Reba did not have the whistling ending. Suzy contained a brief Can't You Hear Me Knocking tease from Page. Trey teased Andre the Giant before Drowned. This show was officially released as Live Phish 03.
Listening to this show today, I feel as though it is almost a preview of sorts of what was to come in the 3.0 era.
Starting strong right out of the gate with a solid PYITE…always a good show opener. Nothing particularly special about this one, but it gets the energy flowing right away. When I’m at a show and I hear the opening of PYITE, I tend to wish I’d get something else, but then I quickly realize that it really is a great set/show opener.
An early Reba sets a very nice tone for what was to come throughout set one. I’ve always really loved this version, but then again, I don’t know of one I don’t like a ton. With this one in particular, Fishman’s work really stands out. A lot of the time when listening to Reba, I tend to focus on Trey, Mike or Page, with Fishman getting sort of relegated to the back burner. He’s quite strong here, and I’m thankful I have picked up on it this go-round.
Albuquerque is always a great addition to a set, and a really underappreciated cover in my opinion. I think this is a fantastic set one breather, and I think its juxtaposition next to Reba here was very well placed, even though Reba’s not the most high-energy song in their repertoire. “I’ve been flying down the road, and I’ve been starving to be alone, independent from the scene that I’ve known.” I wonder how true these lyrics rang with Trey. He really makes his guitar cry at certain times throughout the song, almost (almost) reminiscent to some of Jerry’s work. It makes me wonder what it would have been like if they really extended it in those parts and let the ‘doc gently weep for a while.
Ah, Carini – right back atcha with the high energy! I think this is really one of those songs that is great to hear recorded, but just a completely different - much more powerful - experience live.
Oh Kee Pah is fun, and back before 3.0, always welcome, as it most usually would lead into Suzy, which I’m a little burnt out on right now. If I could, I would take it with horns every single time. I still love it, but it just seems to be on the same schedule I am on, in terms of which shows they play it at. This particular Suzy, simply put, is the shit; quite possibly the greatest non-horn version they have ever played. Page is the MVP of this one, at least at the outset. Trey comes in with some nice little licks about 2 minutes in, and the melody is so fun, so bubbly, so upbeat. Then in comes Fishman, of course, and he just continues to shine as he has all throughout set one. About 4 minutes in Mike gets his chance to show off, with Fish’s encouragement, and yeah, we’re just about off to the races here, with a nice laid-back melodic grove. About 6-7 minutes in, and Fishman is crushing it. It’s his song right now, simple as that. A couple of minutes later, Trey wants a piece of the action again and a nice little trade-off ensues before the lyrics return. When the ‘regular’ jam of the song ends, before they take it into “Darien Jam #1” I would have considered it a really tight version. But then the jam extends and I feel like I want to hug my speakers. I still remember the first time I heard this show, hearing that they had jammed it out, but not knowing how. I remember sitting with my eyes bulging out of my head, lapping up every note. Suzy was one of my first favorite Phish songs ever, and it had remained that way for quite some time. So this was a real treat, indeed. I really love how they keep the skeleton of the song around the entire jam…always there, just lurking behind the playing. The jam isn’t rushed at all, just nice relaxed playing, all completely in sync with one another, with Trey maybe taking the lead just a tiny, tiny bit, but really all for one and one for all. Again, listening to it right now, for the first time in quite some time, Fishman just demands my attention. And again, Trey wants some of the action. They’re all challenging each other, it seems. To use a far too heavily relied upon baseball analogy, they’re each stepping up to the plate and simply knocking the ball all over the damn place. It’s not like it’s homer after homer, but more like an offensive onslaught with doubles following doubles, triples thrown in and players circling the bases like a merry-go-round. So much fun. I can only imagine the buzz during the intermission.
