, attached to 2003-08-03

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround The hours leading up to the first set for somewhat bittersweet for me. After having done the whole tour, I was thinking a lot about all the good times. Not only that but I knew I had to face going home to Denver and the awful drive that would be. But as always, once that first note hit my ears, it would all be gravy from there. Phish seems to have that effect on me! I had an incredibly fun day exploring and hanging out on the tarmac. Will always remember this day so fondly. Wish I had a time machine…

SET 1: Daniel Saw the Stone: I was taken aback a bit with this selection. After seeing it in PA I kind of thought it would just be a one-time bustout kind of deal. But the band must have had so much fun with it then that they just could not help themselves but to play it again here in Maine. Cool by me, I love the middle part of it with all the scatting and whatnot. Very tight, could have been straight out of summer 93. Sorta segue into >

Saw It Again: I have a love/hate relationship with this song. The intro kills me (in a good way), I really enjoy everything up until the chorus. At that point it just gets so freaking repetitive for me. I would love for them to re work this somehow. Standard version, nothing to crazy

Punch You in the Eye: Nice! As soon as this started up, I was thinking that hopefully Trey could redeem himself from the god awful version he had played at Deer Creek. Redeem himself is exactly what he did, solid.

Army of One: I really enjoyed just standing back and watching Page belt this one out. It’s a pretty basic song, but to me; anything featuring Page is a very good thing. Nice little ditty. >

Chalk Dust Torture: Perfect tune to follow up that little, mellow interlude. At six minutes in it is very apparent that this version won’t be your average Chalkdust. Nice quiet band groove with all four members contributing equally. Trey gets to playing on a relatively dark theme in here. He uses a loop in there unlike any I have heard previously ? and then plays around it very nicely. The jam begins to get up a head of steam and at 10:35 ? 10:40 there is a slight tease of Izabella thrown in there by Trey (how killer would that have been if it would have actually been played?!). At just over 13 minutes the jam once again settles back down, and I distinctly remember thinking that it would certainly segue into something. Alas it did not, but it did continue to funk away. I think the best way to describe this Chalkdust would have to be a very steady, whole band style groove.

Wilson: Sloppy. After this, the crowd went nuts with a Fluffhead chant. My tourmate Tony had gotten very close to the front and was shown on the big screen numerous times with Lee’s Fluffhead sign. This managed to rile up the majority of the 70,000 in attendance enough to get a sweet chant going. Trey confers with the rest of the band and then tells us that Mike says no. To this, Cactus was thoroughly booed. Incredibly amusing and something that I will never forget.

Mike's Song: Right on, bring it! This versions is straight ahead and rocking! Nothing too out of the ordinary but a very, very good Mike’s. Plenty to dance to and get your feet moving, that much was for sure.>

I Am Hydrogen: Beautiful! Simply beautiful. >

Weekapaug Groove: Great Weekapaug! I have read a lot of reviews that place this in the standard category. While I will tell you that it certainly wasn’t epic, it was far better than standard. I thought the jamming was quite inspired and danced myself into a frenzy. Awesome! I was extremely happy with it. Would recommend.

SET 2: Mellow Mood: Meh, why go mellow again? Played at a non-festival show would be fine with me, but I wanted something out of the gate that would rock my socks off to start the second set. This definitely did not do that. At least it was really short, for that I can be happy.>

Ghost: Oh hell yes! I was so pleased to be hearing the opening notes to this, great placement ? should have opened the set actually but what are you going to do? Little did I know the visual spectacle that I was about to be involved in! From the get-go in the jam segment, it was readily apparent to me that the band was very focused and ready to bring the heat unlike a lot that had been played the night before (don’t even get me started) or that which was to follow (46 Days). At just seven minutes in, you will some ferocious jamming and interplay between Trey and Page. The playing during this jam seemed to confirm to me why I go to the lengths I do when it comes to Phish. Moments like these make all the obstacles (traffic, no sleep, mud, etc.) in your path seem like tiny speed bumps. At 12:30: here come the glowsticks! Holy eye candy Batman ? simply stunning. The band really seemed to feed off of this energy as did the fans. At 15.5 the jam is really getting ballistic and the Phish fire hose is in full effect. Gorgeous. For me, this jam defines what Phish is all about. I personally would put it in the top five ever, yes people; it is all that. By twenty minutes, the jam melts down and is clearly waiting to segue - but into what? The next eleven minutes were extremely psychedelic, in perfect contrast to the shredding that had come before it. Turned yours truly into a space cadet but also made for some great dancing opportunities too! God that was a monster Ghost and I think the best jam of the festival->

Mountains in the Mist: Absolutely seamless segue, wow! I was floored. Since seeing the debut on 7/3/99 from the front row in front of Page, I have adored this song. After that mind-bending Ghost I needed a tune such as this and I loved every second of this one. ?I’m worn and bruised, but I am here at least. You said it brother, never were lyrics more poignant for me. After seeing the whole tour, did that ever hit home.

Pebbles and Marbles: Good placement! Nothing too crazy about this, well
played ? it pretty much featured machine gun Trey shredding for the
majority of it, good stuff!

You Enjoy Myself: Woo hoo! No matter how many times I see this live, I will always love IT. The Mike funk after the tramps segment is especially deep. Those are some very thick bass lines right there. Following the funk, you will find Trey lighting it up pretty well. The boys really tear this one up! I would not say it’s as good as the Camden version, but it is pretty close. The drums and bass segment is pretty sick too, plenty of funky Mike going on led of course by Henrietta. This version SMOKES! Mike throws a brief Frankenstein tease into the Bass and Drums segment ->

Chariots of Fire: Chhh chhhhh chhhhh! Big ups to the winners in the Runaway Jim 5k. >

Loving Cup: Appropriate and predictable way to end up a great set. This Cup smokes through and through.

SET 3: 46 Days: This thing is nuts. Trey manages to basically not play his guitar from about the 14 minute mark range up until the 28 minute mark. At the time, I actually thought it was pretty cool. But
looking back on it and giving it another listen; they could have kept it at a respectable length. With those 35 minutes they would have saved they could have played two extra big guns in place of the noise that 46 Days resulted in. An experiment, but a failed one at that…02

Julius: Energy was needed after what came before it and they delivered plenty right here. >

The Lizards: Very cool but should be played in the first or maybe second set. End of the third set? That is confusing to me. It feels tacked on. Or maybe an afterthought. Then again, who can complain anytime or anywhere this song is placed.

Secret Smile: On the other hand, worst placement ever. Seriously cannot believe they played placed this here after getting booed off the stage when they encored with it in NJ. >

Run Like an Antelope: Nice Ice Ice Baby and It’s Ice tease in there! Trey’s speech at the end was funny, talk much in public Trey? Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul, you gotta!!!!!!!!

ENCORE: Good Times Bad Times – Rocks out in fine fashion as you would expect. Was hoping for much more from the encore but I suppose it was not meant to be.

Replay Value: Chalk Dust Torture, Weekapaug Groove, Ghost (all timer), You Enjoy Myself, 46 Days (for the shock value).

Summary: Some good points, some bad points. Mostly good. The show rocked and I had a blast! This was my third and last Phish festival. Can’t imagine I will ever see another one. It’s an experience that I will remember forever. Looking back, still cannot believe I did the whole winter and summer tour in 2003. I guess I got it all out of my system when I could. Still, I wouldn’t change a single thing. God bless you Phish! I would rate this show as a 4.5 out of 5.


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