ah, back it deer creek for another year. fresh off the announcement that this was it for phish, we were expecting them to pull out all the stops. sure, trey was all smacked out, but from what i've heard, the deer creek and alpine shows were the last good phish shows until 2009. these four shows all had gordon, fishman, and page stepping up for the "hindered" trey. gordon and fishman really played better than i had ever heard them.
llama: they came out guns blazing. it was promising... trey sounded pretty with it on this one. i like to hear them come out fast-paced and rocking though. good llama. not '94 good but good none the less
batr: not my favorite, but i feel like they always play something i love right after....
bt gin: and my theory holds another day! this was a very good gin, especially for the 03-04 era. this gin jam seemed to be a little more rocking and they changed tempo with relative ease. they really brought the house down when they brought an end to this one.
yamar: this was a nice mid set cool down on a lovely indiana summer night. page did a few nifty things in this one.
pebbles and marbles: this is one of the few round room songs i liked, so i was happy to hear this one. it was a pretty decent version. not bursting with energy like the one i saw in hampton in 03 but still pretty solid.
army of one: i love page, but this song doesnt quite do it for me.
soa melt: they didn't get too weird on this one, but they sure kept the rocking vibe going. trey had some pretty good licks throughout this melt jam. straight forward but very strong.
halley's comet: this got the crowd back in the game in a hurry. they burned through this halley's pretty quickly, and then they just slammed into..
cross eyed and painless: it was like a wsp segue. sure it was a little sloppy, but you can spring ce& p on me anytime. as for this cross eyed, it rocked. this was my first taste on this run of how fishman's and gordon's talents were now on display. gordon especially really blazed on this jam. after a very intense jam, they petered out, and page led them into...
slave to the traffic light: page really drove the bus on this one. it was a very good slave, especially for the times. trey came out when he needed too, but page was the star on this one. very good playing by the man on keys.
nothing: i went to take a leak and grab a much needed beer.
46 days: i came back and they were starting what ended up being a pretty nifty nothing jam. this worked pretty seamlessly into 46 days. it was kind of an odd pairing, but it worked well. gordon had a pretty cool effect going on the 46 days, but other than that, this was somewhat uneventful
scents and subtle sounds: i will never know why they cut the intro out of this song. that was my favorite part...hmmm. this didnt do a whole lot for me.
limb by limb: pretty standard version
cavern: good 'ol fashioned rocking way to end a set that had kind of petered out a bit
waste: really...that's it. hmmm...
the first set had enough highlights to make it worth your while. the 2nd set started in fine fashion, but they seemed to lose steam after slave. the jam out of nothing was somewhat interesting, but it wasn't enough to really carry the back half of the second set. bring back the old first section of scents and subtle sounds!
set 1: bt gin and soa melt
set 2: halley's>cep>slave
Sometimes the benefit of hindsight can be a positive thing. I have been relistening to the Summer '04 tour, while pretending that I am listening to a 3.0 show. This helps put the setlist, segues, and jams into clearer focus for me, rather than thinking about how Phish was less than 14 shows away from what was considered to be their farewell.
From this perspective, Gin, Melt, Crosseyed, and Limb X are excellent versions, and a 3.0 show that contained two of these four performances would be considered great. Then consider the 2.0 material: Pebbles and Marbles, Army of One, and a HUGE Nothing -> 46 Days -> SaSS sequence, and this show has enough juice to earn a 4-star rating from me.
2 quibbles while I'm here: The "Play it Cactus" in Ya Mar made me, um, appreciate Page's organ solos more. And Trey solo in Slave is very disappointing, though admittedly standard for 2.0. But please don't let these minor points keep you from hearing the rest of this show.
I always felt this show, aside from the Alpine Valley/SPAC shows, was a quasi-stand out moment from 04.
That first set, aside from the awkward turn into Army of One, is pretty much a ball of energy spinning from beginning to end. Highlights certainly include a Bathtub Gin worthy of comparison to others in 2.0 and a pretty straight forward fire version (for 2.0) of SOaM.
The second set is where this show both hits a peak and then wavers until Cavern comes back. The Halley's>C&P>Slave is a personal favorite, including one of my top 3 fav C&P, mostly because there was a chaotic energy in the first few minutes of the jam eventually sliding into some calmer groovier waters. Which immediately pumps into a sloooow, a bit messy, but serene version of Slave. Seriously, Trey sustaining that note for nearly 2 minutes gives me chills. There was something to his quieter play during the Pharwell Tour that was palpable and supremely delicate and emotional, wild and sloppy. It's as raw as he ever got.
It was also nice to get a solid Scents and a great set closing Cavern. Waste as an encore does nothing for me. So everything before is pretty much solid material for a somewhat strange era.
The segue from Nothing>>>46 Days was one of the more awkward and biggest example of bad chemistry I think I may have ever witnessed (outside of Coventry).
It had some bad juju for sure. A tug of war, of sorts, between Mike and Trey with Mike giving up.
Certainly not with the results akin to the tug of war they had with Melt and 2001 from Holmdel '99, unfortunately.
I'm not quite sure what everyone is listening to here -- the segue from Nothing into 46 Days is harsh, disconnected, and completely forced. My friends who were at the show told me that it looked like Trey was forcing 46 Days and the rest of the band was having none of it, before finally giving in. The recording certainly reflects this version of the sequence of events. That being said, much of the Nothing jam sequence is cool, and the Gin in the first set and the Halley's > C&P > Slave sequence to start the second set warrant repeated listening.
Nothing isn't a song I would expect to really branch out in any way, but when listening to this show, I was surprised. I really like this jam, actually. It's a nice little surprise. And a sweet seque into 46 days.
I pretty much hafta agree with every other review but for me this was my very first show so three songs really stuck out for me that no one else has really touched on. Firstly first is the Llama. What an introduction to Phish in a live setting. So much energy, I was worried the first song would be to much to live up to. (it wasn't) Secondly second would be Bouncing Round the Room. Such a beautiful song with lyrics anyone can get into. Such a nice settling in after a high energy start. Last but not least was the Limb by Limb mostly because it's one of my top three an I got it my first show. No matter how standard a song version my be it's still a song by Phish so standard is pretty great by any stretch of the word
A fairly straight forward show with some good moments.
I love me a Llama set opener. But this show really kicks off a couple songs later with Gin. It's jam has a nice pulsing groove jam. Pebbles and marbles is strong. SOAM ha a nice little dark jam that feels a little bit off.
Crosseyed and Painless has a fairly strong jam that doesn't seem to really go anywhere. Slave is in a weird 2nd song slot and is very strong. Nothing gets stretched out a little bit and has a nice dark jam. Scents has a weird mucky jam coming out of it.
I now present to you the abbreviated, Reader's Digest review of this show:
Gin=great, Gordo dominates and shapes/molds/deconstructs this jam at his own discretion.
Ya Mar=Party at Deer Creek!
Halley's>C&P= I have (to this very day)never, ever heard a crowd erupt in such sheer unadulterated satisfaction as I did when they smashed into Crosseyed from such an exhilarating Halley's. Ever! A good buddy of mine, veteran of many a show and festival, agress whole-heartedly with me on this: never, ever have we heard such a loud show of appreciation on a crowd's part.
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