Vegas run 2004
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please review the show, not the other reviews....
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 02:28:16 EDT
Subject: Phish show review 4/15-4/17
After reading most of the reviews and attending all three shows,†I felt
compelled to comment on the weekend in general and on those reviews which
have focused on the lighting, Trey's voice, the set lists, and their
quality of show. First, the lighting. Yes, it makes a world of difference
to have the same guy you've had for†200 shows. If you spent money to
travel to Vegas for the lights,†GO TO THE STRIP! The DMB dude did Trey a
favor at last minute, after being on tour himself all winter and spring
w/ Dave & Friends. Get over it.†Trey voice: the bands 4th show this year,
Trey has played 20 different gigs. Probably hard on the voice. Less Trey
signing and more playing isn't so bad anyway. Plus, if he was like the
rest of us, I'm sure he drank himself to sunrise everyday. The setlists
were fine, sometimes predictable, sometimes unorganized. If you didn't
hear one you like, listen to a CD. I can't believe anyone would complain
about the oppurtunity to see Phish in Vegas once a year. I actually plan
on it every year Chris K. or not. Trey with a cold or not. Heated 60
degree Hotel Pool or not. Please, to those of you threatening not to go
to a show, don't. Maybe I won't have to pay so much for a saturday ticket
next year. Luke
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 08:15:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: scott shulimson
Subject: something phishy (vegas phish review)
It should go without saying that every experienced is subjective and live
musical experiences more subject to different interpretations than most.
I may listen to the vegas shows in a different headspace and totally
disagree with what I† now write. Perhaps 20 shows post hiatus is just too
much and I'm getting jaded but honestly the band I saw in miami and that
in vegas† had little in common.† maybe vegas is just†† a bad influence on
trey (and the rest of us)† but the way he looked and played this weekend
made me think of jerry in the 90s- hunched over barely moving usually
uninspired† and leaving the stage for midshow breaks.†
††† I had high expectations for the weekend after miami- each one easily
better played†and with †higher energy than any shows I've seen in years.†
From the get go thursday night it was clear things were different.† The
band had some decent moments both sets.† I was stoked to see my first
drowned since big cypress and the free was actually one of the strongest
(excellent long jam) i've seen.† slave is also an all too rare favorite
but in between it got pretty rough.† I'm not one to criticize the band on
setlist. let em play what they feel like playing. I also don't mind if
they flub some songs as long as when they get to the jams/ solos they
make up for it but this show honestly had more mistakes than any phish
show probably ever. At least every other† song had a big mistake e.g.
trey going into the disease jam while the rest of the band is correctly
still singing or trey getting totally lost in the composed part of
stash.†† Also† trey rapping with jennifer hartswick (trey band) did get
into a groove at the end but was painful getting there. overall a very
uneven show with some many mistakes and some nice peaks as well.
†††† Friday first set was by far the most inspired set of the run
imo.†the song choice was great and†trey was a new man, paige gave the
best solo I've seen from him in a long time during taste (where usually
he kinda† drops the ball) and over all the band was playing together and
really hitting it.†† It was really dissapointing second set to realize
that whatever had going†for them was gone.† Trey's voice was raspy,††
jams were going nowhere and I was realizing just how†boring and
repetitive†phish is when†theres no energy on stage.† At times trey would
try to rip it up a bit but†he would hit†a bunch of wrong notes and go
back to playing chords and general musical wankmanship.††The†song
selection wasn't to hot and no one stage was†playing like they wanted
to†be there. It was amazing what†a change it was from†first set.† Adam†J
and I were talking† about how phish†(unlike the dead [as in "grateful"] )
does often† have better first sets†than second sets.†††This was the
set†when trey stood frozen slumping just slightly more†every minute. he
stood like this for so long I actually started†wondering if†they had
brought†out a statue or cardboard replica while I wasn't looking because
no living mortal could be this still (and it wasn't†during†one of the
bands frozen moments like divided sky).††
††† Then right†as they got†ready for†fishman†to use his new musical dress
trey†ran off the stage and left paige and mike repetively playing hyhu
for a†few minutes until trey returned (wiping his nose).† the lovin cup
to†end†the†set did have†a decent peak and I figured for the†encore they
would do something fast to†get off stagea and get back to partying†so
hood was a suprise and†I challenge anyone to find†one with a less†
energetic jam.† they† cruised around on†autopilot until it sort of
fizzled out into the "finale"† and was over.†
†† I felt really thought they would get it together and finally deliver
two solid sets on sat. wrong.† First set started great.† amazing crowd†
vibe for the opener (actually really good crowd party vibe all weekend).†
The band was holding it together pretty well and strangely enough Sample
in a jar was a maybe the peak of the set† though halley's and bowie were
strong but again, trey wasn't really inspired. I remember writing about
the first night in miami the way trey was able to feel the energy in a
room and weave it together into a spiraling unforced peak- nothing like
this tonight.†decent playing but not taking the lead and really bringing
the music higher.
