2-16-03 - Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

review submisions to me at [email protected] or [email protected]

Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:18:38 -0800
From: rhardy
Subject: 2nd Night Vegas followup

Hey all,
I'm seeing a lot of mediocre reviews for the second Vegas show.  I felt the 
need to put in my $.02.  It seems to matter to people here, so here goes: I 
was sober,it was my 31st show and I've listened to the LP dl since then.
I found Trey's playing to be stupendous!  Personally, I found a lot of his 
stuff in the couple of years preceeding the hiatus to be slightly lacking in 
direction: oriented more towards noise and loops rather than actual guitar 
playing.  This can be a cool effect at times, but in songs w/ big climaxes, I 
found it ineffective.  I think that Trey's playing on the second night of 
Vegas was superb.  It was crisp and focused on playing notes rather than loops 
and feedback.  Indeed, his builds were enthralling and his climaxes were the 
kind that force you to yell at the top of your lungs.
Fishman has picked it up as well.  Listen to the Piper jam and you can hear 
how much more he's changing shit up than he was in the past.
Page's increased contribution should be obvious: he's louder in the mix and 
reluctant to let Trey guide the jams as much as he has in the past.
Mike is Mike ... he's the best.
Yes, they've had some encore problems, yes they've been having problems with 
some composed sections (although they did a great job with that on the whole 
in Vegas) and yes, the lights were a spot off at points during the shows, but 
some of the setlist construction has been beautiful and the jamming has been, 
imo, more directed.  In addition, the sound has been magnificent ... Page is 
more prominent everywhere in the venue and the area where Mike is most 
prominent in the mix is even more distinguished.  Also, the new songs are 
already starting to show some wings!  Look at the difference between the two 
Round Rooms!  It's not fair to compare the 7 Belows because the NYE one got 
cut off by ALS, but the Vegas jam was stellar ... moving away from the theme, 
then back, then away again.  The band was toying with the audience by dangling 
the return to the theme in front of us, only to delve into some more jamming 
and a DwD return!  The Piper jam moved between distinct improvisational 
segments with the ease of a practiced jazz trio.  The Bowie was classic 
'95-esque Phish with some sweet new twists.  I have to wonder if the people 
railing on this Bowie would deny the Providence '94 Bowie the credit it 
deserves too ...  some similar feelings to be sure.  They aren't all the way 
back yet, but I, for one, am ecstatic.  You kids on the right coast are gonna 
get smoked!
I'm starting to ramble.  Vegas kicked ass.
Later,
Ry

Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 11:29:03 -0800 From: sean m Subject: vegas 2/16 review I must ask, was I at the same show as everyone else? Mysterious, these reviews. Must be written by those people who talk through the whole show. First night in Vegas was absolutely stellar. A fantastic show. The best they've played since returning from the hiatus, and simply fantastic in its own right. So the question coming into Sunday night was: will they top it? set I: David Bowie. Oh merciful god above, they're going to kill me! A Bowie opener? Mind melt all around. Long, intense. The jam comes to its darkest moment and Trey starts chanting. What's he saying?! There's no chanting in Bowie! Ahhh... Catapult! Don't know which Bowie others imagined they heard. This Bowie heaved and screamed and breathed fire! One song in, and I'm blackened, charred, begging for mercy! As it turned out, they didn't top the opener this set... Horn. Okay. Relax. Douse myself with water. A good Horn, Trey a bit sketchy on the jam. Will they hit me with the funk next? No! Guyute. Didn't want to hear it. It's the same. It's long. But this Guyute was dirty and mean. It worked. Round Room. Ah yes. Okay. Goofy, bouncy, whatever... but into space it goes. In Hampton there was but a minute of two of space coming out the back end of the Room, but here the jam burbled and churned and looped around and around. I floated over the floor like a balloon and watched the lights bounce off the insides of my eyelids. Nice. GoldenLady. Yes. Thank you. Beautiful. How about we all agree to scrap Boogie On and forever more replace it with Golden Lady? Yes? Good. Poor Heart. Hot. I am jumping up and down. Pebbles and Marbles. Here comes the big closer. Solid, intense, but as intense as Bowie? No. Such was the problem with the first set. If you open the set at the top of Everest, you better take me to the Moon by the end. A good set, to be sure, but not like the night before. Set II: Down With Disease. They didn't just tear the roof of off T&M, they flipped it upside down, leapt inside and drove it to Io, there to dive in and out of the volcanoes and rain fire on our burbling heads. Ouch! The jam jammed like a mad dog before grooving out and smooooothly becoming-- Seven Below. What a cool song, chilling us but maintaining the intensity, moving into a long groove jam, until finally, as one: key change! I love it when they do an instant key change. Impressive. But with the key change came a tone change, too. The Seven Below riff was now dirtier, meaner, and led right back into DWD, fierce and angry! Yargh!!! Anything but Me. Thank god, a moment to relax. A beautiful little song. And then? Then-- Piper. Brilliant. Intense. A highlight of ANY Phish show. This is what Piper is supposed to sound like. Insane, weird, meandering, hot and cold, filled with the power to melt minds and rearrange brain cells in unique and dangerous patterns. The new year's Piper was a hot, explosive jam, but nothing more. THIS is Piper. Thank you! Makisupa. Ja, mon. A moment to breath in the beautiful calm... and the ganja smoke. Spliff. Lovely. Character Zero. Wow. Twice played since the break, but it keeps getting better. Like a rabid moose, this one jumped on me, pinned me down with its hooves, and consumed by entire head in one bite. One of the best Zero's ever. No shit. Started deep and dark and mean before exploding. Fantastic closer. Encore - Friday. Hmm. Yes. Nice enough. A chance to recover after an incredibly hot set. Helluva show. Better than the first night? Not as a whole, but the second set is better than many entire shows. Thank you, Phish.
