, attached to 1997-02-20

Review by oh_kee_dono

oh_kee_dono I have already written a review for this show but I wanted to say more now that today is my 20th PHISHIVERSARY. This show has always been special as it was my first. Now 20 years and 47 shows later there are still reasons I love it. It contains 5 songs that are my only viewings and another four songs with 2 viewings. Soul Shakedown has only been played 10 times total and Love me is only at 9 times total. Musically this show doesn't seem to be faring well on the ratings but I like it. The tweezer is short but beautiful. The Bowie is pretty standard but the intro is unique at least for my shows. I remember Stash getting pretty deep for a few minutes with a welcome Bouncin' at it's conclusion. Trey was making an impact on me with Free around the 4:30 mark until it's conclusion. I swear he looked me right in the eyes a couple times during that number. Not that it was very hard to make eye contact in that tiny little theatre in Milan. I'm not sure of the capacity but it seemed there were only a couple hundred people in there. And I was super close to the stage. I could hear trey's foot landing on the stage as he stomped along to parts of free meanwhile colorful rainbows of sound poured from his guitar. After sweeping me away with Free >Swept Away >Steep they played a Beatles number that made me think "I feel like such a hippie right now" I honestly don't remember much after that except trying to find our hotel and listening to The Prodigy, Music for the Jilted Generation once we got there. I love this band and all it's fans. See you out there!
, attached to 2016-12-30

Review by banjomatt

banjomatt I've been revisiting this show for almost two months now and I'm more and more convinced that it's just that good. It's worthy of all those superlative all-killer-no-filler mantles and excels in song choice, flow, and jamming. Each of the major jams (Gin, Tweezer, Gnost, and Light -> Party Time) contains a cohesive, complete idea, explored to its logical conclusions before seamlessly segueing to the next vehicle. Hell, you could even say that about Wading. The Ghost jam, particularly the The Wheel/Mountain Song section is one of the most transcendent pieces of live music I've heard. Oh, and did I mention that they played fucking Sparks? Kuroda's immersive Garden rig is on full display here, and I recomend hunting down a copy of the excellently produced webcast.
, attached to 1995-11-29

Review by qushner

qushner Excuse me. The Simple is pretty "important" here. It's not the usual sing-songy see-saw jam. Nor is it a shred-fest. Trey grabs a nice little ascending figure and rides it all the way up. Dismount is a bit jarring, which might be the only thing keeping it off the jam chart, but I'd recommend giving it a good listen.
, attached to 1995-10-19

Review by A_Buddhist_Prodigy

A_Buddhist_Prodigy Thanks @BurningShoreProphet for posting the video for this! This was my first show and the boys left my jaw on the ground from the start. I always remembered the Jim and PYITE (can't forget your first). But the Mike Groove was indeed great. I remember being flabbergasted by their energy and chops. When they encored with A Day in the Life, I was hooked for life. It's so nice to have video of your first show.
, attached to 2014-07-04

Review by newyorkphan18

newyorkphan18 Looking back a few years, and this setlist and show is exceptional. Personally, this was my first 3-show run. Camping at Lee's made this weekend a nonstop party. Tons of fun to be had at the campground both before and after the show. SPAC always an amazing venue for both the lot scene and for the music. Set 1 Highlights: Moma> Reba Runaway Jim, SOAM Coil Set 2 Highlights: Fuego> DwD Light>Fuego Theme
, attached to 1997-11-26

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Yet another ridiculous Fall '97 show. Just to add to some of the above comments Taste is top shelf. 2nd set is extremely seguey and sometimes the experiment paid off (->2001) and sometimes it isn't as clean (->Yamar) but it works out, even if you were a little freaked out. Character Zero could not have been more random. The fact that it opened the 2nd set. Or the fact that they stretched it for about 21mins! Overall almost everything is played top notch. I would say this is one of those rare shows where the 1st set is better then the 2nd. But that's "just like my opinion man".
, attached to 1995-12-08

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd Time for another review in honor of the Baker's Dozen (going to try and hit 5 of those...) Set I opens with Sample in a Jar. While most people never look to get this pop tune, it serves well as an opener for my money. Good sing-along, fun upbeat start, and a nice energetic solo make this a good table setter. There's noticeable confidence in the soaring leads and a great little flurry upward from 4:10-4:15. Poor Heart is up next. Like the version from 12/5 (or the Old Home Place from 12/7) this one is very well executed and very crisp and clean. Page really shines in this version. Simple is more than welcome in the third slot and begins a strong sequence of tunes. The song is well played and the jam proceeds in a pretty rocking fashion with a nice full band groove. They start to downshift into a more delicate space around 6 minutes hitting some pretty spaces before a very nice drop into Runaway Jim. Jim kicks in at a nice pace and hits the quiet jam at 2:30 or so. They don't quite nail that big chord hit, but the jam, which starts around 4:30 offers some great playing. By 7:00+ they are really jamming nicely with Trey's playing being particularly active. Some big peaks with some tension appear at the back end of 8 minutes and continue for the remainder with some excellent work by all members. The song returns a bit before 10 minutes and ends a find run of continuous playing. Fluffhead is greeted by audible excitement in the audio on the relisten app. The Leslie speaker even rears its head during the opening of the tune. They pretty much nail it, minus a couple stumbles. This is a very well-placed and well-played rendition. Trey's solo at the end is quite magnificent. It's Ice is up next and represents another (the?) set highlight. Aside from being very well executed, this version descends after about 5-5:30 minutes into a very serene space with Page coloring the airwaves most prominently. At 6:30 there's a deviation from the pretty section into something slightly more spacey. Page carries the little jam and they dive back into It's Ice at around 7:40 for a great conclusion. Acoustic Army & Prince Caspian are unworthy of distinction in this instance, but fine in their own right. GTBT, on the other hand, is a final shot in the arm. This one screams and has a nice tension filled and ultimately soaring climax. End Set. Overall, the set doesn't touch the previous night's first round, nor does it touch some of the better set I's from this tour. That said, it's plenty strong. Everything in '95 seemed fierce, and seems even fiercer in comparison to some of today's bland renditions/formulaic first sets. The run from Simple through It's Ice is stellar. Set II opens with 2001, which has a brief spacey intro. This tune began to find it's funk footing in '96, so this version skews more towards the '93 style versions, which work quite well as a set II opener. Pretty straight up, but very rocking. There's a nice little droning/Page led jam segment after the first climax (3 minutes + or so in) which builds nicely into a final release. Trey is using the pitch shifter/digitech whammy with the droning feedback. Tweezer is up next, and it's a doozy (find me a bad one this tour?). Like 2001, this one skews early 90's speed versus late 90's molasses slow funk. Fishman plays some great fills throughout the "song" section. The drop into the jam at 4:12 or so is really quite fast. Trey starts an idea around 4:30-4:40 and the band picks up nicely - damn this is already great. By 6:40 we are treated to a nice little peak on the opening segment. In latter years, they could simply milk that jam for a good 7 minutes and peak it into oblivion and call it a day. This being '95, they start to break it down around 8:15 into a nice jazzy section. Fish, Mike, and Trey are really hooked up and Page is delivering in spades around them. By 9:30 the song is broken down further and gets quieter at 9:45 with Trey toying with the tempo. Page hammers some fills at 9:50ish, with Fishman picking up that idea. Suddenly Trey is left alone as the band hammers home the downbeat in unison around his choice leads. This is $$$. By 11:15 we are off the reservation and into Hey-Hole type territory. Trey continues to toy with the tempo, but Fishman says my turn at 11:40-45 and a furious, hard-rocking groove ensues. By 13:00 it's pretty maniacal (in a great way). More killer stuff at 14:45, which turns spacier/funkier by 15:20. Into the nether-realms by 15:45. 17:40 sees us ease eerily into the Kung chant. At 21:35 we are reaching the end of the Kung section and into some really strange and frightening space, which drops back into Tweezer perfectly at 22 minutes, god damn. Fish screams over the guitar line, Trey motors ahead with some straight-dope leads that soar majestically over the full band Tweezer groove. Fish continues to Scream and Trey continues to let his guitar to that for him. At 23:27 they go towards the breakdown ending of Tweezer, a hallmark of mid-early nineties versions, which slow to a crawl before concluding. This is a fine execution of that approach with a crawling end, drawn-out, & plodding along into Jon Fishman's vacuum time. Nothing to say about that really. Coil follows up and signals the set may be winding down (rest assured there's plenty left though....). This is a pretty sweet version indeed with some cool Trey/Page interplay during the outro solo. It's not as straight up stunning at 10/9/94 (A live One), but it's not bad at all Mr. McConnell. Well, lulling us into peaceful sleep is not an option. So Tweeprise is up delivers in roaring fashion. Antelope?! What?! This is a really cool pairing to end the set in atypical, but excellent fashion. The intro has a little Page led section with some more unwelcome rythmic clapping from the crowd (argh!! - and sidenote - Jaded Vets can't deride the Wooing if they were into this!!). The drop into the jam is perfection - and very purposeful. Not much needs to be said here other than this jam is liquid hot magma burning all in it's path. Top notch version - would be considered a "best of" in the modern era. For December '95, it's just one in a litany of greatness. End Set. Encore is a double feature of the Beatles. Come Together is a great treat and very well played. ADITL is always welcome. Overall another near perfect set II for December '95. Only real tough listen is the Fishman stuff post Tweezer (but was probably a nice hoot at the show). Tweezer is a great one & Antelope is also sublime. First set isn't Amazing, but it's definitely fun, with some well-played classics. 4.25/5 Another classic.
, attached to 1995-12-05

