2-26-03 - Worcester Centrum Centre, Worcester, MA

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

please review the show, not other reviews

Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 09:14:59 -0400 From: R J Lipsky Subject: Show Review, 2-26-03 Almost 6 months after I went to this show, I still have the urge to talk about it. It had been almost 4 years since my last show and on a whim I decided to make the half hour trip west to Worcester. Obviously there was traffic. This IS Massachusetts, right? From what I remember it was a bone-chillingly frigid night. That's being modest. It had to have been 15 degrees tops. It took me no longer than an hour to find a ticket (the 1st time I didn't have a ticket going to a show) at face value no less. Apparently it's not illegal to sell nitrous anymore because there was this dude walking around the building continuously selling bundles of balloons right in front of the cops, literally 4 feet away from the cops. I don't think Worcester's finest knew what they were. That's funny. Before I get to the show, let me say a little something about the monstrosity that is the Worcester Centrum. I don't know who designed this place, but they should have their architectural degree taken away from them. Apparently there is only one entrance and it's a secret, so good luck finding it! This place sucks! I won't go into the fact that they stopped selling beer at 8:45pm, and since there is only one toilet in this dump, dudes were pissing EVERYWHERE! I even pissed on myself for fear of missing 2-3 tunes per piss break. Just kidding. The sound inside is great but I wish Phish would play the Fleetcenter sometimes. Its just more fan friendly, I guess. Anyway, enough bitching.....on to the show. I'll try and keep it to just the highlights. Bottom line: the show was fantastic. They didn't try to do too much and I think that strategy worked for them. YEM was the opener and it was by far the BEST version I've ever heard. It's worth getting the tapes just for YEM. Maybe it was just the acoustics of the centrum, but it was crisp, lean and made you want to dance. This is a side note.....I don't think it pays to be super-critical fan and get pissed off because a chord wasn't played correctly. All that matters is these guys were having fun doing what they love and being as close to the stage as I was, you could tell they were playing as best they could. It was definitely fun to be a part of it. So have fun and stop complaining, you're lucky these guys still feel like being in a band. Thank you. The first set was full of surprises as the guys each played a song from their side-projects (clone-M, drifting-T, blue skies-J, final flight-P) and you could see in their faces how much fun they were having. Sprinkled into set were an average roggae, a VERY FUNKY moma dance, and a maze that seemed to never end. Set break was long and boring. It's a good thing they stopped selling beer so early, we wouldn't want anyone to have any fun or anything. 2nd set started out OK with a 20-minute stash. It was alright but very unassuming and didn't leave too much of an impression. Personally, I would have liked some good ol' fashion rock but that wasn't the mood or feeling of the show. The whole show was mellow and, dare I say, groovy. You know what I mean. The band then did a funktified ghost which had a smooth feel to it and many low rider teases throughout and sure enough they went into a short low rider jam that was cool as hell. Segue that into a mellow, rastafied makisupa and we had the makings of one fine set. They took m.p. into an upbeat, quicker version of ya mar (my first one in quite some time) that really woke everyone out of their weed induced coma (not too many people dancing; it may have had something to do with the dank-ass nuggets that were in circulation and the laidback vibe of the show, which is nice sometimes, damn that weed was good...). There was a dark and almost sinister guyute followed by a mellow, there's that word again, waves. Waves fit in perfectly here and I'm glad we got something from their new material, it's good stuff, give it a chance, these guys are constantly evolving. Prince caspian came out of nowhere and it left a smile on my face, anything off billy breathes is good stuff (that album is entirely underrated). Caspian went into frankenstien smoothly, unobtrusively, and perfectly, these guys are also fantastic musicians. I think they were under pressure for curfew but they squeezed out an aggressive golgi apparatus with some raging guitar work and great frankenstein teases throughout. Loving cup was the encore and I'm convinced that is the best song for an encore ever, of all time, any band, anywhere! That song kicked ass and sent me home in a great mood. This show was more than satisfying. The lights were amazing, the vibe was chill and it was a chance to get reacquainted with the band. You may hear negative things about, as I did leaving the decrepit centrum, but you've got to have the right attitude. You can't go into something with unrealistic expectations because it never lives up to them. Don't we go to these things to have fun?! This band puts everything they've got into playing as best they can, night in and night out. Isn't that enough. Unless some one is paying you to be a critic, put on a smile, drink a couple beers and enjoy the moment with friends and family. It won't last forever so enjoy it dammit! Sure, the scene is changing, the crowd is younger, but it can't be 1994 forever. Adapt to change and enjoy the best live act on earth! And don't ever go to the Worcester Centrum. Lipps
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2003 15:11:06 -0500 From: Brian Kaplan [email protected] Subject: worcester it was great to find someone willing to trade an extra worcester ticket for my extra nassau. it was even greater to see his ear to ear grin, knowing that i was feeling the same way. that's what its all about. fans enjoying the shows!...it made the show that much better for me!
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 14:19:23 -0600 From: [email protected] Subject: wooster review Well what is ther to say, I've been around, not to long that things aren't that fresh but around long enough to really know when those donuts are cookin'. Well I've described this alot this whole tour after wooster' mikes bass was like adding cream to coffee, I guess if you understand, you understand.
date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 12:26:05 -0500 From: raj mitra [email protected] Subject: 2/26/03 Worcester REview As luck would have it, I was blessed with a single ticket to Phish's sold-out Worcester show. It was the first Phish show I would be seeing alone. I was a bit nervous about the whole thing--who would I wander the parking lots with before the show? Who would I be sitting next to? Who would I chat with during set break to discuss the nuances of the music? Through the wonders of the world wide web, I found someone who need a ride to the show from Boston, and was willing to pitch in for gas, tolls, and parking. This eased most of my worries. However, my new friend Trevor had his seat in section 124, and mine was in 221, directly behind the stage. But by this point, I was no longer worried about being next to someone I knew at the show. After all, striking up a conversation at a Phish show isn't very difficult. Having experienced the awful blob of people trying to get into the venue at Hampton over a month ago, and again in New Jersey a couple days prior, I headed in shortly after doors opened at 6:30pm. I went to my seat behind the stage and proceeded to watch the Centrum fill up. I overheard one of the people next to me mention something about the Philadelphia show. I was very curious about that show, since the setlist contained many of my favorite songs, including "Slave to the Traffic Light" and "Theme from the Bottom". We chatted for a bit about that show, and attempted to predict what was in store for us tonight. Nothing we had hoped for actually got played, but by the end of the night, that was irrelevant. As the minutes ticked away, the anticipation built. Finally, around 8:30pm, the band took the stage. They started the show with a "no-nonsense" attitude, and ripped into a fantastic version of "You Enjoy Myself". The guitar solo from Trey Anastasio was full of energy, yet it kept in line with the groove that bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman laid down. Towards the end of the song, Gordon and Fishman took the spotlight for a "Bass & Drums" segment. I have seen and heard Gordon play some amazing licks, but none like the solo he took here. >From my vantage point behind the stage, I looked over at keyboardist Page McConnell, who was grinning from ear to ear and shaking his head to the groove as he looked on at Gordon. The song ended in a vocal jam, which is always a crowd pleaser due to the fantastic lighting job by Chris Kuroda. After such a heavy song, I was sure the next tune would be a short one. "Clone", which is a song Gordon penned with guitar legend Leo Kottke, was a first for Phish to play. The song sounded right at home in the Phish catalogue, and I was hoping they would have extended the song a bit. Instead, they opted for "Roggae", which contains a melodic, slow jam. At first I was disappointed with the choice, but the jam was delicate, textured, and smooth. Anastasio brings the song back to its original structure by contrasting the smooth, pretty notes with thick, grungy power chords. When the band started up "Drifting", an Anastasio original that has been played by his solo band, but not yet by Phish, I knew the band had some tricks up their sleeves. I suspected, and rightly so, that the band was playing one tune from each member's solo outing. Fishman's bluegrass tune "Blue Skies" was surprisingly good, as was McConnell's "Final Flight" (which, interestingly enough, has never been performed live by his band Vida Blue). All four solo tunes were well played (especially considering it was their first time performed), but none of them contained any sort of jam, save "Drifting", which was a little too similar to "Roggae". In between "Blue Skies" and "Final Flight", the band fired up "The Moma Dance". The slow, funky groove of this song is irresistible. Most versions of this song are straightforward, high-energy dance tunes. Tonight's version was the exception. The band went on a 14 minute exploratory jam, which included a keyboard breakdown and the sounds of a large bell, which Gordon stomped on several times during the song. This is certainly one of the best versions of "The Moma Dance" out there. I highly recommend seeking out a recording. The set ended with "Maze", a crowd favorite. I normally don't enjoy this song, but again, tonight was the exception. After an incredible solo from McConnell, Anastasio shredded the place with his guitar, climaxing the song twice before the set ended. This is by far the best "Maze" I have seen or heard. At set break, I conversed with the people around me. We all agreed that it was hot set, and we tried to name our favorite moments. "The Maze, definitely....no, wait, the Moma was awesome too....oh, yeah, the YEM! I forgot about that!". No one could really decide what was the standout, since they were all such amazing versions. We also all agreed on the incredible sound at the Centrum. Every tinkle of the piano, every slap of the bass, every tap of the ride was perfectly clear and crisp. This may have been because we were behind the stage, but I suspect the sound was pretty good in most of the venue. The lights went down again at 10:30pm, and the band again started another set with a 20 minute version of "Stash". Aside from the powerful guitar solo which the song is known for, this version also featured a groove. Gordon and Fishman had some serious chemistry this night, and it was coming through in almost every song. When the "Stash" finally ended, I did not expect another jam. Of course, Phish proved me wrong again, by starting up "Ghost". The slow, minimalist intro had me unsure of what song was being played, until the whole band launched into it. This "Ghost" had the thick grooves of "The Moma Dance" and "You Enjoy Myself". Many versions of "Ghost" get very dark and heavy, but this version got thick and upbeat. McConnell's piano added a wonderful texture to the song, and at points it sounded like 70's Motown. Anastasio continued the 70's theme by launching into the melody from "Low Rider", which really got the crowd excited. Soon after, he slowed things down by starting up "Makisupa Policeman". Although this tune does not have a jam comparable to "Stash" or "Ghost", it is a crowd pleaser. Towards the end of this tune, Anastasio again changed the tune by playing the opening chords to "Ya Mar". Another crowd favorite, this version was well-played and fun. The technically complex "Guyute" followed, which contains no elements of a jam, but does have a lot of energy, thanks to the crowd. "Prince Caspian" is a nice mellow tune, but, like "Roggae", it is a tune that normally gets quieter and quieter until the whole band comes back very loudly at the end of it. However, during his solo, Anastasio expertly began playing a riff from the middle section of the Edgar Winter Band hit "Frankenstein". The whole band took his cue and they jumped into the beginning of "Frankenstein". No one saw this coming, myself included. The crowd was overjoyed, and rightly so. A "Frankenstein" tease in the set closer "Golgi Apparatus" was a nice finishing touch. As the sent ended, I looked at my watch. Midnight. I thought the venue curfew would force a very short encore. Once again, I couldn't have been more wrong. The band returned to the stage for a 10 minute version of the Rolling Stone's "Loving Cup". This is always a fun song to hear, but in this version, Anastasio took the guitar solo to incredible heights, charting new territory that is normally not part of the song. When the lights went up, I took a minute to ponder what had just transpired. Of the 17 Phish shows I have been fortunate enough to see, this was definitely in the top five. Nights like these are the very reason I keep seeing Phish perform. The exploratory jams don't always work out at Phish shows, but when they do, you get an amazing night like this one.
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:57:17 -0500 From: Jeffrey P. Scogland [email protected] Subject: worcester thoughts I just wanted to weigh in on a few things that have come up - or not - in the other reviews. First off, I agree with the people who say that phish is too big for the centrum. It is unfortunate, but 4 urinals doesn't cut it folks (even with the use of sinks it still took almostthe entire setbreak toleave a leak). Getting in the venue at 730 was pretty easy if you went to a rear entrance, there were 4 people in line ahead of me - I heard it was a big wait out front. The traffic was bad unless you gotthere real early. $20 was almost a standard for parking. It would be nicer if people didn't walk in the middle of the 'streets' in the parking garages - they mightanswer the question of why it tookso long to get to an open spot. All of the above arenot big-time complaints and were all completely overshadowed by the music (and would have been on even a bad night of phish). Great music, but my highlight was Ghost -easily the best version I've heard. One review said that Guyute wasflawless? - I will disagree with that, keeping in mind it is a difficult song to play. Trey definitely messed up, but who cares? They moved on and rocked the place - sick show. In Makisupa the 'word' was about burning downthe hotel....while at the show I thought it was inappropriate, but I didn't know about the hotel fire in cini. Still, considering the magnitude of RI, I wassurprisedhe went their.No big deal, I just thought it was odd at the time. I was so wiped out and couldn't believe how long the second set was - there's some value! Golgi was such a surprise....I was beat! At setbrerak I saw some kid passout by the stairs near section 201 I think. Everybody can yell for a medic, but unless somebody gets one, they won't come. Anyway, I hope he was OK - if anybody knew him or knows how he didlet me know.Worcester - I hope I don't have to go back, but if phish does - I will be there. Jeff
Date: Mon, 03 Mar 2003 20:45:06 -0500 From: Eric Hendriks [email protected] Subject: 02-26-03 centrum style My review of the Phish show at the centrum. Well seeing as how it was my very first show I have no other phish shows to compare it to but I will say it was one of the best shows of my life. And I have seen alot of music. First set I was watching phish play things they have never played before with the side project theme....and so was everyone else! I fit right in. The YEM opener.....something that wasnt done since 1989........and Drifting is just such a joyful tune.....all smiles every time I hear it......Unreal! The vocal jam with the lightwork.......definately bitchin. I didnt stop moving the whole show.....heck im still movin. 19 minutes worth of stash....cmon! I wont even go into the second set. Show of all shows! good ice breaker for me I think. Im stoked to be part of the vibe. ~E
Date: 28 Feb 2003 20:24:42 EDT From: [email protected] Subject: worchester review 2/26/03 let me start this off by saying i have never written a review to a phish show before, and wednesday night in worchester was my 40th show. i hadn't seen a show since shoreline 2000 (which made it a special treat for me to hear a yem opener, since it was the last song at shoreline.) here's a side note you might want to skip if you don't want to hear bitching about the scene: why is it that so many people looked at me like i'm a scumbag for not having a ticket and walking around with a sign that says cash or trade for your extra? all i can say is i'm a bigger fan than a lot of the people walking around with tickets that call themselves fans, so phuck you. sorry about the rant but i had to get that off my chest. i ended up getting a ticket in the lot for $40. thank you forever and ever to the man who sold me that ticket. you made my year. the you enjoy myself opener was the shit. when they started chanting clone in the vocal jam i got kind of weirded out but in a good way. i don't remember much about the actual song clone perhaps since it was the first time i'd heard it, but i'm a huge mike fan so i was into it at the time. moving on to roggae...this has been one of my favorite tunes since it's debut. the jam section is devine, the kind of reflective, melodic improvisation that i love phish for. i thought this version was top notch, and i have seen this song a dozen or so times. to hear the opening notes of driftin' was the biggest suprise so far to me, i thought they sounded a little lost the first time they went to the "storm is liftin" part but nonetheless the song sent me to a good place. i was lost during blue skies, no idea what it was and not a big bluegrass fan, but a nice break before THE MOMA DANCE...in my opinion this is the song that really made this set take off into hyperspace. the jam was more spacey than funky which was okay with me since i was pretty spun. "the moment ends though i feel winds" line really captured something to me about seeing phish again after such a long break. final flight was interesting since on the album there was no guitar and in the phish version trey seemed to be dominating the song a little. by the time the opening music to maze started i was losing my shit and dancing through the halls. i loved the long dark, treacherous jam that seemed never-ending. setbreak was torture. i remember talking to a guy named mike who was really nice about the set and how it could be topped. then STASH. this stash seemed in an old school fashion, trey softly speaking the "dangled my stash part" ala a live one. this song really made me want to scream the words at the top of my lungs "cause if it is my life i sought..." now ghost. i had seen a sick ghost in worchester in 97 and i'm not sure that this tops it but damn, it was nice to hear. created all the apropriate spooky feelings and made me wonder a little about trey's sanity (strictly from the guitar playing). i thought for some reason this would turn into gumbo but makisupa showed up instead. the "policeman came to my hotel" i thought was more in reference to paul languedoc getting arrested in worchester in 98, but i guess not. this also made me remember trey wearing a hat on letterman that said "bad hotel." significant? perhaps only to my chemical soaked brain. Ya Mar is one of those songs i'm always happy to hear. the play it leo part was truly the cat's meow. go page go. guyute is one of those songs i've seen too many times, i suppose i would have liked to see something else here, but i still enjoyed it, though not as much as WAVES. alot of fans are dissing the new cd, but i love all the songs and think it is their most fresh studio work yet. i was actually sad to only get one song off the album, but glad it was this one. the words to this are it's best aspect. "and slip into the dark of night/as i attempt to stay upright" makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. there was not much improv in this song but that's probably better off, to fit more tunes in. prince caspian was a great version, i thought it was appropriate to play after waves and i say fooey to people who hate this song. now i think it's obvious that frankenstein was the big suprise of the night, period. i hadn't seen it since vegas 2000 and i love the part with the strobes. golgi was a perfect touch, especially since i went to this show with my friends and i not expecting to get in (only half of us did). the loving cup encore seems standard if you're just looking at the setlist, but you got to hear this version. i don't think i've ever heard such a jam come out of loving cup. i was sent out into the dark of night to find my friends and try to safely find our way back home. we partied all night and pushed on til' the day, late in the afternoon as i thought about several parts of the show, for the first time ever because of a phish concert, i cried. you can laugh all you want at this, but thinking about how great of a phish show that was...i was literally sobbing into my hands. my friends and girlfriend wondered why and kind of teased me about it...but damn. i was crying because i was happy. happy to see phish, happy to see the fans again, and most of all, happy to be alive. thank you phish for the best phish show i've ever seen. a 15 out of 10. til next time, sideshow bob. (sorry about the length of this review.)