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 15:17:25 -0800 (PST) From: Joel Circercha [email protected] Subject: Sunday Las Vegas Review... I was so looking forward to this show as second night Vegas was always strong in past years. I was hoping either night for a wilson or PYITE with all the anti-war rally's that weekend. I am so glad I payed face for this show. Bowie-Good version not nearly a stellar jam Horn-Riftmy favoritealbum, always enjoy horn but in context of what was played before it andas a second songit was weak Guyute-caught alot of them back east but nice to hear still luv the way it builds(to bad it didn't build up this show) Round Room-I am a big Mike phan and this song shows Mike personality enjoyed it GoldenLady-Luv catching the randem covers one of the reasons I follow Poor Heart-Best version I'vecaught in a while Pebbles and Marbles-Was strong but not the jam I know it will evolve into(liked the Trey version at mountain air alot better) DWD-Gave me hope saw so many great second sets when this opened.. Seven Below-This song rocked and at the time hoping would keep the energygoing in this show Anything but Me-Well there went the energy starting to feel like a pop show where they keep playing the new songs to sell albums Piper-Sweet but one of the few moments of this show Makisupa-Was good but to late to save this show (spliff really original Trey haven't heard that one before) Character Zero-Back to my pop reference closed the show trying to save it with a ripping song E:Friday-Well slow boring sounded nice glad was able to save energy for a Hot show MOE rocked Well a good statement about touring is there are shows and shows between and Phishsince 99seem tobe having more shows between. The placement of songs made this show really choppy. Where's the show that each song builds the energy and the level the boy's play keep's rising. Glad to be seeing MOE at the Fillmore and won't be missing Phish this weekend. Peace
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 19:53:03 EST From: [email protected] Subject: 2-16-03 Vegas My first show in Vegas...Let's get down to business. BOWIE - Amazing. No one called this and it was a signal of things to come. They hinted around for the first few minutes of the song while Fishman tapped out the highhat intro and launched into the song. The jam was sick and planed out for a nice CATAPULT, although you could barely hear Trey over the crowd. They jumped right back into Bowie and played cat and mouse until the end. HORN- Great version. The crowd was almost dead silent for the guitar line. GUYUTE- I don't exactly love this song, but they played it flawlessly. ROUND ROOM- Sounded great for a new song, and Mike's vocals were sweet. They took this into a strange, fragmented jam that tripped around for a bit. GOLDEN LADY- Awwww shit. This was surely one of the highlights of Vegas. Trey nailed the vocals and Kuroda's golden lights were cool. Half of the people there had no idea it was a Stevie song... POOR HEART- 'Golden lady don't you steal my poor heart again'...standard. PEBBLES- This was sick. Set closer, flawless playing, epic jam. Trey jumping up and down. SET II DWD- Nothing like a second set Disease opener. They ripped into the jam after flubbing the intro and layed down a nice ambient jam before seguing into...> 7BELOW - Not my favorite new song, but it was nice sandwiched in the DWD. They did the vocals and aimed back toward...> DWD- They jumped right back intot he end of the jam and Kuroda fucked shit up... ANYTHING- Slow, nice, crowd was very quiet. PIPER- Damn. This song is strong as ever. Trey started jumping up and down a few seconds in and the glowsticks came flying from the upper level. The jam was aggressive and hard, Trey treased DWD again before they slowed into...> MAKISUPA- Perfect timing on this one...Sp---------Lifffffffffffffff CHARACTER0- Not bad. Becoming a typical set closer. trey was rockin. FRIDAY - Weak. They ended a bit early so everyone was expecting a killer encore, Harpua or YEM. But this sucked. And we stuck around thinking they would pull something out after, but no. So far this tour, the encores have been mucho dissapointo....Thats my take on it. -Corey
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 18:31:35 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: 2-16-03 review LA>Vegas>Denver (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Phish) by M. Ryan Kious Fear and Loathing for Your Extra Part II OK, time for night two! Gambling and partying on the Strip all night long will sap the gas from anyone^^s tank. I must take a moment here to plug O^^Shea^^s, aka, O^^Shady^^s, on the Strip, right across the street from Caesar^^s. The blackjack tables in there are looser than Christina Aguilera on Quaaludes but I digress^ Despite my lack of energy, the lot actually seemed busier than the night before. As usual there was a lot of speculation that someone from Moe would guest tonight. Quite frankly I was glad this was only talk and didn^^t become reality. Nothing against Moe, but until they play a few more post hiatus tours I^^m perfectly content to have them keep it a foursome or maybe I^^m just still gun-shy from the time Kid Rock pissed in my ears. What can a person say about a Bowie>Catapult>Bowie opener? Wow comes to mind; a lot of expletives came to my mouth on Sunday. Simply awesome! Horn reminds me of my Phish album days and I was more than pleased to hear this little nugget of Rift-y goodness. Guyute bores me to tears usually, however, to hear the boys play this challenging number (musically at least,) was actually a treat this time around, and any song with whistling is good, right? I had a feeling Round Room would be good in concert, and this version was hot. It^^s a real treat to hear how well they^^re starting to play the songs off Round Room in concert. Golden Lady kind of flopped. Don^^t get me wrong it^^s good song and an interesting cover, but most people looked confused and the energy just seemed to drop. Pebbles and Marbles is my favorite song off Round Room and vastly becoming one of my favorites period. This version was long and well played, not the best set closer but a kick ass version nonetheless. The minute Mike starts in with the bass distortion you know DWD is coming. This version ripped in my book, there^^s just nothing like seeing Trey all geeked out, bouncing up and down. He was loving it, the crowd was loving it, pure niceness people. The segue into Seven Below was interesting. Seven Below is a cool song, and this seemed like a good placement for it, especially when it went back into DWD-prise. At this point I though we were in for another historic second set. Anything But Me is a well-written song; good for say, a mix tape for that special someone. However, it^^s not so good after DWD>7 Below>DWD. Enough said. The opening licks of Piper made my weekend. This version of Piper was simply stellar. Kuroda kicked down some special tricks on this one, and the kids seemed like they were intentionally keeping the glowsticks away from the band (a good thing.) The brief DWD-prise in the middle of the spacey funk was an added bonus. Makisupa Policeman was a great choice here, especially since law enforcement seemed nearly absent this weekend. (A security guard who saw me smoking a little something merely waved, I waved back.) Character Zero is changing. People will be saying new things about this song, and this version is one of the reasons why. A great second set, not an A+ like the previous night but definitely somewhere in the B+ range. The Friday encore was obviously what Phish felt like playing, so they did, simple as that. It sounded great and capped off what was an amazing two nights of music. Now it was time for a little more Vegas debauchery before driving through Utah and paying for my sins here on earth.