Set two begins with an honest-to-goodness, bona-fide preview of 3.0 Phish … Go give it a listen right now if you haven’t in a while… As the band is tuning up, Trey starts noodling a little and plays a little something that is clearly a tease of “Summer of ‘89” which debuted in 2010 – roughly 10 years after this particular show. How can that be, you ask? The answer is pretty simple. Trey used to have a song called “Andre the Giant” that he'd play with his solo band ('99/'00-ish). This is not to be confused with an entirely different song also called “Andre the Giant” which appears on Trey’s solo album “Seis de Mayo.” The original Andre was apparently scrapped, but would later resurface and be reworked to some degree as “Summer of ’89.”
After this cool little bit of info, which obviously would have escaped those in attendance, the band dives head first into Drowned. Yet another instance where – to me – it seems like foreshadowing for 3.0. The way both setlists were constructed to me has the feel of a current show (albeit with a bit more jamming). About 3-4 minutes into it, it sounds as though Trey wants to keep jamming a bit, but Page, like a strong undertow, brings them back. The ‘official’ (read: LivePhish) version isn’t anything too special, but when they stretch it out for the second “Darien Jam” of the night, things take a nice, noodely turn. Another area of the show where Fishman is holding down the fort nicely while everyone sort of spins off on their own. Right before the 5 minute mark, Trey seems to just be making noises in response to Page’s melodic piano rolls. Maybe to go along with the watery title, Trey sounds very aquatic (was it raining during this show, I wonder? The artwork for this album shows some rain, and it almost looks like a hurricane on the mail order ticket…if so, yet more foreshadowing to ‘09’s Deer Creek rain-inspired set II Drowned opener). Around 9 minutes in, the jam turns dramatically, led by Page. It almost sounds as though they wanted to head into Loving Cup, but Trey keeps up the moise-making, and then Mike sounds like he’s possibly half-heartedly trying to lead them toward Catapult. Nothing’s giving, though, and the band marches on with their very deep exploration of Drowned, with notes falling all around like rain. Yes, I’m convinced there was a rainstorm during this show now. Eleven or so minutes in, and the jam has lost almost all melody and is now just maddeningly cacophonic, almost scratchy. I would bet that those in attendance that were not huge Phish fans may have gotten a little bored here. The jam is almost as off-course as many Dead jams I’ve heard, and I know I can sometimes get a little bored with those spacey Dead jams, so I can sympathize. However, I do not find myself bored with this jam at all. In fact, I’m intrigued by it still, regardless of how many times I have heard it. It’s overflowing with notes; an off-beat insanity that isn’t necessarily jarring, but certainly hard to groove along with. Still pleasing nonetheless, and around 17 minutes in, Fishman grabs the reins again and brings back a very energetic beat that has my toes tapping. And through it all to this point, I can still hear it leading to a Page-driven Loving Cup at so many different moments, even as Page moves away from the piano. As the jam winds down, the crowd erupts, feeding off the energy of the band, and vice-versa. Trey hits some notes that I remember him hitting before a “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” I heard and it seems right in tune with the rest of the aquatic feel. However, they don’t go in that direction, and instead segue slowly into Crosseyed and Painless, hinting a little at what sounds like it could have been a segue into “Swept Away” instead.
But Crosseyed is VERY welcome, and a chance for Fishman to showcase some of his better-than-you’d-expect singing. Perhaps a reward for his exceptional performance throughout the show so far? And much like the Drowned that came before it, the ‘official’ Crosseyed and Painless is pretty standard, with nothing too amazing, until we reach our third “Darien Jam” of the night. Pretty straight-ahead, straight-forward jamming, Trey keeping to the C&P melody, with Fishman slamming out the beat behind him. This a great example of all four band members listening to one another and keeping it together as one really tight unit (yet another hallmark of 3.0). This jam never gets quite as experimental as Drowned, but it does venture into some pretty cool, different territory around the 4 minute mark, as it slowly winds down, yet it still constructs a wall of pretty ambience.
This ambience is all but completely broken down by the time we hear Trey begin singing Dog Faced Boy - a rare treat. A nice little number, but aside from the rarity factor, not the most ideal song to hear live. However, as far as breather songs go, this one is nice – rare, sweet and short.
