As the excellent Phish Companion review correctly points out, the lawn was indeed half empty. Plenty of room to groove, and from the very first chords of Carini, it was a no-holds-barred dance fest. I thought it was nice to hear Sleep. Caspian was long and jammed-out, as was typical for 2000.
I led an impromptu drum circle of sorts during the set break – a handful of people were banging on the lid of a large plastic trash bin! I was actually giving instructions to everyone (“Stop! If you all bang on this thing at random, it will collectively sound like ass. I'll start with a simple beat, and everyone slowly add something complimentary and equally simple...”)
The magic really started to unfold during set 2. The extended Boogie On > Twist segment was quite nice, and Fishman's excellent fills really made the jams. I have fond memories of brazenly cutting a rug with a group of equally ecstatic strangers on the wide thoroughfare between the lawn and the pavilion. McGrupp was spot-on. I've sometimes wondered why Halley's tends to make fans so excited... upon giving this show a careful second listen, this Halley's justifies its status as a fan-favorite: it rocks and rips hard! It will likely remain a mystery why Trey abruptly walked off stage as the song wound down (at the time, I was too busy dancing to even notice).
Taste worked really well in the encore slot; it's one of my all-time favorite Phish tunes. The unusual chord progression gives the illusion of an ever-ascending crescendo, and Trey's brilliant licks pack an emotional punch.
Overall, this was a pretty damn good show! If you like the 2000 vibe, give it a listen. The aud I have ain't too shabby, either.