, attached to 2003-02-26

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo Remember how happy Homer got when he saw the ad for a free trampoline?

That's how happy I am to review this show. Maybe more happy. Because this show is A+, 10/10, cowabunga Bonzai Pipeline, and I would have probably been thrown in jail if I attended -- that's how controversial my dance moves would have been.

The Call to the Post riff before the first actual song... man, I just got goosebumps thinking about it. Like a thoroughbred at the Kentucky Derby, You Enjoy Myself blasts out of the gates with focus and energy so amplified, so electric, that Phish could have made this concert 100% eco-friendly by producing all of their own power to run the amps, lights, and assorted concession stands throughout the venue. I have NO shame in saying this is my favorite version of YEM, ever. ::cue eye rolls from Red Rocks 94, Albany 95, Vegas 96, ect ect...:: This version, with how hot it is, could melt the sun. I could breakdown each minute of the song, but that wouldn't be nearly as fun as listening to it yourself. From Trey scratching back and forth with Page, to the three independent, orbit-changing peaks, to Fish and Mike's pure-sex Bass and Drums, to the Clone vocal jam... man, wow. AND THIS OPENS THE SHOW!!! If that opened a show I had attended, I would have looked around after its conclusion and asked, with all sincerity, "Am I die?" Clone sneaks in via the vocal jam and what a tune this is. It has Mike written all over it with its swanky bassline and problematic vocal story telling. It swings and grooves and should be in Phish's repertoire with more regulatory... said EVERYONE EVER who has listened to this song. Come on, Trey! A mesmerizing Roggae comes next and at this point, the deal was sealed that this show was going to be special. Not just Phish special, but all time special. Swirling, swooping, and gliding through a soft mist, this Roggae is as delicate as it is determined. A full band focused composition, this piece of music is the perfect yin to the fire of the YEM's yang. The next song, Drifting, is also another one of these solo songs that *needs* to be in the repertoire. Since it's a Trey song, I personally blame Page for it not being in rotation. Anyways, Drifting makes me feel like laying in a meadow on a warm summer day - looking at clouds as the scoot by, wondering what it might feel like to be a cloud. Trey takes the lead, as it is his song, and hits a beautifully melodic peak. Blue Skies is okay, but at this point, I don't really care if an "okay" song is thrown into the mix. The set is already so good. This Fishman "bluegrass folk" song feels a little slapdash, but whatever because do you know what comes next... Uh oh. Uhhh ohhhh. Do you see what's happening? Someone alerted the authorities because Funky has official unleashed his most controversial dance move "Walking Through Unseen Spiderweb at Night." If this Moma Dance doesn't lube your loins, you might be dead. Sassy, sexy, filthy, and steamy, this Moma Dance is without a doubt the best they've ever played. Sexy. If your dance moves are anything less than Controversy Level Three: Naked Soul Train, you're doing it wrong. Grooooooooove city. Final Flight is kinda a crappy Page ballad, sorry Page, but is instantly redeemed by a smoldering, psychedelic-laced Maze. Slash-and-burning through all sorts of effects from both Page and Trey, anchored by an even-more-heavy-than-usual Mike line, this Maze leaves nothing but ashes and dust in its wake. Really, type-face reviews like this one don't do proper justice to how good this set was. It's the weekend. I urge you to go home, find this set, this show, and listen to it with focus from start to finish. You will be a better person for it.

Although I have never seen a Stash set 2 opener, I think it is one of three or four "perfect" ways to start set two because of how far it can reach. Know you might say, "Well hold on Funky, Phish can take *any* song for a ride, especially when it opens set 2." True enough, but Stash is one of those classics that can reach any multitude of musical excursion. Check out 6.11.94 for white-hot peaks. Check out 7.2.97 for the MOST BLISSFUL 8 minutes of music Phish has EVER performed. Check out 11.14.95 for pure terror. Check out 12.31.03 for some Hubble-esq deep field plating (teaser). And check out this version for some downright playful breakdowns, builds, and wavelength patterns of musical crests and troughs. This Stash has it all, and has it all in spades. My favorite segment is nearing the end, maybe 14 minutes in when it breaks down and Fish on the woodblocks and Mike is just plain dirty on his "picking." Ohhh soooo gooood. Then the jam explodes back into Stash jam proper and winds down to its normal end, with a punctuation mark. Now, before we get into the next song, I suggest you remove your pants. Pants off? Okay let's do this thing. Michael "Gacktoidler" Gordon. Are you familiar? Yes. Good. Are your pants still off? Yes. Good. Now, when I say a jam is slinky, this is what I am thinking of. This Ghost is a slinky jam. It is the Mike Gordon All-Star game. It is, if there ever was, the musical reincarnation of what a ghost would be. Ecto-9 all the way. Some people say Trey just kinda drops out and it lazy in this jam. Not me. Even though Mike is the #1 in this entire rendition, Trey's layering and incredibly nimble playing is downright goosebump-enducing. The jams seeps through all sorts of moods, each amazing, before culminating in a subdued yet celebratory, cohesive peak that blends right into Low Rider. The crowd goes bananas as the Low Rider theme permeates the building and the level of Dance Controversy has reached Four: Naughty Shower Lufa. An equally amazing -> Makisupa keeps the jaw-dropping-ness of this set going. A playful version akin to 2.16.03's this on has some splashy cymbal work and sultry Mike accomplishments. Then add on a third consecutive, cleeeeaaaaan -> Ya Mar and holy crap, this set is even better than the first!!! Ya Mar is playful and just great. It stays within its framework but it honestly doesn't need any fancy treatment with how awesome and well-constructed this set, and show, has been. Just great, happy music. Wasting NO time after the Ya mar winds down, you can hear Trey yell GUYUTE! GUYUTE! And with gusto, the band bursts into the ugly pig. I am not usually a fan of Guyute, but this one works. It fits a perfect niche, fraught with energy and zeal, complimenting a perfect show up to this point. Phish continues their giggle-inducing playing with a late set WAVES!!! Played with a half-step more OOMPH, this waves, like the Stash before it, hits musical crests and troughs, barrels over itself, and billows beautifully with some crowd-made off-shore winds (I just went type 2 on my review, whoa). Waves settles peacefully, and appropriately, into the nautical Prince Caspian. Phish can do no wrong. Even if you're not a Caspian fan, there's no denying how well this pairing worked in the set. Just great. Caspain features more truly inspired playing from Trey and, believe it or not, has a true -> into Frankenstein of all songs!!! Hahahaha!!! Can't help but laugh at how this worked out! Wow! Frankenstein nearly implodes the venue and where it failed, Golgi completely razes what is left of Woostah. A SMOKING Loving Cup with extended jam close the show with a billion exclamation points. This is not a normal Loving Cup, this one, like this entire show, deserves your attention. Holy crap what a show!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Must-hear jams: You Enjoy Myself, Drifting, Moma Dance, Maze, Stash, Ghost -> Makisupa -> Ya Mar, Loving Cup
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Roggae, Ya Mar, Waves > Prince Caspian -> Frankenstein > Golgi Apparatus


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