, attached to 1999-09-21

Review by Anonymous

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

My final semester at University of Arizona was just starting, and what better way to get it kicked off then with my first Tucson, AZ show at the dirty dog Pima County Fairgrounds? Throughout the night, there was a nice mellow, but grungy/dirty vibe to the music which blended into one with the desert scene. As at most Arizona shows, moving up front was cake. The "Poor Heart", "Sample" opener served as a sort of warn up for the band. What came next was jaw dropping.
One of the gnarly, extended `99 "SOAM"s (see Cincinnati and Big Cypress) came roaring its head. This is more groovy and mellow then most "Splits". A fourth song "Drowned" kept up the early hot pace for the set. The rest of the more "song based" set was still very good, with the "Birds", "Theme", "Golgi" ending leaving us thirsty for more.
You could tell band meant business in the second set when they opened up with a long and intense "Carini", which jammed into one helluva "Bug". After those intense jams, Page treated us to "Strange Design". One of the all-time best "Vultures" followed and it was insane, with Trey doing some evil shredding and Mike actually leading the way. Let me add that Mike completely owns this night. Trey may be the Jedi, but Mike was Darth Vader on this night.
After another fantastic "Limb", Phish performed (the now Trey Anastasio Band song?) "Circles". This is a great song and is deserved of being in the regular Phish rotation. "Dirt" was perfect and then came a straight up, nasty "Antelope", continuing with the vibe stated earlier. The encore was "Reba" > "Axis" and you can't really beat that on most nights. "Reba" was mellow and thick and of course, that was the day that I had purchased (and was wearing) my maroon Reba/Sega shirt! After the show, the band went over to a friend's house ( I was not there) and partied it up till the wee hours, an event which included Mike, Trey and Fishman performing on acoustic guitars in her bedroom. (Some friends, right? Thanks for the call guys!)
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