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd Alright, it's been a bit, but continuing December '95 with the second night of UMASS. Set I opens with Horn, which is kind of an odd opener. Not bad, but I can't imagine it kicking the energy level up. Perfectly adequate rendition, with Trey playing the solo section nicely. CDT seems to be the quick reset and throws the show into a second gear. Very nice crisp version with a good solo. Taste That Surrounds (or Taste) is up next. Like most early iterations, the Fishman vocal section is rough. The song itself is pretty nicely done. Interesting how it evolved. The Lizards is preceded by a quick dedication to Basketball announcing legend and all around maniac Mr. Dick Vitale. Pretty cool. UMASS was a solid team - making the elite 8 with sophomore Marcus Camby - who'd lead them to the finals later on (one of my earliest memories of college basketball). Anyways great version with a typically beautiful outro solo. Free follows up in fine fashion. It's a slightly stretched out version with the churning style jamming that characterized the song through 95-96, before Trey went into a more funkified and guitar oriented jam on the song. Nicely stretched out. Esther is kind of an odd song. For me, it's a less successful "Phishy" song, but it's ok here. David Bowie is next up and brings us back into the jamming realm. The intro is nice and disquieting. Not overly long, but some good eerie space before a pinpoint drop into the song. Trey's playing is crisp and precise in the composed segment with the band in lockstep. The drop into the jam is very nice, and a delicate and purposeful jam begins to develop. Around 6:30-7 the band starts some repetitive playing and gaining a bit of speed and volume slowly. At 8:15 there's a cool little segment that sees Trey foreshadowing the "Frankie Says" guitar melody. Just a kindred musical idea of a tune that would pop up a few years later on Story of the Ghost. By 10 minutes they are moving faster towards a more traditional climax, while continuing to build some additional tension. At 10:50 a great jam develops between all members. It's a pulsing dancey jam, with some really cool playing from Trey. By 12:50 we've emerged back into the climax which gets very intense with a big release by 13:50 with a couple cool victory laps featuring some great tension and scintillating trills. Not a monster version, but boy would I love to see a version like this today. Ferocious and precise. An acoustic version of I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome closes out the set (and comes through pretty nicely in the Relisten App's audio source! The version is accompanied by some (disastrous and unwelcome) audience clapping (yikes!). What is this - Sugar Magnolia!? Nevertheless this is enjoyable. End Set. Pretty solid, not exceptional, but a great Lizards, Bowie & solid Free give us plenty to enjoy. Good playing throughout. Set II opens with a rollicking Poor Heart. Very nice version. Gin is up next and this one is a real heavy hitter. A good song section and opening jam gives way to a nice funky/rock jam, which, by 9:30, is cooking along. Trey and Fish are accenting each others notes on the downbeat and Page is filling the space around them very nicely on the baby grand. Mike is laying down some bulbous bass offerings that would make any living creature gesticulate wildly in primitive and euphoric dance. By 11:30 Trey hits an ascending run and the band drives into some satisfying music, which by 13:30 is morphing into some really neat atypical stuff. By minute 14 Trey has set his droning background and moves to the mini-kit, coloring the music nicely as Page asserts himself with an organ/electric piano type tone. It's less demented than the heralded 11/2/96 Crosseyed, but stylistically not so far off. At around 16:30 Trey drones a higher note over top the band and Page moves to the baby grand. Trey's back in the picture at 17:15 and plays some tasty notes at 17:45. He then kicks into some funky chording/leads around 17:50 but choses to go towards rhythmic, repetitive lead lines over the jam space the band has found themselves in. Think a faster version of the end jam in the Slip Stitch and Pass Wolfman's Brother or the cool section in the 7/4/94 Bathtub Gin>Lifeboy that was From the Archives at SBIX. By 20:30 we are heading back into some weirder space, signaling the end is nigh. It's really good space, with a little start stop action, some frantic Mike notes, some excellent Tom hits from Fish & some nice piano accompaniment from Page. Not unlike the best of Bowie intro jams. Keyboard Army emerges in perfect fashion.... Wow. A nice rendition of Keyboard Army is followed up by Scent of a Mule. SOAM is good and Page takes a good solo section. The song is well done and interesting and drops immediately into a rocking jam. It picks up speed and noise level before going into a more tense space and again picking up speed into a noisy conclusion. Drops perfectly into Lifeboy. Very beautiful version which sets the table for Harry Hood. '95 was a year to feel good about Hood. This version is excellent. The opening jam is delicate, but has plenty of great notes. The Leslie speaker colors the jam around 9:00 with a beautiful watery feel, which climbs beautifully upward. At 10:28 or so Trey switches the Leslie off and brings us to a nice melodic passage that continues to build and he switches the Leslie back on for a brief moment. At 11:22 we are hitting the full band catharsis section, which builds again rolling up another hill, with Trey getting very active around 12:10, switching the Leslie on again, and carrying us still higher. By 12:50 we are poised for some peaks, which begin at 13:05 or so, with some beautiful sustained notes from Trey. He sends us back down briefly before building some additional tension and sending out a signal to the universe that everything is alright and peaks us again at 15:00. The Leslie makes another brief and welcome appearance and the peaking continues. The band drops into a quiet section at 16:00 in, which is just great stuff. A low growl builds at 16:25 and explodes at 16:33 in euphoric celebration. Lyrical refrain at 16:50. You can feel good about this version. Negativity can go suck an egg. Cavern feels like an afterthought, but must have been a fun final release. Encore: Theme & Sweet Adeline are both nice. Theme is very well played in comparison to Trey's recent attempts at the middle section. (but it's ok, keep trying!) Overall a great set II. This is a really solid show. The first set isn't the best in the world, but it's by no means bad. The second set is bundles of fun, with great flow and excellent jamming. The Gin and Hood are both absolutely money. Throw in a very cool SOAM-> Jam and perfectly placed Lifeboy & Keyboard and you've got a winner. 4.25/5 another great show in a great December 95 run.
, attached to 1996-12-01

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Set 1 is pretty average. The exceptions being Trey slaying DWD and a pretty intense and strong Antelope to close. Set 2 is strong front to back. Tweezer starts off extra funky and the jam is very experimental. It's also fun how it slows down into a kind of metal jam towards the end. Reba has spot on execution through the composed section and the blissful section is also strong. Great placement for Swept Away/Steep. The scream by the band before Tweeprise is funny to picture because I'm sure it scared the shit out of some people. Slave is strong to close as Trey lays down the peaks perfectly at the end. Highway to Hell is a fun encore, especially as a fun new cover the band was messing with at the time. Overall S2 makes this a 4 star show. But there's little to complain about with S1.
, attached to 1995-11-19

