2-22-03 - US Bank Arena, CIncinnati, OH
review submisions to me at [email protected]
or [email protected]
please review teh show, not other reviews
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 21:57:53 -0600
From: "Kuhlo, Stewart C (UMC-Student)" [email protected]
Subject: Review of 2/22/03
Well, after reading the other reviews of the Saturday Night Cinci show, I thought
I'd throw my two cents in. First of all, what's w/ all the stereotyping in these
reviews? I think that some people in this scene are becoming bigger hypocrites as
the years roll on. I thought that the scene inside the venue was wonderful.
Easily one the best I've been a part of since I started going to shows in '96. I
also really don't appreciate the stereotyping of "frat boys." Being 19 years old,
I know I'm still a newbie, but does the fact that I am in a fraternity nullify the
past 18 years of my musical exploration? Yeah, I'm a frat boy w/ a ticket, but I
also happen to be studying music at my University right now and happen not to be a
drunken, brawling, screaming fan. In fact, 90% of all the shows I have ever been
to were seen sober. Just because I belong to a fraternity doesn't mean that I
don't have the utmost respect and reverance for such a great band and that i don't
understand the complexity of what they are doing night in and night out. Sorry,
I'll get off my soapbox now. Onto the show. Sloth was a surprise opener and the
first one i've seen live. Nice start to the show. I am a fan of Dogs, but I felt
this one to be a little uninspired (partially stemming from the fact that the
overhang above our seats screwed up the sound). Then....Piperpaug! Man! That's
all I can say(Plus the fact that we moved to much better seats). Dirt was a nice
breather and definately one of the slower songs that I really enjoy, and Trey did a
tremendous job on it. For me, SOAM was the highlight of the first set. Loved
Mike's vocals and the Duel was quite entertaining. I kept looking over to my
friend shaking my head in amazement, but he kept missing everything b/c the guy
next to him wouldn't leave him alone because he was trying to roll up a j that took
him the entire SOAM. (Sorry Juicy.) Anyway, WOTC was huge! MITM is not a
personal favorite, and the Sample was definately rockin' and one of the better ones
that I have seen. Set break was torture, although I got to see a few phriends here
and there. Right before the set started, I had this weird flashback to Deer Creek
'96 and for some reason, I thought, "Wouldn't it be crazy if they pulled out a Tube
to start the second set?" I didn't bother to share these thoughts with anyone, so
no one around me actually believed that I called it. Oh, well. Sweet Tube that
really got everyone groovin. What comes next is....well, as I put it on my setlist
"Bathtub>SICK!!!!" Nuff said. After that Gin, they could have covered an N'Sync
album and I still would have been as happy as anyone anywhere in the world! I just
sat there and thought "Wow, that's history right there!" David Bowie was stellar
and I have always been a big fan of Bug, so, while there have been better versions,
I definately had my feet moving. I am also a big Suzie fan, and what a great
sing-a-long to end one of THE BEST PHISH SHOWS THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN! I grabbed a
sweet hoodie on my way out of the lot to end my Phish drought, and had a smile on
my face throughout the rest of the night and the the magic.
Peace and Love,
That Frat Guy (drop me a line if you have any thoughts on my review:
date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:46:23 -0500
From: George Antczak [email protected]
Subject: 2/22/03 Review
This past Saturday was my first show since the hiatus. 970 days of
despair followed by hope, then months of eager anticipation culminated
into the most thrilling musical experience of my life. I was also sober
for the show (something that did not occur frequently pre-hiatus) with
the exception of a few beers. The sound quality in the first set left
something to be desired, but by the second set, I had relocated to a
much more satisfying location.
The first set began at 7:55 with the Sloth, somewhat of a rarity in
recent times and one of several that night that I had not seen before
live. However, this otherwise strong opener was marred by the fact that
it was not very loud, as was much of the first set, though this might
have also been due to the location of our seats. Dogs Stole Things
wasn^“t exactly thrilling, but it gave Paul a chance to work on tweaking
the vocals and bring the volume up.
The opening chords of Piper were met with much enthusiasm as the
song spent little time lulled in the quiet ringing of the opening
sequence and quickly moved up tempo to the vocals. The jam then began to
bounce atop Mike and Fish^“s groove with high, popping notes from Trey
and Page. Just as this Piper was hitting full stride, I found myself
grooving to the opening chords of Weekapaug. The transition was so fluid
I hesitate to call it a segue; rather, it was as if Piper and Weekapaug
had always been meant for each other. The jam flowed along the same
bubbly course of the Piper that gave it life until Page^“s clav turned to
a deep dark melody that hovered, soared, climaxed, then gave way to the
reprise; this ^—paug was short, sweet and its placement unique to say the
The Dirt which followed was a nice break. Trey was clearly feeling
good and put some extra muscle behind the solo portions of the slower
songs. Mule was another welcome treat. The Mule Duel was relatively
short and had a bit of the usual shenanigans. Before the last verse,
Mike held up his bass during his vocal solo, as if motioning to be
turned up louder.
The jam section of Walls of the Cave showed much promise for this
developing epic. Though I felt the opening composed section seemed a
little too contained, the jam took off after the second choral reprise.