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 18:26:52 -0600 From: Jeff frawley [email protected] Subject: 2/16/03 review I was beat from the night (or should I say morning?) before, but I was damn excited to find a ticket for tonight^s show. Ended up trading 14th row Denver, which I couldn^t attend within 5 minutes of searching. Lots of extras in the air, and once again, I^m laughing at the scalpers who thought they^d clean up in vegas. I saw one guy pay $500 for a pair of tickets, and then, ten minutes later, my friend had to miracle a girl before going in because no one was responding to his I^ve got an extra calls. I guess as long as there^s people willing to drop that kind of cash, there^ll still be scalpers. But anyways, after last night^s show, I would have been happy with any songs tonight. I was on the floor, and it was way too packed^this wouldn^t get to me until the second set^ Bowie- they came out and fishman started the beat pretty quickly. Didn^t think they^d actually introduce Bowie that simply, but then trey started up some loops and I knew it was to be. An incredible, exploratory bowie!! I didn^t expect it to go that far out there, but about fifteen minutes in, they were just raging on some heavy chord progressions, and they shouted out the lyrics to Catapult over the noise, before finishing bowie. What an opening, and the only thing that spoiled it for me was some way spun out kid who had been talking and stumbling around during the intro that passed out and fell on me right as they kicked into catapult, so I couldn^t really appreciate it as much. Thanks, dude, for putting your getting-fucked-up priorities over those around you who were being attentive and appreciative of the music coming from the stage (this became the theme of the night). Horn- nice to hear^after a bowie->catapult opener, I was willing to enjoy anything they played. Guyute- can^t complain^nice to hear after 2 years. Round Room- alright!!! I was anxious to hear if they^d jam it out, and boy did they!! I can^t describe it, the sound just got so dark and Page began layering some crazy synthesizer noises. Some very evil spacey territory^put this one on the list of jams I heard this weekend that really capitalized on a new, darker Phish sound(along with bathtub, ghost, walls, piper, maybe chalkdust). Can^t wait to hear further exploration. Golden Lady- nice breakout! Not many recognized it. Sounded nice and tight, and the purple and gold lights really did the trick. Poor Heart- got the place hopping, better than average solos from page and trey. Pebbles and Marbles- Incredible!! I was very excited to hear this, and although they were a little off(they still didn^t quite hit that chorus peak like they do so incredibly on the album), the jam just built and built until the whole T and M Center was a exploding, moving organism. People won^t be saying ^this song^s just another piper^ after this version. Page got the harmonies right tonight (he was AWFULLY flat at Hampton) and I really liked the quiet die-down and exit that closed the set. Trey rushed over to Page like he was really exited as they walked off. Worst set break ever!!! More and more people rushed onto the floor and I literally could not move when the boys came back out. Everyone, literally everyone, around me was talking about how great the molly was they had taken. I^ll just get the bitching out right now, but these same people continued to talk and scream during the entire second set. I don^t have a problem with people needing to do drugs at shows, but when they are stumbling and yammering out of control, and are groping me and hugging me (as the guy next to me did every five minutes), I have a problem. People can enjoy the shows as they wish and on what they wish, but it is not fair to do it at the expense of others around. This gripe has been said so much before, but never have I left a show with such a desire to discuss the music, and found that no one was talking about the band. It sucks asking strangers what they think of the show, and have the same response every time: ^it fucking ruled man!!!^ Maybe it was just vegas talking hold of everyone, I don^t know. Second set: Disease- I was pumped...I^ve been craving the solo for too long!! This version^s jam was great: less of trey doing that heavy wanking sound all over the guitar, and more of a polished, melodic, in-control blend of the members. The middle definitely focused on a driving rhythm rather than soloing, and fish^s cymbals adjusted the rhythm to the beat of Seven Below- great transition. Excited about this one^nice to hear Round Room already taking a life of its own over this weekend^s shows. This version was fairly similar to NYE, a little longer though. Trey was really into his funky, staccato solos. Reminds me just a tad of some twist jams, and this one built and built until we were back into disease!!! I love it when they bring a jam to the point where the only place to go is back into that riff^just spine-chilling!!! The lights went on the crowd, and once again, the arena looked ALIVE! The boys were definitely into it. Anything but Me- didn^t expect it, but I like the song. I hope everyone who doesn^t like the slow songs from round room at least recognize the beauty of trey^s singing in this one^I think his voice in this one is some of his most soulful and controlled yet. Piper- jam of the night for sure!!! I have never heard a piper sound like this before. About thirteen minutes in, especially with the lights, the band sounded like a fucking machine!! They were holding down an incredibly dark, driving rhythm, but the sound was so blended and spacey at the same time. I really am hearing some new styles in the bands playing. The jams, to me, are more trey-led than ever, but it^s in a new way, where his riffs and chords lead the jams, not in a ^97 funk sort of way, but in a way that feels like the band is developing their rhythms after him, rather than off of each other all at once. Might sound bad to those that don^t like trey ^going off,^ but I think it^s made some of the most standard(or at least most played) jams fascinating in a refreshing way. The return to disease was indeed over the top, but, like the antelope the night before, it would be hard to tell the 20,000 there it was a bad thing. Kicked into: Makisupa- good. SSSSSSPPPPPPPPPPliff. Zero- wasn^t that excited, but by the end, I was smiling and I was dancing. E: Friday- I guess I could complain, but I really wasn^t disappointed at all. What a weekend^why can^t it be Friday? So if I was that disappointed about setbreak, just imagine the lot scene afterwards. What a fucking zoo^I guess I can^t complain about that many people that excited about a show, but I barely heard the word ^PHISH^ once in the lot. I wish I had been around back in the early nineties when discussing the shows and the music was the rule not the exception. Did no one care about a nine year breakout, or a bowie->catapult->bowie opener enough to marvel in it after the show was over? Oh well. I loved the sounds I heard this weekend, gave me a lot of hope for the rest of this tour and the future of the band. Get this one for the bowie, round room, piper, pebbles, and the disease madness.