combo vegas 2003 reviews

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

Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2003 17:08:48 -0800
From: Ryan Vandenbroeck [email protected]
Subject: combo vegas 2003 review


MY PHISH BACKGROUND:  I got into the band in late '95 and saw my first show 
on 11-29-96 (Cow Palace, SF); the Vegas shows were my 10th and 11th shows, 
overall.  In the past, I have definitely  favored the older days of live 
Phish, with 93-94 being my favorite years and things pretty much going 
steadily downhill from there.  (In other words, I was very much in favor of 
the hiatus.)  However, after seeing the Vegas run, I can honestly say that 
this is possibly the best I have ever heard Phish play.  The intesity easily 
matched anything I've heard on tape or CD from 93, 94, 95, or any other 
year, for that matter.  Anyway, here's a detailed review of both nights.  I 
was thinking of doing a song-by-song review, but decided to switch up the 
format a bit.  Enjoy!

2/15

PRE-SHOW: We got to the lot at about 6:45 or so (that's what happens when 
you walk all the way from the north side of the strip) to find a line longer 
than any I've ever seen at any show.  Holy smokes, was this a long line.  
Anyway, I'm not really one for a lot scene, but I figured if I was stuck in 
this line, I may as well have some fun.  There was lots of partying, lots of 
friendly faces, and not too many sketchy tour rats.

SET I:

SETLIST: Llama, Wolfman's Brother, Reba, Life on Mars?, 46 Days, It's Ice, 
Frankie Says> Run Like an Antelope

HIGHLIGHTS: Reba (excellent playing in both the composed and improvised 
parts), Life on Mars? (great surprise), It's Ice (ditto on the Reba 
analysis), Antelope (super high energy).

LOWLIGHTS: none

OTHER COMMENTS: Llama and Wolfman's were good, but they did seem pretty 
standard to me.  Frankie Says was a very welcome addition to the set.  
Llama, Reba, and It's Ice were all first timers for me and very welcome at 
that.

SET II:

SETLIST: Waves, Bug> Ghost> Free, Harry Hood

HIGHLIGHTS: The jams in Wave, Bug, Ghost and Free were the meat of the set; 
the songs, themselves, seemed to just be springboards to the jams and were 
definitely overshadowed by the jams.  Harry Hood was one of the highlights 
of the entire run.  Excellent playing in the composed part and the jam 
brought some particularly inspired, atypical free-form jamming before 
breaking into the raucous "you can feel good about hood" section.

LOWLIGHTS: none

OTHER COMMENTS: Free was a good first-timer for me.  Bug was a bit of a 
surprise as a second set jammer but easily one of the better versions I've 
heard.

ENCORE: Sample in a Jar
A nice way to end the first night of a two-night stand, IMO (others may 
disagree).  Like many other songs that night, Sample was played particularly 
well with a rousing outro solo from Trey.

OVERALL SHOW COMMENTS: The revitalized energy level was very noticeable from
the get-go and it never really died down.  This show reminded me quite a bit 
of my first show (as mentioned above- Cow Palace 96) with my first Life on 
Mars since then, plus a Harry Hood second set closer and a Sample encore.


2/16

PRE-SHOW: We got to the arena at about 3:30 or so and were among the first 
hundred or so in line.  Not a wild party scene where we were, but lots of 
good folks.  There was a lot of card playing and plenty of beers to go 
around.

SET I:

SETLIST:
David Bowie> Catapult> David Bowie, Horn, Guyute, Round Room, Golden Lady> 
Poor Heart, Pebbles & Marbles

HIGHLIGHTS: The Bowie> Catapult> Bowie was truly something to behold, Poor 
Heart had about as much energy as any non-jammer could have, and Pebbles and 
Marbles demonstrated how inspired the new songs and their jams can be.

LOWLIGHTS: none

OTHER COMMENTS: Horn and Guyute were played pretty flawlessly and were 
pretty fun, taboot.  Round Room was fun and had a decent jam.  Golden Lady 
sounded a bit sloppy a couple times but was a great surprise.

SET II:

SETLIST:
Down With Disease> Seven Below> Down With Disease Reprise, Anything But Me, 
Piper> Down With Disease Reprise> Makisupa Policeman, Character Zer0

HIGHLIGHTS: Down with Disease and the two Down with Disease reprises were 
very energetic and fun.  Piper was also energetic and included a jam that 
was not typical of the song (kind of like Hood the night before).

LOWLIGHTS: song placement of Character Zero.  (Enough already!  We know 
Phish likes to close sets with it!)

OTHER COMMENTS: Seven Below was good, Anything but Me was a nice break, and 
Makisupa was fun as well.  Character Zero, despite the predictable 
placement, raged and was perhaps one of the better versions I've heard.

ENCORE: Friday
Definitely a let down.  It's a well-written song, it was played well, and 
was fitting at the end of the long weekend, but I would have liked to see 
something a little more exciting.  Hardly the way I'd like to see a 
two-night run in Vegas end!  I would have rather them play Friday, then 
follow it up with something upbeat, wild, etc.

OVERALL SHOW COMMENTS: The two sets were very similar to the night before 
with the first set characterized by half composed songs and half songs that 
have both compositions and jams.  The second set consisted mostly of songs 
that were just used as springboards to jam.  The Bowie to open the show was 
about as good and any Phish I've ever heard and may be remembered for quite 
a while.  Other great jams included Pebbles & Marbles, Down with Disease, 
and Piper.  One more thing - it seems to me that Trey and Mike are turned up 
really loud and, as a result, Page's sound is suffering because of it.  The 
piano sounded distorted at times and Page was difficult to hear for almost 
the entire show (and I was sitting on Page's side!).  Can someone start a 
People for a Louder Page Web site?  We need to get some more Page-led jams!

Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 20:20:00 -0600 From: Aaron Greenbaum [email protected] Subject: Vegas Review, both nights Just got back from Vegas, these were my first shows and they were awesome. I was on the floor both nights, first night midfloor, across from Page. Second night 10 deep in front of Trey.  Here's what i remember... Feb 15th 1: Llama, Wolfman's Brother, Reba, Life on Mars?, 46 Days, It's Ice, Frankie Says -> Run Like an Antelope 2: Waves, Bug -> Ghost -> Free, Harry Hood E: Sample in a Jar Llama - I had a feeling we would get a rocking opener and this didn't dissapoint.  I predicted a DWD opener, but that would come later.  You could hear they were definitely on. Page and Trey were rippin shit up from the opening. Wolfman's -  Time for some funk groovin.  Page was layin it down hard on this, but maybe i just noticed him more cuz he was  right in front of me. Around the ten minute mark you could hear they were trying to go somewhere but they weren't sure where to head.  Page began playing this beautiful piano towards the end, almost something out of Reba, Simple, or The Curtain, and sure enough... Reba - Ah yes, everybody had been waiting for them to bust it out.  It was obvious they had been practicing cause they nailed the composed section. The crowd was attentive during that section and it was followed by a gorgeous jam in which everyone just kind of basked in the moment of this great song.  Not the best Reba i've ever heard, but it was still awesome. Life on Mars -  I didn't know what this was at first, but i figured it was a cover, i liked it.  It was a good breather after 30 minutes of Wolfmans and Reba. 46 Days -  This song rocks, period.  It seemed longer than 7 minutes, maybe because its so fun to dance to. It's Ice -  It seemed like this one lacked a little intensity.  It was still good, just maybe a little loose.  I'll have to listen to it again. Frankie Says -  I really dig this song, chilled and relaxed.  I knew something special was coming. Run Like an Antelope - I've never seen lights like this in my life.  They were going absolutely apeshit.  Pretty intense Antelope.  The lights just intensified it even more.  I really like an Antelope set closer. So, first set was very good, not great, but verrrry good.  Very good flow to it, with 4 very noteworthy jams in Wolfman's, Reba, 46 Days, and Antelope. The crowd was definitely stoked and ready to see if they could top this set. So second set... Waves - cool second set opener, probably my favorite song off Round Room. For a few seconds it seemed as if the trend of  segueing into Divided Sky might continue (or maybe it was just wishful thinking) but they continued the song and closed it with some pretty cool vocals at the end. Bug - I didn't see this one coming.  Page's piano kicked in the opening and then Trey hit that chord that sends the song rocking.  And this one rocked hard.  This song gets my vote for suprise jam of the two night run.  Shit got pretty intense in this one as Trey took over (a theme which would start at this point and continue into the next night).  Up until now, Page was looking like he might take over the run, but Trey met the challenge.  Best Bug I've ever heard, period. Ghost - You knew they had to play this when you saw that sign saying "871 Days since last Ghost".  This was downright funky.  I wouldn't put this one in the leauge of great ghosts, but it was really fun.  Nice glow stick war too. Free -  I usally notice Page and Mike a lot on this one, but Trey was ripping that riff really loud and it seemed as if the song revolved more around him this time, maybe making it seem a little more structured than normal.  Mike went off as it got a little more into it with the spotlight hitting him for 3 awesome bass solos. Hood - People were in awe by the end of this.  The composed section was nailed and the jam was simply monumental.  I got the feeling that the five shows before this were building up jam-wise to something like this.  This has to be one of the best Hood's ever if not the best.  I just listened to ALO version and this one more than holds its own against that one. Everybody was on during this.  Page was playing great piano, Trey was tearing it to shreds, Mike was almost matching Trey in the amount of notes being played.  Fishman, who had stayed in the background for most of the show, really busted shit up for this one.  Like, i said, people were stunned by this version, it clocked in at over 20 minutes and it seemed like it would never end. E: Sample - Fun encore, you knew they wouldn't do anything too long cuz they just jammed Hood so hard.  This was rocking and welcome. Second set was one of the best sets musically I've ever heard by any band. It was definitely the set of the weekend for me.  The Hood ranks up there with some of my favorite versions of Phish songs:  12/31/95 Reba, 11/17/97 Ghost, 6-11-94 Squirming Coil, 12-29-98 Free, 11-27-98 Mike's Groove to name a few. OK, second night.... 1: David Bowie ≫ Catapult > David Bowie, Horn, Guyute, Round Room, Golden Lady, Poor Heart, Pebbles & Marbles 2: Down With Disease > Seven Below > Down With Disease, Anything But Me, Piper > Down With Disease >  Makisupa Policeman, Character Zero E: Friday Like I said, I was ten deep in front of Trey for this one which was awesome cuz he took over this show.  I predicted a Punch opener, but I don't think anybody was ready for what was about to happen... David Bowie > Catapult > David Bowie - Holy shit.  There is no way anybody ever predicted this in a million years. Last time Bowie opened was '93 I think.  Trey teased a riff that might have been Julius, though I'm not sure. That got people stoked and then he turned and talked to Mike and Fish.  Fish started the Bowie beat and the crowd was stunned, people's jaws were dropped.  The energy just built up and then finally Trey pulled the Bowie opening off to perfection.  This was probably one of the most surreal moments I've ever had.  The energy was amazing during this and it seemed as if this went on for at least 20 minutes. Horn - A little bit of a breather after that crazyness, but much.  Page and Trey soared on this one. Guyute - wow, played to perfection.  3 songs in a row where Trey just took over. Round Room - it took me a few seconds to realize what this was. Unexpectedly nice little jam out of this.  It has a lot of potential. Golden Lady - wasn't sure what this was for a while.  It was kind of oddly placed in the set and brought the energy down somewhat. Poor Heart - This got the crowd back into it big time. Pebbles and Marbles -  Very good closer, although i wish maybe there had been one more song before it. Rocks harder in person than on Round Room. Its good to see that the new songs are capable of closing and opening sets like this. This set had a weird flow to it after Guyute finished.  Golden Lady was oddly placed and I think the set could have used one more song, maybe a Melt after Poor Heart.  The Bowie was amazing and i'm still stunned that they opened with it. set two... DWD - wow.  they tore it up, flat out rock.  I don't remember too much cause shit was so crazy at this point, all I know is that Trey and Fish were tearin it up Bittersweet style. they then segued into... Seven Below -  this song is awesome live.  Great coooool feel to it.  That guitar riff was so loud and poinant.  They explored this for a while then sped stuff back up and back into... DWD - I vote this for high energy point of the run.  The second they sequed back into this, everybody in Thomas and Mack went completely bonkers.  I personally didn't see this coming. Anything But Me - Good little breather after the DWD insanity.  I like this song, I think it has great lyrics. Of course with a breather in the middle of the set, you know something big is coming. Piper - best Piper I've ever heard.  The buildup was beautiful.   The crowd really appreciated this selection and it was very loud in the arena.  At about the five minute mark Trey hit some rockin chords and all of the sudden like a hundred glow rings went flying from this one spot on the floor, and then it was on, one hell of a glow stick war.  