It worked into the lively groove that was becoming the theme of the
evening. Mike and Fish continued to lay down a rippling coat of Drum and
Bass to support the dancing melodies above. The jam returned to the
Walls reprise but instead of closing with a bang, the song softly calmed
and rested, leaving a quiet space for Mountains in the Mist. Sample then
closed the set on a high note.
Overall, the first set was above average, with the sound
difficulties at the beginning and standard versions of second tier songs
being offset by the Walls jam and the unprecedented Piper>Weekapaug.
For the second set, the band would make not hesitate in returning to
the first set^“s fast-rolling funk groove. After a short onstage huddle,
the band broke out Tube. The song started out at a subtely slower tempo
and gave way to a long Page-lead jam. The jam hinted at the trance style
drum and bass that would anchor the set. The jam branched out so far
that I thought the bridge was a transition, and accidentally labeled the
Immediately following was Bathtub Gin. Words cannot do justice to
what happened during this jam, though I will attempt some description of
what I witnessed. At the beginning of the jam, Trey caught a glow stick
from someone in the front section. He waved it around, playfully
taunting the crowd before tossing it back. The jam went at first like
most Gin jams do, and nearly settled into the typical descending major
chord progression, but instead came out a dark and unresolving theme
from Trey. Slowly the jam entered a place. Vivid, colorful, enchanting
yet haunting harmonies texturized the pounding rhythm of Mike^“s bass.
Slowly out of the darkness formed a reprisal of Gin. Distorted and
disfigured at first, the song slowly wound itself back together,
completing what is possibly the most intriguing piece of music I have
It really didn^“t matter what came next, I didn^“t expect anything
could top Gin for the rest of the night. Friday was a song I was happy
to hear. It allowed the weight of what had just happened to sink in, and
remind me of how fortunate I am to be able to have experiences like this
in my life. Trey dug deep for the Friday solo. Once again there was a
space ready to be filled. The Bowie hi-hat intro was complemented by
some creative bass work. The jam once again spent little time in
swelling to a flowing guitar-led groove. The wave broke and became calm
for a moment before exploding into the drilling guitar riffs of the
outro. Bug came into close the set, and fit the mood perfectly.
The Suzy Greenberg encore was an excellent choice to round out the
evening^“s musical theme^“s with a frenetic funk jam of its own. Page^“s
piano leads ebbed and flowed around the pulsating beats and featured
several stop/starts by the rest of the band, leaving the Chairman to
echo throughout the arena.
Overall, the second set was^◊simply put^◊the best hour and a half of
music I have ever seen. The set could only have been improved by the
presence of a stronger set closer (at least it wasn^“t Character Zero).
Addendum: After hearing the LivePhish shn of the show (the only I have
heard from this tour) I have to express that this is possibly the best
Phish I have ever heard. Surely, I couldn't say that the machine-gun
Trey was better than '92, nor that the type II jams were more
exploratory than '94 and '95, nor that the funk was funkier than in '97,
nor that the ambient/trance textures were richer than '99 and '00, but
the way the different styles have blended together can only be described
as transcendent and perhaps even miraculous.
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 22:19:49 -0500
From: [email protected]
Just thought I would give a few observations on the Saturday night show in
Cincinnati.† First of all, if you listen to the downloads of these shows and really
listen to them, it is undeniable that the band is not as tight and well rehearsed as
they have been in the past.† If you think that they are I would suggest that you
listen to shows from 94-97.† There are nowhere near as many mistakes being made.†
This is fact, not my opinion. This is understandable, as they really haven't played
together for 2 and a half years.† I would submit that a comparison to the Dead's
hiatus of 74-76 be looked at.† When they came back, the style and pace of the shows
was slower, songs had been retired and the band sounded different.† That being said,
they were still the Grateful Dead and still were the best live band in the world.† I
think that it's obvious that a similar set of circumstances presents itsself to us
today.† Phish is the best live band that you can go and see.† I stand behind that
100%.† Why do people criticize shows?† Generally I think it's because they probably
drove 500-700 miles for one show and didn't get to hear what they wanted to hear or
their expectations weren't met.† It's also a fact that expectation is the mother of
disappointment.† It's funny that we as a culture are supposed to be so open minded
and accepting of other people,†but we rag on the frat boys and sorority girls , and
high school kids.† I'm guilty of this as are many people out there, but they have a
ticket and have just as much of a right to be at the show as anyone,† even more of a
right than the guy or girl with 2 foot dreads and a mangy dog running loose that
showed up at the show with no tickets.† Anyone who shows up without tickets is taxing
on the scene and puts in jeopardy the ability of the band to continue touring.† This
is not my opinion, IT IS THE OPINION OF THE BAND. PERIOD.† Also it seems that nobody
wants to hear the reviews of the first or second timers,† well... they probably don't
have the frame of reference to make accurate and factually valid remarks,††but let's
show them what's going on, and don't rag on them because they haven't been to 75 or
100 shows.† Anyway, thought 2-22-03 was unbelieveable, just a fabulous concert.†
Great songs and decent execution.† Wasn't disappointed that I drove 600 miles for the
weekend............If anyone is irritated by this or whatever don't e-mail my
girlfriend e-mail me @ [email protected]
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 16:54:11 -0600
From: lila ward [email protected]
Subject: 2/22/03 review
Anyway, the Sloth opener was completely sick. Never seen this as an opener and it
proved to be a very high energy opener. Following was Dogs Stole Things, which with
its nice blues rhythms, fit the vibe well.
