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Link Thursday, 12/30/1999
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Big Cypress, FL

Set 1: Water in the Sky, Light UpLight Up Or Leave Me Alone[1] > SuzySuzy Greenberg, Corinna, LxLLimb By Limb, Che Hun Ta Mo[2], Big Alligator[2], Possum, Farmhouse, Ghost, Ya Mar, Character Zero

Set 2: Wilson > CurtainThe Curtain > Tweezer -> Taste, Meat, GolgiGolgi Apparatus, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother, JibbooGotta Jibboo > HoodHarry Hood > GTBTGood Times Bad Times

Set 3: CDTChalk Dust Torture, MomaThe Moma Dance > AntelopeRun Like an Antelope, SlothThe Sloth, CircusWhen the Circus Comes, Mike'sMike's Song > Simple -> HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Encore: Boogie OnBoogie On Reggae Woman > TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Unfinished.
[2] Phish debut; John McEuen on mandolin, Raiford Starke on guitar, and Seminole Indian Chief Jim Billie on guitar and lead vocals.

Teases:
· Gotta Jibboo tease in Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
· Immigrant Song tease in Mike's Song
· Light Up Or Leave Me Alone and Auld Lang Syne teases in Weekapaug Groove

Noteworthy Jams: Limb By Limb, Tweezer (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 77.74

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Chief Jim Billie (Guest), John McEuen (Guest), Raiford Starke (Guest)

Notes: This was the first show of the Big Cypress festival. Light Up was played for the first time since March 1, 1989 (1,092 shows), included Jibboo teases from Mike, and was unfinished. Corinna was subsequently played for the first time since February 18, 1989 (1,096 shows). Che Hun Ta Mo and Big Alligator (both Phish debuts) featured guests John McEuen on mandolin, Raiford Starke on guitar, and Seminole Indian Chief Jim Billie on guitar and lead vocals. Mike’s Song included an Immigrant Song tease and Weekapaug included a Light Up tease and an Auld Lang Syne tease at midnight.

Song Distribution:
5 The Story of the Ghost
3 A Picture of Nectar
3 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
2 Farmhouse
2 Billy Breathes
1 Hoist
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

ColForbin Phish.net Staff , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
ColForbin Let me just start by saying that there was no better place to be this NYE than Big Cypress. In no other NYE celebration was the crowd as doted on as we were by Phish. A coworker who did Times Square for NYE told me that they were incredibly strict - no alcohol was allowed within 8 blocks in any direction - and he said that the prohibition seemed to be working. Instead, we had a security force that told us nothing more than to have fun and be safe, a beautiful site, a venue laid out to give everyone the best possible view, the cleanest port-o-lets I've seen at a gathering of this magnitude, a spectacular fireworks display, a kick-ass radio station, and above all, a band that truly cares about its fans, playing music to the point of physical exhaustion.

Okay, so the traffic in wasn't too fun. Ann and I left the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood airport in our car at 11AM. *Nine* hours later (after stopping once for lunch and supplies) we pulled into our parking/camping spot. It was really bad, but the memory has already faded in light of the other events of the weekend. I did get to see a gator poking its snout and eyes out of one of the canals beside Snake Road, so it wasn't a total loss. I'm not sure what could have been done about the traffic...when you have four lanes of interstate traffic emptying into one lane of a twisty two lane road with no breakdown lane, things are going to back up. The only solution I could see would be to make both lanes of Snake Road one way into the concert, but that would have eliminated the ability of the emergency vehicles to get anywhere.

Anyway, as we pulled into the campground, the parking dude waved me to the side; then a TV reporter and cameraman interviewed me. I said some stuff about how long I was in traffic, and that it would all be worth it and that there was no other place I wanted to be. The reporter was a brunette (I think); did any of you see me on TV? The asked me to spell my name and everything. I looked like shit after sitting in traffic that long, but I'm not that vain to *really* care.

After we set up our tent (At 2nd Ave and Amy's Farm), Ann and I decided to explore the grounds a bit. It was a little intimidating for our first view of them to be at night, and we couldn't really get our bearings. But we got to hear the soundcheck as we wandered around "The Delta" which is what they were calling the village of New Orleans style houses that were built next to the main canal through the site. The soundcheck was fun; I especially enjoyed hearing "What's The Use" from the Siket Disc. Damn good...and it was really nice to be able to hear as well as we could - much different from the Went or Lemonwheel when you can be miles away from the stage. If I get a chance, I'll scan the map of the campsite - but they way it worked was that the campgrounds surronded the venue on 2 sides of a square, insted of just extending way back in a straight line like at the air force base shows.

