Trey teased San-Ho-Zay in Chalk Dust. Instead of emerging from behind the piano with his own microphone for Lawn Boy, Page came front stage and used Trey’s microphone and stand. The move prompted a raucous response from the crowd. A portion of the Piper jam was based around the chords to Oye Como Va. Trey subsequently teased Oye Como Va, as well as Another One Bites the Dust, during YEM. Carolina was played for the first time since November 18, 1998 (144 shows). The YEM vocal jam included a Daniel Saw the Stone tease. Proud Mary was performed a cappella (including renderings of the musical breaks) to conclude the vocal jam. Only one other version of Proud Mary is known – a full-band version at the first ever Phish show on December 2, 1983 (1,362 shows).
I was introduced to the band by some older counslers at an overnight summer camp. I had been listening to Phish for about 3 years before this. Mostly studio stuff execpt for Slip, Stitch, and Pass and NYE 95. At the time I new nothing about trading tapes and such. So when this tour was announced and i saw the boys were coming so close to home for me I hounded my dad to get tickets for me and my friend Ray. I was 17 at the time and had no debit or credit cards and plus i was in school when tickets went on sale. This was my senior year in high school. My dad was puzzled at the time why he had to be at the computer right when tickets went on sale. He was able to get tickets for me and then checked like 30 minutes later and they were sold out! Told ya Dad!
It seemed like forever until March 1st would get here. Finally show day rolled around so Ray and I made the thirty minute drive to Greensboro. It was cold and rainy that day. When we got on lot we were nervous n00bs about taking our weed in so we baked out the car and headed to the gate. This was a GA show so we wanted to get in as soon as we could. While waiting in line we kept hearing people talk about this nasty Tweezer from the last show and some song called Destiny Unbound that had not been played since god knows when. At the time i didnt have a clue what they were talking about but sure do now. The show before this was of course the now famous 2.28.03! So really for my first show I missed the whole lot scene and Shakedown, but would get my introduction later that summer.
So finally the doors opened and we made a mad dash for the floor! I couldnt believe it, my first show and I was three rows behind the rail! When Phish took the stage and laid into the first notes of CTD I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be at that moment in my life. The coliseum holds like 23k people and I turned around to survey my surroundings and i swear there was 20k lighters going off and they show was on!! All of a sudden Ray and I were offered all kinds of joints and bowls from our neighbors. It was like heaven on earth us two high school kids. For such a n00b I was I actually knew every song they played that night exept for maybe Foam and Mountains in the Mist. They highlights for me that night was the epic glow stick war during Divided Sky and strangely enough Boogie On, an a capella Carolina, and of course the YEM encore followed by Proud Mary.
When the show ended that night I knew this was the band for me. From that point on I was completly obsessed the Phish, I couldn't get enough. I was lucky enough to catch two more shows that summer. Looking back now i'm glad I have a little 2.0 under my belt. It would be seven looong years until I was able to make to another show. I'm so thankful to be a fan of Phish and part of this community. Their music has given me so much joy in my life and I've made alot of friends at shows and from here at Phish.net.
So there ya have it, my story about my first encounter with the Phish from Vermont.
There was smoke billowing in the distance. The ruins of Nassau Coliseum lay razed in celebratory wreckage. Even as far south as Greensboro, NC, the embers of February 28th floated down, dangerously hot, to the city's arena. And that's where the story begins.