Trey's face was priceless and i think it was at this point he started jumping up and down (although that may have been during disease, but i'm pretty sure it was Piper).  There was such a great connection between the audience and band during this song.  It went on for what seemed like a half hour, glowsticks flying everywhere, lots of exploration in the jam, thought maybe they'd segue into Guy Forget, but instead they decided to go into.... DWD - wow once again.  Thomas and Mack went apeshit once again, complete insanity for like the 4th time this show.  I don't think they stayed in this too long and they slowed it down and went into... Makisupa -  what a set.  Great song, wasn't expecting it. Character Zero -  Pretty good end to a rockin set, had everybody dancin. E: Friday - Probably my least favorite song off Round Room.  I was a little dissapointed in this selection, but the jam was pretty nice out of it, it sounded like they were teasing "All the Young Dudes" at the end, but maybe thats how the jam always goes with this one Overall, this was my second favorite set of the run, barely beating out first set first night.  Probably one of the more rockin sets I've ever heard, can't wait to listen to it again.  Overall the show was sweet, first set had a somewhat weird flow to it but the peaks in the show more than made up for it.  This one will probably be remembered for the unbelievable Bowie opener, the DWD madness, and the sweet ass Piper.  Great first shows and I can't wait to see em again. Aaron
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 02:28:46 -0800 From: [email protected] Subject: Suck balls My Vegas review: Two things: Shut the fuck up when they are playing and shut the fuck up when they are playing. Until you give these fuckfaces your full attention they'll be anything but them......Sunday in Vegas was ridiculous.....you bubble gum stage jumping bitches need to shut the fuck up when the boys are on stizzage. J. Rhodes
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 12:34:27 -0800 (PST) From: Matt Reiter [email protected] Subject: Vegas Review in Haiku Vegas great sets and jams were on tight and flew high but both encores sucked! ----MR
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 13:33:23 -0500 From: Jim Mastre [email protected] Subject: I've got to be honest about the Vegas run My review will not be breif but I feel worth listening to but when review the 2nd night I will be more on the unsatisfied end ofthe spectrum. when you choose to like this band you have to realize because you have the coveted ticket to this Greta Band it does not automatically mean you saw a good one. The first thing I'd lik to say is I am one of the lucky ones who was seeing them in 1994 even though that is th later of the old school era but I am still one of the minority to still be with for one reason or another. I have seen over a hundred shows and I take my Phish very seriously. I know what I see and I know when they are on fire and as one unit. There have only been, at the most maybe 10 shows that I have seen that I can say were not up to expectations that I had figured, but in Vegas I saw many good things happen those nights. They are bringin back the old school, digging up buried songs and they are really coming out strong. I think they may be coming out to strong. The second set of the first night was going incredibly but really had difficulty with the Harry Hood after really tinkering with it like no other hood before. And just never really capped it off, they never got to really blow their load. The head off stage I figured to regroup and come out to make up for that little bit of trouble in the end of Hood and the Sample ... encore could have did it. Sample is a song that we all know they can really nail. Not the case in the particular instence. I was dissapointed with the way the end of the HOOD and SAMPLE were dealt with but that was it on that night. The first set carried the show. I like the old school stuff and that is definately in that category. You must appreciate a LLAMA opener and a nice WOLFMANS in to a flawless REBA especially with them not doing the whistling ending which I am not a big fan of. The steal of the night for anyone looking for one of those songs you thought they forgot but this song says so much in such a short time that this is one that is not done nearly enough. Keep it up boys!. Next, 46 DAYS this has got to be one of Fishmans favorites to play play becuse he was top notch in this one. Another lost gem in IT'S ICE this song has always been of the ones I wish they didn't put away on the shelf but if this is a sign of whats to come out in the near future then I am glad the break up happened time to recharge the engine. The old school (1990-1995) is where it's at and I prey tey thats where their going. Perfect placement for the next song FRANKIE SEZ new school but really not done much in terms of new school compared to the Jiboo's, Piper's, and First Tubes etc.. so this was a nice suprise and held it's own in this set of older songs. ANTELOPE doing what it always does, satifies many. ALL in all of the 2 sets I would have to say more people will talk about the 1st set more than the 2nd set. And I say this without reviewing the 2nd set because what I need to say about the 2nd night is far moe important than what I just told you again these are only my opinions . On to the 2nd night in Vegas and I am going to tell that I was COMPLETELY UNSATISFIED WITH NIGHT 2 SET 2 of LAS VEGAS. They lost the energy and never got it back and that makes me worry about them. I have never felt that much of a struggle during my stay. Night 2 set 1 When they open up with a BOWIE opener the first since may of 1990 you know they are gonna lay it on thick which they did and outof nowhere a CATAPULT which always comes out of left field which again is reminicent of the old school days then slammed into BOWIE again, and really finished this off. No problem, to stay with the old school theme HORN I have never met anyone who wouldn't want o hear this beauty. Nothing different from the past as usual, perfect. A GUYUTE that reflected the early 94 and 95 ones. Guyute I must admit was getting tiresome before the haiatus they just went to it too much but they went back to their roots for this one. GOOD for you, GUYS! ROUNDROOM followed and it worked well for them in this stellar set already. Now came GOLDEN LADY a Stevie Wonder cover not done since 10-20-94 still with the old school theme but to be honest the energy level dropped down a notch or two, but worth it to hear some that rare. POOR HEART followed to pick up the energy although the placement of that song was strange considering that always comes out early the sets but fine because it worked and the PEBBLES AND MARBLES was definately wanted to hear this oneand this one will only get better and become a show stopper in the near future. I can't wait to what happens to this one for a new song great song and well worked even in the studio. Summary 1st set Stellar Creative and Tight! Beautifully Crafted Set Set 2 and this is where it went downhill from here. I did like how they took DWD and dropped it in 3 times, ala older days and song selection was good also. But the tightness lacked and the energy to carry this set like set 1 just did not happen. They did not drift off somewhere like usual and came back strong back to where they left off. We start with DWD way to get things going and the 7 BELOW was well worked and things were good and the transition back into DWD was also incredible how quick it took to slam back into it. Still no problem. ANYTHING BUT ME I really enjoyed lyrically and musically a well crafted song, not a bad choice. PIPER a song that just goes with a great tempo from start to finish, butnot this time this song in my opinion should be a twice a tour song to keep the anticipation of catching it is worth it when it comes out, but to me the struggling began hear. The Jam out of Piper came out OK but the insuing jam went nowhere and my take on the DWD REPRISE was to reload, regroup and pickup