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 16:59:26 -0800 (PST) From: Brendan Opiekun [email protected] Subject: Worcester Centrum 2/26/03 Welcome home boys I guess you could consider me a pretty critical Phish fan.. Or at least an eccentric and astute Phish connoisseur depending on how well you know me. I know that a show is only half as good as it looks on paper, and that I've had an itch for the past 2 1/2 years that wouldn't be satisfied until I saw my band play again.. I go to shows for one reason only, the music and ensuing jam. Tonight's show was to be my 27'th overall and the first post-hiatus. In the past I've always tried to keep an open mind whenever going into a show, but all the negative reviews for many of the tour stops thus far had me feeling a little uncertain.. ..Once the lights went down and the band launched into YEM, any uncertainty immediately evaporated from my conscience. It was ear to ear smiles all around as the boys opened their homecoming act. I mean, people were literally throwing down as the place erupted. There could not have been a more perfect opener.. I knew right then why I had fallen in love with this band eight years ago. Phish was back, and it was to be a night remembered, continuing the tradition laid down in 93 with amazing shows from start to finish at this legendary venue. Oh yeah, did I mention that the YEM was an absolutely insane opener? All the major sections were nailed as was the perfected tramp act. Trey led the developing jam which just built and built into crescendo, getting heavier and building power. At the point where it was about to explode, Mike busted into the super-sticky-gooey bass jam that I had been craving. His bass sounded so good, so space-funkish. And you have to love when a vocal jam segues into another song as was the case here tonight with Mike and Trey singing the lines to Mike and Leo Kotke's CLONE before going into it.. It reminded me of my first Worcester show, 11/28/97's YEM > I DIDN'T KNOW. I have to comment that the ROGGAE was probably the most delicate and flawless version I've ever seen live. The band added their own fills, and kept it light and peaceful. The quiet interlude of Page's piano playing off of Trey's guitar, and Mike's bass was all quite beautiful and intricately played. The jam was quite moving through the quiet part before the flawlessly played power chords which signaled the end of the song. MOMA DANCE was slow and real funky. They jammed this in a manner I've never heard before. A completely fresh style polished off with a real techno-style Beck-like jam at around the 8 minute mark. Mike was all over this one laying down a thick and bouncy bass line while Trey coasted the surface. Page added his own tinkerings while Fish kept the tempo up. It was light, fun, and of a completely original style. They brought the jam back around at about 13 minutes and ended it. This set closing MAZE was HOT!! In 99 and 00, I had begun to lose hope in this song as it began sounding a little uninspired and tired sounding. This MAZE tonight however, was energetic and had a real dark jam. It briefly travelled to a spooky place that I had not seen live since maybe the 11/27/98's post WEEKAPAUG jam, or maybe better yet, the 12/31/99's ROCK N' ROLL at the 17 minute point. It was layer upon layer of textural theme with Trey's technical guitar riffs over a raging back beat. Sweet bliss in a swelling cacophony of sound and light. It offered relief as it peaked and ended the set, restoring my faith in this classic. Overall the first set was a great opener and prelude to some really great jams in the second half. This first set was a bit relaxed and laid back, but complete with the solo project material, it made for and interesting listen even though some fans were griping with the song selections. Set two was pretty solid, it was real fun and contained some real sweet jamming which was very experimental and new sounding to my ears. The STASH and GHOST that opened the set were in a sense, completely inspired and excited-to-be-back-sounding. The jam out of STASH was light and playful. In contrast to jams of the past, Trey laid back in the mix instead of trying to steer the jam. He and the others patiently let the jam grow and breath, taking on a life of it's own. Each member contributed in subtle ways. Mike's brief bass pops, Page's Medeski'ish noodlings.. The jam sounded like it was ready for a segue as it continued to build in intensity, before dropping off into a powerful almost ambient sound. It finally wound back into its coda and finished at about 19 minutes. STASH was an experiment that for the most part, was pretty successful and intense. I found the boys having plenty of space to jam within the song, but different from the group jamming which was the hallmark of 97 through 00. It was more loose and less directed. This GHOST that followed was probably the happiest and most upbeat version of the song I've heard to date. It was also very light and definitely not scary as versions from previous tours. It still contained the funk at first, but the funk quickly dissolved and wound it's way into an uptempo beat that Mike started.. Almost BOOGIE ON REGGAE WOMAN'ish. Trey again sat back in this jam and only added guitar fills to plug the holes. Again, like STASH, every band member patiently let the jam build and breath on it's own. At one point I thought I heard maybe a FIRST TUBE or SAND on its way in.. The resulting sound brought a smile to my face. Phish was doing the very thing which I love them most for. It's what separates them from every other band on Earth. Their ability to morph sound and rhythm while keeping in tune with one another the whole time. The improvisation of this tune was kept within the confines of Mike's bass line, and allowed Page to explore and create funky sounds and tone in tune with Trey's guitar. Page jumped to the baby grand and Trey took over. He let out some heavy riffs and steered the jam into the LOW RIDER theme.. I thought they were going to do a complete rendition with Mike singing, a la 11/23/97 Winston-Salem. But Trey instead played the vocal parts of the jam on guitar with a heavy feel. This continued for about two minutes before smoothly segueing into a very short MAKISUPA complete with hotel fire lyrics reffering to the Cinnci hotel fire. YAMAR segued out of MAKISPUA and was another light and playful version as always complete with Trey yelling at Page," play it Leo Kotke!!" I have to say that by the end of 00, GUYUTE was a song that I felt was extremely overplayed. Tonight's was intense, sweet, yet powerful. The crowd fed off the jam and Chris' evil reds and bright whites. It was nearly flawless and quite intricate. I mean, the song in itself is truly great when it is less heavily rotated by the band. Much like THEME FROM THE BOTTOM when it was played constantly in 97. But when you hear it now, like in the set closing Providence 12/13/99 version or Philly's 2/25/03 sixteen minute masterpiece, it's really quite beautiful As was the case with tonight's GUYUTE, nice placement and energy. The LOVING CUP encore was amazing as well. I've never heard a version jam so hard. The band absolutely nailed the composed section and an intense jam ensued. It contained some sustained power chords from Trey and interesting polyrhythms. I thought they would segue this song at that point when the jam was at its peak. It certainly went for extra measures and is maybe the longest on record to date clocking in at about twelve minutes. The ending had a feedback jam and again I thought we were going to get one more. I seriously thought they were going to bust into FUNKY BITCH for some reason. But with it about 12:30 am I knew it was over.. Second set was fun complete with great jams and song choices. I was unfamiliar with a live version of WAVES but think it has much potential to become a jam masterpiece much like DOWN WITH DISEASE in 94. FRANKENSTEIN and GOLGI were also high energy and intense. Tonight's show was by far, way more than I expected or hoped it would be. It was absolutely amazing and fun. My faith in the bands playing has been completely restored tenfold, and then some!! It's great to see the band play with a renewed sense of interest and enthusiasm in their own music. I have to admit, I was maybe a bit jaded and spoiled from the 97 and 98 tours by 00.. But with the inspired playing that I soberly witnessed tonight, I am completely stoked for summer tour and like-wise for the near future. The band was deadly on, even if some of the composed parts of songs were still a bit rusty. It will only improve and further develop for a long time to come. The crowd from what I saw tonight was polite and completely into the show. If you were not there tonight, get the disks and listen for yourself! The boys was so excited to play and it completely showed.. And I haven't seen that from all four of them at once in a long, long time.. peace, Brendan
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 20:43:17 EST From: [email protected] Subject: worcester review after jersey i thought phish had lost something important and was less excited about the worcester show, BUT.......worcester was a sick ass show beggining to end, people who say the first set wasnt that good , im sorry i just cant agree....i thought everything was tight and nothing dragged....it was great to hear new songs not on round room, i thought the side project theme added intimacy to the set too. the second set was amazing...stash was superb and never got boring, i thought i heard a "manteca" coming in the middle, only in my dreams i guess. ghost; what to say, best ghost ive heard in years, tight beggining into a sick ass jam, early on they were teasing away and changing up the jam constantly. me and my buddy think we heard "lady maddona" teases from page, "first tube" themes in there, trey definitely played the "eat the rich" lick by aerosmith...and "makisupa" teases were in effect long before even the "low rider' jam. i wont go into every song but i will say that this entire show was amazing, no complaints at all....the frankenstien kicked my teeth in cause i hadnt seen them play it before and had wanted it for years...a great show on all parts.
