IT both days - Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME
review submisions to me at email@example.com,
please review the shows not the other reviews....
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 16:03:03 -0400
From: Eric Finkelstein
Subject: It review
Where to begin? With three Phish festivals under my belt†I have developed a new sense of
when and what I describe as a successful festival.† Ultimately so many people deal with
dozens†of variables that will make or break these events.† For me, each variable seemed
to make the trip for us rather than break it.† I like so many others was 10 miles away
friday morning in traffic, preceded to the listen to the officers who told us to get out
of line†on 1a†and go†to route 1 and ended up only 8 miles away, listened to a friendly
local who gave us backroad directions and ended up inside with only a 5 hour wait, a
success a believe compared to the horror stories of our friends and others. †Actually
kudos to my friend Meg who kicked my conservative ass out of line to risk the advice of
a local maine dude.† .† While I can understand the complaints of others, I must say that
the general development of the whole site was fine.† As I see it, you have 60,000 people
coming to an area not suited for this onslaught of humanity.†† All I expect is for the
basics to be maintained--potable water, functional portojohns (although they would get
nasty late at night), and food if you needed it.† No matter how much these festivals are
planned, you will always run into a few variables i.e. dirt, rain, and oh yea people how
just want to have a good time which we should all know means, loud amazing music,
cocktails of wonderful drugs, and all and all a giant party.†† That's what I had
expected when I left work on Thursday afternoon and that's exactly what I†got.† In terms
Hi-lights---first day---the first set opened very strongly, my first 'bag' which I had
eluded me for so long set things off, ya mar was a great jam.† Also, I really like these
day sets, something you never get and it almost feels like a bonus, as I still have two
more sets ahead.†
I agree that the second night was much stronger, but I enjoyed the two evening sets of
day one.† As Trey said prior to the encore, the boys are just going up there and playing
w/o planning, which creates long meandering sets and†more spacey jams.† Some reviewers
have panned this general aspect of the music, I applaud it.† These 4-6 song sets are
awesome, total jams that are so musically intricate that it doesnt matter if the song is
waves because 15 minutes†into the jam†it could be any number of jamming tunes.† I for
one was happy yes happy not to hear farmhouse, sand, gotta jiboo, or any of that other
crap that had been diluting sets prior to the hiatus. Waves, Pebbles and Marbles, and 46
Days are all better tunes than anything off Farmhouse, but its not just the album
comparison that Im trying to make, the general playing of these songs mixed with the old
classics is just much stronger.†† Get the shows and listen to them, especially fishman
who I felt excelled during the 20+ minute jams by keeping good beats and ultimately
providing the glue to the sound.† The second day, second set was epic---I have always
and will always love ghost jams throw in yem and I am smiling ear to ear.††Other
hi-lights, mango and dog log encore,†extended chalkdust†yea†its chalkdust but†this was
more,†solid reba, solid bowie, and pebbles and marbles was awesome.† I will say whats
the deal with 7 below,†heared it to open the new year at msg, see it on the free
sampler†disc that we got when we†entered the festival, and then it†appears†in the†third
set first night.† Not a bad tune, but somebody†onstage must really like
it??????Trey.†††† Final note the†doses where in full effect as was anything else, I'll
take Maine over Florida anyday.† Later all Eric
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 16:17:10 -0400
From: "Paul, Travis"
Subject: It review
I think Phish finally got their message accross at IT.......I have lost
count to how many Phish shows I have been too, but if there is one thing
that I get out of every show, its how to learn from your mistakes in order
to have a better time. This time, I think me and my posse did it up right.
We went ghetto style and rented and RV for the weekend.And I tell you it
worked out beautifully. For once we didn't have to worry about the porta
potties or the traffic. As far as we were concerned, the traffic didn't get
us down because we had a traveling living room. And besides, once we
finnally got into the base, we were just going to be on pavement
anyways....So we took turns in the traffic and everyone got a good nights
rest on the 7 beds in the RV. If any of you went down to florida for NYE
back in the day, you would know what 12-15 hrs of traffic is like..So the RV
kicked ass... After we pulled into the lot they shuffled us down to the VIP
parking right near the tower b/c we flashed a handi cap permit...A few mords
of wisdom, anyone who had to park down at the end of the run way in section
J , I understand how far away it is,...So next time after everyone has
arrived...Move your vehicle closer to the venue.....But back to what I was
saying before about phish finnally getting their message across...I read
somewheres that Phish would like to be the band playing at an event where
they are not the main attraction...They just want to be a Part of the show
and not the whole show...And this time, I think they accomplished that...It
was a great feeling to be able to explore and at the same time still be able
to hear Phish playing....Good job Guys.....Peas out.
Travis James Paul
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 11:05:55 EDT
ive seen phish once or twice or maybe a couple hundred times...† sh---IT was
unquestionably the worst show (musically) i have ever seen.† The setlist may look good
on paper,† but try listening to the tapes or cds or whatever those dorks spend endless
amounts of time archiving.† how many times did they miss changes, lyrics, beats ,† you
name it and somewhere in the show they fucked it up.†† the phish has the ability to blow
our minds each and every show .† there is no question about the talent they have ,† or
the power they possess,† which could send us all into raging orgasmic convulsions.†† but
to no avail.† shit why didnt they come out and just play heavy things>jennifer
dances>fefy>farmhouse>any other sh--IT thats slower then death.††† no† Fuck your face.†
no forbin, stash, ice, 2001, maze, hood, ha, llama, carini, axilla, bbfcfm,† the list
tower jam was sick. kuroda good work.† boys good work showing new direction,† intuition.
youd think that theyd just let it all go once .† just once.
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 03:35:21 +0000
From: mo aversa
Subject: MY IT
My story begins in traffic as most phans expierienced at IT. My wife and I have been
touring with phish (seing select shows) since 1993. IT was to be my 60 and 61st shows.
These shows would be a†new experience†for us because we decided to include my 3 year old
son. We drove up from Baltimore MD and hit a wall of traffic about 18 miles outside of
the venue. IT did not move. We spent the next 10 hours trying to hold things together
untill we got inside the venue. My son had a couple of meltdowns but overall was as good
as gold. The TV/VCR in our car was essential under the circumstances. We finaly were
redirected by some cops to another location off the main route which actually worked in
our favor and we got within 50 cars to the gate by 11:00 pm. At one piont we were just
sitting in our car in the dark just †waiting and suddenly a MOOSE runs out from nowhere!
Phans started phreaking out and the moose just took off running down the road past all
the waiting trafic. IT was quite a surprise. Finally we got in at 12:00 am. I quickly
bolted to the family camping area to set up my tent. My wife headed to the porto potty
while my son was asleeep in the car. I quickly unloaded my gear and scoped out an area.
Suddenly this girl comes out of nowhere. She said her name was ally and she was lost and
"jammin". I tried to help her the best I could but she could not even comprhend most of
my helpfull suggestions. I also was beat, from all the days trials. All of a sudden
Phish starts playing the sound check and you could hear it perfectly. I watched and
listed as I was setting up my tent. I also laid a tarp inside my tent to keep any
moisture from bieng annoying. I then got out of my tent and to my amazement there was a
girl passed out next to my tent! I went up to her and rolled her over..it was Ally. I
her.."ally.ally" I said. "you cant sleep here your giong to be all wet". She did not
wake up. My wife then returned and I told her the situation. My concern was the if she
got up she may fall on the tent wich contained my 3 year old sleeping. My wife then went
over and said to her "there are babies in that tent". Ally then responded and was so
happy to get off the gound. I rembered she said to me and my wife "your so nice" and
then she stumbled away. Meanwhile Phish was playing an epic mysterous jam. My wife and I
then laid down in the tent. We were almost asleep when we saw headlightes comming towrd
out tent. My wife was like "oh no, this is not acceptable". Our fear was that somoen who
may run over our tent with us in it possibly bieng tired and not using god judgement. I
then jumped out and let the people know that the mounties were making people park on the
run way and not on the grass. It was another family and they were very cool about
keeping our area vehicle free. Finaly we got some sleep. I was so happy to just finally
The next day was just awsome, great weather and to my surprise the family caping area
was loaded with kids!. My wife and I were very relieved that other kids were at the show
and my son, sean would have playmates. We also discovered Ally's Shoes on the side of
our tent "what ever you do TAKE CARE OF YOUR SHOES!". We kept them the whole weekend but
she never returned. (Phish actually played Cavern that night>>>Go Figure??)
The show was excellent with AC/DC BAG, Vultures and Seven Below standing out in my
memory as very intense flawless versions with a "new" profound energy and purpose in the
jamming sections. My son was loving this girl who was blowing bubles durring the set
break and he was screaming "bubbles!!" and running all around the infield. My wife
retired to the tent for the third set and I went down alone to try and get up front.
Again the 7 below, very intense especially after eating a very good gooball earlyer. I
made it to about 50 feet to the stage. After the show , I wondered around the lot just
lovin life. I wound up watching a very interesting band called "PetePidgeon"? They were
just jammin and many peeps were dancin including myself. At aound 2 am I started back
towards my tent when I saw some peeps with balloons (wich is the only time I saw that)
and I thought to myself "you dont need that tonight" So I turned around and as soon as I
did the TOWER OF POWER lit up. There thay where in all of there glory..the four
...shrouded in smoke atop the tower wich was lit in a purple setting. Phish hovering
over the lot had come to roost. The jam that insued was just wicked. I sat in a prime
location beneath the tower and IT was just simple SICK! IT was mezmirizing...get the
tower jam. IT went on untill about 3:30 am. I was toast after IT and headed back to my
Sunday I awoke to people talking bout what had transpired the night before atop the
tower. Most people had slept right through IT or heard it and thought they were in some
type of dream..which wasnt to far from what people who actully witnessed the event
experienced. My family and I cruzed shakedown and the lots, I took my son on the ferris
wheel..which he loved and also to Sunk city which was the BOMB! I loved the tape area in
the forest which myself and my son contributed too. The tape area looked like a scene
out of RIFT. There was even a hand constructed out of tape holding several rolls of
tape..pictures could not do IT justice..IT was something you had to be there to
experience. The show was even better than saturday and I decided to take some mushies to
really spice things up...they did not dissapiont and nether did the band..what a Epic
show on Sunday. Trey's hand was moving so fast I was like "Oh my god" at certain pionts.
The overall intensity and layerd jams the band busted out was indeed of "epic"
proportions. IT's good to see that phish can still "shock and Awe" me after all of these
years. "what a Ripper!". The fireworks were intense to the piont that I feared the stage
would catch fire and need I say more>>.
This was my second Phish festival (First:Clifford Ball) and aside from the traffic, this
was one of the best experiences I have ever had with phish..the Shows the Karma ..all in
Finally I would like to personnaly thank Phish for providing a family camping area. IT
was so nice to have a area where IT was safe for children to run and play/sleep. If you
wanted to walk over to where all the loud night owls were you could, but for Families IT
was refreshing to have a sanctuary. Thank you again Phish for this gem. And I hope that
you will continue to provide a Family camping area in the future as a part of IT
(festivals). As many of your Phans get older we will need IT.
Tom & MO
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 00:18:19 EDT
Subject: late it review
†††††† Initially I was going to write a rebuttal against all the nay sayers, but then I
saw the disclaimer half way down. Anyway, "it" was dope. The first day was rockin.'
Personally I think vultures is under rated. I fell in love right before the tower set,
though now i find it wasn't mutual. Oh well, love is love. The vans playing 70's funk
hits all through the event was key. second night rocked harder, besides the fact that
some dude was all "you should go see the medics" when i was under the influence of
mushrooms. the rest of my night was spent hiding from guerilla medics. this review
sucks, but the bottom line is .....don't ask what your band can do for you, ask what you
can do for your band, and remember this was it, not bonnaroo.
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 18:45:09 EDT
Subject: No Subject
as for it....it was a magical time for me from the start when the car rental
people screwedup and the compact car we ordered was not availble the morning
we left for the trip so they had to give us a windstar van with a fully
loaded killer sound system At the first rest stop we stoped at in maine a hippie
gave us some killer buds...free....we got to the show thrusday night and we
parked in the campground right next to the entrance of it for $8 and around
midnight they let us pull onto the base and get in line...we were about car #
59. Then in the morning, the ushered us into the parking space next to vip
camping, were we quicklly ran and set up our tarps and tents up against the
fence wher e it was actually almost dry. we claimed our space..directly across
from the garden center, and hanger 10 we got to see all the beautiful police
horses every morning come out and line up in fromation...off to keep the peace!
We got to use the fence to hang all wet stuff to dry each day.
We wer the closest to the stage...it was ureal. I did a candyflip of the
purest in the land and had the best time. On the way home in burlington lake
champlange camp ground. i called a cop a big fat potatohead, lit up a bowl in
front of him, and then i ended up sleeping on the floor in a cell with 3
crackheads till the nex t day when they let me out...my friend was waitin at the gate
and we drove back to philly. Thanks joe for the great hit...thanks to
mryellowbunnyface for the candyflip. thanks to phish for being the coolest band
ever....the weed there was the best i have ever tasted...that organic maine sufff
i have not tasted stuff like for lyears...bravo pot growers of newengland
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 12:02:38 -0400
Having never had the pleasure of reviewing a show, I felt it somewhat
necessary to write down some modest thoughts on the weekends show. I am a
long time fan, and have been seeing Phish since 1995, and have always enjoyed
myself and for the most part the company of others at the festival
gatherings. This weekend was no exception, as I was most excited to see the
band for the first time since 2000.
A few thoughts on the traffic situation. The traffic was enough to
make a person go completely insane. The van I was in left Portland on Friday
evening at around 5:30, and made good time getting up to Caribou. At 10:30,
with approximately 12-14 miles left in our journey, we hit the worst traffic I
have ever seen. It was terrible, to be quite honest. We arrived in our
parking space at 2:30 pm on Saturday afternoon, a mere 16 hours after arriving
to Caribou. It was insulting and ridiculous that phans were forced to
tolerate this kind of treatment. This festival had been planned for a very
long time, and the rain should have not been a factor in letting people in.
On top of that, most people took to drinking, and it became quite a dangerous
situation, as there still was outward bound traffic. I have read of at least
two people with broken legs, thanks to this traffic. This also created
massive amounts of trash alongside the highway, which I am sure, will only
make the local residents think twice about having Phish back to Limestone. I
am not one to let little things get to me, but I could tell that other people
felt the same way, as there were many conversations concerning peoples^“
discontent for the traffic situation. Shame on the concert promoters/
organizers for allowing this to get out of hand and inadvertently put phans in
I digress, because as soon as the lot was finally reached, things got
much better. The scene was what you would expect, only much bigger than I had
imagined. Everyone was in great spirits, and I soon met up with a large
gathering of my friends, and we went in for set one, just as the opening
chords could be heard. Set one was great, the sun was out, it was great for
dancing, and dance we did. The set was a lot of fun and a great way to begin
the weekend. Unfortunatley, most of us were so tired from the drive that we
fell aspeep in our chairs and missed most of the second set! Doh! We did get
in to see Bowie, which was sweet. And to the girl who mocked me and my friend
for trying to call a song, all I have to say is why? Why would you care what
we say during the quiet moments of the set, there is no music to hear, and we
are not bothering anyone.
During the break, we decided to mve up front as we had been way in the back.
There was a kid infront of me, who was looking pale, and passed out.