With the Dog Faced Boy notes still fresh in our ears, Trey uses the same vibe to bring about Prince Caspian. With the mention of being afloat upon the waves, a nice touch if indeed a rainy night in Darien; if it wasn’t raining that night, then it should have been, dammit! What’s interesting for me listening to this is that most of the time I listen to this set, I just take disc 2 with me somewhere and listen to the jammed out parts. I honestly have no idea when the last time was that I listened to all of the second set as one entity. Page is sounding very sweet here, once we get past the lyrical section. Trey just about always shines during this song. As we get toward the end, Trey is back to making sound effects, while Page is beautifully winding through some truly melodious pastures. It makes for a nice contradiction in sounds.
Finally we get the long-awaited Loving Cup that I’m positive Page wanted to break into back during Drowned. If Crosseyed and Painless was a reward for Fishman, this here is the same for Page. A great opportunity to be rock stars here. Standard, as far as pre-Festival 8 Loving Cups go (that one shall never be topped, and has ruined me for all others). Again with the straight-ahead rock. Loving Cup and Prince Caspian form a nice little duo, with different feels, different tones, yet both triumphant and emotional. A wonderful way to close out a phenomenal second set.
The band comes back onto the stage to perform Driver, which sounds like it wants to tease “Summer of ‘89”/”Andre the Giant” again. I really like Tom Marshall’s lyrics. It isn’t amazing, but it’s simple and sweet, airy, charming, in a way. And Page does a great job tickling the ivories.
Trey then pulls out the acoustic for The Inlaw Josie Wales, and you get a sense that the band just wants to keep playing, here under this big tent!
Two slower, simple, pretty songs in the encore, and you sense the band might explode with something epic to close out this epic show. They chose Sample in a Jar, a song that I always lump into the ‘frat boys will love it, along with Bouncing Around the Room’ category. I can’t say I have ever used ‘epic’ when describing Sample, and I’m not going to here, either. If I were at the show, undoubtedly I’d have been just a little let down, most likely muttering a wistful “Oh well.” Then again, I hardly ever get the dynamic encores that I’d really like, though there have been a few (Hartford and your crazy double Tweezer Reprises, I’m looking at you!).
This is Trey talking to Relix about the Live Phish series (Aug 2001 issue)
“There are also three shows from 2000 in the series. Page and I picked one of them because it has this version of ‘Carini’ that I’m convinced is the greatest version of all time. I’m not convinced that it’s the whole greatest show of all time, but I love this version of ‘Carini.’ I also like the song list, because if you didn’t like Phish and you heard this set, it would be very interesting. There’s ‘Punch You In the Eye,’ ‘Reba,’ [Neil Young’s] ‘Albuquerque’ and ‘Carini.’ I think it sounds like such a weird band.” Trey cracks up. “Those four songs in a row? You can’t make any sense of it. The ‘Carini’ is like 15 or 20 minutes long or something. It’s a complete metal meltdown. It’s the bass and drumming in the background that I really liked. It’s really strange. Nobody’s playing the beat at all. Those guys are playing in quarter time and the guitar and keyboards are just creating this wash of color on top of this heavy booming. It’s right after ‘Albuquerque,’ which has harmonies and then this heavy metal thing. If you kind of step away from it, they’re both really odd.” Although he is trying not to reveal any specific dates of the release series, he has given away too much. It is obvious by his description that the show is from September 14, 2000 at Darien Lake, New York.
Least influential of the four was Oh Kee Pa. It was the only time Oh Kee Pa showed up in 2000 after only appearing once in 1999. It was also its last appearance of 1.0.
But the Suzy that Oh Kee Pa lead in to was sublime and, IMHO, the best Suzy ever played. After a standard, but intense version, the band brought the song to an end. But after they hit that final chord and held it a few seconds, the band launched into a good 10-or-so-minute easy-to-dance-and-groove to jam. It maintained an upbeat tempo and rhythm throughout.
