Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI
 Phish debut; abbreviated version.
Average Song Gap: 9
Notes: Trey announced “Dan” as the winner of the contest from the night before, as Dan was the first to call Mike’s hotline to name Dust in the Wind as the song that was teased. Trey announced the prize was a private vacuum solo from Fish to Dan. As homage to the movie Old School (which also featured Dust in the Wind), Trey encouraged the crowd to “earmuff” it while Dan received his prize. To bring the rest of the crowd in on the joke, Phish subsequently debuted an abbreviated version of Dust in the Wind. The song began as a solo vacuum piece but Trey jumped in on vocals to assist the struggling Fish. Trey teased Come On (Part One) before DWD. DWD contained San-Ho-Zay and Psycho Killer teases and was unfinished. Catapult was sung over the jam that emerged from DWD.
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "2003 Summer Tour."
At first it was just the tangent in the middle that grabbed me, and while that 2-part adventure is still the mind-blowing peak for me, after numerous listens the entire jam, from the drop to the end, is a masterwork in its own right.
RIDICULOUS replay value here, if you give it a chance and a few listens to really grow like a fungus on your cerebral cortex.
Twist jam also, pretty excellent pointilist ambience.
My favorite part of the show is the Roggae which is only mentioned in these reviews because someone says its rough.
Well it's 2003, Phish not remembering how to play their songs should have been a given by this point. That said, the Roggae is probably the single most atypical version of the song. There are other versions (mostly in 2010 & 2011) with more exploratory or psychedelic jams, but this one has a totally different structure to the ending of the jam and I find it really powerful. Whereas your usual Roggae will crest and then dissolve into a brief pause before the large power chords, this one works the jam up into those chords and uses them as the crescendo. It works phenomenally and I wish they'd give this style of Roggae a spin again. It reminds me of the 7/31/99 Simple in comparison to an average Simple. Similar breathtaking move upwards right when the jam would usually end.
Sometimes all you need is one song to define a show. Even with the quality of Set 1, this Down with Disease eclipses the sum of everything else in this show. Holy cow is this thing good. 26 minutes of everything your heart desires, this DWD is simply fantastic. It starts off burning phosphorus. Untouchably hot. Wow. Untouchably isn't a word, but that doesn't mean it cannot describe the heat the fist 5 minutes of this jam produce. They are just killing it. The band shifts into a DWD-themed fakeout, like Gin, before taking off into another dimension entirely. They converse musically for about 4 minutes, trying to figure out the next phase of this journey, and eventually lock into this almost surf-rock, up-tempo groove. This is one of my favorite segments of summer. It is so good. Bouncey. Peppy. Spunky. All with an edge. The jam really takes on a persona of "I Mean Business" and the business is prohibited! Dance moves arose that were so controversial that I can't legally describe them to you. SO here we are, 17 minutes in and BAM they just keep going. The jam wave crashes onto an ocean of hard-rock, demented riffing that will make you flail your arms and bang your head grunge style. Great stuff here. The jam rampages onward as the Catapult lyrics are recited over the slowly fading, yet still fiery jam. Finally, the flame exhausts all fuel and... is there anything left? Is anyone alive? The fact that you and other fans survived this jam is a testament to the heartiness of Phish fans. What a jam!!! Bug is beautifully played and placed, as we needed a cool down moment. Even still, this extended Bug really got after it, with Trey obviously feeling inspired from the gargantuan DWD that preceded it. Secret Smile was uninvited, and did not fit the bill for a follow up song to Bug. Two Versions of Me really didn't help get us off the path that Secret Smile started. It was a fine version, but a mid set trio of Bug (even though this was a great version), Secret Smile, Two Versions of Me was, uh, underwhelming considering that groundwork that DWD laid. A grimy, dark, dissonant Twist takes us into outer space, but still lacks that fire that DWD burned so richly. Perhaps that DWD did exhaust all the fuel...? This Twist might pique your interest if you;re into super dark and discorded Phish, but for me, this version is forgettable. A rollicking but almost premature-feeling Character Zero closes the set with serious musical fireworks... but it was almost a "too little too late" type of version. A huge, exploratory Hood pops into the encore slot with great gusto and surprise! This version follows the pipeline of almost all 2003 Hoods, meaning it builds into typical Hood fashion, then reaches a false summit (where you think they're gonna explode into YOU CAN FEEL GOOD) but instead they drop down into a second groove. Though similar into pattern, the feel and energy of this Hood is a little lacking (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because I find 2003 to be a great year for Hoods), so by comparison it isn't as strong as previous Hoods, but it is still one kick-ass encore!
Must-hear jams: Bathtub Gin -> Mango Song, Down with Disease -> Catapult!!!!!
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Roggae, David Bowie, Harry Hood