, attached to 2000-09-30

Review by hansokolow

hansokolow Giving this a re-listen and re-watch 20 years later (yikes), a lot comes back to me about this weekend. My experience with these shows was that the first night was incredibly, unbelievably hot until Kid Rock showed up. Until that happened, there was energy like I've never felt at a show, so hot! The band was raging, I almost got scared. Then Kid Rock comes out and grabs his crotch and says crazy shit. What? In the moment, as horrible as it was, it was actually hilarious - about the hardest I've ever laughed at a Phish show, which is saying something. Then we all partied like crazy that night, and notably the band partied Kid Rock style. Again, yikes. We were still in our 20s, but dragging our asses into the second night was rough. Everyone was shredded, and the band was visibly and audibly ragged. It always amazed me that they chose this for a DVD release, because I remember it being kind of a slog with moments of brilliance., and everyone just exhausted. But they taped it for the internet, so I guess they had the video to release.

In any case, I know people love this show, and of course they were so good as a band during this time period, there are still some real highlights in this show. But listen closely, Trey is kind of just getting through it. There are a lot of rough edges. Walfredo gets a pass because they're all on the wrong instruments, but it's pretty lifeless, really. They get going somewhat in Maze and Mike's is pretty hot, but the Simple winds down very quickly. Esther is played fairly well, considering it had been a few years, though Trey flubs the end. Weekapaug is pretty fun. Again, their muscle memory at this point still makes them the world's best band, even asleep.

In the second set, Bag gets going pretty well and then what is still my only CFA>FFM, and musically it is pretty strong. Trey dials out by the very end of FFM, during my absolute favorite part, but it is incredibly hard, and he does nail the rest of the song, so that's fine. Some day I'll hear a better version live, god willing. Trey's explanation, during the narration, of the upcoming hiatus as something temporary definitely gave us all hope for the uncertain future of Phish, so everyone kind of felt better after that for basically the rest of the tour. The dream he talks about, you don't have to be Freud to figure out what that's about. Twist doesn't do much, and then we have the most unsatisfying Sand ever, during a time of some pretty tedious Sands. This is when Trey would dick around on his keyboard setup for ten minutes or so, and you couldn't really make out much of what he was doing, while the band and 15,000 people wait for him to play guitar again. He eventually gets back to the guitar, but just plays chords and ambient effects, and then it's over. There was just a lot of this energy flux in this last tour of 1.0. The crowd and the band would get excited, like a normal Phish show, and then everyone would remember that this might be the end, it might all be going away, and it would really dampen the mood. And Trey was just tired. Look at the video, he's tired. I'm so glad he's gotten help and is sober now. We are all so incredibly fortunate for that. Thanks for doing the work, Trey.

It was really fun to hear Emotional Rescue, and the Trey/Mike dual madness was and is some of their best non-musical improvisational work. So weird and fun. It did leave everything on a high note.

I remember that the energy this weekend for both nights was just like no other. As noted, the Vegas staff was pretty nonexistent, and it was a total free-for-all with a mix of "this is the end of Phish" hysteria. The opening of night one, we were in row one of the balcony, straight back. Amazing seats, really. I was jumping up and down so hard during Wilson, I don't know how I didn't pitch right over the balcony. The crowd was going fucking nuts. But night two definitely suffered from the excesses of night one, for band and audience.
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