If you are looking up a 10 year old Phish show, perhaps it is a tape or an argument that has aroused your interest. People who were there, who are heavy into the band, this is sacred stuff....By '99 a lot of older fans were raving that the best days had passed--while some pointed to just two years prior as the peak....But this is a show that makes clear that the celebration of this band and their music overrides the nuances and consistency of year by year...old school and new school alike can appreciate the delirious Philly crowd in the 1rst set, the explorations in Ghost, and the energetic versions of Mule, Boogie On, DWD, etc
Remember, this is the old Spectrum, this is Philly on a cold Saturday singing Silent Night in the lots, chanting Lets Go Flyers and doing the wave at setbreak, creating a NYE vibe...and the band had to respond...a true classic.
At the current writing of this review, there is a thread on the forum where people post their dream setlists; to me, no dream setlist I could create would be able to touch the setlist Phish cooked up on this night at the Spectrum. The second set, in particular, is absolutely fantastic - five (!) songs, three beloved covers, and some well-known canvasses with which to splash some paint around (Ghost, DWD). One weeps to think about what Fall '97 Phish could have done with a setlist like this.
Then again, what December '99 Phish did with this setlist is pretty damn good in its own right. Every song played is at least above average (a really strong Hood/Mike's Groove to open Set I, that frisky Sneakin' Sally), with the Ghost particularly grandiose, spacey, and chock full of Trey solo goodness (how the F is this version not on the jamming chart?), the 2001 a chilled-out dancefest worthy of any of the great '97 versions, and the DWD an incendiary set-closer that foregoes Type II for straightforward kickass string-shredding jamming. Pretty much the entire second frame is one long segue, and the wave of noise at the end of DWD confirms what the Philly fans thought of it all.
I'm sure lightning will strike me the second I hit the post button, but I would take this show over Big Cypress with a gun to my head. Big Cypress has higher peaks, but this show is, as they say, all killer and no filler. An absolutely amazing show.
those who know me, understand what this show means to me.
just wanted to post this link to an amazing remastered version. i searched for a long time of a good quality version of this. i think all the tapers got caught up in the groove that night and screwed up their equipment. thank you to Mr. Miner for posting it on it's 11th anniversary, and special thanks to "Kenny Powers" for this truly epic show in CD quality sound.
after a red hot september tour, many were thinking the december tour, with big cypress on the way, would be off the hook. unfortunately, substance abuse and i'm sure other factors, caused this quick december tour to be rather weak, imo. this show at the spectrum though, is like an oasis. this one shines from start to finish.
did anyone have money on a harry hood opener? good hood leads nicely into mike's song. holy crap, they are trying to pull off another hampton 97! gadzooks! like hampton, they really rock this mike's song out. trey navigates through the dark nether regions of this song before turning the corner into simple. hydrogen does its thing before gordo leads us into a very inspired weekapaugh. page really steps up his game on this one swapping licks with gordo and trey. circus gives everyone a much needed breather before scent brings the crowd right back up again. cavern does the job closing down an amazing first set. that could work as an excellent 2nd set at almost any other show.
they come right out of the gate with a nice funky boogie on reggae woman. while not particulalry jammy, it is well played. then they crank right into ac/dc bag, but wait, they start monkeying with the intro. after weaving back and forth between the two, they finally land in a red hot sneaking sally through the alley. this is must hear. sneaking sally goes for a nice ride before working its way into a very impressive ghost. it is a very well textured and well paced jam that eventually finds its way into a very good 2001. page is all over this one. down with disease is an excellent show closer. they stretch this one out nicely before whipping it all the way around back home. possum, closes this one out in style.
from start to finish, this show is a quality contender for best of the year. excellent playing, excellent set list.