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 00:13:11 -0500 From: Kevin Broydrick [email protected] Subject: Phish Review 2-26-02 Two things, event parking was $20! Damn the man, and we were in the very back row directly behind the stage, and man, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Set I: YEM- Oh man, we've known the phantastic four in past tours to nearly always do new songs as openers, totally NOT the case on this tour and I was happy about it. The new album is great but, come on, a freakin' YEM opener! VERY tight jamming and some very cool lines in the super funky jam, actually sounded quite a bit like a Mike's jam from summer 97' great opener. Clone- Of course nobody in the audience, including myself I'm sorry to admit, new what this was immediately until the word started circulating. Not really that memorable but once again very tight. The fact that a Mike/Leo song can be translated into a cool sounding Phish live tune says a lot about the diversity of Phish Roggae- I've always dug live Ghost tunes more than the studio versions, and that's especially true with Roggae. Great version, spacey solid jamming, eerily beautiful Drifting- I saw Trey solo in November in Portland, Maine (where I live) and went nuts when he played this, it's one of my favorite Trey solo tunes, I went even more nuts when they played it here. As soon as they started into it I had no idea how they were going to pull off the harmonies, but I was amazed, this was as good as any version Trey played solo, and it also incorporated the signature jam style that sometimes lacked when Trey was the frontman. Really outstanding. Blue Skies- Another even more embarassing admission: I have barely listened to any PT, much less seen them live, so this one also took me by surprise, I think at this point everybody appreciated what the guys were doing, but we were all feeling eager for a 'pick me up', a blue grass tune didn't feel right here, of course if it had been 'Poor Heart' it probably would have felt right, because 'Poor Heart' never feels wrong, but it wasn't, definately not intolerable, but not spectacular either, I was still dancing away though, and I was only gonna dance more for MOMA! - HOLY SHIT, well maybe not holy shit, the jam wasn't stellar, but this tune was carrying on what I had noticed all night, how TIGHT the boys were, even though this song had a bit of the usual first set energy deficiancy, I really believe it is impossible for phish to play a bad moma, I was going nuts, my buddy was going nuts, the girls in front of us smoking our cloves were going nuts, it was generally nuts Final Flight - Oh man am I gonna get ripped for this, but I have to say it, Page, you are an outstanding performer and I respect you as much as all other members of the band, but Vida Blue was, well, less than good. How can you play a rockin moma and then go into final flight? Bah! Maze- Alright this one's gonna take a while. By this point some nausea had crept up on me (no due to influence, but all I had eaten that day was pretzels and water, the water was a good plan, the pretzels needed accompaniment, to make a long story short I ended up having to go to the bathroom during maze to splash my face and then suddenly and without warning throwing up the middle of the concourse on my way back to my seat and in turn having to go BACK to the bathroom (anybody who saw that kid throw up in the concourse in the "stage left behind the stage" area, yeah that was me, what a loser. The moral of the story is that I DID get to watch the lights kick in on "overhead view... in a maze DAAA DAAAA" something utterly beautiful to behold. And what I heard of the song sounded really good, but unfortunately I can't tell you much more than that. I was alright though for SET II Stash - This is, without a doubt, the best Stash I have ever heard, period. No exaggeration. Worth the price of admission, worth way more than the price of admission. Incendiary guitar soloing, epic buildups, 13,000 people screaming "ohohohohohoh" louder than I had ever heard before. Thank GOD that I was not sick for this one, no let me correct that, I couldn't have been sick for this one. This jam could have taken me from the brink of death to the prime of life. Sound extreme? Get the fucking tape. Ghost- Wow, just thinking about this second set is giving me good vibes right now. Ghost, after some wicked experimentation (like wicked bad), particularly in 97' (remember Lemonwheel, ugh), has come home to good old fashion jazzy funk. I would love to see John Medeski sit in with the guys on this one because it's a smooth styled song that would be perfect for MMW to cover, you know, if they sang, aside from the PERFECTLY inserted "Low rider" tease,pretty standard but the best thing was the transition into... Makisupa - Makisupa puts a smile on my face, it's just that kind of song. Nothingextraordinary here, just lots of smiles. into... (these two songs were just made to be segued) Ya Mar - The guy sitting next to me leaned over in severely gone stupor and yelled, "DUDE I JUST REALIZED, THIS SONG IS ABOUT HAVING A REALLY SHITTY FATHER! MAN I NEVER GOT THE BEFORE!" Right on bro. Great audience participation in the chorus, everybody was diggin' in, and an excellent, excellent "PLAY IT LEO!" Guyute - Man what a fun set, this kept it going. Flawless guitar work that is of course central to this song, no flubs that I heard at all. Trey was right on and everybody was loving it. Lots of smiles from the band and even more from the crowd. I love whistling along and this was an outstanding version of this sometimes overzealous song Waves- I don't like waves that much but I really liked this version. This song does have a tendency to drag on (hint: listen to Round Room) but all in all it maintained the high energy level, but that energy was about to get much higher Prince Caspian - Oh man, this is without a doubt, the best two chord singalong chorus EVER! So easy to play, so much fun to listen to, even more funnerer to sing. I was so euphoric during this song, my buddy leaned over to me and said "This is SOOOOOO Trey" I corrected him by saying "This is SOOOOOOO Phish man", "RIGHT ON!" he replied, good times, most unexpected and brilliant segue I've ever heard. No exaggeration, one of the best segues I've EVER heard into... Frankenstein- Man, these guys could play this song at every show and nobody would complain, more energy on this version than I've maybe heard on any other, so tight, so long, such and amazing climax, I gizzed in my pants twice Golgi Apparatus- It occured to me at this point that this whole set really was like a big orgasm, starting out smooth with a few spikes of energy hear and there, then getting just plain fun, and then, with caspian, turning from fun to intense and building and building. AND YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD ALREADY BLOWN YOUR LOAD! HAH! NEWBIE! I'm sounding like a broken record but man what a great Golgi, this is another song that can almost never dissapoint, as long as the boys don't flub the climax, which I've only heard happen twice, this song is automatically a crowd killer. Great way to end the show. ENCORE: Loving Cup- What can I say about this loving cup, I'll just say about it what Hunter S. Thompson said about Fear and Loathing is Las Vegas, it was as good as "The Great Gatsby" and better than "The Sun Also Rises", man, poor Hemmingway, his greatest novel can't even stand up to a "Loving Cup". Nowhere in "The Sun Also Rises" do you find the line "and I know I play a bad guitar" followed by thousands of fans screaming at the top of their lungs. The jam on this one was simply phenomenal, the only one I've heard that comes to mind that I liked better was the Went. This one was flawless, one of the best encores I've ever heard, certainly the best I've seen. The ending jam was very Peter Frampton "Do You Feel Like We Do" esque. Simply amazing. Well there you have it, a stellar show (Phish seems to be playing a lot of those lately), and with that I'm off to bed. Peace, and remember, vote republican, it's easier than thinking. -Kevin Broydrick
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:09:09 -0500 From: Joe Joyce [email protected] Let me start by saying I have been seeing Phish since 1991, have seen all their festivals, Clifford,Went,Lemon,Oswego,Cypress, I have all their albums, including solo projects,...its been real for sure...and I really love them alot. That said...I was really looking forward to worcester after seeing them NYE in NY which totally rocked. I scored lats minute 7th row seats, avoided traffic, got a great free parking spot, and was drinking double vodkas on the rocks before showtime...life was grand good karma...onto the show. 1st set YEM: Amazing opener! Maybe the best ever. Totally sick! Worth the price of admission. Clones- Holy hell! I heard this real quick. During the haitus I always wondered and hoped they would incorporate their solo work into Phish. Here they were doing it. Mike/Leo's Album is a work of art. Clones is a great song. Diggin it. Love looking around at all so called "real" Phish fans with the puzzled looks on their faces while mr. clean cut(me) is in the zone of clones. Get the album boys. What can I say. Roggae- Always welcome. Always beautiful. Phish were in the groove Drifting- Holy CRAP!!! Love this song...more solo work. Absolutely gorgeous...more puzzled looks from newbies, wannabes, diehards, whatever you wanna call yourselves...I was in Phish Bliss so excited they were doing this.. Blue Skies- AGAIN! Now Fishman's Pork Tornado...Bluegrass! Woo Hoo! Great upbeat happy song. For the lost souls waiting for a Phish song they knew to be played I hope you were able to enjoy this because I thought it was just magical and very real. Very Phish. MOMA DANCE- Crowd erupts...Finally something the masses know. Standard version. Lots of Funk..jam get a bit lost...solid anyhow...groove is still on....VIDA BLUE up next.... FINAL NIGHT- I was hoping for a spacey dance rave funkified beat like CK5 which totally would have ripped in this spot...but instead I felt like this Ballad from VIDA BLUE sucked the life from the set...at least for me. I did not like this song. I sat for the first time. MAZE- INTENSE! Great version. Great to see. Again I think Phish is still getting their footing or something, or Trey trying to hard...but the jam was long, became dark and lost me...by the time they came back...I had lost interest...and was ready for set break. I felt a little disappointed in that this set had the potential to be so beautiful...but the last two songs kind of put a bad taste in my mouth.....solid 8.5 for the set. On NYE at the garden there was not a moment where I thought the jams were a bit excessive. I did not hear any wasted notes being played. I felt every note had a purpose. On this night from MOMA on I felt Trey indulging quite a bit, which is totally his right to do so, but I do prefer to remain in the framework of the song. That is just me...I realize many of you crave the epic long jams...I would many times like to hear another song instead...but I know that is how the ball bounces at the Phish show. On to the second set which would prove to have MANY long epic jams at the start...and then a full sprint to the finish 2nd set Stash- Classic Phish. Great opener. Not the greatest but definitely solid. Again the jam gets ugly, wasted notes, and I become less enthused as Trey Fucks himself again. Whatever. Great Start. Ghost- YES! nice second song...Funky & Spacey...nice drawn out version...these two songs were like an hour combined. I was beginning to think we were going to get one of those classic 4 song second sets...boy was I wrong....into LOW RIDER TEASE....I thought they were going to go into WIPEOUT which would have been totally cool...this was fun..I was hoping they would not go into the song..and waste more time...thank god they did not...instead Makisupa Police man- NICE! Fun for sure...but the burned down the hotel comment I did not find very funny after the tragic events in Rhode Island and Connecticut in the past week. Chalk it up to Trey not thinking of a better joke at the top of his head.>>>>Into YA MAR!!! This is where the set just takes off...all is grand and people are just going crazy. Standard version. Play it Leo was so great to hear again GUYUTE- UGH. This song killed me. This is like my 9thtime hearing it seems. Like every show I go to. I have had enough of this song to never hear it again....but everyone in the crowd seemed excited. It always sound like half the crowd is like YES!!! and the other half is like CRAP!!! Kinda funny how it always sounds mixed. Anyway...perfectly executed, sounded great...and was enjoyable...AS ALWAYS....it always wins me over in the end. I was nice and close just watching Trey & Mike just shredding up the frets during this song. So Talented. WAVES- Love this song. I like the psychadelic easy groove to this song...it turns the hall into a rave. Not as good as NYE but still great to hear of the new ones. Prince Caspian-floaing on the Waves...I liked the connection to the previous song...but that was about it. This song in the past has moved me, But I think I may be done with it. FRANKENSTEIN- Ripping Standard version. Can't complain, but again would have liked something else Golgi Apparatus...Totally Ripping...crowd going nuts...but to me another throw away song...as song when I see on a setlist and am glad they won't be playing it on my night. Well here they were doing it again for the 20th time along with guyute. I realize I may sound bitter...and you can't always get what you want. It's just you get to see them so rarely you hope for a life changing moment...I'm sorry but Guyute,Caspian,Frankenstein,Golgi Apparatus are not life changing...and IMO are total throw away songs. I realize it is important to just enjoy the moment and I did, just sad thats all knowing that the end was near, and there so much I would rather be experiencing then "I SAW YOU WITH A TICKET STUB IN YOU HAND!" I mean how many times can they play that? Encore: I said to my friend they are either going to shit the bed here and play Friday or anything but me...or they are going to save the day and play LOVING CUP. Well guess what they did! Totally called it. Phish rocked it as always...and now that I look back on that night. The show totally kicked ass...there were some drawn out jams that went nowhere, and some stupid songs that I don't prefer, but besides that a solid effort and a great time. Worth a listen.
ate: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 07:22:17 -0800 (PST) From: Richard Rosa [email protected] Subject: Re: 2/26/03 Here it is...sorry about the mix up! ---------------------------------------------- This is the first review i have ever written. Ive been to over 50 phish shows, and I can honestly say that this is one of the best performances I've ever seen. I went to the jersey show, which was the first show that I had been to since the hiatus. i thoroughly enjoyed the Jerz show, but Worcester absoulutley BLEW IT AWAY. Getting into the venue was a little rough, but not as bad as jerz. The vibe at the centrum was WAY more laid back than in jerz. there was barely a security presence all night....there were barely any toilets in the bathrooms as well! YEM: are you fucking kidding me??!!.. that was the general sentiment of the crowd when they opend up with this gem. I thought the DWD in jerz was tight as an opener, but this was the SHIT!..it totally set the tone for what was to become an unforgettable night...it was a great YEM overall, and for once, i didn't mind the mouth jam( as it had been sooo long...)...you could feel that the funk was commin on.. Clone: wasnt sure what song it was at first, but i knew it was a mike tune. i went to see him and leo at the sanders theatre at harvard (great show) and recognized it as soon as the verse started. I liked the song when mike and leo played it, but LOVED it when phish played it...it had a really fresh, funky groove to it, and the harmonies on the chorus were tight..i do wish that they jammed it out... Rogae: perfect timing for this one...at this point I realized that the BAND was in top form, and all of the members would be show-cased...jerz was "trey's night", with BB coming out to trade licks...it really turned in to the Bb and trey show...the jam was very "pleasant" ..melodic, and page was really "splashing the canvas" with some nice riffs Drifting: Very nice! this was one of my favorites from the trey tour..and it sounded great in the phish setting. ..it was great to see this song, and clone in the same set, proving that tonight was going to be a group effort..the jam was very happy and tight..trey was really starting to feel it at this point,..he started with the nice dynamics and the guitar swells... blue skies: never heard this one before..bluegrass tune with fishman on lead vocals..i was really craving the funk, so i wasnt really into this one, but it was played well and added to the "group effort" vibe of the night Moma dance: Here's comes the funk! this is what i was waiting for! this was the release of the tension that they created with the YEM jam...the verses and chorus were tight as hell, and the jam was hypnotic....I compare most hypnotic jams to the ACDC bag from MSG 12/97, and this moma came close! Im talking just tight, thick, creamy grooves, accented by sonic treats by page. trey wasnt really utulizing the the whole loops groove, but the jam was spacey, none the less... Final Flight: first time on this one as well..didnt really do anythng for me, but i was still freaking from the moma!! Maze: Duuuuude!! best version Ive ever heard live! this is one of my favorite songs to begin with, so I was phsyced from the start....they were still feeling the "funk hangover" from the moma, and implemeted it beautifully..page's solo was funky, with trey laying down a solid groove..then,..trey's solo was sick!..very rythmic and minimal..building tension all the while...teasing the crowd by avoiding that peak note...until...BANG!! blinding lights, trey's high notes, ripping up the stage..unbeleiveable,..the crowd was blown away by this one 2nd set: Stash: one of my favorites..wasnt expecting this one at all..it was a perfect 2nd set opener, very dark...the place was really rockin'..security was nowhere to be seen, so by the 2nd set people were really in mode! trey took this one to that dark place that he goes to sometimes, that i love...but not right away,..the jam was engulfed in this 1-3-5 "major" jam for a while..it was quite positive for a stash, fishman also started playing the the jam in 1/2 time, slowing it down..kind of like a dazed and confused jam by zep..it materialized into a great peak and really fired everyone up for a sick 2nd set. Ghost: perfect. that pretty much sums it up...this one continued the funk from the 1st set...very tight jam, long, rythmic, chunky as hell..real thick..LOVED it. i knew i was at a special show at this point, and was savoring it,...jus gnawing on this meaty, juicy solid ghost... Makisupa: this one seemed to come spontaneously..trey just kicked into it out of the ghost jam..it was very nice, mellow and fit the vibe of the centrum perfectly. it wasn't too long..but a nice jam, with page and mike just dropping bombs! Ya mar: again,.this one didnt seemed planned..trey just kicked into it, and it was great! mike got a lot of love from the crowd (as usuall), as this is really his anthem. trey's solo in this one was a standout..it was really nice, old-school trey just building a great solo,...wasnt very long, but that was OK with me.. Guyute: YES! this was perfect..love this tune! it holds a special place with me, as it reminds me of the first time they played it at Lehigh in 94...this song is on the same level as YEM (without the jam) in my mind... it was soo good to hear it, and the band really seemed into it...the dark jam before the great triumphant peak was awesome..so nice!! Waves: a little surprised by this one, as they had just played it in Jerz, but i dig this tune..especially the jam at then end, It reminds me of the Simple jam, but faster...trey is obviously into this tune, so im willing to give it a chance..its a nice jam which really showcases trey's soloing through simple chord changes. P. Casp: only song that i would have been ok without, although the jam was tight as hell...it still had that chunky feel (circa '97) which is rare for this tune...its a crowd favorite, and puts smiles on a lot of faces... Frankenstein: Again,..this one didnt seemed planned,...trey just broke into it, while coming out of the Prince jam....it was a solid version, and the crowd really got into it... Golgi: YES!!! so nice..just when i thought the set was over, they kick into this one, (again, it didnt seemed planned) and really fire up the crowd, that is already blown away....the lights were great all show, and so nice on this one (you know, the whole "I SAW YOU!!", bright lights on the crowd) this is a sentimental tune for a lot of old school phans, and this version didn't disappoint... E: Loving Cup: sickest version Ive ever heard...fit the vibe perfectly. everyone was feeling the "buzz". the jam at the end was funky as hell, keeping with the theme of the night...and trey really dragged the ending out, in a good way.. i didnt want it to end, but i was thoroughly satisfied. SICK show...sooo good to be back!! :)
