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Link Tuesday, 07/15/2003
USANA Amphitheatre, West Valley City, UT

Soundcheck: Jam, Scents and Subtle Sounds

Set 1: BagAC/DC Bag > Ya Mar, ThemeTheme From the Bottom, Saw It Again, Poor Heart, Two Versions of Me, Secret Smile, Mike'sMike's Song > HydrogenI Am Hydrogen > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Set 2: Mr. Completely[1] -> Low Rider -> BBFCFMBig Black Furry Creature from Mars -> Buried Alive > BBFCFMBig Black Furry Creature from Mars > Ha Ha Ha > BBFCFMBig Black Furry Creature from Mars > Mr. Completely > Spread It 'Round[2], WotCWalls of the Cave > GolgiGolgi Apparatus > SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Sleeping Monkey

[1] Phish debut.
[2] Debut.

Teases:
· San-Ho-Zay tease in Walls of the Cave

Noteworthy Jams: Mr. Completely (highly recommended), Low Rider (highly recommended), Big Black Furry Creature from Mars (highly recommended), Buried Alive (highly recommended), Big Black Furry Creature from Mars (highly recommended), Ha Ha Ha (highly recommended), Big Black Furry Creature from Mars (highly recommended), Mr. Completely (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 18

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

Notes: Fans who arrived early enough to hear the soundcheck from outside the venue caught a 30-plus-minute version of Scents and Subtle Sounds. Scents was later released as a track on iTunes. Video footage of the soundcheck was posted on phish.com. This show marked the Phish debut of Mr. Completely and the debut of Spread it ‘Round. This abbreviated version of Buried Alive was performed at a much faster tempo than usual and in a different key. Trey teased San-Ho-Zay in Walls of the Cave. This show was officially released on CD as Live Phish 07.15.03.

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
2 Undermind
2 The White Tape
1 Round Room
1 Billy Breathes
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Junta
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

n00b100 , attached to 2003-07-15 Permalink
n00b100 It's entirely possible that 2003 is an even more divisive year than 1996. There's a compilation of 2.0 jams called "The Oxy Yearz", and the name is significant on two levels - both the insane drug use that permeated the band and the scene during 2003-2004, and the (obviously related) dark, unsettling jamming style the band adopted during the time. Anybody that thinks 2.0 isn't worth listening to is missing out on a LOT, obviously, but they may need a stronger constitution than required for most Phish shows to handle how dark Phish could get (see: 7/30/03's Twist). The IT festival is pretty much the definitive 2.0 show(s) for that reason - an entire year compacted into 6 sets chock full of nasty, gnarly jamming all throughout, the nobody's-looking-right? haze of the soundcheck (black sheep brother to the fabled 5/26/11 Waves soundcheck), and the pure insanity of the Tower Jam. In a way, it can be an easy year to appreciate, but a hard one to love.

And then there's 7/15/03, which...

But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. The first set starts off with a fine triptych of songs, then...well, let's just say none of the songs I play are exactly my favorites, but it's a first set, so that's no big deal, and the first review posted here explains the balladry pretty well. But there's still time left in the set, and Phish use it well by giving us a very good, if not top notch, Mike's Groove. Mike's locks into a mid-tempo jam that might be considered prototypical 2.0, never heading for the stratosphere but still plenty full of dynamic Trey playing (and Page really going elbows-on-keys flashy style on the organs). Hydrogen is just fine, and Weekapaug also delivers a fine jam that stays in low throttle but delivers some thrills. You won't reach for this the way you would 7/17/98 or NYE '95 or any of the great Mike's Grooves, but it certainly helps raise the level of this first set.

Then comes the second set, and one of the best one-offs ever: TAB mainstay Mr. Completely, a quite good rock number that deserved more than one outing from Phish. And from that Mr. Completely comes 30 minutes of high class jamming, Trey wringing some outright fugly notes out of his guitar as the band keeps pace with all the noise, picking up and slowing down the tempo at will, Mike & Page in particular doing some real work in the middle section as a hypnotic, claustrophobic funk(!) groove emerges, not as razor-sharp as '97 (though what is?), but compelling all the same (and eminently danceable). Trey starts throwing in some sharp, stabbing guitar lines, and the jam opens back up nicely for some sweet rock heroics.

Then things get weird. From out of nowhere the group rolls into a deliberate, grungy Low Rider, Trey working his effects pedals, the group churning out a very cool instrumental version. The jam peters out, and the band charges into BBFCM, Phish's goofy version of a hardcore song (to me, at least), before segueing into a weird, too-fast Buried Alive (managing to make it sound just as ugly as BBFCM, in a good way, of course), then jumping right back into BBFCM, which leads to Ha Ha Ha for a grand total of 30 seconds, then *jumping right back into BBFCM*, from which out of the muck Mr. Completely triumphantly returns for a nice mini-jam that leads into Spread It 'Round. Then comes a very strong Walls of the Cave, Mike dropping bombs aplenty, Page giving us even more sweet organ work in a particularly busy jam. Golgi > Slave is a nice way to close one of 2003's best sets, a segue-fest on the level of any of the crazed 1994 Tweezers, but with a darker, less goofball innocent feel.

Which then puts this show in a weird spot. In a way, it's almost a man without a country, a big goofy show in a year where goofiness was in short supply, that has little to do with the style of playing that surrounds it. If you want a show that shows you what 2.0 is all about, you'd best look elsewhere (I point you again in the direction of IT). If you want a great, thoroughly enjoyable show, you've come to the right place.
Score: 9
, attached to 2003-07-15 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Utah was f*cking hot! It was comparable to Phoenix. My brother and I made our way past security a little after six and found our seats in section 102, Row H (sick, sick seats...center stage, about 8 rows back). I saw David "ZZYZX" Steinberg hanging out around the Comcast trailer and later heard that he posted to rec.music.phish to say “what's up”. On a side note, I saw him dashing back to his seats after the show because he forgot his cape. Hope you found it, David.
This show was empty. Even as 7:30 p.m. rolled around, the venue had not completely filled up and the lawn was nearly empty. My brother mentioned that he was surprised that they were selling posters at this show and that perhaps something was up. He was right.
After seeing the Gorge, we didn't know what to expect. Having seen Phoenix, Chula and both nights at Shoreline, I can honestly say that the first set, first night of the Gorge was the weakest set of the tour. Now, there is no such thing as a bad show/bad set of Phish. I lap it up. All of it. I'm not
being critical, but after seeing the boys five of the past six nights, you can tell when it's flowing and when it's not. First night of the Gorge was not.Second night of the Gorge brought it back, but we didn't know what Utah would bring. It was either going to blow us away, or it was going to be a "Friday” opener into “All of these Dreams" type of show.
Anyhow, from what I could gather, most in attendance at this show seemed like locals. There were a few of us who were on tour that I had seen previous nights, but for the most part, it seemed like lots of people were at their only show of the tour. The scene inside reflected this. Not to dis the Utah scene or those who were there that are really into the music, but when the shit was going down in the second set, those immediately around us were completely oblivious to what they were seeing. Here I am losing my shit that they're playing “BBFCM” -> “Buried Alive”, and the yahoos next to me are just kind of looking at me like "What? why are youjumping around?".
To those of you wondering why there was a slowdown in the first set (i.e., “Two Versions of Me”, “Secret Smile”) the stage at USANA faces west and I saw Trey lean over to Page and say something like "let's play this while the sun is going down." This would have normally all but killed a set, but the “Mike's” that followed equaled redemption.
The second set speaks for itself. Listen for yourself and imagine that you had no expectations going into this show other than just a normal, tremendous Phish show and look what you got. I walked away shaking my head, not believing what I had just seen. The whole next day I thought about turning around and driving the other way to Kansas as opposed to back to California.
Score: 5
roybelly , attached to 2003-07-15 Permalink
roybelly Such a fantastic and memorable night.....we had made the loop from Cali to the Gorge and it was a push to get to Utah. Law enforcement was thick and the state police were taking digital photos of most of the cars coming into the lot...whatever, just utah I guess.

Seems like a lot of people I saw at other venues earlier in the tour skipped the one night stand in Utah....they missed the boat. The AC/DC bag was one of the hottest I have ever heard....laser beam intensity....a fantastic mikes, and the hydrogen brought a tear to my eye. Sweetly played and at that moment it seemed like the whole nasty drive from the gorge to Utah was worth every mile. The whole second set was like a big theme set... BBFCFM and Mr. Completely all twisted up...the low rider was a nice snack in there too. A fantastic multi-state journey with fantastic friends, and I am glad we put in the effort to hop down for the one night stand in Utah. Doesn't surprise me that it was a livephish released show....good things happen to those who pay their dues.
Score: 3
TheEmu Phish.net Staff , attached to 2003-07-15 Permalink
TheEmu While the segue goofiness is interesting and worth a listen, the real treat here is the huge initial jam out of Mr. Completely, along with the wonderful rendition of Spread It Round. Easily vaults this puppy into 5 star territory, in my opinion. The rest of the show is pretty solid, too.
Score: 1
trauldude , attached to 2003-07-15 Permalink
the camping sucked never never camp at west valley it was a 200 x 200 foot fenced in area on one of their parking lots not in use that day. but who could sleep after a show like that
Score: 0

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