Review by tiggerphish

tiggerphish This was my very first show. I was introduced to this fine ensemble by Todd O' Gara a great phriend indeed. Met a taper in the lot named Elliott Easterly (anyone else here know him?), and exchanged addresses, and I would go on to get all of the shows I attended from him. Makisupa opener and the rest is history, my life forever altered and changed, completely for the better,.... forever. This Band is an epic part of my life on a daily basis and the four individuals and their 5th member CK5, have shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite. And I am grateful beyond words.
, attached to 2010-07-02

Review by weewaw

weewaw This was my first show! Such a fun time! Got some songs I knew and liked, went with my best friend Drew (RIP). Got some tasty jams in the second set, and a YEM closer. Drove back to Spartanburg that night and crashed in the parking lot outside of my friend's dorm since they didn't answer the phone, then we drove home the next morning. Still have the bootleg shirt I got in the lot, though it is getting mighty ragged. Changed my life.
, attached to 2004-08-14

Review by teaboneski

teaboneski Low rating for this one, but I think that has a lot to do with the hive mind. Where all think alike, no one thinks very much. Feel me? Listen, and then go ahead and tell me that this Bag isn't one of the best ones you've heard. Walls > Jim > Jibboo are also great. And don't sleep on the Stash > Free. And, if you were there, you'd remember how special that Hood was. Drowned. Sure, like most of Coventry, the vocals are, at times, horrendous, laughable, even cringe-worthy. But the playing was creative, uninhibited, even desperate. It was pure art at a time when even the artists themselves suspected they may never create as a unit again.
, attached to 1994-10-14

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw A fairly average show. But a fun show. Highlights: S1 Strong Sample in The Jar. Awesome "Spirit Beam" Narration in Col Forbin. S2 Intense Tweezer Trey starts riffing and hits some high peaks. A pretty version of Lifeboy. Solid CDT. Cool yet standard bluegrass section. The highlight for me is the well played Coil with a nice extended piano outro that is gorgeous. E The horns provide a nice creole touch to Yamar. And they had a little extra to Cavern. Nothing epic or spectacular but fun none the less.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw The final Phish show. A slightly above average Mike's Groove opens the show and the original 3 song Suite is very appreciated. Reba is surprisingly pretty good with some great peaks towards the end. CDT is a little sloppy to start. It goes into a sustain jam followed by a chaotic mess of a jam. Wolfman gets into some nice jungle funk to end the set. This to me personally is the end of any kind of clean playing by Trey the rest of the show. The DWD jam starts weird and Trey seems off just noodling around, they eventually find a groove to stretch their legs a little bit. Wading>Glide is likely the biggest lowpoint in Phish history, so sloppy and just depressing. It goes into SOAM, it starts very sloppy then builds into its typical intensity. Trey starts working on some riffs until they land on one. It then floats into space and escalates up and down. This isn't one single jam, it has many parts. It ends with a wall of ambient noise. Unfortunately for the most part Trey is carried by the rest of the band this whole jam. The segue into Ghost is almost seamless until Trey jumps in at a weird time and messes it up. The jam picks up a lot of pace and turns into an interesting Chaotic Jam. Fast enough for you is straightforward. It's followed by a version of Seven Below that feels very forced and doesn't really go anywhere. It then ripchords into a straightforward version of Simple. Piper goes into light speed and is a fairly solid version for the length. Then a cool Piano type segue into Cool Jerk. Unfortunately the whole Cool Jerk>Dickie Scotland section does nothing for me and feels half assed IMO. After is a straight forward Wilson. And to cap off the final set Slave which has an extremely tame and underwhelming solo from Trey on one of his #1 songs to solo on. Curtain With kind of sums up the whole year. It feels unrehearsed, rough, and not what the crowd wanted (Fluffhead). Although this show does carry a few lights. For the most part it is sloppy and depressing. And as a final show it should be held at a high standard for the fans. And even on a normal level it did not deliver.
, attached to 2004-08-14

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Walls is a great opener choice, and is played with the fire it should. It's a great little "warm up jam". Decent segue into Jim, it has a nice pulsing jam and Mike lays down a nice groove. Jibboo has a nice peaky jam, and Trey solos well. Sloppy intro into YEM, it's a fairly underwhelming so is the vocal jam. Another sloppy intro, this time into Sample. Antelope is decent and straightforward I guess. Bag quickly goes into a tense jam then into a trance like groove and a pretty little jam. Halleys has a nice little breakdown jam. Followed by a Strong Bowie. And a straightforward Character Zero to close it's final set. Twist goes into a nice groove and they seem to be firing on all cylinders. It's actually overall a great jam. An ok segue into The Wedge. Stash starts very sloppy but then turns evil (as it should). Another sloppy intro in Free, it has a different slow middle section in the middle instead of the tense pulsing of the normal versions. Drowned goes quickly into a kind of boring noodley jam and then Trey finds a little riff to hack at as it slowly picks up. It peaks up and down. Friday is oddly strong and feels like it kind of describes the state of the band at this time. I wish I could say more good things about hood but the whole stretched out portion of it feels forced and it meanders quite a bit and never fully gets its footing. I give this 3 stars because despite a few decent versions of songs and jams. It is also very sloppy in a lot of places.
, attached to 2003-12-31