So we got back, and listened to Kevin spin some phat SBDs on the archives show. Now, if you only believe one sentence in this post, have it be the next one. The Bowie from Japan 99 is incredible, and should be heard AT ALL COSTS. Also, the radio station was great in every respect, and whenever Ann and I heard Mr. Sparkle, we had to laugh, being the huge Simpsons fans that we are. Mr. Sparkle, my hat goes off to you and the rest of the Thin Air team for putting a smile on my face whenever I turned on the radio.

The trash situation was pretty good all weekend, except in the concert ground. But the campgrounds came out looking much better than they typically do - giving out as many bags as they did was a smart move. great job Clean Vibes!

Ann and I decided to get some rest, but unfortunately, the 74,998 other fans didn't. So we tossed and turned through a noisy firework-laden night. But this was much better than being in traffic all night, so I don't really have any complaints.

The next day, we chilled out at the campsite, scoped out shakedown, rode the ferris wheel, watched and acrobat, participated in an archaeological dig (which was really fun, and I hope you guys did it!), and checked out the enchanted forest in the daylight. Then we headed into the venue, checked out the giant pyramid of ice and the walk-in palm-frond pac-man ghosts (after walking by the tree with the giant paper airplanes in it).

Finally, I can talk about the show. Here's the setlist:

I (1:39): Water in the Sky, Light Up or Leave Me Alone, Suzie Greenberg, Corrina Corinna, Limb By Limb, Native Greeting Song, Big Alligator Song, Possum, Farmhouse, Ghost, Ya Mar, Character Zer0

Water in the Sky? What a weird opener..."filter out the everglades"...oh yeah, I forgot about that line! I had really expected 1999 as the opener, but once I remembered the lyrics, WITS was cool. Light Up or Leave Me Alone was a HUGE surprise! And well-played too...a fun, fun cover that I hope comes back into rotation. Corrina totally confused me...I'm so used to the Dylan version. For those of you that don't know, this version shared only a few lyrics with the Dylan, and had a completely different melody. At this point I thought the weekend would be full of breakouts, but that didn't happen. Nothing else from this set really stands out, but it was clear how damn excited Trey and the Chief were when they were up on stage yapping. I've always found the afternoon sets to be a little anti-climactic - I just can't get into the groove as well, without the light show and all. There were no big jams.

II (1:35): Wilson, The Curtain > Tweezer -> Taste, Meat, Golgi Apparatus, Wolfman's Brother, Gotta Jiboo, Harry Hood, Good Times Bad Times

Wilson has become a festival standard, just because the band gets off on hearing 75,000+ people screaming "Wilson" Curtain, with its "lines going south" lyric was another easily predictible one, but I was surprised nonetheless. I *love* Curtain, and after seeing it at a ton of shows in the row in 96-97, I have missed it. The Tweezer->Taste segue was nice, as Tweezer devolved into some non-Tweezer-like jamming before entering taste came out of the chaos. The rest of the set was good, but not much above average, although Good X Bad X is one of my favorite Phish covers - I just love to hear Page belt out "I know what it means to be alone" and so does the rest of the world from the sound of the crowd.

I definitely came out of this set with high spirits but a cold body - the temperature had dropped like a rock! Ann and I went back to our tent to grab some warm clothes.

III (1:20): Chalk Dust Torture, Moma Dance, Run Like an Antelope, The Sloth, When The Circus Comes, Mike's Song > Simple -> I am Hydrogen Weekapaug Groove

E (0:10): Boogie On Reggae Woman > Tweezer Reprise

This set was by far the highlight of the first day, due to the incredible and evil Mike's Song. Kuroda pumped out more smoke than I've seen at all Phish shows combined - you couldn't see one thing onstage except an eerie red glow, as the band pumped out an angry jam that seemed to sum up (to me at least) all of the evil of the last 1000 years, as if to exorcise it and send the demons away forever. The Simple came, and reminded us of all of the fun from the last millenium, and Hydrogen, sweet Hydrogen, gave us a picture of the beauty that all of our lives should be about. Weekapaug took us back to the fun, and everyone got down with the Reggae Woman.

The night was once again crazy, but I was way more ready to deal after not sitting in traffic all day.
Score: 4
ADAWGWYO , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
ADAWGWYO This Phish show along the next night might not only be some of the best Phish music ever played, but 2 of the most monumental rock and roll concerts ever played. It was a party in the swamp. 80,000 Phish Heads down and dirty, in t shirts and shorts, in Florida, for NYE!!!