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 18:32:37 EST From: [email protected] Subject: 2/16/03 Review and Comments Hi, Hope this makes it way up to the review board.... Hey There Kids, This is not so much of a review as some general commentary on the crazy rollercoaster ride of these two shows - and to address the batches of negativity being uttered here......to put some stuff out there about the huge variance between incredible, amazing, blissul spikes in crescendoing jam & energy followed by a drop off in that energy which i could only liken to having the floor drop out from underneath you while you were standing on the observation deck of the stratosphere (or possibly you would understand if you were at a mid-80's deadshow experiencing an epic 'Morning Dew' for it only to be followed by 'Day Job')........ we saw some examples of this phonemena in set 2, dwd-->7below-->dwd followed up by anything but me !! ouch. or we could as easily look at the insanity of the bowie opener-->catapult-->bowie horn guyutte followed by round room (even though i thought the outro was pretty cool) & golden lady (i sorta hope it stays in the closet another 9 years), oops !! frustrating isn't it ? i bet many of you out there, following that bowie were thinking that the show was on track to be an alltime epic - perhaps it may still rate as a top, top flite show!! that's open to individual interpretation. no doubt that this variation is soooo very frustrating to all phans that it almost makes you angry huh ??? i was there. i experienced that emotion. BUT - here's what you gotta keep in mind. isn't it true that our love of this band is UNCONDITION !?!?!? i think it's key to not lose sight of this fact !! unconditional love. kinda like your dog's affection for you. that's how i am with then. do with me what you will. i'll still love you endlessly no matter ! play for me what comes to your mind fellas, if you wanna encore with Friday after blowing the lid off the place with Char0, while having the well of available songs to play just endless, well that's just fine with me, i'll deal with it and take it for what i can.....what was it mick sang so long ago - "you can't always get what you want?"....... anyone who was lucky enough to be there should feel blessed that you were even in the house (check out the Thomas & Mack website where they say that they received close to a million requests for tickets to these shows - setting a new record and blowing away any other set of ticket requests they've ever had!!)) !!! what we should not to is spew off venomous words such as "it sucked" like the young lady below (the only time "it sucked should be uttered in the same sentence as Phish is if the show was cancelled)....that's just silly and really loosing perspective of it all. let's face - overall, sunday vegas was an awesome, amazing, sweet, sweet (piper :-0) show - EVEN WITH FIVE NEW SONGS played.....i'll live with it, how about you - or would you prefer another hiatus ???? there's not a band anywhere on earth close to Phish - if you're reading this you know that. don't lose perspective of it all though, okay ??? let's not get too greedy........see ya in a little bit down at Pepsi Center where i'll patiently await my mike's -> ? -> weekapaug or YEM or sand or fluffhead or forbin's or crosseyed & painless....... but i won't cry if i get Walls of the Cave and All of these Dreams instead.....i'll bask in them.....
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 17:44:56 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: Review of 2/16/03 Phish - Vegas I must first begin this review by stating that I have been addicted to Phish for almost 10 years now, but unfortunately, after going through withdrawls during the hiatus, and after this weekend I am cured of my addiction. I arrived at the city of facade's to view a band that struggle to maintain their own. Here is my song-by-song analysis: Set 1: Bowie>: Incredible opener. Power, intensity and a great way to attempt to match the power of the last Vegas shows. >Catapult> Bowie>: This came out of nowhere and I felt that I was in for something special... Horn: Interesting choice. Played well but brought down the tempo severely. Guyute: One of the "terrors" of the late 90's. I have heard this song enough to last me a lifetime. Crowd loved it...most heads didn't. Round Room: Was this Paul Simon? This song sounds to me like a blend of Simon and Ya Mar. Good Mike song with nice, mellow jam.\ Golden Lady: Great to hear more Stevie and nice to hear obscure covers but again, poor placement. The tempo was so slow right now that people around me were nodding off. Poor Heart: Nice, standard version. Nothing special about this one. Pebbles & Marbles: Pretty good, jammed-out version of this song. I am not crazy about having it as a set closer but otherwise okay. Would love to see Phish turn out some more jazzy and intense songs rather than Trey's ballads. **All-in-all not a bad set but already a let down from what was experienced last time in Vegas. I mean compared the sets.... Set 2: Down with Disease>: Yes! Intense, dark and infused with energy...good opener after a long, hot and smoky set break. >Seven Below>: Another new song that needs a bit of practice and getting used too...Whatever happened to songs that had no meaning (Moma, Tweezer)? >Down with Disease: Love the reprise. Such intensity...crowd was going wild!!! Reminiscent of the second set of the Seattle show (11/27/96)!!! Anything but Me: Ummmmm....no comment. Piper>: Piper, piper. It's time to get hyper! Probably one the best Piper's I have ever seen. Setlist says glowstick war but I thought it was too small to even bear the name. I was on the floor, in front of Page, and didn't see much...too dangerous anyway. Down with Disease>: Fantastic, though for a moment I thought maybe they were just playing what the crowd seemed to like... Makisupa Policeman: Awesome version...Mike finally got some solo time... Character Zero: Typical closer, typical version. E: Friday: Uhh? Wow...I was expecting a slow closer, just like the night before, but this new song is pretty slow...bad way to end the Vegas adventure...good thing we still had moe. Though the second set picked up the pace the show was still off. It was like a new band; a more mature band. I have been seeing the boys for quite awhile now and realize that they are getting old but this was literally like seeing another band all together. Trey definitely kept away from his usual rockstar stature and though Page was louder and sounded great, he couldn't direct the band the way that Trey can. Though I wasn't extremely satisfied, the majority seemed to have had a great time, although most of the people I talked had either never seen Phish or only seen them a couple of times. Marketing has seemed to have lifted the band to a whole new level. Not a good one neccessarily.