†††People were pretty†psyched for second set† and after a
long†setbreak†hundreds of people singing the meatstick overwhelmed my
calls†of†"tube."† the second set, like the first had some good moments.†
basically†on par with last years decent vegas†shows.† ghost felt†really
good and the crowd ate†it up but†paige and mike really carried it. I†was
a little worried when†they brought out the trampolines because trey
didn't look like†he†was in shape to pull it off. luckly he realized this
and gave it up before having an†accident.† the You enjoy my meatstick was
interesting.† I don't dislike the meatstick the way my friends†do but
this was†actually shaping to be a very good yem (peak of the show
imo)†before trey†insisted on doing the dance again and again. at first
with mike though they weren't†in sync and later on his own.††I wish I had
a picture of trey doing the meatstick. he looked wierd and tense- very
spun.† the encore was†pretty†good.†again not much from trey†during
wolfman's †but it he knew paige was on and let him†end the run†with a
beautiful†squirming coil.††††we were right on the rail on paiges side and
watched the band enter and†exit the stage and†as trey left†he
was†clutching his head and stumbling- not looking to†good.†††
††† I hear†many rumors about trey's†partying habits but to me its
all†rumors.††People do what they do and†I try not to judge†but I cant
help but think that he needs to get his†shit together. If he just always
played like that it would be one†thing but to see his perfomance in
miami†(almost every set every night being huge) to this very mediocre
performance in all but one set it seems like there must be other factors
than just mood.†Hopefully†this run†just†displayed what comes from the
excess that is†las vegas and as chis koruda wasn't there they decided to
just have fun, party hard and not worry about it but I†have to
admit†I††more than a little worried about trey and am very curious to
hear how summer tour goes.† The band†obviously has a ton of potential and
still hits awesome peaks† in the same sets as†painful†trainwrecks.† I
think weak†shows† will†continue to be the exception to the rule.
also†maybe I'll hear these shows on†cd† hear them in a new way† and come
to†recant all of these ravings.† I hope so.††
on the plus side I was finally able to not† give away my extras. actually
traded for two huge crystals-† one friday and one saturday. I like to see
everyone get in but its been crazy when you cant even give away tix ala
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 13:39:35 -0700
From: Richard Papp
Subject: Phish show review
Let me begin by saying I come for the music, not the lights.†† So, quit
the bitching and be happy that you have the wonderful sounds.†† Thursday
was an average show.†† Friday smoked and was the best of the three.††
Twist was sick!!!†† Wow, what a jam!†† Saturday night was a very good
show as well.†† I enjoyed all of the 2nd set Meatstick fun.†† Overall,
the weekend was a blast.†† Finally, for those of you that constantly
bitch about the band and their performances, quit going to the shows!††
Your negativity disgusts me!†† There are plenty of people who cherish
these good times.†† That being said, I can't wait for summer tour!!!
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 21:55:22 -0400
From: Joe & Julie Marquis
Subject: Phish show review
45th show , 1st review ....this run was as good as any phish 3 day run in
phishtory and I go back baby each taking its place as a mini
tour, 1st night rockin with a monster moma , raging stash> timber and all
songs solid between second set rolled with slave finally!! sneaking sally
THE SECOND NIGHT WAS THE SH#$ . all night the energy was ripping , thank
you phish , I must admit 10th row center all 3 nights helped. this night
was 10...YES IT WAS and I will spare throwing dates around to compare ,all
I will say is loving cup to close means we all phelt IT.you know its good
when there is a phish hangover when the lights go up,hell yeah
3rd night kicked off solid and took off ....no band could play as hot
after the night before ...2nd set was great with trey going off with the
stick dance . what else do you want when you get simple ghost yem
wolfemans coil to end ???I don't understand the reviews sometimes but let
me say this TRUST THIS ONE, then get it for yourself .I DARE YOU
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 16:35:48 -0800
From: Alan Tenenbaum
Subject: Vegas Review Combo
uhmm, let's see here, to sum it up:
VEGAS KICKED ASS!!!
All 3 nights were Fun on the GA Floor! Sure there were flubs, and certain
songs played that didn't suit everyone's spoiled fancy, but there were
extreme headee climaxes throughout the run that made Vegas a blast to be
-I never thought I'd see a day where the highlight jam for me would be a
TWIST AROUND, but it was, 10-fold! So many euphoric moments! And the way
it "twisted around" back to the song's refrain was slick!
-Trey going off like a spaz on the Meatstick dance was jokes! Reminded me
of Beck during his Midnight Vultures dayz.
- Fishman's "New Suit" was absolutely hilarious once you realized what on
earth was going on.
-Fishman singing "Love You" in tribute to Syd Barret's and LSD's
anniversary†that night was sweet.
- the lighting dude did an excellent job! At times I asked myself,
"Kuroda who?"; Fenton added a new fresh twist with his lighting skillz,
but there were indeed moments where Kuroda was sorely missed (2001,
- Trey rapping Jay Z was jokes!
-always felt Get Back on the Train had a Possum feel to it; so glad to
see them paired together!
-Timber Ho segue was NICE!
- Drowned raged!
-Camel Walk was dank!
-I couldn't believe how many bottles of Piss there were on the floor
(especially Sat night)!!! I'm sure Security pissed off way too many folks
from blocking their entry onto the floor, but I couldn't have been
happier getting my groove on the floor with ample space during the 2nd
-Secret Smile back to back with Crowd Control represented a ride on a
subway at top speed when all of a sudden someone pulls the emergency
And if you noticed an old school†Glo-Worm going off at times, that was my
friend Ben and I. I thought I'd give Fenton a run for his money.