The band, still red hot from 24 hours prior, races into the show with a quick-tempo'd, blitzkrieg'd version of Chalk Dust Torture. Extending the jam into lava hot type 1, the tone from the previous night was more palpable in this particular evening. This CDT scorches and sends the crowd immediately into a frenetic dance party. One song is all it took to know this was going to be another barn burner. A sassy-assed Moma Dance comes next. While it doesn't go into extended funk territory like the tour's previous version, it does indeed contained rocking, extended pre-Moma proper and post Moma proper rage-faced mini jam segments. 2 for 2 Phish. And away we go. The first Foam of the tour settles into the three slot. Dangerously exciting, Page takes the reigns right away and tip toes across the ivory while Phish's rhythm section NAILS a punctuated groove. Mike and Fish are LOCKED in while Page crescendos into some truly prodigal playing. Amazing stuff. When Trey takes over, the lavishness continues as he stokes the fires with note after cascading note. The show, as it stands 3 songs in, has all the markings of 2.28: energy, pace, flow. Now we need the extended improv to make it an all-timer... Well, Lawn Boy comes in next and what it lacks in improv it makes up for with Page being such a slut. Hammin in up, this song keeps the energy levels and, and we are taken even higher with a mid-set Zero. I personally think mid set 1 is the PERFECT placement for Character Zero, especially during a show like this where the energy levels created in the first 25 minutes could fuel Greensboro for the next 48 hours. It was that intense. An impeccably placed Divided Sky comes next and is executed to near perfection. The jam builds into a cathartic climax, true goosebump material, and man, hose me down now. This Divided Sky reaches the limits the atmosphere. A retro rocket of happiness, it climbs to the highest reaches of our gaseous buffer zone before gravity pulls it back down to earth. Amazingly enough, as it gets pulled back down to earth, it creates a fine, soft Mist. A perfect landing zone. Mountains in the Mist gives us time to wallow in breathtaking serenity, as the band has no doubt caused several (non)spontaneous combustions at this point in the evening. Humble and pretty, this is the perfect offset to how the set had been going. An ideally placed cool down song that was still played with precious, focus, and passion. Waves tumbles through the Mist and keeps the near-lunar energy roiling through the venue. A straightforward rocker, this Waves keeps with the theme of red-hot, take no prisoners, type-1 energy of the set. Trey climbs the scales and really shreds this version. Sample takes us up even higher, as Phish again is 100% on song selection and placement, mirroring the energy of the crowd, show, and tour.
Severe seismic activity marks the beginning of set 2. From the depths of the mantle, Rock and Roll fissures up through cracks in the crust, ultimately exploding through barriers of rock to mark the beginning of the final set of the finest tour in years. 12 minutes of non stop rock n roll, the RnR picks up where set 1 left off. Leaving a wake of ash and ember, lava and fire, stoke and high five. Whew. The pace at which I have been typing is only superseded by the pace at which Rock and Roll is played. Complain if you will (you won't) at the lack of """"type-2"""" so far, but I'll take a show like this over a forced, awkward "extended jam" any day. This show is lightning bolts mixed with Mountain Dew. Speaking of which, Wilson pops into the two slot and my advice to you, find an AUD, listen to the crowd. The place was ON FIRE. Literally? Maybe so maybe not. But all I can say is smoke started rising up from my speakers. Then I realized I was burning my grilled cheese. I digress. Smoldering, smoking, grilled cheesying, there is no stopping this phreight train. Now... now is when things get dirty. I am talking downright controversial. I'm guessing at least 39 people got thrown in jail as a result of their dance moves during Piper. 17 minutes of swanky funk, taking tidbits from 2.16.03 Piper and mixing them with up-tempo porno grooves, this Piper sashays all around the musical spectrum. It is filthy. It is sweaty, sexy, sultry. Then when it morphs into 2001... better google yourself because you all may have XXX written next to your name if you were in attendance this evening. 