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 16:55:17 -0800 From: Ellis Hawes [email protected] Subject: 2-16-03 Thomas and Mack Center Sure, Trey was a little sloppy, but I feel like everyone who's kicking off a negative review needs to realize that he isn't perfect by any means, especially when they have played two emotionally packed shows in the two nights leading up to this one. I missed Vegas night 1, but LA was some of the most ripppin trey guitar that I for one have ever seen. We can't expect the top notch every night. Also, for those of you griping about the recent shift of all attention to trey since the hiatus, think about the incredible work that the rest of the band was doing at this show. Page was perfect in the mix, and Mike and Fish were right on for the most part. I theought that every part of the show was exceptional, except for that Golden LAdy (was that better in '94). I also loved the double DWD coda, because the first time it came up was out of Seven below, and it sounded like trey was the only one ready to go back. Sure it was a bit awkward, but I think the band realized that so they gave us another, this time coming out of the most epic Piper. It was like that was the really perfect place for the DWD coda, and I loved it! The "spliff" in Makisupa was TIGHT, because of that tripped feedback thing that trey did at the same time. Sure, Friday was a lame encore, but I doubt we'll ever hear that one in that slot again, so don't you worry now. Props to Phish and to Trey for at least putting in the effort when the technicality wasn't totally there. Peace to all!
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 14:58:22 -0800 From: Scott Zarnegar [email protected] Subject: 2/16 vegas review Well, I just had to put my 2 cents in about sunday. Saturday was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Sunday, while not the direct opposite, was a completely different show with a completely different vibe. The first set was fine, albeit very structured. The flow of the music didn't come out, it was wound up in the tight progressions of Bowie and Guyute. The jam at the end of Pebbles and Marbles was nice though. Set II is where it got very strange. And although it sounds corny, the strangeness seemed to come from Trey. He seemed to be in his own world, not listening to the other musicians on stage. He took every song and ground it up, going from melody to dissonance and eventual feedback. This left the band with nowhere to go, but to sit back and watch trey attempt to strangle the notes coming out of his guitar. I felt like the band rest of the band could stop playing, the lights could come on, everyone could leave, and Trey would still be there bent over his guitar, slaughtering the notes coming out of it one by one, oblivious to the change around him. And this isn't a good thing, I think the band plays best when they are open and listening to each other. I'm not going to go so far as to analyze why trey could play so openly one night and be so closed up the second night, but I just hope that another show like sunday night in vegas doesn't happen for a loooooong time. scottz
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 13:57:07 -0800 (PST) From: Tom KG [email protected] Subject: Fed 16th review..... Well first of all I have been seeing Phish since 1990 and this had to be one of the most uninpired performances from Trey I have ever seen. I'm not sure if he was drunk, exhausted from the weekend, or on some serious drugs. I guess it could have just been an "off" night but I've seen plenty of those where they at least manage to sound like they are trying. The first set was ok. The Bowie>catapault>Bowie was fun but not amazing imo. Horn was very disappointing. I love this tune and the version they played was very slow and trey flubbed the solo(first of many of the night). Guyute suprisingly was pulled off without any major mistakes. I had not purchased Round Room and had only listened to a few somgs off the internet. The version of the title track was a meandering mess. They even looked so confused that they just ended it. It went nowhere and really slowed down the energy of the set. Golden Lady was fun but sounded like it needed some practice. Trey also should think twice trying to sing Stevie Wonder songs. His voice has never had much more than an octave and a half of range. Poor Heart was good and energetic and Pebbles had a good solo in it but Trey flubbed the composed parts. Overall it was an ok set but hinted at the problems that were to come during the second set. I'm not sure what happened at set break but Trey came out and immediatley seemed like he was struggling. I was holding hope that things would improve during the 2nd set and there was alot of energy in DWD at the beginning but Trey became lost during the solo and seemed to be preoccupied with his pedals. At moments he was not even playing and just screwing around with them. The transistion in Seven Below was nice and this song seemd quite cool till the jam. Trey again seemd lost. he would come up with a cool lick and then forget about it. It seemed like he was drunk and unable to sustain any ideas on guitar. The segue back to DWD was sudden and seemed forced. It gave Trey a chance to play a familiar lick but there was no energy except from the crowd which seemed to be eating it up. Anything but Me didn't really do anything for me and again Trey led an unispired jam where he constantly fiddled with his pedals while the band seemed frustrated with his lack of focus. Then came the best moment of the night, Piper. This really had some good parts. The intial composition part was full of energy and then the jam started. The first part again had Trey fumbling around( he really seemed drunk) but eventually wound down into some really nice interplay. For the first time since bowie, they actually sounded like a band and not a machine going through the motions. The DWD coda again was nothing special. It again seemed forced. Makisupa was not that great but I don't think Phish and reggae really mix at this point in their career. Character Zero was very good. I know many are disappointed at this song but it happens to be a nice closer. I've always liked it and this version defintely rocked. Friday was terrible. Probably the worst encore they could choose for a night like this. Trey couldn't sing and the song really brought the energy down. I've never seen so many people sit down when a song starts. This was the encore! Overall it was a very disapponting show. I hope trey recovers for the next show. he just didn't seem to care much on Sunday. I've never seen trey "turn in" a performance but now I have. It ain't pretty.