Kung (first since September 29, 1999, or 106 shows) was sung over the jam connecting Drowned and Twist. Bowie included a full-band Tweezer tease.
Noteworthy Jams
Teases
Tweezer tease in David Bowie
Debut Years (Average: 1993)

This show was part of the "2003 Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2003-07-25

Review by Anonymous

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

We drove into Charlotte from Tampa, Florida the day before the show, with five of us crammed in a Toyota. Despite the close quarters, everyone was pretty excited. This would be my first show since Greensboro in March, and my first amphitheater show since the "Crosseyed Antelope" West Palm Beach show from the fall of 1996. My anticipation pulsed from within. I love the build-up to a show.
Upon waking up in the hotel on the day of the show, the television was flipped on and there were the dead bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein. I silently raged at the idea that pictures of the dead bodies of people that the US Army had hunted down and killed would be provided by the government to the media for ceremonial display over the national airwaves. Is this a sick country or what? All of my excitement drained from me for a moment, and I had to remind myself where I was. A decision was quickly reached to turn off the TV, get some lunch and scout out the venue. Why focus on all the negativity? I saw no reason to, and off we went.
After killing the day around Charlotte and trying to avoid television, we finally parked at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at around 5:00 PM. Gates were still closed so my group found some shade, munched a snack and listened to a crisp "My Soul" sound check from under some trees. It sounded great, and my excitement returned. I get a little impatient, and I could not wait for the show to start.
I was inside pretty quickly once the gates finally opened. On the inside, the amphitheater looked exactly like the West Palm Beach venue from `96. I had an idea that my seat was good, but no online seating chart could prepare me for the reality of fifteen row, center. Dead center. These were not only the best seats I had ever had at a Phish show; these were the best seats I had ever had for any show, period. As the sun beat down on my back, an agonizing wait ensued.
The section in front of the stage was slow to fill, and when the band took the stage I was shocked to see them. I thought the place was empty, until I turned around and realized that it was only the rows in front of me that were empty. Behind me was the typical Phish madhouse.
The band kicked into the "Funky Bitch" opener and we were off and dancing. At fifteen rows back dead center with no one standing in front of you for several rows, it really looks like Trey is starring right at you. My companions all felt that Trey was looking at them as well. Although I understand that Trey was looking at everyone in the arena and no one in particular, it does help illustrate one of the "secrets" of Phish's success: they seem to be playing to all of us all of the time.
Another oft-discussed "secret" of Phish's success is the unpredictable nature of each show. I had a "Chalk Dust" opener at my first show, as had two people I was with. This was one friend's first show, so naturally we were all calling a "Chalk Dust" opener. When "Funky Bitch" started, I laughed and forgot all about "Chalk Dust""...until they went into it next! A double opener. This was followed by "Two Versions of Me", a new ballad that sucked the life out of the venue. Not a bad song, but after the explosive release of the first two songs, I wasn't ready for a breather.
A really good "Bathtub Gin" and a solid "Limb By Limb" provided the jammy meat of the set. The set closer of "Golgi"  "Character Zero" had me smiling. What better way to close a set that began with a double opener? During "Zero", I couldn't hear Trey sing the chorus because the crowd had drowned him out. All in all, a very good Set I.
During set break, while on a non-moving line for water I met a hysterical guy from Atlanta who rolled through ten minutes of stand up comedy while clutching a balloon he had caught. His standard refrain: "This is my first Phish show! I just can't handle it!" After finally getting some water I got back to my seat just as set two began.
Ah, set two. The triple double. Set two in Charlotte is the reason I go to Phish shows. How do you open a set that has it all? A rocking "Drowned"  "Kung", that's how. I must admit, "Kung" had me pretty confused until my brother, perhaps seeing the confusion on my face, leaned over and clued me in. After the intense drama of the set openers, the band kept up the energy with a tight "Twist"  "Heavy Things". At this point I didn't think the band could top what had already occurred during the show, but I was excited to see what they would try next.
At some point during Set II, Trey started talking to Mike. After a minute of this, Trey burst into hysterical laughter. Someone had a good idea. That idea: a set closing segue of "Harry Hood"  "David Bowie". The "Hood" in particular was a monster. Thirty minutes of complete insanity. At times during the "Hood" I felt the universe open up a little bit, the sound of the music tearing through the thin veil of reality. This built to an out of control, tear the shed down ending, with Fishman's "Bowie" intro emerging from the Chaos. At the moment that "Bowie" kicked in, I thought of the guy from set break. I was about to explode, so I really hoped he was okay. The "Bowie" was a suitably rocking version, although nowhere near as devastating as the "Hood". As the song reached its peak and the band began the start/stop part at the end, I was amazed to see the effect the music was having on the audience. From complete stillness to absolute bedlam in the time it takes Fishman to hit a snare drum. A great end to a great set.
In between the end of the set and the encore someone brought out the a cappella mics and I was pissed. I knew that "Carolina" would emerge, and I feared it was going to become standard issue at all Carolina shows. Of course, I can be an idiot sometimes, and when the band came out and started an a cappella "Star Spangled Banner" I felt like a dope. "Bug" followed, and as the song progressed I couldn't help but make a connection between the encore and the news of the morning. The national anthem followed by a song with lines like "it doesn't matter". Phish managed to remind me that if you focus on the negative, you never see the positive. There is a lot right going on all around us, even if the TV news can't see it.
On the slow walk out of the amphitheater I looked around and wondered what it would be like to leave a show in a crowd three times the size of the group in Charlotte and then all go camp together. My next show would be IT, and IT was only a week away. If the "Harry Hood" was any indication, traveling to Maine would be well worth it.
, attached to 2003-07-25

