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Link Saturday, 12/14/2002
Studio 8H, NBC Studios, New York, NY

Set 1: 46 Days, CDTChalk Dust Torture

Average Song Gap: 1

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Phish performed on Saturday Night Live, with former Vice President Al Gore as host. Gore introduced both performances. Earlier in the show, Phish had appeared in the recurring “Jerrod’s Room” sketch series, where Jimmy Fallon plays a college dorm room web-show host. In the sketch, the band was forced to hang out with Jerrod and his friends after being involved in a car accident with one of them. Gore appeared in the sketch as one of the students’ professors. All four members of Phish joined in to play a snippet of Contact in the dorm room. Later, Robert Smigel’s TV Funhouse cartoon parodied the ability of Charlie Brown and his Peanuts friends to transform and enliven anything (e.g., a dumpy Christmas tree) by just “waving their arms around a lot.” Phish appeared as the “transformed” version of Schroeder and his friends, who had been playing music themselves. During the cartoon, two pieces of You Enjoy Myself were used as the Peanuts characters danced around.

Song Distribution:
1 Round Room
1 A Picture of Nectar

Songs by Debut Year:

NOTE: This Phish performance does not count for stats purposes.

, attached to 2002-12-14 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Alex Janoff I had been looking forward to this day for a long time. I had been into Phish for a while at this point, but since I just started to get to know them at the beginning of the Hiatus I'd never gotten to see them live. When they announced their first official public comeback, I was highly anxious to see them. When I read the word “SNL”, it triggered in my mind “NBC”, which made my eyes light up at my computer screen. A close friend of my Dad worked at NBC and I had a good feeling I would be able to acquire a ticket to go.
The tickets were for the dress rehearsal though, which initially made me think Phish wouldn't even play. But I was wrong. The dress rehearsal is everything the real show is, and more. It is put on from around 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., so thirty minutes longer than the regular SNL. They perform more then the required scenes and use our reactions to determine which they will perform at 11:30 p.m. Phish also had to play the same songs as they would for the live broadcast.
I arrived in the city by train and took a cab to NBC studios. I arrived and, due to the heightened security from 9/11, I had to have an ID card made especially for me. I was waiting even more anxiously in the lobby than I had been for that week to find out about the tickets.
This was it, I was about to see Phish for the first time that the public had seen them in years. Finally, a representative came down and opened a small steel box with a bunch of envelopes with names on them. When I got mine I went right up the elevator and towards the studio. There were a good amount of people with me but hardly any were anxious for Phish like I was. Mostly businessmen who were taking their wives out for this and then dinner. It was a long wait in the hallway in front of studio 8H, but well worth it.
When they came on to play “46 Days”, I was pumped. Not much crowd energy like at a typical Phish show that I have been to since that fateful December night, but it was still great. Phish rocked and then they went off after one song and I was itching for more. About forty five minutes later they came right back with “Chalk Dust Torture”, one of my favorites. They jammed it out a little but they had to fill a relatively small time spot. I can say this though, I taped the live broadcast and compared Phish's performance that I saw in the rehearsal to that and ours was longer and better, in my opinion. They weren’t on a major deadline with us; they had to keep it short, but had some leg room. The show ended shortly after “Chalk Dust” and everyone came out on the main stage to wave to the cameras and say goodbye. It was nice seeing the band interact as themselves with the SNL actors. Overall, the night was great. It was like our own private show. Me and not more than maybe 200 other people got to witness a miracle. Phish was back, and here to stay.
Score: 2

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