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo BLAT BOOM BA-DIBBY-BOOM DIBBY-BOOM!!! That's how this show started. No, really. Member how Wilson was unfinished the previous night and just kinda sunk into Sand (I member), well Phish member'd too and started this show off with a totally Phishy thing to do: finishing that closing section to Wilson. The crowd went nuts!!! This might be one of my favorite all-time openers just because of how comical/apt/ridiculous/100% Phishy it was. Trey then catapults the band into Mike's Song and we are off! Mike's was played with some serious growl and ferocity, riding the wave that Wilson had created. The jam was solid, standard-good, but the energy in said jam was a cut-above. Hydrogen came next and was timidly-played to my ears. Not sure how else to say it. It was executed well-enough, not perfectly, but entirely forgivable, but Trey and Page seemed reserved in playing their parts. Nonetheless, it is always a twinkling, pretty three minutes, acting as a blasting pad for Weekapaug Groove. Weekapaug was all sorts of fun. Starting off with some Auld Lang Syne teases and then morphing into a bouncy-ball jam. It loses direction just for a hot second before finding another groove that I have heard before (and I can't put my finer on it!) There is a Piper from Dick's 2011 (I think... ?) that has this jam, and a Weekapaug from 7.21.03 that has this jam, and it is all sorts of fun. It is entirely percussive-based, yet entirely recognizable, and downright fun to listen to! Weekapaug then surges to a climactic ending and BOOM, what a start to the show! A solid Moma Dance comes next and continues to superlegality of what's happening so far. Dance moves which can only be defined as controversial permeate both the American Airlines Arena and living rooms, alike. This Moma Dance is rather "straight forward" (for 2003 standards, as 2003 was the year when Moma got taken for lonnnnnng walks) but this version was more energized and heated, rather than funky and deep. It set up a pretty good Guyute (and any of you following along know I am not a Guyute fan)... however, in the first set, especially with how energized the set has been, I was not unhappy with Guyute's placement. I was, however, very happy with You Enjoy Myself's placement! WOW! DID NOT SEE THIS COMING! Neither did the crowd, judging from the explosive roars of the AUD. What a cool set so far! YEM Was executed fairly well, and the jam featured all sorts of stylistic playing. It starts out with a broken down, entirely Mike-led jazz section (what a cool filter he is using, no?). It then picks up into a jam that tries diligently to follow the trajectory of 12.1.03's still-smoldering version, however, it doesn't quite get as tenacious. B+ for effort, as Trey tries to make this one peak hard, but falls only a little short. Still, an extended jam section highlighted by 1) A Mike Gordon jazz-breakdown and 2) A full-effort attempt at a huge peak 3) First set and this was a delight to listen to. Plus a standard-good bass n drums section. First Tube continues to fury, or at least tries to, as this version was a little tepid to my ears. They never quite locked into that driving, freight train of a groove that can make First Tube soar out of the building. Having said that, as far as song selection is concerned, Phish was crushing it. And to add an extra cherry on top of a comical, inspired set, Phish ends where they begun - by finishing Tube from the night before! A la Wilson, Phish dropped right into the closing section of Tube and, geez, it sounded unbelievably energized in there. It must have been so much fun! What a set!!! Stash starts set 2 with patience and depth. The composed section seemed more, hmmm, open to me. It wasn't fast, nor intense. It was soft, and sweeping. It just rolled. Perhaps this was premeditated, as the jam that ensues is an all-timer when speaking about Stash. Almost immediately when the jam begins, Trey and Fish create musical space. Patience, slow-playing the jam, they placidly guide it away from any sort of peak. Instead they aim higher. For space. Outer space. Deep space. Imagine yourself in a space suit, outside of the Space Shuttle, looking out into the darkness. This is the music that you would be hearing. Ethereal and profoundly cosmic, the jam embarks into zero gravity. Page creating starlight with synths and organs. Mike creating black holes with rumbling, yet un-charted bass notes. Fish drops out, not entirely, but enough to almost make the jam devoid of time. Then Trey takes the lead - looking back at anthems from IT's Tower Jam and soundcheck, he himself starts to space walk. It corrals the jam and leads it back into the structure of the shuttle. Starts to sound like Stash again... but still with a cosmic tone. Trey fires the rockets and charts a course back to earth! Woosh! Trey guides Phish back into a Stash jam that has a satisfying, tension-filled peak. What a version this is! Must hear if there ever was one! After some extended time to capture their breath (space doesn't have atmosphere to breathe after air) and some more time to screw their noggins back on straight (zero gravity will do that to you) Phish sashays into Seven Below. Nailing the composed section, they skip into a poppy little groove. Jumping rope with notes, the version has a delightfully upbeat feel to it, then it looks back a Stash and says, "I too want to go to space." It bleeds out into an ambient and rather disjointed jam segment which ultimately concludes with, wtf, Lawn Boy? An odd choice, given the heaviness of the set. I tend to like Lawn Boy and the carefree feel to it, but with how dark and heavy this set had started, to me, it just didn't fit. Chalk Dust Torture blasts us right back into dance mode and old Funky is happy again. This Chalk Dust is blistering at first - rally focused, energized, pumped-up playing. The rampages along when Trey makes a move to take it into extended jam territory. His modulates and changes his filters, almost on a dime, making the jam sound unrecognizable to Chalk Dust proper - and just as this happens, you can hear him start licking the opening melodic notes to Slave over the jam. Don't call it a ripchord, because it wasn't. It was a deft and thoughtful -> Slave. A tremendous pairing. This Slave, alebit on the short end, left nothing on the table. Inspiring and uplifting (as, like, ALL Slaves tend to be) this version was in fact just a little better, a little happier, a little more soulful than some other you may have heard. And then, the icing on the cake. As Slave winds down Trey absolutely SPRINTS back into Chalk Dust! And I mean SPRINTS! He wastes no time, taking off at full speed, leaping back into the Chalk Dust jam! Wow! Phish scorches the jam for a solid 2 minutes before bringing it back home to the chorus and ending the song. But, WOW! What a sandwich (don't tell Page)! And what bookends to the set!!! ::FUNK GUITAR:: Is P-Funk coming back out? What's going on? ::more funk guitar, Fishman starts a beat:: What is this?! Ohhh I recognize this!!! JUNGLE BOOGIE. The standard funk anthem swings into set 3! This should be fun! Straight forward but oh so funky (if I do say so myself) the "jam" continues on a straightforward trajectory to open the set. Slowly, more sounds are audible. Sounds like drums (from the deep). No no, not like the Mines of Moria drums... not terrifying drums... these are fun drums! Then more bright sounds. Horns! Yes, indeed, a drumline, a brass section and everything else that accompanies a high-school marching band is now performing Jungle Boogie on stage with Phish. Amazing. (stupid kids, why aren't I grumble grumble). Anyways, the marching band settles into the Jungle Boogie groove and Trey starts to wail over them. Nothing extraordinary, except in how fun it must have been, the truncated "gag" finally dissolves into Auld Lang Syne. Still, smiles abounded, the sultry funk left us smiling and dancing as we rung in the new year... or in my case, January 21st, 2017. Not that anyone is counting. ALS gave way to, another wtf, Iron Man? I don't think this was planned, or rehearsed, but Trey just kinda goes for it. Comedic value: high; playback value: nominal; this was an odd, but still fun, way to start 2004. Just as quickly as Iron Man came, it went, and Phish launches into Runaway Jim! The jam swiftly picks up steam and surges forward. But it falters. It breaks down and gets lost in itself... Fishman salvages it though, briefly, with a quick, rock-based drum flourish and the band leaps back into that fiery preceding jam. But. Again, it falters. It just kinda drones along for the next 10 minutes. Honestly, maybe one of the most "meh" 22-minute jams you'll ever hear. Oh well. Jim dissolves benevolently into Simple, but I think Phish is getting tired. Simple is a whimper of a jam that evaporates into... whoa, Reba??? Second wind?? Ehhh... maybe not. Reba had some hard-to-listen-to moments in the composed section and the jam, while pillow-top soft, was rather uneventful It does deserve, however, at least a few words. The Reba jam was light and fluttery. Very light, very fluttery, with almost no intent on peaking. In fact at one point it broke down to Trey, by himself, in a contemplative and introspective solo (which was very pretty to be honest) but when the band re-joined him, the Reba jam reflected his solo: meditative. It was pretty though. A weird, but funny, I Didn't Know > Feel the Heat (uh huh, if you can even call it that) vacuum solo > Hold Your Head Up definitely let us know the band was tired. But hey, they really threw down this show. A standard-good Antelope closed the set (with not much to write about), followed by a standard Frankenstein encore. You know what, hey can't always stick the landing, on a particular song or show, but the all-around effort was there, no doubt about it. This was a fantastic, fun, funny, spacey, exploratory, energized, fresh, unique, and 100% Phishy Phish show that put an exclamation point on a year that contained all those adjectives, and so much more. Must-hear jams: Stash, Chalk Dust -> Slave > Chalk Dust Probably-should-listen-to jams: "Wilson," Weekapaug Groove, You Enjoy Myself, "Tube," Jungle Boogie
, attached to 2003-12-30

