, attached to 2003-03-01

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo There was smoke billowing in the distance. The ruins of Nassau Coliseum lay razed in celebratory wreckage. Even as far south as Greensboro, NC, the embers of February 28th floated down, dangerously hot, to the city's arena. And that's where the story begins.

The band, still red hot from 24 hours prior, races into the show with a quick-tempo'd, blitzkrieg'd version of Chalk Dust Torture. Extending the jam into lava hot type 1, the tone from the previous night was more palpable in this particular evening. This CDT scorches and sends the crowd immediately into a frenetic dance party. One song is all it took to know this was going to be another barn burner. A sassy-assed Moma Dance comes next. While it doesn't go into extended funk territory like the tour's previous version, it does indeed contained rocking, extended pre-Moma proper and post Moma proper rage-faced mini jam segments. 2 for 2 Phish. And away we go. The first Foam of the tour settles into the three slot. Dangerously exciting, Page takes the reigns right away and tip toes across the ivory while Phish's rhythm section NAILS a punctuated groove. Mike and Fish are LOCKED in while Page crescendos into some truly prodigal playing. Amazing stuff. When Trey takes over, the lavishness continues as he stokes the fires with note after cascading note. The show, as it stands 3 songs in, has all the markings of 2.28: energy, pace, flow. Now we need the extended improv to make it an all-timer... Well, Lawn Boy comes in next and what it lacks in improv it makes up for with Page being such a slut. Hammin in up, this song keeps the energy levels and, and we are taken even higher with a mid-set Zero. I personally think mid set 1 is the PERFECT placement for Character Zero, especially during a show like this where the energy levels created in the first 25 minutes could fuel Greensboro for the next 48 hours. It was that intense. An impeccably placed Divided Sky comes next and is executed to near perfection. The jam builds into a cathartic climax, true goosebump material, and man, hose me down now. This Divided Sky reaches the limits the atmosphere. A retro rocket of happiness, it climbs to the highest reaches of our gaseous buffer zone before gravity pulls it back down to earth. Amazingly enough, as it gets pulled back down to earth, it creates a fine, soft Mist. A perfect landing zone. Mountains in the Mist gives us time to wallow in breathtaking serenity, as the band has no doubt caused several (non)spontaneous combustions at this point in the evening. Humble and pretty, this is the perfect offset to how the set had been going. An ideally placed cool down song that was still played with precious, focus, and passion. Waves tumbles through the Mist and keeps the near-lunar energy roiling through the venue. A straightforward rocker, this Waves keeps with the theme of red-hot, take no prisoners, type-1 energy of the set. Trey climbs the scales and really shreds this version. Sample takes us up even higher, as Phish again is 100% on song selection and placement, mirroring the energy of the crowd, show, and tour.

Severe seismic activity marks the beginning of set 2. From the depths of the mantle, Rock and Roll fissures up through cracks in the crust, ultimately exploding through barriers of rock to mark the beginning of the final set of the finest tour in years. 12 minutes of non stop rock n roll, the RnR picks up where set 1 left off. Leaving a wake of ash and ember, lava and fire, stoke and high five. Whew. The pace at which I have been typing is only superseded by the pace at which Rock and Roll is played. Complain if you will (you won't) at the lack of """"type-2"""" so far, but I'll take a show like this over a forced, awkward "extended jam" any day. This show is lightning bolts mixed with Mountain Dew. Speaking of which, Wilson pops into the two slot and my advice to you, find an AUD, listen to the crowd. The place was ON FIRE. Literally? Maybe so maybe not. But all I can say is smoke started rising up from my speakers. Then I realized I was burning my grilled cheese. I digress. Smoldering, smoking, grilled cheesying, there is no stopping this phreight train. Now... now is when things get dirty. I am talking downright controversial. I'm guessing at least 39 people got thrown in jail as a result of their dance moves during Piper. 17 minutes of swanky funk, taking tidbits from 2.16.03 Piper and mixing them with up-tempo porno grooves, this Piper sashays all around the musical spectrum. It is filthy. It is sweaty, sexy, sultry. Then when it morphs into 2001... better google yourself because you all may have XXX written next to your name if you were in attendance this evening. 2001 features drippy spacefunk and volcanic peaks. A perfect slap-on-the-ass to follow up a smoking hot romp in Piper. But Phish isn't done. Who was the .netter that said he makes his "girlfriend" cum like 4.5 times? @frankstallone you know who I'm talking about. Anyways, this guy could take a lesson from this PIper > 2001 > Wolfman's -> Boogie On. Yeah yeah, I got a few songs ahead... but wow. Hold on, I need to buy a pregnancy test. Positive. Fantastic. I am carrying Mike's child. Wolfman's -> Boogie is deserves more than three Xs. It is unrateable. It is pure sex. Swampy grooves tangle with steamy fills an the bedsheets are thrown out the window with this pairing. You cannot pack more passion and energy into an 8-minute Wofman's and 7 minute Boogie On than they did tonight. It was pure controversy. Wading gives us time to take a shower and reflect on our life choices, which at this point are unequivocally good, and then we put our pants back on... kind of... as Antelope drops in next and we are all immediately naked. Continuing the high-paced theme of the show, Antelope is performed at an unsurprisingly fast pace. The band had no choice. There was no fifth gear... only high gear. And the ran ran ran ran ran ran ran ran DUHDUH-DUHDUH!!! Like an Antelope, outta control!!! HUGE PEAK sends us off into the night... or does it. Yeah let's croon ourselves off the stage with an off kilter, but downright laughably heart warming Carolina. What could be better then to send us away with smiles? HOW ABOUT A HALF HOUR ENCORE! HOLY SHIT! A white hot, magnesium laced First Tube pulses through the amps. I wish I was there. Trey is screaming through his guitar. Mike's bass line is SO heavy. Fishman is KILLIN IT on the drums! And when we say, "ENOUGH," Phish says, "You keep those pants off!" and we all enjoy ourselves. YEM. YE-FRIGGIN-M!!! I cannot say smoldering, scorching, smoking, or hot enough to capture the energy that this song brought in its second encore slot. Do yourself a favor and forgo any written review and just listen to it. Does it reach the heights of 2.26, not quite, but circumstantially it is 2.26's counterpart. Then the Proud Mary vocal jam to continue the theme of actual songs in vocal jams (Lion Sleeps Tonight, Clone -- man I wish they still did this, super fun), Phish releases us into the evening satisfied, tired, and knowing the best band in America was officially back, marking one of the best tours of their careers.

Must hear jams: Piper > 2001 > Wolfman's Brother -> Boogie On, You Enjoy Myself
Probably should listen to jams: Chalkdust Torture, Foam, Divided Sky, Rock and Roll, Run Like an Antelope


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