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 17:11:11 -0600 From: Kory Cook [email protected] Subject: Vegas 2-16-03 Review for Vegas 2-16-03: I haven't seen every Phish show, but I've seen enough to know an amazing one from a not-so-amazing one. 5/7/94 at the Bomb Factory was my first show, so I think I've set some solid standards. 2-16-03 was Phish at their best, and it can't get much better. >From the opening 20-minute David Bowie, I knew this was THE SHOW. I was at L.A. for the first night of the tour, as well as the first night of Vegas. This show was a different monster all together. It wasn't just the fact that there was a DWD, DWD reprise and DWD-re-reprise. It wasn't the burning Piper with Trey conjuring demons and propelling the audience to higher and higher levels of musical bliss. It was the entire show as a whole. One reviewer mentions that there were too many ups and downs. For me, ups and downs are what improv music is all about. If the music's an in-your-face sonic assault the whole time, it just simply doesn't work. On this night Phish brought us incredible highs and crushing lows. After an exceptionally burnin' Zero closer with the entire crowd screaming the lyrics, what more could you ask for? I'd rather hear a mellow encore anyway. It's like when you have sex. Do you start jumping around and flipping out when you're done, or do you relax and calmly reflect on what you just experienced. I choose the latter. I was fully satisfied after the number of immense climaxes. So without listing the songs and analyzing each one, I have to say that since 5/7/94, 30 shows later and repeated listening to numerous shows on tape, this was my second favorite show, next to 5/7/94 of course. Happy Phishing. THEY'RE BACK! Kory Cook in Austin, TX
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 13:57:22 -0700 (MST) From: Ben Knowles [email protected] Subject: vegas 2/16 review sunday went like this: slept in, spent the late morning and early afternoon on the strip (rode the NY NY rollercoaster, checked out the bellagio and venetian), walked the entire goddamn way back to the hotel and had a friend drop us off at the T&M at about 4:20. no really, that's what time it was. anyway, the line was still somewhat short, but THEN we ran into a friend who had secured a spot at the very goddamn front of the line. the line was SOOOO chill, nobody seemed bothered by the fact that we were totally cutting in. it was fantastic, and the direct result is that, for my 3rd phish show, i was 6th row floor, mike side. i can now die a happy man. oh yeah, quick mention: the guys with the ghost sign from the night before brought it back, slighly altered: "1 days since last ghost." classic! and it goes a little something like... David Bowie > Catapult > David Bowie - fuck me gently with a glowstick! how could you possibly ask for a better opener? i'm not even a huge bowie fan, but this raged. and a catapult, at my 3rd friggin' show? insane. the jam went everywhere, and everything was played airtight. clearly this was gonna be a rockin' show. Horn - ehhhh... well, okay, i'm not much of a horn fan. but it was short, so i was happy. (plus, i've now seen this in 2 of 3 shows). Guyute - well done! not the greatest version ever (trey ALMOST had all the licks down) but definitely a fine rendition. Round Room - i personally LOVE the studio version of this song, and thought this was a pretty decent attempt, albeit with somewhat shaky vocals. some guy behind me was saying how the hampton version was so much better, but i have to disagree. the composed parts were about the same to my ear, and the great thing about this version was the extended spacey outro jam. good stuff, me likey. Golden Lady - well, i'm not really up on my stevie wonder, and i had never heard the '94 show where they played this, so i was stumped. and i also thought it was pretty darn... well, it just wasn't that good. a bit of an energy killer, but whatever. Poor Heart - typical version. i seem to remember digging page especially. Pebbles & Marbles - unfortunately i can't seem to recall much about this. i remember liking it, but being kinda glad they didn't stretch it out TOO long. but i was also hoping it wouldn't be the set closer, which it was. doh. (btw, i recall nothing of the supposed trey attitude that someone else mentioned. maybe i'm oblivious, who knows...) setbreak: i made the mistake of not claiming my floor space immediately, so i literally had no room to sit (doesn't help that i'm 6'2"). but i alternated standing/sitting with the guys behind me so it was all good. no bathroom break for me - i made sure to drink only enough to replace what i was sweating out. Down With Disease - brief story: the song i really wanted to see more than anything in vegas was down with disease. so on sunday afternoon i'm walking down the strip and i pass the huge bellagio fountains, and i realize i have a pocket full of pennies, so i decide to make a wish. i took out 5 pennies and loudly proclaimed (i swear this is true) "FIVE PENNIES FOR A KICKASS DISEASE!" well, i think you know how that wager turned out. 3 out of 5 ain't bad people, especially with vegas odds. :-D oh yeah, the song. good but not great version. frankly, it was just not as hard-rockin' as i like. but of course, the night wasn't over... Seven Below > Down With Disease - i'm not a huge fan of seven below, but i liked this quite a bit. very pretty, melodic jamming akin to what i described in the 2/15 review. as for the DWD reprise, two things: 1) i do think it sounded slightly forced, as the jam was fairly mellow before trey brought the main DWD riff into it. 2) i fuckin' loved it anyway - i can't get enough of that riff! Anything But Me - an alright choice for a mid-set energy pause. it's a nice enough song. Piper > Down With Disease - total brain meltdown, that's what this was for me. one of the most raging pipers i've ever heard. glowstick war was phatty mcphat (apologies to all the anti-glowstick peeps). the jam just kept going into new territories - i can't wait to hear the livephish SBDs, i have a feeling this is gonna be a straight-up epic version. and then it happened - another -> into DWD, and this one (as i remember it) was totally out of nowhere. i couldn't believe it was witnessing it, it was just TOO GOOD. which is not to say it was the best DWD ever, but it was exactly what i needed and wanted to hear at that moment in time. complete bliss. Makisupa Policeman - somewhat short, but good version. i was definitely stoked to hear it. Character Zer0 - rocked. that's all i really need to say. best version out of 3 since the return? perhaps? Encore: Friday - worst encore ever! when they started playing, the crowd went from roar -> silent in about 2 milliseconds. i was laughing my ass off. oh man, what a way to end a two-day run. if it had been a mediocre show i might have been pissed, but i was still peaking out and perma-grinned from the piper > DWD reprise, so it didn't bother me. one thing i forgot to mention but goes without saying: kuroda was on for both shows, with the exception of a few missed changes here and there. i'm a big fan of the trippy light circle thingy, and his use of color is really just astounding. is it me, or did he change the colors during the glowstick war to match the glowsticks? damn. anyway, he's the man, as usual. well, that's it. i could go on about the excrutiating walk back to the hotel (we took a little detour so it ended up being about 2 miles or so), but i won't. this weekend was an absolutely rockin' time and i can't wait to do it again. thank you phish, and welcome back! -nub