Review by tubescreamer

tubescreamer Drove down from NYC to catch the tour from here up to IT. Don't miss the last few minutes of this Gin. At 15:27, Trey begins to play a soaring melody and we are treated to a few minutes of bliss jamming before they downshift and the melody dissolves into a growling swamp, typical terrain for summer 03, and then finally a return to the gin theme. Though short, the articulate melody of this bliss jam is burned into my brain and one of my favorite moments of 03, and that says a lot.
, attached to 2003-07-25

Review by bs915

bs915 This was my first show. I happened to have the second to worst possible timing to start listening to Phish...summer 2000. I had been to other shows before this one, SCI, plenty of Panic (going to see Panic as a kid in South Carolina was like going to the movies), and even Dave Matthews Band, but there is no possible way to prepare someone for the complete Phish show experience. I was quite overwhelmed throughout the show. The first set rocked from start to finish, with the exception of "Two Versions of Me." I don't think there's any more that could be said about the second set that hasn't been covered already. I had heard plenty of Hoods before this show, but this one left me in a state of shock/bliss.

Also, am I the only person that hears a 2001 tease during the Bathtub Gin jam?
, attached to 2003-07-25

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks The two best Hoods of 2003 are the glorious 7/31 version and the wilder, woolier half-hourlong take from this strong show; the weird sojourn of Harry Hood as a 'Type II' jam vehicle in '03 climaxed with blues riffs, ugly rock sounds, and a cooled-out transition back to the song's traditional cascading chords. Nothing like, say, the 'Type II' versions of Halley's Comet that popped up in 1997-98, but Phish '03 was a very different animal from its pre-hiatus form. This first set's fine but the second is *very* fine, if understated (except for that Hood). If you don't mind a repetitious-but-fun 6-minute Kung chant you'll be rewarded with a delicate Twist, patient/unfulfilling Drowned, and hearty smooth Bowie closer. But let's be frank: everything else about the show pales in light of that monstrous, *terminal* take on Harry Hood. 7/31 is a better show all-around, to my ears, and if you're just skimming summer 2003 you can get by with a track or two from this one.
, attached to 2003-07-25

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo This show lives in somewhat spotlighted Phish lore because it contains the first of two highly extended and highly improvisational Harry Hoods of Summer 2003. But what about the rest of the show. Lots of arrows and dashes in that second set, eh? I wonder what to make of it...

Riding the wake of the HUGE 7.23 show, Funky Bitch surfed out of the silence and into a full blown pornographic 1960s sexcapade. They. Meant. Business. This Bitch is hot. She is sassy. She is a perfect show opener, riffing with full band energy anchored truly by Mike. Trey is especially on point, really taking hold of this scorching hot jam. Chalk Dust hits next and the swell builds. One might look at this pairing and say, "Harrumph, perfunctory Phish." ...that person has been expelled from my class. This 11 minute Chalk Dust breaks quickly from the "norm" and soars off into blissful floating. I had never, ever heard this version before and was totally floored at the amount of highly-original, highly-connected, and highly-focused improvisation it packs into 11 minutes. Sounds like 2016 doesn't it? Well, this version would fit right in. A truly must-hear version of the song that I would guess 80% of the fanbase is totally unfamiliar with. I will be accepting thank you notes at a later time. The crowd is as much on fire as the band is as the song winds down. Two Versions of Me starts up, and although I am not a fan of the song proper, the jam is quite pretty. Reprising some of the tranquil Chalk Dust themes, this is a tasteful little jam that fits nicely into a very powerful start to the show. Bathtub Gin hits next, and if 2003 is known for any vintage, it is known for its Gin. This version starts out with some comical full-band stops... like, almost belly rolling funny and I wasn't even there. I'd love to know what was going on on-stage, as it sounded awkwardly fun! The jam then turns into actual music which builds at a much more benign pace than the Gins of yore. In fact, if any reminiscence fits this version, it is that it sounds strikingly similar to the Gins of Summer 2000. At about the 13 minute mark the pace picks up and the form breaks again, into a more or less, "2003-y" sound. The jam never quite hits the jazzy/spacey/flowy originality of 7.9.03, or the free-form symphony of 2.28.03, or the scary Robo-Funk of 2.22.03, or the angelic soaring of 2.14.03, but hey, we can't hit a homerun every time. Phish has been on a Limb by Limb kick this year, throwing gnarled versions at us left and right. Gritty and powerful, this one fits the mold of what we have heard in the past. It is a deep exploration of dissonance mixed with power mixed with ferocity -- with just a dash of barely-holding-onto-my-sanity. It's quite a ride. Not that I particularly prefer this version over others (I don't) but I am certain in the moment is was a mind-blower. Back on the Train keeps the nonstop momentum surging. I mean this set is really getting after it. Playing the role of little brother to 2.28.03, this version is a bit sloppy and a bit... well... I dunno... coming-up-shorty. It is not bad, no, it just doesn't *sound* like the band really connected in it, despite really, really trying to. Honestly though, in the context of the set, it didn't matter... it ruined nothing. The Horn/Golgi combo had a gritty edge to it, and provided, somehow, a respite towards the tail end of the set. Interesting, no? Sometimes these songs are blasting pads, sometimes landing pads. This time they were the latter, and they fit perfectly into a transition role of "coming down" from the huge jams early on the exclamation point Character Zero to close the set (which was quite raucous). All and all, a VERY cohesive and energized first set with a brilliant Chalk Dust Torture as its bell cow. Now for all those arrows and dashes i Set 2...