2001 features drippy spacefunk and volcanic peaks. A perfect slap-on-the-ass to follow up a smoking hot romp in Piper. But Phish isn't done. Who was the .netter that said he makes his "girlfriend" cum like 4.5 times? @frankstallone you know who I'm talking about. Anyways, this guy could take a lesson from this PIper > 2001 > Wolfman's -> Boogie On. Yeah yeah, I got a few songs ahead... but wow. Hold on, I need to buy a pregnancy test. Positive. Fantastic. I am carrying Mike's child. Wolfman's -> Boogie is deserves more than three Xs. It is unrateable. It is pure sex. Swampy grooves tangle with steamy fills an the bedsheets are thrown out the window with this pairing. You cannot pack more passion and energy into an 8-minute Wofman's and 7 minute Boogie On than they did tonight. It was pure controversy. Wading gives us time to take a shower and reflect on our life choices, which at this point are unequivocally good, and then we put our pants back on... kind of... as Antelope drops in next and we are all immediately naked. Continuing the high-paced theme of the show, Antelope is performed at an unsurprisingly fast pace. The band had no choice. There was no fifth gear... only high gear. And the ran ran ran ran ran ran ran ran DUHDUH-DUHDUH!!! Like an Antelope, outta control!!! HUGE PEAK sends us off into the night... or does it. Yeah let's croon ourselves off the stage with an off kilter, but downright laughably heart warming Carolina. What could be better then to send us away with smiles? HOW ABOUT A HALF HOUR ENCORE! HOLY SHIT! A white hot, magnesium laced First Tube pulses through the amps. I wish I was there. Trey is screaming through his guitar. Mike's bass line is SO heavy. Fishman is KILLIN IT on the drums! And when we say, "ENOUGH," Phish says, "You keep those pants off!" and we all enjoy ourselves. YEM. YE-FRIGGIN-M!!! I cannot say smoldering, scorching, smoking, or hot enough to capture the energy that this song brought in its second encore slot. Do yourself a favor and forgo any written review and just listen to it. Does it reach the heights of 2.26, not quite, but circumstantially it is 2.26's counterpart. Then the Proud Mary vocal jam to continue the theme of actual songs in vocal jams (Lion Sleeps Tonight, Clone -- man I wish they still did this, super fun), Phish releases us into the evening satisfied, tired, and knowing the best band in America was officially back, marking one of the best tours of their careers.
Must hear jams: Piper > 2001 > Wolfman's Brother -> Boogie On, You Enjoy Myself
Probably should listen to jams: Chalkdust Torture, Foam, Divided Sky, Rock and Roll, Run Like an Antelope
A well-liked second set and encore, for obvious reasons, but the 2/26 and 2/28 shows are far stronger - and to be honest, the second set is cooler on paper than on tape. Trey's chording in Piper recalls the awesome 2/16 version, but Page and Mike lend the proceedings a bit of a hoedown feel. Trey's just along for the ride, honestly; the jam never quite takes off. Maybe it's not supposed to. Low-key 2001 to follow. Wolfman's gets right down and stays there, neither catching fire nor failing to entertain, and Mike's segue into Boogie On is welcome. But let's be honest: the song (in this incarnation and most recent versions) is just a goofy bass solo. Mike rocks it, but it's a dance-party song and nought else. Trey's fully present for Antelope. Skip the Carolina. First Tube is its usual self, but the crowd's roar of appreciation at the opening notes of YEM is something to hear.
The YEM is a party version - hell, it's a party set - but the YEM isn't interesting in itself, except for the a capella take on Proud Mary, down in the basement of the boys' vocal range and a bit of a weird way to kick off a four-month touring break.
This was probably the concert experience of a lifetime for many of the fans, but at seven years' remove you can exercise some discretion and guiltlessly pass on this show in favour of the previous week's.
This was the first show I ever saw. I had waited pretty much half of my life to see Phish. (I bought Rift for myself in the 6th grade). My friend Blake and I left our hometown, and we arrived at the Coliseum at around 2:00 p.m., and were the first ones in line. Doors didn't even open until 6:00 p.m., with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. I failed to check the weather that day, and just my luck- it rained thick, thick drops for a couple of hours, and I was clad in a severely cotton polar fleece. We searched for whatever we could to stay dry...trash bags, cardboard around the Coliseum, whatever. We finally shared a trash bag canopy with three girls from Atlanta. We talked for a couple of hours about school, life, songs we wanted to hear, our summer plans, etc. Minutes before we were allowed entry, it stopped raining, and the line (which had become extremely long by this time) erupting in shouts of appeasement because the rain was done and excitement because we were all about to see Phish!
