This was the second time I saw Phish. The day was unbearably hot, and the cops were unbelievably prevalent. People were getting thrown on their backs just for standing around. Every time someone got arrested, angry Phish fans (like myself) circled around the scene, objecting to the actions taking place in front of us. Two of my personal friends were given citations that day, and another was even arrested and taken "downtown." After all the drama, I decided to escape the heat by buying a bottle of water for a buck and sitting in the car with the AC full blast.
Somewhere in between those two actions, I completely lost my ticket. Looked everywhere around the car, in the car, under the car, where I bought the water, but I never found the freakin’ ticket! Had to buy another one at the box office, and thank goodness it didn't sell out. I got inside the show in plenty of time.
First set had a great setlist, but listening to it on CD is
a whole different story. I don't think the first set will go down in history for being one of their better sets. Second set, they came out and just nailed "Story of the Ghost", and did a great "Prince Caspian." It was a show equipped with a great audience and a beautiful, starry night.
It really goes to show you what the power of waiting a few years (or in this case, 10 years) to reflect and review a show. These days, it seems like halfway through a first set and a show is getting rated, and comments are being thrown up like pasta on a ceiling even before the band has had time to take their final bow.
When phish announced their southern run, I along with two other close friends (one being the notorious David Einstein, one of the legendary PT trolls) were all in. We had already seen phish in our hometown of Greensboro, NC and were blessed with an absolutely amazing show. Also, I had ventured out to Kansas earlier in July to catch the Bonner Springs show and reunite with a friend who I worked with in Colorado the summer before hand.
Yay, phish is coming back to the South! But, Charlotte > ATL > Raleigh > Pittsburgh? Who figured out this road loop?!? Nothing like a lot of backtracking. On the third day we rolled back through Greensboro into Raleigh. It was so, so hot. I was taping the three night run, and we rolled into the lot in Raleigh late. I switched out driving with David so I could jump out of the car, and make it through the bag check to get inside. These were the years where if you had a tapers ticket, you could get to the best spot in the section. Now, well, if you have a tapers ticket you take your assigned seat since someone in a better "tapers ticket" seat not only isn't taping, but spent "x" amount of dollars on stubhub for their seat in the section (but that is another rant). Making it in quite a bit faster than I thought, I found my spot with my other taping cohorts, set up, and waited for the show to start.
Raleigh can be a hot show, or it can be a dud. We just had two great shows in Charlotte and ATL, and expectations for Raleigh were high (We didn't know the band was saving all the gusto for Pittsburgh).
Back to where I started, taking a few years to review a show. Listening back a little over 10 years later, and this was a gem of a show. If you are inclined to check out some under rated shows, add this to your list.
Some key songs to check out Disease (full ending), Ghost and a great -7, followed by a tube with a little extra zing on it.
This show gets overshadowed by Charlotte and Pittsburgh. But if you put this show onto rotation, you might just be surprised.
The joys of looking back into time. Things that may seem dull end up having a shining moment.
I understood the Mike situation as he walked offstage to puke and Trey welcomed him back when he returned to his spot on stage. I had heard he was sick from the night before and Im sure the heat of the afternoon did not help...
Cheard check out the awful bass playing during the first set; especially during Jim, Ya Mar, and Llama. Apparently Cactus got really messed up the night before and was either hungover or still messed up.
After a much better second set opening, Trey welcomed Mike back.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $750,000 to support music education for children – 210 grants in 43 states, with more on the way.