I had watched him sway, and noticed he was about to go down. I led a troop of
people, and we carried him to a non-muddy place to lay him down. Upon further
inspection, we saw he was blue in the lips, and eyes. A medic was needed. I
ran to the food stands. Medic! No response. I grabbed a vendor. Medic!
Sorry, try the control tower in the middle of the field. I hauled ass to the
tower. I mean, I was running seriously fast. I get there, Medic! Some
inbred hick with a phish safety shirt looks at me (he apparently
was ^”working^‘) and says, ^”Go find someone with a fucking radio.^‘ I looked him
dead in the
face and said, ^”I can^“t find anyone with a fucking radio!^‘ His response was
to shrug and turn around and go back to watching the show. Never have I been
so upset. Finally I was told by two other medics who were already busy, to go
to the Ferris wheel. I found 2 medics, and they were going somewhere else.
At this point I said to myself, ^”to hell with this poor excuse of a system,^‘
and returned to help this kid myself. Fortunately, he had recovered, and by
the time I got back, he was on his feet again. This type of situation should
have never happened. The lack of information, concerning the medical
situation was grotesque, and the hired hicks should be more informed. I am
sorry to generalize, because I did meet some very nice staff there, but for
the most part, as far as I could see, many of them seemed to be on a power
trip, because they had the orange or blue shirt on.
At any rate, the rest of the night went great, and the encore speech
was pretty funny.
I ran the 5k and got a time of 28:58. Not too bad, I must say,
considering the lack of sleep and proper nutrition my body had had. Props to
Sarah, she gave me a ride to the show, and got 13th place! The fans were
awesome in cherring us on! It was so nice to hear people come out, and it was
also nice to see everyone who actually ran! I heard there were close to 3000
runners! Way to go!
So the rest of the show was great, but I have to say the high lights
for me were all of set two and three on the second day. I just danced so hard
and got so into the music, that everything was right with the world, even just
for a few hours (best 46 days ever).
If you want a song by song review, I am sure that someone will post
one, if they haven^“t already. All in all an awesome experience, and thanks to
the phans for really not letting things get them down, when they could have
easily done so. Take care all, and don^“t take what I write too seriously,
unless of course you want to. After all, its just all IMHO.
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 14:58:36 -0400
Subject: IT festival- both shows
The drive in:
What were they thinking? From what I understand, everything changed
because of the 10 inches of rain in the week preceding the festival, but
the way that everyone ended up parking (on the runways with tents 0-20
yards away on the grass) seemed to make more sense than what they'd planned
in the first place (parking and camping on the grass). Oh well, this
on-the-fly logistical alteration somehow cost us a full day on beautiful
highway 89- we had a great time getting wasted on cheap american beer,
tossing the frisbee, and harassing the high-school assholes in front of us
that insisted on littering the highway.
On Saturday morning, I saw a dude wearing a t-shirt that said: 'Jesus Is
Coming, Look Busy'. I've never worn a witty t-shirt at a Phish show. I
bought an intentionally ironic 'Don't Blame Me: I Voted for Nader' shirt
online before the festival, but it didn't arrive in time. I was
On to the shows:
Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar > Runaway Jim, Reba, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick
, Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern
They definitely laid it down this set. Trey was wearing a shirt that said,
"NEE-HAN," which means "hello" in Chinese. All of the campsite areas had
Chinese restaurant-themed names and there was Chinese food for sale
everywhere. Also, great Kerouac quote about "it" from On the Road on the
way into the venue underscored the many 'it' references that were
strategically placed in the music and venue. Kind of weird juxtaposition
of 'it' and 'chinese' stuff to think about for the weekend- never quite
understood why they did this.
Oh yeah- one thing that stuck out about the shows was the professional
camera work that they were displaying on the video screens. The giant (30
yards?) swinging arm with a camera on the end of it dominated the lefthand
side of the venue and probably annoyed many. If you know someone who works
for Phish, tell them not to do this again. Look for a DVD of this weekend
Anyway, highlights were:
- a tight Reba. This was my first post-hiatus show. Pre-hiatus, I heard
this a couple of times- very sloppy versions, by my estimation - and
figured that this was just how they played this live. WRONG. This was
note-for-note a composed song with a pretty little doodling jam in the
middle. Great version- very pleased.
- Meatstick with Japanese version of the lyrics- Mike and Trey danced.
- Cavern: "Take care of your shoes" has never rung so true- many people
were caked with mud up to their knees throughout the weekend. I'd say I'm
on the obsessively clean side of the Phish fan base, and I still have
pretty fucking dirty feet 3 showers into my return to the daily grind.
Set 2: Down With Disease > NICU -> Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves, David
Bowie was the only highlight in this set for me for the same reason as Reba
above. They're really doing their old composed stuff right. The rest of
the set was just ok at best. The unfinished Down With Disease (why even
play it if you're not going to come back into the chorus?), the 40 minute
pointless and average version of Waves - this was the 2nd most painful
'moment' of the weekend, if 40 minutes can be described as a moment- , and
the awful new song, 'Discern' ruined the 2nd set. But there's always hope
in the 3rd set...
Set 3: Rock & Roll > Seven Below, Scents & Subtle Sounds > Spread It Round,
WRONG!!!! This will go down as the worst set in the history of Phish
festivals. I have a buddy who's one of those Rain Man types about Phish
setlists and generally lives to see Phish; about 1 minute into Spread It
Round, I asked him what song it was- his response, "I don't know- I wasn't
listening." This song was definitely the lowpoint of the weekend- kind of
sounds like a rocking version of a 70s dogfood commercial jingle- it's the
worst, least original song that I've ever heard them take seriously. My
wife calls it "the herpes song"- get it? Anyway, after literally sitting
through that tripe, I swore I would leave if they didn't bust out a serious
surprise for the set closer. The opening notes for Bug played and I
mournfully marched back to my tent.
Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song
Cool songs, but I'm glad I had the backbone to leave before they were
played. A man's got to have principles.
Encore II: The Tower Jam (a.k.a., "the worst-kept secret ever')
There were 2 jams here. 1 was instrumental and the 2nd vocal. The second
vocal one ended with Jesu, Joy of Man's Desire (if you've been to a
wedding, you've heard this). So, for those of you who were hoping to hear
a song during this set and are bitching that you didn't, you did!
Set 1: Daniel (Saw the Stone), Saw It Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of
One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug
After what I thought was a terrible show by festival standards the night
before, I said that they'd have to earn my presence at the muddy venue that
evening. Daniel and the opening notes to Saw It Again accomplished this.
PYITE, a weirdly botched Wilson, and the Mike's Groove added to the
justification for me being there; Army of One (boring) and Chalkdust (waaay
too long- the jam went nowhere) did not. I saw a fat dude with a mullet
wearing a t-shirt that said: I Beat Anorexia.
Set 2: Mellow Mood, Ghost, Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself >
Chariots of Fire, Loving Cup
By far the best set of the weekend. Highlights:
- Ghost, to me, is a jam vehicle. I'm always, at the very least, satisfied
with the jam that flows out of the funk of that song. This one blew me
away- tight and thoughtful with at least 4 or 5 different themes
throughout. GET THE TAPE. The glowstick war that ensued had to be the
best since the Hood one at Limestone in '98, if not better (I wasn't there-
can't be sure).
- Pebbles and Marbles- by far the best new song that they played all
weekend. Tons of energy and they didn't jam it out for 40 minutes.
- Chariots of Fire- the dude who won the Runaway Jim 5k ran it in 15:01-
that, my friends, is BLAZING..
Set 3: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like an Antelope
They shouldn't play 46 Days for more than 10 minutes- tops. They played it
for 40. That and the horrid Secret Smile couldn't ruin this set though.
Julius and Lizards (how they compensate for the lack of horns in these
songs is beyond me- both sounded like they had 10 musicians up there
playing 'em) brought down the house and the serviceable Antelope gave us
one last reason to boogie.
Encore: Good Times Bad Times#
VERY impressive fireworks display.
Retrospective: All of the old stuff sounded better than ever- the composed
songs sounded leagues better than did pre-hiatus and they bring a ton of
energy with them. Maybe they just weren't 'on' this weekend with respect
to jams, but most of the jams didn't do anything for me at all. DWD, most
of the 3rd set on Saturday, Chalkdust, and 46 Days were pretty
pedestriatian; only Ghost satisfied, but - OH MY GOD - did it ever
satisfy. The new songs, for the most part, were terrible. The lyrics are
all pretty cheesy and the music to these lyrics is boring as hell. I'm
sort of glad I made this trip, but I'm never doing it again. But, I'd
already decided this ahead of time.
See all of you next time in a big city where the infrastructure of the USA
was set up to support us in the first place.
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 09:45:31 -0500
From: Julie Liuzzo
Let's see…where do I start?
I was psyched….from the moment I left work on Wednesday night for the first
Camden show I couldn't stop thinking that we'd be leaving for IT in only one day.† I've
been listening since '93, but never had a chance to get to one of their big events.† We
got in the car after the second Camden show and took off for the 12+ hour drive up to
Limestone and arrived at 3:30 pm Friday afternoon 15 miles from Loring.† We had pretty
good time hanging in the traffic for about 5-6 hours….but the following 12 hours
were grueling.† We were parked out in no-man's land (Parking Area J) with not an empty
spot of grass within 100 yards.† Thank goodness for air mattresses!† We were so
exhausted that we spent our first 6 hours sleeping.† We barely got to enjoy any of the
festival fun and we were so exhausted by the third set that I was falling asleep in the
mud (that will also tell you what I thought of the third set).† First set was
decent…Birds of a Feather was pretty decent, but I've definitely heard better.† I
really enjoyed the Meatstick and that was the first time the band looked like they were
having any fun.† I heard some people were annoyed with the roving camera, but that was
the only way the other 50,000 people in the back could see what might be going on.
Second set…fantastic version of Brother and a really enjoyable Lawn Boy which
I've never seen live.† The David Bowie seemed really out of place at the end, but it
was still pretty good.† The third set put me right to sleep right after Rock 'n
Roll…slow…my husband said it right..they seemed to be on autopilot.† They
needed to really rock that set to keep up all the sleepy fans who waited ALL NIGHT to
see them.† I did wake right up for the encore and really enjoyed the Dog Log (there's
just something special about that song) and who doesn't like the Mango Song?†
So, we were tired (just like everyone else) and hadn't eaten in a couple days so were
trekked back to Lot J to grill up some food.† It took us almost an hour to get back to
the car which would have made it about 2 AM when we pulled out the grill.† We didn't
see, hear or feel any music from the Tower Jam…we had NO IDEA that it was going
on.† We were not asleep, we were facing towards the tower (which we couldn't see
because we were so FAR AWAY) and we didn't hear a thing!† I've waited months for this
event and I had no idea what was going on…I heard there was a parade (apparently
we were still in traffic for that one) and some other events which I read about in the
Bangor paper on Monday.† We paid $300 to miss most of the fun.† The area where we were
parked had no food vendors and one set of toilets for way too many people.† They were
overflowing!!!!!!† DISGUSTING!† When some guy who hasn't showered in the three days
refuses to use a port-o-john you know there is something wrong.† They didn't get
emptied all weekend.† Needless to say, I was really disappointed in the whole event.†
The music was definitely good and pieces and parts of it were definitely great (check
out the second set from the second night!† WOW!), but I barely got to enjoy it due to
lack of sleep, lack of available water (which I didn't want to drink anyway because
then I would have to use the overflowing toilets), decent port-o-johns (which isn't
asking much) and lack of food because of the 45 minute walk to get some….just
your basic necessities…food, water, shelter…And we spent the whole weekend
worrying about the traffic getting out…would we be able to get home on Monday?
I doubt that we will ever make the trek to another Phish festival.† I would rather
spend 12 hours in the car driving to Deer Creek or spend the money to fly out to the
Gorge and camp there.† It might not be the "special" event of the summer, but I'm sure
it will be a special event without an extra 17 hours of traffic, concrete campsites,
overflowing toilets, etc.† Perhaps if the band would offer to fly us and our gear into
the venue and provide me a backstage pass (just to use their toilets), I would
We are patiently awaiting the IT DVD so that we can see what else we missed….
Of the 60+ shows that I've been to…this was the worst experience ever….only
a phenomenal performance by the band would have made up for the hardship and I don't
think we got that.
†- A really, really disappointed fan. (JML)
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:26:54 -0400
From: Bert Salter
Subject: IT 2003
Phish were great, but I think the drugs have reached a high point since my 1st show in
93’. These were my 42 and 43 shows and I have never seen more people whacked out
and out of control. †There seemed to be a lot more people who were there for the
purpose of getting plastered and could care less about who was playing. I am all for a
good time, but for Christ’s sake get a hold of yourself people. The heavy ones
seem to have taken a foothold on tour. I can’t count how many times I was asked
if I wanted heroin or coke or if I had someone’s pharmies. Too many blank stares
and looks of confusion on people, as always though, once the band took the stage, I
could care less what anyone else’s problems were for a while and concentrated on
having a blast which I did, especially since it took 2 days and 3 full sets of
screaming ANTELOPE to finally get it. Thanks and see you next time. Take care of
yourselves and enjoy the tunes. Lose your shit, but not your mind!
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:26:39 EDT
Subject: It is in Limestone, again
Got lucky, were rerouted from 1A to the back roads and beat some friends that left only
a half hour later than we did by 14 hours. Excellent lot very chill and collected, and
without any trouble, from what I saw. Too bad for the rain that came in the days
before, I believe it threw out some planning procedures and caused a few reroutes in
the base for camping which may have extended the time in the vehicles for the people
coming in. All sets were solid, but I caught a few flubs from trey, and page seemed a
little more into his keyboard than the lyrics in the Bug. I thought that the night was
going to get ill with some new cover and perhaps a few old school bust outs, but it did
not go like that. They seemed to almost play it as it was just another show and not a
an event in which we waited 1/2 days to go 4 miles, but I don't make the calls for the
songs. Highlight of the evening, or early morning was the 2 am set on the tower, thank
You for making up for the earlier sets with that fellows. Between me and my Crown
Royal, was some of the sickest and most discusting jamming ever from the boys. Fishman
had me thinking they would bust into something known with his slick tempo on the drums,
but they must of forgot the mic's on the way up. It's a shame they couldn't of played
up there two nights. Soundcheck friday, since I was in the lot, was nothing shorter
than spectacular and I even thought I caught some Stones even though the radio did not
broadcast that. Good weekend and I thank the beer drinkers who helped me keep my total
costs of the trip down.
Ross† Columbus, OH
please review the show, not the other reviews....
how come i have at least 20 reviews of other reviews in my inbox???
please review the show...people who know, know a bad review...
have a good rest of your week...dan
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 14:11:06 -0400
From: "Rossi, Chris"
Subject: Limestone Review August 2 & 3
To put this review into to context, IT was my 29th and 30th shows since 1996.† This
included the Great Went and the Lemonwheel.† I have heard a great deal of Phish music
and seen some incredible shows.....
I'm not going to do a song by song detail, but I will go into all the other little
things.....the odds and ends of the festival experience, because I feel that this is
more than just another show.† But I'll comment on the music first because after all
that's what we were there for.