Overall, my friends and I had a blast. The music was sweet and the stage
antics showed the band to be having lots of fun. To those whiney phans
who feel cheated or left out... sucks to be you. Loosen up and try to
have fun! Or maybe it's time to move on...
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 16:42:42 -0400
From: "Sbarra, BJ
Subject: Vegas reviews
Phish in Vegas.
I've been seeing Phish shows since '96. I know by now that every one can
go to the same show and have a totally different experience. The reviews
below are my perspective on what went down in Vegas, your mileage may
vary. I was on the floor for all but one set, and had a great time.
Thursday, April 15th
We got into the Thomas & Mack late, but still found a good spot on Mike's
side. Lights out, Buried Alive to open the show. Damn, here we go. A
transition straight into AC/DC Bag, the jam was sorta funky. Limb x Limb
was nice. Moma Dance was good, they really ripped into this one, and it
also had a different, drawn out begining to the song. By now it was
apparent that Chris was absent, as the new guy didnt know any of the
changes. Oh well, on with the show. Old Home Place, always nice. Roggae,
didn't go into the beautiful ambient terrain of 1998 I had hoped for, and
the usual ending was missing, it just sort of faded out on the normal
chord progression. Water in the Sky was good, a nice little jam. All of
these Dreams is not my favorite, but I think it works ok as a slow song.
Like people used to say about Bouncin, its over quick, so who really
cares. The opening lick to Stash got us fired up, all right!
Unfortunately, this was botched in some of the more complex sections.
Also, some folks complained about Trey messing up the lyrics, but he's
just singing the "Was it for this my life I sought" section a little
differently. Listen to 2-18-03. Hmm, can't imagine why he'd want to do
that after playing the same song for 15 years. When Trey took it into
Timber, it was like, well, we screwed that up, so here's some sickness for
you. Very fun Timber to close the set. Overall, not terrible for the
first set back. Anybody remeber 4.2.98? That show was a little sloppy in
places also. Got down onto the floor for the second set, which started
with a rocking 46 days. Drowned into 2001 was a nice segue. 2001 was a
tight, no nonsense version, which seems to be standard these days. This
was also where I really noticed Chris' absence. Where were our 2001
lights???? DWD was up next. Trey gets lost, and jumps the gun on the solo.
The jam quieted down a bit towards the end before moving into Free. I
used to like it more when Free was a treat to see because it was rare, but
the song is great and they played it pretty well. Scent of a Mule started
up and everyone was stoked. The rap was fun (Trey is soooo white), and
the transition back into Scent was very smooth. Secret Smile featured a
new arrangement, whatever, I didnt mind the old one. Crowd Control is fun
and bouncy. Slave started up and it almost seemed a waste in a show in
which the band was obviously getting warmed up. But Slave is Slave, so
you can't really complain about it (Except for that atrocious, imho,
version from 12-3-99). We waited for the encore, which did not
dissappoint. Sneakin Sally into a vocal jam, old schoo stylel! Obviously
the band was having a good time and seemed very loose. The show was fun
and we knew the next night would bring some good things.
Friday, April 16th
Got to the lot earlier and made it inside with the first wave, securing a
nice spot on the floor, dead center about 40 feet from the stage. Seven
Below started us out nicely, this song is one of the better new ones IMHO.
Rock and Roll got the energy up even more, and Boogie On kept it there,
with some nice bass work from Mike. Back on the Train into Possum was
perfect, again the lights lacking during Possum, but better than the
previous evening. Strange Design gave us a beautiful breather, then
Gumbo!! Not as funked out as I hoped, but still fun to hear. Brian and
Robert was another nice breather, and a raging Taste sent us into set
break. People were pretty stoked about this set. Second set started with
a fun Jiboo. Then came Twist, easily the song of the night. They jammed
it into all sorts of places Twist has probably never been before.
Definitely check this one out. Camel Walk was super tight, Mike and Trey
were on it! Wilson raged, and the little drummer boy tease was a much
appreciated nod to the old days. I thought Love You was cool, with Fish's
new suit. Waves was well played, into Lifeboy. Trey skipped some notes
in the begining of the Horse, whatever. Silent was good, a crowd pleaser
for sure. Loving Cup was a rocking way to end a pretty raging show.
Again, I wondered what the encore would be, given many mediocre encores
last year. The opening drums to Hood put all fears to rest, and this one
had an intense glowring war. It was really refreshing to see VERY few
tossed towards the stage. Finally people are getting it. Hood went into
a jam that deviated way off the normal Hood path, which was really
interesting, and then came back with some great light work for the end
(the green lights sillouhetting the band from behind looked awesome from
the floor). Overall, a good show. Many people were ranting that it was
"sick", "incredible". Obviously, it's all a matter of perspective.
Personally, I've seen some "incredible" Phish shows, and while I thought
this show was good, I wasnt left in awe. But again, I left knowing that
the next night could be even better.