So I'm just over a decade late on this review, but I want to take a crack at it because this was the best arena show I've seen these guys play. As soon as I walked into the venue I was hit by the fact that this was the most off the hook crowd I had ever seen. The lights went down just as I walked in and the crowd exploded, so much so that it became impossible to get to my actual seat...didn't matter. Trey comes out and is clearly blown away by the response, so he goes over to the guys and calls the audible for one of the few Hood openers ever. From the first notes of that tom fill to the possum encore this show was a complete gem. I can't really single anything out because the whole show was a highlight, but the mule was the tune that really floored me because I don't think most people put it up there with the bowies, hoods, YEMs, etc. The mule dule and the "here we shower ourselves in lightness" and the whole song in general was awsome. After a rediculous throwdown both sets, they come back and give as a raging 13 minute possum complete with all fall down. This show is an undisputable in-your-face to all the mid '95 groupies out there(you know who you are)...find a copy of this show right now. Seriously. Go.
I remembered this show vividly (after 14 1/2+ years)! 37th shows of my short phish career (started 11/24/96). My original plan was to go see 5 Phish December Shows (Rochester, Philly & Hampton) before heading off to String Cheese Incident in Portland, OR (where I used to live for 27 months) for New Years shows. Needless to say, this show was the MAIN REASON why I ended up changing my New Years plan to go see Phish instead (more on this later).....
Had a fantastic seat one section away from Page side 4th row off floor (next to rail to special VIP area where nobody can walk through). The band opened with "Harry Hood"! Yes, I understand that you would understand what the reactions would be - let just say YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND IF YOU WERE NOT THERE! Never in my life (including 128 Grateful Dead shows) have I ever heard such reactions in a show. The crowd was so loud, I could barely hear the band for a minute. The only other similarity to this crowd sound would be the tape of the Grateful Dead 3/14/1990 when the band broke out with "Loose Lucy" for the first time in 16 years! Talk about EUPHORIA - that was Harry Hood did to the Philly crowd! Mike's Song>Simple>Hydrogen>Weekapaug was literally icing the cake. Seriously, like someone stated early in the review, I could have left the show and walked out as a happy camper! It was fantastic! Circus was a very welcome breather and a very good version. Scent was interesting as I rarely ever see this song, therefore it was very cool to watch the breakdown of Page, Trey, Fish & Mike interplay. Cavern was a great finish to a fantastic set!
The 2nd set was one for the ages. Boogie On, Sneakin'>Ghost>2001>DWD was absolutely stellar with excellent interplay and segueing as there was a flow taking us on a true trip. I'm for a copy of this show as It's My Favorite 1.0 show ever. Call me crazy (up to 196 shows), like I said in the beginning, this show was the MAIN REASON why I ended up in Big Cypress instead of SCI in Portland. Glad I made the trip to the Everglades....
This was my first phish show. 15 years old, cold winter night, at the old Spectrum. Not knowing what to expect I wondered the lot wide eyed and envious I hadn't done this before, I was definitely ready to join the team. What I still remember 13 years later (75+ shows) was the sense of community, everyone was so incredibly in-tune with this band, the energy was perfect. I was hooked.
Best show of 99 that i was attending this year. Philly was really off the chain and the crowd was wondering what the follow up show would produce. It's almost Christmas and the fans are hoping for some early presents. SET ONE- Hood, OMFG! A Harry Hood Opener, kept everyone in awe and asking themselves what is tonight going to bring to the table, Mikes > Simple > Hydrogen. The show could end now and I would be pleased, I was tired from hitting shows in the 99 Fall-Winter run but this was well determined to be one of the best Phish shows of the year. Circus, Scent of a mule and cavern kept the energy strong and it really transformed Set One into something special. Very good flow for these songs throughout Set One.
SET TWO- Boogie > Sneaking Sally, Breathtaking energy and well played, This is the year of Mike. He continues to empress both with his sense of style and well played rhythm. Ghost > 2001. I enjoyed these versions much more that I got in Albany October, this was nothing short of a dance off. The crowd responded with dancing the hell out of the music and Phish was really on track of continuing this scene. Disease to end the show, ENERGY TIMES ENERGY= PHISH to the 2nd POWER. Encore_ Another Gordo song, Possum. Wow! Like noted before, one of the best shows of 99 IMO.
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