During Dogs Stole, I felt that it was about time for the boys to make the crowd go
crazy. I was right.
Piper reared its beautiful head and drifted into many twists and turns, really
showing the positive effects of hiatus.
Then finally, out of an incredible Piper jam comes the Weekapaug we were all waiting
for from the night before. It proved to showcase the newly revived "phunky" phish
that resembles some jams from 97'.
Weekapaug raged, duh, and then it was time for another chill song, Dirt. This was
special for me because my last show pre-hiatus was 9/20/00 in Cinci, and they played
dirt. (Did anyone who was at that show notice all of the cold references in their
song selections?) Anyway, Dirt was pretty standard, which proved to be very nice.
Now I was ready for some nastiness. I am a southern boy by birth, so I guess I have a
little bluegrass in my veins.
I heard the first muted licks of Trey's guitar and immediately screamed "MULE!!!"
without even thinking that it might be Cane or Sullivan or MSO.
When they busted into SOAMule, the crowd went nuts. Mikes vocals are always a
highlight for me so I sucked this one up. The mule-duel part was really tight and
well executed. They brought it all back out of Russia, (muel-duel jam) and back to
the bluegrass. Mule rocked from beginning to end, up to now, this was my song of the
Walls of the Cave- my first time to hear this live. A little aprehensive at first,
but after the structured parts ended, the boys settled into one of the purest PHISH
jams I have seen in many shows. Expected this to end the set, but got a wonderful
treat of Mountains in the Mist. Never heard this live either, Everyone was sitting
down, but not me, I loved the beauty of this song, and the vocal harmony buildup at
the end is beautiful.
Then came Sample, I've never heard this live up to now either, and it came and went
just about how I had expected.
sorry for such a long 1st set review, will try to make the second shorter.
The lights went back down and the crowd went nuts, again. The energy in the room
called for a rocking opener, and that is what we all got. The first post-hiatus Tube.
The opening lyrical segment was slightly sloppy, but then while noodling between
verses, Trey found a dancing rhythem and did hand motions of what he wanted Page to
do. Page found the groove that Trey was looking for, Trey let out a huge grin and
pumped his fist in the air, and they went into one of the funkiest jams of the
weekend. Trey didn't rise out of the jam part with his wail like he usually does, a
bit apprehensive maybe? But this Tube was very out there.
Everyone was just catching their breaths when they busted out Bathtub. OH Yes!!!
People love this song, maybe it is the singalong that does it to them, but it seems
that some love it so much that when a glowstick war starts they choose to hurl those
large, heavy glowsticks as hard as they can at the band. I know having fun is all
part of it, but you would probably, and should, feel like shit if you knocked Mike
Gordon out and he just laid there (bad mental picture) but anyway please be
considerate and appreciative to the very talented musicians who are giving you their
time and energy. Sorry about that tangent, just felt like I needed to mention it.
Anyways, the Bathtub beginning was textbook, even though the boys looked a little
freaked out while 8oz liquid-filled plastic tubes are hurled at them. Then came the
Bathtub jam. Trey and Page traded licks in what I can only describe as "Dueling
Bathtubs". Then came a really sick spacy digital-delay loop jam (very electronic and
chemical) It ended and everybody looked aroud astonished and then just cheered.
Friday, another new original for me, came next. I had never really paid much
attention to this song on Round Room, but one of my friends said that it was his fave
off the album, so I paid more attention, and it really grew on me, all in about the
span of 5 minutes(ahhhh.... behold the power of Phish). This Friday was very solid
and showcased the boys quasi-new style of songwriting. Friday ended, and then there
was the familar hi-hat tapping that was usually Bowie or Maze. I knew that they had
opened w/ Bowie in Vegas so I was really expecting Maze, but secretly hoping for a
THANK GOD. This is what I'm talking about and what I have needed for 2 1/2 years.
This Bowie took all the other great Bowies of the times and wrapped them into a
beautiful jam part that made me feel like I was floating (No Drugs). And Trey nailed
that end part, which of what I have usually seen has not happened perfectly like
this. He nailed it!!! He really nailed it!!!† This was probably the loudest
collective crowd cheer of the night.
Then came Bug, a standard version by all means, but had much intensity and sincerity.
Did not expect it to end the set but it was so good that set very well for me (and
Bug is† definately not one of my favorites)
THe second set seems short on paper, but is filled with new, crisp, clean, dirty,
sick, funky, pure, original, Phish jamming. I am honored to have been a part of this
weekend in Cinci.
Before the setbreak after 1st set, I leaned over and told my girlfriend that I bet
that they would play a Suzy. I don't know why, I just felt it at the time. I didn't
even think about it during the epic 2nd set, so when they took the stage for the
encore and busted in, I was ignited. This Suzy was the perfect way to end the weekend
on a high note with a song that usually never fails to please. Suzy ended and I was
†First of all, thank you so much for reading my first review, you are a kind soul.
At this show, more than the 21st (with its amazing setlist) was Phish just Phish.†
They didn't just seem like some old band reuniting for the first time in 20 years or
something and playing all of their hits. They seemed like new Phish. The hiatus has
done them all really well and that is shown in the music. Sure they might be a little
sloppy at times, but what the hell do you expect? I you played golf every day for 17
years and then quit for two, you would still probably come back pretty good, but not
where you were. I think that this is good for Phish because it gives them the
opportunity to delve into uncharted territory.