Saturday, April 17th
The last night in Vegas. I was glad it was over in a way, psyched to get
the hell out of Vegas and back to Colorado. Got back on the floor again,
is there a better place to see a show? Personally, I dont think so.
Soul Shakedown started up and we knew we were in for it tonight. Halleys
up next, not very long, but tight, into Tweezer. Yeah, now were talking!!
Tweezer was good, and Ginseng was a welcome rest. Horn is always nice,
and played well. Sample really took the energy up a notch, people were
going crazy by the end of the song, and Trey was super into it. So what
does he do? The only thing that could take the energy up another notch,
Piper. It built and built until we thought our heads would explode and
then it went into Frankenstein. Houston, we have lift off. Frankenstein
rocked out hard, I could have been happy if the set ended there. But no,
we got a Bowie on top of all that, which was well done. The set was
smokin in my opinion, the kind of set you find in great shows. Made it up
to the bathroom and back down to the floor just before they closed it off,
whew! Second set started up with Meatstick, which was very fun. Pebbles
and Marbles was awesome. The jam really flowed well, and they took it into
Caspian. Call me biased, but Caspian isnt on the setlist of "great" shows
for me. I like it, and it rocks out, but its such a simple song. And it
segued into Simple, which was fun, but mellowed out pretty quick.
Friday, blah. The jam is fine, but so was the jam in Jennifer Dances and
no one misses that song. Ghost got us back on track, still wish Trey
would lose the obnoxious guitar tone and go back to the funk. After
Ghost, you knew we were in for a YEM or Mikes, YEM started up and was
played pretty well. The tramps were different with Trey messing around
and having a good time. Then came the Meatstick craziness and solos by
everyone. Then YEM got super spacey and Trey unleashed the notes to
Tweeprise. But this was the MeatstickTweeprise, with "Step in the
Meatstick" lyrics. It's always fun to see the band deviate from the norm,
and this ended the show in a good fashion. Again, wondering what the
encore would be, as it could make or break this show, which had a strong
first set and a decent 2nd set. Wolfmans was very tight, wish it would
have gone on longer, the funk was in the air. Coil on top of that sealed
the deal, and Trey nailed almost all the notes perfectly. Great send off,
Trey mentioning it was an honor to play for us.
Overall impressions: While the playing mostly wasnt super tight, the band
appeared to be realxed and having a great time. The crowd was great,
although a bit noisy during the slow songs. Remember when you could hear
a pin drop in a big arena during a slow ballad? The song selection was
good to great. While some lamented the absence of several big guns, I
though it was nice not to get another set of "Phish plays their greatest
hits." The band took chances, both in some jams, and with the
rap/meatstick craziness. There was a good amount of segueing going on,
which often has been a little lacking recently. Trey's voice seemed a
little raspy at times, but you got to remember the desert is a very dry
place and this can wreck havoc on the vocal chords. The lights improved
each night, and some of the lighting the last night actually got cheers
from the crowd. If anything, it made us really appreciate Chris, and
that's a very good thing. Those people expecting Phish to be as tight as
they were in 97/98 need to realize this isnt the case these days, and
enjoy it for what it is. If they never go back to a bigger touring
schedule, then we can probably expect them to stick to the safer songs.
There was some very old school stuff (opening with Buried Alive, Sneakin
Sally vocal Jam, Wilson/little drummer boy) and it was good to see the
band acknowledge their roots. Summer tour could be really good if they
put some decent practice time in. Only time will tell.
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 13:06:47 -0500
Subject: 4/15 & 4/16 review
Having been given my introduction to the band live in 1996, I had
experienced my last show during the pre-hiatus tour to Vegas at this very
same venue. Needless to say, nearly four years was too long to take
without "sharin' the groove." I got into the first two nights only, and
was sick that I missed the last show with the now obligatory YEM. On the
download it sounds pretty nice, and other reviews of the third night have
confirmed my impressions that the second night might be the best of the
run. To the music.
The first night was emphasized by the unbelieveably poor light show, it
was obvious that Fenton, for all his desire to do well, was unable to cope
with the Starship Kuroda, it made for an incredibly eclectic opening set,
with a seemingly disoriented band trying to get through a setlist they
weren't prepared for. The Stash>>Timber was a nice way to close the first
one out though, it wasn't flawlessly executed, but was nice enough to to
leave me feeling all right for having dropped so much cash on the Vegas
I thought the second set opened well with 46 days, but it was the
Drowned>>2001>>DWD>>Free>>SOAMule that really got me hooked, why they went
into the Jay-Z cover is beyond me, totally broke what I thought was
turning into a pretty solid set, at least instrumentally. I guess the
attempt at catching some of the "jiggy" magic from Hampton or something.
Anyway, it really killed the momentum of the set and only a decent Slave
jam got them seemingly back on track. The Sneakin' encore was ok and the
vocal jam was nice, although Trey continued to sound so hoarse, as was the
case throughout the weekend.
Night two was a different story, it seemed like the band decided that they
were going to come out and throw the audience a curve with a show that
could fit nicely into my show rotation. Rock and Roll and Boogie were
very well executed, tight instrumentals, the Train revitalized my interest
in the song despite some previously poor versions. Possum and Gumbo being
thrown in the set with a Taste closer were really nice choices that I
never saw coming. It was nice to get to hear a nice tight Taste.
