, attached to 2000-09-17

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez I haven't been particularly inclined to write any show reviews recently, but after listening to this one today, I feel inclined.

First off, to really appreciate how great this show is, you have to understand how many unusual things happened on this evening. By the fall of 2000, phish was just sounding tired. There were moments, but all in all, it was a very missable tour. This show, imo, is THE glaring exception. There are so many points in this second set where if you were hitting a lot of shows in '99-'00, you would think you knew exactly how things were going to play out, but at each of these points, phish turns the predictable into something wild and exciting. I'll explain as I go...

Guyute: while guyute was quite common place at the time, it was quite rare for phish to open with something that required such technical precision. this is a strong version, that works well in the opening slot.

GBOTT: once again, they had played the shit out of this one since '99. i can't imagine too many people were too amped when this one popped up, and that is the last song in this show that I will say that about...

Bathtub Gin: by 2000, gin had largely been relegated to the first set. in fact, off the top of my head, i can't think of a 2nd set version. well, this take shines in the 3 slot. it follows a similar pattern as most 2000 versions, but trey adds several nice embellishments and interacts with page brilliantly throughout. fishman does his typically fantastic job controlling the tempo. they make sure to add a little extra oomph to the rousing send up that is the end. does this one break any new ground? no. does it do a nice job in the 3 slot and loosen the guys up for a fantastic back end of the 1st set? you better believe it.

Limb by Limb: this song sounds a little bit redundant after bathtub gin, but it still works out very very well. trey comes blazing into the solo and nails it all the way up to the spiraling climax.

the moma dance: this is a nice change of pace. outside of trey kind of air balling as they move into the second section, this is well played. it's a standard version, but it's a song i always enjoy.

lawnboy: time to let page take center stage and give everyone a breathe before a rather intense set closing trio...

fluff head: this one had become a bit rarer by this time. they still deliver the goods.

the curtain with: this was only the second version of this tune since '88. even if you caught the big bust out at deer creek, i would assume you were still ecstatic as trey leads them out of the curtain and into with. the deer creek version was a spot on rendering. this was that and then some. trey soars through out and his playing is bursting with creativity. if you are a fan of this song, this is a must hear version.

chalkdust torture: after keeping it pretty tight for the previous two songs, they use cdt as an opportunity to cut loose. it didn't break any new ground, but it's still a power house version. great three song stretch to go into set break.

set 2:
here's wehre the fire works start...

Rock and Roll: here is where the curveballs begin. for many of you younger folk, a jammed out second set rock and roll opener is pretty common place. up until this point, rock and roll had pretty much stayed within its framework. yes, there were some straight up scorching versions, but this song had yet to fully detach from its framework. for most of '99, it could be found in the encore slot as a nice pleasant 6 or so minute good night. this version, well, it has some movement. as this jam begins, they stay close to home, but you can tell they are looking to slowly branch out. trey leads the way, using the delay loops to tell the boys that they won't be bringing this one back around. as he eases on the loops, he plays a quick lick similar to the intro of llama, and everyone picks it up again. they want to take this one deep, but they have some issues figuring out how. fishman slows the pace, and once again, trey fires up the loops. this time, they don't back away from the descent. trey sprinkles some nice melodic flurries and gordon backs him with some wonderfully spacey playing. trey steps back and let's everyone else enjoy this wonderful spacey realm they've happened across. eventually, fishman pulls everyone out of oblivion and into...

Theme from the Bottom: well, everyone knows how theme from the bottom goes, right? this one does not do that. the playing throughout this version is strong. as they work through the theme's middle section, it just becomes unhinged. they just wonder and wonder until you start thinking that they may not be able to bring this one home. as the move further from the typical destination, gordon seems to come out of the blue and lands perfectly on...

dog log: this is a song that does little for me as a stand alone, but it seems that when a song segues into dog log, something special has happened. this is dog log. great rare score. great placement.

mango song: this is one that i'm pretty neutral toward. i'm never pulling for it preshow, but if it pops up, i dig it.

anyway, as they move toward the closing section, fishman just starts honing in on this heavy percussive groove. gordon comes in right behind. trey doesn't do anything in this jam to distract from the hedonistic landscape that fishman has painted. he scatters around some delay loops, feed back, and some dissonance laced rhythm. page throws in some nice weirdness on the synths. they move nicely through the abstract, and right when you think they might be losing steam...

free: bam!! i have always thought that '99 was the year for free, but don't think they didn't still have that mojo in '00. for all of his patience and "non rock star'ness" in the mango song jam, he absolutely attacks this middle section. his guitar hisses and snarls throughout the middle section. fishman and gordon, after being allowed to shine in a 15+ minute mango song, were obliged to back trey, providing him with a super thick foundation to wail over. i absolutely love this song in the slow closing slot, and i'm not too sure why you don't see it there more often. perfection.

enc:
contact>rocky top: standard, but after that set, who gives a fuck?!?!

on a sleepy, missable tour, this show is a sure-fire classic. for most of '99-'00, a rock and roll>theme>dog log>mango stretch could have been wrapped up in about 25-30 minutes. this stretch moves like an hour long roller coaster. absolutely must hear.

highlights:
set 1: bathtub gin, fluff head, curtain with, cdt

set 2: the whole damn thing

By the way, i am running with the @kennypowers remaster, and I give this recording a big 2 thumbs up. grab it on the spread sheet or on www.phishauds.com . @kennypowers does great work. hats off to you sir!!


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