Wilson contained War Pigs teases from Mike and was unfinished. The song may have been played as an opener in memoriam of actor Earl Hindman, best known as “Wilson” from the television series Home Improvement, who passed away earlier in the day. NICU contained Shafty teases from Mike. Weigh was played for the first time since August 2, 1998 (200 shows). Cities included Sand teases. Gin included Show Biz Kids and After Midnight teases. 2001 included a P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up) jam containing some brief lyrics, as well as Gin, Sand, and Auld Lang Syne teases. Tube was unfinished. L.A. Woman was a Phish debut; Birds included L.A. Woman teases. During Makisupa, Trey noted that they were going to play Touch Me, but decided not to because Fish couldn't remember the words and they didn't know how have a horn section. To make it up to the crowd for letting them down, Trey brought out George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic (also known as The P. Funk All-Stars). Trey commented “and that’s even better than Touch Me!” Page teased Touch Me while Trey was talking. The ensuing P. Funk Jam moved through pieces of several classic Parliament/Funkadelic tunes including Butt-a-Butt, Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker), P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up), and One Nation Under A Groove. Get Low (Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz) was also part of the medley. By the end of the jam, Fish was alone on stage playing vacuum. Fish then exited, leaving the stage empty. Phish returned alone to finish Makisupa; to prove that P. Funk was better than Fish singing Touch Me, Makisupa closed with Fish singing the first line of Touch Me a cappella. During the last chorus of Contact, Trey sang lines like “L.A. Woman” and “Make my funk the P. Funk” in place of his usual harmonies.
Noteworthy Jams
War Pigs tease in Wilson, Shafty tease in NICU, Sand tease in Cities, Show Biz Kids and After Midnight teases in Bathtub Gin, P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up), Bathtub Gin, Sand, and Auld Lang Syne jams in Also Sprach Zarathustra, L.A. Woman tease in Birds of a Feather, Butt-a-Butt, Get Low, Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker), P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up), and One Nation Under a Groove teases in P-Funk Medley, Touch Me quote in Makisupa Policeman, L.A. Woman and P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up) quotes in Contact
Debut Years (Average: 1993)

This show was part of the "2003 NYE Run"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2003-12-30

Review by zzyzx

zzyzx Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion.

This was the day that we had scheduled for Everglades exploration. Four years to the day of arriving at Big Cypress, I found myself not far south of there taking photos of alligators and flamingos. It was quite fun. Afterward, we headed back to the hotel quickly to get our tickets and head to the lot. Perhaps, as it turned out, a little too quickly.

Shakedown was different on this night. The lot across the street that had been the mad vending place was completely closed. Rumor in the lot had it that it was due to a fight over some nitrous tanks the night before that raged out of control. Needless to say, I hope that story isn't true, but it seems believable based on some of the behavior I've seen. I think some people hit Miami and think that they're playing Vice City.

As I was heading into the show, Elayne pointed out a disturbing discovery. My rush to get to the venue early caused me to grab my 12/28 ticket by mistake. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get back to the hotel on time. Before starting the walk, I figured I should try to see if I could get a cheap ticket first. There were still plenty of extras floating around, after all. Within a minute of looking, someone handed me a free ticket. After 2002's run it sure was nice to have a NYE run where you could get in even if you forgot your ticket.

After a quick (and unfinished) “Wilson” we got our first surprise of the show. “Sand” appropriately appeared for its first post-Hiatus appearance. Unlike many “Sand”s of the past, it didn't stick to the groove riff. The jam was much more exploratory before suddenly deciding to segue into “Shafty”. It was then that I knew that this show was going to be special. Not even the sloppy “NICU” could throw off that feeling. Even that song had something fun; Mike was playing the “Shafty” bassline under the second verse.

The show really became legendary for the end of the first set through the second set. It all started with the “Bathtub Gin” > “2001”. The jam had some very cool teases from the obscure (Steely Dan's “Show Biz Kids”) to the appropriate (“After Midnight” was played at Cypress after all) to what would turn out to be foreshadowing. This wasn't just some sort of tease-fest though. The last twenty minutes of the set were just amazing. It kind of snuck up on me some, but during the setbreak I was buzzing with the energy (and impatience) that only a great set can bring.

There was a funny bit at the beginning of the second set. Trey played something that sounded like the riff to “Chalk Dust” and the crowed booed. Perhaps that's why that idea was rejected in favor of “Tube”. (Author's Note: Later reflection made it obvious that this was a chant of "Tube," not a boo. The original line stands because that's how I wrote it right after the show.)

