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: [email protected])
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 least. 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. Overall B-/C+. 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 opener Tube>Tube. 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 ever witnessed. 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). Overall A. 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. -G. Antczak
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 22:19:49 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: 02-22-03 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 night. 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 Bowie. 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 completly satisfied. † †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††† † [email protected]
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:50:14 -0600 (CST) From: Scott Gray [email protected] Subject: 2-22-03 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 Tube?!! 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 knew it! 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!!!!!!!! Scotty
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. --clay maddox
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 reasons! 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 not deserve!!! peace
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:34:39 -0500 From: Blake Rosser [email protected] Subject: 2/22/03 review 2/22 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 so long. 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. later, blakeR.
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! Live slow... Ryan Sweeney
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 present time…. 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 2-22-03 Set I: Sloth, Dogs Stole Things, Piper > Weekapaug, Dirt, SoaMule, Walls, Mist, Sample 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 interesting Gin. 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. -Sam S.
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 massive bathtub.
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 and sold.† † 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. 1. 02-21-03 2. 02-16-03 3. 02-22-03 4. 02-15-03 5. 01-04-03 6. 01-03-03 7. 01-02-03 -Jeff W.
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