Wednesday, June 29, 2011

7.23.97 Lakewood Amphitheater, Atlanta, GA



(faux LivePhish album art by "TreyIsMyDad" - a ton more here...love these)

Phish.net show page

Wednesday, 07/23/1997
Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA

Set 1: Julius, Dirt, NICU, Dogs Stole Things, Ginseng Sullivan, Water in the Sky, Limb By Limb, Split Open and Melt, Billy Breathes, Possum

Set 2: Punch You In the Eye, Ghost, Sample in a Jar, You Enjoy Myself, Rocky Mountain Way Jam,  Chalk Dust Torture

Encore: Frankenstein

Notes: Ghost included an On Your Way Down tease. YEM included a Jeopardy! theme tease, a very unusual SOAMule-like jam segment, and did not have a vocal jam. Chalk Dust included Rocky Mountain Way teases.


FLAC pt 1 - 535 MB
FLAC pt 2 - 511 MB
v0 mp3 - 289 MB
AAC - 230 MB (bit rates increased to ~195-200 kbps)

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Although this had been requested long ago (I gave one quick listen to the source I had and wrote it off as un-remasterable), this one goes out to fellow PhishThoughts reader and Georgia native "Leo Weaver" as a thank you for kindly hosting me at his abode for the recent Charlotte show.  Road trips rule, even if you do get two speeding tickets within 24 hours and log 1,839 miles solo over five days.

Ok so we all know this Ghost is ridiculous.  But don't overlook the bounty of other goodness in this show that concluded a ridiculous tour opening 3-night stand. Like the Julius opener, which is one of the best versions ever of that tune.  Picture them dropping that opener note for note in 2011...heads would be exploding Lost Ark style.  Ginseng Sullivan has extra meaning with the "north Georgia hills" line that gets the crowd going.  SOAM is contained theme-wise but features a funky start to the jam which turns balls-out rock in a hurry.  And don't miss the peak of Possum, with the fake-out peak followed by Trey employing that strobe-ish pedal until he nails the real peak and the place explodes (speaking of Possum, there are two pretty blatant skips in the source DAT, but don't let that deter you).

Won't even bother describing the Ghost, just crank it.  Before now there was a "SBD" copy of the Ghost from one of the From The Archives broadcasts (which is part of my "tier 2" SBD compilation), but frankly it sounds awful.  Don't know if it's a mix of FM frequency issues, overblown levels, bad transfer...but it's pretty harsh.  Anyway after a cool-off Sample we get a YEM that turns extremely unique and Mule-ish toward the end - a mix of comedy and truly expert playing, with that trademark Phishy improvisation we all love.  Adding to the unique vibe, they eschew the vocal jam and go right into a Rocky Mountain Way jam, which goes right into YET MORE uniqueness in Chalkdust.  Trey has some fun with the verses, as he starts each line pair at normal singing and playing volume, fades down to near silence, then BAM back into the main riff (not unlike the quiet > loud part in Runaway Jim or the Antelope pre-drops of old). 

As for the source - for a long time, just one source graced the database at the almighty Etree, and a second suddenly popped up recently.  I went with the older Schoeps cmc641 source.  Even though it has a couple glitches in the transfer, I prefer the sound of it over the newly circulated Neumann km140.  I mentioned earlier that a while back I dismissed the Schoeps source in terms of remastering.  I was wrong to do so.  When played flat, I feel the mids are garbled, the highs are blunted, and the ultra-low of Fishman's kick drum was a bit too strong.  After a healthy amount of EQ experimentation, I settled on the sound I think does the source the most justice.  While it may not have the same thick warmth of low end it originally had, I feel it's important to be able to pick out Page's nimble synth work and Trey's funky, high pitch notes (especially that weird effect he uses at the end of that YEM jam).  It was tough for me to do that with the unaltered source, but much easier now.

It may be frustrating not to be able to hear Mike's notes as well as with the current 2011 AUDs, but it's just a totally different PA system these days and a different approach from Paul to Garry at the mixing console.  While one could make the argument that Paul's approach was more natural and aesthetically pleasing compared to Garry's more digital and sometimes abrasively loud approach, you can't really argue the fact that Mike is more audible (not just louder) now than ever before, and the mix these days hits you square in the face with tremendous force.  Lastly regarding this recording, there is a remarkably low amount of nearby talkers in the recording which could either be a result of a high mic position or a more respectful, less mahled-out group of fans near the section as compared to some other stages of the band's history, or both.  Anyway I hope you enjoy the result.

Cheers!

p.s. - I encourage peeps (especially those that were there) to post reviews of the shows to Phish.net.  There are WAY too few accounts of older shows up there!
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5 comments:

Aphanisis Aphanisis said...

Thanks for this! Regarding the SBD project: do you plan to rename and number the tracks included in the new Live Bait Vol. 5 release? It was very helpful when you did that with the last Live Bait release.

Kenny Powers said...

yes, i will be doing that - but i'm going to wait to see if we some pre-FMs of the SuperBall archives shows so i can do it all at once. Also just an FYI - almost all of the older stuff has already been released in SBD, and a lot of the newer festivals are already official releases, so there's only a half dozen or so tracks that will be going onto the project.

However i will compare the new SBDs of the older tracks to the pre-exisiting SBDs and if they are major improvements, i will include them (the Tela from my main comp would be a perfect example of this). but if the quality is close, i won't include those.

Charlie said...

Do you expect to get new sources or versions of the sb archives show? Something with a higher bitrate would be nice, don't have any idea if they exist though. This show sounds phenomenal by the way.

mikey freshh said...

Hey kenny! This is whole tour! Great to meet you in charlotte/ raleigh! And thank you for taking the time to remaster my favorite show ever! 14 years later and it's still the best!

Kenny Powers said...

What's up whole tour! Good to meet you too, I'm just bummed I was in such rough shape for Raleigh! Charlotte kicked my ass.

 
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