The first set was such a 'feel good' set and a great way to start the music.†
Traditionally, Limestone first sets have been 'song-y' and though the first set setlist
might look song-y it contained an absolute ferocious YaMar....You'll be hard pressed to
find a more extended version in the HPB.† The Yamar went all sorts of places not
typically covered in Yamar.....This would be a theme throughout the entire
festival......jams and lots of them.† The rest of the set was *dead-on* Phish.† An
absolutely perfect Reba in the composed section.† I really enjoyed Two Versions of Me
(as I would enjoy all the new tunes this weekend.....keep em coming) I wonder if Trey
wrote the lyrics to this one....The lyrics are deeply personal and the music that goes
along with it really compliments Phish's delicate side ( A side which is grossly
under-rated by the 'give me YEM, Antelope, MIkes's type of fan) A memorable Limb by
Limb that won't rival the Went version but was it's own monster in it's own way with a
2003 tone, a more fire breathing Trey led jam, if you will.
The second set started off with a DwD that, to me at the time, was reminiscent, in
parts to the Nassau Tweezer.† The jam section had Trey doing whammy bar washes a la
Hendrix.† Very enjoyable version but won't rival 12.30.98 or any of the monster DwD's
of yore.† Brother was a nice kick down tune.† Lawn boy is now 3 for 3 at Limestone.†
Discern, Waves was the highlight of the set for me.† The intro piano work by Page in
Discern is so beautiful and it brings a new musical outlet to Phish.....lovely stuff.†
I haven't heard Waves that much (my only post hiatus show was 2.24 and was by far one
of the worst Phish shows I have ever seen) but if this is what Phish has been doing
with this song.....It's already a monster.† An obligatory Bowie followed.....throw it
on the heap of the hundreds of other well played set ending Bowie's.† This set was the
least enjoyable of the day for me, not because it was poorly played but because set 1
and 3 were just so damn good.
Set 3 is just one monster jam.† The setlist really should read Rock n Roll ->Seven
Below->Scents->Seven Below->Bug.† This is a groundbreaking set of phish where they put
the new material out on it's own and it worked great.† Sounded incredibly fresh.†
Groundbreaking in a way that the Went first day Set 3 was.† The new material has a more
serious tone lyrically which makes for a more 'whole' sounding and complete phish
experience.† Bug was perfectly placed as was everything else.† The encore was just
topping on the cake.....we did walk across what was left of that lawn.
The first set of this show was probably the most rusty playing wise.† PYITE and Wilson
just didn't sound that good but sandwiched in-between them was a highly emotional Army
of One which had page singing......this is a great tune.† Chalkdust was way out there
and came back† This could rival Camden 99.....while the jam wasn't as jaw-dropping on
the whole it was a denser and deeper version then Camden 99.....I'll have to listen
again to see.† The Mike's Groove was compact, tight and flawless.† Great way to top a
set.† Second daytime Limestone Mike's Groove.....A sharp contrast to the Wheel Groove
for sure.† A little side note about the Wilson Lyric flub......Trey's comment about
'here's one for kevin....archive that' just goes to show, to me at least, that Phish
could care less about flubbing......and more about jamming, energy.† I think they might
be sick of playing the real old material as evidenced in the past by forgetting
lyrics/sections.....every new song this weekend was *perfectly played* lyrically sung
correctly and flawlessly played instrumentally....so why can't Trey play Wilson right?†
they just might be sick of them.
The second set was easily the best set of the day with Mellow Mood opener.....How can
you go wrong with that?† This goes into the Ghost which is Ghost hall of fame material
in the hall with Va Beach '97 and a slew of other incredible pre-hiatus ghosts.† I
think despite the glow war this version will hold up on tape.† (I still think the Went
glow war was better but this is the closest they have come to topping it)† The
Mountains in the Mist was stone cold perfectly placed and played just right.† Pebbles
was refreshing and nice departure from what the ablum version sounds like.....this is
definitely more authoritative and fired up.† Nice to see the Bass and Drums section
return to YEM's......enjoyable YEM...smiles all around.† Rock solid set.......will
probably over shadow all the other sets....maybe deservingly.
The Third set was a mixed bag, continuing the tradition of Limestone 2nd day Third sets
weirdness.† The Went and Wheel both had clunkers in their own right and this Third set
joins them.† 46 days got really spaces and though I enjoyed it others around me just
wanted to get fired up more.....but there's a lot of stuff going in this 46 days.† They
were playing like possessed aliens.† Other than that I don't have much else to say
about this set....Lizards is always a struggle for Trey and this was no different but
they pulled it together and Secret Smile was enjoyable.† Did Trey forget how to
communicate with a crowd?† That ramble at the end of Antelope was almost
un-intelligible.† Probably my least favorite set of the weekend.†
Overall, musically speaking, this was in the middle of the pack as far as the Limestone
experience goes.† Better than the Wheel but not quite as musically pleasing as the
odds and ends
-Checking every car on the way in definitely was the cause of the slowdown.† Despite
checking for fireworks and other things that weren't allowed, fireworks were constantly
going off in the lots and even during the concert field on Sunday.† This is really
really dangerous and dumb.† There's no reason to be setting off fireworks in a crowd of
60k+....not only that but it distracts from the music.† When did fireworks become such
a big deal at shows?......it's on a magnitude of ten times more annoying than anything
that happened with glowsticks as far as lame, annoying and dumb factor.† And it caused
a lot of people†to sit in massive traffic for no reason at all except a spotty
half-assed car check.......whatever happened to: here's your wristband have a good
time.† instead I was asked if I had guns and fireworks......who are these phishheads?
-The stage was most definitely not centrally located.† Anyone who was camped out in
section 'J' can tell you......about a 2 mile walk to the stage and vendors.† I'll take
the old setup over this one......but that just might be because I was lucky in the
location of camping for the first 2.
-The crowd has got a little Dave Mathews-ized.† There's a lot of people at the shows
not paying any attention at all to the music.....I understand that some people are
coming to party but there was a lot of people more concerned about whatever drugs
they're doing and what their friends are doing and moving all about the concert field
not having any regard for other peoples space/tarps/or just plain personal
brotherhood/sisterhood.† whatever....maybe I'm getting old......but I remember a highly
attentive audience but that's hard when everyone is setting off fireworks and talking
about how great this molly is.
-The concert field would have been something special without the mud but that's mother
natures fault......not phishs'.† Sunk city was really cool.....oddzillaed it's
ok.....the band in the box was a really interesting concept even when you apply it to
phish.† It's great that phish is willing to go out on a limb and subsidize these
projects.....nobody does this type of stuff and it gives a voice to people who would
otherwise never have a chance to do art that is interactive......to see what the
results can be....very much in the spirit of what phish tries to do musically.
-The port-o-poties have gotten way out of control.† Out in the nether reaches in
section H, I, J......they weren't even cleaned once.† once.......a whole weekend of
people duecing down without them getting cleaned and you've got toxic waste wafting
into your tent a good 200 yards away.† I thought it was damn near against the law for
that type of sanitation or lack there of to be going down.....this is
unacceptable....not for me but for the women out there who have no choice but to use
them.....especially in light of what they said was months of planning.....it's 2003 and
we've figured out how to download a concert 48 hours after it takes place but we still
haven't figured out a way to deal with poop in a manner comfortable for all.
Otherwise Phish is still Phish......as jammy as ever and whole lot more rock n roll
than what I saw before the hiatus.† It was definitely refreshing to see the music after
all the struggles to get into limestone.....but for me.....it's just not worth it
anymore to sit in killer traffic, deal with huge crowds and have to poop in the woods
to see a phish show.....I'll see em locally from now on.
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 18:29:39 -0500
From: David Dec
Subject: IT Rev brief
Hoyt R I respect.
Views are reviews.
I saw IT again was real
my friend I demand to weigh your meaty things
NEw songs are thigt esp. the c(ake)heck is a gppd !st 'et, for the superbly crafted
Good for fellow jersians to listen to on the traffic.
I hate writing letter(view)s.. too un-vital.
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 00:43:42 -0500
From: Matthew Miller
Subject: My IT Review
IT was, as you've probably guessed from reviews (and as the encore suggested) good
times and bad times. You've heard about the traffic and the mud. The mud was not fun
mud. Some mud is fun. This mud was of a strange consistency so that any dancing
whatsoever†quickly pounded you into a deepening hole. One would move from spot to spot,
pounding holes until you tripped. That was annoying. Maybe more than the lines.
Actually, the lines were more of a bummer on the scene than a bummer on me personally,
as I drove through scenic Canada and dropped down from the North, saving about 14 hours
of driving and waiting. It's a smart move for anyone not coming from the New England
area (or the South, I suppose).
The first sets, both nights, were the band playing what they thought we wanted to hear,
and often, as with the Meatstick and the Daniel, nailing it (for me at least). The
second sets were the classic Phish jam sets, and the thirds sets were the "new Phish"
jamming sets. Contrary to all of the opinions that I've read, I think the best played
set of the run was the third set first night. Some folks go for the bust outs (these
are the†fans most frequently let down by shows); some go for the jamming. I go for
cohesion and thematic resonance. I like a set where everything has to be where it is,
where everything is an essential part of one commanding gesture. I've seen an awful lot
of shows, and only a few "bust-out" songs really feel like bust-outs to me anymore.
Other highlights: the Ghost, yes, though in my opinion it wasn't as good as some are
raving, the DWD>NICU>Brother sequence (divine segues all), the first night encore, and
sections of the gargantuan jam in the 40-minute 46 days (I thought they might be going
for a 46-minute 46 days at one point).
But the greatest thing for me by far was the Tower Jam (AKA "Great Gag in the Sky").
That was special beyond words. It was truly THE best light show I have ever seen
anywhere under any circumstances--topping the light show projected onto the Eiffel
Tower on Bastille Day, the day after France won the World Cup in '98. It was more like
a performance art/installation piece than a Phish event. Breathtaking,
make-you-think-about-a-higher-power kind of stuff.
I caught at least one thing that I haven't heard anyone mention: the "sight" theme that
opened the second night. Notice the run of the first few songs: Daniel SAW the Stone, I
SAW it again, and PYITEye. That connection is obvious, but the rest of the songs in
that set†had at least oblique sight references too. For example, the lines from Mike's
"These friends of mine / I can see right through." What does it mean? Perhaps it was an
homage to the visual treats of the Tower Jam the night before (or the nearly as
stunning sights of the light show in general). I also kept thinking about classic
themes of "only the blind can see" kind of thing, relating to a quest for IT.
Indeed there were many mysteries to the show. The Chinese food stuff--what was up with
that? And why are they calling the Tower Jam a "gag" in the sky (aside from the
obviously P Floyd pun). I mean there was nothing comic about the jamming. It was
serious, quest-for-Nirvana-style jamming.
All throughout the event, I kept feeling bathed in mysteries that I only glimpsingly
Folks were roundly kind also, though the partying seemed much more mellow than at the
Went (I missed the Wheel). A lot of people were just plain exhausted from the 15+ hour
wait in line. That was so demoralizing to so many. I can only imagine how incredible
the scene would have been without that massive downer looming over things. And even
with it, IT was pretty damn cool.
I welcome comments from people at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 10:34:05 EDT
Subject: reveiw of it
i must say something before i burst. I was at IT, my first festival, and i
had a blast. like many people, i had high hopes for lots of bustouts
(forbin>mockingbird come to mind), but like everybody else was left high and dry. Ive
read the reveiws, and ive noticed people like to think that phish is pissing in
there ears (a reference to the bittersweet dvd, cmon folks, at least be
original). Although there may not have been bustouts, phishs new style is great. i
love it. its dark, is heavey, its layered, and its original. Not for everybody,
but i love it. If you dont want to hear it, go home. the last thing i wanna
hear is some whining bitch complaing how its not like the old days. fuck you,
nobody said you had to come. if you wanna hear all the old songs, listen to the
tapes or whatever, but dont bitch about it. i came to hear what phish wants to
play. i have a great deal of respect for the music they have created. they
are a fresh and original band, as they have been for years. theres no reason to
complain. if you read the it papers floating around all weekend, you might
have read an article about seeing one to many shows. I think thats what many of
the reveiwers have done. i say, take the weekend for what it is worth. i
figured we had gathered for a weekend of music. listening, not only to ourselves,
but to others. thats what will keep me coming back. i wanna see what they will
do. i guess this is not so much a reveiw, but a plea. To all you jaded, bitter
old heads who arent satisfied with new material and common songs, please, dont
litter the scene with your complaints. do it at a biscuits show for all i
care. If you come, you should appreciate every moment. theres no reason not to.
Your spoiled little kids who cant stand it when your favorite band doesnt cater
to you. they want to move on to new things. theyve been doin it for years,
let it keep on keepin on. have a little common decency and give the boys some
respect. theyve certainly done some wonderful things in the past, so dont spoil
the mood by comaring everything. otherwise, youll just have a terrible time.
the trick is to surrender to flow...
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 09:28:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: doug bennett
Subject: IT both days
My wife and I left the kids at home and flew out from California for our
anniversary after seeing the shoreline and gorge shows. We hit the lobster festival on
Thursday and headed up to limestone on Friday, getting to within 7 miles of the venue by
5 o'clock Friday night. By the time we pitched our tent, it was 11 O'Clock on Saturday
morning. A long sleepless night is no way to prepare for phish. I was thoroughly
exhausted but excited just the same. Let me just say that I got on the phish bus late
(Vegas 2000 was my fist show) but in that short amount of time I'd seen 17 shows going
into the IT festival. Therefor I feel that even though I'm somewhat of a newbie, I feel
I'm at least qualified to give my honest opinion.
The first set the first day was actually pretty hot. The first thing I look for at
a venue is a speaker rack and then I go park myself in front of it. The sound was
exceptional but that usually is the case with phish. AC DC bag was a perfect opener and
going into Ya Mar did't slow things down at all. They had the mojo going. They mixed in
a Runaway Jim and a Reba and I was thinking that all is right in world. They seemed to
be enjoying themselves immensely and to prove it they pulled a meat stick out of the
hat, which was fun. Vultures was my first live version and it did not disappoint. Birds
of a feather was flawless, Limb by limb is one of my favorites and the cavern was the
perfect closer for a set that went nearly two hours. The new song Two versions of me was
the only song I would have changed. This was a solid set that got me very charged up for
the rest of the weekend.
Unfortunately everything went downhill from there. Second set opener was DWD which
was killer but the jam didn't do it for me. It went about 10 minutes too long but going
into NICU saved the day. That was a hot and tight little version. The brother was mildly
amusing but a weak choice, lawn boy is killer but it's short. Page needs to take over
more often. At that point I was hoping for 'It's ice' and Discern didn't cut the mustard
and all of the sudden they bust into David bowie and I knew they'd close the very short
set with it. I looked at my watch and realized we weren't going to get 2 hour sets for
the festival. It was disappointing but lets get one thing straight, phish is like pizza
and sex, even when it's not that good, it's still pretty good.
The third set started and we were still at the campsite so we rushed back and
arrived before the opener, Rock And Roll, was over. It sounded good with a nice extended
jam that helped make the fifteen minute walk easy. The next hour was actually pretty
boring and I couldn't really get into it again till they went into bug. Now I'm not a
huge fan of bug but damm, it was hot. What a powerful song. At last my faith was
restored, until they walked offstage when it was over. Just as the set was getting hot,
very disappointing. I guess they had something else to do. The encores dog log and
Mango were superb. Absolutely fantastic. I was thrilled for those few precious minutes.