When the doors opened, we ran for our lives...sprinting
to find ourselves right in front of the stage, thanks to general admission. The cops tried to slow us down ("ensuring out safety"- yeah right), but we just kept running. I couldn't be happier to be an arms length away from Trey, Page, Fishman, and Mike as they played my favorite Round Room track, "Waves." The glowstick war was unreal during "Divided Sky", but I have to admit I got unnerved from all the fans trying to throw glowsticks at the band. After the first set, I decided to sit higher up so I could see and hear the band better since I was standing in front of Trey's amp first set.
I'm pretty glad I did, because when the boys sang "Carolina" second set, it was like a vacuum from the stage sucked the people on the floor. Everyone was pushing towards the front of the stage, and thankfully, I was above all the claustrophobia. All in all, the show was a dream...ending with a glorious “YEM” >vocal jam > “Proud Mary”. As I left the show, I was speechless...dumbfounded by the intimate spectacle I had just seen. Veggie burritos were for sale after the show...the worst thing I had ever tasted, but the greatest post-show feeling!
Chalkdust is a peaky and explosive start to the show. Foam is strong and stretched a little bit. Character Zero is in the middle of the 1st set which is quite odd. Another slightly stretched out and strong Divided Sky. Straightforward but well played Waves. Average Sample.
Another explosive set opener in R&R. Piper quickly goes into a groove and Page adds some good flavor to it. The jam is pretty repetitive with the guys adding something every little bit. The segue into Boogie On is just fantastic, Mike nailed it. Antelope is it's typical ripper to end the set.
Probably the most notable part of the show is the encore. They do a total fakeout with First Tube (pretty standard standalone encore song) and then BAM! Goes right into YEM, the crowd must have lost it. Proud Mary although a cool debut isn't half as interesting as it sounds in the setlist.
This show has the feel of the guys giving it one last strong push to end the tour. The issues come with the sets not particularly flowing too well and some issues connecting and playing inspired.
I was happy to hear that the band decided to get back together for New Year's 2002, but I did not even try to get tickets. However, when Spring Tour rolled around, I decided I was ready to see a show. My wife and I picked up tickets for the Greensboro show, at a venue only forty minutes away from our house. Our good friends Carol and Zep came down from Philly for the weekend, and we had a great time reconnecting.
On the way to the Coliseum I realized I had not heard any Phish for over a month, and I had no expectations whatsoever. The atmosphere inside was relaxed and energized, if that is not too contradictory. We grabbed some seats behind the band but with great views of Page. The crowd was a lot younger and a little more wild than I remembered, but when the lights went down, the old magic was still there. It was cool to see everyone march onstage, we could actually see the stagehands lighting the steps up to the stage.
From our vantage point, you could see how much fun the band was having, and the energy was palpable. Page came from behind his keyboards with a big grin, belting out a nice "Lawnboy". "Character Zero" whipped the crowd into frenzy, and the "Divided Sky" was breath taking. The pause in the middle was great. Someone in the top tier threw about fifty orange glowsticks down to the floor, and a giant glowstick war erupted. The war and the pause continued a for a few minutes until Trey caught two or three glowsticks in a row, and then Fishman hit then symbol that continues the song. "Divided Sky" kept building and building, and the transition into "Mountains in the Mist" was a welcome breather.
With the advent of CDRs, the continuity of sets is slowing becoming a lost thing, but my disc 2 of this show might be my favorite disc of Phish music. It is certainly up there in the top ten. An incredible "Waves" ( I did not know from the Round Room version deep this song could get) led into a rocking "Sample".
Yes, it had almost been three years since my last show, but this show has slipped into my top five. Everything from the setlist, the seats, the energy, the lack of expectations, led to one of the greatest shows I have heard. Do yourself a favor, and get a copy of this show. It was well worth the wait.
This show took off from the beginning and didn't let up! I've seen a lot of great artist at this venue being so close to home and this was by far the greatest. Trey torched CDT and that set the tone for the evening. highlights for me were Mountains, Piper, Antelope, and the entire Encore! Great vibe throughout by all in attendance to witness this. Wish the boys would come back to Greensboro!
First show for me going on ten years now.... piper i remember stands out obv the proud mary vocal jam coming out of YEM... not the greatest weather that day in the lots, but still a pretty sweet first show.
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