†††††††††††††† A Very Good All-Phish Show
††††††††††††††††††††† get the sbds and listen for yourself!
Thank you for reading†††
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:50:14 -0600 (CST)
From: Scott Gray [email protected]
First time reviewer and only because THIS was a great show, and one guy
raving about it above isn't enough.
How about that Bathtub Gin?!! How about that David Bowie?!! How about that
I've talked to some people who say they liked 2/21/03 the night before better than
this night. (my philosophy is that it depends on which if any drugs you're doing, "E"
people want dance music, Hallucinogenic people want complexity and depth. Count me in
as the latter.) The night before was really good, But THIS show had 3 all time best
played songs for me. I've been to over 40 shows now and the three songs listed above
were definitely the best versions of those songs I've ever heard. I even enjoyed the
Suzi Greenberg oncore better than ever before. All four of them were on fire, and they
I think this is a show that will down as one of the best Phish has
ever played. I'd say that 2nd set is the third best set I've ever
encounted and if you take away the additional magic of Big Cypress and the
awesome last set of Great Went, it's the best I've personally ever seen
them play. They're not just Back! They're Fresh! Thanks Phish!!!!!!!!
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:56:44 -0600
From: clay maddox [email protected]
Subject: cincy review 2-22-03
my last phish show was in chicago 9-22/23-2000, and i was supposed to go to
vegas 2000, but my pregnant quasi-girlfriend at the time decided that she
didn't like the people i was riding with, so she hid my tickets, and i
missed the shows. although the last few shows before hiatus were good
shows, and i had fun; the need for a break was glaring. i spent 2 and a
half years of hiatus in a hefty legal issue with said
quasi-girlfriend/baby's mama, and i have moved six times for work or
personal issues. anyway, i have been in dire need for a phish show. i had
tickets to hampton, but the legal issues tied me down, and as february
approached i had been shut out again by mail order, and i had pretty much
accepted that my days with phish were gone, and i should put my trust in
livephish.com. then tuesday the 17th hit, and a couple of us decided that
we had better go check on the boys and all of the reports from the road.
words like "inspired", "sloppy", and "refreshed" all had my curiosity
stirred, and after listening to the new year's run on cd i understood all of
the concerns and all of the joy, but i just had to see for myself. we left
for cincinatti at 3:30 am on saturday after hearing how great friday night
had been, and we had no tickets, but this was our time to shine. by 3:30 pm
we had a pretty hefty buzz, our tickets, and our heads in the clouds. o
yeah, the show:
set I: Sloth, Dogs Stole Things, Piper>Weekapaug, Dirt, S.O.A.Mule, Walls
of the Cave, Mts. in the Mist, Sample in a Jar
sloth is a good song for an opener, but through dogs stole the sound was
uneven; it usually takes a few songs for everyone to get settled and puff a
little, as well as for paul to tweek the knobs, and for the band to get
comfy, so i was a little worried at first, but it was also expected. by
mid-piper i was expecting the best, but it still seemed to lag until the
pace quickened in a way unlike most pipers; it was not just a sped up piper
groove, but a very fast gallop through new terrain with some serious
stomping from mike. after a few minutes the groove developed into
weekapaug; the first ever without a mike's intro which is cool for
nostalgis'a sake, but it took some of the steam from weekapaug.
nonetheless, the piperpaug was unique and definitely made me realize i was
actually in an arena listening to phish break new ground beofore me. i have
a passion for dirt, and the last time i was in cincinatti they played it, so
it was a good breather choice in my opinion. during mule my bladder almost
popped, so i ran to pee and missed the duel, but it sounded interesting from
the john, and it turns out fish was hamming it up with a behind the back
drum segment. next came walls of the cave; my first live new song. i
really liked round room when it came out, but i wasn't big on walls until
cincinatti; there were moments in the jam where i actually felt like phish
was one step ahead of time itself laying down the tracks for all of
existence to follow creating sharp turns, deep valleys, and escalating peaks
all in the same instant. phish was back. i thought the set was over, but
they came back with another good slow one, mist, and then followed it up
with a better than typical sample.
i spent set break getting a beer and offering my duck tape to anyone who was
lacking the essential ingredient to surviving a terrorist attack. at least
i was prepared. the guys in the row behind me had their dad with them, and
the poor bastard got puked on. the crowd was very anxious starting the wave
only about 20 minutes into intermission. there was no way it could last
another 20 waiting on the band, so the wave crashed, but it wasn't too long
until they came back.
