12-29-03 - American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
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Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 09:55:46 -0700
From: eric tipton
Subject: Phish show review 12/29/03
12/29/03 American Airlines Arena - Miami, FL
1: Piper, Foam, Anything But Me, Limb by Limb, Wolfman's Brother, Poor Heart, Cavern
2: Rock and Roll > Twist* -> Boogie On Reggae Woman -> Ghost -> Free**, Divided Sky, Good
Times Bad Times
E2: Squirming Coil
Notes:* - with Trey screaming something unidentified before the "whoos"; ** - with
two-minute Trey/Mike duet; # - the band left the stage between the two encores. AFTERSHOW:
Mike sat in with local band Spackle for "War Pigs" (Black Sabbath) and "Deep Elem Blues"
(GDead) at Miami's Tobacco Road
Thanks to Jason Pinsky (Phish.com), ZZYZX, Phillip Zerbo, Geoff Kaiser, and "anonymous" for
My God this Piper just tears down Miami! There is nothing even slightly ambient or mellow
to this tune, just consistent pedal to the medal from the whole band. I love it! Too many
lose their focus and become boring but you will not have this problem here. Mike and Page
really shine in the middle of this jam. Cactus playing some really nice driving licks with
Page playing lightly over the top, very cool. At 11:50 Trey starts in with the rapid-fire
machine gun licks, very BOAF jamming going on in here.
Was it flawless? NO! Trey struggles quite a bit from 2:50 -> 3:07. But from there the rest
is gravy. Foam is one of my favorites and it did not disappoint. Trey and the band more
than makes up for his flubbing and goes on to tear this one up. It gets to that silent jam
esque part around 5:20. From there it consistently climbs like any Foam does, really. Great
stuff and I had a blast dancing to it!
Anything But Me:
I liked it but then again I am a sucker for Phish ballads.
This is a fairly fired up Limb. I say this too much but I am sick of this song. This
version made me put that thought aside for however many minutes though and just bliss out.
Smoking! I remember being pretty drained after this, it really too k me for a little ride.
Long conference to finally come to the conclusion of the Bro. This version like so many
other '03 versions totally rules for lack of a better description. The jam segment starts
in earnest at the 4-minute mark. I love Mike's bombs during Wolfman's ,so thick! Mike was
really going off the deep end these first few minutes, laying down the lead. It was so nice
to see Page get down to business on the keys with this jam from so close. Excellent, if not
Poor Heart: Fun, fired up an already very fired up Phish crowd.
Cavern: Nailed perfectly. Cheers Trey, burn the tapes from Bonner Springs man and we can
pretend like that one never happened!
Thoughts on set one: Fun and all but definitely the weakest set of the run I thought. Piper
was a best ever version IMO but everything else was quite standard.
Rock and Roll:
Sweet, sweet candy! This set was so hot from start to finish, this is Phish at their best.
R/R is such a potent way to start off any second set. But here in Miami with the energy
already ratcheted high, the place pretty much exploded on itself. It is such an amazing
feeling to be amongst so many like minded people getting the fuck down to some intense,
rocking Phish. Sorry, I digress:
This one starts off very hot but loses it's edge around 9:20 or so and 50 seconds later >
That was a great segue! What the hell was Trey yelling during the Whooo?s? Mike's tone is
so Boogie On style you just know that chances are; it's going to eventually make an
appearance (no complaints here!). I don?t think I have ever seen Mike take over the way I
did here. He completely wrenched the reins out of Trey's hands here as if to say "No Trey,
I don't want to play Twist AGAIN! Boogie On Bitch!" ->
Pardon my french, but sick fucking segue Mike! Cactus showing who's boss! Nice lyrical flub
on Trey's part in there. This jam goes from being happy go lucky Mike led to Trey just as
quickly grabbing the lead back ->
Again, fabulous, flawless segueing. Text book. Picture perfect. Insert cliche here, great,
great Phish right there. Pretty typical for Ghost through the lyrical portion. Trey plays
some intricate, light notes to get the beast going. By six minutes it has sped up
considerably. A very upbeat energetic jam lays groundwork into what I thought could have
evolved into a Slave. It was not to be. Around 12.5 Trey switches gears and takes the jam
up a notch, ripping into it once again. At 14 minutes, Trey decides to go for it: ->
The seamless segueing continues! Beautiful! I only could have been more pleased if this
actually would have turned into Slave but I am ecstatic with Free! Mike is up to his old
Free, bunker blasting bass bombs here. Very funky bass run by Mike, shook me to my core.