The first Drowned in a thousand years opens the second set with a splash ::groans, crickets:: . Ahem. Anyways, Drowned keeps that first set energy flowing with a solid 10 minutes of straight rocking before dripping into a fluid, melodic groove. This is a spunky little pocket Phish finds, not quite an all-star version, but just like all of Set 1, it is fluid, energized, and cohesive. And when they start the Kung lyrics over the groove, man oh man, I can only imagine the energy that unleashed. It was goofy, funny, fun Phish! The best kind! Still, that little groove is pretty sweet too. The groove eventually trickles into Twist which is built in the form of the exceptional 7.9.03 version. Not quite as playful, but definitely as creative, this version of Twist tiptoes and sneaks around the framework of the song. Delicately dancing, the jam is nimble and light. Fishman is the all-star hear, playing notes with his drums rather than beats, and eventually guides the band into -> Heavy Things. This version is the Sandwich King Special. Page crushes it. Trey almost drops out entirely to let Page shine, it was very good. Heavy Things comes to a close, and after a brief conversation - drum role please (literally) - Hood starts up. My mind tells me Trey was telling the other guys, "We are gonna jam the shit outta this." Because, well, they jammed the shit outta it. I could write for hours on this version. It is orchestral exploration. It has false summits, peak-fake-outs, psychedelic pools, and extended, highly stylistic jamming. It ebbs and flows, builds and breaks down. It is, in a (two?) word, must-hear. The Bowie that follows is a little underwhelming and sloppy, but who is counting at this point. Well, maybe that's not true. The mini Tweezer jam in the middle is pretty sweet, and the jam itself kind swirls... but this version as a whole just doesn't do it for ME, not sure why, it just doesn't have a lot of teeth... but that's not to say some fans won't totally dig it. The sets are complete, and show is complete, and this is a fantastic start-to-finish Phish performance. A fun Star Spangled Banner followed by a heartfelt Bug sends us off into the evening, picking our mandibles up off the dance floor, five fiving friends, and thinking to ourselves, "I don't need to pay rent this month... when's the next show?"

Must-hear jams: Chalk Dust Torture, Drowned -> Kung, Harry Hood
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Funky Bitch, Bathtub Gin, Twist, David Bowie...?
, attached to 2003-07-25

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo This show lives in somewhat spotlighted Phish lore because it contains the first of two highly extended and highly improvisational Harry Hoods of Summer 2003. But what about the rest of the show. Lots of arrows and dashes in that second set, eh? I wonder what to make of it...

