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Link Monday, 12/01/2003
Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY

Set 1: CDTChalk Dust Torture, Stash, Guyute, Thunderhead > Sparkle, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother > GTBTGood Times Bad Times

Set 2: Tweezer -> 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > YEMYou Enjoy Myself, Camel Walk[1], Possum[1], Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress[1] > AntelopeRun Like an Antelope[2]

Encore: Fire[3]

[1] Jeff Holdsworth on guitar and vocals.
[2] Jeff Holdsworth on guitar and Tom Marshall on vocals.
[3] Jeff Holdsworth on guitar.

Teases:
· Dixie tease

Noteworthy Jams: Wolfman's Brother, Tweezer

Average Song Gap: 19.33

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

Notes: Tweezer was preceded by a Dixie tease. Camel Walk through Fire featured Jeff Holdsworth on guitar. This was Jeff’s first known performance with his former Phish brethren since May 17, 1986. Camel Walk, Possum and Long Cool Woman (first since October 30, 1998, or 180 shows) also featured Jeff on lead vocals. Antelope featured Tom Marshall on vocals.

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
3 A Picture of Nectar
2 Stash
2 The White Tape
1 Round Room
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

martianfur , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
I didn't used to mention this show as being one of my favorite shows that I've caught, but I'm beginning to think maybe I should, and that you should too.

I have brought this show up before as one of my personal favorite Phish moments - seeing the lights indoors during 2001. Blah blah, Hampton, Mothership... I would have sworn the old Knick was about to take off.

This was the only show of the run that I caught, but I think people usually think of the 12/2/03 show (the "official" 20th anniversary show) as being the gem of the run. I implore you to reconsider, and listen to the beginning of set II... The Tweezer -> 2001 > YEM is particularly rich for 2.0; even on just a four night run, this trifecta rings familiar of late Summer tour versions when the guys are all warmed up. After a surprisingly solid first set, we all knew that we were in for a treat when they opened with Tweezer.

Maybe it's unfair to say this show hasn't gotten it's due, but I think that's because the most notable part of it was Jeff Holdsworth's surprise appearance. The question people would ask afterwards was "what was that like?" The answer - well, really cool and historically significant, but his playing / singing was kind of meh. STILL!! What a special moment for everyone involved.

So, I submit for your consideration that this show has had an undue "meh" vibe attached to it, and that it's the true CLASSIC Phish show of the 20th anniversary run. Re-listening 9 years later, it has aged incredibly well.
Score: 4
, attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