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 08:28:47 -0500 From: JamesG [email protected] Subject: Review Worcester 2/26/2003 Here's my review. Set I YEM-Good journey through the modal and groove building openings. The crowd cheers with each transition in the groove drowned out the low volume 1st song reality. Lot's of ear-cupping here and throughout the 1st set. Trey hits great peaks during the jam CLONE-always great to experience a break-out. Speedy airy groove that made sense of the vocal jam as I was not familiar with this one. ROGGAE-great tune with a comment on the scene...the Circus is the place for me! Final power chord crash after jam hidden a little and brought in through the service entrance. DRIFTING-Pretty song with idealistic imagery. BLUE SKIES-Bluegrass is always good Trey and Fish share vocals. No real heavy chicken-pickin'. Moma-1st set Moma with limited jamming on the guitar hook that drives most rocking Momas. Mild funk for those whose chemicals were kicking in. FINAL FLIGHT-Nice chord progression. Trey seemed to enjoy exploring the tonal landscape of this song. Page might have played his end jam out a little more. The crowd seemed to want to clap this one out like the Reba gone Carini at the Tweeter Center years back or the Brian and Robert gone Frankenstein at PNC Bank Arts Center MAZE-Full on full blown maze. They really took the time as the set built to get the gear to full volume and truly peak out the end of this Maze. A+ and a harbinger of the second set. Overall the first set really built nicely. I would like to note that at some point every show the band will peak. It takes time and effort for them to get there. Patient listening in the 1st set rather than expectation will bring out the true beauty of a set such as this. Set II STASH-Great version with Trey slapping snarly full chord strums over Page in the middle of the jam on they way through great 2nd set rendition GHOST-Full volume dialed in funk that continued the energy from the MAZE and STASH MAKISUPA-Hope you all enjoyed a few minutes of the rub-adub style....nicely placed YAMAR-Big thumping version. Trey shows off his modal freedom and staccato-calypso jazz picking to enhance the subtlety of this great groove. GUYUTE-Pretty tight with perhaps a moment of uncertainty from one band member during the jam journey. Trey climbed into the endingmelody with some extra notes one time. Those little climbs are always the hallmark of the truly great GUYUTES that may contain several. But again the band was a full volume and really together. WAVES-Trey in flight...band in tow...excellent PRINCE-nice transition who would of thought the waves would wash the band up on the shores of Narnia. Tour heads may have been dismayed by another appearance...maybe not. On the way to the big crash the band stumbles upon FRANKENSTEIN groove and the hits the song from the top FRANKENSTEIN-What can you say nicely choreographed jam always true to the original. GOLGI-Epic GOLGI...Tasty journey, big build up, big payoff...I SAW YOU. LOVING CUP-Oh what a beautiful buzz. This encore rounded off a second set that would not let up. Again I wish some would realize that to get to a set like this the band need to dial in. They always seem to get there when they try something new. The noble vision of the first set definitely gave them a renewal of spirit that allowed the to hit the heights they did from MAZE until the end of the night. Be patient and as the boys at the soundboard and the band themselves approach the peaks we all desire you will see the beauty of getting there as well as being there. Think...how do peaks happen...how do they do a second set like this. How can I be a part of creating the energy the band needs from us to get there. Can we affect the band's ability and desire to peak the room out? I think we can. Listen well and be aware. It's not selling buritos or keeping stats. It's about the band peaking out...that is when it is the best. We made it happen in Worcester together with the band. Careful with your driving and keep narcotics use in check if you must go down that road. Know as much as you can about your psychedelics with regard to quality and strength and may all your nugs be Skunk 1xNL5(still the champ of all nuggets). Peace Nugs and Rock and Roll! Best regards, Jim Georges
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 03:19:47 +0000 From: Julie V [email protected] Subject: Worcester review Like everyone else on this review page, I agree that the show was completely kick-ass. I'm from the Worcester area, so I took the back roads and got there in 15 min. Sorry!!! But, don't worry, I drove from Philly... and then back to New York... so I had my share of driving. I love Worcester shows... because I can rock it out, drive 5 min home, and have a free place to crash. Good times. First of all- YEM-- hell yeah. The crowd was insane. This goes for the whole show-- people were nuts. One of my favorite things about Phish is that they are all about tension and release and that they know how to play with our minds. There was so much climax building in this show... and the lights add soo much to that effect. Trey played a few ascending scalar passages that had everyone in the crowd going nuts and then breaking into dance when he'd hit the tonic. It was hot. Fish is a major part of this tension release thing too--- he prepares every release so well. Rock on. Great great great great great vocals tonight! Did they take voice lessons while on break? I think so. I'm so happy to hear songs with lots of harmony- they blended so well tonight. Also, great guitar playing on Trey's part- I heard lots of intricate lines and he executed lots of techniques very well. As someone else pointed out, Trey laid it back vocally in Stash and a few others. Very cool. Everyone got a song at this show. Mike was grooving for sure, especially in the second act. And good singing! Page- you rock, -- you are so creative-- I always have admire such great playing. I was also so happy to see Trey seeming to be having a blast. As for jams... WOW... I don't think I can even explain how well they played. Moma Dance was nuts, so was the whole sequence of events in the second act. WOW again. BTW-- I really like Prince Caspian... I think it has potential... but I know there are mixed reviews on that song. I won't comment on each song, but I felt so lucky to hear the songs they played. High points were YEM, Golgi, the WHOLE second act, especially the Frankenstein highlights, Stash, Guyute, and Loving Cup. The crowd was NUTS-- and I fully participated in this insanity-- I didn't stop dancing-- even in the slow ones. Compared to Philly last night, I would say that this show was cleaner musically and with much more energy coming from the band. And, whoever mentioned in a review that it was weird that the band didn't talk to the audience, I noticed in Philly and they were quiet here, too. I wish they would talk to us, as well. Maybe some Gamehendge stories perhaps? ;) (P.S. The Wilson T-shirt with Trey is so awesome.) Wish I could go to Nassau and NC...! -Julie Questions? Send an email my way.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 22:07:50 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: 2/26/03 review The excitement before this show was intense. Getting in took forever, but once inside, the place was buzzing with energy. I didn't want to get my hopes too high, cause I haven't heard most of the shows this tour and have not gotten much of a chance to judge for myself how good they sound. Well, my hopes could have been through the roof and it still would have surpassed my expectations. Totally independent of energy and the thrill of seeing Phish again and all that, this was honestly a musical masterpiece of a show. The song selection was perfect, and it's one of the best shows I've ever heard them play. Here's the play-by-play: YEM: Wow. Definitely a surprise. Everyone went nuts when the opening arpeggios came through the speakers. This was really a great version, with a super-funky jam that featured some really standout work from Mike. It seemed like he was leading the jam. The vocal jam was awesome and in perfect synch with Kuroda. Next we got... Clone: I love Mike and Leo Kottke's album, and I always thought Phish should give this a shot, so I was fired up when they started this. Nice harmonies, and they kept the album feel while giving it a Phishy edge. Roggae: Nice version, nothing too eventful. I'm not a huge Roggae fan, but this was fine. Drifting: Sweetness. I love this Trey song, and Phish did a good job with it. Trey had a really nice melodic solo. Blue Skies: I love when Phish do bluegrass, and this would be a welcome addition to their catalogue. I didn't realize it was a Pork Tornado tune until someone told me at setbreak. The Moma Dance: This took some time to really get started, and the vocals weren't pristine, but once past that it was a fantastic version. Very clean and funky, but at the same time a very exploratory and weird jam, with everyone adding some nice accents, especially Page. Final Flight: Like Blue Skies, didn't realize this was Vida Blue, but I liked it. Pretty song, and a chance to rest after dancing through Moma. Maze: Totally nuts. This version was absolutely brain melting, and went to places I never knew Maze could. It was spacey and crazy, and the energy was overwhelming. One of the highlights of the show. If the show ended right there, I would have been satisfied. A damn good first set, and once I found out what was going on, the idea of each member playing a side project song was very cool. However, nothing could prepare me for the monster set two to come. Stash: Good god. This is maybe the best Stash I've ever heard. The band was totally operating as one cohesive unit, a perfectly coordinated machine of sound. The jam, a layered one full of subtlety, sounded almost techno at parts, and the peaks were awe-inspiring. Ghost: Aaaah, yes! I was really hoping for a Ghost, and this one was dope and a half. Very funkified and Mike-heavy, sounding like '97. Toward the end it got kind of bluesy, and then modulated to a major key. Mike started teasing something familiar. Everyone else picked up on it, and suddenly I realize what it was... Low Rider Jam: Ha ha! So choice. The place erupted. Some really nice work by Trey here, playing the melody line. Back into the Ghost jam for a bit, and then a velvet smooth segue into... Makisupa Policeman: Could this set possibly get any better? My friend was really hoping for this. The hotel thing was funny, although mention of fire was unfortunately kind of tasteless in light of recent events. Still, love the song, and another perfect segue into... Ya Mar: Ok, officially the best set ever. Ya Mar is never too crazy, but this version was nice as always, with some good singing by Mike. PLAY IT LEO!!! Guyute: Wasn't flawless, but good enough, with real energy. The soaring, anthemic chords after the evil section blew the roof off. Waves: Not a huge fan of this song, but it was alright. Kind of wish they'd be emphasizing Pebbles and Marbles more, if I had to hear a Round Room song. Prince Caspian: Never been too big on Prince Caspian, but what a version! They took this out into some seriously exploratory space, even going into type II jamming at parts. On Prince Caspian! Wow. But then... Frankenstein: Totally brought the house down. Absolutely rocking. I was sure the set was done. Golgi: Nope! Love this singalong tune, and somehow they managed to insert an extra measure of Frankenstein right before "Runs like a junkyard dog with a brain of brass." That was great. Perfect set closer too. Encore, Loving Cup: I was praying we wouldn't get an dissapointing, energy killing encore after that set, and my prayers were answered. This was great, and they jammed it out at the end. The jam even got dark at some points, interestingly enough. Ended the evening with a bang. What a completely unbelievably show. I was at New Year's, and while that rocked and the energy was off the charts, it wasn't musically as thrilling as it should have been. This was leaps and bounds beyond that performance. I listen to this band with a pretty critical ear, and this truly is some of the best Phish I've ever heard. Everyone should get their hands on this show, because Phish is completely on fire. The drive home was a bitch, but it gave us plenty of time to discuss the spectacle we had just witnessed. Get this show! Peace, Jonah Abrams
ate: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 21:53:32 -0500 From: Alejandro Tamargo [email protected] Subject: Worcester review I left the Worcester feeling just a little bit dissapointed. Not because it was a bad show, in fact it was an all around pretty solid show. But I think I set my expecations too high. Based on previous Worcester runs, and some of the current setlists, I was expecting an outrageous blow your mind unbelievable show. And when I heard the opening notes of YEM to start, I thought for sure that that was what we were going to get. It turns out, it wasn't. You should never go into a show expecting it to be spetacular, because you're setting yourself up for dissapointment. What it was though, was a pretty good all around solid show. FIRST SET HIGHLIGHTS: Definetely the YEM opener of course. It was an unbelievable opener and the crowd energy was amazing. The other highlight of the first set would have to be the Moma Dance. Not only was I really hoping to see a Moma Dance during my two show run, but this was possibly the best jam in a Moma Dance I've ever seen. It was long and funky! Very fun to dance too! I LOVED this Moma Dance! NEW SONGS: Now that I realize that what Phish actually was doing was playing one song from each of the four band members' sideprojects, I think that that's pretty cool. At the time however it was mass confusion, or at least in my section. Aside from Drifting, nobody around me recognized any of the songs, which is an unusual thing to happen at a Phish show. Even with brand spanking new songs, I can usually find someone somewhere who can identify it. Not these however. My favorite of the songs I'd never heard before was definetly Clone, the Mike Gordon tune. It was kind an odd song, as Mike tunes tend to be, but it was a very groovy dancy kind of tune. I hope they bring it back, only next time I'd really like to see them explore the groove into a long funked out groovy jam. I think there's alot of potential in it, but this version they just played straight up, without jamming it at all. Good song though. The Pork Tornado song was kind of cool. It was a very short but sweet bluegrass tune sung by Fishman. I really didn't care for the Page tune however. Out of all the good stuff that Vida Blue was putting out there, it seems like they could have picked something a little better than this to represent the band. Drifting was a really pleasant surprise. I've always enjoyed that song. That being said though, I do enjoy the Trey version better, just because I think Jennifer does a better job on the melody than Page and Mike did. She can really nail those high notes that they couldn't. They did a respectible job however, and I did enjoy it. OVERALL FIRST SET IMPRESSIONS: As I've said before, a bit of a let down after the high expectations set by the YEM, but overall not bad. The Maze, which I have not mentioned, was a very good version, very solid closer. SECOND SET: I'm not a fan of Stash, but once they got through the boring monotanous structured part of the song, the jam was a pretty incredible thing to behold. They really took it far out there. But the real highlight of the second set, and of the show, was that Ghost>Low Rider>Makisupa>Yamar segment. The Ghost jam was as funky and spacy as I'd expect from a ghost and jammed perfectly into Low Rider, which really got the crowd going. I thought that the set list should have read as I've listed it above, not as just a Low Rider jam in the midst of a Ghost. Sure they didn't sing the songs very minimal lyrics. But the jammed it out for a while, and the song is mostly intrumental anyway. Anyway, the Low Rider segued beautifully into the crowd pleasing high energy Maksipa which led into a very high energy Yamar. Now, they were going to follow up Yamar with would determine, in my mind anyway, whether the show would be just "pretty good" or "spetacular". And the Guyute>Waves>Caspian segment just didn't do it. Those are all okay songs if they're placed properly. Guyute is a nice beginning or middle of first set type song. And Waves and Caspian are nice breather songs if they're in the midst of good high energy jamming songs. But playing those three back to back to back was just too much time low energy non danceable songs. The coolest thing about the Caspian, was that they did not finish it. During the jam, I noticed that Mike was kind of doing the baseline for the middle part of Frankenstein. Trey soon joined him in the Frankenstein jam, and after that, they decided to start the song from the begginning. It absolutely rocked, as did the Golgi following it. And the Lovin' Cup encore was by far one of the rockingest versions of that song I've ever seen. Great way to end any show. So I enjoyed myself. I'm not going to go into Nassau with such high expectations so if they match Worcester's performance, I'll be content. But if they exceed Worcester, I'll be estatic.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 22:05:53 -0500 From: bag-o-donuts [email protected] Subject: wissta/2-26-03 Since my first show '95 Fox theartre I can whole heartedly say Phish has never been dissapointing to me in anyway way.Even on a night that they may not have been there best they never leave me sour.(a bad day of phishing is better than a good day of work)This show was 35 for me and my first show since the break,we landed front row tickets and I could not have been any happier.Phish to me seemed as thought they had not missed a beat since tweeter ctr '00 my last show.I was entranced and amazed at this show .I dam near pissed myself when they opened with yem and never really lost that WOW feeling....I loved the show!!! Thanks Phish
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 16:32:53 -0800 (PST) From: Todd Kehoe [email protected] Subject: review 2.28.03 Worcester: Felt like a Tweezer song outside, but everyone was happy (and squeezed together) inside. Lucked into reediculous sweet seats with some happy heads and was cranked up for the show. By the way, if you came without a ticket, you're INSANE!! Being outside for like 30 minutes was near unbearable. Fairly short review: YEM openers - We called all sorts of wacky openers from a soul-splintering Gamehendge to a sweet Harpua to even the ever-rare Dog Log. Okay, so Phish throws a loop by playing... their most played song! I assure you, there wasn't a complaint in the house, in fact, on the first chords, the roof nearly blew off the roof. Energy was incredible... intro of the song was extended a bit, didn't seem like Trey wanted to blow it open at first but once he did... unreal. Get your hands on this YEM, once you can. The new songs - Fun. Not everyone knew them. I didn't really know any of them right away, but I really liked Drifting. If they play it again, it has a good chance to become the most hated song since Jennifer Dances by the phans who don't like anything remotely poppy. Clone is cool, Page's song was a bit short, and bluegrass is ALWAYS welcome here. Maze - A lot of people thought this Maze was unbelievable, I liked it, thought it was above-average, but not stupendous. Set II: Ghost > Low Rider > Makisupa > Ya Mar - OKAY! Don't let the setlist lie to you, there wasn't no Low Rider tease, they played the whole theme of it through twice... so I'm going with it as an actual song. Ghost was BIZARRE! The usual dark rock jam was... light... happy... upbeat??? WHA?? It was a cool departure, anyway, great jam. Makisupa was funny. As it began to end, a kid next to me looked at me, and we both screamed "YA MAR" at the top of our lungs, and sure enough, bang. Great Ya Mar. Waves > Caspian - PHATTY! Waves is fun. Caspian riding on the Waves, well, good symmetry. Caspian was sloppy, and Trey didn't take it all the way down, but it was fun... Frankenstein, Golgi - Frank was tight as hell. (Guytue was as well)... at the end, I saw Trey turn to Fish and said something... I thought he yelled "Hold It" -- as in, hold the last note, the set is over. Instead, Golgi. Rippin'. Standard version, but the song always kicks ass. Encore: Lovin' Cup - Hell yeah. Rock out. Go Home. Barbershop mike was set up on the stage, but didn't get hit for the encore 2 final thoughts: Trey was working on vocal phrasing a lot tonight. In a bunch of different songs, he changed what they usually sounded like. Also, there were tons of teases. Seven Below was teased by Mike and Trey, Simple was teased, Boogie On Reggae Woman... keepin' us guessing all the way through. Great show, A- I'm going with...
