Oom Pa Pa, Simpsons and All Fall Down signals.
Trey teased Lazy (Deep Purple) in Chalk Dust. Possum included Oom Pa Pa, Simpsons and All Fall Down signals and a Voodoo Child tease from Trey. Trey mentioned that he saw his first concert (Jethro Tull) in this very venue. Mallory debuted at this show.
Trey comes out in a Flyers - LeClair jersey... the old Spectrum had lights that dimmed rather than immediately shut off. So when the band took the stage, there was still lights on, dimming ever so slightly...
Chalkdust erupts and my 15yr old self at his first show sees all these people dancing. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Heads bopping to the thrashing opening of Chalkdust. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. It's remained something I will never forget.
In an age of song timings and instant recordings and reviews galore, you can sometimes forget to stop and notice the magic of it all. On a cold night not long before Christmas, for me, everything changed...
This was my first Phish show I ever attended...actually it was my first concert ever...I was 19 at the time and attending college in Delaware...Had just gotten home for winter break and some of my friends asked if I wanted to go see Phish in Philly...At this point, I knew very little about the band..only heard a couple of songs from some of my college friends...
Decided to take the trip with them as they had extras....if I remember correctly...price for a ticket was around $25...I could be wrong though...Got to the spectrum fairly early...enough time to walk around (it wasn't that cold out) and soak up the scene...I didn't know what to expect...but I do remember the smell of food in the air...I thought the scene was really cool...I had never seen anything like it before...
As we headed inside..I remember getting this nervous feeling...perhaps more anxious than nervous..probably because I didn't know what I was in store for...
As for the actual concert...I don't remember all that much..as I'm writing this 16 years later...A few highlights of the show I do remember are:
Chalkdust...I remember hearing this song being played in the dorms..and I remember saying to myself..This is cool...one song in and I know it...
Harry Hood..I also recognized...also thought to myself...this is a pretty mellow song that seems to soar higher and higher
Rotation jam...I thought this was something that went on at every show...can remember it being pretty cool... seeing the band members switch up instruments and keep jamming
Everything else during the show is a distant memory...although it would take me a few more shows to truly understand what Phish was about..I can recall leaving the show very excited...not only because I went to a concert..but because..I could tell some of the cool kids I went to college with..that I saw Phish, since I knew quite a few of them were into them...
CDT – Quick, efficient, and energetic Type I to open this up. Not anything out of the ordinary, but a solid opener.
Harry Hood – This is a happy duo in combination with the CDT. Trey does some really nice things with his guitar during the post-“Thank you Mr. Hood” buildup. Quick and satisfying Hood. This is how the short Hood’s should sound. Ends abruptly into
Wilson – Really cool start out of Hood. This is one reason why you should not look at a setlist while listening to a show for the first time. Surprises like these come out of nowhere. Standard Wilson.
Maze – I’m normally the kind of person who thinks that all Mazes are absolutely killed, but I felt like something was amiss here. Page’s first solo was really cool, but after that it seemed pretty bland until Trey began some dark descending rifts and ultimately building back up to the climax. There is a period of about 3 minutes or so when I feel like nothing good’s happening. Impressive bookend solo’s though.
Ha Ha Ha – Other than Trey saying he’s really happy to play here tonight (remarking that his first concert was at the Spectrum for Jethro Tull), Maze and this are a dark duo.
Suspicious Minds – Ha ha ha indeed. Fish is hilarious doing his Elvis impersonation. It’s always fun to hear Phish cover songs with such ease.
HYHU – Fun song to cap off Suspicious Minds.
Cars Trucks Buses – I love what Page is able to do in this song.
Bouncing – Not much to say here.
Free – Once again, not much to say. Free is just a song that provides a lot of space for Mike and Trey to maneuver freely in.
Possum – Awesome closer. This one is awesome and, in the first few minutes, somewhat resembles the 3.0 Blossom Possum. The end of this jam segment Trey absolutely shreds. Also of note, there are a few secret signals played.
Tweeprise – Unexpected way to start off a set. This is yet another example of why you should fight the urge to look at the setlist before listening to a show.
Runaway Jim – This feels a bit too monochromatic for me, even for a Jim. It bores me a little bit almost.
It’s Ice – Obviously this one is typically never too abnormal, but this one is impressive. The descending segment gets especially weird and intriguing. Under the influence of drugs, it is creepy. Cool stuff.
Gin > Rotation Jam – This rotation jam is pretty special musically methinks. While other rotation jams sounds somewhat bland and basic to my ears, this was interesting. Play this to a phan without telling him/her it’s a rotation jam, he/she may not notice.
Mallory – More goofiness from Fish.
2001 – Wow this one is short-lived. It’s odd because looking at the setlist, one would think it is used merely to segue into a murky Bowie intro. But this 2001 doesn’t smoothly flow into Bowie at all. Instead it ends abruptly.
Bowie – The beginning of the jam segment is really interesting. It starts off with a dark, lurking rift from Mike that almost gives the effect of a sneaking thief. Trey and Page do well not overstepping their grounds by playing chords more spaced out, giving the music more space to develop. Then around 7:50 or so, Trey and Page switch places with Mike. Mike now follows Trey’s suit while Page echoes the spirit of the dark, building jam. This one just gets better and better as it slinks along building tension.
Sweet Adeline – A Cappella is great.
Good Times Bad Times – Nothing too interesting going on here. Really cool transition into Tweeprise.
Tweeprise – Good way to cap off the show, reprising the kick-start of set II.
Set I - Possum, Ha Ha Ha > Suspicious Minds
Set II - Gin > Rotation Jam, Bowie
Overall this one is hard for me to give over a 3 star rating. I enjoy the flow they managed to create for the sets. In the 3.0 era when set flow is a gift, this is one to appreciate. However I was not too impressed with the show overall. A few good jams are sprinkled here and there, but nothing to go to nuts about. If you like '95 shows, this one may be for you. If you like the more serious, intense shows of the late '90's more, this one won't impress too much. As for me this show is a 3/5 star rating.
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