set II: Tube, Bathtub Gin, Friday, David Bowie, Bug E:Suzie Greenburg
trey hit a few notes on his guitar that sounded like chalkdust, but nothing
came from it, and because of the quick stop some of the crowd responded with
chants of "wilson!", but the band conferred for a moment and busted out the
first post-hiatus tube. super funky! tube is always funky, and pre-hiatus
phish focused on the funk, so to hear them get in it after a rather funkless
first set was a pleasant surprise. bathtub gin was the bathtub gin to end
all bathtub gins; after the traditonal jam segment the band went back into
the chorus and morphed the song repeatedly until the only thing that
resembled bathtub gin was the la-la-la part, and it wasn't one of those
phish jams that slowly dissolves as it gets wierder; it actually grew in
pace and intensity as it grew farther from its roots. i thought the show
might be over, and quickly turned to the old guy behind me to say, "that's
worth getting puked on isn't it?" he replied with a "hell, yeah!" i had
not heard friday before, and i can see why it is despised by the crowd, but
i liked that it talks about being willing to take chances and possibly fail
which is what had just happened during gin, so i let out the best yell i had
causing most of the people around me to stare in disbelief, but i just
laughed it off as part of the fun. people get too serious; it doesn't
matter. i had a problem with david bowie pre-hiatus; it was falling into
the guyute category for me: great song, incredible structure, sick chops
but predictable as phish can be. this bowie confirmed that hiatus was a
good thing. extreme power in bowie with a heavy jam that was akin to "mud"
by yamagata. after a set like this was becoming there seemed only one way
to acknowledge the glory that had been aroused: bug, it doesn't matter. a
good version, but it didn't destroy my brain like the first time i heard it
or like gin or bowie earlier in the set. the encore debate was whether or
not they would ruin a good show with another shitty encore; i called
bouncing or meatstick while my buddies looked for slave and fluffhead; tim
really wanted to hear "life during wartime" by the talking heads because it
mentions cincinatti, and well, we're in wartime. we were all wrong as suzie
came out; suzie falls next to bowie because they both have new life
post-hiatus. the best suzie i've heard in 71 shows.
after the show i was pooped from the day; the sweet girl next to me told me
that she had never had as much fun at a show as she did watching me play air
guitar. i told her i was really playing, and that trey was my prop. phish
is back and breaking new ground in music and fun. the hiatus was worth it,
and any stress i had generated during those 2 years was sucked straight out
of my soul thanks to phish.
based on the length of time since my last show, the song selection, the
jamming, the fun, and the snowy post-show scene i have to put this show in
the top 4-5 that i have seen since 1995.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 19:24:52 +0000
From: corey lanier [email protected]
Subject: 2/22 Review
2/22 US Bank Arena
I honestly do not believe this show deserves the credit it has received, for many
First, everyone mentions how great the beginning of the first set was, but I'll never
know because I was stranded out side in the freezing-ass-cold because the lame-ass
security didn't know how to run an event!! Because of limited entrances and lack of
people simply checking tickets I missed all of Sloth and barely managed to hear the
last few notes of Dogs Stole Things! What a rip off!! I do not blame the band, but I
think it's bullshit that the security was so anal about the smallest things, when
Friday night they didn't even search me at all!! This morbidly obsese lady security
guard wouldn't let my girl in because she had a book bag!!† I opened it up and
offered to let her check it and she imedately gave us both shit!† After debating w/
an actual police officer, we were allowed in (thanks Makisupa policeman!)† I wish the
band was more aware, however, because they might need to make sure security is taking
care of the phans and not treating them like shit!! When we finally managed to make
it to the outside entrance, there were TWO people chekcing tickets and doing
searches!! I'm sorry, but where were the rest of the staff?? Night off or what??
Second, the show was extremely mellow and my feet only moved a few times! I don't
understand how two-night stands can sometimes be so unballanced!! Friday night was
smokin' and Saturday night was on the verge of being lame!! The Piper>Weekapaug was
nice, the Tube + Bathtub Set 2 opener kicked ass, but I thought the rest was mediocre
maybe even below average!! I have never heard a show so overloaded with slow slongs
until this one (Dirt, Walls of the Cave*, Mist, Sample, Friday, and Bug) *Best slow
song of the 6 listed
So for a wrap up of the show: a) The security was lame b) the scene inside was a mix
of frat boys and showy hippies looking down on others for not having dreadies as long
as them c) set one was standard and a bit boring d) set two had only 5 songs and only
2 were good (you do the math on this one!) e) Suzie encore was nice, but it was too
little too late!!
The other shows have been great, but please do not give this show the props it does
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:34:39 -0500
From: Blake Rosser [email protected]
Subject: 2/22/03 review
now THIS is what i was expecting. First set was pretty standard, with a
Weekapaug thrown in as a "make-up" i'm assuming. That was a very
pleasant surprise and a good indicator of a more solid show to come.
The jam from piper into weekapaug was INCREDIBLE, seamless and subtle
and grooving, you pick a positive adjective, and that jam was IT. Scent
had a nice jam too, that was a fun one.
Walls of the Cave was great. I really like this song musically, just
wish it had better lyrics (Listen to the Silent Tree? what is taht?).
the silent tree segment provides some excellent jam opportunities.
mountains in the mist: blah, if i never heard this song again i wouldn't
miss it. sample was a great set closer.
Tube was a helluva set opener, got the whole crowd GROOVING, great fun.
my girlfriend had predicted Bathtub Gin so she was really pumped when
they played it next, and it was sick. During the jam, Trey started
softly playing the bathtub riff, and then started playing AROUND it
while the rest of the guys went off on this space-funk tangent! so
sweet. the space-funk was evident in other places throughout the
weekend as well, kind of made me wonder if they hadn't borrowed a page
from bisco or even moe. while on hiatus.
anyway, after bathtub was friday, which i think everyone agrees sucked.
what a momentum-halter, i tried to go to the bathroom during it but
every other guy in the place must have had the same idea, the line was
david bowie ROCKED, not much more to say.
