
the longest 'paug they have ever played)

The intensity of this 'paug is really amazing, too -- they really keep
the intensity level *very* *high* throughout this version.  An
excellent way to close 1997, imo.  I'd check out this set, even if
there's more jamming in it than there is true improv.  I would
*highly* recommend hearing this Mike's Groove!!!

two cents