, attached to 1999-12-31

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin The anticipation was palpable on NYE - everything was colored by the fact that we had an epic show promised later. So let's skip to the show, after a fun ride on the skywheel.

Afternoon Set (1:46): Runaway Jim, Funky Bitch, Tube, I Didn't Know*, Punch You in the Eye, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Roggae, Split Open and Melt -> Catapult, Get Back on the Train, Horn, Guyute, After Midnight

This set had a GREAT SOAMelt. The jam quickly veered away from the SOAM beat/bassline into Type II territory, and then Catapult appeared out of the blue. I almost think this was planned, though, because the band was chatting with each other before starting up SOAM, and laughing while they did it (I don't think they take Catapul very seriously).

After Midnight was the other highlight: I have never seen a group of people (the fans AND the band) so excited in my life. The vibe during this song was just an exciting thing to feel, and the cheering was louder than any of the cheering later in the night.


Midnight->Sunrise Set (7:45): Meatstick -> Auld Lang Syne, Down with Disease -> Llama, Bathtub Gin, Heavy Things, Meatstick tease, Twist Around > Prince Caspian > Rock and Roll, You Enjoy Myself, Crosseyed and Painless, Minestrone, Sand -> Quadrophonic Topplings, Slave to the Traffic Light, Albuquerque, Reba, Axilla, Uncle Pen, David Bowie, My Soul, Drowned -> After Midnight reprise, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Bittersweet Motel, Piper -> Free, Lawn Boy, HYHU > Love You > HYHU, Roses are Free, Bug, Harry Hood intro tease > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Meatstick

The stage was lit up to reveal a father-time like figure with a cubist head (think Picasso) riding a stationary bike next to a giant clock, making the clock run with his riding. Then, at about 10 of midnight, he stopped pedaling and slumped over the handlebars . Then, a couple minutes later the band showed up on an airboat (which I couldn't see at all) and then the sides fell off to reveal the band on the 1994 NYE Hot Dog (Meatstick) while a pre-recorded Meatstick played over the PA system. They rode through the crowd throwing out Lei's and beef jerky. The got to the stage, got off the hot dog, and fed father time a LONG string of sausages. This revived father time who started furiously pedaling and advancing the clock quickly to 1 minute beofre midnight. The countdown then appeared on the jumbotron and the boys started actually playing Meatstick on their instruments (I think...they could have been faking it to the recording but it got much louder when the picked up their instruments). All the while there were girls on the stage dancing the meatstick.

As the countdown reached 10, everyone started to scream the numbers, and when we all yelled happy new year it was pure magic. I don't use words like magic often - but I felt my heart burst within my chest, full of love, full of happiness, joy, every synonym in the damn book. How can I get across how special I felt as I listened to the most amazing band in the world auld lang syne, heard fireworks bursting in the sky while kissing the love of my life in the first moments of the year 2000? I can't explain it - but my one sincere wish is that everyone can feel that good at least once in their life. I just felt like I was reborn - really sensing the world for the first time - like I was coming out of Plato's cave. Amazing, amazing, amazing. IT a thousand times over.

DWD, which seems to be the traditional NYE song now, was overshadowed by a great fireworks display - much better than those at the summer festivals. But they should be right? This is the big year of the three zeros! DWD was LONG, but hard to get a good grip on with the way I was feeling. The Cheesecake Heavy Things was hilarious, and I'm disappointed that the didn't show it on ABC. The rest of the set blurs for me...the big jams were Rock and Roll, YEM, and Sand - the biggest jam of them all. I had a hard time maintaining after splitting a bottle of Korbel with Ann, and we headed back to our tent during Bowie (about 4AM). Luckily, we were camped close enough to still hear the concert clearly while wrapped up in our warm sleeping bags. I listened to much of the rest of the show in a half-asleep haze, unfortunately missing the Piper and Roses, but that's what tapes are for, right? My experience had already reached perfection at midnight, and I have absolutely no regrets about not being able to stay up.

Ann and I had initially planned on leaving on the second, but the fact that the traffic had completely blocked the water and port-o-potty trucks from getting through told us that we should probably get in line too. We packed up our stuff and got in line to get on 2nd Ave....and then didn't move for 6 hours. But once we did start moving, it took us only about 2 hours to get back to Ft. Lauderdale. We grabbed a room at the HoJo (mainly because it was right next to Denny's), took a much needed shower, and ordered a pizza. Mmmmmmm...a perfect end to a perfect weekend. Thank you Phish!



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