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo Half way into the first-ever NYE run away from Phish's home court of MSG, one would not realize Phish is playing the role of visitor. After all, they are undefeated since 1983. Unlike the 20th anniversary run, these two shows have given us a four jam-heavy, energized, tight (relative to 2003) sets that "type-whoa" statement jams and segments permeating from every quarter of each show. Lofty words to set up the 30th, no? Can Phish handle the pressure? Can Phish slam dunk from the 3-point line to score a hat trick and score the winning run? Worry not sports fans, Funky has us covered... and I guess Phish does too. DUH-DUN, DUH-DUN! WILLLSSSSONNNN!!! DUH-DUN, DUH-DUN! WILLLLLLSSSSONNNN!!!! I get shivers just writing it. In my mere 56 shows, Wilson is an opener I have longed for but never caught. The energy. The call and response. The unabashed removal of pants and other articles of clothing... wait, what. Well, this is a Funky review after all, which means it has it all... except pants. I lasted about 15 minutes before full pants-removal while listening to this show. And with good reason. Wilson stampedes forward, surging with jagged rock anthems and Phish's own spin on "Metal." Kind of. As the surge leads up to the BLAT BOOM part, something special happens. Something oh so very Phishy. Like boulders rumbling down a hillside, Mike drops the Sand bassline over the chaotic distortion. Holy cow. The first Sand of 2003, as the second song of the first set... this is when the pants came off. The crowd erupts as a dance party ignites. Did Mount St Helens take a vacation to Miami? No, silly geologists, it is just Phish. Sand blisters through its jam, a la type-1 Sands of this common era. A take-no-prisoners Sand, this one could easily be entitled Concrete due to how hard it was played, and how solid the jam was. What's that I hear? Another familiar bassline. SHAFTY! Apparently the bill for the Dec 30th show read, "Mike Gordon ft. Phish" as this was Mike's show, 100%. Slamming home that Shafty bassline like Shaquille Oneal, the bands slips -> Shafty. At this moment I thought about putting on pants so I could take them off again. And throw them very far away. An idea quickly dissolved by the highly controversial dance party I myself was creating in the living room. Mrs Funky and the cat look on in awe. Shafty, also the first of 2003, drifts nearly flawlessly -> NICU and again, Mike "Shaq" Gordon slam dunks all over the crowd. NICU is playful and fun, complete with Mike layering the Shafty bassline over his usual NICU line. Amazing stuff here. NICU's mini jam isn't so much creative as it is fiery, a version of the song that, by itself is rather "normal" but when listened to in the context of the set is exceptional. Weigh comes next and continues the trend of "First version of 2003." Normally played, again as an individual, this version in the context of the set might as well be Free Bird. This set so far is an example of the phrase, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." The jams themselves aren't mind-blowing, but how they're strung together is nothing short of incendiary. Hey, I'm incendiary too man. Yes you are bold reader, yes you are. Cities funks things up and the crowd, I do believe is naked. The Cities jam is rather bland but don't tell that to those in attendance, they were too busy enjoying themselves. Strange Design was a perfectly placed respite which was well-played and well-earned for band and crowd alike. A chaotic yet rather, again, bland Scent of a Mule does what it can to reenergize the venue, and given the next sequence, it succeeds. An efficient and effective Bathtub Gin comes next. Building in quintessential Gin fashion, it hits a solid, spunky peak around the 10 minute mark. Had the jam ended here, I would be content. But it doesn't. Instead, Phish takes off into a wood-block-(I think)-driven quasi-funk jam. So gnarly. Love these final two minutes of Gin. Then... THEN... WHAMMO!! The opening snare/kick drum combo that signals the mothership. 2001. No one had this on their pick'em sheet for set 1 closer that's for sure! A sultry, sexy 2001 complete with Make My Funk the P Funk jam between the two choruses shatters the proverbial backboard. Shaq would be impressed. This 2001 had funk elements, fun elements, and tight-looseness that is indicative of Phish playing at a very high level. In fact, Phish was voted into the All-Star game for the 20th consecutive season. A smoking hot set 1, following up 4 previous smoking hot sets, and it's about time I dive into my thesaurus to find some new words to use. A pornographic Tube opens set two. Riffing with energy right off the bat, Phish does a start/stop jam within seconds of the jam beginning. SOoOoOo dirty. Man I love that sh*t (curses woos under breath). Tube rampages on. With 20% more start/stop action, shipping and handling included! One time features Page. One time features Fish. And when Fish's segment winds down, the band EXPLODES back into the jam!! And Tube breaks another tackle and is crossing the 50! The jam leaps into a building rock groove and at this point, Bo Jackson himself couldn't catch Phish. But it's not done yet, no way. It starts to get dissonant and weird. Trey trying to find a groove. But with purpose. He does. Swish! A little harsh at first, but then completely recognizable, Phish drops into LA WOMAN!!! If Harry Carey had been calling this show, we would have got the biggest HOLY COW of his career. A rocking jam complete with (oddly accurate) Morrison-esq YEAHS and WHOAS, LA Woman sends the crowd into more of a frenzy than free-t-shirt night (wait, did Phish give away free shirts tonight?) LA Woman crashed into Birds of a Feather which, like Sand and Gin, features a straight forward but lava-hot jam segment. Not quite a must-hear, but definitely a jam that should not be overlooked. Birds briefly touches back on LA Woman before a true, unexpected, and smoooooooth -> Makisupa. This is a fun Makisupa. A real fun one. It seems that Makisupa was missing its keyword until Trey starts up "Treys Story Time" and explains how they wanted to play Touch Me, but Fish doesn't know the words and some blathering about a horns section... and he rambles on for a couple more typical Trey asides, before saying that P Funk will be joining them onstage and P Funk is way better than Fish singing Touch Me. THE CROWD GOES FRIGGIN BANANAS. One of the best crowd reactions I've ever heard. I am giggling to myself remembering their response. SO awesome. The P Funk Medley that ensues is EXACTLY what you're thinking it is. Pure onstage chaos. I mean that in the very best way possible. Antics. Funk. Laughs. George. Trey. CACTUS. Laughs. Funk. Laughs. I mean, this was 19 minutes of controversy that transcends any laws we have on the books. Was the music "good?" Well, I mean not necessarily if you're looking for huge type-2 jams. But I 100% promise you with a money-back guarantee that if you listen to this segment, you will smile and say "Man, kinda wish I had been there." It was unreal. The mayhem finally relents, many people became pregnant, and Makisupa "ends." Not a moment too soon, Down with Disease growwwwwwls through the speakers (told you it was Mike's show) and Phish takes off again! A furious maelstrom of notes, Trey takes the reigns on this jam and scalds his guitar with passion and intensity. Mike and Page layer a lucid and soft tapestry of sound behind Trey, who is really showcasing some hot playing. Just when you think they're gonna drop back into the refrain, they instead board the mothership and blast off into contemplative space. Quiet, tranquil and serene, Phish embarks on 3 minutes of placid playing. Then, for me, the highlight of the show. Trey starts playing the closing notes of DWD, oh so very softly, with different tones and filters. He builds. Slowly. Patiently. Slowly getting his guitar back into rock-mode. Still the builds. The re-entry from space to earth is given the GO from ground control. A sonic boom. Trey EXPLODES back into the DWD anthem and the crowd goes nuts. WOW!!!! WHAT A WAY TO CLOSE THE SONG... LET ALONE THE SET... LET ALONE THE SHOW!!! Contact featured some quasi-funk playing and had just a fun overall vibe to it. Another first of 2003, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, gave us an emotive, inspired cover that richly enveloped all that had transpired this evening. What an encore. What a show. What a band. Must-hear jams: The -> Sand -> Shafty -> NICU segment, Bathtub Gin -> 2001, Tube, Down with Disease Probably-should-listen-to jams: Honestly, this is a show that needs to be heard start-to-finish to be fully appreciated.
, attached to 2003-12-29