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 19:32:18 +0000 From: Keith Fridel [email protected] Subject: Phish 2/16/02 Vegas I decided to write a review of the second night in Las Vegas because I basically thought it was the better of the two nights. Just for the record, these were my 61st and 62nd show since 1992 (seen every Phish and TAB Vegas performance). I have just oodles of live Phish on cd, tape and DAT. Sunday night's show was as good as ANY show I have ever seen. My cronies and I were sitting adjacent to the tapers section in the back, just a few rows off the floor. O.k., the show..., Bowie was just amazing. We had ear to ear smiles through the whole thing and knew that we were in store for an incredible night of Phish music. The place literally got warmer from all the ass-shakin going on. The sound was perfect, the venue is arguably the best indoor arena in the country (G.A., cool security, beer and liquor sold inside, smoke where/what you want, Vegas at your fingertips after-show, West coast vibe, etc) and the crowd was swingin'. Most of us were heading back to our various home cities/states/countries the next morning so we were all pumped! Horn was downright majestic. Guyute was a great nod to the complex written stuff that we all love. I must admit that I am not that favorably disposed to Round Room material but some of it was completely engaging (the 46 Days from the previous night for example). Golden Lady was a rather, well, odd choice from the Stevie Wonder canon. I didn't think it particularly fit the band's style too well, but it may sound better on a repeated listen. Pebbles and Marbles had more than enough energy to be considered a set-closer. DWD started off the second set with just a wallop. The band was really tearing it up and people were almost doing back-flips. This led into Seven Below which had a great off-kilter jam that was really unique to my ears. The jam just continues to build and build unmercifully until it was so damn stratospheric that the DWD coda seemed somehow perfectly placed. Anything But Me gave us all some time to clear our heads and just listen to some very, very pretty music. Piper started with a roar from the crowd and even though the sound was stunning from where I was, I was completely unable to understand a single lyric (same as always, tee-hee). I thought the Piper Jam was the highlight of the night and it was honestly one of the greatest jams that I have ever heard Phish play. The various themes were overflowing with creativity and band cohesiveness. This is a must-have jam that should perfectly illustrate to any doubting-Thomas's out there that these guys are as great as they have EVER been. Really super Type II stuff here. The jam eventually got into some "cow-funk" area but this one was a LOT dirtier and nastier than the Fall '97 stuff. Trey was reaching down deep and bending his knees almost to the ground. It felt like he was conjuring spirits or something. The rest of the band was coalescing around him beautifully with each member seemingly taking the way for a while (Mike in particular was playing so fast up and down the neck of his bass and thumping his thumbs so hard that he probably needed to go the hospital for medical attention on his hands!). Well, I've rambled enough about this jam already, you get the picure. Again, it got so dang high that the only place to go was the DWD coda which was received with ecstasy by the audience. The band was clearly pleased themselves. Makisupa was just groovy, man. As was stated in another review of this night Charachter Zero was met with a little dread at first because it signaled the last song of the night. The night up til this point had been just so tight and so cathartic that I think we all sorta expected something BIG (like Mike's > Weekapaugh, for example). Alas it was not to be. However, the Zero was almost beyond description in intensity. Yes, Trey was leading the way, but the rest of the band was just spittin' fireballs. LOVED IT! Then the encore..., My momma always said if you can't say nuthin' nice, don't say anything at all. So I won't. O.k., my pettiness is done. This was an EXCELLENT show. Like I said above, it was as great as ANY show I ever seen by these guys. We are just incredibly lucky to have them as our band. Despite the wonderful insurgence of the jam-band scene on popular music there is NOBODY that is anywhere near this level of acumen and mind-blowing musical and production level. (O.k., now I feel a little bad about my encore comment.) See y'all on down the road.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 06:15:26 +0000 From: dan lubin [email protected] Subject: Phish Review 2/16/03 Incredible! Ok, I went to all 3 of the West Coast shows, LA->Vegas->Vegas My preferences: #1. Vegas 2/16/03 - Possibly Best show I have Ever seen #2. LA Forum 2/14/03 - Great Fun Opener with lots of Confidence #3. Vegas 2/15/03 - Really good show, but lacking the energy and cohesiveness of the other two. Set 1: David Bowie > Catapult > David Bowie, Horn, Guyute, Round Room, Golden Lady, Poor Heart, Pebbles & Marbles Set 2: Down with Disease > Seven Below > Down With Disease, Anything But Me, Piper >Down with Disease, Makisupa Policeman, Character Zero Encore: Friday I have seen at least 40, if not 50 shows, since 1991! I was really hesitant about seeing them, wondering if they would be totally back in band mode in the beginning of the tour. Also hesitant about spending all the money,time,energy, when I love so many other bands and actually love festivals more! But I went. Our Car broke down, we had stress, but it all worked out. And Phish on Sunday Nite was the best reward I have ever had PERIOD for any hardships I have faced in my 29 year old life. 1st Set: David Bowie - Awesome opener, we were all pumped for this one. Horn - Love this song. pretty good version. Guyute - They really really really nailed this one. i am starting to think this is gonna be one helluva show. Round Room - I really like this song. Sure its weird and they ripped off SCI (kidding!), but the jam they played was simply amazing. SO experimental! Golden Lady - Only semi dissapointing song of the nite. I didn't know this one, and it sounded a bit strained, but could get better with practice. Poor