Mike and Trey really start hooking up around 5:40 and this quickly turns into a kick ass
duel between the two old friends. If you were like me, I am sure you couldn't get enough of
this, it's great to see that kind of communication between these two, it certainly gives me
a good feeling about future endeavors from the band. A little stop start action at 8:45. As
per normal, the vocals back in are forgettable. So hit or miss. Hell, they gave up on the
first FREEEEEEEEEEEEE! Oh well, the jam and duel was something to behold not too mention
the segue led by Trey out of Ghost.
The crowd was absolutely going apeshit during the break between Free and Sky. I love Trey's
goofing on the intro to Sky, funny stuff. It was like playing his guitar in quicksand.
Cool! What can I say? Seeing my all time favorite song with the crowd going nuts like that
after the segueing to precede it all? I was a little verklempt. You will not hear a much
tighter Divided than this one, although it had a couple of very slight flubs in the last
two and a half minutes.. I thought it brought the house down! Sick sick sick!
Yo u have got to be kidding me! Phish is just not taking any prisoners at all! These boys
meant to blow some minds on this fine evening in Miami, and by God they most certainly blew
mine! I am a believer! Unfortunately Trey flubs some of the lyrics at 1:10 or so. Trey?s
solo pretty much turned my brains into scrambled eggs. Just great wailing rock and roll
there. I was so, so impressed.
Waste: Very nice contrast. I like how Phish can switch gears in that manner. It must take
some measure of self-control not to continue over the top after the GTBT. But the band
wanted to bring the fans back down to earth a bit I think. Otherwise Miami could have
turned into rubble as a result [wink.gif] ! Like I said before I am a sucker for the
ballads especially after a scorching second set like that. Pretty well played.
NICE! The band decides to do something they almost never do: a second encore. Not only that
but they decide to keep it mellow and give the Chairman of the Boards the spotlight to take
home one of the hottest second sets of the year. Trey struggles mightily with the finishing
crescendo, but you take that chance with that song in this spot. Trey and Page have a great
run with each other, much like Trey and Mike but on a much quieter and shorter level. Page
showed all 18,000 in attendance why he's the best in the business putting on spellbinding
solo work . The man owns the baby grand and the close to a pretty special show. Thanks
Good first set, great second set. That second set was just so much fun to be a part of.
Couple that with awesome seats (thanks Brian) and I was blown away. All that plus a double
encore which I just never see.
"See the city, see the zoo; traffic light wont let me through."
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2004 00:59:15 EST
Subject: Phish Review 12-29-03
12/29/03 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Set I: Piper, Foam, Anything But Me, Limb By Limb, Wolfman's Brother, Poor Heart, Cavern
Set II: Rock and Roll> Twist> Boogie On Reggae Woman> Ghost> Free, The Divided Sky, Good
Times Bad Times
Encore: Waste, The Squirming Coil1
Probably Hard for most that attended all 4 shows to believe, but I must say that this night
was the BEST musically of the 4 day run.. by looking at the setlist now, I myself cannot
even believe it. The Theme for the run seemed to be old school, and I as much as anyone am
very surprised by this. I thought the "hiatus" was based on staleness of material for the
boys (and who could blame them, they've been playing some of these songs for close to 20
years - FOAM?- but I love em just as much as in 94 when I saw them in buttf#@k NY for the
first time.. alright alright.. Review..