There was incredible energy inside and outside the venue all night long with almost no time to take a breather. Pre-show snow flurries, a downtown avenue blocked off and full of fans, spontaneous cheers, and a Boston ticket for face value all combined to put a big smile on my face before the show even began.
Once inside the venue, I didn't notice much security at all. I managed to score some sweet seats in the balcony in the front row and almost-center of the venue. It was my first time visiting Albany, but all my new friends had briefed me on the wonderful history of the venue. We were all pretty psyched about the show and wondering what special guests would be in town, but we had no idea how great this show would actually be.
Score: 2
waxbanks , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
waxbanks An enjoyably inessential affair. The Anniversary run was plenty fun, but nearly every other 2003 show is worth hearing first. The Wolfman's Bro is pure ejaculatory rock celebration and Set II opens well, but the rest is of primarily historical importance (though it was a blast to be there). Which is like saying a kiss is merely wonderful - it's a kiss, don't complain. But especially in light of the end-of-our-rope adventure at IT, this show is a highlights-only kind of download, y'know?
Score: 1
, attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Most Phish fans speak of the first time they ever "got it." For most, these stories obviously hold a special place in their hearts. Some border on overly sappy or even religious experiences: a moment where their lives were changed, or some other cliche. The first time I understood Phish wasn't quite so dramatic. It came in seventh grade while listening to “Harry Hood” on A Live One (a rendition which I understand converted many).
My first show was equally special, and nearly every show I've gone to has had that moment where I start smiling and giggling uncontrollably. But it wasn't until this past winter, in Albany of all places, where I finally realized what a special place in my life these four guys hold. I finally understood what the sappiness was all about. I finally, truly, "got it."
My brother and I started our journey from Providence at around 4:00, and soon found ourselves driving in darkness over the Mass Pike, with snow flurries and black ice patches over the Berkshires, to boot. The clouds in those mountains seemed especially threatening that night, and thoughts invariably came into my head of why the hell I was doing this. After all, I had a few major projects to work on for various classes at Providence College, with the semester winding down. I'd be playing catch-up after this, so it had better be worth it. I mean, the Nassau show a few nights before was good, but this kind of work had better be damn worth it for someone as uptight as me, who nearly lost my mind in the traffic of Limestone the summer before.
Finally arriving in the parking lot, I began to calm down. The overwhelming homogeneity of the parking lots outside the Pepsi Arena had a soothing effect on me, and for the first time in a while I was able to laugh at the stereotypes of our scene that we all seem to fit into. With people practically giving away their extra tickets, I began to get the feeling that this could be a very special show.
Then it happened. Completely sober, I became aware of something very special in the air. It came on just as the snow began to fall on those packing into the awesome-looking glass building that is the Knick. The crowd's cheers as we approached the gates were especially electric this night, and those icy roads on I-90 suddenly seemed light-years away.
Then the show. As 8:00 neared I already felt it. That this would be the best show I had ever attended already seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Everything in my body told me it would be. Trey's soaring, orgasmic guitar in “Chalk Dust”, the dark and threatening “Stash”, the majestic “Guyute”, the delicately beautiful “Thunderhead”, and the absolute nirvana of the greatest “Wolfman's” ever, which found its way into “Good Times/Bad Times”, confirmed my earlier belief.
It was only a warm-up, and I wasn't the only one who knew this. The wave from the crowd at set break told me I wasn't, and with the opening notes of “Tweezer” I knew the band was aware of it, too. It seemed inevitable that “Tweezer” would end up going into “2001”; it was just that kind of night. And when they followed with “YEM” it was only a confirmation that this was the show of their four night run. It might not have been their best show ever, but for me it might as well have been. I was connecting with what was happening around me on a level unlike anything I had experienced before.
I was so happy that Jeff Holdsworth got to be a part of this night. Even as a member of the band 20 years ago, he couldn't figure out that something overwhelmingly special was happening, and he went his separate way. Perhaps it was meant to be that he wouldn't be a permanent member of Phish, and I know it wasn't coincidence that the boys found Page to take his place. But on this night, Jeff finally realized the important role that he played in this wonderful band. Jeff has nothing to be ashamed about for leaving, because for those final five songs that night, I know he felt all the joy that music can possibly bring to one person. He finally "got it." And so did I.
Score: 1
Mikesgroover , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
Mikesgroover The Wolfman's has some good moments and the Tweezer>2001>YEM is extremely inspired with fantastic drums/bass breakdown at the end of the YEM.
Unfortunately, the momentum shifts when Holdsworth appears and the rest of the show was of the "had to be there" type of experience. Clearly, the band and (especially Trey) was stoked to welcome Jeff back to the stage, but the musical results aren't really worth relistening too. We had very good sidestage seats, and watching Holdsworth try and keep up with the pace of Antelope was pretty funny.
Score: 1
phishjones , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
I had a blast at this show, my good friends got free tickets and I got a face ticket to Boston the next night too. Very pumped crowd; lot's of energy in the air.

Absolutely sick wolfman's - if you haven't heard it then do yourself a favor and do so.

Tweezer>2001>YEM wasn't too bad either.

It was fun to see Jeff on stage (almost made this one feel like the real 20th anniversary show), but he was a little rusty on his axe.
Score: 1
whatstheuse324 , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
whatstheuse324 12/1/2003 was a crazy night for me. I drove my wife Stephanie, my friend Ted (who was going to his first show), and my friend Marcy (who was going to show 250 or something), from New Jersey. Marcy's Husband Alex was meeting us in Albany. He had been at his sister's place in Providence, RI, which he had secured for a group of us to stay at following the Boston show the next night. I also met up with both of my sisters in Albany that had come with other friends. I had to drop Marcy off with Alex, give my sister Germaine a ride back to NJ after the show, but not before dropping off my wife at her parent's house in Easton, PA so she could go to work the next morning. I would then drive solo from New Brunswick to Providence the next day to meet up with the Boston crew and go to the show. Anyway...

Set one rocked. Even Thunderhead had a little something extra added to it. Everyone remembers the Wolfman's Brother from this set, and rightfully so.

Set two started in epic fashion with a seventeen-minute Tweezer followed by a spectacular 2001. It was not the 2001 of 10/9/1999, but still carried the funk party for over eight minutes. Kuroda was killing it! YEM was a twenty-five minute monster.

