I would say that 11/22/97 is one of those litmus test shows, the sort of highly stylized disco freakout that with any luck could change someone’s life forever. You’re either on the bus or you’re not after hearing music like this.
And look! Here’s the bus now, pulling up and stopping for any adventure-seeking hellraisers who might be looking for a good time out on the rings of Saturn.
The show opens with a romp through hallucinogenic fields of borderline pornographic cowfunk and emotional entreaties for spacey introspection, all coiled around this 17-minute Mike’s Song opener. You don’t start a show at the Coliseum like that without then proceeding to demolish the fucking place, leaving behind only puddled brains and a crowd of irrevocably groove-addled wanderers.
Around the sixth minute, Trey is teasing the slinky Black-Eyed Katy riff that will show up fully formed in the second set, and but you’ve just gotta check out the interplay between guitar and cymbal beginning at 6:35. It’s smooth as hell, and Fish’s quick drum fill at 6:51 nudges us deeper into the night.
Now, how far out are you willing to go?
SET 1: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Harry Hood > Train Song, Billy Breathes, Frankenstein > Izabella
SET 2: Halley’s Comet > Tweezer > Black-Eyed Katy > Piper > Run Like an Antelope
ENCORE: Bouncing Around the Room > Tweezer Reprise