It pisses me off that they play all these new songs when classics like harry hood, 2001,
gumbo, divided sky, stash, moma dance and fluffhead get left off the play list all
together. That part is frustrating but what the hell are you going to do? Phish has way
too many songs and the only way to see them all is do the whole tour. (memo to self-
drag the whole family around the country next summer following these guys)
The tower jam rumor had been floating around all day and sure enough, at 2 am the
boys were at it again with an ambient jam. At this point the fungus had worn off and the
traffic jam had taken it's toll so we sat around the camp drinking beer and were fast
asleep before it was over. I must say it did flow rather nicely.
The anticipation before the first set of day two was unbelievable. My expectations
were high and being 37 years old, you'd think I'd know better. The higher your
expectations, the easier it is to be let down. It wasn't like the show sucked or
anything but every time they got the ball rolling, things quickly seemed to deteriorate
Daniel was OK but people acted like they were at a lynyrd skynyrd concert and the
band had just gone into free bird. It's a rare song but it's not all that. I saw it
again was a nice pick and you could feel the momentum kicking in and sure enough the
boys whip out PYITE. Wow, I'd been praying for this song since NYE, like 8 shows ago
and finally I felt a whole lot better. Things were looking up and I was stoked again
beyond belief. Audience participation is huge at phish shows and the croud was chomping
at the bit to scream 'hey' in unison with Trey. It just simply puts a smile on your
face. Until the next song called Army Of One. During this song, I thought of 317 other
songs that I would rather have heard. Humanely, they busted out an extended version of
chalkdust that literally lost me. After about 15 minutes I turned to my wife and asked
what song is this? She didn't know either. What a kick that was. The shortest version of
Wilson ever did not suck. In fact, it was rather refreshing, especially since they
followed with mike's groove, complete with all the trimmings. All good stuff to be sure,
but not epic.
A Marley opener was OK, I guess, but why? Harry Hood was available and they left
it on the shelf. That stung. The ghost eased the pain. Verrrry impressive I must say.
The mist and pebbles nearly killed me. Letdown city to be perfectly honest. My
resentment towards the new songs was now growing out of control. Once again the boys
bailed me out with a beautiful yem, chariots, and lovin cup. Those last three songs
salvaged the set after an epic ghost.
Set 3 got off on the wrong foot. The 46 days should have gone for 8 minutes
instead of 40. That was brutal because I knew that every extra minute of 46 days cost me
the chance of hearing Gumbo, Fluffhead, SOAM, 2001, squirming coil, wolfman's, My
friend, etc,etc,etc...... Julius was a pleasant surprise and lizards is a personal
favorite but the wind was out of their sails. Secret smile was the last nail in the
coffin. Are you kidding me? During this song, I thought of 427 other songs that they
could have played. Absolutely horrible timing. Like closing the last Vegas show with
Friday. Just reprehensible. The antelope was missing my favorite part. Marco Esquandolas
was nowhere to be found and that was kinda sad. Do you have any spike?
The led zeppelin encore was 3 songs too short. There was too much that they left out
while they force fed us all their new material. Maybe in a couple years I'll love all
the new songs but I heard too many too fast and the experience wasn't as special.
All in all IT had it's moments, but the shoreline and gorge shows were a cut
above. My wife won't be back next year, the traffic jam ruined her, but I wouldn't miss
it for the world, I mean after all, anything can happen at a phish show.
The Bennett's in Cool, California
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:22:43 -0400
From: Peter Ullsperger
OK, here it is.
The traffic (18 hours to get in) and logistics (2 miles to the stage) †and facilities
(think they could have the water and toilet thing down by now?) were awful and
inexcusable. I will not review each song because I very much agree with everyone
else's. The new songs are not my cup of tea. Slow, boring and not as clever as the old
stuff. Some of the old ones were played too long. I remember being at Dead shows
thinking to myself, "If they would stop playing this nonsense that is going nowhere,
they could play 3 more songs." Well, at the last several Phish shows I've been to, I've
had similar thoughts. Playing one song, and a not so good one at that, for 45 minutes
is a waste of my time and totally self-indulgent.†We all know that there is a line you
can cross†where†improvisation and extended formless jamming can become really
irritating. You also know there is trouble when you can look around and see that many
other people are just as bored as you are and that was the case a lot of the time. I
was at the Ball, Went and Lemonwheel. Those were all far better and more enjoyable. It
seemed like they were going thought the motions with this one.† While I am not angry at
the whole deal, I will never travel like this far to see them again. I really think
that they have gone corporate in trying to be just the opposite. $20 hot-dog†anyone?
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 13:23:00 -0400
From: Eric L. Gatsik
Subject: IT Review
Enough already, I can't deal with all the negativity
surrounding IT. For those of you who didn't enjoy yourself,
I'm sorry, but you were just not able to relax,
and "Surrender to the Phlow." My background, somewhere
between 55-60 shows(who can keep track) since 12/31/95,
favorite set ever 4/3/98 set II (roses are free>Piper
While conditions may not have been optimal, there is only so
much that can be done to prepare for an event of IT's
magnitude. That being said, everything in this review is
considered completely seperate from any problems such as
traffic and mud. I will first discuss the scene, and then
of course, the most important part, the MUSIC. The scene
was not quite as hoppin as I would have hoped. Vending was
sparce off the main Shakedowns, and there was a ton of fake
everything around. But all in all people were relatively
friendly, and minus the mud and traffic everyone seemed to
be having an awesome time. On the production end, the
Sunken City was pretty cool, and all the official vending
sucked as usual (except for the egg sandwiches, they were DA
BOMB). I was camped in the area on the map the read "tent
camping only", it was the only place on the map marked as
such. Our campground was right on the highground above the
concert field giving us a great view of the stage and
crystal clear sound from our campsite (I'll get back to that
later). Portapotties and water facilities on my end of the
runway were in good condition, so no complaints there. With
all that covered lets get to the music.
Sat. Set 1.
I dont really feel like I can give an honest review of this
set. I was in a bad spot for sound, and had a hard time
getting into it. Initially I thought that they didn't sound
very tight, which showed greatly during Reba (although
everything sounded much tighter on second, third and fourth
listening). Song selection was fair (I'm always psyched to
hear Vultures). So thats all i'm gonna say about that set.
For set break we headed back to the tent, where we stayed
for a good portion of the second set. At our tent you could
hear the music crystal clear as if a stereo were playing the
tunes right next to you. It was the perfet volume for
sittin around chillin and getting pumped for the rest of the
show. Halfway through we went into the concert area and
visited the sunken city. We went in during lawnboy and
emerged during waves, providing the most awesome soundtrack
for our excursion. As a side point, I remeber at somepoint
at some other festival (i cant remeber which, they all meld
into one for me) Trey was saying how they wanted to create
an environment where people could wander around and enjoy
the music but not necessarily have the music be the prime
focus, so I did my best to accomodate their wishes by using
some of the music time for other pursuits such as
exploration, and relaxation. Anyway we reemerged at the end
of waves just in time to catch a sweet bowie.
Thrid set was kind of a blur. There was so much
anticipation regarding the tower set that I didnt really
focus on the set. As I recall it was a pretty tame set with
a an interesting encore, but nothing more. In the end I
went back, cleaned my feet and got primed for the tower jam.
A couple friends and I heard them start playing, grabbed our
chairs and walked towards the tower until we came to a nice
unpopulated section of a side runway with a perfect view and
sound. We proceeded to sit down and continued to melt into
our chairs for about an hour. It was a way out there jam,
but sweet as hell. The lighting was like nothing I have
ever seen or imagined, and the experience for me was one of
my favorite Phish experiences ever.
The second day came around, and being dead tired, a couple
of us decided to stay at the tent for the first set, which
wound up being cool. The onlything I regret not being in
there for was the H2, but I was spinning and dancing by my
camp site any way. We headed in for the second set with he
Mellow Mood opener, which is such a great opener. As we
danced our way down to the front third of the concert area
you could feel the energy building. When Ghost started we
decided to stop going forward and set up shop so we could
dance. The Ghost was sick, and pefectly jammed. P&M and
Mountains in the mist were both alright, but not quite what
I was looking for. Loving Cup was awesome, I love that
freakin song, definitely my second favorite cover. Then the
BOMB 46 Days. I know a lotta people trashed this version,
but in my opinion, this was far an away the best jam of the
weekend, and on my top five of all time. The first 20
minutes are awesome, then the spacey drawn out part, that no
except for me seemed to like, and the continuation of the
jam. The whole thing was Incredible. For those of you
trashing jams like this, get used to it, because I think it
is where Phish is headed in the future, much more type III
exploratory jamming, and thats fine with me. I dont care if
they just jam and dont play any somgs at all, as long as
they play. Lizards and antelope were both sick, and I was
glad to hear them. I would have done anything for a tweezer
encore, but alas, we got a rockin GXBX which was a smokin
All in all the weekend was sick, dont listen to the
naysayers, theyll hate on pretty much anything given the
chance. I took IT at face value, for what it was, a great
time, with good friends, and great music, how can you
complain about that.
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 11:50:12 -0400
From: Robert Begley
Subject: IT Review
As a whole, IT was the worst festival that Phish has ever put on. You'd
think with six sets to play, Phish could have put together something special
for the phans, but the truth is that I've never seen this band so
uninspired. You really couldn't even pick out two sets and call them a good
regular show. People have talked and written about the 2 am surprise tower
jam and the sunk city being great, but what does that tell you? It tells me
that people have been trying very hard to find things about this festival
that they liked. And if you're talking about how great the sunk city was
and not how great the music was, then you know that the band didn't get it
done this time.
I won't go into detail about the driving or traffic, save to say it sucked
and has to make you wonder why Phish keeps picking these out-of-the way and
And rather than give you all the low down on every song in every set, I'll
just say a few things about the show in general. The first set of the
festival was perhaps the best and most energetic. Think about that folks.
by 7:30 pm on day 1, we had all seen and heard the best we were going to
get, but we just didn't know it yet. Bag was a good opener. Some have said
that the Ya Mar was the best ever, and I really liked it too. Vultures was
a nice surprise and offered some dark melodies. When Trey said that they
would honor the request for Meatstick, I thought, awesome, they're gonna
give us what we want....but, alas, it ended there. Similar pleas for
Fluffhead were rebuffed with Trey saying "Mike doesn't want to..."
Whatever. Yeah, they're in charge, but c'mon! People drove hundreds of
miles and payed out their asses to see the band and the songs they love.
With six sets they could still honor a few requests and play what they
Sets 2 and 3 were a complete waste of time. Nothing inspiring there. Some
good tunes, but absolutely nothing great. Phish didn't get great by playing
back to back to back to back slow tunes, did they? No, they got great by
improvising sick jams into upbeat tunes. Yet this show had none of that,
and its still pissing me off. I might want my money back. Seriously.
The second day offered only fleeting happiness in the form of Ghost (very
nice) and Saw it Again (also good). Everyone seems to hold the 46 minute,
46 Days in the same regard. What a stupid song to play for 3/4 of an hour.
It wasn't as if they were jamming it like crazy. It was just this mellow,
kind of spacey, go-no-where jam. At times it just sounded like noise.
Going into the show I had a list of 20 songs I wanted to hear. I figured
that I'd get somewhere between 8 and 12 of them. I only got 4, and 3 of
them were in the first set of the first day....
All in all IT was a sham. The band didn't seem to care a lick about the
phans or the music they were playing. I have no problem with them not
discussing the music until they get on stage (since it seemed to work well
for most of the tour), but for whatever reason, it did not work at IT. Some
have implied that as phans, we need to accept whatever the band feeds us. I
say that's bullshit. If nothing else, as phans, we have come to expect a
lot from Phish (and rightly so) because we know that they are capable of so
much. To see them fold like they did was downright depressing. All I know
is that I'm taking a much needed break from Phish until they get their act
If anyone has any thoughts about the festival or would like to discuss it
more, please email me at email@example.com.
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2003 21:30:05 -0400
From: nick eckhardt
Subject: it review
sunday morning--awake early absorbing all of the scents and subtle sounds
which occupied the runway at the time, i came across a fan and new friend
while sitting on the hood of my car. seeming a wee bit overwhelmed from the
events occurring prior to sunrise, i realized that she needed a tiny
reminder of what it was that we were all there for. enveloped in a simple
embrace, i believe that it was then when we both realized that all of us
were merely "colors in the void." so through a mildly healing hug and an
accompanied walk down the runway back to her campsite, i reassured her that
it was all happening and that getting lost staring into the clouds for the
remainder of the day was perfectly OK. thank you for the memory jessie from
brunswick, ME, it will stick with me always. -nick boone, NC
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 21:08:02 -0400
From: Tucker Williams
Subject: IT review
1 OK ~24 lines Text
2 Shown ~53 lines Text
Sure the line to get in†was hours (i heard the line to get out was just as long if you
left†after†9†30 am†on monday). Of course there was sketchiness (what ya expect with
80,000 people). So what ya couldn't find your friends until the last two sets on
saturday (hey you haf to make new ones). I had the best time I'v ever had at a Phish
show (since 1992). I don't see phish nearly as much as I use to so i got to rediscover
them once again and damn it was great.
Musical†summary: first set day one was the best set of the weekend†(Meatstick!), i
missed most of the 2nd set because I'm dumb, third set was great, almost new to me with
just a great seague between the 3 new songs that start with S, Dog Log was Awsome. The
Tower Jam was sick. I was completly spaced out. Look out ya better duck! Those are some
sick kites dude!
Day 2: fist set begins a little mushy but it all gets worked out in Chalkdust. Holy
Rage Batman! we get the shortest Wilson (back to back with the longest Chalkdust?)
Mikes Groove...SICK....set 2 is all about the Ghost...chh.chh..chhhh..chh...set 3 first
46 days i heard and i'm sure i'll never hear another like it..this was some heavy
stuff...we needed the Lizards and the straight ahead rock of Julius. For some the
extended space or tonal jams were too much (hey this is nothing new) but you haf to
surrender to the flow.
To all those i met (this is Tucker)†at the IT..get em up high!
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 15:25:05 -0400
From: Hoyt R
Subject: it review
Where do I begin?† Brace yourself phish heads because this is about to get nasty!†
Maybe I was expecting too much from the boys or something but it was not the shit.†
The drive from jersey was not bad, though when we hit traffic i started having
flashbacks of big cypress.† we pulled off out of the line to wait on some friends
and ended up paying a local to take us on a couple of shortcuts and skipped six
miles of traffic, thanks to the maine guy at the store at the eight mile mark.
††† Now on to the show.† The first day we sat on the rock pathway inside the venue,
not bad seats.† ACDC Bag opener!† I was waiting for this since we hopped on tour in
charlotte.† Good choice but relatively dull bag.† Ya Mar was alright but the music
was not turned up loud enough so it was hard to get into it.† Runaway Jim had an
alright jam. Reba!!† It was a good reba but in my opinion reba should be played when
it is dark outside, not in the middle of the day. Birds of a feather was good, it
got the crowd moving a little. Meatstick!!! I enjoyed this song.† i think i was the
only one around us that remembered the whole dance.† Great jam at the end.† I love
hearing the Japanese lyrics.† Two versions of me sucked.† Phish, the new songs
aren't doing it for me. Stop playing them at every other damn show!!!!† Vultures,
nice but the atlanta version from july 4th can't be topped.† Limb by Limb was good
but i still can't hear shit.† Turn the fucking music up!!! Cavern i have heard one
too many times, but all the little high school kids were loving it.†
Set II:† DWD opener, great jam>nicu,another good jam by the boys>brother- i like
this song but i had just heard it in penn. so i wanted something different.† Lawn
boy!!! Very good version, page has stepped it up a notch and he needs to start
taking over more often.† Discern- i can not stand this song!!!† I hated it in
Raleigh and i hated it at IT.† Waves was next and once again too many new songs.†
Set closer was Bowie.† i am a fan of bowie but we heard at every other show this
tour so by IT i was sick of hearing bowie.† i thought that things were for sure
going to get better after two under par sets for phish.
