, attached to 2000-05-23

Review by hansokolow

hansokolow This is one of my favorite shows. Judging by people's reaction here and the rating, maybe I'm too influenced by my memory of being there, but I still give it a very strong rating, and a recent re-listen just strengthens my resolve. This is a hot show. But a lot of that has to do with timing and circumstances, which are pretty much lost to time now. I'll dredge up my memory for you, though it is a very subjective account. I was on strong shrooms for this show.

Coming from California, I have seen very few east coast shows, the first being Big Cypress. This was still very close to that eventful gathering, only a few months had passed. This was the first run of shows after the band played unarguably the show of their lives, so expectation was high.

I came out with another Cali friend to visit our mutual friend who lived in NYC. The plan was to try and get tickets outside the venue at Radio City. That proved entirely impossible. No way there were any tickets available on the street to that. But then the band announced, just the night before this, that they would be playing Roseland, and tickets were only available at the venue at 7am. They hadn't played a venue the size of Roseland (small) since maybe '96. It was a big deal how intimate this show would be.

So after the truly horrendous traffic jam at Big Cypress, the biggest traffic jam in world history, we are told, I had vowed never to do anything like that again for this or any other band. Stuck for 11 hours trying to go 2 miles, starting at midnight. It was seriously awful. So here I was, only five months later, going to sit all night long on the sidewalk on Broadway. That's what you had to do. We just walked from Radio City at about show time over to Roseland and parked it. For like 12 hours. While fucking line jumpers just filled up the line, which was not policed at all. Assholes. But we were close enough to get in. My NYC friend paid a friend of his, a guy who literally hates Phish, to wait in line with us all night and get a wristband for the NYC friend's wife. Which worked. At about 4am, for no reason, some people in line stood up, and then everyone stands up and there's a line crunch. Idiots. Now we're standing, cramped in with un-showered hippies, for another 3 hours. Why do these things happen?

Anyway, we got wristbands, went back to the hotel and crashed all day. Getting in was pretty easy, but we soon found the place was oversold by about twice capacity. Or so it felt. Lots of people got in somehow. So the place was crazy cramped. We found a place on Mike's side, mid-way back, which was way closer than any of us had ever been to the band. The place is small, just a club, really. And we took a bunch of shrooms and just held on tight.

So it was just like no other Phish show, to see them at the absolute height of their power (arguable, of course) and in such an intimate space. People were fucking jazzed. And the band played great. Maybe there isn't some big highlight jam to anchor it in people's memory, but I contend this show is way better than the Radio City shows, which were pretty standard, for my taste. I don't remember even knowing that MTV was taping it, but I probably saw the cameras.

The Ya Mar is a lot of fun, and there's just great energy throughout the show. Taste absolutely raged. The Mike's was also hot. My shroom experience was getting really hectic in set 2, squeezed in there, and my main memory of the show is when the first notes of Piper started, a said a quiet little request in my head to the gods of rock, "please let this knock my fucking socks off right here. I am ready." And it did. It fucking well did.

You got a great YEM after that, solid performances down the line. I love this Bug, I think it's fantastic. Cavern is a bit botched, as it sometime is.

As stated, this is all a very subjective experience, as I was pretty lit up. I also lost my coat check ticket for my new black leather jacket, with a bunch of molly in the pocket. You're welcome, coat check person.
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