Set two continued the random song selection with a great Twist, a good
Camel Walk>>Wilson, Lifeboy (coming out of nowhere), and the closing
Loving Cup. Throughout the second set, including Fish's scratching dress,
the band seemed to be much more relaxed and Fenton's lighting, while not
great, was yards better. The crowing piece of the second show, aside from
the great Twist jam, was the Hood, not one of the best ten ever, but in my
top twenty and a good thing to leave an audience that was still frothing
at the mouth for some good dancing and screaming with.
All of that being said, I still had a great weekend. The shows were good,
the band was tight, not too many screwups and apart from the lighting
fiasco the band and the heads, for the most part, made me feel welcome
back on the road.
Thanks for a good weekend y'all.
Henry C. Johnston
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 11:30:25 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Morgan
Subject: Phish Show Review 4-15-04, 4-16-04, 4-17-04
Comments on all 3 nights
How did it compare?: I thought all three of these shows were great. †The
magic was absolutely suffocating.† I only made it out to live shows after
hiatus (saw 15 shows last year), so I can only really compare to 2003.†
†I felt like a lot of 2003 summer tour had fairly bland but not bad first
sets with a couple of very good versions, and magical starts to the
second sets that petered out.† All of the vegas shows saw them playing at
their best 2003 level the whole way through, with tremendous energy.†
Phish is at a new peak people, come and get it while the getting^“s
good.† Now I just have to pray they swing westward again sometime this
The crowd: Thursday was a pretty young crowd of intense jamband-heads who
took the extra day off work to fly out, while Friday and Saturday were a
little more diverse in terms of age range and interest level.
The lot scene:† Lots of wheeling and dealing, the cops seemed to have the
attitude that as long as no trouble is started and money gets dumped at
the tables after the shows, they would stay out of our way.† Props to the
people with the enormous floodlights after the show.† Not too many really
sketchy people which was nice.
Security:† Totally nonexistent.† I saw one guy get chased once, who knows
if he did something excessive, he didn^“t get caught anyway.† I saw zero
security people in the entire upper deck the whole time I was there.†
Cops were at almost every entrance but just ignored the whole thing.†
Great atmosphere for a show.
GA:† Makes for much better shows, but can result in aisle crowding that
deprives people with small bladders of their rightfully-gotten floor
Trey:† I think his tone is finally at the proper balance between
shredding and beauty, and it worked really well with all of the songs
instead of just some of them.† Keep it there trey!† Very excited and on
for these shows in general, there were still some flubs but with a couple
of single-song exceptions on the third night I think he^“s as tight on
the composed versions as he was pre-hiatus.
Mike:† Very good, but needs to be a little bit crisper in the mix.† I had
to really focus to keep track of the bass.† Occasionally dropped out of
the jam a little, which forced trey and page to lead more.
Page: Was on fire and finally loud enough
Fishman:† Good as always
The lights:† They were pretty minimal, though not bad, for the first
night^“s first set, then Fenton seemed to catch on and they were very
solid for the rest of the run.† Not as good as Kuroda at his peak, and
Kuroda was certainly missed during 2001 and some of the more obscure
songs that Fenton probably didn^“t know.† Also, more movement during the
early part of the jams to get the band going please!† But all in all
extremely good, in no way a dave matthews light show and most of the time
the lights were really adding something.
Set flow:† One or two misplacements over three nights is extremely low,
these were the best setlists I^“ve seen in quite a while.† If they
aren^“t writing setlists, they^“re definitely writing out a list of song
ideas before the show.
The vibe:† 4/16 and 4/17 had that special aura to them, like Burgettstown
or New Year^“s last year, and 4/15 was pretty damn close.† There were a
couple of moments where the crowd wasn^“t totally into it, but those were
exceptions to the rule.
Overall thoughts on 4/15:† This was probably the weakest show of the run,
which says a hell of a lot.† There was a lot of extremely focused,
energetic playing but not too much out-there jamming.† I think set I>set
II if for no other reason than the drop in the crowd during secret smile
and crowd control.†
My memory of this show is shot^Ň† I^“ll go song by song for the other two
Buried Alive>ACDC Bag, Limb X Limb, Moma Dance:† The young, heavily spun
crowd was going nuts.† Extremely high energy and fluid, accurate jamming,
no huge jams that I remember but everything was very good.
Old Home Place, Roggae, WITS: Crowd was into all of these and they were
well executed.† I seem to remember some pretty good business in the
All of These Dreams: One slow song in a row too many.† I went to the
bathroom.† My friend tells me the crowd kind of dropped out during this.
Stash>Timber Ho: Hot!† But I don^“t remember it very well so let^“s just
get on to the second set.
This was the best first set I had seen them play at the time, except
perhaps for 7/29/03.
46 Days: Tight, but they didn^“t do very much with it, and the energy
wasn^“t quite there, just a warm up really.
Drowned > 2001 > Down With Disease > Free > Scent of a Mule:† This was a
great sequence.†† I think the drowned jam was the big one for the set and
very good but (gulp) I^“m not sure.† 2001 was peaked very well and the
crowd was very excited.† DWD I think was also very energetic, again type
I jamming mostly.† Free was actually kind of a calm and lilting version,
but I thought it worked very well.
