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Permalink Posted by Russell Neidhardt on , attached to 2003-02-26
Phish.Net contributor(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

The drive into Worcester was pretty smooth, that is until we hit the exit for the venue. From the exit we could actually see the Centrum, which was a bad thing because that showed us how far we had to travel through traffic to get there. Once we had parked, we made our way up the ramp and into the sea of rabid fans trying to make their way in. My buddy Dan surveyed the situation from his vantage point (high above the rest of us) and told us it seemed that there was only one entrance that we were all to squeeze through.
After about forty minutes we were at the door. When we finally made it into the venue and into the room, we began the slow decent down the stairs to our seats, which were right off the floor. It was nuts. People were squished together and moving as one big unit down a narrow set of stairs. The lights went down before we were anywhere close to our seats, and Trey played an appropriate "charge!" tease. The band then launched into “YEM”. A very tight and rocking version, and the whole place was feeling it hard as the opener. We made it to our seats by the vocal jam and got to take in Kuroda's display of crazy white lights. The “Clone” teases in “YEM” sounded strangely familiar before I realized what they were. “Clone” was great to hear, I loved the groove that Phish created with that song. “Roggae” was nice, and gave me a chance to look around the venue. I would swear that this place was filled way over capacity. It almost seemed to be busting at the seams.
After “Roggae” came “Drifting”, a favorite of mine from Trey's band, and this one did not disappoint. It also got us all thinking "hmmm, two side project songs. this could get interesting." With that thought came the Pork Tornado square dancin' number followed by a SUPER FUNKY “Moma Dance” that had the whole place movin'. Vida Blue's “Final Flight” finished off the side project segment of the show and a crazy multi-peaking “Maze” ended the set.
During setbreak I heard rumors that a lot of ticketless fans had made their way into the building. This could explain how crowded the Centrum was, and I wondered if the band knew about any of this. Set II began with a beautiful “Stash” which took us far out and back, then came the meat of the set. “Ghost” > “Low Rider” > “Makisupa” > “Ya Mar”. This combination of songs took us through some twists and turns, all of which kept us on our toes, dancin’ away. During “Makisupa”, Trey called Page “Leo Kottke” in an apparent reference to “Clone”.
The whole show was so tight. It made me feel so good about the coming years of Phish. And I believe my question about the fans who snuck in was answered with Golgi. I had this funny vision of a newbie who had snuck into the show, ingested something psychedelic, then heard the lines "I saw you with a ticket stub in your hand" only to think, "Wait a minute... OH MY GOSH!! They know I snuck in!!" This show is a Winter 2003 standout and should be a part of everyone's collections.
Score: 1

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