the energy to level they left off with around Piper. Now I am all for a MAKISUPA but I don't want to hear this at the end of a set because it does not carry itself to bring the energy to fuel the crowd, this should have been in front of DWD not after the DWD REPRISE. You tell me when they did a Makisupa that late in a set and if they did ever and listen to see if they energy followed was lifted. CHARACTER ZERO did its job pickin up the pace, but they should have followed that up with another ripper being the short set that was already. But they chose to walk of stage , personally a bad choice . After their 56 minute set they chose to do only 1 song and it was mellow song with plenty of noodling which is good but these guys base how good they are on that particular night and each other night that they play on the energy in the arena but for once in all the times that they played and I was in the house I was dissapointed. Without a doubt it could have been a good solid set but this was without a doubt the worst 2nd set I have ever seen . In fact at the end of the show I told the other people who I went to the shows with in all over 350 shows combined between 3 of us. I told them "in my opinion if they did this 2nd set on the east coast it would have become much easier to get tickets in the future." and as much as I want that to happen again I don't want that compromise for them to lower their level performance. So remember when you chose to be a fan of the JAM BAND community you are choosing a higher level of music and it did not happen in this particular set. As a whole set 1 in both nights were phenominal but of these 2nd sets the 1st night went well until the HOOD and SAMPLE, but the 2nd was lost at PIPER and was never reclaimed. If "The Boys" should see this stay with first set theme and things will snowball like the days of old or correct whats happening before you guys hit the eastcoast. At the points I have stated they were the worst segments and song selection I have ever seen and hope they remedy the problem at hand soon or they wont get my money anymore I was left on edge. To put it as simple as can be. MY friends know that if I had a chance to get laid or go see PHISH! I would choose the later and go see PHISH for the 2 1/2 hour orgasm every time but on this particular evening with PHISH they gave me BLUE BALLS ! Sorry If you disagree with me but that is my take on these two shows respond if you would like I encourage but they are also gonna shows that are not always top notch but they missed it in the 2nd set that night. Sorry PHISH PHANS but that's my opinion. ENERGY AND TRANSITIONS AND SONG SELECTION IS WHAT MAKES A GREAT PHISH SHOW AND THIS 2ND SET IS NOT ONE OF THEM. JIMBO
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 15:56:35 EST From: [email protected] Subject: vegas run i knew that i was lucky when i got both nites of vegas.  it was going to be only my 4th and 5th phish show so i was a little anxious to say the least.  after the 2 nites i now understand phish and why they are the largest band in the world! the first nite started off rocky due to the hassle of getting in and finding a seat.  once i got in my wife and i couldn't find any room to boogie until mid way through the set.  it wasn't until reba that things started to loosen up.  the first set was graet, but it wasn't until the 2nd that things really lifted off.  it seemed that everybody really settled down during set break and the energy was much more positive.   i really wanted to hear waves while in vegas becasue my wife and i had a son while phish was on hiatus and we named him WAVE.  now is that cool or what?  my wife totally called it.  i think its the best song o the new album.  what a way to get it started.  next came bug which happens to be ione of my all time phish favs.  but what came next really blew my mind.  the ghost was huge!  they have the biggest lighting rig i have ever seen and it was put to excellent use during this spacy, yet tight jam.  the transisition to free was good with trey's guitar seemingly soaring over the entire building.  the hood closer and sample encore was good, but anyting after the ghoist would pale in comparsion. the 2nd nite was even more explosive.  i was surprised to hear a bowie opener, and everything was really good until we got goldenlady.  what a breakout.  paige made it sound so loungy (in a good way) and i think it was a perfect cover for vegas.  i kne what it was right away and think it was one of the best songs of the run!  the 2nd set was really tight with the highlites being dwd and piper.  i've never been in an arean where everyone seemed to be on the same page, with the band.  i felt true collective energy like i've never felt before on such a large scale.  i was really satisiried wioth the friday encore becasue it was so appropriate.  i wish it was firday also trey
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 14:28:12 -0700 From: Aaron Grossberg [email protected] Subject: 2.15-16.03 I have never written a review...mostly because I never want to ruin someone else's experience by droning on the negative. I feel compelled to write something, though, after reading the criticism of the Vegas shows. To give a little background and substantiate myself as a "phan" to any sceptics, I have been seeing Phish regularly since '95 and have seen something over 50 shows...and I, too, have been very hard and critical of this band (especially in '99-'00) because we all know how good they can be. I also play in a band and completely surround myself by musicians and artists, and feel that I have a fair and honest opinion. Now, for the shows: I am not giving a song-by-song, but rather I am addressing some previous reviews. Personally, I absolutely loved this weekend. The setlists would have turned me off if I didn't have such great sounds associated with each song. These guys have come off of a 2.5 year hiatus and played like they never stopped. Any of you who play in a band know how damaging even a couple of weeks can be to your sound and, especially your tightness. Two nights, new songs and a few old ones, but each was played like they were proud of it...like they wanted to display how cool each one really was. Yeah, they played new stuff-if you wrote some new stuff that you thought was cool, you'd want to show it off, too. And, for the most part, the new ones sounded great (esp. 7 below, waves, round room, 46 days). And their jamming has matured into a far tighter, synchopated experiment with texture and intensity (think of ghost, wolfman's, bug, hood, round room, dwd, 7 below, and the piper that really was just another 7 below jam). If you did not have good sound for the shows, I can understand some disappointment, because I had .5 set of mediocre sound and I could not enjoy the music nearly enough, focusing on the song selection, instead. Mostly, I really feel bad for those of you who could not let go and just love the shows for what they were. They were a hell of a lot better than the new year's run, a hell of a lot better than most of '99 and '00, and a hell of a lot better than almost any other band alive can do. "Sitting in Limbo" needing that huge, ancient kickdown to get off is a decision you can make for yourself. Personally, I was really impressed with their precision (very few mistakes, relative to the late pre-hiatus phish), better singing, and mind-melting jams. Have you ever heard Mike and Fish so tight? or Page fill gaps so perfectly? or Trey actually step back and NOT take a huge chaotic solo in favor of texturing well-timed notes and arpeggiated chords; feedback builds and sharp rhythm guitar? Hey,I love the kickdowns, too, but some of those songs represent a Phish that does not exist any more. Like all things, the band changes, and some of us like what we hear and some of us don't...but you cannot hold them to an arbitrary standard of what Phish was when you fell in love with them and expect a fulfilling relationship. Remember Vegas '00? "Gamehenge is a state of mind." I hope to see you all in gamehenge next tour. Those of you who insist of bitching can save your cash and buy the old shows off the livephish archives. peace and open minds Aaron