During set break we started "stoner games 2003."† we set up cups and were trying to
knock them over with the little pebbles.† Twenty minutes later we had the whole
section playing with us.† We (team florida) kicked everyones asses!† If you were
sitting near us you know who we were!
Set III: Rock and Roll- great tune and great jam. it got the crowd rocking. then
they started teasing 7 below for about ten minutes and then went into it.† once
again the new shit sucks! Stop playing it.>Scents and subtle sounds- i enjoyed this
song in jersey but it sucked at IT!!> Spread it round- the only new song that i can
tolerate. i danced hard to this tune.† Then Bug.† good jam but we have heard it too
much this tour.† for some damn reason phish only picked about 30 songs to play this
tour out of an eternity of songs to choose from.† Encore: Dog Log!!!!!† Yes!!!!!!!†
Finally they play something that was actually due.† great tune and yes, i was
walkin' cross the lawn!!!!! Then Mango!!!! Another song that was due.† i danced hard
to this one and never wanted it to end.† The encore was the only good thing about
Set 1:Daniel saw the stone-† i like this song.† i heard it for the first time in
penn and loved it. great version at IT as well.
Saw it Again-† we had been waiting all tour for this one so it was good to hear.
P.Y.I.T.E- yes, yes, yes!!!† always love hearing this one.† they jammed it well as i
was dancing my ass off!
Army of one- alright tune, although at this time i don't think i was really paying
attention because it was not turned up loud enough!!!
Chalkdust was relatively the same as all the chalkdusts' but got a little darker
than the avg. chalkdust
Wilson- short, short, short!!!† what the fuck is going on phish?
Mikes>hydrogen>weekapaug- nothing special.† what happened to simple?† i need a
simple!! but no.† Phish denied me once again. assholes.
Set II:Mellow mood- very standard version
Ghost- this was the highlight of the weekend.† Killer version of ghost and at least
20,000 glowsticks involved in the war!!!! largest glowstick war ever.† i love ghost
and the reason i love it is because you don't hear it every other show like you do
the other songs they decided to play this tour.
Mist-† i love this song and it was a good breather after a gnarly and awesome
Pebbles and Marbles-† this is the only song† that i like off of the new album. got
the crowd moving.
YEM- i enjoy this song but don't play it every other show!!!!! I was sick of this
song by this point.† standard jam.
Chariots of fire- was a good selection to play for the runners ceremony.† how the
fuck did that guy run a 5k in 15 minutes?† he must be half kenyan or something.
Loving Cup- good version but very standard once again and left me disappointed
about†IT so far with only one set remaining.
46 days- was 46 minutes too long.† this song is not worthy enough to have a jam that
Julius- i like this song but for some reason i just wasn't feeling it.
Lizards-† i absolutely love this song.† this was my first lizards and it left me
very, very, very disappointed. it was too standard.† phish, what are you doing?† are
you nervous or are you just ready to get off tour?
Secret smile- sucked, sucked, sucked!!!!† Why are you playing this same shitty song
over and over and not playing tela or fluffhead!!!!
Antelope-† worst version that i have ever heard!!!!† is that phish on stage or is it
some crappy phish cover band.
Encore: Good times bad times-† i was so pissed that they ended their own festival
with a cover† song.† how can they do this to us.† what happened to my phish that i
listen to day in and day out?† they clearly were not at IT.
So, to make a long story short IT SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!† they pissed in my ears but i was
not happily lapping it up!!!†I left IT with so many questions.† where was phish? why
did they only play the same thirty songs over and over the whole tour?† why was trey
cutting off mike and page's jams the whole time?† This isn't TAB trey!!!† In my
opinion every one in the band has gotten a whole lot better except for trey.† he has
forgotten more lyrics and please pick up your old guitar for at least a couple of
songs.† i give huge props to Fishman.† He has improved so much!!!!† They need to
stop taking orders from "KING Trey" and do whatever they please.† I was extremely
disappointed in IT.† IT was not worth the $150 that they charged us.† why can't they
play like they did in 1997?† i am sorry if i hurt your ears but we came from florida
expecting a lot more.
WHOSE GOT MY PRE-HIATUS PHISH?????????????
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 20:27:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brian VanEtten
Subject: IT the positive review
I have been reading reviews in hear for years and never posted one.† After reading
some negative reviews, I felt it was my duty to enlighten all readers on what a
phantastic time it was.
I heard about the rain coming and had heard about traffic jams for the festivals in
the past, so my traveling partner and I decided to get to IT around 3pm on Saturday,
and I can not tell you how blessed I felt when the rain stopped 30 minutes before we
got in and waited in line for about 30 minutes as well.†The good luck streak
continued on as they camped us between C and D which was only about a 20 minute walk
to the stage.† Everybody who was camping in our section experienced the same good
fortune which gave us extra positive energy before heading to the show.
Now before discussing the setlists, I believe that Phish took the time off for 3
reasons rest, expand upon musical pleasures, and most important to WRITE NEW SONGS
THAT WILL BE PLAYED AT CONCERTS!!!!
Most of first set we were still at our camping area but could still hear everything
NIGHT ONE SET I
1. AC/DC Bag-- great opener sounded fantastic
2. Ya mar-- also a great day time set song
3. Runaway Jim--fantastic Jim but not quite the 45 minute Jim
4. Reba--I have loved this song since the first time I heard it, I remeber watching
this is in a rainstorm at Darien Lake in 2000.† Still at camp during the begining of
Reba it was time to head into the mud
5.† Birds of a feather--a first set classic that is who we are
6.† Meatstick -- definitely a fun song apparently everyone was cheering for it and
we got the Meatstick in Japanese but no Fluffhead
7.† Two Versions of me-- If you are not familiar with this listen than listen again
8.† Vultures--always a surprise and always phantastic
9. Limb by Limb--excellent first set song
10. Cavern--great way to rock out first sight
Time to go back to the car for some beers and some laughs and prime up for
1. DWD--awesome dwd the crowd started raging
2. NICU- excellent
3. Brother- rare song and phantastic
4. Lawn Boy-throughout the night time for a stroll
5. Discern -WOW
6. Waves-was great felt like i was in the ocean and I don't understand why people
are complaining about this tune
7. David Bowie--awesome bowie allot of fun mud flying everywhere people dancing in
muddles great closer
Back to the car more drinks everything becoming bliss
1. Rock N Roll-need i say more
2. 7 below-another tune people said they did not like,,,i found it phenominal
3. SCENTS AND SUBTLE SOUNDS-This is the reason I wrote this review of all the new
songs this one is phantastic..The night before I left from New York I was
downloading some phish songs that I did not have...I was so fortunate to get a
version of this song to prepare, I told my buddy on the way there wait till you hear
this it is Harry Hood's brother...Always have had Hood as my favorite tune, when I
heard this song I knew they were going to play it, and was probably one of the few
who knew what it was. So I was prepared for it from the first note and absorbed all
the energy from this soon to be top 10 Phish song.† Totally made the concert for
me.† On the way home I stayed in Bar Harbor and met a phan who was also on his way
home from IT.† He had been to all the festivals and some historic Halloween Shows,
He asked me if I knew what the song was in between 7 below and spread it around I
told him what it was and made his night!!!
4. Spread it around- very good
5. Bug- maybe not the best closer but it had a phantastic jam
6. DOG LOG-> Nobody called that and to quote comic book guy "Best DOG LOG EVER!!"
7.The Mango Song-> Also a great encore that nobody expected a nice surprise.† I have
a dead head friend who hates Phish but he loves the Mango Song and says that is
there only good song He missed out
Was back at camp and watched this exciting alien encounter and it was just
incredible, at that point I realized there was only 24 hours left of IT, time to
Push on till the day
Met some great people that day including honorable mention to a fella named STORMY
who stumbled into our camp area and slept on a chair for nearly 6 hours.† He was
suffering from severe exhaustion I belive and was wearing the Otis Redding "I didn't
know that I was that far gone shirt" and believe me he did not know
1. Daniel- awesome just got a copy of this recently as well loved it
2. Saw it again-> excellent
3.Punch-always a good pumping up song
4. Army of one- also good would rather have heard army's on ecstasy
5. Chalkdust-30 minutes or so very experimental and crazy jam nobody expected that
6. Wilson-"Shortest wilson ever"
7-9 Mikes/Hydrogen/Weekapug--need i say more this is what we love about phish
1. Mellow Mood-I actually got to see this in Syracuse with Trey Band the first night
they ever played it, I remember him saying they had just practiced it back stage.
For me that was just awesome to hear that Marley tune again
2. Ghost-Very Ghostly I think this was during the sick glowstick war I love theGhost
3. Mist- another awsome tune that got negative reviews
4. Pebbles and Marbles-also got to see Trey do this pre-round room in Utica last
fall awsome song maybe the best from the new album
5. YEM-wow we all came here to see this, so i hope everybody was ready I know I was,
a glorious yem they should have said BOY MAN GOD "IT" (Great t-shirt idea!!)
6. Loving Cup- Second best cover, they probably play this more than the stones
1.46 DAYS--I believe it was a 46 minute 46 days, could have been shorter but who
gives a damn that was totaly spacey and totally a jammin version
2.Julius-first phish tune I ever heard was really shocked to hear it it's just great
3. Lizards-Ok keep raging guys old school bad ass jam
4. secret smile-woh what's going on i guess they need a rest
5. ANTELOPE--I've heard it before in here and now it's my turn to say I wanted to
run like an f'n antelope all over that place although i did miss the raco, marcos,
GOOD TIMES BAD TIMES--I don't know the only way they could have topped this is with
a Terrapin into Hood and than Paul Simon would have had to have come out and helped
them play the entire revolver album and than all got into a space ship and flew
away...but since my idea didn't happen Good times bad times was a great ending
to a great weekend.
The fact alone that the gods smiled down over limestone for 46 hours of no rain
during the event made it all more perfect.† I don't give a damn about mud or that i
didn't here free or guyute or that there was light vending, i came to see phish and
i saw them and i enjoyed myself every second of th night.† As a final side note I
heard somebody come by our site and ask us if we were coming to IT 2.† If there is
one I will be there!!!!! Thank You Phish for making my summer complete again.† also
to anyone who does not now, the smoothies were
Date: 08 Aug 2003 17:18:10 EDT
From: Dustin J. Maurice
Subject: IT review
Anyone who's been a part of this scene for 8 to 10 years
should be ashamed of themselves for putting up with that fest.
I've never seen Phish in worse shape, I've never seen lot in worse =
and I've never seen the "phans" in worse shape. Dead tour 95 =
It's as over as it gets at this point, and if the band had a shred =
left, they'd quit now to save some face. I've seen around 50 normal =
shows since 93, and that was my 5th Phish festival, and the odds of =
me ever seeing
Phish again are slim to none. It used to be so fun, the music was =
SO good, the people
were SO nice, chill, funny, smart, everything. Now it's all about =
ME, there is no love.
The band kicks down if and when they want to, and if they don't =
want to, they're
plenty happy to piss in your ears and take your money. Trey's =
speech at the end of IT
was the same thing he's said for years.............only this time, =
he knew it was bullshit, and=20
so did a lot of us. If you couldn't hear it in his voice, or feel =
HOW FAKE he was being with that shit,
then you just don't know Trey. He even let out a little evil =
chuckle at one point, as if to say "I could lie
right to all of your 70,000 faces, and you wouldn't even know it, =
and you'd still pay $150 bucks
a piece and sit in 10 hrs of traffic and stand in a field full of =
shit to kiss my ASS!" The sad thing is, he's right.
I would have thought with Jerry dying the way he did, that Phish =
would avoid the pitfalls of hard drug use.=20
Alas, the soul has been sold for a dirty high once again. Thank god =
for all the smaller other scenes holding
it down, you know who you are. Have fun you kids, be safe, and =
remember, never trust a junkie.
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 12:44:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: scott shulimson
Subject: IT review both days
A lot of mixed feelings about "IT" right now... I think a lot of it just comes
down to expectations.†† The shows were very good but not quite up to the level
of the other phish festivals I've been to† (lemonwheel and big cypress).†† We
did a whirlwind trip through nova scotia and new brunswick before IT so we just
came through the canadian border into limestone cutting off most of the traffic.
Ended up taking three hours from the time we got into the U.S. to get to the
festival.††We got parked about a mile and half†from the†stage.† The soundcheck
the first night was great. Smooth†groovin peaking†jams.†A†word about the
weather:† It had poured prior to the festival and† the site was really muddy
which was sort of a hassle at times.† I had a great time being barefoot in the
wet grass mud until a friend told me the site (lorings air force base) is
actually a superfund site.†† This kinda sent me on a bummer ( had I been
absorbing carcinogenic radioactive or even atomic toxins through my wet feet all
night?)† Anyway though it had poured before the fest it didn't really rain the
whole time we were there.† It sprinkled and it was overcast most of the time but
this just served to block out the sun and sleep later.† Driving out today as
soon as we got going it started pouring. IT was amazing timing because a
downpour would have killed the energy and lowered the vibe.† ††† First set first
set was really nice with extended and energetic jams.† Second set was so good at
first I actually thought this could turn out to be one of the best phish shows
I'd ever seen, then the energy dropped off. The third set didn't regain it imo.†
They played so many new songs† I actually† almost all the material and want them
to play what they feel like playing but it seemed to drain the energy.† Also
trey seemed a little tired or something (??!!)† by the third set.†† ††† We had
heard rumors of the control tower and were not dissapointed.† I wouldn't want
the recording of it but it was just amazing eye candy.† This military industrial
control tower comes to life with black lights and then phish starts going and
smoke starts pouring off the top of it totally lit up with red and white lights
and the band playing like some kind of crazy air raid kinda thing.† I wish I
hadn't known about it and just seen this thing smoldering.†† Anyway it just got
better with each† of the ten flights lit up with a different color and strobing
in patterns.† Then three dancers did this crazy anti gravity repel dance.† I
wish I had my† videocamera.† Musically not so hot but overall coolness the peak
of the weekend.† † Second night Trey was a little off at first but got into it.†
Second set was really good. My favorite. The third set I thought they all
sounded a little tired. I wasn't so into the 45 minute ambiant jam in 46 days
and I was in† a state of mind to enjoy it.† They just didn't have that much
energy. which brings me to expectations.† The energy at the gorge seemed more
consistently on which led me to expect something at least as good as the other
festivals.† While the middle sets from both nights had some stellar jams the
energy seemed† to be fleeting at other times. It was a long tour and maybe that
had something to do with it.† Maybe they are to old to peak at the end of the
tour these days.† Also one of the two guys who designs all the phish fests died
in†† a car wreck on monday and that had to effect the vibe.† It seemed a little
funny they didn't mention it at all out of† respect. †† Non musically there were
highlights like the really cool forest complete with tree top path and masking
tape web craziness. Lowlights include a lack of the consciousness among the east
coast phish scene that makes west coast events like high sierra so special. But
this is my third phish fest and I haven't seen a sing fight or crazy
belligerence.† Not bad for 70,000 drunk people on runways. ††† No traffic
leaving (the way we went).† All in all I am curious to see where they go from
here. My post gorge exuberance has left me.† At times they sound better than
pre-hiatus but Trey seems a little more musically moody than ever and that's
saying something.† - scott
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2003 14:44:04 -0400
From: John Darby
Subject: IT Review
OK folks, here's the down low on the IT festival. I've read a bunch of the
reviews already posted, and I have to say that I'm in agreement with the
dissenters on this one. This was just not a great all around festival,
plain and simple. Some have been bold enough to say some of the things that
I'm going to say, while others have accused the "negative reviewers" of not
getting the point of "IT." But the mere fact that so many people felt that
the festival was lacking in one way or another is ample evidence that there
was something missing in the music this time around. I mean, who walked
away from Big Cypress with a negative vibe? No one. Maybe some people
liked certain songs and didn't like others, but the overwhelming feeling was
that Phish brought something special to the everglades that new years eve.