Riding the wake of the HUGE 7.23 show, Funky Bitch surfed out of the silence and into a full blown pornographic 1960s sexcapade. They. Meant. Business. This Bitch is hot. She is sassy. She is a perfect show opener, riffing with full band energy anchored truly by Mike. Trey is especially on point, really taking hold of this scorching hot jam. Chalk Dust hits next and the swell builds. One might look at this pairing and say, "Harrumph, perfunctory Phish." ...that person has been expelled from my class. This 11 minute Chalk Dust breaks quickly from the "norm" and soars off into blissful floating. I had never, ever heard this version before and was totally floored at the amount of highly-original, highly-connected, and highly-focused improvisation it packs into 11 minutes. Sounds like 2016 doesn't it? Well, this version would fit right in. A truly must-hear version of the song that I would guess 80% of the fanbase is totally unfamiliar with. I will be accepting thank you notes at a later time. The crowd is as much on fire as the band is as the song winds down. Two Versions of Me starts up, and although I am not a fan of the song proper, the jam is quite pretty. Reprising some of the tranquil Chalk Dust themes, this is a tasteful little jam that fits nicely into a very powerful start to the show. Bathtub Gin hits next, and if 2003 is known for any vintage, it is known for its Gin. This version starts out with some comical full-band stops... like, almost belly rolling funny and I wasn't even there. I'd love to know what was going on on-stage, as it sounded awkwardly fun! The jam then turns into actual music which builds at a much more benign pace than the Gins of yore. In fact, if any reminiscence fits this version, it is that it sounds strikingly similar to the Gins of Summer 2000. At about the 13 minute mark the pace picks up and the form breaks again, into a more or less, "2003-y" sound. The jam never quite hits the jazzy/spacey/flowy originality of 7.9.03, or the free-form symphony of 2.28.03, or the scary Robo-Funk of 2.22.03, or the angelic soaring of 2.14.03, but hey, we can't hit a homerun every time. Phish has been on a Limb by Limb kick this year, throwing gnarled versions at us left and right. Gritty and powerful, this one fits the mold of what we have heard in the past. It is a deep exploration of dissonance mixed with power mixed with ferocity -- with just a dash of barely-holding-onto-my-sanity. It's quite a ride. Not that I particularly prefer this version over others (I don't) but I am certain in the moment is was a mind-blower. Back on the Train keeps the nonstop momentum surging. I mean this set is really getting after it. Playing the role of little brother to 2.28.03, this version is a bit sloppy and a bit... well... I dunno... coming-up-shorty. It is not bad, no, it just doesn't *sound* like the band really connected in it, despite really, really trying to. Honestly though, in the context of the set, it didn't matter... it ruined nothing. The Horn/Golgi combo had a gritty edge to it, and provided, somehow, a respite towards the tail end of the set. Interesting, no? Sometimes these songs are blasting pads, sometimes landing pads. This time they were the latter, and they fit perfectly into a transition role of "coming down" from the huge jams early on the exclamation point Character Zero to close the set (which was quite raucous). All and all, a VERY cohesive and energized first set with a brilliant Chalk Dust Torture as its bell cow. Now for all those arrows and dashes i Set 2...

The first Drowned in a thousand years opens the second set with a splash ::groans, crickets:: . Ahem. Anyways, Drowned keeps that first set energy flowing with a solid 10 minutes of straight rocking before dripping into a fluid, melodic groove. This is a spunky little pocket Phish finds, not quite an all-star version, but just like all of Set 1, it is fluid, energized, and cohesive. And when they start the Kung lyrics over the groove, man oh man, I can only imagine the energy that unleashed. It was goofy, funny, fun Phish! The best kind! Still, that little groove is pretty sweet too. The groove eventually trickles into Twist which is built in the form of the exceptional 7.9.03 version. Not quite as playful, but definitely as creative, this version of Twist tiptoes and sneaks around the framework of the song. Delicately dancing, the jam is nimble and light. Fishman is the all-star hear, playing notes with his drums rather than beats, and eventually guides the band into -> Heavy Things. This version is the Sandwich King Special. Page crushes it. Trey almost drops out entirely to let Page shine, it was very good. Heavy Things comes to a close, and after a brief conversation - drum role please (literally) - Hood starts up. My mind tells me Trey was telling the other guys, "We are gonna jam the shit outta this." Because, well, they jammed the shit outta it. I could write for hours on this version. It is orchestral exploration. It has false summits, peak-fake-outs, psychedelic pools, and extended, highly stylistic jamming. It ebbs and flows, builds and breaks down. It is, in a (two?) word, must-hear. The Bowie that follows is a little underwhelming and sloppy, but who is counting at this point. Well, maybe that's not true. The mini Tweezer jam in the middle is pretty sweet, and the jam itself kind swirls... but this version as a whole just doesn't do it for ME, not sure why, it just doesn't have a lot of teeth... but that's not to say some fans won't totally dig it. The sets are complete, and show is complete, and this is a fantastic start-to-finish Phish performance. A fun Star Spangled Banner followed by a heartfelt Bug sends us off into the evening, picking our mandibles up off the dance floor, five fiving friends, and thinking to ourselves, "I don't need to pay rent this month... when's the next show?"

Must-hear jams: Chalk Dust Torture, Drowned -> Kung, Harry Hood
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Funky Bitch, Bathtub Gin, Twist, David Bowie...?
Add a Review
Setlist Filter
By year:

By month:

By day:

By weekday:

By artist:

Filter Reset Filters
Phish.net Login

Register | Forgot Password
Support Phish.net & MBIRD


Phish.net

Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal

© 1990-2016  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation