, attached to 2003-07-18

Review by deceasedlavy

deceasedlavy Alpine will always be my second home. It didn't really seem like Phish was actually back until they came here. The sun shining and the "Axilla" opener felt awfully good. Otherwise this first set didn't do a whole lot for me; nothing wrong with "Gin">"Mango" but I wouldn't call it essential listening, and "Rift" and "Roggae" and the composed section of "Bowie" were all ugly and "Discern" did not exactly impress me, although the finale of "Bowie" was pretty smokin'. The funny thing about the second set is it played out a lot like the 3.0 formula: one monster "DWD" aaaaaaand they're spent. It's no mystery why "Secret Smile" and "Two Versions" aren't still being trotted out, eh? "Twist" was a pleasant drift through space, "Character" was "Character". But "Hood" was a revelation. Sure, the composed section was a little hard on the ears, though nowhere near as bad as the first year's worth of 3.0 versions. But (as Kenny Powers notes above) the jam blew me away; probably still the most unique, exploratory "Hood" I've caught live. Right in the middle it reaches a viscous, full-band molten groove almost independent of meter, the kind of stuff that the boys only rarely touch on since the mid-90s, the shit that makes you forget where you are. Just maybe 30 seconds of hose and a peak and then a really unusual denouement, and honestly this little taste of old-school glory was worth more to me than that whole huge "Disease". Felt like Phish was back, for tonight anyway.


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