Bug was well-played, and i do like that song, but not as a set closer.
My only complaint is that, in a 5-song set, how are you going to play
friday and close with bug? that's just not right, a 5-song set should
have a YEM or divided sky or something spectacular, not friday. anyway
that's about it, suzy greenberg was a fun encore, everyone was happy
with that one i'm sure.
so that's my review. overall i liked saturday better (for sheer
execution), but first set friday was my favorite. i know i'm apparently
in the minority for thinking 2nd set friday sucked, but i honestly
believe a lot of people were influenced by the names of the songs moreso
than the actual performances (which sucked). ultimately, i think Trey
needs to pull his head out of his ass. yay, you can play feedback and
long sustained notes! you want a cookie? i'm going to see them a few
more times before the tour's out, so i'll give you an amended opinion
next sunday. i'd like to hear a recording of that 2/21 show to see if my
initial thoughts on the second set are correct.
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 22:46:45 -0600
From: Ryan Sweeney [email protected]
Subject: 2-22-03 Review
Well, the show was killer, and the weekend kicked ass. But I have two
things I want to share...
First, I got caught in a security nightmare, and I can't believe more Phans
havn't written about it. I got in line, merely 200 yards from the ONLY
entrance to the venue. The time was about 7:20pm. Friday night, the boys
started around 8:00, so I figured I was safe. My fiance and I stood in the
drissle for nearly 40 minutes, freezing our poop-shots off! The other way
in was not letting anyone past the security checkpoint, either. Finally,
some movement. Everyone was super chill, laughing and shrugging it off.
But, as we made our ways past the checkpoint (pretty lax), and got close to
the dorrs, I could here Phish playing. I was so pissed off!!! I still have
no clue as to what security was doing. Maybe easing the flow through the
doors... whatever. Getting out was no treat either. Snowing and blustering
on my hairy neck! My poor fiance isn't as lucky to have gorilla-esque hair
all over her body. There are only two ways into the venue, one way into the
show, and three ways out... I hated USBank Arena. I saw them there in '99
(I think), and can't remember so many problems. But, its been so long, so
many beers, so much partying. I wondered if anyone else felt the same way.
Second, I actually felt bad for some of the kids I saw stumbling around the
joint. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for extra-curriculars... I just hope you
all take care of yourselves. Drink more water... get some good vitamins
(fruit) in ya'. Do whatever you need to be booging as hard on the way out
as you did on the way in... Shit, isn't that the point?!
As always, had a great weekend... the the first set Friday night (11th row,
my best seats ever!) was especially kick ass!
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 11:37:07 -0500
From: "Fallon, Daniel" [email protected]
Subject: 2nd night of cinci
This is the first review I have ever submitted for reasons I will not divulge at the
This was the fourth show I have seen, post-hiatus and my 45th overall. I will not
give a song by song detail, but rather explain my position that Phish is playing at a
higher level, night in night out then I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing
before and this show epitomizes my feelings on this matter.
The first set was killer. And I must mention the Dog Stole Things as the hidden gem
of this show. Please listen to the Trey solo at the end of this song and how thick
and full the whole band sounds throughout. This song was a real treat following the
Sloth opener. The Piper-Weekapaug was intense; transition was smooth like silk with
CK5 leading the way and never, ever missing a beat. Best of the three Piper’s I
have seen post-hiatus. I must also admit that I am fan of the new album, if only b/c
some of these tunes are taking on a life of their own live. WOTC, Pebbles, 7 below,
Waves are all wonderful songs that have this fresh quality about them. I have heard a
healthy dose of these songs in the four shows I’ve seen and I have yet to tire
of them. I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but it seemed that after WOTC
Page stood up thinking the set was over and Trey and said “NO” and they
played Mist and Sample. That had to be a first! Other band members being told by Trey
that the set wasn’t over!
I’ve been waiting to hear Tube for a long time and all they did was play a
funky ass, rocking ass version that whipped the crowd into full frenzy mode. The Gin
was out of control one of the best jams you will ever hear. It is songs like Gin,
Bowie and Piper, old classics that they have reworked and are willing to explore that
have made them better than ever. They are not as hesitant as they were on New
Year’s. They are following each other, taking cues from each other, and
creating a thick full sound. Yes, Trey is a guitar and god and I’m thankful for
that, but we are finally seeing them all play their asses of each night, smiling at
each other, feeding off the energy and enjoying each other’s company. Mike was
as animated as I have ever seen him and Trey, well, he never stops moving!! But I
digress….Suzie encore…Thank God!!!! My only complaint form these tours
has been the encores and it is a very, very minor complaint. But this was sick!! The
jam reminded me a bit of the Darien ’00 Suzie which is the best Suzie I have
witnessed. Thick and funky with Page just owning it. Oh yeah, listen to Page at the
beginning of Gin.
And a big thank you to Mr. Kuroda who is beyond words. He is as talented as they come
and the new lights are ridiculous. I had set up shop behind stage in MSG and Vegas
x’s 2, and it was an absolute treat to stand in front and be swept away by the
music and the spectacle. I had truly forgot what it was like to be immersed in sea of
lights with y favorite band throwing down a monster jam.
So for those who will be seeing their first “Phish” in two years;
don’t worry, you are about to have your mind bent, twisted, turned inside out
and reformed by a band who seems to be loving every minute of their current journey.