Girls Girls Girls -> Scent of a Mule:† Nice voice from Hartswick, no real
jamming in mule.† It confused the fuck out of the crowd, but they were
more or less into it and would have gone with it if it weren^“t for.
Secret Smile, Crowd Control:† I actually don^“t mind secret smile, I
think it has potential to be one of the better slow songs, but the crowd
was pretty out of it for the first time all night.† If there^“s a place
to play secret smile at all, it^“s not after a confusing rap and before
another new, short, slow song.
Slave to the Traffic Light:† Crowd got moderately back into it.† Above
average jam but not spectacular.
Sneakin^“ Sally:† Crowd was pumped.† No jam, just the vocal weirdness.†
You^“ll have to listen.† I thought the a capella breakdown at the end was
awesome, I^“ve never heard another a capella group make sounds like that
Overall thoughts on 4/16 and 4/17:† These were both shows for the record
books.† Each has 3-4 enormous jams/top 10 versions, the band was
incredibly crisp and excited throughout, and the setlists were
exquisitely laid out.† I have a very hard time deciding whether 4/17 or
4/16 is better, because both were mindblowers.† I think 4/16 gets the
edge since a couple of the standards at the end of 4/17 were only average
versions without really mindblowing jams.† It says something, though,
that I^“ve now seen or heard all 6 sets spoken of as the best set of the
Seven Below:† What a good idea for an opener.† Tight but just a warm up
getting the crowd and band into it.
Rock and Roll:† Scorching!† Good length but not into the type II for too
Boogie On Reggae Woman:† Neat intro and the crowd was grooving hard.
Back on the Train -> Possum:† Both very clean, high energy versions that
didn^“t go too far out there but raged.† The crowd energy was insane,
especially on possum.
Strange Design:† So pretty.† Page was ON!
Gumbo:† A very good, pumping version with some good business in the jam,
albeit not one for the record books.
Brian and Robert:† They played this?† Yeah, I guess they played this.† I
don^“t remember it, which says something about the
Taste:† Holy shit.† Best taste ever?† Damn.† The jam must have been 10-12
minutes of continuous raging.
Gotta Jibboo:† One of the better jibboo^“s around, fairly rocking vs.
dancing and another solid type I jam that didn^“t get too too far out,
Twist:† What have I done?† My brains^Ň are^Ň going^Ň into^Ň my^Ň feet!†
Just get this show already, dammit!
Camel Walk >: Crisp, crisp, crisp.† Way better than the other posthiatus
versions I^“ve heard.
Wilson:† Wow the crowd was into this.† I^“ve only seen a more pumped
crowd at last new year^“s.
HYHU > Love You > HYHU:† Some of the stuff on fishman^“s suit didn^“t
work, and it didn^“t make noise when he moved like I hoped it would.† But
it was fun and the drum solo got intense for the last few measures.
Waves >: †Another above-average version, the crowd was eating this up.†
Great intro jam that slowly coalesced out of the ooze.
Lifeboy, The Horse > Silent in the Morning:† Again one too many slow
songs in a row for this to be perfect placement, but the crowd mostly
stayed in it this time.† The horse was messy.† The silent was pretty good
Loving Cup:† Good version.† Good song.† Good fun.
Harry Hood:† A (I^“m sounding like a broken machine here) well
above-average version.† Strange (for a hood) discordant breakdowns in the
jamming, very beautiful peaks, very tight composed section.
Soul Shakedown Party:† Woo-hoo!† What a pick for opener!
Halley's Comet >: Very energetic jam but nothing incredible.
Tweezer:† Wow.† Incredible.
Ginseng Sullivan: I didn^“t recognize this, it was fun enough and we
needed the break.
Horn: Clean enough, but the band didn^“t quite connect
Sample in a Jar:† Intense, the crowd was into it, shred that puppy trey!
Piper -> Frankenstein:† Very good buildup, I think the crowd took a while
to recognize it.† 3-4 great peaks before an average Frankenstein.
David Bowie: †Without the cool 2003-style intro and fairly sloppy, low
energy composed section.† Very good, unusual jam ^÷ dissonant yet pretty.
Meatstick ^÷ Ye-haa!† Too bad I was stuck in the aisles, forced into
someone else^“s seat where I was getting dirty looks (couldn^“t fight the
crowd, people were getting crushed) and didn^“t have room to dance.† Damn
drunkards trying to rush the floor, wait in fucking line!† I don^“t mean
to bitch (well ok a little), only explain that I can^“t really judge this
song accurately.† This was another great idea.
Pebbles and Marbles > Another enormous jam and show highlight.† A total
monster.† By a wide margin, the best P&M ever.
Prince Caspian -> Very good shredding, got pretty energetic
Simple > Pretty short but a great version
Friday:† Finally, the crowd likes Friday.† Not as good as the one I saw
at deer creek, but still pretty tight.
Ghost: I was more sober at this show than the other two, but I tend to
have my eyes roll back in my head when I get really into a song.† So a
worried-looking usher let me back on the floor so he could keep tabs on
me, he thought I was about to pass out.† I was happy as hell but it also
is kind of nervewracking to be singled out in the crowd and hauled
somewhere by security.† So I don^“t know how accurate my opinion of ghost
was.† I thought it was an ok version with its high points, but never
really connected for me, at least not on the level of the rest of the
show.† A lowlight, if you can believe it.
