, attached to 2004-06-20

Review by andrewrose

andrewrose In 2.0 terms, this show is the yang to 2/28/03's yin. Anyone doing an analysis of that brief but in my opinion incredibly fruitful 20 or so months of Phish's career should start with those two shows (and work out from there with 2/26/03 and 6/19/04). At any rate what you see there in the second set delivers on its on-paper-promise as if it were part of Fall 97. Seamless segues, explosive, layered jams. At the time, this was Phish's last ever show in the state of New York, and it came through in spades. Don't skip the first set Waves, or the Drowned.

As for the rest, I'll let this over-the-top item that I wrote in July 2004 about the Twist take it from here..


The SPAC Twist:

The Ghost jam is where this baby starts, and what a Ghost, short, but gorgeous, and deserves it`s own review. You can hear traces of Twist at about 12 minutes of the Ghost, and Fish and Mike have the whole groove locked way ahead of time--all Trey has to do is slide into those opening riffs. Mike is so playful going into the song, before the first lyrics, and Page follows suit. Then lyrics at 47 seconds. "Substituting every sound" hits way earlier than you`d think, but it works; the song is shorter and they want to jam as soon as possible, hence Fish`s great fills from the start. Mike`s lands big, solid notes immediately before the jam. They slow it down right away and let Fish trade wood-block sounds with fat Mike mini-bombs. Trey hits one of those telling notes at 3:00 minutes that's so perfect, where you know he`s focused and this is going to be an amazing jam. Big Mike control at 3:30 over Trey`s intricate beeps. At 4:00 minutes everyone comes together perfectly with a tone change and Trey has a riff that sounds like a tease. Throws it in, then does a small simple solo, hot and quick, and Page is all over it. Fish messing with the tempo at 4:50 and totally nailing it. Twist-like again just past 5 until Page kicks in with the clav, and Trey chk-chk`s it with 97 ease as Mike throws those commanding quick ones down that Fish supports, kind of like the Quadrophonic Toppling jam from Big Cypress. But then he and Fish just go off, and Trey is riding it so nice. Trey and Page just jump on Fish and Mike`s back and everyone is GROOVING at 7 minutes. You can hear Page`s confidence in his fills. More space in the high-hats closer to 8 minutes, and the place is loving this stuff. MIKE at 7:40 and Trey egging him on, and then Page climbing in on that. Big, big stuff here. Make no mistake, this is still full-on dance groove material. Page wants the lead at 8:40, takes it out with some thick notes and at 8:50 people, we are hearing a Phish sound that has all of the funky awesomeness of Fall 97, the intelligence of any space groove after that, and the intricacy and poise and confidence of the best post-hiatus moments … and make no mistake, the highs in 03-04 have been HIGH. And this is nasty stuff!

By 10 minutes, this has already been an insane jam. The band just relaxes for a second, like they had all been holding in this amazing breath, and it chills out. That much music in 10 minutes? Fish lays it out and lets it down, and the thing could have ended there and I would have been happy. But who`s that? Where`s that riff coming from? Is this what Trey wanted to do at 4 minutes? Did he just put it aside and let his three accomplices rock that space and then decide to lead another sick jam, seamlessly? Yeah. The groove that Trey pulls out at about 10 minutes, after Fish comes down and stops ... Page picks it up and then we`re in this disco-ish zone, think 12/31/99 SOAM meets the end of the 8/10/97 Cities jam. Trey throws in a Seven Belowish-lick at about 12:30 and Page is layering gorgeously. Fish is bringing it up and down with slick high-hats really quick. FISH AT 16:30! Mike so solid under him, and we`re in old-school Gin peak mode. 17:22 sounds like the Went Gin. This is undoubtably the moment I was yelling "it`s the Hhhhhhhhhose!" and people everywhere were losing it. And Trey just keeps pulling it! Page right with him high. So high. Fish DESTROYS with rapid thunder over Trey at 18:30 and the thing is just coming to earth with might and size and then instead of dying, goes into a STRUT. Page with some nice actual piano while Fish times those smaller thunders perfectly. Chilled out so Mike can just sound like the coolest thing in the world, and then to a close just past 20 minutes.


The rest of the show is good, too.


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