There is an overwhelming sense of joy and appreciation from both band and fans t
is impossible to ignore these days and it feels damn good. †
Just my 2 cents…. See you at Nassau
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 01:37:57 -0500
From: Sam Stein
Subject: Cinci reviews
Set I: Sloth, Dogs Stole Things, Piper > Weekapaug, Dirt, SoaMule, Walls,
Sloth got things rocking early on, much like Wilson the previous night.
A standard (good) Piper wound itself into a pretty fast rock-ish jam and
nicely segued into Weekapaug. Everyone was expecting closure from the
previous night, but this still caught most off guard. Nice work Phish! I
guess you could say neither Piper or Weekapaug were "finished" as they
never got back to the late-song vocals for either, but who cares?? A good
start to the show.
Dirt was a nice, well placed cool down...
Scent of a Mule - second or third breakout song of the set after Sloth and
?Dirt?.... exciting to hear since it had become rare before the hiatus.
Walls of the Cave - From the minute I listened to Round Room, I couldn't
wait to catch this one live. Great tune. Great version last night. I
think some folks don't expect much from this song, but the energy and
momentum buildup is fantastic. Obviously, not much of a crowd response
when the song starts (unlike the established Rebas, Stashes, etc which get
the automatic loud cheers), but by the end, US Bank Arena was rocking.
This would've been a great finish to the set...
Mist / Sample -- both are fine and dandy, but it seemed like there was no
reason to push on after Walls.
Set II: Tube, Gin, Friday, Bowie, Bug E: Suzie Greenberg
Tube breakout to start set 2 was outstanding. Instant excitement just
based on song placement/breakout status. And considering it was their
first crack at Tube in a few years, I was surprised with how much I liked
this version. Grade A.
Gin was also praiseworthy. The boys really broke it down into mind-bending
pieces towards the end. A very
Friday - huh? - Not a bad little tune, but sandwiched between three
immortals such as TubeGinBowie, it seemed a little too lightweight. A more
established "breather" like Waste or Train Song might have fared better
here. Hopefully the band doesn't feel some sort of obligation to play
Friday on Saturdays as they did at Hampton and last night.
Bowie - nothing shocking, but well done
Suzy Greenberg - a good encore song. Maybe a little sloppy, but quite fun.
It was nice to see that songs are still coming off the shelf in significant
numbers (Lifeboy the first night and Sloth, Mule, ?Dirt?, Tube!, and Suzy G
last night). I thought both sets from the second night were pretty solid.
Nothing epic, but an above average show overall. Nice run in general in
Cinci. I think I liked the first night a little more based on its awesome
second set, though.
The Cinci shows were my first since the three nights at Hampton. Hampton
was an amazing experience and a ton of fun, but musically, there was some
serious rustiness intermingled with the great high points. The Cinci run
in comparison was just all-around solid... these were true Phish shows
whereas the Hampton run was more like a historic event... anyway... I have
very fond memories of both.
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 01:49:48 -0500
From: [email protected]
Subject: review of cinci night 2
Phish. A word that can mean an exemplification the live musical art. As with any piece
observed by an audience, sometimes it is liked and sometimes not. The last time I
truely was moved at a show, was at the 97 dayton show; it happened again the first
night here in cinci. The first show in Cinci had wreacked me. I don't remember feeling
what I experience that first night, as I rode out to the second night in the Queen
City. I now found myself in a parking lot, and arena, full of people that did not know
what to anticipate after the prior evening. Expectations were so high, that they
almost fell because of the obsurd level they were at. Then came the Sloth, and the
boys set everyone straight. By the first notes of Piper the arena, and I, were
grooving so hard people's legs had started seperated from their bodies. Well,
Weekapaug, had Piper not already done the job, finished the job. Chances are, this is
the best Weekapaug on record (Well my record if that counts for anything).
The euphoria of the show continued throughout the first set, and the wait during
setbreak was painful due to the anticipation. Set Two, well, let me just say, get the
tapes, there was no disapointment upon the boys return. A groovin set topped with a
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 14:01:25 -0600
From: Jeff Walls [email protected]
Subject: 2nd Night Cincy review
Lots more people in the lot. Cold rainy. Into the show.
Sloth! Surprise to me. The Sloth hit like a freight train and got everybody pumped
up.† I was gdigging it and the band was too.† Still warming up though I felt.
Dogs Stole Things.† Mound never came to my mind so the intro was slightly different.†
I actually ran to get a beer during this.† This tells me that the energy was a bit
lower than night 1, but I still felt the band was in a great mood.† I still like this
song and it was played very well.
Piper.† Now the show really starts! At least for me.† Not a huge build up here before
they start the lyrics and not long on the lyrics before they started throwin down!†
This Piper got groovin' pretty quick with a Seven Below tease in the beginning jam.
This Piper wasn't far removed from the Vegas Piper.† They would build into a frenzy
and then drop down into a groove. They did this twice until they locked into a SICK
speedy rock groove around (i think) 10 minutes in and had a PERFECT SEGUE!!!!†
FLAWLESS! The crowd of course erupted
Weekapaug was smoking and continued to smoke like Weekapaug does for around 8mins or
so.(i could be off on that) Really fun and I felt the band was back to full energy
flux ala 1st night. I think I remember Trey dancing around during this, as he would
throughout most of the Cincy shows.