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 17:17:28 -0500 From: "Freed, Andrew S" [email protected] Subject: FW: a quick review of the 2 phish shows i wrote the other day whe n "stuck" in Phoenix... saturday was my birthday and I saw 4 shows in 2 days.  moe. was AWESOME!!!!!!  Here are my phish reviews: llama opening (second time we saw this since the hiatus ended).  a nice standard opening.  good fun fast rift.  then they got FUNKY with a nice wolfman's brother.  mike and page were all about the funk saturday.  after a nice 15 min wolfman's they broke out REBA.  no whisteling/ending, but a nice jammed out funky version.  that was mu first Reba, so i was pumped for that.  they broke out the David Bowie cover Life on Mars next.  i didn't recognize it, but it was pretty good.  mer called 46 days next.  that is off the new album.  we didn't see that in Hampton, so it was cool seeing it there.  during the jam i took my bathroom break and missed It's Ice.  i've seen it a couple times before and that is a pretty standard song.  Frankie says à antelope ended the set.  mer's sister was saying she has seen antelope just about every show (and so have we), but it was still nice.  it usually takes me longer to recogni! ve it, but i heard the opening few beats and got right on galloping (and then running).  the setlist mentioned there was a stash tease, but i don't remember hearing one.  maybe once i hear the show again i'll hear it.  1 hour, 15 minute long set.  second set opened with Waves off the new album.  this was another song we didn't see in Hampton, but was nice to hear.  the funk continued with a nice 10 minute Bug which segued into a crowd pleasing Ghost.  there was a sign up (huge sheet) that said "871 Days since last Ghost" so i don't knw if they added this song in because of the sign or not, but it was REAL FUNKY.  then mer's sister got her Free.  Jessi is all about Billy Breathes.  pretty standard i thought, but the set ending Hood was the song highlight of the weekend.  this jam was AWESOME!!!!!!!  Sample in a Jar 1 song encore was fun.  a standard 7/8 minute encore, but Hood was a! wesome.  we sat Page side 1 section to right from stage ! about 10 rows up.  we had GREAT seats.  the Hood was the 1 song highlight, but the sunday show was a better show.   the ghost sign was modifies to say "1 Days Since Last Ghost"  i brought my camera sunday, so when we get home i'll email a couple pictures if they come out.  before the show i said i wanted a Bowie and they openeind with Bowie!!!!!!!!  Horn was my early bathroom break tonight.  there was such a clusterfuck in there i missed half of guyute.  it was hard to hear in the bathroom, but what i heard when i came out was real nice.  Round Room is still growing on me.  the jam was pretty good.  i think the bans is still playing around with this one.  they broke out a Stevie Wonder cover next.  Golden Lady.  i didn't recognize it.  in fact i thought it was Go My Lady.  it was a fun short tune.  the set ending Poor Heart and Pebbles & Marbels were awesome.  Pepples and Marbles is turning into my favorate song off the new album.  they jammed this out awesomely in Hampton, and even more so in Ve! gas.  this will be the new jam song this tour and hopeully beyond.  this verson (at just under 15 minutes) was about the same length as the Hampton one, but the band was tighter.  that was the prevailing thought about these shows.  hampton was special, but vegas was tighter.  the composed parts of songs were MUCH better in Vegas.   set 2 was crazy!  DWD opener into 7 Below.  a nice funky DWD, smooth segue, and a nice mellow 7 Below which got a bit ambient and then into a DWD Reprise.  that 3 song jam was about 25 minutes.  after a mellow Anything But Me they segued into Piper.  that is one of the better jams off farmhouse.  mer + i have seena couple of these.  this one wasn't absurdly jammed out, but it was good.  from there they segues back into another DWD Reprise.  the crowd was LOVING this.  that last section of chorus is just killer.  from there we got Makisupa.  i am really starting to love this jam/tune.  we saw it in Hampton, but this version (like the other 2fers) was better musically in Vegas.  then Jessi got another Billy Breaths song with a Character 0 set closer.  this song just rocks!  i was hoping for a 2 song encore with the whisteling and Reba ending but we got Friday.  last night in Hampton they ! encored with this song.  it is a good short jam/song.  the jam is kept incheck and the song is usually about 8 minutes.  i think this song will turn into a Sleeping Monkey.  an encore song.   Then to get "stuck" out west (home is Boston), so I had a couple days to reenergize before heading home.  Now I have less than a week to get ready for Woostah!!!!!!!
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 05:54:03 -0800 From: Joshua LeBar [email protected] Subject: Vegas shows Sorry so late.PLEASE post this After seeing the first hampton show (my 39th)and hearing the rest of the holiday tour.i expected that all the flubs that happened on new years .....and in Hampton(YEM, Simple,CAveren just to name a few)would be worked out. I was smack in front where I love to be for both shows..in my comb cap that I wear like a CROWN! First night of vegas the guys were in a great mood...Anelope jam went throught the roof never ended...46days and Ghost mega jammed...great show...but I thought night 2 would have the special element...Boy was I wrong...trust me people.this show looks way better on paper then it was. The Bowie opener...just Par.and the Catapult in the middle was the most misplaced ..SOLO...bad sounding thing.its a fun tune to put in but it did not work here..next the terrible choice to bust out GOLDEN LADY...It ruined the mood...if there was any going at the time...The second set started off with a sorta rockin DWD..not the best by any means.....All of this is Trey trying to be the metaphor master.using his songs ot tell the tale.The Piper could have evolved into one of the best ones ever...But ALas Trey spaces out..never finishes Piper and instead goes back into DWD...which in my opinion was just a LAZY mistake and not something ....cool or planned out...Also "GUYUTE has red hair and beard" get over it .we are...your wepons are dull on my throat! But it never got so bad as teh set closer CHARACTER ZERO..COME ON>>SO WEAK unbelievable...It was no accident that TREY busted it AGAIN!! New Years, Hampton..and Again..to close the VEGAS SHOWS. I thought these were going to be the show of shows...What I saw that last night was TREY..playing one note forever acting like I cared..Trey should look take his CHARACTER ZERO and look in the mirror..Your the one Bud!! Not me or anyone else..You show us time and time again the size of your ego...I am just your reflection in the ICE!! Lets not even waste words on the FRIDAY encore...Yet another slap in the face...Then he goes to Denver and plays what the Vegas show should of been ..fo a bunch of Frat guys.Cool! Well You can keep your Character Zero.....things are true but I forget.....But Trey....not one has taught that to YOU yet!! SOrry the 20,00 in VIva had to see such a display!! Hope we took the damage for the rest of the tour till summer...maybe peace josh
