Vegas run 2004

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please review the show, not the other reviews....

Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 02:28:16 EDT From: GeoffreyJhnsn 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 for200 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 playedand 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 andtrey 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 goingfor them was gone. Trey's voice was raspy, jams were going nowhere and I was realizing just howboring and repetitivephish is whentheres no energy on stage. At times trey would try to rip it up a bit buthe would hita bunch of wrong notes and go back to playing chords and general musical wankmanship.Thesong selection wasn't to hot and no one stage wasplaying like they wanted tobe there. It was amazing whata change it was fromfirst set. AdamJ and I were talking about how phish(unlike the dead [as in "grateful"] ) does often have better first setsthan second sets.This was the setwhen trey stood frozen slumping just slightly moreevery minute. he stood like this for so long I actually startedwondering ifthey had broughtout a statue or cardboard replica while I wasn't looking because no living mortal could be this still (and it wasn'tduringone of the bands frozen moments like divided sky). Then rightas they gotready forfishmanto use his new musical dress treyran off the stage and left paige and mike repetively playing hyhu for afew minutes until trey returned (wiping his nose). the lovin cup toendtheset did havea decent peak and I figured for theencore they would do something fast toget off stagea and get back to partyingso hood was a suprise andI challenge anyone to findone with a less energetic jam. they cruised around onautopilot 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 prettypsyched for second set and after a longsetbreakhundreds of people singing the meatstick overwhelmed my callsof"tube." the second set, like the first had some good moments. basicallyon par with last years decent vegasshows. ghost feltreally good and the crowd ateit up butpaige and mike really carried it. Iwas a little worried whenthey brought out the trampolines because trey didn't look likehewas in shape to pull it off. luckly he realized this and gave it up before having anaccident. the You enjoy my meatstick was interesting. I don't dislike the meatstick the way my friendsdo but this wasactually shaping to be a very good yem (peak of the show imo)before treyinsisted on doing the dance again and again. at first with mike though they weren'tin 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 wasprettygood.again not much from treyduring wolfman's but it he knew paige was on and let himend the runwith a beautifulsquirming coil.we were right on the rail on paiges side and watched the band enter andexit the stage andas trey lefthe wasclutching his head and stumbling- not looking togood. I hearmany rumors about trey'spartying habits but to me its allrumors.People do what they do andI try not to judgebut I cant help but think that he needs to get hisshit together. If he just always played like that it would be onething 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.Hopefullythis runjustdisplayed what comes from the excess that islas vegas and as chis koruda wasn't there they decided to just have fun, party hard and not worry about it but Ihave to admitImore than a little worried about trey and am very curious to hear how summer tour goes. The bandobviously has a ton of potential and still hits awesome peaks in the same sets aspainfultrainwrecks. I think weakshows willcontinue to be the exception to the rule. alsomaybe I'll hear these shows oncd hear them in a new way and come torecant 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 miami. -scott
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 always!! 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 know its good when there is a phish hangover when the lights go up,hell yeah 3rd night kicked off solid and took off 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 part of! Highlights: -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 anniversarythat 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, Possum). - 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! -Tweezer ripped! Low Points: -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 sets. -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 brakes And if you noticed an old schoolGlo-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. -b
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 13:06:47 -0500 From: conor23 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 run. 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 year. 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 seats. 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. 4/15/04 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^Š I^ll go song by song for the other two nights. 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 Roggae. 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. Set II 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 before. 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 run. Set I: 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 long before 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. Set II: 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, unlike the Twist: What have I done? My brains^ are^ going^ into^ my^ 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. E: 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. 4/17 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 this point. 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. market, no high prices....don't buy 'em unless they are face people. You create that situation. That'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 tremendously???? 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 From: SLustig55@ 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 themost 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 somuch 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? Marc Hirsch 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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