After this show I exited the concert grounds into a never ending sea of party. I didn't make it 20 aisles before I was hugged by two random girls and taken away to an RV DJ party with disco ball, Christmas lights and Go-Go Dancers! Literally 4 RV's had a dance floor boxed in with each RV being a wall. There were dreadlocked wooks beating on drums in rythmn to the tekno music. Girls in bikini's hula hooping. Studio 54 had nuthin' on this disco!!!

Everywhere. Everybody. All Night. Party! I didn't make it back to my tent until noon the next day. And that wasn't because the party was over. That was because I couldn't party any longer. Must take a nap...

Someone had given me a Manilla envelope with 2000 or so random stickers of all sorts to give away over the weekend. I gave them all away within a couple hours so if a burly redheaded dude with a beard accosted you with free stickers.... It was me!!! Shoot me a line.

The only thing about partying this hard is that the memories can be compromised. If I ever get a chance to travel back in time I know one stop will be hovering over me this weekend and filling in some of those gaps in memory. I betcha one thing...

I betcha I have a HuGe ShIt EaTiNg GriN On My FaCe! :)

6 stars... No other way about it
Score: 3
whatstheuse324 , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
whatstheuse324 I drove to Big Cypress in a mini-school bus with seven friends from Rutgers. My friend Aland bought the bus that fall from his brother-in-law that worked for the NYC school transportation department or something. It only cost him $100.00. He removed the seats, put in a bed and a bench, and used it to drive around New Brunswick to pick up drunk kids and to find trouble and fun. Aland named it FLAPJACK 2000.

Anyway, the stories from this entire trip are countless and amazing, it was one of the best weeks of my life. We left New Brunswick on 12/26 with seven of us on board. We had to first drive to Miami to pick up our eighth companion because he was home for Christmas vacation. We pulled into Big Cypress two nights early to see if we could finagle our way in to the camp grounds but it was to no avail.

We slept in the bus in a rest area parking lot on the side of Alligator Alley. When we woke up there were about six other cars in the lot that crept in during the night. My friend was urinating on a tree when a swamp tour helicopter landed in the parking lot right next to him and the pilot waved.

We drove to Naples for the day to kill time and buy supplies. When we returned to Alligator Alley later that evening the rest area with six cars and our bus now had about six hundred cars and three thousand people partying hard in the middle of the swamp in the dark. Needless to say that it was an amazing experience, but I will bullet some highlights:

*Forming a parade around the parking lot with Felipe, our fearless leader, playing his guitar singing "The Walking Riff"

*Dudes shooting fireworks at my boy for talking to their girlfriends (he was ok) (same guy with the helicopter, not his day)

*Seeing a shooting star twice every minute all night

*Scoring the extra ticket for our friend that somehow lost his ticket the day we left

Life was good, we partied until dawn, and we then got in "the line." Anyone that went knows this infamous line. Well let me tell you...

My friend Achal and I were sitting on top of FLAPJACK 2000 waiting for the line to move while everyone else was still inside the bus. After a while Aland finally snapped. He had driven the bus the entire trip because he was the only person insured to it, so exhaustion and dementia finally set in. Aland pulled out of line and started hauling FLAPJACK 2000 down the opposite lane. Achal and I were still on top of the bus holding on for our lives. I was banging my fist on the top of the windshield yelling at him to pull back in line, but he wasn't having any of that. As we drove by countless people in line, a beautiful girl standing on the top of her car yelled, "F*ck you, cheaters!" and threw a muffin that hit Achal square in the face. Finally I saw a police car coming and figured Aland would come to his senses and pull back in line. WRONG. Instead, Aland drove FLAPJACK 2000 on the left bank, which sloped directly into the swamp, passed the police car coming head on while driving on the edge of the swamp, zipped back up the embankment again, and kept going, all with Achal and I still on the roof. And the craziest thing was that the cop kept going and didn't even stop to think twice about us. I couldn't believe it. Finally Aland cut in line right near the entrance, we crawled back inside still alive, and when it was all said and done his insanity resulted in a great camping spot. I thought for sure someone would recognize us from our very distinguishable school bus, but miraculously we left that weekend with all of our teeth intact.

I caught the sound check with my friend Jared and was very pumped for the show to start the next day.

