, attached to 2003-07-30

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

So far this summer, I had been to the Alpine and Deer Creek shows, and was really feelin’ the tour – much improved since the Winter, in my opinion. I live in the Philly/Camden area and was excited to be seeing a show in my home town, not to mention that it was the last "venue" shows of the tour.
My friends got searched and stubbed. I got searched, and I was ready to be stubbed, when the ticket ripper said, "Sorry, this is a ticket for tomorrow night. Nice try."
I realized that I must have taken the wrong ticket. My ticket was at home. I was standing there with a ticket to the next night. I stood there blankly for a moment, until it actually hit me that I might not be seeing the show. I argued and argued with the woman, begging her to let me in, explaining my mistake. No luck. I finally give up - I'm not getting into this show. Oh well, shit happens. Such is the way of the world (and careless people). I started to walk away, depressed. All of a sudden, in front of my eyes appeared a mail order ticket. I grabbed it out of what seemed like thin air. I turned only to catch my benefactor walking into the show without wanting any thanks. I'm not sure what he was still doing with an extra at this point (why didn't he sell/miracle it already?), but he anonymously decided to give it to me. I guess miracles do happen.
This night was interesting and everyone seems to have a different opinion of it. “My Friend” opener was certainly a treat, and got the energy going. Some uncommons/rares in the first set were a treat too, such as “Spock's Brain” and “Lonesome Cowboy Bill”. My highlight was the “Scents and Subtle Sounds”. Unlike a lot of people, I've really been impressed with (most of) the new material. It seems like they've been writing "jam vehicles" rather than actual songs, abandoning the epic, extremely technical sections of old, and instead writing relatively simple songs which allow them to fully explore the deep unknown of music. Ever since I first heard “Scents”, I felt like this song had serious potential, and the jam that came from this show's confirmed it. As they had been doing recently, they totally digressed from “Scents”, and truly traveled the seas. They did it again with the “Chalk Dust” (they also did this is on 7/10/99 in Camden).
Many people were disappointed with the rest of the show. A four song second set gave us some great, long jams, including a rockin' “YEM” (with a very creepy vocal jam). Still, the few number of songs and the “Secret Smile” encore left most fans wanting more.


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