The second set opened with Drowned, a song that has become very infrequent in 2011 and 2012, which is a shame because, frankly, its awesome. This one - clocking in at around 30 minutes - is a masterpiece. But its a masterpiece driven by Fish, Mike and Page. In fact, Fish was just awesome throughout this entire show.
After the 30 minute masterpiece, they > into Crosseyed and Painless, which is also jammed out for a good 10 minutes. Crosseyed had been played less than 10 times at that point and you can really hear a huge difference in how it sounds when they play it now. If you are a fan of spacy jams, this one is for you. Not so great to dance to in the moment, but to just sit back and listen to now is amazing.
And after Drowned > jam > Crosseyed > jam, they > into Dog Faced Boy as a nice cap to 45 minutes of incredible jamming.
I am a very big fan of WaxBanks, but I have to wholeheartedly disagree with his review of this show. This one has been a favorite of mine ever since I picked up the LivePhish cardboard case in my local record store. And it is my very favorite Reba. This Reba is pretty tight, not perfect but nothing cringeworthy. In the jam section, the band follows Trey's meandering solo so well that I sometimes think they must have scripted it beforehand. It's too good to be made up on the spot, but that's just Phish.
The song selection in the first set is perfect. The Albuquerque is nicely timed after the peak at the end of Reba. Carini gets the energy flowing again, and the Oh Kee Pa/Suzy is a great ending. Suzy's never been one of my favorites, but this version is tight.
The beginning second set is a beautiful mess of noise and dissonance. Everything after Dog Faced Boy is pretty standard, but, again, nice song selection to close it out on a high note. And Josie Wales is always welcome.
It's possible that this one just resonates with me and it's actually not that strong, but it didn't get a LivePhish release for nuthin. I recommend.
Essentially a 3-part jam. It begins with some melodic noodling, then ratchets up through some nice communication between Trey and Fish w/ Fish switching to the ride cymbal. The final stage is more ambient with lots of tension supplied with big sustain and feedback effects from Trey
Highlight of the second set was the immense Drowned, but it was creative yet risky and had a polarizing effect among many that I talked to...
This review is based not upon attendance, but upon the Live Phish 03 release (wow, has it really been 12 or 13 years since that first batch of 01-06?) I'm a huge Reba fan; it may be my favorite Phish song, and this one, though sometimes derided by those of lesser panache is really one of my favorites. To paraphrase a phan Trey quoted in The Phish Book, I really appreciate that it modulates. There's some Digitech Whammy II action going on, but I quite enjoy the sensation of a bittersweet or even melancholy soul-baring performance on Trey's part, with of course awesome interplay and accompaniment by Jon, Mike, and Page. The--to my ears--road-weary theme continues with Albuquerque, which has taken on personal significance that's not necessarily positive, in light of the soon-to-come hiatus. "Independent from the scene that I've known..." I don't want you to, Phish! But maybe the hiatus was a good thing. We certainly got some great solo-project shows out of it. Carini, well, I've never been a huge fan of Carini. This version, just from memory I'm saying this, was average-great. Suzy has a jam portion that reminds one of the 12/7/97 Tube > Tube Jam. I love Phish funk, and Suzy Greenberg can get funky with the best of 'em. A fine first set, all things considered.