Dirt. Love it and the guitar solo at the end was beautiful and perfect. a good break
after the Piper>Weekapaug.
MULE!!! SWEET! Oh how rare Mule has become. I used to cringe in 95 when I would see
it every other show (at least it seemed that way).† But now it is a highlight for me
and wound up being my second favorite portion of this show.† All the regular parts
were nailed to a tee and the energy was off the hook.† The Muel Duel was where it was
at with Phish back with more ANTICS.† A Page solo started things off with Trey egging
him on and copying him at times.† Then Trey moved towards Mike and they started this
whole wierd interchange like dance mirror thing.† It was kinda like the 2000 Vegas
thing but different.† After a bit of this Trey started in with Fish and he then
turned and faced us (behind the stage) and played the drums behind his back! It was
classic Phish shennanigans.† When they began Mule again MIKE GORDON actually was
moved enough to start dancing in a pogo dance kind of way! Oh what a place of
elegance!!!!! A+ Mule!!
WOTC. My 1st one. I thought the 1st section before the big jam would have been cooler
live than the album, but i'm not sure.† The jam kicked ass and was very powerful.
Band was in full hose mode and the energy was at full tilt.† I enjoyed this
jam...but...theres a but and I'm not sure why.
Mist. Hmmm. Mist was my favorite song in Hampton so I love this song, but not in the
1st set and not now in this place.† I used the bathroom and made it back for the
pretty ending and massaged my wifes back.
Sample. sets over.†
Overall a good 1st set with the Mule being the standout along with the
Piper>Weekapaug.† Band was having a blast which made me have a blast.†
Tube!!!!!!!!!!!! Let the dancing commence.† This was major Tube action.† A solid
10-12min version with half funk jamming led by Page(which was to become the theme of
the second set) and then the most rocking Tube I've heard.† This Tube exploded into
the Rock groove they seem to be exploring most.† I was sure this Tube would not
finish but they eventually found their way back.† BIG TIME TUBE that got the set
started right. A+
Bathtub. Bam. Through my experiences and studies, a second set, second song Gin means
BIG THINGS!† I deserve an A for my studies.† The best stand alone Gin I have seen and
I'm comparing this to the Real Gin (if i rate the Real Gin as a total package, its
the best) the Lexington Gin, Deercreek Gin, and quite a few others.† This got big
right after Trey whipped a glowstick into some kids face.† He then proceeded to
apologize for about a minute.† Funny stuff. Actually in the beginning jam Trey caught
at least 2 sticks and whipped one way out into the crowd.† It truly seemed like he
was enjoying the glowsticks. I dont know. After all that shit the band slowly started
grooving and building which found trey leading a Mind Left Body jam. I am 100%
positive thats what it was.† Maybe not a TRUE MLB but it was a good 2 minutes worth
of MLB playing, teasing, attempting.† Call it what you will.† I felt it and heard
it.† After that is when the shit hit the fan. They kept building and building until
my head was a bobble top that was going to fall off.† Such an insane intense build
that I can't begin to describe the feelings I had. When they brought that down Trey
brought the Gin theme back but made it REAL chunky like only Evil Trey can do.† That
began an extensive techno jam that Bisco fans would off creamed for.† It was all Page
for this one and it fucking kicked major tail.† The Gin had to be at least 25 minutes
and was the best jam I've heard since they have been back. HANDS DOWN. A+
Friday.† FUCK! I would have rather seen this as the encore. First time this tour I
have been bummed about a song. sucked the energy right out.† This set had achieved
All-Time status IMO, but then this? Oh well, its Phish and I'm used to shit like
this.† I got a beer and thought about the Gin.
Bowie. OK, now were talking. FOR ALL YOU BOWIE PHANS OUT THERE. PHISH HAS
REDISCOVERED DAVID BOWIE.† This version was up there with the Vegas Bowie (which is
my all-time favorite I've seen).† No real key points or notes to tell, it just raged
like Bowies hadn't done in a long time. It was a SUPER RAGER!!!
Bug??? I thought they would end the set with Bowie. I was wrong. But BUg? Wierd. It
was good though and Trey was toatally engrossed in the guitar at the end and it made
me smile and made me happy to see them so obviously feeling the love. It doesn't
matter. 3rd Bug this year with the original lyrics.† I like it better this way.† So
that was the set. It was incredible minus the Friday.
Suzi encore!! Goofy song but killer Page solos!!!!† They had the place rocking and
Trey was creaming his pants.† The energy dripping off these guys should be bottled
Trey, for the 1st time this tour I think, told everybody how great of a time they had
and how happy they are and mentioned something about the hotel fire, then said he'll
see us again.† Special stuff.
My overall feeling from the 7 shows I saw this year is that they get better and
better the more they loosen up and act like the old Phish in terms of their
goofiness.† Trey has brought a lot of Trey band type jamming with him to Phish and
Page has stepped up his game to levels he probably can't believe! Mike it may appear
is flying under the radar, but I feel he is doing a great job as well. Fish is the
only one I'm not sure of. He is awesome, but it seems he still is finding his way.†
East coasters are in store for big things because they have found the love.† No more
second guessing themselves or holding back.† Its ON!
Final (nerd) rankings for shows I've seen.
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