, attached to 2003-07-08

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo This is a weird looking show. And kind of a weird sounding one. I make a point to not look at any setlists before embarking on my musical journey through each 2003 show (more beneficial for Summer 03 because I am not nearly as well-versed as I am with Winter 03) so this one was a Jackson Pollock painting if there ever was one. Let's begin. Guyute opened the show in surprising fashion. Caught me off guard, and I think it caught the crowd, initially at least, off guard. Now, I will try to not let my personal agenda get too much in the way of this song, as I am not a big Guyute fan, but after the "caught-off-guard-ness" wore off (roughly 6 seconds into the show) I eased into the song as a pretty solid show opener. A very solid one, actually; one that delivers an unexpected jolt of enthusiasm, energy, and "Holy crap they just opened with Guyute!" Good form, Phish. You just may make me a Guyute fan yet. Horn trickles in next and I found this to be a very good selection for the #2 slot to follow up Guyute. Well played, with just a slight off-tone from Trey, it fit the bill nicely. My Sweet One caught me offguard again. (what kind of pot is this anyways??). Well, whatever it is, uhm... hmmm... Cooler Ranch Doritos sound pretty good right now. Snack tangents aside, My Sweet One was a weird, off-kilter choice. And the WHAMO! Tweezer?!? Are you kidding me?! The HELL is going on tonight?! ::puts the bong down, picks up the Doritos, fastens couch belt:: Tweezer wastes very little time setting a tone in its composed section of a furious, straight-forward version. Fish really thumps his kit and Trey adds some hot sauce to his lick. Tweezer takes off into a high-octane car chase of a jam, setting a frantic pace of hard-edged rock rounded off with some crescendo-ing peaks. It is not a "must-hear" version by any measure, but in the moment at the show this certainly was a heater!! I bet the atmosphere in the venue was wild given the unpredictable nature of the first four songs! Cool stuff even if the flow was odd. Did I say the flow was off? Not any more. A perfectly placed Limb by Limb spirals in out of that speeding-ticket Tweezer and amplifies the feel and sound of Tweezer to a T. A really well-executed LXL notched the energy levels up and it hits a really blissful, inspired peak. Fantastic combo of songs, these two. Fast Enough For You, despite how it may look on paper, settles nicely into a resolved set placement behind the still-smoldering wreckage of Tweezer > LXL. The band really liked playing FEFY in 2003, and with good reason. They always nailed it. Dreamy, drippy soundscapes permeate this version. A perfect yin to the fiery yang of the set so far, this misty version sails away into peaceful oblivion. Three songs in a row that really delivered. Make it four. Frankie Says is another favorite of 2003 that, I for one, certainly wish would come back into semi-regular rotation (same with FEFY). Polarized against the volcanic Tweezer > LXL combo, the FEFY, Frankie combo is a calm, autumn breeze. The outro jam has legs, reminiscent albeit briefly, of 2.14.03 Fee, but eventually fades much too soon into Taste. Nonetheless, a great stretch of four songs, paired into two different styles, each meshing perfectly. Taste wanks around for 4 or 5 minutes before settling into a groove and hitting a nice Trey driven peak. Not on par with 2.14.03's version, this one is good... but not that good. Still, in terms of a whole set, I can't really complain, as they really nailed the peak of Taste, sending the audience into setbreak wondering, really wondering, what could be in store for set 2?

Oh boy. Do I ever love that opening growwwwwwllllll of Down with Disease to open Set 2. Before I break this jam down, let me tell you something... after I listened to this song FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER 2 nights ago (no idea how that is possible, as this jam is AMAZING) I thought it must have been somewhere in the mid-20 minutes in length. There is SO MUCH music in this jam... a jam of ONLY 18 minutes. WOW! Ok here we go. It breaks into typical DWD shredding and then returns to the DWD theme about 6 minutes into the jam. At this point I was like, "Hmm, okay, just a straight up rocker to open the set and fade into something else..." How wrong I was. Trey takes them out of the DWD return and steers them into a swankkkkyyyyy groove. Oh man do I love this groove. It really swings. A full band dance, the jam has some serious attitude. Then it morphs into some syncopated, Mike-driven weirdness! THEN, it morphs back into that initial swanky groove, albeit with a more minimalist attitude. THEN it drops into this groove that is entirely reminiscent of 9.22.99 Ghost... you know the one, that 29-minute outer space monster from Portland MFING OREGON! What a jam! I mean, 4 distinct, highly stylized sections. Great stuff!!! Vultures comes in next. A cool choice. Unfortunately it was a sloppy version. Kind of diluted the energy that DWD created. Secret Smile did nothing to help the cause. A poor choice for that part of the set. Hood comes in next and really saves face. Another stretched-out, "where the heck did this come from?" version, this Hood builds towards a false summit before returning into an extended groove-based/Hood-based jam. Hood was exceptional in 2003, and it needs to be discussed more. These 2003 Hoods, specifically this one, play around with a typical build, then venture out into a second jam, then return to a triumphant peak. It saved the set, perhaps the show. An evil, dark Carini finds a perfect home behind this Hood. A very well dropped song. Keep in mind, 2003 Carinis were not thought of as 2012-2015 Carinis. That is to say, in 2003 Carini was not expected to take on a major key happy jam - no way - they were expected to be dissonant and dark, gritty and gnarly. This one is all those. A perfect juxtaposition to what Hood created. Discern... meh... I dunno. I kind of like the song proper, but also kind of don't. I wasn't too fond of its placement here, and the jam it gets into is, in a word, directionless. It seems like Discern could get into Waves jam territory, but it just doesn't... in fact it gets no where close. It just sputters along. Waste, even with a great solo from Trey, was an odd way to end the show. Bouncing, Tweezer Reprise encore was perfunctory and welcomed, even if not mindblowing. A disjointed second set highlighted by two AMAZING jams. A hard show to get a grasp on, especially not being there in person. Moments of brilliance met with moments of "huh?" Which direction would the rest of summer go? Read on respected listener!

Must-hear jams: Down with Disease, Harry Hood
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Tweezer, Limb by Limb, Fast Enough for You


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