I spent the majority of the 12/30 show about sixty feet back from the stage, Page side rage side. I filtered out the Everglades, lit up but didn't leave it alone, and raged it during the first set. The jam in LUOLMA set the tone right off the bat and I had a warm inner feeling reconfirming that all of the travel adventures leading up to that moment were totally worth it. I thought Chief Jim Billie was larger than life during Big Alligator Song. Like Keanu Reeves said in the Matrix, "Whoa." Trey was shredding guitar like nobody's business during Possum and Ghost, especially Ghost. Wow. The Character Zer0 closer ended a fantastic opening set.

The second set started with us all yelling for Wilson, we followed the lines going south, and we ended up in the freezer with Uncle Ebeneezer. Taste came out of Tweezer and the hits just kept coming after that. Mike played a very Jibboo bass line during the jam out of LUOLMA and the real Jibboo finally escaped a set later. I was caught off guard by how early Harry Hood showed up to the party, but that was fine with me. A rocking GTBT closed the second set, and we regrouped knowing full well that there was one more ridiculous set of Phish coming our way.

Chalkdust opener put the wheels in motion, Moma Dance got us down and dirty, Antelope had us jumping, and eventually came one of the greatest Mike's Grooves of all time. Mike's was crazy evil with red lights shooting through a cloud of fog on stage. This will go down as one of Kuroda's most momentous moments with Phish. Simple>Hydrogen>Weekapaug>BAM!!!! Oh what a night! Boogie on Reggae Woman kept the dancing alive before Phish blew the roofs off of the little straw huts behind the concert field with Tweezer Reprise.

This show set the bar incredibly high for the next night. Phish played effortlessly and with divine energy. Like the rest of the world, I'm just waiting for the official dvd release at this point.
Score: 3
IdRatherBeOnTour , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
IdRatherBeOnTour My favorite Water In the Sky ever! Clear skies, 80 degrees on 12-30-99 then walking into the music area hearing this started an epic day. They don't start this song like they used to anymore, don't know why.
Score: 1
PeopleforaClearerPhish , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
Just stumblin' by this set of reviews as I was checking on some Winter '99 setlists and while most of what is said above is pretty much in the ballpark, in particular the pedestrian nature of everything after Corrina in Set I, there's something missing...

The "Song Histories" entry for 'Light Up Or Leave Me Alone" calls the Cypress outing "an especially fiery version of the groove-rock classic." That is, from my perspective, the definition of 'damning with faint praise.' Especially fiery? No. Sorry. Unless by "especially fiery" you mean "overwhelmingly awesome and almost certainly fucking legendary." If that's what the guy meant to type, then mea culpa (Latin for "my bad").

Please folks, go back and break out your crispiest tapes/cds/mp3s and give "Light Up..." another listen. It is the finest jamming of the entire day, starting with that first note after the last lyric. This is top-notch, Grade-A, pure and lethal "spontaneous composition", folks, and is equal to the best jams of the Big Cypress experience. Like the Split>Catapult of the next day's sunshine set, it transcends the overflowing experience of Big Cypress and earns its place among the great jams of Phish history, regardless of time or place.

I somehow attended the next 2 performances, taking place a full decade later, and I am confident in saying that this is the definitive version. If I ain't right then I'm psyched to hear its better...

Thanks for listening.

-Chad (who was, is and will remain as full of shit as the next guy)
Score: 1
Brandonclick77 , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
One of the deepest and most organic experiences I've ever had with music and this band...Collective consciousness indeed...
Score: 1
JOEB7891 , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
OK who remembers in Mike's song Chis filled up the entire swamp with smoke and the band started playing this crazy ambient jam that sounded like a electric motor or like lightning bolts. It was crazy. I remember these red and white lights shining though the smoke and they were shaking and made everything feel like it was shaking. This was such a crazy Mike's song. This was a great show but the Mike's stode the whole show. I wish there was some video of this somewhere.
Score: 0
BassPlayer , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
BassPlayer The vibe of the jam in "Light up" really captures the BC sound.
Score: 0
VamonosPest , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
I preferred this show to the new Year's show.....still do. Coolest experience at any concert I have ever seen and ever will see. Those bustouts early in set one set the stage, and you just knew it. Stunning and FUN.
Score: 0
findyourcity , attached to 1999-12-30 Permalink
Epic epic show. The Mikes-Groove and Tweezer are rightfully lauded, but you don't hear much about the Ghost and Antelope. Holy sheeznit. The Ghost is completely sick, they gain speed until they're just firing along then Trey takes it to the stratosphere. If you want an excellent summation of the buildup, all year that year, to -- and then explosion of -- Big Cypress, check out this Ghost. Check out this Antelope too, absolutely nuts.
Score: 0

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