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 19:18:59 -0500 From: Christian Ferrandino [email protected] Subject: 2/26/2003 review Fantastic 2nd Set!!!!! I am surprised that nobody has talked about the "Midnight Hour" tease/jam before the "Low Rider" jam......... Overall wonderful concert experience!!!!
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 19:17:21 +0000 From: [email protected] Subject: worcester review This was my first show in 2 1/2 years (9/11/00), and it was unbelievable. I'd been shut out 6 out of 6 shows so far this year, and figured I'd give it a chance and make the ride from Boston to Worcester and see if we could find any extras. On the way in, the car in front of us had a few extras and dropped us two for just about face. Whoever you are, thank you so much. So we were really psyched just to be in there. Sat Mike side about halfway the venue. Lots of energy and positive vibes in our section. Blah blah, on to the show... Set 1 YEM: Goosebumps for a good ten minutes. Extremely tight. Best opener I have ever seen (20 some shows), energy was through the roof! The jam segment was very funky and well executed. From the shows I've been listening to from 2003, this came off as pretty surprising how well they nailed it. The vocal jam had some Clone action, though I thought they were saying "cold, cold, cold" a la Tweezer. A+ The vocal jam was a nice calming of energy to segue nicely into... CLONE: Took me a while to figure out what this was until around the second verse. Confused looks turned quickly into grooving feet. Mike's vocals on this are really clever. Great surprise...made more sense as the set went on though. ROGGAE: Really nice. This seemed pretty loose which was a good contrast to the YEM. I thought the placement of this was perfect, as I needed some more chill time after the raging YEM. I noticed some nice melodies coming from all four jam members. Loose, and yet still so cohesive. DRIFTING: Very nice surprise. I'm a fan of TAB and was very intrigued to hear this. Little sloppy in the beginning, but the jam was pretty tight. It was cool to hear Mike and Page do the harmonies that Jen did with TAB. Crowd seemed to really enjoy this. Everyone was in a very chill mood at this point, just grooving along. BLUE SKIES: I figured this was a Phish version of some traditional bluegrass tune I have yet to hear. It was short and fairly tight for a first time played. Pretty cool. Just in awe at this point that 5 songs into the first set I've heard 3 new tunes to the Phish repetoire. MOMA DANCE: Amazing jam. It was cool to groove to this song, but when it dropped into this funky yet spacey jam in the second half it really took off. Very well executed. Best Moma I've heard. Lots of Type II interplaying melodies. Probably bout 15 min long. I was blown away. A+ FINAL FLIGHT: I'm a big Page fan, but I wasn't moved to much by the tune. Pretty short, 1 or 2 verses and a quick little jam. Sounded like part of a Clapton tune. MAZE: So, I'm not a huge Maze fan, but this was one of the best jams of the night. I actually thought it was going to be a short Maze, but it stretched way out. Perfectly executed jam, with a few peaks. It seemed like they played around with what section was being played when. The climax joyous-like segment must have come out 3 or 4 times before the tune ended. A+ I really enjoyed this first set as you can probably tell. Very clever and unpredictable, yet still executed quite well. The vibe at setbreak was basically people sharing how nice that first set was. Lots of "holy shit, YEM opener!" comments too of course! Really didn't know what to expect of the second set. Set 2 STASH: Came out of left field. I think I've caught more sloppy Stashes then the ones that blow your mind, so I was pretty psyched to see what they can add to this one with the way they were playing tonight. Execution was good in the composed section, but the jam totally took off. I was blown away. At this point this was my favorite moment of the show, only to be topped by the... GHOST: Unbelievable. I won't get over this jam for a while. The lyric part was very tight and deep, intro came in very well, good change from the loops that I was used to from '00. They were jamming in typical Ghost style for a couple of minutes, then out of nowhere comes this upbeat jam. Sounded very "Boogie On" to me, even to the point where I thought they were going to break into that or another tune. This was the start of what I felt like the rest of the second set encompassed. Every jam seemed like it was going to take off into another song. Lots of subtle key changes and melodies by all four band members. Anyways, this jam went back into a funky Ghost mode, and built up into... LOW RIDER JAM: Place went off the wall. The energy was out of control at this point. Trey played the vocal melody lines on guitar. The band was having a blast too. This went back into Ghost for a while, then MAKISUPA: Segue was perfect. Reference to Cincy hotel fire was clever. Pretty short version segued nicely again into: YA MAR: Nothing too out of the ordinary, though the jam was really nice. More interplaying melodies that I enjoy so much. Energy was still top shelf. GUYUTE: Having not seen a show in so long, I had no problem with them playing Guyute. I was really pumped during the first section. The middle part was actually pretty sloppy, but it picked up and well made up for it by the time the darker jam by the end started. They finished Guyute very strong. WAVES: Slow at first, but really picked up into a nice jam. The last 5 minutes are so were really well played. They seemed most comfortable in the most out there jams tonight, it was like they wanted to space and jam everything out, which I have no problem with. This pseudo-segued into... CASPIAN: As with many people, I'm not crazy about this song, but along with the rest of the set, the jam was really great. Surprisingly great. I thought this was closing out the set, and I would have been very satisfied if it did, but... FRANKENSTEIN: AHHH! Great bonus Phish! Very well played...tons of energy in this place. Huge eruption as they hit the first line of... GOLGI: Probably my favorite 2 seconds of the show was the Frankenstein tease Trey hit during the first verse. It was really cool, the place went crazy. The jam was a little flubbed, but nothing major. Great energy. E: LOVING CUP: Longest jammed out Cup I've heard. They were jamming everything tonight in different levels. Very well done. This show was excited, spacey, joyous, and dark all at the same time. I'm not one to just get crazy about an average Phish show, but this was just out of control. The jams were so unpredictable, as was the song selection. 11 out of 10. Thanks for listening. kev
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 22:11:13 -0500 From: levon kinney [email protected] since i only saw Phish once in 2000 before their hiatus i have been waiting in anticipation for them to break their silence. at first i was not even going in the show but my cousin kicked me an extra and there was no going back. the YEM opening was so killer just what the place needed to get things started off right. i did not get a chance to hear mike and leo jam so i did not know the song, of course that did not stop me from dancing my ass of to the great tunes. i especially liked how some people were not quite sure what to think when the band didn't go into farmhouse or whatever song they thought they wanted to hear. i thought it was pretty fucking cool that they actually have the respect for eachother where they learned the songs that were from their side projects. the rest of the 1st set was mind blowing. the first 2 notes of stash soared through the air and i knew that this was going to be a set that would not be forgotten. then there was the ghost>low rider>makisupa>yamar>guyute, words cannot describe the magic that was filling the air. Frankenstein seemed to be the icing on the cake, but wait, golgi apparatus came out of nowhere and and that was it, i have seen a bunch of shows since that first phish show but this one had my head spinning. the only thing that really was a downer was the presence of the police, i have never seen so many people get busted for puffing in a show. what the fuck gives, there can be 10,000 drunken idiots wandering around downtown but someone lights a joint and they gotta call the fuckin national gaurd. other than that phish put on one hell of a shindig!
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 12:21:14 -0500 From: Adam Lawrence [email protected] Subject: 2-26-03 review First off, YES it is true, there were far too many people for this city (Worcester) and this venue (Centrum) to handle, but this, my friends, was an amazing show. Set I: YEM -The guys were together, they were tight, they rocked this out. The vocal jam was awesome, and Kuroda did ahell of ajob with the lights on this one. Clone -Title cutfrom Mike & Leo's album. The song is great, the vocals were tight, and Mike was groovin. Roggae - Smooth. Very, very smooth. A much-needed break after lots and lots of dancing. Drifting - Although I didn't happen to catch any of Trey's solo tour live, I had heard this song a few times and liked it a lot. I liked it a lot more live, with the rest of the guys putting in their part. Blue Skies - Great choice. Pork Tornadotore it upat Northern Lights in Clifton Park with this one, and Phish did the same. The Moma Dance - Such a solid groove. Great jam, great chemistry, great lights, great everything. Final Flight - Unexpected but tight, entertaining, and the great light show continues. Maze - You could feel the energy building up the first second Jon started the intro to this one. Intense, tight as hell, andmade me thankful that Mike was plenty loud. Set II: Stash - Amazing set opener. The song is common enough, but with good reason. As soon as Trey hit the first riff, the place went nuts. Ghost > Low Rider > Makisupa Policeman > Ya Mar - WOW. We were all expecting an extended jam, this being the Centrum and all, but this was unbelievable. The whole thing was so smooth, words can't even describe. To anyone who missed out on this show, find a taper who was there, find anyone who can get their hands on a recording. Words do not do justice to this jam. Guyute - This falls under the category of "songs I was dying to hear, and did not expect to." They were practically flawless on this one, and this was one of the highest points of energy of any live show that I have ever experienced. Waves - OK, if I had to choose one song from this show to change, this would be it. The performance was great, Trey was really going off and ripping up his solo, but I heard it at East Rutherford and my friends heard it there AND at New Year's in the city, so needless to say they were more disappointed than I was. But regardless, the performance wasgreat and the energy was all there. Prince Caspian > Frankenstein -THIS I did not expect. Caspian was great. The lights, the band, everything. But when they twisted it right into Frankenstein, I realized all over again why these guys are so good. This was truly sick. One of the best points of the night for me. Golgi Apparatus > Frankenstein - Wow. After pulling off Golgi with not so much as a memorable flub (which is a feat in itself), they brought it back around for one last taste of Frankenstein, which left me (and those around me) drooling. Encore: Loving Cup - Another unexpected twist which rounded out the best concert experience of my life. Every aspect of this song was the fulfillment of all that I hoped to get from that night's show. The playing was tight. The vocals were tight. The song holds a lot of meaning to me, and the guys wrapped up the nightfor 15,000 sweaty, screaming,more-than-satisfied fans. Anyone who was at the Centrum on 2-26-03and walked away unhappy must have been listening to another show. Adam Lawrence "...Yes, I am stumbling, and I know I play a bad guitar..."