1st set.. ok.. Piper as a first song?.. I've cooled off on this song a bit cause I see it
alot.. but can honestly say, I think this song is a "segue" song.. one that I like to see
late in the first set or better yet second set segued out of something epic like limb or
caspian or some other song like that (slave? you know).. but this one was well done, and
not too fast.. but not too long either..
Foam was cool.. again, ,I'm not the biggest fan of this song, but it was done well and
props to trey for remembering all the lyrics.. way2go RED!.. and mikes low voice vocals on
this song are just so fun (and ridiculous) that it reminds you why phish is so unique, who
else has ever written a song like foam?.. it's borderline disneyworld childrens book
material.. yet so good.. .. next was.. "AnythingbutMe".. now I heard a lot of complaining
during this song.. but they need their break.. I thnk this song is beautiful.. it's kind of
replaced the drivers and Mountains in the Mist type songs of pre-hiatus slowness.. I'm
totally down with round room (when played Live) so I was hoping this "satellite" song would
go into some Scents and subtle sounds or Pebbles n Marbles or even better.. 46DaYS! but it
seems phish just wanted to play the old school and play it WELL..
Limb by Limb gotta be kidding me. this song is so powerful.. my friend and I just kept
looking at each other saying .. NO QUESTION... meaning that they are by far, the greatest
collection of musicians EVER.. PHISH WILL DESTROY YOUR FAVORITE BAND DUDE!.. hehe.. next
up.. WOLFMANS! another song (like Foam) that I'm not in love with and hardly ever listen to
on tapes, cds of shows.. but this one!.. THIS ONE!.. is so funky and phat.. sick!.. sick
sick. I can't wait to listen to the tapes.. seriously.. this along with Ghost-Free is the
highlight of the show for me..
Poor heart was well played, and the crowd seemed to be just eating it up.. yelling soo loud
through this entire bluegrass classic..
Cavern gave both trey and mike ample opportunities to get their liquid funk on.. gotta love
this song.. another wachy lyric song that ONLY phish can write
2nd Set.. Rock and Roll.. (god was page on FIRE for this song?) it seemed like page was
playing with some real emotion this show. maybe he's trying to get fired up for his solo
tour afterwards.. but this was really some beautiful playing by page.. he's such a stud..
Twist was effortlessly began and caught me offguard much they same as wolfmans beginning
did.. so phat.. love this song.. ( I LOVE LIMB TWIST FREE GHOST) these are like some of my
FAVORITE tunes of all time.. all played greatly here in this fine show.. maybe why I was so
pumped about it.. the end of this set is just freakin' incredible.. in fact... right now
I'm feelin' pretty bummed about not going to a show TONIGHT!.. boogie on was pretty
standard.. but god.. the ghost was so good.. into a free with a sick sick sick mike bass
jam.. remember mike and trey doin' the guitar god duel on stage?.. just loved it.. the
interplay between these two is really a step above the rest.. trey try's to duel with page
quite often.. but the sounds they make sound so similar that it is difficult to distinguish
who is making which sound.. however.. with mike and trey.. the sound is so distinct.. that
you get to hear the two fiddling with each other to perfection.. god I love this band..
after the free.. theyreally could've played anything.. but the two songs that followed were
a great choice.. I'm all about a big introspective tune for the second to last song...and
what do they play but Divided Sky!.. da wind blows high! (like hood, or YEM, or Slave, or
Reba or you get it.. long and orchestrated.. then ending with a straight ROCKER!!! and that
is what GTBT is.. ROCK MUSIC!.. PAGE CAME BACK at just the RIGHT TIME!!!.. INSANE.. I KNOW
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ALONE!!!!!>. soo sick.. god!
encore?.. people what's wrong with Waste?..Its a poignant song that fits phish perfect..
they love it obviously, and if you not down with the Billy Breathes album. then you just
need to listen to it again.. it's one of the best albums they have.. so flowing and
beautiful.. and tell me waste doesn't makeyou tink about all the time/money/braincells
you've spent following this group around.. so introspective.. like trey talking about
growing up and stuff.. very deep... I was a little bummed when we didn't get the rocker
finish.. but let me tell you.. that coil was SICK!!! page was on.. this was pages night..
