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Link Friday, 08/01/2003
Loring Commerce Centre, Limestone, ME

Set 1: Jam -> Skin It Back, Jam

Average Song Gap: 445

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

Notes: This Friday night soundcheck for the IT festival was simulcast via “The Bunny,” the official festival radio station.

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Songs by Debut Year:

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

waxbanks , attached to 2003-08-01 Permalink
waxbanks Best of the big soundchecks, and one of 2003's highlights! The band emerges from a fog over 15 minutes or so with the most delicate and patient collective playing, and builds organically to Mike's loopy 'Skin It Back' vocals at the half-hour mark (with a little 'Watermelon Man' poking through the clomping late-night white-kid hangout vibe, maybe?). After a brief pause it's 15 minutes of eerie downtempo build, then a quickstep through the haze, previewing the climactic 46 Days from 8/3/03. They even wail a bit with five minutes to go, then casually bring down the intensity even as they gallop to the close. (Here's one way to tell Phish are a fantastic improvisatory group: they *effortlessly* modulate the density and intensity of their jams in a huge variety of genres and styles without changing volume or broadening out into rock-riff genericism. Their ability to honour the specific circumstances of each jam/moment blows my mind.)

These two jams are must-hear Phish '03 material, part of the dark'n'stormy tale of IT (along with Ghost, Chalkdust, 46 Days, and of course the Tower Jam horrorshow).

(Once you've digested the IT 'check, seek out the loose-limbed Lemonwheel soundcheck, which is an entirely different affair - all funk and blues and silliness and drunk-in-the-dorm-room messin' about.)
Score: 13
fhqwhgads , attached to 2003-08-01 Permalink
fhqwhgads Some pretty, nice, ambient swirly stuff before segueing into Skin It Back, then Fishman getting his monitors adjusted before more ambient swirly stuff with a harder edge. Trey's tone, as has been documented thoroughly, is kind of harsh, whether due to the lack of the Ross compressor or what, but this is a monumental achievement that would be the highlight of almost any other band's professional gig, let alone Sound Check, and makes me almost giddy thinking of the krakens that will be unleashed in phans' fragile deemster trenches once Phish resumes releasing soundcheck stuff in soundboard (as with the iTunes Live Phish bonus tracks.) This soundcheck is IMO representative of IT as a cohesive experience--I wasn't there, unfortunately--but in a more raw fashion, even perhaps being let to grow more organically from the band than the 46 Days jam on 8/3/03, but I'll have to review the Tower Jam again before I can compare or contrast it with the Sound Check.
Score: 0

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