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Link Friday, 01/03/2003
Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

Set 1: Tweezer > ThemeTheme From the Bottom, Foam, Pebbles and Marbles[1], YEMYou Enjoy Myself[2]

Set 2: BOAFBirds of a Feather, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother > MakisupaMakisupa Policeman[3], Axilla > Twist -> Free, All of These Dreams[1], Possum[4]

Encore: Contact, TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Debut.
[2] Restarted. One portion of the vocal jam was based on the name "George Takei."
[3] Keywords referenced "fatty," "Waffle House," and "Hooters."
[4] Instrument switching.

Teases:
· Tweezer Reprise vocal jam in You Enjoy Myself

Noteworthy Jams: Pebbles and Marbles, Wolfman's Brother (highly recommended), Makisupa Policeman, Contact

Average Song Gap: 10.31

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

Notes: Phish introduced two more concert debuts: Pebbles and Marbles and All of These Dreams. Trey restarted YEM after a sloppy attempt at the composed beginning section. One portion of the YEM vocal jam was based on the name “George Takei” (the actor who played Mr. Sulu on Star Trek) and another was based on the melody to Tweezer Reprise. Lyrics in Makisupa referenced “fatty,” “Waffle House,” and “Hooters.” The end of Possum included bizarre on-stage antics with Page playing Trey’s guitar from his seat, Trey playing Mike’s bass, and Mike using the “B” and “Ah” cymbals normally reserved for Cracklin’ Rosie. This improvisational Contact continued the joke of mock introductions, as Trey introduced “Al Gore.”

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

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

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "2002/2003 Inverted NYE Run."

MiguelSanchez , attached to 2003-01-03 Permalink
MiguelSanchez our buddies had tix to all four shows on the "come back run," but they spent way too much money in nyc, so they said they were going to the 1st night of hampton and coming home. if we had the money and could meet them on the interstate the 2nd to hampton tix were ours. off we were...

tweezer: what a great song to come back to. the crowd went bonkers when they cranked this one up. this one was of the funkier variety with some very good opening playing by trey and page. with the energy level still high, they dropped into...

theme: decent version of theme. it worked really well out of this tweezer.

foam: wow, they are playing a toughie already. this was executed pretty damn well, especially for being the 3rd show in 2 1/2 years.

pebbles and marbles: i really liked this debut. i was wavering on it, but as happens with phish, this one really took to me after seeing them play it. very cool new tune.

yem: the crowd went bonkers when they played this one. in fact, the ovation was so loud that no one could hear how badly botched the intro was. when the ovation simmered, people, including the band, realized this yem was off to a train wreck start. trey said some stuff about how they had indeed practiced this one, so they restarted. once on track, this was a very good yem. it was not flub free, but the "improv" section was very hot. fishman and gordon sounded really nice.

set 2:

boaf: solid opener. they didn't take it too far, but this song sounded particularly good in this venue. you could hear every little nuance of this very nicely textured tune. alright version, much cooler in hampton.

wolfman's brother: this was the highlight of the show. trey and page were both really nice and funky on this wolfman's. the boys really cut loose on this one. check out this wolfman's.

makisupa policeman: nice cool down after a hot wolfman's brother. they referenced the hooters i was drinking at before the show... too bad 'ol phish was putting back at hooters preshow too...

axilla: they tried to pick up the energy on this one. a few flubs slowed this one down.

twist: not usually my favorite tune, but they found some interesting grooves in this one. after some twists and turns they work there way into...

free: this is a really nice funky free. gordon and fishman, once again, sound wonderful on this one.

all of these dreams: i could've done without this one. they should've just kept the momentum rolling and gone into...

possum: very fun possum, with some interesting "instrument switching." even before the goofiness began, this was a very nice high energy well-played possum. good closer

enc:
contact: this is the best contact i have seen or heard. it sounds weird if you have not heard this one. page owns it, and the boys really let him open up on this super jammed out contact. i love a good predictable song played in a very unpredictable manner. well done!

tweezer reprise: good rowdy closer!

overall:

there were some flubs smathered all over this show, but that was too be expected. with the flubs, came several really nice highlights. was it worth the drive to get down there? after having not seen the guys since cuyuhoga falls 2000, hell yes!!!

highlights:
set 1:
tweezer>theme, yem(just to hear the train wreck that ensues before they take a 2nd stab at it)