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 15:03:02 EST From: [email protected] Subject: 2-26.03 review First off, the traffic did suck. I ended up parking on some side street at a meter, which I guess had its ups and downs. No parking lot to rummage through a sea of heads, selling, trading, etc., though I was able to get in and out pretty easily. The traffic was on the way in to woostah, not on the way out. I will for sure say, that woostah was not, and never is, prepared for shows like this. Since phish has been playing the centrum there has always been trouble. I do feel kinda cheated, mainly because I wasn't able to float through the parking lots, looking for balloons and feeling the crowd. But then again, it was 20 degrees out. The show was phenomenal in my mind. I liked the first set, sweet opener and I was very thrilled by the break. This was my wife's second show, me..I think it was 106 or 107. I cant remember. Though most of them were during early 90's, I have a different view on recent shows. The last few shows I saw, prior to the hiatus were just blahh for me. I didn't feel like they were tight anymore, and the break surely rejuvenated them I thought The second set would never end...in a good way. I kept leaning over to my wife, saying " this will probably be the last one, before the encore"..BUt i was presently surprised as they kept going, jam after jam. I love loving cup., phenomenal song, I love hearing more from phish than the stones. My wife's favorite song, and as we were waiting for the boyz to return after the last song, I said, man, I would love to hear a "slave"..she said, nahh, I would love to hear a loving cup. she is happy. I wont go song by song, as everyone has spoken similar words I would have. Though I will say, I though Trey, Mike, Jon and Page were 100% refreshed, sounded tight and put on a sweet show. I just cant get over the second set, and what a joy to see them back. IM glad some of the newer phans will get to hear them, as they were a long time ago Josh Frances
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 12:02:10 -0800 (PST) From: brandon gracey [email protected] Subject: worcester review First off, I agree that there were to many people for this venue, sorry but Phish has outgrown the Centrum. But I dont have any sympathy for those of you who had trouble finding parking--you have to arrive early! I drove from Philly and parked on the street for free, if we could make it by 3 (with a stop in Hartford) everyoned could have got there. We all know how many people show up when the boys come to town. Second, HOLY SHIT! This show was incredible. Maybe one of the best I've ever seen, no definately one of the best I've ever seen. I'm not going to disect every song, I hate that--a show is a show, not a loose collection of songs. From the first note we all knew it would be sick. I think the Stash started sloppy, but they pulled it together nicely, and didn't slow down once for me to catch my breath. I wansn't going to go to Nassau, but after last night I remember why Phish has a tendency to make me forget about all the other shit I have to get done.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 18:55:49 -0500 From: andrew selchan [email protected] Subject: phish review 2/26/03 Centrum, Ma was lookin forward to this show for some time....colder night in New Englad this evening....yet everyone was out and lookin for a good time....always hit the same pub accross the Centrum for a bite to eat....never remember the name though>the food sucks....6:30 at the gates>6:45 we finally get in....i nearly got bowled over buy everyone running to get the show poster>, i got the same poster without running (and giving the vendor part of the $40.00 in change>he wasn't happy!) ......went to our seats my girlfriend and i did....section 2 row D seat 7&8(go to the centrum seating chart and you'll know what i mean....)now you have to understand i had a bunch of wants from the boys at the show>some joke telling(none), teases(some), and plain out chatter(none)and finally YEM....i stared and i looked at my girlfriend in disbelief as i heard them ring up the show with YEM and with eventually pulling out the trampolines.....it was the start of a mixed first set followed by a strong, yummy second set.... .....i wouldn't have expected this many band side-show songs in a set but we got it and it was fun all the way to the ending Maze....the second set was all favorites for myself and ever other phan....GHOST>MAKISUPA was really neat as well as CASPIAN>FRANKENSTEIN.....i love to hear the solo in GOLGI....just a pure attack since the opener of STASH!!!! .....i drove away from the centrum sad; recalling the last time i left a show> thinking when will be the next time i get that high from watching them from 4 rows back....it amazes me everytime i saw the facial expressions of Page,Trey,Fish, and Mike.....they purely amused me for yet another performance...i just want to thank them for their love of the music.... andy>just a big SLAVE of YEM
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:02:30 -0500 From: Tyler George - Minetti [email protected] Subject: worcester review This was my first show(what a way to start) but i've been listening for about 8-9 years. Also myopinion of the first set will be slightly biased because of this reason: me and a phriend purchased some mush prio to the show, and munched them down just before the start of the show. The lights went out and everything was fine until my friend could not stand up, see straight, and was sweating uncontrollably. show. Things turned out alright but left a bad taste in mouth for a good part of the first set. Now onto the show... YEM-well i couldn't tell you how the composed part was because of the above reason, but the place went nuts when the first notes started and the jam was great. Nice trampolines and just fun jamming. The vocal jam was interesting, and I recognized that they were singing clone right away, but a lot of people didn't know what it was at all. This was a nice precedent for... CLONE!-now not a lot of people were excited for this just because they didn't know what it was, but I was singing every word and loved it! I had been hoping they would play songs from the side projects and could not believe it was actually happening. I was hoping they would play Collin's Missile or Most Events Aren't Planned if they were going to do something like this, but no complaints here! Cool song choice; nice and simple and just plain awesome! Roggae-I could tell this is not what a lot of people were looking for, but they played it perfectly and the jam was beautiful. This set didn't have the most energy but for me it wasn't a negative thing because the slow songs they were playing were still great, just not the most danceable tunes at times. I really enjoyed Roggae, and was interested to see what was up next! Drifting-I knew that i knew what this was when they started playing it but it took me a second to realize that it was drifting. At this point i was really psyched because I could see a theme building and could not believe how ironic this was. My phriends and I had been jokingly predicting they would play some sideproject songs but never actually thought that it would happen at our show. This song was fun, not the most energy, but again it was still cool, and it got people dancing. It reminded me of Heavy Things in the little jam that ensued. Nice tight and relaxed playing from the boys, nothing but smiles from my face. Blue Skies-Now I was expecting another side project song by now and this was a fun little number. I could tell a lot of people just weren't into the set so far just because they were clueless as to what was being played, and there was a lack of energy, but i still enjoyed this song as well and had a good time dancing. I knew that the guys could tell the energy wasn't quite there and that something big had to be coming. Moma Dance-Alright! As soon as they started playing this the place went nuts. Everyone was grooving so hard, and they nailed the whole song. The jam was decently long(i'm a little hazy about the whole first set) and really fun. Everyone seemed to really enjoy this and it brought the energy back. I must mention before I go any further that our Dear Phriends Chris Kuroda and Paul Languedoc were both on tonight as well. From where I was standing(15th row floor Mike side) the sound was pretty damn good, although I had trouble hearing Page's piano, and the lights were so amazing, no word can really do them justice. Any slow parts of the show were picked up by Kuroda's wizardry, and people were really perplexed, myself included. Final Flight- I was really happy to hear this song and it was a nice break from the intense dancing during Moma, but again a lot of people didn't recognize it and I could tell some people were a little dissapointed. Oh well can't please everyone, everyone around me seemed to be enjoying themselves and I know I sure was. Maze- Yes! I love Maze and this version was rockin. This got the place dancin again and the boys were eating it up. Page threw in some nice playing but Trey absolutely rocked the place. This Maze was a little different the most standard Maze's, a little longer and the jamming was a little more "out there" as far as a maze goes. Fun stuff, good energy, tight playing, end of set 1. Setbreak-I didn't move from my seat. The set wasn't the most energetic, but definitely a fun set with some really surprising song selections and good highlights with YEM opener, the side project songs, and good version of Moma and Maze. I knew a lot of people wanted a lot more from that set, and they would get what they wanted as soon as the second set started. I would just like to say that no review can do this second set justice. Now i know this being my first show that I don't a whole lot to compare it to as far as seeing amazing second sets goes, but I am certain that this set will go down in Phistory as one of the great second sets. Long setbreak, but when the lights came down we were all ready to boogie... Stash- The place went nuts! I was really glad to hear this, one of my favorite songs of all time. Now this stash to me seemed HUGE. The jamming was melodious and mysterious taking us all over the place, streatching out for a while. So amazing, this version just kept on getting better and better. Just when you think they're going to peak it out and end it they go back into this really different jam. So cool to see this kind of improv going on right infront of you. Needless to say this was a sick version of stash, with really intense jamming. Ghost- WOW! Stash, Ghost to open the second set, that's what i'm talkin about! The crowd went nuts, and was grooving hard from the get go. The jam was fun, and the boys just seemed to be groovin and letting the music flow. Very simple jamming, which to me seemed like the right move. No one was stealing the spotlight, just complementing eachother nicely. After a bit of this chill groove Mike started laying down some nice bass lick, just changing a few notes here and there for effect. then Mike started playing the low rider bass line and the band picked up on it, and did a low rider jam! The crowd went nuts for this and really picked up the energy level. they kind of grooved on this theme for a while before they made a sick segue into. . Makisupa- Yes!!! The crowd loved this and everyone was really dancing now. Such a fun song to hear, everyone was really happy and so excited. The lyric, was "woke up this morning...and my hotel was burnin down" I later found out it was in reference to a hotel in Cinnci catching fire apparently. The jam was pretty simple but fun and another sick segue into... Ya Mar-HOLY SHIT!!!!! Now i knew this set was going to be awesome since they stash they played, but Ghost>makisupa>Ya Mar is fucking nuts. I have never danced so hard in my life, and the whole crowd was just blown away by what was happening. this was a pretty standard Ya Mar but it was so much fun, I couldn't even comprehend what was going on at this point. We danced our asses off until the song ended, and at this point I didn't know what to expect. Guyute- I almost lost my hearing when they started this one. The crowd was so pumped, there is no way to portray the energy coming from everyone. This Guyute was flwaless, amazing playing by all, but Trey was just on fire. The entire night he was so into the crowd just feeding off the energy and man oh man was he ever pumped during this song, as were we. When they came back from the jam segment the crowd lsot it. Trey was going nuts with energy, a huge smile on his face, everyone was just in hysterics. Man the guys were just ripping this song to parts, they nailed every part perfectly and we were all just bewildered and overwhelmed. Waves-I was happy to hear this as I need something to just sway to after the set so far, especially from the outrageous Guyute. This was a standard version like most have been this tour, but was till beautiful with a nice flow. Very simple, very pleasing. Prince Caspian-I wasn't really expecting this, and i'm not crazy about this song, but I LOVED the jam out of this. It is hard to explain, not too too long but very cool, very different, people were digging it, and the boys were having a good time. Somewhere near the end of the jam Mike teased Frankenstein, but not the beginning riff, a riff further along in the song. Trey picked up on it, as did Page and Fish, and they Segued nicely into the beginning of Frankenstein- I was so pumped at this point i was jumping up and down and dancing harder than i thought I ever could. This is one song I just love when they play and the energy was sending Phish to new levels of playing. Trey was absolutely ripping apart his guitar, just going nuts onstage, and you could feel the excitment and pure madness that was flowing throughout the arena. Fish's solo was so so, no realy mess up's but i've heard better. I figured this would end the show because of the enormous amounts of energy but oh no, this is Phish... Golgi Apparatus- YES! One of my all time favs, and perfect placement. The crowd was beyond crazy, so nuts. The peaks during this whole set were amazing and i just could not get over the energy in this place. What a first show. Encore: now i had no idea what they were gonna be playing, but I was hoping something high energy because of what had just happened. There was no way they were leaving us with a Friday or Velvet Sea, this is Woosta! So they played a rocking version of Loving Cup, one of my favorite covers they play and I was so glad they chose a song with some more energy to leave us with. A nice extended version left me buzzing after the show finished. As the lights went on I could see it in everyone's eyes. We were all so overwhelmed but what had just happened, no one had to say anything. I heard some people complaining about 1st set, but no one had any problems with the second set as far as i could tell. Just onequick word about the whole mushroom ordeal. Now i'm sorry but selling bogus mushrooms at a concert is not only excessively stupid, but very dangerous and inconsiderate. If you want to sell bogus drugs that are gonna ruin someone's time do it somewhere else. I was scared to death, I thought my friend was going to die, and although I did not feel sick, i felt no effects at all. It really disheartened me to think that other people could have had similar experiences. Please no more of this shit, I don't want anyone to go through what my friends and I did. Besides that I had an amazing show, thanks to all the kind pholks who helped me out during my time of distress and thankyou most of all to Phish for the most amazing experience of my life. I'll see you all on the next tour and at Bonnaroo! ~Tyler G.M.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 12:13:02 -0500 From: Aaron Schultz [email protected] Subject: worcester We, too made the mistake of going to exit 16 instead of getting off at 18. This was a mistake that cost me the pre-nirvana section of YEM. The show was great though so I'll try not to dwell on my early woes.This is not a review of the show but rather, notes on my impression of it. For me, the funk seemed very deep and solid tonight. They are obviously conscious of tightening up the vocals too. Witness Trey's changes in phrasing during the lyric section of Stash. There were no grooves that were annoying to me which is not to say there was too much consonance and no dissonance. Every jam they went for just felt like a perfect fit for my mood. Very much the reason that we love them.I was surprised but not the least bit disappointed by the selection of hiatus-era solo material in the first set. These songs felt right at home in the Phish oevre and will likely prove worthy of exploration in the future. And did I mention the Stash? Yes, I did. Let me say again: very nice. It's clear to me that Phish is as potent a live unit today as they ever were and they are not going to rule out any possible ways to blow our minds with their brilliance. And oh, how happy I am about that!! So, I guess the parking thing was a bummer. But I found a garage at 8:15 that turned out to be two blocks away and I only owed him a buck!!! Beats the $20 it would have cost one block closer.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 11:19:45 -0500 From: Alex Hochron [email protected] Subject: Review of 2/26, Worcester Centrum, Worcester MA Something like my 18th show, but my first review so bear with me. Overall it was a very good show, certainly not the best I’ve seen, but far better than some. A great musical vibe was carried throughout, though opening with YEM made us late-comers miss out on a highlight. 2/26, Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA I: YEM, Clone, Roggae, Drifting, Blue Skies, Moma > Final Flight > Maze II: Stash, Ghost > Low-Rider Jam > Makisupa > Yamar, Guyute, Waves > Caspian > Frankenstein, Golgi E: Loving Cup Traffic getting to the venue was pretty bad—it took us about 3 hours from Amherst (compared to an hour and a half to get to Yonder last weekend), and parking was terrible. We actually got a sweet spot on the street right behind the venue, but we missed the first 2 tunes: 1ST SET: YEM and CLONE: I’m bumming that we missed the YEM opener, though I heard it was about 20 mins and had a sweet vocal jam at the end, with the word “Clone” as being kicked around in there somewhere. Note that Clone is a new song, from Mike/Leo Kottke’s album. ROGGAE: Glad they played this right as we got into the venue, cause man I really had to pee. DRIFTING: A new song from Trey-tour… my favorite of the 4 new ones: a poppy, high-energy song with a nice jam at the end. BLUE SKIES: A new song from Pork Tornado (Fish): notice a trend starting here!? Blue-grassy and quick, nothing all that special. MOMA DANCE: Here we go! Moma was real funked out at the beginning and then jammed into a hot techno/rock vibe that seems to be characterizing this tour. I remember some beautiful lights during Moma also. The song jammed into another new one: FINAL FLIGHT: After new songs from the other 3, I’m glad Page got his, though I remember more of Trey’s licks than Page during this song… it jammed into: MAZE!: My girl Claire had been hoping for this, and it was a great set closer. Rather than the dark scary Mazes from back in 98/99, this again had the trippy almost-techno vibe to it. I’d give that first set a 7/10, though I’m guessing on how the YEM was. Really nice to hear some new material that’s NOT from Round Room!!! SETBREAK: Wandered around with a big smile on my face and made some new friends, good times. 2ND SET: STASH: A great 2nd set opener, always nice to hear the crowd get into it, and Trey was laying down some great licks. GHOST: I’m not usually a big fan of Ghost but it sounds like they reworked it some, and the jam into Low-Rider was SWEET! No lyrics, but they had it down cold, and the crowd got even more excited… gotta love it when they let the sets build up! This Ghost was much shorter than the 15-20 minute ones from back in 99, and higher-energy: they really moved away from the spacey Ghosts, which is fine by me. MAKISUPA: Also a short version; Trey’s keywords were something about their hotel burning down, and then the rest of the song was “Policeman came to my hotel”… there was some kinda problem in Cincy with that. Funky and good to hear—I think they played Makisupa last time they were in Worcester (’98). YAMAR: YES! I totally dig Yamar, and always get a kick out of screaming “Play It LEO!” with Trey. Page’s solo started off really well but didn’t carry through all the way and kinda died off at the end. They kept it going with: GUYUTE: Another high-energy song that got the crowd bouncing around even more! Sounded pretty good, They’ve been practicing… WAVES: Time for a cigarette, Waves segued into… CASPIAN: Toward the end of Waves it sounded like they would continue that chill under-water sound… I had called a Theme, but Caspian worked too; a nice chance to relax before they picked it up again. FRANKENSTEIN: Got the crowd riled up again, pretty standard version. I thought they were done, but they surprised me with: GOLGI: Another standard, solid closer. I might’ve just been worn out from a long set. ENCORE: LOVING CUP: A pretty standard version, though they dragged out the end of the song and Fish had a nice drum-solo at the end (that might’ve been during Golgi, the world was pretty hazy by this point). Set 2 and Encore: I’d give it an 8.5/10: strong setlist, I really dug the Stash, Ghost and Yamar. 2nd set felt really long, maybe close to 90 mins, and I think they went over the time that the Centrum allows, no complaints here!!! As I said, a very good show, I dug the new songs in the first set and the 2nd set was nice, solid old-school with some moments of greatness. See you on Friday (here’s hoping for a Fluffhead…) Peace and Love, Alex