NO QUESTION.. phish is cool...
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 2004 02:05:12 EST
Subject: Phish show review 12/29/03
Greetings from sunny Miami, Florida! The second night of the New Years run was out of hand,
contrary to some other reviews I have seen. The crowd was raucous all night long- it was
Set I: Piper- Sick opener, nice build up, Trey was on fire
Foam- Unexpected, very tightly played, the boys were on point
Anything But me-could do without this tune, but it was good placement
Linb By Limb- The opening riff to Limb X Limb got the crowd nuts,tight jam.
Wolfmans- Phunkadelic as usual
Poor Heart- This was the highlight of the first set in my eyes, Page was sick
Cavern- Great sing along set closer....so far a solid show
Set II: Rock and Roll- Thats what IM talkin about, the crowd was moving in waves, going
Twist- nice seague from Rock N' Roll into Twist....very funky version which melted into
Boogie On- Mike owned this- one of my personal faves..Boogie on gently faded into ..
Ghost- The crowd goes nuts for the every phunky crowd pleaser and open-ended jam...
Free!!!!!!!- Highlight of the whole show for me. Sickest version I have ever heard, Trey
and Mike had a funk duel, staring each other in the eye.....absolute sickness
Divided Sky!!!???-What......can this set get any sicker? Tight version long silent jam. The
crowd was roaring,few glowsticks flew by my head. Thinking the epic Divided Sky would end
the set, the boys bust out
Good Times, Bad Times- The place was so loud, I thought the arena was gunna crumble. Trey
Encore: Waste- Good encore, I dunno about anyone else but after the groovy-ass second set,
I welcomed a slow, and tight encore. Thinking that would be it, being as satisfied as I
was, we headed out only to hear the crowd scream and go crazy for more. The band left the
stage- but they came back out for a second encore.
EncoreII: The Squirming Coil- beautiful, Page's solo gave me goose bumps. What a great way
to end what is in my opinion the best show of the New Years Run.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Mike (Boca Raton,FL)
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2004 13:45:37 -0600
Subject: Phish show review
Review of 12-29-03
Let me start by saying that Phish could not have picked a better location for their New
Year's 2003 run. The weather was unbelievable all 4 nights. Great lot scene with
everything a Phish fan needs. No problems with police, no problems with any shady phans.
The walk from the hotel was great, with a phantastic carnival with great lights for the
after show glitter. Anybody who walked by it knows that they had great lit up fake palm
trees. This arena had great acoustics, and the sound was phabulous. I found the best area
to be in. Although the arena was very crowded, with almost no area to get down, you had to
go all the way in the 400 section to find the ultimate dance area. In the uppermost
corners of the arena were the sickest spots, with great dancing areas, and the sound was
Set 1: Piper- sick opener, well played and a great way to get the show raging early on,
very standard version, but well played.
Foam- my first Foam, great tune, such a difficult song musically. The band
played this flawlessly, very nice to hear such
old school Phish
Anything But Me- when they started to play this, everyone around me groaned,
and I don't know why. Such a beautiful
song, beautifully played, great way to cool down.
Phish can't rage every song, or else Trey and the boys
might have a heart attack on stage.
Limb By Limb- Always a great song to hear live, such great build ups in this
song, a phantastic crowd pleaser
Wolfman's Brother- Great Wolfman's, so funky, with Mike tearing it up
throughout the song, this one was called by my
boy, and I have not hear this since Alpine Valley
(7-08-00). Wonderful version.
Poor Heart- very standard, played well, great piano solo from Page
Cavern- No screw ups on this song for the boys tonight, no flubbed lyrics,
just solidly played. Great set closer with every
one jumping up and down for the closer of a phabulous set.
Set 2: Rock and Roll- great way to open this set, very good jam section of this tune.