This “Tube” was nothing short of amazing. Containing a start/stop jam, a nice peak, and a Type II exploration, this is far from your typical version. However atypical it was though, I don't think anyone was expecting a segue into “LA Woman”. When people figured out what they were playing, the place went nuts.

"LA Woman" was a lot of fun, even though there was a sense that the band didn't quite know how the song went and was just running with a fun idea. That idea was reinforced when they went into R20;BirdsR21; before doing the bridge or the "Mr. Mojo Rising" section.

The “Birds” is notable for two reasons. The first is the long “LA Woman” tease that happened in the jam. The second is the completely botched ending. They didn't sing the final, "Birds of a feather," part, rather they just went directly into the ending chords. As soon as they ended though, Trey and Fishman sang, "Mr. Mojo Rising," and we were back into LA. While some people were hoping for a return to “Tube” to finish up all of the loose ends, we got “Makisupa” instead.

There wasn't really a keyword in this version. Instead of that, Trey explained that they were thinking about reviving the old version of “Touch Me” that they did in the Giant Country Horn era. Alas, they didn't remember how it went and they didn't have the horns. After a pause, Trey announced a different plan. George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic would come out instead.

I'm not a huge P-Funk fan, so a lot of the charm of this moment was lost on me. However, I could see in the bliss of a lot of people around me that this was a great moment for them and I enjoyed it second hand through them.

At the end of this segment - which was kept to a reasonable length unlike many recent guest appearances - Fishman started playing the vacuum. Eventually it was just him on stage. When he ended his solo, he left the stage too. There were a few minutes of indecision in the crowd. Was the set over? The band came back out though and picked “Makisupa” back up like nothing had happened. They did say, though, that they wanted to prove that this was indeed better than Fishman singing “Touch Me”, so they performed the first line of the song just to demonstrate that. Personally, I'm not convinced that the P-Funk section would have been better, but I'll go for either one really.

The set wasn't over yet. We still had a “Down With Disease” to go. There was a great moment toward the end of the jam. A pretty theme was played for a while. As I was wondering what it was and if it was another song, they slightly morphed it and it did turn out to be a song. What they were doing apparently was playing a slight variation on the main “Down With Disease” riff. Returning to it was an awesome rush and an incredible way to end a wonderful set.

While the encore - a slowed down “Contact” and a “WMGGW” where Trey couldn't hit the high notes - wasn't that impressive, few people seemed to care. This was the kind of show that keeps everyone up all night basking in the glow. Everyone I talked to afterwards was raving. The complaints that were raised were nit picky and even those who mentioned them pointed out that this was a superlative concert. If there's one problem with it, it's that it runs the real chance of completely overshadowing New Year's Eve.

I'm currently writing this review in my hotel room early on the morning of 12/31/03. You know what went down that night and if it met the challenge of New Year's Eve Eve. I can't imagine what could possibly top tonight, but that's part of the fun. Hopefully tomorrow's review will be just as glowing. You know something I don't know.
, attached to 2003-12-30

Review by n00b100

n00b100 Set 1: A sharp and muscular Wilson starts the show, and then a surprise as a) it's not finished, and b) the one and only Sand of 2.0 starts up in place of "BLAT BOOM", a Sand that's closer to the looser versions of 3.0 to the lockstep late-90s versions and picks up steam at the end before segueing into Shafty (!), which then segues into NICU. The rest of the set proceeds in standard fashion, until Gin kicks into a very relaxed and bluesy jam that gives way to the "Classic Gin" jam and then morphs into something harder and more muscular (Fish, in particular, is raising an almighty racket), then drops back into another cool groove before collapsing into the familiar fog of noise from which 2001 emerges. 2001 is more notable for its many teases (especially the foreshadowing of the P-Funk tease) than anything else, but is certainly a neat way to close out the set.

Set 2: A personal favorite Tube kicks off, going more for upbeat jamming out of the gate than the usual (even for 3.0) mega-funk, before the bottom drops out and first Mike, then Fish get a moment to shine. Fish goes into a skittering beat as Page and Trey step up to the forefront, then they move into what I consider a typical 3.0 jam space, a thick groove where Trey plays repeating notes and Fish locks into one beat, allowing Page and Mike to dance around them as they see fit. The jam collapses into a buzzing, ugly fog (another typical 3.0 jam space), and a metal-ish guitar line claws out of the muck, then rather hilariously molds into the group's one and only full performance of LA Woman. The actual cover itself is fine, and the band wastes little time blasting into BOAF, which teases LA Woman before sliding into a nice, relaxed jam. They neatly find their way back to the usual Birds ending (it's not as big a deal to me that they don't sing the final chorus as it was to @zzyzx), and then crank up LA Woman again and bring *that* to a close before segueing into Makisupa.