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 09:51:28 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: Worcester Review Couple thoughts on the Worcester show^ YEM opener obviously as unexpected as it was enjoyable, very solid in all parts, jam I didn^^t think was quite as good as the Denver jam. The vocal jam went towards the Clone melody, which pleased me greatly. I think one chorus was sung before Mike steered away from it, and they voc-jammed the melody for a while before going into the typical Nitrous-y, woing-woing where the lights swing around the arena. Clone sounded great as a Phish tune; I liked this far better than either of the Mike songs on Round Room, and the Phishified version has a very ^^Get Back on the Train^^ feel to it, the Phish funk. No real attempt at a jam, lots of returns to the ^^Clone, clone clone clone^^, etc. as refrain. Roggae standard, nowhere near the Hampton version, but well-placed in the set, as Roggaes tend to be. ^^Drifting^^ continued on a similar major-key melodic and mellow sense as ^^Roggae^^, though a really nice Trey-led jam which showed the capabilities the guitar-based jams can still have , as his comfort level with the song he^^d played often recently shone through. One gripe^ as the refrain, post-jam, Mike and Fish come back in singing ^^Love, love, love^^ for a while during Trey solo, until he eventually rescued the end with the much less offensively SCI-cheesy ^^The stars above^^. Call me a cynic, but unless you^^re a Beatle, simply singing ^^Love^^ as a chorus is weak. Blue Skies was really short, three minutes maybe, and seemingly played as a novelty hiatus relic, no solos of note or anything. Moma presented the first whiff of the night^^s debatably aimless theme. All standard until the end-riff, which for the first time to my ears deviated from the usual build on the main riff, breaking down into the Phish vamp-funk style. They were breaking new ground, which is always cool, but the Phish that really gets my goat is when the breakdown/exploration leads back into the big finish, whereas last night, most jams would start hot, miscommunication at the climax, and flay down into vamp-funk and a half-hearted return to the end of the song once the aimlessness overwhelmed. Final Flight was really nice; I was unfamiliar with the tune, but it seemed pretty clear that it had to be a Vida Blue tune based on the big piano chording, unfamiliar lyrically approach (v. Marshall, Trey or Mike), another melodic jam Trey seemed to enjoy. Maze was a great version, and approached the level of epic. Song part great, Page solo great with the cool Whammy, dissonant rhythm Trey uses now as accompaniment. Similar to the Hampton Maze, the band took the dynamics way down to build the jam, i.e. Bowie, Reba, etc. Trey-led jam that reached some insane riffery, serious speed while sounding fresh and with machine gun speed but different riffs than usually employed on this ^^un. They teased the climax, long sustained notes et cetera, then right before the riff that usually finishes the jam, they came all the way back down again. I think Maze is starting to approach the Bowie circa-1995, peaks and valleys with exploration and the fast-shred that eventually results; I^^m glad to see it leaving the form of the consistently building, rarely changing guitar solo. After taking the jam down and building it up again, I was primed for a massive second climax to the jam, which would have solidified best-ever status for me^ however Trey began to build the atonal noise that he sometimes uses to build tension, and the rest of the band followed suit, abandoning the rhythm. The jam turned aimless, and resulted in a forced return to the composed part at the end. They salvaged the energy for the second time on the Maze riff, but I couldn^^t help noticing this key change in their group dynamic. The jamming is great, but the communication on ending the jams at the highest point seems to be missing. Perhaps they are consciously avoiding going for the ^^Big Bang^^ ending every time to avoid predictability, but for me, that is my favorite part of Phish. That^^s where I differ with the more Ya Mar/Makisupa/^^bring on the funk^^ fans. Phish is different things to different people. Second set opened with a nice exploratory Stash that continued the above theme; unwillingness or inability to finish at a common point. Page jumped in real early with ^^Maybe so, maybe not^^ while Trey was just getting going on the solo. The pianist realized his folly, lowering his volume each time, but continuing for 4 measures to cover the mistake. Jam peaked, then valleyed, then stabilized for a mid-tempo final ^^Maybe so^^^ Ghost was a great jam, if a little overboard on the funk-vamping. They broke out of the Ghost structure, and into a really cool Page-induced major key sounding section, before Trey started playing a pretty stale riff that eventually led to ^^Low Rider^^ melody coming out. The rest of the set was really pretty standard, and not made up of my big gun songs, so I guess I didn^^t really have many highlights. Waves is great new song, another pretty, building major-key jam that has the potential to really soar in time. Everything else was played well, and more about song selection than variation on typical performances. All in all, I^^d put the show at the B+ level. For fans of funk jamming, this is your show. ^^Moma^^, ^^Ghost^^, ^^Ya Mar^^, ^^Clone^^ all fun, with the first two approaching different levels of exploratory funking than we^^ve heard from them before. If you^^re the Phish fan (like me) who looks to reel back and forth doing the hippie head-bang as peak after peak is reached until the final composed end riff brings it home, you may be disappointed, especially with this Maze^^s potential for greatness. I think the long drive from Philly and three days in a row contributed to the more laid-back performance, though the band is tight and sounding fresh. I anticipate the last two shows to blaze.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:02:16 -0500 From: Bill and Joanne Cartwright To: [email protected] Subject: 2-26-03 Worcester Show We actually didn't have a problem finding parking, we ended up in the parking garage next to the Centrum. But we knew how to get around Worcester. You're right that there were a lot of people there looking for tickets and that bothered me. Especially since it was f***ing cold and people had to plow through them to get inside. After looking at the set list, now I know why didn't recognize some of the songs. It did make the first set kind of slow. Overall, good jamming - I did see the YEM opener and enjoy Mike and Trey's trampoline act. Golgi at the end was also cool. Question - did anyone thing Trey was fighting a cold or flu? He didn't seem himself.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 11:29:02 EST From: [email protected] Subject: Holy fucking shit. Holy shit--- How can they beat this show? Fucking shit... whew....Still Speechless..Astonished! So solid, So tight they were--- Amazing... Phish--thankyou.
ate: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:21:16 -0500 From: matt granger [email protected] Subject: Worcester Great show last night ! YEM opener and each member had a tune from thier side projects. Not even the decrepitCentrum could curtail the energy. The Ghost-Makisupa-Low Rider-Ya Mar was solid. Certainly more of a low rider jam than the set list suggests. Do yourself a favor and grab this show !
ate: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 15:23:22 +0000 From: The Wolfman [email protected] Subject: Worcester Review! Review: 2/26/3 Worcester Centrum; Worcester, MA Just as I was ready to stick a fork into them, Phish salvaged themselves with a very solid show last night in good old Worcester. It^s nice to see them step up their game for the big venue. After the usual hassle to get in, I decided that if the show itself were as bad as Hampton then it would be my 30th and final. All I can say to that is see you on summer tour! YEM opener was dope, I mean, how can you possibly go wrong with that? Mike took a superb envelope filter solo right at the end. Didn^t know Clone but thought it sounded like a cool tune. In fact, I only knew the Page tune as far as all of the side-project stuff goes, so when I saw the setlist afterwards I was like ^oh, ok, that^s what was going on^, as I^m sure many others were. I think this is totally rad, playing one song from each member^s side projects, what other band would ever do that? (Or even have the opportunity to do it?) Rock on! Moma Dance and Maze were both much better than average. As far as first sets go, this one was way up there. Stash > Ghost set II opener?! Now THAT^S the Phish we know and love! Both had extended jams that really kept things flowin^, the kind of jams that you listen to when you^re driving down a highway far from home and you^re noticing that the trees and scenery are much different than the ones you are used to. Yeah^ At this point things were really cookin^ and I told my friends, quite seriously, that if Phish went into First Tube (which sounded like it might happen) that it would be all over, I would drop everything and hit tour immediately. Well, it didn^t happen, but these jams were money nonetheless. Makisupa was Makisupa, although I thought it was TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE to mention burning down buildings at a concert 30 miles from Providence. I mean, when you hear Trey say ^blah blah hotel was burning down^, what the hell are you going to think about except last weeks^ tragedy in Providence? Anyways, Ya Mar was Ya Mar and Guyute was Guyute, both were very tight. Waves was nice, Caspian was not necessary after it, Frankenstein really tore the roof off because it^s an unexpected segue from Caspian and any rockin^ tune seems to rock twice as hard if it follows Caspian. (Could I have possibly just discovered the point of Caspian?!) Golgi is a great tune and they nailed it. Money closer! I was really hoping for Farmhouse or Fikus or Thunderhead for the encore, but had to settle for Loving Cup. Haha. It was good. Right before the show my friend was trying to convince me how Loving Cup is all about cunnilingus, then they played it and it was all I could think about. It seems somewhat possible. Listen to it and see what you think. Overall the show was much tighter than Hampton. No complaints about the band knowing the songs or not. They nailed everything except Caspian, which they^ve rarely gotten right anyhow. Everything else was solid, some excellent jams, light crew has stepped up as well. Overall I^d give the show a 7.5-8 of 10. Beware of those who fly off the handle and say how absolutely sick it was. It was probably the best show since the hiatus and really was very very good, but to say it was totally off the hook is to imply that you have drastically lowered your standards for the band. Looking forward to the next show! Peace and vibes, Wolfman
ate: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:24:32 -0500 From: jonathan baylor [email protected] Subject: worcester review After a mediocre tour thus far, in my opinion, the show at the Centrum was truly inspired. Keeping with the tradition of playing hot shows in Worcester, they were really on top of their game by having an interesting, eclectic song selection, real segues intertwining songs, and throwing teases here and there. It really showed that they were the sophisticated risk takers they once were. The first set was fun with the "hiatus showcase" of material, and concert staples like YEM and Moma got the crowds energy going. Has anyone else felt that the crowds are not feeling the vibe anymore?The highlight of the evening was the stash-ghost-yamar. The jamming was captivating and in a constant state of flux. Mike and Fishman put on a fuckin' clinic on how to lay down a real tight groove and I love how they raised the levels on Mike's bass so the entire arena resonates with thick heavy bass. The lowrider jam was a pleasant and fun surprise, as was Yamar, it's good to see them being spontaneous. They also played past midnight so the Frankenstein - Golgi was unexpected. Trey threw down a nice Frankenstein riff during Golgi that signaled the rust has come off and they are shining again. After Vegas I was a little disappointed. The shows didn't feel "vegasy" and wasn't sure if the chemistry was there. The audience seemed flat and the band was playing safely, not going into unchartered territory, and not taking risks, but my experience at the Centrum was very "worcestery" and positive.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:32:28 -0500 From: Daniel Buckley [email protected] Subject: worcester review Worcester = some of the best Phish shows. Worcester also = pain the ass getting there. not only traffic on the highway, but traffic getting to the lots (if you could find them) then waiting in 3 different lines to get into the venue! just awful. but I have never seen a more pumped crowd, and we were duly rewarded: a SICK YEM opener. of course, then they went and blew it by playing 4 or 5 slow song which sucked the energy out of the room. pork tornado's "blue skies" was somewhat of a redemption, but basically other than the YEM and a "very toight" (as Goldmember would say) Maze closer, the 1st set was WEAK. of course, you knew they would come out and blow us away. and they did. after a decent stash opener, a fun ghost (with low rider teases) wound its way into makisupa. well-played songs all the way through, and the song of the night (IMO), Guyute, really got everyone moving (which is hard for a song in 3's). i loved the frankenstein/golgi closer, and loving cup was just what we needed to take out minds off the traffic behind and ahead, and esp. the dr. jekyll/mr hyde 1st set. song of the night: guyute best song decision: YEM opener Worcester: build a better highway, and hire less moronic cops. dbb
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 10:40:48 -0500 From: Orlando [email protected] Subject: 2/26/03 review parking was a pain in the ass... and too many people yelling Molly at me .. ... as i walk in YEM.. soo good... i was excited about the clone.. and then the other "First time" tunes thrown at us were money... this is what they meant when they said this tour was gonna be a little bit of all of them.. great choices.. nice moma dance.. they seemed really relaxed.. great first set..one of the best worcesters ever. The stash was great.. and ghost.. not much love for waves but it may grow on me..nice reggae combo with makisupa and ya mar and the golgi totally ripped. Its my first show since the break and i was totally happy with last night . see you all in Nassau. peace
