, attached to 2002-12-31

Review by Anonymous

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

As I sit in the car with my sister on our way back from dinner, she turns to me and asks "Hey Justin, do you want to hear something really cool?” I then say (In a very excited voice) "YES". She then puts Slip, Stitch, and Pass in the CD player and she starts going through the CD. I then turn to her and say, in a frustrated tone, "Phish again?" and she just nods her head and turns it up. I think to myself, "how come she likes this group so much, is it because her boyfriend loves it also? Sure they're all right, but how come she loves them?"
But as I sat there, I heard something that changed me forever. “Mike's Song” had come on. The opening to that song brought me into Phish. After that night I kept on asking my sister if she had any more "cool" songs like that. She gave me about 3 three CDs and I listened to them all. I had been sucked into this beautiful jam-filled machine. It was amazing. In fact, I loved it so much that I picked up a guitar and began to take some lessons and try to do what Trey did.
After listening to all the CDs my sister had, I needed more. Unfortunately at this time I was about 12 or 13 so I was "too young" to go to a concert (my mom's words, not mine). So I waited and waited till I was finally old enough to go to my first Phish show. By the time I reached this age, Phish had just started their Hiatus. Just my luck.
The day I heard Phish was returning, I froze and said to myself very quietly, "I'm going". So a few weeks later and a couple hundred dollars well spent, I was off to see Phish. Since it was my first Phish concert I didn't know what to expect. I was so excited, and the fact that it was New Year’s added to the excitement. When the lights went down and the crowd went up, I stood and screamed as loud as possible. They came on stage and played a concert that I will never forget. I heard many things about them being rusty that night and they might have been, but they were perfect for me. The set list was strong, the jams were outrageous, and they looked extremely happy to be on stage. My personal favorite had to be “Guyute”, only because I love the middle of the song. It just brings me up.
The energy was definitely flowing that night. From “Piper” to “Wading In The Velvet Sea”, they played like the true kings they are. And the fact I could share it with the person who got me into this amazing phenomenon (my sister, plus her boyfriend) added to the experience. I also noticed that there were a few celebrities in the audience. During “Runaway Jim” I shook hands with Saturday Night Live's Al Franken, and during one of the set breaks I saw actor Fred Savage.
I am now 17 and I have been to about five shows all together. Each one is better than the last. But nothing compares to Madison Square Garden, December 31, 2002. This show has truly changed my life and I will always remember it.


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