Suddenly, Trey introduced Jeff Holdsworth to the stage. I couldn't believe it! I knew Dude of Life and Tom Marshall made appearances at the previous two shows, but this was truly amazing. Other people did not seem to realize the magnitude of this. He sang Camel Walk and Possum. People can say whatever they want about this, such as he was rusty and not very good. Yeah, no shit! He hadn't been in Phish since 1986! Give the guy a break.

During Long Cool Woman my phone kept going off in my pocket. I finally answered it out of frustration. A muffled voice informed me that they were taking care of my sister Germaine in the depths of Pepsi Arena. She had apparently passed out in line while trying to purchase a beverage and was being treated by paramedics. SHIT! I had to bail on the Jeff comeback and travel into the bowels of Pepsi Arena. I came into a room with sick, drunk, and drug-induced kids lying on medical cots. I found my sister and was able to talk with her. She didn't eat enough during the day and fainted. She was ok, more embarrassed if anything, but they were still wheeling her out of the show via ambulance to the hospital. I would have to go pick her up after the show when the hospital released her.

I made it back to my seat to find my wife and Ted and to inform them of the situation. I was able to catch the halfway point of Antelope on and rocked out double-hard for Germaine.

When the show ended, Ted got a ride back to New Jersey with some other friends that were there. Steph and I drove to the Albany hospital and waited until they released my sister. They pumped her full of fluids with an IV and let her out around 12:30 AM. This was going to put a damper on the driving plans, but destiny was on my side. I was able to make it from Albany to Easton, PA by 4 AM to drop off Steph at her parents' house. She would then sleep for two hours before getting up for work. I then drove from Easton to New Brunswick, NJ and made it to my sister's apartment a little after 5 AM. I slept on her couch and planned to take off to Rhode Island when I woke up to meet Marcy, Alex, and crew to see the 20th Anniversary show in Boston.

All in all, it was a fun time with some very intense moments. In the end, everything worked out and I got to see Jeff Holdsworth play with Phish.
Score: 1
vtspeedy , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
My first Phish show. Did not enjoy it at all. Didn't scare me away though, apparently.
Score: 0
MzRprz , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
MzRprz This show totally pissed me off. I was like get that Jeff dude off the stage! And no Reprise? No. Not good.
Score: 0
WasteMyTimeWithYou , attached to 2003-12-01 Permalink
WasteMyTimeWithYou My first ever show! I can't say I was into Phish at the time, but had recently started listening to Live Phish 19 (With the Giant Country Horns). Didn't know much of anything about the band besides that my brother followed them all around the country every summer. So I am away at college (SUNY ALBANY), and my brother tells me Phish is playing Albany, he already got me a ticket, he will buy my beers.. drags my by the collar to the show. I still thank him for that.

The city of Albany closed down a city block in front of the Pepsi for the show. I was instantly hit with the energy, the vibe, of an all out Phish lot party, and I loved it. There were constant cheers for no good reason, other than we were about to see Phish. I had a blast playing with the fact that while it would be calm, I could yell, and thousands of people would join me. When stash hit I was had no idea about the phan claps, so when that part hit for the first time, and everyone did the first clap clap I lost my mind. What the hell just happened? How did everyone know to do that? Guyute was next, I wish I knew at the time how lucky I was to catch that on my 1st show.

If I wasn't hooked on the Phish experience yet, the start of second set addicted me for life. Tweezer came out with energy that even super noob me could see the energy coming from the band, to the crowd and feeding right back to the band. 2001 made me fall in love with CK5. We were in the upper levels a section or two forward of the stage (still one of my favorite places to watch a show), seeing the lights pan out over the crowd with the musical climb of the song, blew me away. Out comes Jeff Holdsworth, and what do I know about what it happening besides the crowd is going nuts, and my brother looks like his head is going to explode... He filled me in after on who this guy is, and why it was monumental that he played with them. A Jimi Hendrix cover for an encore had me smiling ear to ear.

Walking out of the show, I looked at my brother and commented on how insane that was and that it might have been the best time I ever had in my life. This was a special show right? They can't all be like this? Thats when he told me it was special because of Jeff Holdsworth, and would always be special because it was my first show, but musically, it was an average show at best... Thats when my head really exploded... this was a feeling that I could keep coming back for! I was in.
Score: 0

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