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo Well it certainly didn't take long for me to lose my pants listening to this show. There are openers... and then there is this Piper. Holy smokes. 15 minutes of fire-breathing locomotive barreling down friction-less tracks. 15 minutes of "OMG did they just do that?!" ::breathe:: Okay. I mean, for all intents and purposes my review is complete. But I guess I have to say something (say it on the radio) about the rest of the show. On paper, this is what shows are made of. In reality, don't believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free. So let's get to it and figure out what this show is all about. An adept, playful Foam rises like a Phoenix out of Piper's still smoldering ashes. This version missed some spots in the composed section, but made up for it with the lingering, latent energy from Piper. A fair showing, if not extraordinary, this Foam features perfunctory normal Page and Trey solos, that in the heat of the moment, were perfectly forgettable yet still well-played enough to keep the energy swelling. Anything But Me slowed things down just a *touch* too soon, but the slightly extended jam on the back end, led by a very contemplative Trey, gave this version a "Mountains in the Mist" aura to it. Limb by LImb has been an all-star in 2003, and this might be the finest version of the year. Swirling and spiraling are two words I have used often to define LxL jams - and these words are right at home here - especially if this jam was a tornado. The sheer intensity of the Trey/Fish connection was inspiring and beautiful. Asking myself, "How can he play like that?" I am glad I know not the answer, as the mystery is what keeps me coming back for more. This version is a must-hear for sure. A standard-good Wolfman's drops in next and boils with energy, at first, but eventually peters out. Again, standard-good, but seems to lose cohesion near in the final 3-4 minutes. The Poor Heart > Cavern combo was indeed fun, although seemed a bit premature. However, looking back at what this set brought, I have reflected and concluded I would have been perfectly content in the moment at the show - not that it matters to anyone actually in attendance, as I am sure their concern at this moment was finding their face. Rightfully so. All and all, a stellar set with some serious replay value. Top notch versions of Piper and Limb by Limb, era notwithstanding, anchor an efficient and energized set 1. And (it's okay to peak, I did) just look what's on the horizon. Damn it. I knew I should not have peaked. Eating that third hi... wait. Wait. Different peak. Ahem. With Phish, I have found, unequivocally, the very best shows and funnest times happen when you have zero expectations, Check your setlist prognostication at the door please, this ride requires less-than-zero analysis. [Spoiler] Uh, Funky, Carol isn't a Phish song. Oh right, REBA! REBA! We are due for a REBA!!! Anyways, my point is, when you follow setlists religiously (I do) and try predict what they are going to play (I have) you are usually wrong (I am). And then you kick rocks and get too caught up in yourself, instead of being fully immersed in the moment, the beauty, of the Phish show. What is the point of this tangent, well, I suppose it is that I should follow my protocol of not peaking at setlists before I listen to the show. That and just surrender to the flow... man. Okay, set 2. Rock and Roll gets off to a fumbling start. Kinda un-energized and flat to be honest. The jam jumbles along for about 9 minutes, hitting no real peaks, breaking no real form. Trey realizes this, not a moment too soon, and guides the band into a verrrry generous -> Twist (more of a > in my opinion). Twist features a playful, extended mini-jam segment before the lyrics start. Good stuff here. Fishman loves those woodblocks. As the band breaks out of the lyrics, Mike turns on his Boogie filter and they toy around the a reggae/funk groove for a couple minutes before a true -> Boogie On. The Twist jam is abbreviated, but efficient, and sets up Boogie On quite nicely ... a good pairing indeed. Boogie On however, like Rock and Roll, never finds its footing. That is not to say it is a bad version (it isn't) it is just rather tame. It eventually morphs into Ghost with another true -> and the energy picks right back up! This Ghost is a scorcher. An interesting, conundrum of a scorcher! It builds, but doesn't peak. It has grooves, but none of those "stuck in my head forever" riffs/basslines/anthems. It really brings the dance, but as I look back on it, I can't recall which moments stand out! I just remember it being very fun and very energized. And you know what, I'll take it! Not every jam has to have those types of moments for it be memorable. Sometimes, it is just memorable because the band locks into some fun, straight-forward jamming. You will nary find a bad word about type-1 jams coming from these fingers. Ghost gives us another -> (wow! I know, so many ->) Free. Another almost-seamless transition (not quite, but so close) keeps the energy levels in the red. This Free though, eh, I might draw some wrath for this... this Free does nothing for me. Mike's opening bass blitzkrieg is indeed exceptional, but then two Trey/Mike duets seem off-key. Like two cats yowling at each other. Okay okay, maybe not THAT annoying. But I just couldn't get into it. Having said that, it is interesting to listen to and it sounded like the audience was really digging it. Free comes a stop and (I think I hear a Fluffhead chant?) and Trey has a weeeeeird opening to Divided Sky. It sounds like he's scratching his fingernails up and down the neck of the guitar before playing the true opening notes. It was rather grating and harsh, especially for such a beautiful song. Hmm. Weird indeed. The composed section was played very well though. It took Trey a couple minutes to find his rhythm in the jam section, in fact, the first two minutes were pretty bad. He recovers though, and sends the jam to some soaring heights. All and all, a decent rendition, but interesting in a not-so-good way. A smoking hot Good Times Bad Times closes the set, complete with some, geez, quasi-plinko jamming early on in the jam segment, This version is a cut above almost all other GTBT. It rocks! Waste was a tasteful encore and is exactly what you'd expect. Getting a second encore, I mean, that's exactly what you do not expect. Although the composed section featured some flubs, Trey stuck with Page for a long while in the outro, playfully weaving in and out of Page's soft melodies. Trey finally breaks away, leaving Page on the high keys. Small and petite playing, Page lulls us with soft strokes and light touches. Beautiful way to cap an crazy, energized night of Phish. Must-hear jams: Piper, Limb by Limb, Ghost Probably-should-listen-to jams: Twist, Free, Good Times, Bad Times, Squirming Coil
, attached to 2003-12-28

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo A odd of juxtaposition of opaque-ity versus clarity defined the 20th anniversary run. Good times, bad times, the band had their share (but honestly, don't we all). Some called it a microcosm of 2003. Not me. 2003 was far more consistent in its highs and more more spread out in its lows than that 20th anniversary run. The nay-sayers who look back at this year with contempt and define it by the 4 anniversary shows most likely harbor something personal against what transpired for them or their lives. We've all had those moments though, and the moment ends, so as we round the final bend to the home stretch of this glorious year of music, 2003, let us reflect on the multitudes of good, forgive the few bad small potatoes, and look forward to what the magic of Phish at Madison Square Garden on New Years can manifest. WooooOOOOooOOOO-Tsss-tssss-tssss-tsssssss-tssss-tssss-tsssssss-WooOOooOOooOOooOOooOOo-Tsss-Tsss-Tsss-Tsss-Tsss...brrrrr-boom BLAP DAVID BOWIE! Those are the actual transcribed sound affects on the opening spacey/high-hat segment of the run-opening David Bowie. Holy cow. What a statement opener this was. An extended and highly spacey opening section to Bowie set an immediate tone of imagination and improvisation. The crowd exploded. One of those reactions that is captured perfectly on the AUD and gave goosebumps to me, someone not in attendance, listening for the first time some 13 years later, some 3,000 miles away from the epicenter. The composed section was nailed nearly flawless and the jam escaped at warp speed. As I eluded to earlier -the word juxtaposition- this Bowie was the antitheses of the less-than-tepid Bowie that train-wrecked the 2nd night of the anniversary run. As Harry Dunne once said, "You go and do something like this and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!" And Phish was good. Again. This Bowie is a torrent of diamond-plated fury. It wooshes into the stratosphere before grinding into, a... well, grinding groove. Harsh (in a good way) and with an attitude, Bowie finally hits four substantial, locked-in peaks and the MSG lifts off. Sample in a Jar drops in next and the feel-good sing-a-long whips the crowd into a energized conglomerate of happiness. Hitting notes with passion and intensity, Trey leads us into... A FIRST SET 3RD SONG TWEEZER!!! Phish has scored a hat trick so far, and the New York Rangers are thinking about treading Brian Leetch and Co for the foursome onstage. Tweezer, although nothing too special, features a swampy slow groove that eventually morphs into a Bowie-Esq-grinding groove. You won't remember this Tweezer, but sometimes the whole (set) is greater than the sum of its parts. And when your set starts Bowie, Sample, Tweezer... the whole it good. Bouncing finds a nice home following up the power trio and gives us a chance to gather our brains, catch our minds, and high-ten anyone within an 11-foot vicinity. AC/DC Bag simply does not relent. A blitzkrieg of energy, both this version and this set, washed the crowd in volumes of controversy. The dance moves were unprecedented. Was I there? No. I was not. But if my living room moves were any indication... I mean, they do say history repeats itself... so I was no doubt channeling those of you in the Round Room on 12.28.03. Godspeed to us all. As Bag evaporates out, the eerie opening notes of Frankie Says float in like fog over the sea. One of my personal favorite tunes in Phish's repertoire, this dreamy rendition lifts off into an extended outro jam taking pieces of 2.14.03 Fee, 7.29.03 Crosseyed, and completely original ingenuity: combining them all into a psychedelic masterpiece of space, time, and vapor. The version floats like a peaceful cloud. And it rains droplets of curiously soft, intriguing grooves. Eventually, the clouds darken and give way to a thunder clap set to the tune of the opening snare hits of Llama! Whoa! Did NOT see this coming! Llama rips out of the foggy and haze and takes us all by surprise. The version itself is rather mild though, with Page struggling to find a rhythm in his solo and Trey kinda following suit. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic pairing of songs, the Frankie/Llama. By this point, Phish has delivered it all. Extended jams. Volcanic energy. Architectural set construction. And non-stop fun. Speaking of which... how about a dose of Fish? A wacky, yet *perfectly* placed HYHU > Love You(?) [the question mark is due to the gaffed lyrics, which was awesome in its own right] > HYHU gave this set a fully complete Phish experience. Really. What more could you want? A dramatic and so-unexpected Tweezer Reprise brought the house down. What a way to start the New Years party! Gotta Jibboo sashays through the PA to open set two and this swanky little jam really does it for me. Patient. Consistent. Upward-sloping. Perhaps not the most colorful of words to describe a jam, but these trio of symbols elegantly define this 13-minute Jibboo. It slowly swells in intensity. It patiently builds its energy. It unapologetic-ly takes the long route to a fine, hearty, satisfying peak. It's one of those jams that's easy to overlook because of its title and timestamp, but when you listen to it, you can't help but say, "I wish I was there for that." Suzy EXPLODES into the two slot and this is when the when things get interesting. This version pops with fury from the opening lyric. The normal Page-led mini-jam segment between the verses gets flipped on its head into a Mike/Fish-led maelstrom of dance and rhythm. I was GETTING DOWN in my living room. Articles of clothing were being removed at a clip that had Hugh Hefner saying, "We need to hire that guy." One of the most fun living room dance parties that even had Mrs Funky saying from the other room, "What version is this?!?" It slams back into the chorus and then immediately takes off into truly uncharted territory for Suzy. Unfortunately, to my ears, this second jam was light-years behind the first extended jam. Where the first one was peppy, bouncy, and unabashedly controversial... the second jam was dissonant, disconnected, and a little to wanky for my taste. Trey got a little too carried away and led the jam into weird, distorted places that just didn't sound good. Nonetheless, this two-part Suzy is worth many listens to decipher the many nuances of the jam. Suzy eventually recedes into some space (which was cool) before Theme starts up. The composed section of Theme was not well-executed. In fact, it was poorly executed. Not to worry, as the soaring jam on the back end makes up for the mistakes in the front end. This version is a high-flying, feel-good version that will leave your jaw on the floor... after, of course, you finish grinding your teeth on how bad the composed section was. Theme stops, Water in the Sky starts, and WITS finds its Winter 2003 roots. WITS was a song played with great frequency in 2003, with versions being measurably less-strong as the year went on. Fortunately, this version bucked the trend and delivered strong Page and Trey work. Both working quickly and nimbly, this version is fierce and hot. It felt like a perfect springboard for a huge jam, maybe Ghost or Waves or something along those lines, but instead it is followed up by a song that sounds worse than getting kicked in the nuts feels. Fortunately, the pain ends, and we get a Hood to close things out. 2003 was good to Hood, and this version falls somewhere in the bottom third. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as, again, 2003 was a very good year for this song, but this version features a more "metal" jam to it, rather than melodic. It grinds along, filled with distortion and darkness. It does build, however, into a colorful almost-peak, but they never...quite...get...there. Sometimes they just can't stick the landing. Oh well... still, bot a *bad* version, just not a great one. A humble and fun Sleeping Monkey kicks off the encore which leads into a raging Loving Cup. A fine pairing in the final frame, Phish puts a much deserved exclamation point on a whirling, eccentric, fun, and energized night of music! Must-hear jams: David Bowie, Frankie Says, Suzy Greenberg (especially the first jam segment) Probably-should-listen-to jams: AC/DC Bag, Gotta Jibboo
, attached to 2017-01-15