You simply cannot say the same thing about IT.
As one other poster noted, why hasn't Phish learned a thing about venues and
traffic? I find it hard to believe that they don't care about us, but the
lack of organization was appalling. It took my group 6 hours to go the
first 400 miles and 13 hours to go the next 12 miles. Not exactly anyones
idea of a good time, but to tell you all the truth, we were so pumped up to
be going to IT that we were in good spirits despite the horrendous traffic.
But on to the music.....
Set 1 - If the rest of the sets were like this set, I would be writing a
glowing review. AC/DC was the perfect opener. Got all the tired asses on
their feet and gave us something to cheer about. Ya Mar was obscene. I
mean it was absolutely amazing! It towered over the crowd with an
overwhelming power. Could have been the best song of the whole weekend.
Get it and listed to it over and over again. Vultures was a real treat, and
although I used to not like this song it has really grown on me. It's dark
peaks and valleys brought us through a controlled melodic maze that was mind
blowing. Why oh why couldn't they keep it going?????? Meatstick was also a
crowd pleaser. Loved it as the opener at Cypress and I loved it at IT as
well. I think they could have taken it a bit farther, but Trey just kind of
put a halt to it for no reason. Birds was also tight and brought some nice
jams to our ears. All in all a great opening set.
Set 2 - So, so beat. Bowie and Disease were both average (if not
dissapointing) and the rest of the set was unmemorable. Two things became
apparent here that would plague the rest of the sets throughout the weekend.
The "get you on your feet/kick your ass" songs were played way to
run-of-the-mill and short and the "super chill" songs were played way to
long and drawn out.
Set 3 - Redemption seemed at hand when they broke out Rock & Roll. This was
a good version, lots of energy and gave everyone the feeling that the band
was going to go nuts. But all our hopes were dashed when we were dealt
Seven Below, Scents & Subtle Sounds, Spread It
Round and Bug. None of these songs were that special and Bug has to be the
worst closer ever. I did like Scents & Subtle Sounds, but something tells
me that I would have liked it more if it was stuck between a Piper and a
2001 or something like that. Sticking 4 slow-style songs in a row to end a
set is not good. Not good at all.
Skipped the race in an effort to make the perfect egg sandwich. Success!
An egg and cheese on a bagel for breakfast is where its at folks! But I
Set 1 - A better set than 2 and 3 of day 1. Daniel was a weak opener, but
Saw it Again was a peice of art that should be cherished for all time.
Definitely my #2 favority song of the weekend....can't get that Ya Mar out
of my head! Anyway, Chalkdust was good, but went on for too long.
Mikes>h2o>Weekapaug were all good, but again, not great. No long jams,
nothing too special to make them memorable.
SET 2 - It's possible (with the exception of the greatest Ghost ever) that
the highlight of this set was "Chariots of Fire." I'm not kidding. Aside
from Ghost, there wasn't one memorable song played. YEM was waaay to
standard, and lacked any serious jam power.....how I wanted them to do
something crazy with it!!!! Cup was a good closer, but again, not a
memorable version. Ghost was, well, insane. I don't know if it was the
glow sticks or the music or the just the sheer lack of other good jamming
songs, but I'll never forget it. I mean, wow! That's all I can say folks.
SET 3 - This would have been a good set, say, as the closer on day 1. But I
found it lacking as the closer of the entire festival. 46 Days started out
great, but it ran to obscene lengths and in my humble opinion, cost us all a
good song or two. Julius was tight, with some nice riffs and jams. Lizards
was a crowd pleaser that got everyone bouncing around. But how can Phish
justify playing Good Times Bad Times as the closer? If anyone can explain
this, please help me out. A huge bummer.
So there you have it. Some might say I've been harsh, and I'd say I'm just
being honest. I usually walk away from Phish shows completely fullfilled.
This time I left feeling a bit ripped off. I can't say that I abide by this
whole notion that the band is going to play what they want to, even if the
phans want to hear other songs. You don't become as big or as great as
Phish by not pleasing your phans. You play to them. That doesn't mean I
don't understand the whole mantra of not discussing the music before they
come on stage, but c'mon, there's a difference between being creative and
adjusting the formula than there is to scrapping the whole thing. The fact
is that this festival could have been so much more, but wasn't. There were
so many times that the band could have broken into 2001 or Fluffhead or Moma
Dance or Wolfman's Brother or Free......but we got none of that.
IT was a big letdown....
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 13:37:10 -0500
Subject: Loring AFB Review
Where to start? Well, why not start at the beginning. After deciding to
make the 1600 mile drive from NE Wisconsin, to Limestone ME, hopes were
high and expectations were even higher. I've been catching Phish shows on
and off for the last 10 years. Being a veteran of the Great Went and Big
Cypress, I had a good idea of what was in store. It had been planned that
I would pick up my buddy in Detroit, and burn through the next 1200 miles,
to arrive in Limestone around mid AM on Friday. Hell, I figured that to be
the golden time to get in the show. Boy, was I wrong.
Did Phish learn nothing from the 10-20 hour debacle of 2000, that came in
the form of Alligator Alley? Apparently not. Either the band doesn't care
about weary travelers, or the people that they have in logistics planning
are severely under qualified. C'mon, think about it for a second. 3 roads
converging into one, two lane road. Plain and simple, that doesn't work.
Especially when that entry road goes to one lane at a point. Anybody who
hit lane closures and road construction knows that traffic always flows
better when there is less of a chance for people to "Bogart" up and cut in.
They tried the one entry point thing in the Everglades, and the result was
much the same. Although, I did rather enjoy grilling food in the middle of
the highway. Why not funnel the traffic in one direction? Next time, try
closing off US-1 to Phish traffic. The less lanes converging on a single
point will allow the flow to keep constant. Better yet, take some of that
$137.50 and build a few new entry roads!!!
On to the show. After the whole traffic incident, I really didn't see too
much of a problem with the camping area. We found a place in the western
edge of the base where people had busted down the yellow boundary tape and
drove up into the "forbidden lands". This was a gem. We got to park on
grass and camp by the car. No humping gear for this guy. After a quick
dinner, it was straight to bed. I had not slept but 15 minutes in the past
36 hours. Saturday morning was spent waking up, finalizing the camp site
(taking care of all the little things that get overlooked when one sets up
in the dark), and checking out the scene. Plenty of heddies to be found by
Saturday's first set was awesome. Bag opener is always a great way to
begin a show. Plenty of energy to get the crowd going. Hearing Vultures
was a highlight for me. It had been since the Great Went in 1997, so my
ears welcomed the tune. During the break, I went back to have a bit of
dinner, expecting it to be at least an hour thirty before they came back.
Sure enough, right as I out my fork to my mouth, the first notes of DWD
were played. Oh well, I thought. Not a big deal. Man, was I glad that I
decided to stick around and have a nice dinner. I feel bad for all those
people who were ankle deep in mud when Phish decided to waste everybody's
time with Waves > Jam. Don't get me wrong, nice tight jamming is right up
my alley, but this was a little much. It reminds me of a 50 minute version
of Dark Star that I have that turns into nothing but noise for 20 minutes.
After the 2nd set, I thought to myself, man, the 3rd set's going to really
cook. Rock & Roll started out the 3rd with a bang. I hadn't heard that
song live before and being a fan of the VU, it was enjoyable. We can skip
the rest of the songs and head straight to the encore. Dog Log and Mango
were a damn good way to end up the 1st night. I'm not saying that they
were the best, but it could have been much worse. Bouncin'>Rocky Top comes
to mind when I think of terrible encores.
Sunday had me rolling out of my tent in time to see part of the 5k. Too
bad I missed the sign-up. That would have been a fun event. I'm sure that
many had a great time. My day's wandering brought me to many places, many
new faces, and a few old ones believe it or not. By the time the 1st set
rolled around, I was really hungry for some tunes. Daniel opener was a bit
confusing at first. I did not have the privilege to see it a couple nights
before, and before that, it was something like 280 shows. Punch is always
welcome, along with Chalkdust. Taken in moderation of course. I wish that
they would have given some of Chalkdust's time to Wilson. I'm sure a ton
of people will disagree with me, but Chalkdust should be kept to 10 minutes
max, not the 30 minute monster of Sunday. Again, I'm a huge fan of
jamming, but noise and feedback and not welcome sounds. Sunday's second
set may very well be the best set of the festival. I'm not a huge fan of
Mist and Pebbles and Marbles, but Mellow Mood, Ghost, YEM, and Loving Cup
definitely made up for it. My optimism was at an all time high after the
2nd set. The set break was spent moving the car up to the front of the
base. Having obligations back in Wisconsin on Wednesday, I could ill
afford to lose 12 hours waiting in a traffic jam, again. The break was
just enough time to secure a place near the entry/exit, and get back to the
show. Having the master escape plan in place, the 3rd set was to be most
enjoyable. 46 Days seemed like a cool opener for the set. I've liked this
song ever since they played it on Letterman. In following the trend set by
Waves, 46 days was dragged out, beaten like a dead horse, and put back in
its place. Even Antelope was lack luster at best. The Good Times Bad
Times encore pretty much summed up the entire experience for me. Very
The master plan worked. We got out of the show in about 15 minutes. I
couldn't help but notice the poor layout of the exit cones. That sharp
turn by the gate must have caused some serious delays, especially when
those big RV's were rolling out. Yet another logistical problem that could
have been avoided with a bit of forethought and a lick of common sense.
This string of shows could have been so much more. My friend said it best
during Waves. If they would have broke into a hot Funky Bitch, the place
would have erupted. That was not the case. Slow song after slow song
really brought the show down. New material is great, when taken in
moderation. Where was Moma Dance? Where was Carini? Where was Camel Walk
or Wolfman's Brother? I'd have even settled for a Bouncin', and that's not
saying much at all. 4 days removed from that show, I can most definitely
say that this was not "IT". My ticket for next year's show will be
available to anybody who wishes to buy it.
date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:07:14 -0400
From: Alan Noonan
Subject: IT Review
IT.....was not that great. I can't believe I'm writing this, but alas, it
is true. Maybe after 30 shows and 3 festivals I've come to expect too much
from our beloved band. Or maybe the traffic and mud just got to me. Or
maybe the music just wasn't up to par. Either way, I thought that IT was
good, but certainly not great.
I thought that the first set of the day was by far the best of the entire
weekend. AC/DC was a great opener and primed everyone for an upbeat and
crazy set. Just what the doctor ordered after sitting in a car for almost
20 hours. Ya Mar was by far the best I've ever heard and really took us for
a ride. Runaway Jim, Meatstick, Birds of a Feather, Vultures and Limb by
Limb aslo did not dissapoint. All were tight jams expertly mixed with
sublte spacey tunes and phunky peaks and valleys. Well done.
Set 2 was a big dissapointment after such a great opening set. Down w/
Disease and David Bowie were nice bookends, but the rest of the set was way
to mellow. Just nothing special happening. One measure of a good show is
the number of people dancing. While I'm sure that many people were dancing
during the whole second set, most that I saw were either sitting or just
bobbing their heads. Not the sign of a killer set.
Set 3 was a huge huge dissapointment after the second set. I think everyone
expected them to come back with some sick jams and upbeat stuff, but we were
all let down big time. Scents and Subtle sounds was alright, but it seemed
to go on forever. Seven Below or Seven Blows as I like to call it, was
super beat. Bug and Spread it Round put me to sleep.
All in all, the day started great but went downhill really fast. Just not
that impressive. Where was the intensity? Where were the jams? When I
think festival, I think of intense jamming and creativity. This was more
like a super chill, tame and lame day, save for set one. I give it a C+.
Woke up excited and expecting a big difference from the first day. What we
got was a mix of good and bad.....
Set 1 started off way too chill with Daniel. Never heard it before, and I
guess it was ok, but c'mon, they can much much better. Hell, I would have
preferred a Guyute opener, and that's saying something. I though Saw it
Again was great though. A thoroughly well played song with some nice jams
and phunk, even if it wasn't quite as up-beat as I hoped. Then there was
the predictabe (but good) run through Wilson to Mike's Song to I Am Hydrogen
to Weekapaug Groove. All were well played, but none stood out as any
different than any other version I've heard. Another example of the band
not pushing limits and not taking the music to a higher level. Damn....
Set 2 was much better because of Ghost and YEM. Quite frankly, the glow
stick war during Ghost was the sickest I've ever seen. It was like there
were fireworks going off for 20 minutes. Incredible. YEM was also tight,
although not a particularly memorable version. The rest of the set was just
Set 3 was better than set 2, but again epitomized what I considered a
somewhat lackluster effort by the band. Everyone thought that they would
finally play Fluffhead (people were screaming for it the entire weekend) but
they didn't even tease us with it. Yes, 46 days was a really good song and
Julius was a nice surprise, but what's the point of playing 30 minutes of
spacey phunk during the last set of the last day? I mean I liked 46 Days,
but did we really need a 45 minute version? Hell no. Total score B-.
So that's the gig. Not bad, not great, just ok. I give the entire weekend
of music a very lame C+/B-.
I've got to say that while I understand the bands desire to play new music,
this was not the venue or occasion to play so much new musice. People came
a long way to hear their favorites and see Phish rock the joint. What they
got was way too chill and not all that exciting at times.....Where was the
2001, Fee, Fluffhead, Timber Ho, Makesupa Policeman, or First Tube?
To tell you the truth, I've seen good shows and bad, but this was the
biggest dissapointment ever for me.
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 15:53:00 +0000
From: Andrew Rose
Subject: All of IT Review
"Good times, bad times," is probably the best way to sum IT all up. The only
qualifying point I would make is that the greater the contrast of highs and
lows, the more rewarding the experience. IT had its problems on all fronts,
from ungodly traffic (you don't want to know), to miles of mud (we're talking
knee deep, get your foot stuck, this doesn't smell like mud, mud), to the
occasional jam that went nowhere, to all the tunes that didn't get played. But
it's a waste of time talking about all that, because when IT was good, it was
really really good, and when it was IT it was AWESOME. (If you're not into long
reviews, or ones that put the negative in with the positive, but want to know
what IT was about in a nutshell ... scroll down until you get to the part about
good ol' Day 2, Set II, ok? Good. Otherwise, read on, I promise I'm telling IT
like IT was.)