You Enjoy Myself -> Cool noodling around in the composed section, then
they kept making trey do the meatstick which was fun as hell live but
will probably be annoying on tape unless you were there.† No real jam
because of the -> into
Tweezer Reprise:† Always great.
Wolfman's Brother:† A short jam that didn^“t do that much for me, but a
good placement nonetheless.† I think I was too tired to really boogie by
†The Squirming Coil:† Great version, tight, energetic, clean, you name
it.† What a wonderful way to end.† The crowd was cheering for a good
minute afterwards before all the house lights came on.
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 14:44:35 -0700
From: Dave T
Subject: Phish show review 4/15-16-17
Chris Kuroda, Chris Kuroda, Chris Kuroda!!
If he can't be there for personal reasons, Phish needs to postpone for
personal reasons. Period. The shows we o.k. at best. The setlists look
great, but the whole weekend suffered without Mr. Lights. I don't begrudge
Fenton, he did what he could, and even improved a little bit from night to
night-- But still pretty awful when you have that benchmark to compare
with. The band obviously feeds off of Chris even more than I thought. I
guess the shows can best be summed up as very uninspired.
Still- a crappy phish run is still better than 90% of what we see live. So
it was still nice to be there. Tickets were given away on Thursday night
(guess people didn't want to take that vacation day from work) and than
there was price gouging Friday and Saturday. I heard tickets for 100+
...scalpers can suck coc......MF. How sad. Remember....no market, no high
prices....don't buy 'em unless they are face people. You create that
That said...here's the highlights.
4/15--- Buried Alive opener. Nice! Way to get things started. Moma Dance
(man 97' was a good year for da funk!!) bringing me back. Timber Ho!
closer --organic my friends. 2nd set- 46 days??? WTF?! Didn't they just go
out w/ Timber Ho! ?? I don't get it. Drowned redeemed them a bit. Nice
jam. What up w/ the Jay Z cover...What a waste of time. Basically a
commercial for Jen's band playing down the street. It just wasn't a good
choice, it went too long, and just stupid. It didn't add any comic relief
that it was intended to. Like a said...Commercial for JEN HARTSWICK. Sad.
SLAVE CLOSER!! always nice. Encore was ok, Whatever happened to
surprises?? Trey NEVER should have went off abou Fish's stupid dress. It
didn't live up to the hype. I felt like he was trying to encourage people
to come to the next night. Like they didn't already have tickets...C'mon
Trey, you are not needing to get rid of tickets, they were already sold.
Keep the surprises and leave the hype out of it. Did I mention I missed
Chris Kuroda tremendously????
4/16--- Boogie on...that's what I am talking about. Possum!! another
organic seague, just like the Stash-----Ho the night before. I like it
when someting pops up and they run with it. F the jam if it isn't
happenin'--- grab the song that comes up. Nice. 2nd set Twist--Camel walk
Highlight of the weekend. Twist is evil. I like-a the red lights. Phish
needs some darkness. (Ghost was their best studio so far...sorry git
sidetracked) Although I hated the fish dress thing//especially after Trey
went off about it the prior night// It was probably the best version of
Love you I've ever heard fish sing. Nice quick and light. He actually
tried to sing instead of just hamming it up. That was cool. Lifeboy!!! You
don't get a refund my friends. Nice to hear some hoist sheeit.
Horse/Silent always welcomed and cool. LOVING CUP huge. nice closer--crowd
was pumped as usual. Hood closer...that was a gimmie. Not the best, but
you can still feel good about hood!! Did I mention I missed Chris Kuroda
4/17--- Soul Shakedown opener. Killer opener, but I longed for Bob to be
singing. Trey is a little too white. What can you do?? Halleys!! I love
it, just a standard version but still nice on paper (no pun intended;))
Tweezer...who cares? Horn was killer, as was Sample.
Piper/frankinstein/bowie uninspired versions they pissed out. Maybe it was
the lights having a negative effect?? I've seen better. 2nd set
Meatstick!! I don't care for the song so much lyrically, but it has a
nice groove. This actually was another highlight for me. Mostly because
it wasn't the planned song to open the 2nd set. A group of fans started
chanting the "whoooooa it shocks my brain" much like the Trey B-day show.
Mike picked up on it, told Trey and they kicked it out. Organic!! I love
it when it just happens and isn't forced. That song than set the meatstick
theme for the rest of the night. It was just a FUN moment, and that really
stood out for me. Everything else this set was prety standard except
Ghost. Their funkier songs tend to promote the sickest jams. I LOVE the
jams as long as they happen right. The band needs to let go fruitless jams
when shit aint going. To their credit, instead of forcing a shitty jam
that isn't happening, they had a tendency to cut their losses and go for
new song, or go with whatever song surfaced out of the jam. Those were the
best moments for me. Stash---- Ho, and the better example was the crappy
Back on the train jam that the band abandoned in favor of a killer Possum.