So, the P-Funk Medley is one of the more polarizing moments in Phish's live history, like the BB King guest spot or the Second City guest spot or (for a non-guest spot example) the 11/19/97 Wolfman's jam. Me, I fall somewhere in the middle between "it's great" and "it sucks" - 2003 was rather past Parliament's prime (especially for poor George Clinton's voice), and it's a bit of an awkward fit, but the songs themselves are evergreen and it's fun as heck, if nothing else. Hey, it beats the Jay-Z spot, I can say that much. P-Funk leaves and they wrap up Makisupa, then finish off the set with a DWD that climbs and climbs to a fuzzy peak halfway through, then drops down into a surprisingly mellow range before Trey starts playing an amusingly rockabilly-esque version of the DWD riff and they build to Ye Olde DWD Ending to close.

Final thoughts: my favorite show of the run. The P-Funk medley is fun enough to warrant a listen, and the Tube/LA Woman/Birds sequence, DWD, and Gin -> 2001 are all more than worth your time.
, attached to 2003-12-30

Review by guitarberman

guitarberman It was 10 years ago today that I saw my first phish show.
We drove from Toronto, ON Can all the way to Miami to see Phish and it was worth it!
We got to the venue early so I could check out shakedown, but no luck tonight and It would just be beer for me.
I had been listening to phish for 3-4 years and I had no idea what was in store for me to see and hear them live.
We had great seats, 100's and center.
Wilson opened the set and then we were off.
I remember getting the NICU was solid and I couldn't believe it when the started to play Weigh!!
Another highlight for me was Strange design. I was surprised to see Page signing. I though from the recording I had, that it was trey.
Then scent of a mule. WOAH!! so this is live phish!
and then a gin and 2001 to close out the set.
What a set!!

set break.

I wasn't familiar with TUbe, but when they segued into LA Woman I knew something was up.
Then right into Birds and back in LA woman and then P FUNK come on stage!!
Down with disease was great and it was cool to get contact and while my guitar gently weeps for an encore.
Now I was ready for the next night.
, attached to 2003-12-30

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

I will always remember the NYE '03 run in Miami. These four shows are what Phish is all about, doing what they do best: having fun and playing great, entertaining music at the same time. The most memorable show for me was 12/30.
The show started off with “Wilson” > “Sand” > “Shafty” > “NICU” > “Weigh”. The "Sand" was one of the funkiest I've heard, recalling the Vegas '00 version. "Weigh" was a huge surprise, as they had not played it in over 100 shows. Once "Weigh" was finished, Page took over with his natural talent in "Strange Design", "Scent of a Mule", and most notably, "Bathtub Gin". The first night was my good friend's first Phish show, he had pulling for a "Bathtub Gin" all week but was not fulfilled, so you can imagine the excitement that overwhelmed him when Page started playing the funk of "Bathtub Gin".
By this point my friends and I were in awe at what we had experienced already, but it was only foreshadowing something we were not prepared for. Halfway through a rockin' "2001", Phish teased Parliament- Funkadelic, a huge surprise to most of the crowd, I'm sure. End of Set I.
Set II opened with a real funky "Tube" which is a personal favorite of mine, and I have not had the pleasure to see it in the past. They jammed this tune into one of the Doors' favorites, "LA Woman". By this time we knew this night was something special. Sandwiched in between "LA Woman" was one of the most raging "Birds of a Feather" I have ever heard. They jammed the second part of "LA Woman" into "Makisupa", which is always a favorite. There was no keyword however. Trey instead announced that they wanted to play "Touch Me" but they didn’t know it and they didn't have a horn section. He then apologized for the "let down" and announced that they'd would like to bring out Parliament-Funkadelic.
I've never heard a larger cheer in my entire life than the one witnessed as George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic walked on stage. P Funk played a few of their own songs, including "Botta Butt" and "One Nation Under a Groove", which was such a treat in itself. After clearing off the stage, Phish returned to "Makisupa" after an almost twenty min. lapse.
"Down With Disease" was the Set II closer. I thought this fitting, it was a pretty average "Disease" with an extended jam, however. Tears were nearly running down my cheeks as I awaited the four phenoms known as Phish. The song to end the encore was "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", written by George Harrison. This tune is one my favorite covers that Phish does, so I was especially delighted to hear this one. Once the show was over my friends and I walked out of AA Arena with smiles on our faces, memories in our heads, and a sense of joy we had not experienced in years. No doubt we will always remember this night, albeit for different reasons perhaps.
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