, attached to 2003-02-24

Review by Anonymous

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

The process of waiting on line and getting into this show, then getting frisked has never been more disorganized and simply pathetic than on this night. I think anyone who was there would agree, it was a disaster. We decided to head in at 6:45 p.m. and the entrances had huge lines of fans across the entire parking lot. We didn't get in until almost 8:00 p.m.! It felt like I was sitting in my car on Snake Road on the way to Big Cypress.
When BB King emerged, I, and I think a lot of other people, were pretty much in shock that it was really him. Talk about a '”special” guest. The man is a legend. The first tune contained a few rough spots. Trey and BB were sorta feeling each other out a little bit. The “Thrill is Gone” was pretty special. Trey and BB got into some nice dueling blues licks, then BB would pump up the crowd. All in all I feel fairly privileged to have been there to see this. Trey and BB exchanged hugs at the end of the set, which lasted nearly ninety minutes. Very good set and a good feeling.
Set II began with “Haley's Comet”, which was very sweet. It was the first one played post-Hiatus. There was not a lot of soloing by Trey but he found some nice grooves and you could really hear the band playing together so well. It pretty much went right into “Harry Hood”. The band is definitely taking this song to new and interesting places. It seems like they build up the jam at the end but now they sorta bring it back down before bringing the jam all the way back again into a frenzy. This was another spot where the band could have come with another fast and upbeat song and blown the roof off. But “Heavy Things” came next. The jam at the end of this song was definitely turned up a notch compared to usual, which made it a little more enjoyable.
“Twist” came next, and they took it to a place I've never heard: a real spooky, noisy, funky jam. “Waves” is unquestionably my favorite song on Round Room but this version clinched it for sure. Regardless of its questionable placement in this set, the jam built so intensely with Trey rolling the notes off so perfectly. When “Sample” started I think everyone thought this long and interesting night was coming to a close, but out of the closing chords we heard the opening riff of “Chalk Dust”. The crowd went crazy, myself included. I was expecting something fairly slow for the encore and got “Farmhouse”. I will take this song over any Round Room ballads.
Even though the second set looks a little suspect on paper, the band was experimental, really on and really tight throughout every song they played the entire night. “DWD”, “Wolfman's Brother”, “Haley's Comet”, “Hood”, “Waves”, and “Chalk Dust” were all above average versions in my mind. And BB King was more than I could have hoped for. Truly a great time.


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