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 18:10:51 -0500 (EST) From: George Laird [email protected] Subject: REVIEW: BOTH VEGAS NIGHTS 2 nights in Vegas. Lots of high hopes, lots of madness, lots of dissapointments. I saw what happened from the 1st three rows in L.A. and Vegas, and we know that Trey saw what happened in the first rows on a nightly basis. 1st night was the breakthrough of finding the phish groove for Trey. They didn't really find it in L.A. and certainly didn't have it on the holiday run. Vegas night one was a perfect 10 show and you could tell that all four of them were completly lit up. Found myself loosing in a groove war in 46 days, perhaps It's Ice was inspired? Antelope was a little evil and might be one of the best I've heard. This is one of those shows where you can't just look at the setlist and think you know what happened. Something did happen here and it was a beautiful thing. I felt like phish came back for real on the 1st night in Vegas. ...then it all became undone on the second. 2nd night. Finding myself in the second row center this time I read the expression on Treys face when he came out to start the show. Not good. Always takes that preshow stroll to the guitar while checkout whose here tonight. I can't really describe the look on his face right before he picked up the guitar but I know that it wasn't "I'm ready to rock out!" The first set looks like it sounded. Uninspired and not tight at all. Bowie/Guyute?? Bowie was not even close and did they forget that most of us have seen Guyute just about enough. It just wasn't there. Zero interaction this night. Should that have happened being right there in the front? Trey didn't want to interact with anyone this night. He was in Treyland. All by himself. Second set had to be better. Now I firmly belive that phish knew it was a bad set and made some sort of mental desicion to play the second set either better or worse. The entire set consisted of bad song choices covered up with Down with Disease endings. It was like Trey realized the jams were going nowhere and figured if they just kept going into DWD then everything would be cool. The energy from the front was very low and you can't not notice that from the stage. But Trey says "Blame it on the satilite when your message can't get through." Belive me, he got it. Thanks for Character Zero, again. Your message has gotten through now. Oh, they want to rub it in? Friday encore. Yeah, we get it. Just one more quick note. At lease 10 times I signed NICU to Trey while within plain view all three nights. He saw it almost every time. I didn't go to Denver but NICU was the encore. Figures. And THAT message has gotten through loud and clear. Oh well, thanks for the 1st night in Vegas. It was really unbeliveable.
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 17:53:49 -0500 From: John Chescavage [email protected] Subject: Vegas in review   Background:   I returned to Vegas after one of the most memorable weekends of my life back in 2000.  While weighing the idea of going, I determined that if the weekend were half as good as 2000, it would be 2X as good as any normal weekend in my life.  Fortunately, this trip was well worth it!  Show number somewhere in the 60's, first show in fall 95.   Saturday:  2/15/03  1: Llama, Wolfman's Brother, Reba, Life on Mars?, 46 Days, It's Ice, Frankie Says -> Run Like an Antelope* 2: Waves, Bug -> Ghost -> Free, Harry Hood** E: Sample in a Jar Notes: * - with "Stash" tease; ** - Towards the end of the song, the band stopped playing and Trey started to do a little jig - after a few moments, Fishman began mocking him by doing something similar and as a result for about a minute the band was just dancing instead of playing   The Wolfman's was probably my highlight of the set.  The first three songs off the bat were a nearly perfect open for a show.  Wolfmans was tight, not as loose as the drippy 97 style versions.  Sharp funky jamming in this version, leading into Reba.  Some have questioned if this would be a "retired song" but that was premature.  Good Reba, strong version but not atypical of a good solid Reba.  Loved the Life on Mars, and had been hoping this would be one of the return songs.  I can see how this tune will get old and cheesy, but I for one still enjoyed the hell out of it.  Go Page.  The 46 Days raged.  I have not heard Hampton but was under the impression that this tune jammed for an extended period of time.  This version was just straight Rock and Roll!  Strong, and would be a worthy set closer so that we would not have to hear Zero every other night....  Ice was great, but the slow and spacey jam segment was really pretty weak.  I remember 96 versions that would get really far out there and wicked, but this was just a short little spacey piece with good Page work again.  Frankie Says wasn't bad, but that Antelope that followed was an absolute rager!  Crowed ate this one up and it was a distortion filled blast in your face!  Toward the end there was no discernable music, just wild and chaotic instrumentation, but it was intense for sure.    Set II: Waves is a decent song, but not a good second set opener.  Not too different than New Years, and just too mellow to open, especially in Vegas.  Bug has never been a favorite of mine and was not on my "want-to-hear-in-Vegas" list.  However, I was pleased that they moved back to the original lyrics instead of simply repeating "It Doesn't Matter" over and over.  Ghost started up and it occurred to me that I hadn't heard or thought about one of my favorite songs in so long.  This happened to me a couple of times on New Years, and happened again with this Ghost.  I don't listen to nearly as much Phish, and when I do Ghost never seems to be on any cds I have now.  That being said, it is one of my favorites and I was pumped.  This Ghost was the highlight of the night for me.  Awesome jamming with some prominence for Mike and Fish at points.  Trey was more patient than in the 98-00 era, more like 97 this weekend.  He ripped, but also held back when he should have.  This Ghost had a lot of Trey, but he put the ego in the pocket and that led to great funk/groove jamming.  Free came out of the ambience at the end of Ghost and therefore was not a sick segue like it might appear, but this is a great anthemic song.  Solid Mike soloing during the jam segment, but man do I want them to just let loose on a Free jam.  It would be so nasty!  Hood is a song that, no joke, follows me to every show.  I think I have seen this song over 35 times alone.  That being said, this was the best Hood I have heard since my first (12/30/95).  Great heavy metal section in the jam, great work from Fish to vary the beat toward the "You Can Feel Good" section.  The opening reggae section in the song had a silent jam with Trey dancing around like a goofy child.  This show just had an overall feeling of good times and sickness.    Probably the best show I have seen since the Second night Philly 99, or second night Hampton 99.  Should I be able to hear it again, this show could easily move up to a Top 10 show rating for me.  Great all around, maybe an 8 out of 10?   Sunday 1: David Bowie ≫ Catapult > David Bowie, Horn, Guyute, Round Room, Golden Lady*, Poor Heart, Pebbles & Marbles 2: Down With Disease > Seven Below > Down With Disease, Anything But Me, Piper** > Down With Disease > Makisupa Policeman***, Character Zer0 E: Friday Notes: * - Stevie Wonder cover, last played 10/20/94 according to ZZYZX's Phish Stats; ** - with glow war; *** - keyword was "spliff" but stretched out ("sp", then a 3-5 second pause, then "liff")   Set I Started out great with a solid Bowie.  I can't recall the last show that started with a Bowie, and this version had a much spacier and better intro section than the NYE version.  Not as spacey as old school, but just good enough to get a frenzy started.  The jam was solid from the start, but not completely exploratory.  Typical Bowie jamming until the end when we started to get really nasty.  The nastiness moved into the Catapult, and if you look at past shows with Catapult in them you will  notice that most of them are some of the best shows ever.  Having known this, I was believing we might be in for something epic on this night.  The Horn and Guyute that followed dashed that dream.  Not bad songs, just not songs that are played in epic shows, and mand have I heard Guyute enough even after 2 1/2 years of hiatus.  I was pumped for Round Room and believed that the song had great jam potential until they did jam on it.  This was very typical 2000-style ambience, which I am not a fan of.  Listen to any of the jams from the second set Hershey 2000 show and you will know what this Round Room jam was like.  Golden Lady may have been a bustout but it wasn't exciting.  That, my friends, is a cheesy song.  Poor Heart was a welcome boost in energy as much of the crowd was starting to look dazed.  