Review by MrFoot

MrFoot After enjoying our Tequila Tasting session at Dreams, we boarded the first shuttle to the venue accompanied by a massive downpour of rain...the sweatband on my Stetson needed a good wash anyway. Thankfully we had our rain ponchos for the wait in line and once again we found ourselves back on the beach within 10 rows of the stage - dead center. More heavy rain ensued and people were soaked but happy to be in such a beautiful place. The rain made the sand hard but we've danced on worse. Of course the stage was soaked, equipment covered, uncovered, recovered, uncovered, water swept off stage, leaf blowers or something similar on stage to dry things out. But look the storms gone and the band came on shortly after things had dried out a bit. One thing I noticed the first two nights was that there was quite a bit of discussion in between songs. It was all very loose, like no pressure on big red to call all the shots. It was good vibes all around. But there wasn't that much discussion on Sunday night, lots of segues and high quality playing instead. Set I - despite lyrical flubs (and there were a few this weekend) Boogie on Reggae Woman got everyone shaking off the damp and dancing with Sunday show zeal. The rest of the set was ssssssolid with some stellar jamming and segues. 'Nothing' seemed out of place, but hey was this the bustout of the weekend or what? Only it's 7th outing and hadn't been played since 2015! Nothing to write home about but I'm not complaining. And the Drummer boy tease in Ghost made me feel like this was an extended New Year's run. Trey and Page were laughing - with us or at us I couldn't tell. Yamar, STFTFP and Rift brought some good vibes and Fluffhead...well come on, it's Fluffhead! It felt like coming home again. Deep joy to close a great set. Set II - We moved back for the rest of the show dancing down by the shore and under the palm trees again. There really wasn't a bad place to be watching these shows, the sound was great, and I like to see things from a different perspective. I can't really say much about the second set, except, listen to it now! If you haven't already, what are you waiting for. Great playing throughout. Apart from NMINML, this set could have been lifted straight out of 1997. It felt like an old school set list with some new school jamming. Very Nice, because I feel old school and need some of the new school to keep me young. A great Slave and Tweeprise to send us off from yet another Phish experience for the history books. The moon, looking up at Orion and other stars just above stage, the clouds, the amazing phans, crazy lights by CK5, great sound and great playing from the band...wow. I didn't make it last year but would consider selling a kidney to go again next year. It was a privilege to be there and I am so grateful for the experience. Thank you Phish, CID, Dreams, Mexico! Via Con Dios!
, attached to 2017-01-14

Review by MrFoot

MrFoot Arrived on the first bus from our resort again and found ourselves at the front of the line with most of the same people from night one minus the poster gang. They let us in from the alternating lines in groups of 30 instead of 100 as they did the first night. Set I - The Curtain With was a lovely way to open the show - my last one was the Acoustic 8 set, but Bag felt a little flat and eliminated hopes of a Gamehendge set, and Breath and Burning, while nice to hear, lacked energy. Poor heart, usually good for injecting some life, didn't quite get things moving. Moon, the Line and Waking Up Dead continued what was shaping up to be a very mellow show. Fine by me, as I did rage a bit hard on the 13th. Man it's hard to refuse drinks being served to you whilst dancing on the beach. Tube got me raging again...only to mellow out again with FEFY - I'm a bit of a sucker for the slow songs and really love Fast Enough. My wife loves Ocelot so was very happy and we were treated to a jamming Chalkdust to close the set. I'm 45 now so, 'can't I live while I'm young', doesn't have the same impact on me as when I was a 19 year old undergrad at UNC in Greeley, CO. But it was a heater and you should listen to it. Set II - The last time I heard Crosseyed was 10-31-96 and it was a great way to get everyone moving again. Blaze On was funky and fun and then we got a nice dirty Meatstick with a great jam. Surprisingly, Winterqueen kept up with the previous jam and led into an equally nice Mercury. We wandered off at the start of Light to dance under the light of the palm trees then down to the shore for Velvet Sea. Twas lovely really. The Drowned Rocky Top encore was interesting. We are huge Who fans so love this and have epic memories from 10/31/95 but Mike just can't sing like Daltrey. Whatever! Daltrey can't play bass like Mike. Oh let me get back to the see...or Rocky Top of course. Average setlist with above average playing and outstanding atmosphere - The Crosseyed and Painless themed second set is definitely worth your time...you won't regret it. It's cool, I'm still waiting too.
, attached to 2017-01-13