Heart - YES! This is really where I knew Phish was back with renewed energy and STYLE. Trey's solo was not loud or over the top. It was just simply some of the best chicken picken bluegrass guitar riffs you will here from any electric player. NICE! We all were dancin for this one. Pebbles and Marbles - Get the CD;s my friends! The jamming on this was just unbelievable. This was one of the only songs on Round Room I liked instantly. I dont remember much of the end of this one, but We all did think it was a very short set, but a great one. SET 2: Long set break, we really wanted somethin good. DWD - This was it. 20 years in the making, and it happened on this nite. Never seen a crowd so pumped! Seven Below - For some reason I was really ENJOYING all of the new songs throughout. DWD reprise - Man we love this song!! Anything But Me - I am falling in love with all of Round Room this cant be happening!!! I was fairly dissappointed with the album, but every single word, every single note seems to make sense now...... PIPER - This was the JAM of the nite. What song is this again? DWD Reprise 2 - Lets do it again, F$%K YEAH!!!!! Makisupa - Great Mellow vibe here - spliff - DOnt remember much though about the rest.... Character Zero - Nobody wanted this song because it signaled the End the of set, and we have all seen plenty of this song, and really wondered if it would still work. BUT after the initial dissappointment of the crowd, it just seemed like everyone decided to give it their all and play along with the band. Possibly BEST EVER Version. ENCORE - Friday - Ok, we all wanted the YEM, or the sleeping monkey-Tweezerepris or whatever, but not another new song...and a slow one taboot. Every word of this song made so much sense to me, and the jam was sooooo beautiful. I really wanted so much more at this point in time, and they still had at least 10 -20 minutes left to play, but they just left. I could sense dissappointment in the crowd, but we just sat there and laughed, cried, smoked, and finally stumbled back to the hotel room. I am not no Freak! This show was the BOMB of BOMBS. Every review I have read of this show so far (its only been a day.....) has been either sortof neg or from a newbie who said it was great. Please help us and give more reviews. I cant be crazy. We were bowing down to Trey at the end of the nite. We had mostly stopped going to see Phish in 1999, and We are more of the SCI type now, but man oh man , I have never seen them this good! It all clicked! There New Songs just Rock! GIVE PHISH A CHANCE!! [email protected] Much love and Peace to the world! Dan in Quincy, CA
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 13:03:27 -0700 From: jennifer brennan [email protected] Subject: Vegas Sunday Night Well I'm a little disappointed about Sunday's show, actually I'm pissed. I kinda thought the band was fucking with us. It seems like they would get us goin with Down with Disease, Piper, Character Zero and then inbetween those songs they would throw in a new song that was slow, up and down, up and down. It all really through me off and that freakin encore sucked! We were in Vegas baby, all traveled from so far to see them in Vegas, all spent lots of $$$$ and that show was not a Vegas show. Saturday's show was good and the crowd was great.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 10:43:36 -0800 From: Jason Berzow [email protected] Subject: phish vegas review ok. here's the low down. the Phish shows were great, especially 2nd night 2nd set, the way the easily transition and jammed in the DWD>7 below>anything but me>piper>DWD>Makisupa, come on, need i say more. But because this set saw the boys on their highest level since 98, every body was disappointed when the first notes of Character Zero started, and it was only 10 minutes to 11pm. groans could heard throughout the venue. But i turned to my friend and said, if its so early then the encore gonna be sick. Nope, we get a Friday. As my friend Josh said, Velvet Sea is like Bowie compared to this song. I mean, what's up with the weak mellow encores. I want to leave the show with the energy of the last song coarsing through my body like the crash of a wave, not walk out mellow like i just saw a movie or something. besides the weak encores though, i have no complaints. the boys rocked, but the weekend belong to Gordon. the highlights: Free 1st night 2nd set, DWD>Piper>Makisupa 2nd night 2nd set and SouthBound>elizabeth Reed with Moe and Dicky Betts. Need I say more? Cactus was laying down the phatty chops all weekend!! As usual,Vegas rocks!!
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 22:27:39 -0800 From: Erin Rogers [email protected] Subject: Where's Fishman, Page? Seems as though two years off shifted the focus to Mr. Anastasio. Used to be Page would jam out the keyboards and Fishman would amuse with purposeful stupidity. Not Feb. 16, 2003, in Las Vegas. Trey and Mike used to basically stand still, jam out and blow the roof off the place. Seems like this show focused more on "entertaining theatrics" than being a band. It was good to see them again, but it was kind of like Michael Jordan's latest comeback for me. At least there was moe.
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 16:57:05 -0800 From: Mike K [email protected] Subject: Disapointment As I write this in an internet cafe in vegas Monday 17th (day after the shows) Let me start by saying that trey ruined what could have been a very good night for my friends and I he let me down during pebles and marbles not because he messed up twice (during the repeat of the slow intro and by dropping his pick) but because he obviosly let it get to him in a negative way. I don't know what happened back stage but at the end of the first set (after pebbles and marbles) Trey seemed eager to take his guitar off and get off stage while Mike watched as if there was another song to play (wierd), thats cool I thought, relax get it togather for the second set. But the theme of the second set with most every jam iending in the Down with Disease Solo ending of Treys. As if he was just forcing out the good vibes. Don't get me Wrong the song is Phat but the fact that the jams were either leading up to, or in the middle of one of treys solos. I want to hear page's Clavanet put through some good clean vacum tube preamps and cranked up! The band used to be about balance, and this show seemed focused in Trey.Let me know what you think E-mail [email protected] . First night was killer! and for the most part on. But it was no excuse for second night. Loved the Maksupa and had an unbelievable time.
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 18:40:51 -0600 From: P Schonwald [email protected] Subject: 2-16-03 2-16-03 This was my first Phish show ever, and it was everything I hoped it would be. They were so tight and together on everthing. No otherband comes close to a Phish performance, completely and totally unreal.My friend and Ialso got a picture with the"Music Geek" from the show "Beat the Geeks,"that was pretty cool too.
click here to return to the 2003 reviews page