, attached to 2003-02-26

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin I attended this show and loved every minute, but this review will be based of a current re-listen.

I can't think of a better way to open a Phish show than YEM, and this one - while not an all time great - certainly brings some extra mustard, with some particularly firey guitar work by Trey and an awesome bass solo by Mike immediately prior to the Clone-infused vocal jam. At the time I was hugely surprised to hear Clone, and it was executed very well, although I prefer Kottke's work on the acoustic to Trey's electric for this song. Very pretty Roggae, nice interplay between Trey, Page and Mike. Drifting is well played, (the background vocals are a bit rough though), but at the show this is when I started thinking it would be cool if they played a song from everyone's side project.

I had no idea what Blue Skies was at the time (and I still have never heard the original) but it is a pleasant enough country tinged Fishman tune. No complaints here, the first set is the perfect place for something like this. Nice patient staccato Moma jam. Final Flight is the inevitable Vida Blue song, and executed nicely, although as in Drifting the background vocals are shaky. A little sloppiness at the beginning of Maze by Trey, but he rips into the solo as if trying to make up for it. I may be imagining things, but I think I heard a Summertime tease by Page at 4:44 into the Maze. In any event, a typical high energy set closer that devolves into what I used to call a textural jam, with Trey using the delay pedals in a big way before retiring to the typical Maze outro.

Stash kicks off the second set with a bang. Cool vocal work by Trey, he sings "was it for this my life I sought" behind the beat, which builds up a tension and gives every downbeat in that section a new meaning. This Stash jam is a deep dark monster. Fully type I, but lots of great stuff. Nearly 20 minutes, well worth a listen. Ghost quickly leaves the funk to a more jazzy place, lead by some great work by Page on the piano. After a couple minutes, they enter a more experimental spacey section that culminates in a driving jam segueing into Low Rider. If you can listen to Phish play Low Rider without a gigantic smile on your face, you are a better man than I. Funny Makisupa referencing a fire at the band's hotel the night before and a nice (if unchallenging) segue into Ya Mar. A imperfect Guyute follows, with a cool Waves up next. Usually less said about f***erpants the better, although this one does have some rather interesting chill jamming within. A nice segue into Frankenstein and Golgi ends the set on an up tempo note, and the always fun Loving Cup encore closes it out.

One of the better end-to-end shows of 2.0, IMO. The opening YEM is great, as is the Stash through Ya Mar portion of the second set. Moma and Maze have their moments as well. The side project focus of the first set makes it more memorable than most, although having seen it in person I might be overrating the novelty of it. 4 out of 5 stars.


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