Sunk city, 96.1 the Buuuuuuuuunny!!, the Runaway Jim 5k Memorial, were all non
show elements of IT to be incredibly proud to be a part of, even if you were
just laughing at the 16 000 balls, spacing out to the Soundcheck in traffic and
rocking to Kevin's always amazing archive show (anyone else remember the
11.11.98 Halley's being that good?), or cheering on the runners. All of the
festivals have had these kinds of moments (I've yet to miss one), and they
never cease to make me feel proud of the Phish scene, despite its faults.
The music? Anyone who expected Phish to not stay with some of the tour's trends
still has a little to learn. There was an increasing sense towards the end of
this tour that the band wants to make it clear that yes, they know what they
are playing, what they haven't played, and that you know what? -- they're in
charge. ("Everybody knows it's not the tune that counts, but IT--") There was a
lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff referencing this all weekend, from ^”the shortest
Wilson EVER^‘, to the ^”Mike says no^‘, etc. Sure there were moments when I
would have liked to hear a different tune, a longer jam, but isn't that always
the case? IT was significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which
was a sense that the band is able to play what they want and not really care
about how people react. And I admire them for that. If I gloss over a song,
assume that it's par for the course in terms of post-hiatus Phish. I'm going to
mention the good stuff so you'll know what to hear first.
I've got Ya Mar-->jam-->Jim written down. Full on exploratory jam out of the
end of Ya Mar to get things going after the rocking Bag "let's get the show on
the road" opener. Intricate, original, soaring, and as slick a slide into Jim
as I've ever heard. The first set was actually perfect in the early goings ....
Reba was absolutely gorgeous, with Trey going out away from the standard Reba
jam on numerous occasions. The band appeared to have ended the song, to be
deciding what else to play, only to come back with the whistle minutes later.
During the brief interval they must have decided to take on Birds. Some may
have noticed that Phish has been doing some wicked space-rocky stuff to Birds
lately, and this version will knock you on your ass guaranteed. Never a dull
moment in it. At this point I was preparing myself for a weekend on musical
onslaught. And while the first day never really got back to the highs of the
first set for me, there was still another gem waiting after the Birds. Now I'm
fairly certain the bunch of us that started chanting in the first 3 or 4 rows
(you can hear it on the discs) weren't the only ones responsible for the
Meatstick. There was a sign somewhere as well (alas, my Psycho Killer sign will
have to make another appearance, but I didn't really expect them to play it
...). I guess a lot of us wanted to hear Meatstick. And rightly so! I love the
Meatstick, you see, plain and simple. I love the lyrics, I love the song, I
love the jam potential (check out 7.15.99). Another long pause ended with Trey
coming up to the mic and saying "we'd like to honour your request because ...".
He was cut off by massive cheers, and started to chuckle, so I guess we'll
never no why. Before they started up he mentioned something about having
nowhere to go for two days, but whether that had to do with the request I
don^“t know. No matter. A beautiful version, complete with Japanese lyrics (and
no teaching of the dance to get in the way). I taught the dance to as many
people as I could, by example, as I went. Mike and Page were taking off when
Trey seemed to want to end the jam. Still a fantastic version, despite the
abbreviation (why don^“t they jam this out? it has such a nice sound!) and made
my set. Standard fare from there on.
Set II saw a Disease with lots of potential go nowhere too special, and an NICU
that was sloppy until Mike took it over in full force. Highlight of the set was
probably the tiny jam out of NICU into Brother. Yes, they played it in
Starlake. But it rocks, I loved it, and hadn't seen it since the Clifford Ball,
so I was happy. Waves ended and slid into a very long and nice spacey jam that
turn into a short Bowie intro. 2001 was on the tip
of it (all weekend, it seemed). Bowie was the short and sweet one they've been
doing. Trey would seem like was about to take things up and out, and then
deliberately return back to the Bowie. Ending nailed. Average set.
I need to hear Set III again. A few times. First thing I'll say is they didn't
stop once, with perfect segues all the way through. Rock n' Roll was just that
(at it's best) for a while, then elaborate and bouncy, then Seven Belowish,
then rocking again, then slid into Seven Below nicely ala Alpine. Rocking jam
had Can't Your Hear Me Knocking-esque moments, Scents was great (again, segues,
flawless), and then came back to the Seven Below theme again fairly quickly
before launching into another nice jam segment. I love Bug, but it didn't work
for me as a closer here.
The old school encore made everyone happy. It was a nice nod to the past (Trey
got a little chatty while they were deciding what to play, and made a few
comments about the old, the new, and something about "pissing on the present",
if I'm not mistaken) after having three new "S" songs dominate Set III.
At this point I had had a good time, but between the traffic and the mud, and
with Nassau having been the last show I had seen, I wanted more. A lot more.
(Don't worry, I got it, keep reading.)
A late night set anyone? After five festivals and three late night jams, and
never a trip to Limestone without one, I was ready at 2am to find IT. It wasn't
hard. I guess there are going to be tons of pictures up, and either way I don't
think it makes too much sense to describe IT. Visually, let me just say that I
have seen a spaceship, and aliens, and that more importantly, I was completely
sober when I did. Uh-huh. You^“ll just have to wait for the DVD I guess. Oh,
and the hour long jam was f--ing amazing. I loved the ambient jam from
Lemonwheel--think it's one of the best things they've done--and this was like
an original sequel that just took things one step further. The average show was
more than compensated for between 2 and 3 am on Saturday night with (mostly)
down-tempo space-rock. It set the stage for a few of the better jams on Day two
Set I on day two let me down a bit, with at least one exception. Pysched to
hear Daniel (the only thing that came close to Bluegrass all weekend, would you
believe it?), but the rest of the set was fairly standard. Oh, except the Chalk
Dust was like, 25 minutes, or something ridiculous like that. I need to hear it
again to give a full fair report. It never hit any glorious type II moments,
but certainly went away from the Chalk Dust jam for long stretches. My main
beef up to this point wasn't that things weren't tight (the Mike's was as solid
as ever in terms of soloing, etc., but short, standard), they were just
straight ahead and a lot of the time. What can I say? I like my type II, and
ultimately, that's what I still go to shows for.
Remember Day 2, Set II of the Great Went? One for the books, right? That
amazing, glorious Gin, the funky as hell 2001 complete with art jam, beautiful
Trey speech, and Hood with the first real glow stick war on a massive scale?
Well I was at the Went, and I loved it, and I've listened to the crap out of
that that XL II--and that disc in more recent years--and IT happened again on
Day 2 Set II. This year.
Mellow Mood? Lovely. Perfect. Fine.
I saw Trey mouth "Ghost" on the screen before it started up. I jumped. I
screamed. I would be doing a lot of that. So I've been giving a lot of respect
to the Nassau Tweezer since seeing it back in February. Comparing it to all
time favorite jams ... the 12/6/97 Tweezer, the 11/17/97 Ghost, the 12/30/93
Mike's, things like that. Well put this half-hour Ghost in the books right next
to it, people, and hear IT, and hear IT soon, and hear IT many times. You want
to know what IT is? What "filling empty space with the substance of our lives"
means, as Kerouac puts it, as the band was so kind to point out--outside the
gate--(and wouldn't you know it, I went digging and found IT, and it's the only
thing underlined in my copy of the book). Well IT is in the Ghost, and the
Ghost is in IT, and I think that just about says IT all. I think you could
always say that .... but I still go to Phish shows to be reminded, to get the
kick in the ass, to remember that it's not the tune that counts. Hear this jam
please. Yes there was a crazy massive scale glowstick war, and much went on
energy-wise, but I don't want to speculate on how many people were cheering for
the sticks, and how many for the music. The fact is the band was on fire, they
were feeding off the energy, and I was bouncing and laughing and dancing and
yelling for the music. I've done my share of snobbery and cynicism, but if
someone tells me this is their favorite all-time Phish jam, I won't argue. I'll
have to listen to it a few more times, but I just might have to agree.
Do you want to know the rest? The set was one for the ages, too. Everyone was
on, filling every space of composed sections with something fresh, and taking
every jam--even if it was short or type I--to the right spot. If you ever had
doubts about Pebbles and Marbles, hear this version. YEM has grown new wings
ever since Worcester in February (I didn't know that was possible), and tonight
was no exception. Complete with a Chariots of Fire theme out the vocal jam to
present the winners of the Runaway Jim 5K Memorial with their Loving Cups. That
must have been pretty neat being up there. I couldn't help thinking that Phish
seemed to haved trumped the world of sport completely... to not only top it in
terms of fan appreciation, participation, enjoyment, when it comes to the mass
gathering, but to incorporate it into the entire scene without bringing along
the hostility and aggression that often accompanies it. And oh yeah, that was
one of the best sets of Phish I have ever seen, and likely will have ever
Set III will bring on a few gripes I'm sure. Song selection, no doubt ....
where was the Gin, the Tweezer, the 2001, the Fluffhead? Yes, I love these
songs. But at this point, I didn't care. I got what I came for. And I'm pretty
sure the 46 Days was creeping in on 40 minutes ... I'm pretty sure it was the
kind of jam that will sound even better on disc, that I'll listen to over and
over. I'm pretty sure that Page sounded amazing throughout the entire set. That
it was the best version of Lizards I've heard ... that I had visions (sober
ones) of Mike and Fish as these incredibly mature musicians, doing their rock
solid thing with gusto and pride as always (was Fish the most consistent
throughout the weekend?) ... that Trey rocked that Antelope (original fills in
the composed section by the way) harder than ever, even if he did sacrifice the
Rye Rye Rocko in doing a little speech. It was as sincere as I've ever heard
him, and I'll take that over a Marco Esquandolas any day.
And what an encore. As apt, given the weekends happenings, as you'll ever hear.
Oh oh, and listen to Page's Plant (and Trey's Page, for that matter) on this
one. Never been better.
You know I had my share of IT this weekend. And when you can say, you know
something is going right .... Foolish to ask for anything more.
Fall Tour please!
andrew logowriter rose
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 15:35:29 -0400
From: James Houck
Subject: IT Full Fest review
After, literally, 10 miles of traffic amounting to 19 hours of waiting,
partying, and cat-napping on route 89 (you know it's bad traffic when your
alarm clock is the car honking behind you), redemption was mine in the form of
the "Best Damn Parking Spot in the World...Ever." Yes, it is true. I was parked
directly in front of the air-traffic control tower, dead-center, with an
amazing view of the concert stage in the distance and all vending being a short
skip away. It was so darn good that I became jealous of myself.
All gloating aside, Phish, and the phans who followed, transformed
Loring†Commerce Center into a unique cluster of peasantry, pageantry, and
harmonious beneficence. IT was raw, bare-chested, run-around, fun and
magic--the kind of party that screams, "This is Righteous...Dude!"
The music, itself, almost became secondary to the many attractions, intentional
and not, inside and out of the concert area. Official highlights included (1)
the Ferris Wheel and other structural amusements, (2) Outfield 13, which
featured crafty craftsmen (and women) and a plethora of food vendors (both
nutritious and delicious), (3) the Runaway Jim 5K (bonghits and beers on the
sidelines anyone?!?!), (4) the parading carnival of sexy (and not so sexy)
"bunnies," gigantic puppets, jugglers, and random weirdos, signaling the
opening of the concert area (noonish, each day), (5) and most definetely Sunk
City--Phish†meets Swiss Family Robinson, featuring boardwalks criss-crossing
the tree-tops amidst abstract art installations (including a full size Cadillac
stuck in the†pines) and†rooms of insanity (my good friend J-rod having†stumbled
across†"hole in the wall prison-cell" with lunatics chasing tequila shots with
more tequila shots during an informal, but very much serious and very real,
poker game involving real monies). Sunk City truly was a Shantytown that Hunter
S. Thompson would envy--very bizarre, very cool.
Then there's the music...
No need to analyze each and every tune or try to discern what thought processes
were involved regarding song selections, because of one singulary defining
quote by Mr. Anastasio during the the first festival set: "Ya know, this whole
tour we've been trying to...uh, just going out on-stage, not knowing what were
going to play and letting the music lead us...So far we feel we've done a
pretty good job of it." True dat, Trey.
And quite honestly, I can only remember what I believe to be the highlights of
Day One, 1st Set: "AC/DC" opener was a punchy start and well done, proceeded by
a stellar "Ya Mar," which featured the first notable jam of the weekend--very
smooth, extremely ambient, and "liquidy" to the ears. It was a mind-melt that
was†effitively brought back, full-circle by Trey's rhythm playing at the end.
"Birds of a Feather" took flight for 8 minutes or so towards the end and was an
equally fun groove. "Meatstick," half sung in Japanese, was a crack-up riot,
the last unique highlight of an fun average set.
Day One, 2nd Set: "NICU" into "Brother" was shifty and soaring at times.
"Waves" provided another ambiant jam and "Bowie" was straight-up rock n' roll.
Awsome. Things were starting to warm up.
Day One, 3rd Set: "Rock n' Roll" has got to be one of the coolest songs to open
a set with it, especially a second set, even more so to a 3rd. Lots of energy =
lots of danceble fun. Though not as strong as the tour-ending Greensboro
second-set opener (dated 03.01.03), this scratched an itchy crowd, eventually
rubbing elbows with a workman-like "Seven Below." Personally, I was in Seventh
Heaven (some posters apparently were not). "Bug" was delicious and the encores
("Dog Log" and "Mango"), a pairing I've seen once before, were flawlessly
Day One (technically day two),†Late Night†"mystery" Set: 19 hours of all-night
traffic and 3 sets of Phish had me hitting the straw for a well-deserved sleep.
But at 3 a.m. or thereabouts, there they were, right in front of me on the
control tower, begging me to wake up. So, out came the lawnchairs--let the
chilling commence. A spacey set for a spaced-out crowd.
Day Two, Set 1: This was the nitty-gritty, thru and thru, tried and true, rock
and roll set of the weekend. "Saw it Again," "PYITE," "Chalkdust," "Wilson,"
"Mikes>h2o>Weekapaug." All rocked out (especially Chalkdust). All well done.
Day Two, Set 2: "Mellow Mood," "Ghost>Mist" Say it with me pholks,
"mellow...mellow...mellow...mellow..." So sweet and velvety. Possibly my
favorite run of the weekend (don't hold it against me, puhlease). The rest of
the set looks great on paper, but was fairly standard to the ears. Though
"Chariots of Fire" was both moving and hilarious.
Day Two, Set 3: "Julius" was a mover and shaker. "Lizards" is always fun. And
"Antelope" provided more the Phish's raison d'etre. The encore of "Good Times,
Bad Times," complete†with fireworks, took me back to July 4th, 2000 in Camden
and provided the final punch in the nuts to†a rock-steady†resume of mystery and
A Note: notice I don't mention any of the new songs. This is for two reasons:
(1) I don't think any have developed into show-stoppers, though a couple
("Scents and Suble Sounds" to name one) have potential and (2) none of the new
songs contributed needed emotion to the sets, but rather served as sort of
"palate cleansers" between the songs the know and love. Just my opinion.
A Final Note: there was close to zero traffic leaving the venue. This being
approximately 10:30 a.m., Monday.
