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Link Friday, 07/16/1999
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Set 1: SampleSample in a Jar, Beauty of My Dreams, Dogs Stole Things, LxLLimb By Limb, Billy Breathes, Vultures, BOTTBack on the Train, Maze, Cavern

Set 2: 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, Simple > Guyute, Loving Cup > GolgiGolgi Apparatus

Encore: Born to Run[1]

[1] Phish debut; Tom Marshall on vocals.

Teases:
· Also Sprach Zarathustra tease in Weekapaug Groove

Average Song Gap: 7.29

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Tom Marshall (Guest)

Notes: Weekapaug included a 2001 tease. The encore was preceded by a story from Trey about how he and Page grew up “around here” in Jersey. Trey then referenced “the greatest songwriter of all time” and said that he, too, grew up in the area. While some in the crowd expected Bruce Springsteen (who was in the middle of a run of 15 sold-out dates at New Jersey’s Continental Airlines Arena), Trey produced Tom Marshall. Tom appeared in the classic Born in the U.S.A.-era Springsteen outfit, complete with red bandana. He subsequently sang the Phish debut of Born to Run. As the song concluded Tom mocked a bunch of Springsteen-esque arena-rock clichés, such as throwing his bandana into the crowd and jogging offstage to a handler who threw a towel around his shoulders. During the song he even aped some dance moves from the Dancing in the Dark video.

Song Distribution:
2 The Story of the Ghost
2 Stash
1 Farmhouse
1 Billy Breathes
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Junta

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1999 Summer U.S. Tour."