set 2:
wolfman's, twist>free, contact
Score: 4
FunkyCFunkyDo , attached to 2003-01-03 Permalink
FunkyCFunkyDo A five song first set!? You better believe it. 2003 were the days when a 4/5/6 SET (either 1 OR 2) was common. Imagine that... ::drifts off into a daydream:: Anyyywayyyys. A swampy Tweezer opens the second night at the Mothership. I am prepared for the beating I may receive for my appraisal of this Tweezer, but I stand by what I am about to say. This Tweezer reminds me of 1997. It is slow, it is thick, and it is gooey. Mike and Fish anchor a solid-but-not-too-fancy rhythm section that Trey and Page later over for a solid ten minutes, culminating in a delicious peak. Pace and feel-wise, this Tweezer could absolutely find a home in 1997, although tone-wise, it is easy to tell it is 2003. Still, this slow-downed, molasses-y Tweezer is a fantastic show opener. Tweezer melts into Theme where, again, the version reminds me of the high-flying versions of 1997. This versions absolutely soars for 10 minutes. A true gem. Foam hits next, following the cycle of the previous two nights of Jams -> Compositions. Foam is a little botched in the opening (wah wah) but Page really steals the show with his solo. Fancy-pants piano work from Page. The Chairman finally relents to Trey, who not to be outdone, takes drippy, inspired, delicate solo himself. Trey is showcasing some super nimble fingering during his go-around and it makes for a rousing rendition of Foam when paired with what Page was able to accomplish a couple minutes earlier. 1-2-3, BAM!BAM!BAM! What a start to the show! Pebbles and Marbles makes it debut in the 4-slot of an already gargantuan first set, and this version, much like the debuts of Walls, Waves, Seven Below, 46 Days, and Thunderhead, absolutely stuns us. If THIS is their new material... holy crap! Pebbles absolutely RIPS! A smokin hot 15 minute shred fest. YEM comes next and completes the all-star caliber starting 5 for this show. Before I get to the jam, you will most obviously hear the opening segment of YEM being stopped completely - then restarted - with Trey saying in an endearing and heartfelt way, "..we know this one SO well..." Maybe I am reading too far into the sentimentality of this, but the way Trey stopped this and addressed the crowd showed after the flub (to me at least) was a message that Phish was as committed to themselves and their fans as they ever had been, and they want to provide an experience that reflects it. Well done Trey. The jam features two really astounding peaks from Trey, the likes of which (had they happened in any year from 2009 onward) would warrant IMMEDIATE reactions of "OMG that YEM crushed! Best in the last six years!" ...or something of that ilk. My point here is, for 2003 or "2.0" this YEM is pretty standard, but if you were to place it contextually in 2009/10/11/12/13/14/15 we would be losing our minds at how amazing it is. This is saying two things 1) YEM used to absolutely melt faces with its intensity and peaks... so much so that even a YEM like this one is relatively "normal" for the time it happened. 2) Post-2009 YEMs, for the most part, lack the luster and zeal of their predecessors (save 12.4.09, 12.31.10, 7.14.13, and 10.31.14... and maybe a couple others). Long story short, for a set 1 closer, or for any setlist position, this is a pretty good YEM. Plus it had a super fun "George Takai/Tweezer Reprise" vocal jam mashup. When all is said and done, this set is an absolute barn-burner, non-stop jam fest from start-to-finish, and in some respects, could be placed right into 1997 without missing a beat.

Set 2 takes off right where Set 1 left off. A smoking hot BOAF gets the dance party going, wasting no time for Trey to send the Mothership on a collision course with the sun. Fans of Birds should seek this out, as it seethes energy and electricity. Wolfman's drops in next. Following the same pattern and general sound as the show-opening Tweezer, this Wolfman's is slowed down just a bit and has that swampy, thick 1997 sound to it. With the exception fo Trey's tone, this version is absolutely reminiscent of 97 Wolfmans. It is slow, groovy, and deep. About halfway through, it picks up the pace and hits a tremendous, celebratory peak before setting a different course to outer space. The final minutes are ethereal and cosmic, very pretty indeed, as they fade into Makisupa. This policeman is especially playful, having no time to write tickets or enforce the law, this version takes on a light-hearted (more so than usual) and comical jam segment. Axilla hits next and is perfectly placed and executed - keeping the already volcanic energy erupting from both band and fan. The set loses a little luster with a pedestrian 3rd quarter pairing of Twist > Free. Not much to write about with these two. Oh well. Can't always have a PERFECT show now can we... especially since we are only 7 sets into their come back (we can be so persnickety!!). All of these Dreams is okay. That's all I have to say about that, as I prefer the Anything but Me ballad to this one. To each their own. Next up is a show-closing Possum that is WHITE HOT!!! Holy crap! Much like YEM, if a Possum like this were to drop at any point in the last six years, we phanners would be losing our minds -- yet at the time, this Possum was standard fair... well maybe not standard (as this version really rages) but you get the idea. Three distinguishable peaks culminate a show that is really, really well-played even without having a true tent-pole jam (well, maybe Wolfman's.) Fans of Possum and fans of scorching Trey need to listen to this version ASAP.

Contact comes in the encore slot and let me tell you, I listened to this version three straight times. It is SO FUN! Incredibly economical for the amount AND type of improv it showcases, this Contact is (dare I say) among the best ever. Pure FUN!!! Tweezer Reprise puts about 14 exclamation points on an exceptional show, filled with peaks, flow, consistency, and talent.

Must hear jams: Theme from the Bottom, Foam, Pebbles and Marbles. Wolfman's Brother, Possum, Contact
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Tweezer, YEM, Birds of a Feather, Makisupa Policeman
Score: 0

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