The Drowned -> Jam > Crosseyed and Painless forms the bulk of the second set, and it's quite a "-> Jam." Drowned is a less-frequently huge-jam producing song, but this jam takes turns that climax with a triumphant almost onomatopoeic expression of solidarity between the band and the phans, as I see it: almost imploring us to accept the inevitability and necessity of the hiatus, and as would be the walk-out PA music on the final show before the hiatus (10/7/00), to Let It Be. Dog Faced Boy is one of those anomalous songs that by the first year of this millennium it seemed only Phish could pull off. I think it's a beautiful song, self-contained and poignant though its lyrics may seem nonsensical. Phish gets criticized for the silliness or "meaninglessness" of their lyrics (many of which are courtesy of Tom Marshall), but I like the bonus factor of wringing emotional value out of words that are purely poetic in many cases, even poetic in the sense of simply being rhymed. It's my own point of view that Phish has some lyrics that approach Robert-Hunteresque grandeur, though perhaps not by design. One could argue that Phish is a postmodern band, however, at least by the definition of mingling "high" art and "low" art. Is it not thoroughly removed from pre-World-War art for a nominally progressive rock song to include an almost imperative sequence of words like "Tipsy fuddled boozy groggy elevated prime did edit her?" But I recognize that Phish is not so easily pigeonholed. I do find it engaging and useful to classify things sometimes, and art--if only by consequence of being discussed and assimilated so intently--tends to lend itself readily to labels, however misguided some of them may be.
I've got a special place in my heart and statistical/analytical brain for this encore, which almost--kind of, haha--reduplicates the encore from my second and so far most recent show attended, 6/24/00. In 9/14/00 we have Driver, The Inlaw Josie Wales (please bring this beautiful song back!), Sample in a Jar to close the show, whereas at 6/24/00 it was Guyute, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Driver, Tweezer Reprise. Maybe I'm trying to impose my own comparison onto this 2000 show compared to one of my 2 attended 2000 shows, in hopes of... I dunno. 2000 was a heady time for me as a phan, and this show is probably more different from 6/24/00 than similar. Variety is the spice of life, and we all know that the spice expands consciousness.
Let's be frank, here. Trey's Reba and Caspian and Carini solos are somewhere between 'aggressive' and 'obnoxious,' while the Suzy is stultifying then standard (only its sheer length is remarkble). Meanwhile the Drowned > Crosseyed covers nearly 45 minutes, of which more than 20 are premium exploratory outer-space Phish, and of all the Phish performances I've heard this Crosseyed probably comes closest to Adrian Belew's demon-cash-register vibe on the original.
This show is anything but essential, though the Drowned jam is pleasantly reminiscent of the enthusiastically experimental 1994-95 Tweezers (cf. 'A Live One'). I'd unhesitatingly recommend the more consistently interesting and stylistically varied 9/11/00 Great Woods show over this one, though you should pick up the 9/14 Drowned jam (along with, say, the thrilling 9/17 Theme > Dog Log) if you're assembling a mix or just sampling Phish2K.
This was my first show for me. I was in my second year at Syracuse University and I remember going to the nurse earlier in the day and being diagnosed with bronchitis. I had no hesitation making the trip to Darien Lake and once getting there in the pouring rain my roommate commented "if you had bronchitis before, you have aids now". It was funny then. Albuquerque and Crosseyed are still fondly remembered...
I can honestly say I called the opener for this one. Drove in the day before and stayed at the camp grounds, drinking wine and meeting new heads. The drive from Potsdam NY where I was going to college to Buffalo is a hell of a drive. But on with the review.
SET ONE- PYITE, called it. High Energy and high impact this set the tone for the night IMO. Second, Reba- This Reba was probably as good if not as good as the first Reba i heard in Glens Falls. I was lucky to catch probably the 2 best versions Phish had played. This continued to be the best 1-2 phish punch we have gotten at a start of a show, third came...Albuquerque. Nice Cover, Carini seemed to shatter the calm of Albuquerque, Carini was just downright hard and seemed to be one of the best versions i have heard live. Oh Kee Pah > Suzie Greenberg was a solid reality that Phish is anything but a band, they continued this Suzie G into the downpour which i think Trey knew it was coming, animals have a sense of knowing when storms are approaching and they were not human the way this Suzie was going.