, attached to 1999-07-16 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

I’m just gonna come out and say it. Rarely will you see a more lackluster first set than the one we got here. But Phish knows how to pick themselves up off the canvas, and so they treated us to a fun second set and a hysterical encore.
The opening three songs had nothing distinctive about them at all, and “Limb By Limb” jammed a bit but didn’t offer anything out of the ordinary either. “Billy Breathes” is one of my favorite Phish ballads, and under other circumstances I would have been ecstatic to hear it, but it wasn’t the energy boost that this set was starting to need desperately. Same with “Vultures.” I love the prog-iness of the thing, but it had no bite, and I was starting to get restless. I was wondering if the band was still burned out from pushing the envelope the previous night.
“Back on the Train” was the first evidence of any kind of interesting group interplay. It was nothing spectacular, but it had a playfulness that was welcome. Toward the end, the crowd started clapping out a beat, as if to get the band psyched up. It must have worked, because then Fishman furiously hit the high hat to start “Maze.” This had plenty of spark. Page was a demon on the organ, Trey noodled on his keys for a while, and the jam built to a satisfying climax.
Then Fishman launched into “Cavern” with a vengeance. It was worth hearing just for Fishman's playing alone. He inspired the others to attack their parts with equal vigor. At the end, Trey waved his guitar to emit feedback like he did at “Tweeprise” from Camden six nights earlier. But it was an empty gesture considering that they had mailed it in for the first two-thirds of the set. In previous sets I'd seen that year, they had gone out of their way to spice up routine songs, or at least one member would put an extra effort into a solo or riff. They had ample chance to do any of that in the first six songs of this set, but chose not to. We figured that either they were still fried from the previous night, they were holding back to save energy for Oswego, or they were restraining themselves in the first set so they would have plenty left for the special things they planned to do in the second set and encore. Some of my friends decided to hedge their bets and left their seats for a spot on the lawn near an exit, fully intending to walk out if the second set was looking as lame as the first. That turned out not to be necessary, to say the least.
The second set began with the “2001” that we were supposed to get the previous night until Mike overruled with “Split.” This was a particularly mesmerizing version: tight, funky, and a little spooky. The energy level, from the crowd and the band, was eons past what it was in the first set. This eventually faded into “Mike's Song,” and the crowd went berserk. It started off much slower than normal, but soon it was up to its usual pace. The jam section got very dissonant, with Trey fooling around more on his keyboard. The noise made me think "What's the Use?" might be ahead, but all the while Fishman was tapping out the drumbeat to “I Am Hydrogen.” A long, slow version emerged from the dissonance. I rather enjoyed it. But the story of this “Mike’s Groove” was the “Weekapaug.” Mike just pounded the bass on his opening solo with a frenzy I can't remember seeing before. The song just kept getting faster and faster, with some incredible lightning-quick soloing from Trey and then another, even more spectacular bass solo from Mike. He was thumpin' it, Bootsy Collins style. I'm still hard pressed to come up with a better performance from Mike on any song. And all throughout, the others kept up with him, pushing the song to incredible heights. The ensuing “Simple” and “Guyute” kicked ass and took names. And “Loving Cup” was even more raucous. The word that came to mind was "raging,” not something I usually associate with this song. Trey's solo was extraordinary, and the crowd went into a frenzy, which maintained through the set closing “Golgi Apparatus.”
Everything the first set lacked, the second had. It was full of energy and spirit. While not as awe-inspiring as the best jams from the night before, it was much more fun.
But lots more fun was in store. When the band came out for the encore, Trey launched into a story about growing up in New Jersey and seeing concerts at this venue and the Meadowlands, and how much he listened to the guest they were going to bring out, “the greatest songwriter of all time, who also happens to be from Jersey.”
Some people really did seem to think at first that it was Bruce Springsteen that came out. I could tell immediately, from the height of the guest, that it was Tom Marshall in Springsteen costume. As soon as “Born to Run” started, I laughed my ass off, loudly. Tom had the look down, from the headband to the tight Levi's, and even did a few moves from the "Dancing in the Dark" video. (Alas, there was no Courtney Cox sighting.) His vocal was horrible, but he was probably drunk, so what could you expect? The band duly plowed through the song, then Tom left the stage with a flourish of arena rock clichés, tossing the headband into the crowd, and having a "personal assistant" throw a towel around his shoulders as he jogged off.
On this night, we learned never to count Phish out, even when they seem to be at their most uninspired.
Score: 2
mcgrupp81 , attached to 1999-07-16 Permalink
The 2001 tease in Weekapaug is a "shout out" to the show they played in Holmdel 5 years prior. 2nd set is enjoyable. Solid Mike's Groove.
Score: 0
, attached to 1999-07-16 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Since my husband Lyle and I were a little low on funds, we decided to justify spending the money for tickets and travel to five Phish shows in mid and late December 1999 by declaring those shows as Christmas presents to ourselves. It was the first time since the 1995 Fox Theater shows in Atlanta that we had the chance to see three shows back-to-back, and the only time we had seen five shows in one tour, much less the tour-closers. Big Cypress was to be both our first Phish festival and first New Year's Eve shows. Needless to say, we were ending our year and the decade with quite an unforgettable bang!
We made it to Raleigh in the early afternoon and had plenty of time to check into our hotel and grab some dinner before heading to the show. It wasn't until we were headed to the venue that I glanced at the tickets and saw that the doors to the venue were scheduled to open at 5:30 PM for this general-admission show, instead of the usual 6:30 PM. It was already 4:50 PM — yipes! After some mild panicking, we rolled onto the NC State University campus at around five-ish. After a quick but unintentional detour, we found a handy parking spot at the entrance of the parking deck, which was about a hundred yards away from the front door.
Thankfully, miracles never cease at Phish shows. Even though it was less than thirty minutes until the doors to venue opened, the line was surprisingly short. We were not out of luck after all. Actually, the doors didn't open until around 6:45, so we had a bit of a wait, but it was not too bad since we had fun listening to the conversations of the excited phans, mostly college kids, all around us.
We found seats in the too-close-together rows of bright red bleacher chairs inside the basketball gym (behind the one guy who was saving literally sixteen seats for all his friends — what's up with that?), Page side, right beside the soundboard. We settled in comfortably and chatted with the friendly folks all around us. I was enjoying the diversity of the crowd, and though the previous night's show in Washington, D.C., snagged my “Reba”, I was certainly ready to open up my first Christmas gift (so to speak).
“Wilson” was a great opener that really grabbed the crowd. Nothing outrageous, just “Wilson” in show-opener mode. I've heard a lot of “Chalk Dusts” and this one seemed to rage harder than usual. As long as Phish continues to surprise me, I'll continue to be delighted! It was wonderful to see Page croon “Lawn Boy”, but though he stood up and walked out in front of the piano, I thought it was strange that the spotlight never could seem to find him. “Horn” is one of my favorite tunes and this one was beautiful and delicious as always. I was hoping to hear “Limb By Limb” since I haven't in a while. I really dig the Fishman solo at the end. “Roggae” was very ethereal. I love it! “GBOTT” was a first-hear for me and I thought it was a lot of fun. Very catchy, in the best way. I saw some dudes throwin' down some breakdancing moves at the back of the floor, which had gracious plenty of room. I always enjoy scanning the crowd and watching others who are having as much fun as me!
Whoa, where did that “Camel Walk” come from? Right out of nowhere, I'd say! Another first-hear for me and I thought it was fantastic! What a rare gem. The band really seemed to be having a lot of fun in that odd little gymnasium. If that wasn't enough, Phish played another one of my favorites, “Possum”! I love this tune but I seem to keep missing it. A great way to end the set. The energy level during the first set was strong, yet very chill, which I thought was extra cool. I was not a bit disappointed.
Set II got rolling with “Sand” — my first live one and I gushed my toes all in it! Lyle and I both agreed we were hoping they'd save it for Hampton — little did we know! But it was absolutely lovely and at the time I thought it was one for the books. I've been lucky enough to hear several “Mango”s, and this version was definitely the finest one. The band seemed to be taking their time with it and playing it carefully. Chills up and down my spine…exquisite! When Page struck the very first cord to “Velvet Sea”, three girls behind me (not your typical phan girls, either) all squealed really loud. They sang the "mailed it off to you" part loudly, too, but it was not off-key, so I thought it was cute rather than being irritated by it as I usually am when people feel the need to drown out the band with their own voices. “Tweezer” was jammed out in a way I had never heard before, very solid and fabulous. I love when Phish takes an old classic and gives it a new spin. “Runaway Jim” was nice to hear and Trey did the guitar-over-the-head trick, which always makes me smile. To me, that signaled that the boys were definitely having a blast in Raleigh. The “Bittersweet Motel” encore was another surprise; I didn't even recognize it at first but it was great to hear. “Tweeprise” was expected but fun, as usual.
Overall, this was a great show. I think it's one of the sleeper hits of the tour. The second set is well worth adding to your tape or CD-R collection. I was thinking that the chilly willy energy level was an indicator of things to come and I was more than ready for what awaited me in Hampton and Big Cypress!
Score: -3

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