A Final, Final Note: Thanks to Phish and to all phans who made IT a festival,
clean of†despair and rife with positive vibrations.
j. schuyler houck
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 01:03:27 -0400
From: Alejandro Tamargo
Subject: IT review
So I'm just going to write my review for the entire weekend in one shot,
rather than writing two separate reviews. Seems like alot of other people
are doing that anyway. So my take is this: I can never say that I had a bad
time, becuase I had sooo much fun. But musically, it was just good, not
over the top. I'm sorry but I have higher standards for festivals then for
regular shows. They did nothing special to mark the occasion as they had in
other phestivals. My other big gripe with the weekend was that I was really
missing the phunk at these shows, or really anything that was even remotely
related to phunk. I know it's not 1997 anymore, but come on, give me
something groovy to dance to! All the other 2003 shows I've been to or
heard on disc were able to satisfy me in that regard. But all the jams at
IT were rock and roll based jams, ambient jams, or way out there outer space
jams. Those are all good too. But for me to be completely happy with a
Phish show, I need some of that ass shaking funky/groovy style jamming
interspersed with those other three jamming styles. And it was lacking. I
hope this isn't a trend that continues in the future. But that being said,
there were still some sick, sick jams over the weekend. Some songs were
drawn way out and explore the outer limits of space and time.
Set I: Alot of fun dancy songs. It was fun but not over the top. Reba was
a pretty sweet version. Thought it was done, then they come back
seemingly minutes later with the whistling part. And I was psyched for the
first post hiautus Meatstick which I called on the drive in and neither of
the people I was with believed me.
Set II: Started off great with the Disease>NICU>Brother sequence. Brother
was a shocker because they had just played it in Pittsburgh so I expected
not to see it on a setlist again for at least another two years. I hadn't
seen it since 10/31/96. Definetly a welcome surprise. But then that Lawn
Boy, Discern, Waves sequence was just brutal. I had gotten maybe about 30
minutes of unrestful sleep in the past 40 hours or so, and was struggling to
stay awake. They just can't do 30 plus minutes of mellow tunes when I'm that
tired. i don't really like mellowness for that length of time anyway, but
especially not when I'm tired. I don't know, maybe I'll appreciate it more
when I hear it on disc, but I sort of doubt it. The Bowie wasn't enough to
bring me back up. Just a standard Bowie, nothing spectacular.
Set III: Pumped myself full of coffee between sets and was ready for the
most ragin set of the night! Even though the setlist for whatever reason is
missing a couple segue marks (>), this set was onebig long jamfest. It's
just what I needed after the more subdued first two sets. My first live
Seven Below was as good as I had hoped and it was jammed nicely into Scents
(also a first live, although I've heard it on disc). It's is a song I've
very quickly grown to love and this version was amazing. My fisrt time
hearing Spread it Round live or otherwise, and I loved it! It's the only
new tune that's upbeat and dancy and it had a sweet reggae section in the
middle. Great build and climax jam at the end to into a beautiful Bug. I
read in the "It" ewspaper put out by Relix, a great line from Kevin Shapiro.
He suggests that all you bug haters check yourself into the AES, the
American Entomolgical Society, to get some help with your problem. This bug
was great, and I wouldn't have wanted them to end the set any other way.
Encore: After Trey was talking about how they couldn't decide what to play,
did anyone else hear Trey say "Now we're going to play something special"
and then tease Bouncin'? My
girlfriend and I both heard it, but I haven't found anyone else who seemed
to catch that. I thought for sure it was the band messing with our minds.
We're going to play something special, here's Bouncin! Of course they
played Dog Log, which is only my second time seeing and a great song. I
thought that was the end of night 1 but was pleasantly suprised to hear the
opening notes of Mango. Wow! Great encore. (If only they had continued
the trend on that on Night 2).
The Tower set: For anyone who somehow doesn't know this, they played an
hour long ambient jam ontop of a control tower in the parking lot at 2 am
with Kuroda doing the light show. I am sorry to say that I was very much
unconciouss during this. I had heard the rumors that this was going down,
but I just couldn't force myself to stay awake for another second. I was so
beat. I wish they had done this night 2 because I could have stayed up all
night then. I heard it was pretty amazing. I really really wish I'd seen
it. Hopefully I can get it on disc.
Set I: I am not at all a phan of Chalkdust. I'd say that I'm done with
this song, but "done" doesn't even cover it. I was done with it in 1998.
Now I've pretty much just accpeted that I'm going to have to deal with a
Chalkdust in 1 out of every 2 shows that I see, so I just chill and wait for
the next song. But this Chalkdust explored realms of space where no
Chalkdust has ever gone before. I have to admit that I quite enjoyed the
jam. I really enjoyed the Mike's Groove, because I always love to hear
Mike's. But not because this particiular version was a standout version in
any way. Searching for the phunk in Weekapaug, but alas, just a rockn'roll
version. It was fun though. Rest of the set wasn't too exciting for me.
Not bad, just nothing special for me.
Set II: Mellow Mood opener was sweet. my second Marley bustout this year.
I thought it was an appropriate way to describe the weekend too. I was
pyshced to hear the opening notes of Ghost, because I thought for sure that
I'd get the phunk I'd been craving. But it almost seemed like they were
going out of the way to NOT be funky. Page's clavical solo was shorter than
usual, and there was no Funky Mike Bass solo at the end of it. Then the
jam: It started off going nowhere. Just Trey just kind of meandering about
on his guitar, not really latching onto anything at all that I could groove
with. But a few minutes into it they finally picked up on an ambient
groove, and I rode the wave to the rocking climax. It turned out to be
pretty awesome in the end. It was not unlike the other 2003 Ghost jams I"ve
heard. Love Mist. Pebbles rocked the house (airforce base) once again.
It's a very Disease-esque jam and I love it. YEM was YEM. Can't complain.
Loving Cup closer was predictable (since the winners of the race were
receiving the Loving Cup trophy), but it was nice. I always love to hear
Set III: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Antelope
Setlist look weak? Let me tell you my phriends that this was the best set
of the entire weekend. Not sure of the timing on 46 Days, but from what I
can gather it was somewhere between 35 and 45 minutes. The jam started off
pretty groovy, the closest they got to what I was looking for. Then Phish
took us on a trip into deep space. It was dark and creepy there, but I knew
I was safe because I was with Phish. Just when I got so dark I almost
couldn't stand it, I heard the sound of the flying saucer taking off, coming
in to take us into good space. It should be noted that I was on no drugs
what-so-ever as I experienced these feelings. It was all in the music.
Anyone who thinks that this was just 20 minutes of feedback as Trey was
trying to find a groove needs to get theirselves the disc (or tape if you
prefer) and listen again. It was so much more intricate than just feedback.
So anyway, the band then came back to Earth and rocked out for a while.
And the most beautiful thing was that after such a long trip into deep
space, the band was actually able to find their way back home to 46 Days. I
was impressed they even remembered what song they were in, because I'd
pretty much forgotton by that point. Goes to show that sometimes those >'s
can be overrated. This was so much more beautiful because they ended the
song than it would have been if they had wandered into soemthing else. As
for Julius I've never seen 60,000 people rockin so hard together. This was
the highest enery point of the entire festival. The high energy continued
onto Lizards, which is a song that I always would love to hear but rarely
do. Secret Smile was nice. The placement reminded me how the Dead (the
real Dead, not the imposters calling themselves that now) used to play the
beautiful Jerry ballad at the end of Set II right before the set closing
rocking Bobby tune. Phish's equivalent of the rocking Bobby tune in this
case was an Antelope that absolutely raged. It was soo good. Then instead
of rye rye loco. Trey starts babbling on about how great this is and how
much he loves and appreciates us, much like I saw him do last year at
Bonnaroo. He's so funny because he keeps saying that he's going to stop
talking but then he goes "And another thing, I just want to say..." He
actually laughingly told the rest of the band to stop playing the antelope
background becuase he had a hard time thinking with the music. That was
pretty funny. Although it did kind of disrupt the song. They then went
back and finished it up.
Encore: So this was my first trip to Limestone. (I'd been to the Clifford
Ball and Big Cypress). I've heard about all the two song encores with
burning towers of art or giant baby elephants moving through the crowd from
previous Limestone festivals, so I was wondering what I kind of grand finale
they'd have for us at IT. A local guy at a gas station on the way in told
us that the stage was going to rise up 40 feet in the air. I think he must
have heard about the tower set, and that that was 40 feet in the air and got
confused. But anyway, we never really believed that, but we did expect
something. So what do we get? Good Times Bad Times and fireworks? How
weak! I don't care if they don't do anything special like burning art or
giant baby elephants but at least give us a better encore to end the
So when you add it all togehter I thought the music all and all was good but
not spectacular. But hey, it was Phish, it was a really good time, and it
was IT. It's hard to be too upset about that.
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 02:50:38 -0400
From: Hunter Rogers
IT Festival, What a Festival. The atmosphere was hilarious and the mud was
everywhere. Nugs were decent, and the cops were chill. First Nite of IT was
damn good. Second nite was better. Now for the analysis. First Nite.
08/02/03 - IT Festival, Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME
Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar > Runaway Jim, Reba*, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick
**, Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern
Set 2: Down With Disease > NICU -> Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves^, David
Set 3: Rock & Roll > Seven Below, Scents & Subtle Sounds^^ > Spread It
Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song
"Set 4": The Tower Jam#
Let me say that this First set was incredible. The Jamming was incredible
throughout this show. Even though the setlist could have been stronger at
times the jamming was nice.
ACDC Bag: What an Opener. I was flipping my shit. I love this song. I knew
it was just going to get better and better after that opener and it did.
Ya Mar: This was a dank Ya Mar. At least 15 min. Very smooth and beautiful.
Nice segue into
Runaway Jim: This was a short version of this song but it was nice. Esp.
considering that the next song is
REBA: I love this song. I called this song 2 weeks before the show for the
first set of the IT. This was a great Reba. They stopped after the song and
they were mulling around talking about what to play next and I kept
screaming for the Whistling and I think a little chant might have started
but after about 3 min of waiting they busted out the whistling, good stuff.
The Reba was played to near perfection.
Birds of a Feather: Sweet tune, nice placement. Good jam.
Meatstick: The entire audience was yelling for Meatstick and Trey finally
said, you know what we are going to play that request. And they played it,
and it was killer. Probably the highlight of the show, if not the Encore. It
was with the Japanese Lyrics too, so that made it even more dank.
Two Versions of Me: I have heard this song a couple of times already, I
kinda didn't want to hear it again, I think they played too many of the new
songs this tour. They kinda wore the ones they played out. Like 7 Below, and
Waves, and this song.
Vultures: Dankness. I loved this song. I never expected to hear it though. I
am glad I did.
Limb: Nice Limb.
Cavern: Good song, Heard it in Atlanta, but still was nice to hear.
Overall a Great set.
DWD: This was a Sick DWD but I am not a huge fan of this song.
NICU: NICE. I liked hearing this one too. Nice Jam and nice placement.
Brother: Oh yeah, Now this set is heating up. Gotta Love the brother. Nice
Solid, jammed out Brother.
Lawn Boy: I guess they need a breather after that beginning.
Discern: Do you need this long of a breather guys. This song is not that
Waves: Whats going on here. This is a festival not a Pavillion show. This
was a nice Waves though.
Bowie: Nice Bowie. Solid. Good set closer.
Set 2 Starts out nice and ends nice and is jammed to the best of the ability
for these songs. Good set.
Rock and Roll: Good stuff. Nice Opener. Good jam.
Seven Blows: This was a nice Seven Below. Longer than I wanted it to be but
it was fine.
Scents and Suble Sounds: Good song, probably my favorite of the new songs.
Spread it Round: Set of new stuff eh. I guess I can handle that. There were
lots of people who didn't go to the rest of the tour just IT so I guess they
needed to hear the new songs.
Bug: Enough already. This set is annoying but good for those people who
wanted to hear all the new songs and recent songs.
I didn't really enjoy this set all that much. The Jamming was incredible but
the song selections were shotty.
Dog Log: Damn Phish. I didn't know you had it in you. I love this song.
Wasn't expecting to hear it. Beautiful.
Mango Song: Nice song, good version too. I loved it.
Overall. This was one well jammed out show and they played the best versions
of the songs they did play. The Third Set could have been better though. B+
Ambient Jam: The Ambient Jam on the top of the control tower at 2 am was
definitely a surprise for me. I hadn't heard anything about music at nite
but i was walking around and heard Phish starting so I ran over there and
sure enough, Phish was playing but I still don't know where they were. They
were either on Top or in the room near the top. I am pretty sure it was the
top but there was so much smoke and fumes coming off of that top. They had
people rappelling down the sides of the tower and they were moving with the
music, it was dank. The Tower Lights were controlled by Chris Kuroda and
they were incredible. The Tower looked crazy. It was constantly changing
color and smoke was going crazy. The Jam was nice. They teased some stuff
and you could hear a little bit of funk in there.
08/03/03 - IT Festival, Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME
Set 1: Daniel (Saw the Stone), Saw It Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of
One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson*, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug
Set 2: Mellow Mood, Ghost**, Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself >
Chariots of Fire^, Loving Cup
Set 3: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like an Antelope^^
Encore: Good Times Bad Times#
Daniel: Good stuff, I liked this song. Never heard it though. Nice opener.
Saw it again: I love this song, its always short but i love it. Hard Rocking
PYITE: Good stuff. I was hoping to hear this song going into the show. It
didn't disappoint, Nice jam, nice landlady portion. good song.
Army of One: I didn't even notice this song in the set. I must have been
smoking my PYITE bowl.
Chalkdust: KILLLLLERR Chalkdust. Over 20 min. Very enjoyable.
Wilson: Shortest ever, need i say more.
At this point the crowd was clearly yelling Fluffhead, Trey and Mike were
talking and Trey turns back to the crowd and says that Mike doesn't want to
play it. Which I believe is untrue, I wanted to hear Fluffhead so bad. But I
guess they don;t want to play a bad Fluffhead first time they play it. So
instead they played
Mikes Groove: Good Stuff, The Mikes Song was kinda weak but it was sweet
enough, Mikes songs are never as dank in the groove. Hydrogen, standard of
course. Weekapaug, good jam.
Nice first set. As you can see.
Mellow Mood: Good god. I love this song, love this as an opener and loved
the next song,
GHOST: Killer Ghost. SOOO LONG, SO DANK. Check this shit out fo shizzle.
Sick Glowstick war.
Mountains in the Mist: Good song, heard it a couple times too many but a
good opportunity to sit down after that Ghost.
Pebbles and Marbles: Nice song, Haven;t heard it sense Hampton. Good
YEM: Sick Yem. Can't descibe it, just listen to it.
Chariots of Fire: They played this while they gave out the awards to the 5 K
Loving Cup: Killer, Kill. Nice Set closer.
46 Days: Great 46 days, i got a little bored with it at times though and I
kinda wish they would have not played it for so long and played something
else. Like a 2001 or a Fluffhead. This Jam had some Ambient Jamming Similar
to the Tower Jam.
Julius: Gotta Love Julius. Good version nice jams.
Lizards: Good stuff.
Secret Smile: Enough with the new crap. Play some more old school jams.
Antelope: Nice Antelope. Nice Jamming but Trey Stopped the Jamming to thank
everyone and they skipped the Rye Rye Rocko and the Spike and all that
goodness. Nice ending though.
Nice set. Weird Musical Selections but nice jams.
Good Times Bad Times: Nice. Good version, nice jamming. Nice Fireworks in
the background, a little too many at times though so you couldn't see some
of the fireworks through the thick smoke. I wish they hadn't ended with this
though. I wish they would have ended with at least 2 encores. Oh well. It
was still dank.
Overall. Nice jams. Good tunes, weird song choices. A- Rating for the fact
that Trey messed up that Antelope, which had some great potential until he
cut into it.
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