, attached to 2003-02-18

Review by Anonymous

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

I could hear a thousand negative reviews about this show and it won't change the fact that I am still in awe of my first Phish concert.
I started the night in section 302, row 16... this happens to be the very top of the Pepsi Center. I wasn't that worried about it at first, I just figured the sound would be good no matter where I was. But just as “Runaway Jim” started, I realized I had to do something about the seating. It sounded really muffled from where I was and I wasn't going to have that. Luckily, one of the guys I gave a ride to had seats in the bleachers just behind the soundboard (Section 114), and I was able to use his ticket to get down there.
There were four seats directly in front of him, like some higher power (most likely ticket scalpers, or someone caught in the East Coast snow storm) had saved them just for us.
From what I heard of “Runaway Jim” and “Water in the Sky”, they both seemed pretty standard, but to me, standard Phish is one hundred times better then any other band playing its best song.
“Squirming Coil” never even occurred to me as a song that I really wanted to hear at my first show, but once it started, I became very excited. I attended this show with three other friends who were seeing their first Phish show as well, and this song was one of my friends’ favorites, so that made it all the more special. “Brian and Robert” is such a beautiful song and I loved the vibe I got from all those around me while it was playing.
“Stash” was one of my favorite songs when I first started listening to Phish just two and half short years ago. It was so much fun seeing this song live and being able to participate in the “woah ooo oo oo” without the people around me thinking I was nuts. Phish didn't really do anything out of the normal, as far as jamming, but to me, “Stash” is one of those songs that is just good as is.
For some reason I could not think of the name of “The Wedge” while it was playing. All I could think about was listening to it with one of my friends before the Trey shows at Red Rocks while driving over the Continental Divide. It brought back some really cool memories.
“Birds of a Feather” is another song I really was excited to hear. I want to say that there was nothing spectacular about this song, but I really can't because I was so blown away. I know that doesn't seem to make sense, but it being my first show, I can't justify being negative about anything.
Trey's head was bobbin' so hard during “Walls of the Cave” and he looked to be having the best time exploring the jam of this song. I love when Phish plays new songs live because we are getting a chance, as fans, to witness four artists while they are creating a piece of work. Like any other artists, sometimes it turns out like crap, sometimes it's pretty good and sometimes it's amazing, but to be able to witness that process is great. Just imagine if you could sit in with Picasso as he was painting. It may turn out to be one of his masterpieces or maybe just something that was “nice:, but you would have enjoyed the experience of being a part of the creativity. That's kind of how I felt sitting through “Walls”.
I have to say that I called “MoMa Dance” as the second set opener. I know it was nothing out of the norm for them, but to actually be there for that song is pretty much indescribable for me. Then they did it, played another song off of my big three requests. “Divided Sky” was a dream come true for me. It was one of the first songs that I totally fell in love with when I first started listening to Phish. When it came time for the long pause, everyone was going crazy. It was definitely the loudest the crowd had been the whole show. There was not much of a glow ring war like I expected, but I was thinking that most people were probably like me and didn't want to drop four bucks on one.
When “YEM” started, any voice that I had left quickly went away. I could not believe that they played this song. My friend leaned over to me and said, “It's like Phish was riding with us on the way to the Pepsi Center and heard me say the songs I wanted to hear.” I remember thinking, as cheesy as it sounds, “It's all happening,” you know, from Almost Famous?
To me, it was all happening. I couldn't think of a better place that I wanted to be and I was so overwhelmed. I finally got to see Trey and Mike on the trampolines! I couldn't help but to just keep laughing out loud while dancing harder than I ever have before. Once they started in with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” I began to realize that Phish would never cease to amaze me.
I don't have much else to say, except that part of me wants to quit my job and begin touring. But after reading the negative posts about this show on rec.music.phish, maybe the fewer shows I see, the better off I'll be. I'm happy to let Phish blow me away each and every time I see them.


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