(sidetracked, sorry) Yem continued the meatstick theme, and I didn't
really miss the vocal jam, especially after the Sneaking Sally vocal jam
the previous night. Actually I could do without the vocal jam period. It
has been done, and rarely promotes anything new or interesting. Reprise
was required, once again it kept with the meatstick theme (trey really
milks it geez, give it a rest.) The Tweezer reprise lost most of its
intensity because of the meatstick factor, Whatever. Wolfmans and Coil to
end it up..I don't know. It just felt stale. It did kinda sum up the
weekend.....subpar. There were moments that were nice, and it is always
nice to see the phish from Vermont. I guess I expect more from the boys.
I've seen some sick shit over the years, and these shows didn't measure up
as much. Did I mention I missed Chris Kuroda tremendously????
Peace people!! AZ Dave
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 16:29:55 EDT
Subject: Phish show review
I am a musician and have been seeing PHISH since 1992. Yes, these shows
(Vegas run) were probably the worst shows I have ever seen as well but to
blame that on the light guy and the absence of Chris is the†most
ridiculous thing I have ever heard.†Is there any PHISH phan out there who
has enough moxy to blame the shows on the responsible party? For once
blame the band. They were clearly unprepared, Trey was obviously partying
way too hard shown in his uncharacteristic sloppiness on guitars and
horrific singing in the second set of the second two shows. The main
problem with the shows was unpreparedness on the band's part which in
turn gave them no confidence. Musicians who perform without confidence
are better staying off the stage. Taste in the second night was a
highlight, very aggressive version and it paid off. To be honest,
everything else I saw was so sloppy that I was happy to see them barely
make it through YEM without any major catastrophe. But leave the light
guy alone, all he did was step up in someone's absence to do the best job
he could. And as a musician who has played hundreds of shows, with
lights, it doesn't matter at all, the lights are for the fans, not to
help the band out. Remove your blinders people and lay the responsibility
of three dissmal shows on Trey, Mike, Page, and Jon. Actually, not
so†much on Mike becuase he basically saved their collective ass each
night. At least all of the girls in the crowd were super cute.
White Rhino, NYC
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 12:40:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Marc Hirsch
Subject: Phish show reviewview
All three nights, especialy set 2 thursday and set 1
saturday were damn near fantastic. There's a lot of
idle bitching going on from people that don't know
what they're talking about. Fenton Williams did a
great job and I wish I could thank him personaly. Who
ever said he didn't know how how to use the lights is
dead wrong. I'm guessing they were MAC-500's that were
used beyond they're full potential. Not to say he was
perfect, thursday he was off a few times but by the
end he was dead on. By far the best night was the
17th. it started with a funky reggae beat and
progressed into a tripped out jam. Paige owned all
three nights, that guy's rad. He know's how to end a
show right. Another highlight was the Pollock posters,
beautiful 4 color prints that mocked the whole poster
scene, no heart. Last I would just like to add 98
percent of the people bitching about any aspected of
the show's weren't even there. get that?
p.s. whats up with the rave scene at shakedown?
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 22:16:14 +0000
From: steve flor
Subject: Phish show review/Vegas weekend
†††† I've just returned from the three Vegas shows and thought I'd give
my overall opinion of the weekend. I've seen about 15 shows as well as
numerous TAB and Oysterhead efforts so I don't have a staggering wealth
of experience but I am capable of recognizing a really hot show when I
see one. I saw one.
†††† The show show on Friday was easily the best of the three.† On
Thursday Trey was superanimated and I would guess he had a good Vegas
buzz going. He was obviously having a good time but his playing was a
alittle stiff and sloppy and never really took off and soared.
†††† Friday I got the impression he wanted to show everyone just how
great a guitarist he really is and boy, did he deliver. This show gave me
goosebumps. I could tell 2 minutes into 7 Below that tonight was going to
be different and when the boys went into Rock & Roll I knew we were all
in for something great. The Jibboo/Twist to open the second set was
incredible and may have actually surpassed the Mr. Completely madness
from West Valley City, Ut. last summer as the greatest Phish moment I've
ever seen (that includes Dark Side of the Moon). The Hood encore was
sublime and was probably the perfect song to end what may have been the
greatest overall show I've witnessed or heard. Ever. I spoke to several
people in line on Saturday and virtually everybody had Friday's show in
their top 3.
†††† I couldn't believe the Saturday show would surpass Friday's effort
and I was right. The setlist was strong, but I think after 2 nights in
Vegas the boys were draggin a bit. It also looked to me that Trey had
that Vegas buzz going again. I sensed he was too fucked up to do the
trampoline thing and happily he abandoned the effort before he broke his
leg. I also could have done with a little less of the Meatstick shtick.
†††† I will point out that all 3 shows were nice and long, much longer
than 9/2000 or 2/2003 and that's cool.
†††† It's obvious that the band digs Vegas and try hard to enjoy
themselves while they're there and for those of us that live in the West
it's a pretty painless way to get a Phish phix. I'm glad this time they
gave us a truly great show to remember and 2 other solid efforts- I mean
Phish NEVER sucks. Trey has too much pride and cares too much about the
product to ever allow that to happen. As for the absence of Kuroda, I
hope that's the last time he's not on hand; he was missed.
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