Review by MrFoot

MrFoot This was our 3rd Friday the 13th show with Phish. My wife and I flew out from England for these decadent destination shows and had one of the best Phish experiences we have ever had. We don't get to many shows these days, our last was Halloween 2016, classiest show I've ever seen, and before that Dick's 2012, took our 3 daughters to the 8/31 show. We are both long time fans, first show at the Roseland in 92 for me and my wife was Red Rocks 93. So we've been through the ups and downs with this band, have seen epic shows, and mediocre ones too. We have done our share of travelling to see the band and 25 years later, they still bring us so much joy. So this was Friday the 13th part III for us. Our first was 10/13/1995 and then 6/13/1997. We have a bad habit of accidentally leaving things unlocked on Friday the 13th. For the Fort Worth show we left our car unlocked with all our tickets, cash, provisions, etc for the coming 10 days...nothing was touched. For the Dublin show we left the windows and room door open at our hotel. For this night we left the hotel safe wide open with our passports, iPad Air 2 and loads of other things. Thank the blue agave nothing went missing. Anyway, more about the show and the scene. I have to say that CID did an amazing job with everything surrounding these shows. Checkin at the hotel, we stayed at Dreams Tulum, was smooth. Shuttle transfers back and forth were plentiful and had a great atmosphere. All the people we met from CID were polite, professional and cool. And many of them were having a great time at the shows. We arrived at Barcelo on the first shuttle so were at the front of the line with the poster peeps. Waiters brought us cervezas and margaritas while waiting in line. Getting in was smooth - there were two lines. One from Barcelo and one from the other resorts that they alternately let 100 people from each line into the venue. This is the first time I've been to a show where RFID tags were in our wristbands and used to gain access. As we entered there were more waiters with drinks, and we were all lead at a slow camel walk pace up to the front. Well, we were about 5 rows back at that point. The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation. After we settled in our spot and met our neighbors, I wandered off to get some food. On my wander, I met Tom Marshall. I thanked him for writing all those great songs and bringing so many great hours of enjoyment to my life. He was genuinely thankful and is a very cool guy. The setlist didn't blow me away but the overall playing on the night was great. Free was tight and I felt the feeling I forgot , both for myself and a jaded friend in New York. But the main highlights for me in Set I ran from Funky Bitch through Horn. I really enjoyed Wolfman's but felt my fat balloon of expectations deflate after a pretty standard setlist. But as I said before, the execution and energy levels were great and the scene on the beach was delightful. I decided to lower my expectations of hearing epic bustouts, a Mexico Harpua or anything super special and just enjoy whatever was ahead. ASIHTOS was nice to hear, The Wedge is one of my wife's favorites and we got our first Fuego, and a jamming one at that. Caspian's never been a favorite but fit the context of the situation. Loved the Tequila Twist and great to hear Seven Below - I really love the Phishy feeling of this song. Golgi was pretty sloppy but thankfully followed by a smokin' Antelope. The Contact encore was a treat and you could really feel the love all around. I really like Bug and don't understand the haters. Oh well, to each his own - bug, it doesn't matter. The next day we met up with many of the same people, including Nik Orr, who said I was raging hard at this show and said "Hey, you got your Fuego." Standard setlist, solid playing and outstanding atmosphere made for a great night. Whatever happens, there is always some fire at a Phish show and there was plenty at this one. Never miss a Friday the 13th show! Maybe so, maybe not - give it a listen and decide for yourself.
, attached to 1997-08-09

Review by SkyTrainWand

SkyTrainWand This show is STACKED. Listen to it. Awesome parts of set 1: Theme, Ghost -> Taste, Reba (incredible) Awesome parts of set 2: Everything. Literally the entire set, from Wilson to Weekapaug I was only 12 years old in 1997 but this is one of the shows I'd attend if I could go back in time. Absolutely fantastic. There's humor in the setlist too, tons of lyrical references appropriate to Alpine Valley throughout the show to falling down (into a deep well) or being on the bottom / on the top, Lawn Boy references the massive size of AV lawn, Swept Away > Steep is obvious, then they encore with Rocky Top, haha. Musically I think this show is where it needs to be, about a 4.3 out of 5. Really strong showing by the Phish from VT. Set 2 is just a monster, 100% must-hear if you haven't already. An improvisational Foam (!!!), the killer Mike's Groove segment (man, those segues), a 13-minute Slave and a raging Weekapaug to close. Honestly, how can anyone not love this???? I was lucky enough to see them play Alpine in 2015 (was about a 13 hour drive) and I'm considering going back for round 2 if they do it.
, attached to 2004-08-12

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This show is very rough. In fact I would likely give it 2 stars if it wasn't for the light (or darkness) of an amazing SASS Jam. Wilson feels off to start. YEM is straight forward, and it has a very interesting vocal jam like segue into Ghost. The Ghost jam feels like another long effort to find footing, it finally gets interesting at the very end when it gets weird. Maze starts strong and YEM shows up again, it then turns into Catapult. It goes into a very rough and off outro to maze. Pebbles starts pretty rough and is standard. Piper starts rought, Fish aids in finding a jam and it works fairly well. Sally has a nice groove section. Cavern is very sloppy. The remainder of the set is average until the shows white knight SASS. It gets down to business early, as you get sucked into the darkness. It goes very deep and hypnotic. Fish lays a nice beat and Trey throws down some great sustain. Just an all time version so good! It saves the show for me. Lawn Boy & Frankenstein feels like yet another underwhelming encore.
, attached to 1997-12-11

Review by 46Blaze

46Blaze As a fan whose major come-to-Jesus moment was Bittersweet Motel, I will always have a soft spot for this show. Best DwD ever, in my opinion. 10 uninterrupted minutes of white knuckle shit–as if they are constantly daring each other to push harder–followed by the sweet and protracted funky comedown. PYITE, Maze, and Drowned are also top-shelf. BBFCFM is evil as fuck. Beautiful versions of Waste and Limb By Limb. No further rambling necessary. If you haven't heard this show yet (and I can't imagine there are many of you), do so posthaste.
, attached to 2004-08-11

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw An uneven feeling show to me. Divided Sky is pretty straight forward, but rough at times. Suzy is Stretched a little longer than usual, it is similar to the SOAM a few shows later at Coventry. Trey rips up DWD, it goes into a kind of tense yet mellow jam. Caspian is in its second set slot in the first set. Scent of a Mule is rough, and Tears of a Clown is even more rough. Antelope has a nice tense mid section, it feels like the makings of something epic. Instead of speeding up to the outro it mellows out and is unfinished. 2001 is a pretty mellow version. Golgi is in an awkward slot. Waves is pretty as usual. Tweezer turns evil very quick before ending very early at 8mins. It is interesting how HYHU is played closer to the original than usual, it's fun as usual with extra banter. Underwhelming Timber. Pretty standard Bouncing>Tweeprise encore, would have hoped for more.
, attached to 2016-12-31

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel 12 minute Walls of the Cave goes hard rockin’ type I 2001 > Carini is a pretty tight segue Trey tries to segue the Twist jam into Piper, but gets detoured by Fish asserting “Ass Handed”, which is pretty funny…. Then back to Piper as originally intended. The Piper jam goes Marimba Lumina / percussion (no comment) Third set and encore have horn section, extra percussionist and extra synth player which certainly deepens the fullness of sound, but keeps them all grounded jam-wise. On to Mexico…..
, attached to 2016-12-30

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel The Gin jam goes hard rockin’ but stays type I Sugar Shack was poetically stretched out a little, perhaps avenging the slaughter of it during an off-night on summer tour (I forget which show) Tweezer > Sparks is a smooth, naturally occurring segue Light > Party Time is also a smooth, naturally occurring segue, and Party Time is stretched out a bit Yes, there are type II jams in this show, hence the rave reviews. I didn’t hear anything in any of the jams that really stood out as “must hear” / noteworthy. Mostly deep muddy techno-funk, delay (echo) Moo-Tron type stuff which is quite fun and danceable and enjoyable of course. It’s just all a bit effects-laden and becoming somewhat homogeneous and predictable at this point. Golden Age and Light are clearly the new go-to jam vehicles, but after hearing so many similar ones, they are blending together for me. That’s just me. Remember, my goal here is to cull out “must hear” magic moments…. And I didn’t hear any. On a light note – I can’t recall exactly where – a “super fan” can be heard yelling “DON’T PLAY THE F*CKIN’ MARIMBA LUMINA!!”. Chuckle.
, attached to 2016-12-29

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel Not much to report…. Mostly a canned / brief type I jams show, with the notable exceptions being: Cool seamless segue from DWD > What’s The Use MEATSTICK. I f*ckin’ LOVE this song!! And this is a slightly stretched out, excellent version. Might be the best Meatstick I have. Did I say I f*ckin’ LOVE this song? GREAT version. Twenty Years Later has a VERY COOL Kung vocal overlaid with the outro. A very fun, in-the-moment improvisation. (Now I wanna go back to see which one of them initiates it…..) Not a true mashup since the music stays 100% TYL. Makisupa is fun, with a witty vocal exchange, but devolves into a percussion jam, and you know how I feel about that.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel That 20 min Golden Age definitely goes type II, but it didn’t really get my attention. As odd and jaded as this might sound, some of the extended type II excursions are starting to sound alike to me, believe it or not….. many of them are similar over the past couple years. The Simple is TASTY. Type I jam, but I LOVE the guitar playing in this jam, always have. MARTIAN MONSTER > TWEEZER REPRISE is definitely worth hearing! Love this type of seat-of-your-pants / without-a-net improvisation! When stuff just unpredictably coalesces out of a type II jam. FUN STUFF. Spontaneous segue. You can even hear them chuckle as they try to sing it, laughing at where this jam has taken them in the moment. Love it. Wingsuit outro guitar work is spectacular. Everything else is pretty canned, but well played with very few / negligible flubs.
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