Fish, introduced as “Flagina Fishman,” took a vacuum solo during I Didn’t Know wearing only stars and stripes boxers. This show featured the debut of What’s the Use?. After Carini, the band reprised the chorus of Meatstick while part of the crew and a few fans did the Meatstick Dance. The band performed the second encore in stars and stripes outfits. The show was followed by a fireworks display.
this was one highly anticipated show in the good 'ol summer of '99. they hadnt played on july 4th in forever, so no one really knew what to expect. outside of a fireworks show to end the show, this show was not anything too far out of the ordinary, but it was still one hell of a show.
the show starts out in nice festive fashion with a my soul, yamar opener. good summer time tunes. oh kee gets the crowed anxious for whatever may come next, then they blast into a nice sharp ac/dc bag. nice classic phish. they don't take this one out to far, but it is a nice precursor to the rare, for the time, wedge. this one is pretty well played, but it still lacks the fluidity that is present in this tune later. i love vultures. this was easily one of my favorite "first set tunes" from this era of phish. they just played this song so well, and this one is no exception. the tension of vultures is resolved when the band gets back into fun mode with i didn't. fefy cools things down before a nice firey bowie closes the set. fishman plays really well on this one, and trey navigates through this jam seemlessly.
ghost is a great party time/fourth of july opener. they take a nice textured funk jam on this one, similar to most this summer. i would say i still like the columbus version a lot better; that one cant be beat, but this one travels into some nice dark territorities before rolling into a very pleasant slave. this slave just has a wonderful layed back tempo, but it the band does not seem to lose focus. trey and page play off each other very well, and after that monster opening duo, the band earned a quick breather. they picked horse>silent, which is one of my favorite breather selections. well played and it works nicely into what's the use. not my favorite tune, but there are a few sets, namely this one and first night of deer creek '00, where i feel it just seems to fit well. wilson gets the crowd back and fired up after the opiated daze of wtu. they let this energy roll right into a very strong mike's song. i, unfortunately, feel this song really peaked between 95 and 98, but this one is still worth the listen. page plays under trey brilliantly, while gordo and fishman just drive this one way up high. while i feel this song was past its prime, i do feel this one is completely worth the listen. in fact, and i need to check my tapes out to see if there's one i'm forgetting about, this may be my favorite mike's groove of the year, except for memphis. anyway, after the mike's jam eases off, they roll into sleepy monkey. gordon seems extra fired up for an excellent set closing weekapaugh. trey rips off a really nice solo in there to...certainly inspired by gordon's firey playing.
carini is somewhat of a surprise encore, but hey, why not? it works. then, as they were proned to do in 99, they took every chance they could to get everyone into the meatstick dance. not my cup of tea but hey...
are they leaving without performing their patriotic duties... oh no...they rolled out in these goofy stars and stripes outfits, some more clothed than others. a nice little run through the ssb before the fireworks kicked up....
overall, this is an excellent show. it's not the best of the tour, but the playing is sharp, the setlist is rock solid, and the boys seemed to really be gassed for this one. if you don't have this show, pick it up. if you like this one, see columbus 99. the first set is not as strong, but i like its ghost>free combo better than this very good ghost>slave combo. also, it has an interesting 30 min birds of a feather.
the wedge, vultures, bowie
ghost>slave, mike's song>sleeping monkey>weekapaugh
I echno the notes of Jabberstin. I just listened to entire second set with dr. dre beats a blastin my brain. The transition from Ghost to Slave is a must hear and this version of Slave is a must hear. For both versions, they are in a trippier paced mood, especially during Slave which is filled with a sense of "altered state." One of my favorite versions from late 90s. Trey's singing during Horse is trippy and nearly a whisper. The transition from Silent into the first "Whats The Use" keeps the psychedelic mood of the evening alive and kicking. I like this version of Wilson which features that ever aggressive style of screaming CAN YOU STILL HAVE FUN? I give this second set four out of five red apples. Happy 4th of July 1999!
This final show of the two-night Lakewood run offers a couple rote renditions of Phish staples, yet a few hijinx and even some fun-filled pre-hiatus silliness. The second set opener of Ghost ->Slave is strong; good enough to warrant a spot among Kevin Shapiro's 'From the Archives' series that continues to broadcast on festival radio (The Bunny)to this day. Also the heady, psychedelic debut of The Siket Disc's What's the Use? provides a unique sense of conclusion to the typical Horse>SITM pairing. God Bless America!
As noted, the segue from Ghost>Slave is an absolute must hear. Like none of its kind, these two songs merged together in lock-step. Don't be fooled, this is no segue from a normal kick-ass Ghost-- the nature of THIS Ghost, a wild and polyrhythmic psychedelic masterpiece-- utilizing effects rarely if ever used this way, is the onramp for the Slave To The Traffic Light that continues this tone and other-worldly sense of time. It winds its way up the mountaintop without ever letting go of it. It appears Trey gets so far out there that he loses track of time and calls Slave short by a couple bars. Trey goes on to play The Horse and Silent in his own world-- his guitar work is greatly different than normal for these songs where the expectation is complete accuracy. They could be taken as played wrong but he isn't off, he in his own world and what we get is a type II ending to Silent-- some incredibly in the moment guitar work.
What's the use is the perfect backwash to the super nova of the opening couplet.
As for Wilson, remember this is just under a week before the canonized Camden 7/10 show which featured some gnarly exploratory work-- this one goes much deeper, so deep that Trey gets lost in his own world again and forgets his lyrics-- THIS leads to one of the most riotous "CAN YOU STILL HAVE FUNN" sequences ever-- must hear. Put this part when you gotta get your day going.
Mike's song puts an almost happy breather to the madness and then plods into similar territory that ghost does, but doesn't stay long before the happy breather genre king-- Sleeping Monkey, appears.
Weekapaug is just a simple stroll, basking in the glow of what just happened.
Carini reminds everyone that the madness aint over yet.
Meatstick in 99 meant something else than it does now.
And a classy and choreographed firework show to Star Spangled Banner has the crowd in a ferocious bliss to close out the night.
I will forever remember this show as it was my one and only prediction that ever came true...
I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but some of the guys in my circle asked me what I thought was going to happen at this show, and I remember hearing meatstick on a tape from Europe, can't remember the exact show, but it was a very different rendition. Now mind you, we had been to a few other shows that tour, but for some odd reason, Meatsitck popped in my head. Sure enough, that night was the release!! My friends looked at me in awe, i couldn't believe it. I was the 5th member of Phish LOL. Loved it.
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