P&M was a song I was hoping to see/hear and thought it could be a second set opener.  It may have served better as a set opener, because it just doesn't cut it as a set closer.  They were working to get this to rock pretty hard, but I felt it was really choppy and rushed.  I love the song, but this version didn't impress at all.  Set 1 was the worst of the 4 this weekend.   Set II  You could feel the spacey openings of Disease right out of the gate and it was on!  The beginning of this Disease was rough to take.  The sloppiness was akin to many of the composed sections of the Hampton songs I have heard (see YEM).  There were some groans, but by the jam section we had forgotten all about it as Trey was absolutely RIPPING this song apart.  This jam got down to a groove pretty quick, not a typical rock&roll Disease that can get repetitive and dull by some accounts.  I for one like the Disease that can settle and groove, and this pleased me just fine.  The segue into Seven Below was the first real segue of the weekend and was the Phish I fell in love with so many years ago.  I think Mike was playing the bassline to get the segue going and Trey moved in quickly to follow suit.  I didn't think a Seven Below could be as good without snowflakes and dancing Ice Fairys, but this one beat NYE.  Great jam in this song, with Trey really getting the industrial, grungy guitar going.  He jammed over the theme and then into open territory, brought back into the theme, back out into uncharted territory, and back into Disease!!  This was absolutely sick, and I was pumped to get a segue both in and out of a great song like Seven Below.  Anything But Me was fine by me, although it killed a little momentum.  I like the song, and at the end it sort of sounded as though they were just going to pick up an ambient jam.  At this point a couple of us were thinking/praying for a 2001, but when Piper kicked in we said we would settle.  The NYE Piper raged and contained all the energy necessary for the first song back.  Could it be beaten?  That Piper was Mike Tyson getting bludgeoned by this Lennox Lewis of a Piper.  Hands down the best I have seen/heard and I have seen/heard a ton of Pipers.  The thick gooey funk that worked its way into this 20+minute jam was just what the doctor ordered.  The start/stop Trey solo ala so many of those fall 97 shows is something I have been dying to hear again for years.  The jam back into Disease, which some have incredibly called lame, was magic to my ears.  This jam is one that should be ranked with many of the best, and would fit perfectly into the best sets of any fall 97 show.  The segue into Makisupa was strong like the Disease-7 Below, and was entertaining as always.  I am surprised I haven't read more people comment on how prominently Trey was saying the "House" lyric because we were all obviously finding out that "The House Always Wins" this weekend!  Did no one else find this funny?  I got a good laugh out of it.  Zero could have been something else to make this one of my favorite all-time sets, but instead it rocked and this set makes the best set of the weekend.  This set will likely be considered for best set of the tour, and if it isn't in the running this tour will be sick, sick, sick!  Friday encore sucked, no other way to say it.  I have come to expect shitty encores from this band over the years, and this was a prime example.  Suck it up and send us out into the streets of Vegas in a frenzy!   Overall great, great weekend.  Probably the best two-night run I have seen since the Philly 99 run in terms of music.  Most fun since Vegas 2000.  Musically, this weekend had glimpses of some of the best Phish jamming anyone has heard since Boise 99 and the best of 97.  There was some looseness in the composed sections of some of the Phish standards, noteably the sloppy Disease and some problems in the Ghost on Saturday.  Strangely enough, these two songs produced the best of the weekend,  which means I will surely sacrifice perfect composition for sick jams.
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 14:59:35 -0800 From: John Warner [email protected] Subject: vegas review heres my review well folks all in all a great weekend of epic proportions.  The Vegas experience was great but I do have some bad reviews for the Sunday show. DISCLAIMER: This is only an opinion and an honest one so take it what its worth Friday Feb 14 Moe. at the belly up tavern Solona beach Friday was alot of fun.  Got up to solona beach at like 7:45 and was bummed to find out that Pizza Port was like an hour wait to get a Pizza so went to sammys greek bar and grill instad,  had a nice dinner with Joan, Matt and Mandy then went to the show 1: Waiting For The Punchline, Nebraska, Bring You Down, What I Got* > Four >One Way Out > Bring It Back Home 2: Rise > Akimbo, Understand, The Faker > Kids > Moth > Paranoid* > Moth E: Stand By Your Man*, Sensory Deprivation Bank * First time played. Really Really kick ass show  Punchline opener really got things going right out of the gate.  Whate I got is the sublime cover "lovin' is what i got." probably refering to valentines day. second set was where its at.  The Faker > Kids > Moth > Paranoid* > Moth, Moe. at their finest. Didn't stick around for the encore cause I got ejected from the venue for pissing on moe.s tour bus.    BUT security saw me, Hey I had to go and the bathroom line was too long so I slipped the gate by the smoking area to piss.  what was I thinking?  I really got way too drunk at the BUT and it was probably a good idea to bail anyway.  went home and went to sleep to try to be well rested for PHISH!!!!!!!!!!!!! in Vegas. Saturday Feb 15 2003 Phish Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas Nevada Woke up DRUNK!  Went to 7-11 bought a 12 pack and started drinking to even out my blood alcohol content.  got to the airport at like around 2 and got on the plane.  The flight was uneventful and when we landed we waited for a few friends to meet us at the airport and took a limo to the Orleans. dropped off our gear the hit the venue.  We met up with bowd and Jill at the double down then headed to the lot.  sold all my posters i brought for Saturday almost instantly and hung around and drank beer and get this I FOUND a Saturday ticket on the ground.  I waited in the spot I found it for like 10 minutes hoping the guy who lost it would come and claim it but no one did so I miracle it away to some guy who need one for his girlfriend. Good karma i figured cause Joan still needed one for Sunday.  the fucking line was murder to get in.  what was up with that usually the T&M is pretty mellow about getting in and security was way lax too.  we finally got in late and got seats up in the terrace but I was totally fine with where we chose to sit because it was a sweet spot for sound now the show. 1: Llama, Wolfman's Brother, Reba, Life on Mars?, 46 Days, It's Ice, FrankieSays -> Run Like an Antelope* Llama-great opener, played very tight and completly perfect.  I could tell right away trey was on fire and was going to tear it up all night,  wolfmans was great, nice and funky and then reba was some of the bet phish i've ever heard.  Life on mars was a bust out and played extremely well, does anyone know the last time they played this.  I'm guessing SD 96.  The highlight of the set in a set full of highlights was definitely 46 days.  God trey was like the devil releasing the demons playing this one.  46 Days is now firmly my favorite off the new album.  so rocking.  not a big fan of its ice, even though it was played supremely I used this opportunity for a piss break only to come back to frankie says.  again not another favorite but it was good to get a break before the raging antelope to close out the first set. The first set in a nutshell was tight, well played and trey is a fucking animal on guitar for sure. chilled out during set break bought the fuck you Wilson t shirt and the prehistoric sloth shirt,  bummed to see no posters but happy to find out they weren't that good anyway. got a beer and awaited the next set 2: Waves, Bug -> Ghost -> Free, Harry Hood** E: Sample in a Jar I do not like waves.  