The Velvet Underground rocks. This song
usually always leads into something else, and this night
was just the start of songs merging into each
> Twist- good Twist, but I wish Phish would go back to playing this one the way
they did in Summer of 1999. It used to be
so much more than it is now. Listen to the 07-12-99 (Great Woods)
Twist, and you'll hear the difference.
> Boogie On Reggae Woman- great song, such a good one for Mike, his bass sounds
better and better every time I hear
this one. It was beginning to look like another Deer Creek, first night from
this summer, also a phabulous show, with all
these songs running into each other in such a beautiful way.
> Ghost- also called by my friend. Very funky, with great jam. Hats off to
Mike (Soft G) Gordon. Haven't heard this one
since 10-04-99 in Normal. Such a great song.
> Free- probably the best song of the night, wonderful conclusion to this song
with Mike and Trey dueling it out at the end.
Back and forth, taking turns rocking it out. This set was so funky,
I can't believe they didn't bring out the P Funk
Divided Sky- very well played, with Trey taking an extra long turn in the spot
light. Hey, he deserves to have everyone give
him a standing ovation, even for 5 minutes. This song is so
tight, and the boys never fail to deliver at the end
of this one. Very beautiful.
Good Times, Bad Times- great set closer. I haven't seen Trey and the boys
have so much fun in a very long time. At
the end of the outrageous jam, Trey was
jumping around on the stage and had the biggest
smile on his face. They all were loving
Encore 1: Waste- I would have been happy with the Waste encore, so well played and Trey
was tearing up his solo. This would
have been a perfect end to a perfect evening, but they weren't
Encore 2: Squirming Coil- After about 2 minutes with the lights still down, I turned to
my friend and said, "No way are they going
to do a double encore," but sure enough, out they
came and nailed this song. If you weren't at this
show, you missed something very special, and you
definetely need to pick this one up from Live Phish.
I know everyone will say that the third night was the best, and it probably
was, but do not overlook this show. This one
might go down as one of the best shows I have ever seen, and it just
happened to be my 30th show. I hope Phish
continues to move in the direction they are heading. What a wonderful 4
nights in Miami. Thanx Trey, Mike, John and
Page. You guys are the best. KDH
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 14:04:09 -0800
Subject: 12/28/03 and 12/29/03
Help ! Dear Trey
The music seems to be dying HELP !! The band sounded AMAZING over the last two nights.
You've been playing so tight! (Cavern was even unmarred!) The crowd just didn't seem to
care. I just don't understand it. Can music just really disappear off of the planet like
communism? Please don't let this happen. How can anyone whose been to these last two
shows not see it? It is really going away. Is the legacy of the great musicians just
going to fade and wither away? Just a little over 30 years ago people were seeking out
incredible music, they came out in droves "by the time we got to Woodstock we were half a million
strong; and every where was a song and a celebration!" What happened? I am so afraid that
my children may never know what it was like to go and see how "someone's life CAN be saved
by rock-n-roll" (okay maybe not literally but you get the idea). I don't know what else I
can say. I am so sad and distraught. You've played AMAZING and the audience just didn't
seem to care or maybe they just don't understand how "on" the band is playing right now.
Please don't let the music die. We still care. It was actually gut wrenching to be in
that huge arena and see the energy just fade, if it was ever really there at all. The
crowd sucked the life right out of me and I'm sure you too. (By the way you sold me Story
of the Ghost a long time ago.) Why don't people care anymore?
Okay, so I wrote the above as soon as I could get my hands on a piece of paper last night.
Sorry for the ramblings, but it is really how I felt. Now that I've gotten some rest and
had some time to think about it............I still feel the same way. I'm not much of a
writer, but I hope that I've gotten my point across. It just seems to all be fading away;
DON'T LET IT!! I know that your fan base, myself included, has gotten older and have other
responsibilities, but don't let that stop the music. PLEASE!
I will see you tonight, I'll be the one dancing.
By the way this Rock and Roll> Twist> Boogie On Reggae Woman> Ghost> Free was just
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