SET TWO- freezing and cold on the hill, Drowned, a good extended jam but seemed a little to ambient for us poor wet children on the hill. Crosseyed got the mud, the water and the blood flowing a little bit, good playing, seemed like the energy is coming back. Dog Faced Boy > Caspian, eh. Love em both but wasn't feeling this at the moment. On tape it was solid, live in the cold it was just another stage before hypothermia kicked in. They closed the show with Loving Cup which IMO is one of the best Phish covers, thanks for keeping us warm with the playing. The Encore needed to be something solid, it seemed like a majority of the lawn was either empty at this point or everyone huddled up near the "tent top". Driver > Inlaw > Sample, I really enjoyed these three together. Was hoping for something to really hit home and leave us with something to talk about. Not a bad show, regarding he weather this wasn't Darien 97 but it was phish and I am grateful to have survived the rainstorm.
Darien Lake is an odd place to see a rock concert. Sure, it's the site of the famous Ken Kesey Bozo show from 1997, but it's still a weird place. You roll into the venue past the nice amusement park lot and down a side road to the venue's back field. You even drive past a barn. Once you get of your car and look at the actual amphitheater you realize that if it's raining and you don't have a pavilion seat, you're screwed. My friends Dick, Kirsten, and myself were screwed.
We found our way through the drizzling rain to the main gate of the venue. The venue holds almost 20,000 people and all of them were trying to squeeze into one gate all at once. If it wasn't so annoying it would have been comical. We finally got into the venue and realized that we were indeed in the pavilion; however, the giant circus tent that served as the roof to the pavilion didn't stretch to cover our section. Thankfully the rain let up and we hoped it would stay like that.
The band took the stage and opened the show with an ultra strong pairing of "PYITE" and "Reba". The band came out firing, and after slowing things down with a nice "Albuquerque" the band launched into a heavy metal version of "Carini" that featured Trey wailing and stomping out some serious power chords. Set I was already looking pretty strong; however, it was just starting to heat up.
The band launched into the rarity that is "Oh Kee Pa Ceremony", which predictably led into "Suzie Greenberg". However, this version of "Suzie" brought the funk so hard that the band drifted into a full-on funk attack that played with the main "Suzie" theme and featured excellent organ work, wailing guitar solos, and Kuroda using the smooth underbelly of the giant tent to project various circular shaped light beams and create a wonderfully unique collage of lights.
As the band left the stage the rain began to pour, drenching everyone outside of the pavilion. At one point everyone in the pavilion turned around and gave the people in the lawn a huge shout out, just to let them know that all was good despite the rain. The band took a very short break and found themselves onstage once again. The first set was rather exploratory and the second set would keep up that theme as Page started out the piano line to "Drowned". This version extended just over thirty minutes and meandered into several different territories far, far away from the original theme. Some thought this was one of the best jams of the tour; however, I thought it was just plain boring. Perhaps on a different occasion I'd think differently, but when its pouring down rain in September and its cold outside, I need something a little heavier than an ambient jam to keep the blood flowing.
"Drowned" found its way into "Crosseyed and Painless", which was much better. The jam was drifted out there for a bit, but this was by no means the greatest version the band had ever played. Kind of disappointing, since "Crosseyed" is such a killer song. Much to my dismay, "Dog Faced Boy" followed. On a normal night I wouldn't mind; however, like I said, it was raining out, we needed to shake our bones, and Phish just wasn't delivering the proper motivation. As the opening tones of "Prince Caspian" began I knew this show was a lost cause. The band gave a valiant attempt to resuscitate the set by hooking up on a great "Loving Cup", but by then it was too late. The band had gone from explosive jamming in the first set to boring the dampened socks off of us in the second. Perhaps they'd come back out for the encore and really deliver something rockin' like "Tube", "Piper", or "First Tube".
No such luck. The band took the stage once again and treated us to an electric version of "Driver" and an acoustic version of "Inlaw Josie Wales". The band had delivered this pairing three other times this summer; however, if they followed what seemed to be the new tradition it would lead into "Guyute" which wouldn't be all that bad. No such luck as Trey began the opening chords to "Sample In A Jar", thus bringing the mediocre set to a close and sending us rain-soaked into the night, giving us overly critical Phish fans something to complain about on the way home.
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