I think its a cheesy song and it drones on and on. Love bug though but what was up with the lyrics they sounded different or am I just imagining things.  No this is where the second set took off, Ghost -> Free, Harry Hood**  ghost is simply one of my favorites and it was funked the fuck out and free was insane.  again this is a good example of how the rest of phish is completely out of treys league.  that was the theme of this show for the most part,  trey kept stepping up at time phish just seemed like a back up band however mike dropped some good bombs in this tune.  harry hood raged as usual and the encore even though I was hoping for something special left me satisfied.  I love sample always have. After the show we were all completely worked and decided it would be best to grab some eats and call it a night so we all wouldn't be completely worthless for Sunday so we went back to the Orleans headed up to the room drank some champagne and me and bowd scarfed some steak and eggs for $1.95 and passed out.   In retrospect after hearing about the moe. show i wish i went and tried to get in.  mike and dickie betts both sat in.  oh well can't win them all.  how was particle? anyone? anyone? Sunday feb 16 2003 Phish Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas Nevada (this is where the disclaimer takes effect) sunday proved to be a fun day all around that is except for the phish show. We all woke up early and went to the orleans buffet and ate like pigs.  I started hitting the tequila early  cause I was inspired by my Mexican cousin shirt I bought the night before in the lot.  we met some of Andreas friends at bourbon street then went to the belagio and the monte carlo where I ordered and I'm not kidding either a 60 ounce margarita I a glass the size of an army helmet.  it was great going down but it floored me pretty good. mind you this was about 1pm too so i took it easy untill the show.  we got to the lot early like 3:30 and i found a ticket right away for joan and sold the rest of my posters pretty quickly,  115 total and if anyone wants any they are gone but I'm doing another run for those who missed out.  drank some beer then breezed right in early in contrast to the night before.  we sat roughly in the same spot as the night before because the floor was closed and waited for the show to start 1: David Bowie ≫ Catapult > David Bowie, Horn, Guyute, Round Room, GoldenLady*, Poor Heart, Pebbles & Marbles Right away was a dissapointment for me. I know david Bowie is an epic phish song to most but I really never cared too much for it and the fact that last tour they were playing it every other show just about makes me want to never see that song again.  even worse it was played like a train wreak and trey was flubbing notes left and right the catapult thing was cool but all in all the song fell on its face.  Horn was all right but by no means a raging phish tune.  Guyute was bad at first but the scary jam gave me hope that the set would turn around only to fall short with round room.  I went to the bath room and dropped a deuce for this piece of crap.  Round room is the worse phish song ever.  I hope this disappears and never comes back into rotation.  Golden lady should have been good but again it seems trey and the boys indulged way too much in the Vegas party and just couldn't find the groove they were in the night before.  Poor heart picked it up a bit and pebble and marbles was BORING.  Trey raged it out a little at the end but it was too little too late. Over all in comparison to Saturday the whole first set blew like a cheap Vegas hooker on crack. set break was uneventful.  I drank beer mostly and hoped for a better second set 2: Down With Disease > Seven Below > Down With Disease, Anything But Me, Piper** > Down With Disease > Makisupa Policeman***, Character Zer0 E: Friday Ok second set looks mean as hell on paper but again they couldn't find the groove.  DWD was average at best but i do have to say I really like 7 below now.  its a great tune and even though i've heard it only once live other than the album i see this song has great promise.  I thoroughly enjoyed 7 below. back to DWD which was cool but highly annoying at the end of the set for the third time.  I call anything but me "skip the next track"  yuck, horrible song.  Piper is another phish song i'm sick of.  Even though I used to like it i was and every other show song for a long time. however this particular piper was OK but what blew it was they were teasing the hell out of guy forgot like they did in phoenix in 2000 and never kicked it down which was a let down all together.  DWD again waste of space and time. makasupa was good pretty standard though and trey pretty much admitted to being fucked up by making the snorting noise after the woke up this morning part. character zero is yet another stupid over played phish song i can do with out and the encore had me running for the door.  Friday is a shit song and is definitely a blue balls encore. I'd rather hear velveta sea. The second set though better than the first was pretty much a disorganized boring hodge podge sloppy set. Sundays show ranks about a 2 on a scale of 1-10 not the worst show ever but it was pretty bad.  Saturdays ranks a solid 10 I finally saw a poster too and thought it sucked, they were $40 too  I though it was supposed to be a pollack, guess not.  I though it represented the mediocreness of the show.  it was pretty generic looking. so after the show we stole a giant card board cutout of the pro wrestler the rock from the Pepsi promotional booth because we were going to the club the rock to see cubensis because we couldn't find moe. ticket which was all right because by all accounts moe. sucked sunday night same as phish and this comes from my friend mat who went to just see moe.  his tales of moe. were very similer to phish. anyway we almost get off the unlv campus with the rock in tow and the unlv golf cart security team convereged on us shouting stop! thats our rock! and took him away from us.  totally funny.  it was a swat team recovery for a card board cutout of a pro wrestler.  You had to be there to appreciate the hilarity of the situation we went to the rock and saw cubensis and had a blast.  cubensis is a great dead cover band,  everyone should go see them if you like the dead. everything was well played and it was just one hell of a good time.  $1 beer too after cubensis finished we left to the hotel and went to eat then i decided to gamble.  I won about $250 off my $20 investment on black jack.  I was unstoppable and scored 6 or 7 black jacks 2 split aces opportunities and 3 double downs one on 12 too.  after my black jack luck spree I played a Harley Davidson nickel slot and hit the bonus jack pot of $300 then went an played real em in and took $200 form there then called it a night.  Never had such a good luck streak in Vegas I tell you I was unstoppable and everything I touched turned to gold. at least for about an hour anyway.  I didn't sleep because we had to be at the airport at 8am but i crashed after i got home till this morning,  all in all one hell of a weekend indeed. Phish will rock dever,  I wish I was going.  even though sunday was a bad show this does not represent phish in my oppinion John
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 16:15:49 -0800 From: kelly schaaf-brown [email protected] Subject: short and sweet here are some thoughts.... sat night: having dreamt of "reba" the night before, I was pleasantly enjoying "life's pleasant game". "Ghost" into "Free" was hot. some of the tunes showed low-ish energy but, OF course, fun to be back at the Mack. sun night: my 100th show. quite fun. hot energy from the start. sound was clear, while the night before seemed muffled. bowie was red-light-fun. what a start. dwd brought tears to my eyes and a flood of memories from the past thirteen years. golden lady? that was just right-nice. still wondering about the encore but whatever. they have their reasons for everything. gotta kb Kelly M. Schaaf-Brown
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