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 09:39:38 -0500 From: Jeffrey Strunin [email protected] Subject: Worcester review My first attempt at reviewing and my only show of the tour, I'm an 8 year Phishhead who was glad to be hopping back on the bus for one night. The reviews of this tour were interesting, so I was psyched to see what the guys would pull out of their hats tonight. Scene: it was cold as hell in Wocester last night. We beat the cold by camping out in the Irish Times for some beers. Many others had the same idea because the place was packed. There wasn't too much lot scene going on, in my eyes. It was too cold. Plus, Centrum parking is spread out among numerous parking lots and garages. Outside the Centrum, people were walking, but everyone just wanted to get inside for the show... Venue: The Centrum is just your average 70's style 15000 seater stadium. we were up in the nosebleeders, but we had a great side view of the band the entire night. And OK, Centrum management, note to the chairman of the board that your bathroom situation sucks. SUCKS. The Show: (I called Moma Dance and Maze before the show.) YEM Opener! Ok, what the F*** is going on here? YEM? FOR AN OPENER? Not only that, it was a great YEM. The vocal jam was pretty cool, a bit unintelligible on the chanting into Clone. I was like, ok what's this? One of Mike's tunes. A good funk jam, but too short. Roget: bathroom time. Drifting: As I got back into the arena, it was like, hey, this is Trey's song. It was really solid, with a good ending. Blue Skies: Cool. some bluegrass. Never heard this one either. A Pork Tornado song??? Wow. Well, there has to be a vida Blue one in there coming up. This was bouncy and fun. Moma Dance! Called it! This is example #1 of how this band has grown and matured. They broke the "traditional" structure of this song and just JAMMED on it! It was the best Moma I've ever seen. Final Flight. Ah. The Vida Blue song. I really enjoyed this one a lot. An intense ballad song that I wouldn't mind them incorprating into their shows more often, especially if they explored the ending a bit more. Kind of the new "Sample" IMO. MAZE!!!!!! MAAAAAZE!!!!!! I was dying! Again, they just took the jam in this song and blew it apart! the Page solo was good, then the Trey solo, THEN they slowed it down just a bit and got into this dirty nasty electric teasing and it was just UNREAL. A definite highlight of the show. Setbreak. I tried to sit down and figure out what the hell just happened. I told my buddy that even if they played garbage for the rest of the night, I'd be happy after the first set. Stash. In my mind there will never be a greater Stash than the one I saw in Vegas 97, but this one came damn close. The middle jam was intense and deep. Another highlight of the show. Ghost. This was ok, but they kind of lost me in the middle of the songbecause they started up this kind of bouncy jam that left me feeling *meh*, but they sped it up and all of a sudden they're jamming "Lowrider"??? OK, this is now by far the craziest show I've ever seen. Makisupa. Funny line about the hotel burning down. Trey kept saying "Policeman came to my hotel". fun jam shifting into... Ya Mar! Wow. This was very tight, even though the vocals were a tad off. Guyute. Same as it ever was. It's a good song, they never vary it at all. so that's why it kind of stinks when you see it at 14 shows and it's the same every time. Waves. Too fast and too short, but some decent jamming. Prince Caspian. Good version, with some heavy guitar at the end, if you can believe it, into... FRANKENSTEIN!!!!!!! What? You've got to be kiidding me! Prince Caspian into Frankenstein???? Awesome version of Frank too...Fish was right on the drums. We were so blown away at this point; what could happen now? Golgi! Hot dog! The place just erupted. I saaaaaaaw yooooou.... Encore: We'd been speculating a chill encore, since that seens to be the norm of late, but they jumped right into a smoking Loving Cup, especially the guitar at the end. It was such an appropriate way to cap the energy of the show. Overall: On a 1-10, I give this an 8.99. There was just enough downtime in the first set to get me a bit antsy, but all in all, the show was "wicked good". They turned the setlist upside down on this one and it worked well. Highlights are YEM, Moma Dance, an amazing Maze, and the Stash 2nd set opener. As a longtime fan, this show was great to see, because it really shows how Phish has grown as a band and is not afraid to screw around with the setlists and the song jams. God bless 'em...they just keep us all coming back for more. Props to MJ, KM, CY and greetings to L&L...I was dancing next to you guys in spirit, if not in reality.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 08:18:00 +0000 From: Joshua Weisstuch [email protected] Subject: Worcester 2-26-03 show reveiw ******** Just got back form the show^no really, we did but we got some things to say as the clouds are still settling in our heads. The traffic was bad but nothing out of the ordinary for mass traffic; a lot of cars but ample garage space for all^2 garages at that! We were sitting on the floor inside. This was our first show since the comeback and based solely on comparison to other setlists alone it seemed this show was spectacular. Indeed, we^ve been following the tour and this show stands out. It seemed to me that couldn^t have at a better time: the tour is winding down and Phish is beginning to sound good, or at least what it should sound like. They are getting into a groove that may remain with them for a while, as the rust from the new years run wears away. Onto the review: Set I The band takes the stage at about 8:20. They set up, everyone is yelling, and begin You Enjoy Myself: Unbelievable opener. The crowd was instantly pumped, and it seemed like the boys on stage wanted to get into the groove right away. I particularly liked the spacey vocal ending, and CK was on his game. This song lasted about 25 minutes, as usual. Clone: They began this song right off of YEM, and everyone was pretty confused. It was a nice tune that I wouldn^t mind hearing again ^ short, but mellow and a little funky. At that point in the show (once we figured out what song it was) everyone was happy to hear a first-timer, and a Mike song at that. Roggae: We have both seen many a Roggae. It isn^t a bad song, per se, but it is a good time to take a seat and relax a little. That is what we did. Drifting: The last time we heard this song was at Bonnaroo, and since then we^ve really liked it. This one was no different; I^ve been hoping for a while that Phish will cover a Trey song. This was a surprise, and you can totally hear the TAB horn section in the background. It is a really sweet, beautiful song that lasted about 10 minutes. The lights are lovely, and we knew that something special was up after a Mike tune and then Trey tune. Blue Skies: really short, standard bluegrass tune. When we realized it was a Tornado song that made it nice (and Phish hasn^t played that much bluegrass this tour), but it was nothing incredible. Moma Dance: Yes! We love funky Phish, and moma dance was discussed before the show. This did not disappoint. The jam went to some great funky places, and the end of the it (right before they went back to moma riff), Fish stopped drumming while Trey was noodling, and then Mike came in playing bass and hitting a cymbal-like pedal on the stage and they played a sweet duet. Every time Mike hit his low note Fish would hit the bass drum pedal, and it was a terrific way to get back into the song. Final Flight: This was another sit-down song. Pretty, but slow and very Page-y. It gave us a chance to rest our legs before Maze: Sweeet set closer. The crowd was really into it, and Trey was feeding off some incredible energy. We now all see what everyone^s been saying: Phish is back, and they can still play an unreal song to end a solid 85 minute set. This song was definitely the Set I highlight. We were happy with the show thus far, but we were not prepared for the monster that was ahead of us. Set II They take the stage at 10:40, and play another old favorite, Stash: Pretty standard Stash (which means wonderful song), but such a surprising second set opener. At this point it seemed like Trey was starting to hold the jams together, almost taking charge of the musical direction of Phish at times. With him in the center it seemed to exacerbate it. Ghost: Another funk monster. Ghost was actually funkier, deeper than Moma and really easy and fun to dance to. Towards the end Fish was holding a great, fast funk beat with Mike playing along, and Trey and Page were hitting some great notes high over them. The segueway into the next song was superb ^>Low Rider teast/jam: Continuing the funky goodness. The crowd was pumped for this tune, very unexpected. There was no jam after Low Rider, they went right into ^> Makisupa Policeman: At this point we saw a great set unfolding. This Makisupa was short but another good dancer, and before we knew it the band began ^> Ya Mar: Another super-fun song. It doesn^t rock out, its just really enjoyable. Ya Mar kept the happy vibe going, and it shows us Phish^s good qualities. Guyute: This is a song that is unbelievable live. It is really a special tune and puts everyone in the crowd in a great place. Guyute was one of the highlights of an already outstanding set. Waves: Everyone kind of collapsed after Guyute^s energy. It was a nice song, but I needed a chance to catch myself for a little bit and take some time for my dome. Prince Caspian: this is a nice song, not one of my wishlist numbers but still a solid Phish song. It was going along pretty normally it seemed, and the next segueway was completely unexpected and super-smooth- ^> Frankenstein: This was the second highlight of the second set. Tons of hands were in the air, and Phish really tore through a great Frankenstein (of course, is there any other kind?). In between many other songs tonight, Phish took about 2 minutes to confer before playing the next song. However, between Frankenstein and Golgi there was no pause ^ Trey played a note, looked and Mike, and they began the abrupt beginning of Golgi Apparatus: When this song started everyone started screaming, probably because we were all so happy to get another song. I couldn^t hear any music for the first few seconds. Golgi was a perfect choice to end the set; its so recognizable and rocking. Everyone loves the brief high energy of Golgi, and when it was over we all looked at one another, amazed at what a set we just saw. Phish, better than in a long time. Encore Loving Cup: Really sweet jam. They hit this encore dead on, much better than some in the past. It seemed like the band was really happy and having a great time. A great tune to end a great show with. So what did we learn from all this? In my opinion Phish is back. They have taken the old and fused the gaps with new and improved sounds and rifts. They are at a place where they are big and everyone wants to see them but they cannot say that they are too big and have outdone themselves. They should be comfortable and just have fun, which is what seemed to be the case tonight. If you get a chance, find yourself a copy of this show and see for yourself. If you find something bad let us know. Fliece Out; Ian Schneider and Josh Weisstuch
ate: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 07:15:06 -0500 From: Ian Conway [email protected] Subject: HOLY SHITBALLS !!!! Just got back from the Centrum show, and am happy to say that phish has restored my faith that they are every bit as amazing as they were and are getting even better. Even a traffic jam and parking mess that cost me the first three songs (including YEM and clone) can't foul my mood about this gem of a show. I had a feeling that being back in the northeast would bring out the best in the band, and I was not let down. The bustouts of the four solo project songs really cast a great vibe of playful experimentation that would last throughout the show. Playing the new material seemed to really energize the band, and the Moma Dance later in the set was very hot, with a much looser and funkier feel than the previous version, at the Pepsi Center on 2/18. The band seemed to be very relaxed and focused on eachother, and each song had a freshness that kept you listening intently because it felt like anything could happen. The set-closing Maze traversed some intenseley dynamic terrain, fluidly weaving different themes together into a truly organic creation, it was phish at their absolute best. With a superb, flowing set already in the bag, that special energy that only eminates from 15,000 eagerly anticipating fans began to fill the room, and when the lights went down for set two the band seemed to feed off of this energy and wasted no time before they were treading new ground again. The opening notes of stash got the room moving, and before long we were all knee deep in the stew of another beautiful jam. This particular stash departed from the original theme and wound through intense, polyrythymic and harmonically shifting themes with a focused urgency, no notes going to waste. As the song crept to a close the band slipped into something a little more funky, and the thick, psychadelic funk of ghost began to flow from the stage. With all eight of their arms and legs seeming to share one mind, the band deftly maneuvered through an ever-changing groove, the band in complete control, and yet the music still seemingly choosing it's own course. In the wake of those beasts the rest of set two seemed celebratory and joyous, invoking the feel of a Baptist revival. Songs like Ya Mar and Waves swept through the audience like a cool breeze at a summer barbecue. Things finished up a bit gritter though, as Golgi Apparatus and Frankenstein crashed the party, riding Harley's and dishing out some vicious rock and roll, closing the set in a frenzy of distortion and feedback which laid waste to the arena in true, over the top phish style. The encore, the Stones' 'Loving Cup' , capped the night off with some no frills rock and roll, and even here the band managed to squeeze out a few more drops of improvisational inspiration to end a cathartic night which left the audience exhausted and silenced all doubters.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 08:10:03 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: Worcester Review I would give this show a high B on the satisphaction scale. The YEM opener was unexpected and completelly fulfilling. It is too bad I missed the firstfew notes trying to navigate my way out of the overcrowded and undersized bathroom. The next few songs, while nice to listen to, didn't give me that "I can't help myself from dancing" feeling that I usually get and I found myself sitting for a little while. It worked out, however, because I needed all of my strenght to make it through what was next to come. Maze to close the first set was intense and and I really felt like the band had total control of me the way that they played this song; I wanted more... Set #2 started and I am still upset that it ended. Once they got to Makisupa and started really groovin', I turned to my friend and said, "Man, Ya Mar to follow would really be nice"- honest to God, the boys felt it too obviously. Phishproceded to break out with somewell timed "staple" tunes. The boys were in sync tonight.Iwould say Maze was the turning point of the night for me. It got better and better from here. Sorry to anyone who missed it... P.S. -Will someone get the word to Phish to cover theTop Gun theme song... Todd R. Etna
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 03:17:44 -0500 From: [email protected] Subject: PHISH!!! This is the first Phish show I have ever been to and I have been wanting this day to come for years now. I was so excited and Phish certainly did not disappoint. I have never had so much fun at a concert, I only wish Trey had talked to the crowd a little more. (Maybe they just don't do that? And, I guess I can't complain because I heard that much more live Phish!) They are amazing musicians, and I left the Centrum in absolute awe. I can't wait to see them again, hopefully there will be another tour sometimes soon! Until then, it's fabulous to be able to download all these new lives shows! =) Yay for Phish!!!
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 03:03:03 -0500 From: chuck Allardice [email protected] Subject: Worcester Review tonight was my first show since 9/9/00 {Albany} I was expecting to be thrilled and was I ever. We got into the parking lot and my buddys car died out.This dude evan helped us out with jumper cables but still no battery working. We walk in the show and we were 2nd lever section 223.This first song was YEM it was phat. During the voice jam was phat. THen YEM went into a unexpected "Clone". Then a stellar Roagge. drifting was something new but was a good pacemaker for me. Blue Skies was soo unexpected, i went nuts because I am a huge vida fan. Moma was a huge speedmaker for me, i went nuts.Then Final flight set up a much appreachiated maze. The 2nd set was where its at.The best set I expierenced. Stash was simply awesome.Ghost had one of the funkiest jams i heard with the low rider jam. Makisupa Policeman was right after some guard stole my boys pipe.It went into Yamar and it was the first time I saw it live and it was slammin. Guyute reminded me of old tspian chilled mes at the pepsi and was i happy. Waves off the new Album was a great break but yet a phat jam. Pronce Caspian chilled me out and prepared me for Frankinstien into Golgi. The encore was loving cup, it was sweet and I thought about a certain girl at home. After the show we to the garage and luckily the car started. Shout outs to Evan and Vannessa from coonnicut for the offer
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 02:21:04 -0500 From: Kevin Curley [email protected] Subject: Phish review 02/26/03 This was about my 75th show and first since New Years.... I just got back and my ears are still ringing, the show was amazing. That second set was some of the best $hit i have ever seen. I'm exausted and i hope phish is too...that show was just awesome. Bill Bradski reporting in from Boston...Wooot!!!!
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 01:38:11 -0500 From: ShawnLessig [email protected] Subject: 2.26.03 wosta quick poucouooo? yem-- can't hurt clone- favorite of the evening rogain- pleasant drift- be good in 5 years blue skies- next monna dance- danced final night- that's right maze- lot's o- paths in the maze ii. stash- could've been in 1st set ghost- absolute best jam of evening lowbuzzkillrider- should have been antelope? maxisupa- out of line comments yamar- 1st set? guyute- 1st set ?? waves- 2-3 ft??? prince- good 5 years ago frankenstien- jumped out of seat golgi- yea i do have a ticket stub enc: loving cup- roses ARE NOT free entering the facility was a nightmare, lots of fun on the inside....CARINI ????
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 04:12:37 +0000 From: [email protected] Subject: Phish Review Shawn- First and foremost, I want you to know that I am not attacking you or anything, I just wanted to ask you a few questions about your review which I saw posted on phish.net. "rogain- pleasant" >> Why did you feel the need to call this song rogain? "drift- be good in 5 years" >> the song is drifting, what do you mean that it will be good in five years? "monna dance- danced" >> Its moma, why that name change? "stash- could've been in 1st set yamar- 1st set? guyute- 1st set ??" I cant help but ask, why would these have been better in the first set? And also, why does it matter? "lowbuzzkillrider- should have been antelope?" >> Shawn, I believe that Phish knows how to structure a setlist, and I also know you have the right to your opinion, but your tone here seems as though you are saying you could do a better job. "maxisupa- out of line comments" >> Its makisupa, why that name change? And also, no one was harmed in the fire in Ohio, and although the keywords used can be seen as out of line, Phish has always carried a sense of humor with them, perhaps this was merely a reference to something else. "golgi- yea i do have a ticket stub" >> Was that comment necceseary? I just find it to be again, really condescending. "enc: loving cup- roses ARE NOT free" >> What do you mean by this? Are you once again suggesting that this is not a PERFECT setlist? Because frankly, your dream setlist might involve songs that other people hate, which is why I wont mention your reference to Carini. Phish is not going to play according to what people want to hear, unless they want to play it. Listen Shawn, maybe your review was written just to catch people being too analytical, which it may have done to me. Regardless, I just find that your entire review seems really Dis respectful towards the band. Sharing your views with the community and speaking your mind is okay. In the future however, it would be wise of you to do this in an effective as well as respectful manner. I could easily sat down and written hate mail about this to you. But that wouldn't have accomplished anything. I don't know you , the Internet is a strange medium in that regard...but in any event, I am going to respect what you said as your own opinion, I just would really appreciate it if you kept from putting Dis respectful and overall negatively toned material from surfacing. Be easy, and thank you for listening, Matt Sloan
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 22:07:15 EST From: [email protected] Subject: worcester i had a ticket, but couldn't find a parking spot. f-ing rediculous. i looked around for almost an hour, nothing. that's not including the worst traffic i've seen for a phish show since leaving the great went. it seems like everyone picked this show to show up early to and try to find a ticket. more power to them. but when someone, like me, has a ticket and can't find a space to park something is wrong. i missed a yem opener. this might be one of the most disappointing nights of my life. did this happen to anyone else?
click here to return to the 2003 reviews page