Tweezer was preceded by a Dixie tease. Camel Walk through Fire featured Jeff Holdsworth on guitar. This was Jeff’s first known performance with his former Phish brethren since May 17, 1986 (1,348 shows). Camel Walk, Possum, and Long Cool Woman (first since October 30, 1998, or 182 shows) also featured Jeff on lead vocals. Antelope featured Tom Marshall on vocals.
Dixie tease
Debut Years (Average: 1989)

This show was part of the "2003 20th Anniversary Run"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by martianfur

martianfur I didn't used to mention this show as being one of my favorite shows that I've caught, but I'm beginning to think maybe I should, and that you should too.

I have brought this show up before as one of my personal favorite Phish moments - seeing the lights indoors during 2001. Blah blah, Hampton, Mothership... I would have sworn the old Knick was about to take off.

This was the only show of the run that I caught, but I think people usually think of the 12/2/03 show (the "official" 20th anniversary show) as being the gem of the run. I implore you to reconsider, and listen to the beginning of set II... The Tweezer -> 2001 > YEM is particularly rich for 2.0; even on just a four night run, this trifecta rings familiar of late Summer tour versions when the guys are all warmed up. After a surprisingly solid first set, we all knew that we were in for a treat when they opened with Tweezer.

Maybe it's unfair to say this show hasn't gotten it's due, but I think that's because the most notable part of it was Jeff Holdsworth's surprise appearance. The question people would ask afterwards was "what was that like?" The answer - well, really cool and historically significant, but his playing / singing was kind of meh. STILL!! What a special moment for everyone involved.

So, I submit for your consideration that this show has had an undue "meh" vibe attached to it, and that it's the true CLASSIC Phish show of the 20th anniversary run. Re-listening 9 years later, it has aged incredibly well.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by chalkdustmango

chalkdustmango This was a really fun show.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by WasteMyTimeWithYou

WasteMyTimeWithYou My first ever show! I can't say I was into Phish at the time, but had recently started listening to Live Phish 19 (With the Giant Country Horns). Didn't know much of anything about the band besides that my brother followed them all around the country every summer. So I am away at college (SUNY ALBANY), and my brother tells me Phish is playing Albany, he already got me a ticket, he will buy my beers.. drags my by the collar to the show. I still thank him for that.

The city of Albany closed down a city block in front of the Pepsi for the show. I was instantly hit with the energy, the vibe, of an all out Phish lot party, and I loved it. There were constant cheers for no good reason, other than we were about to see Phish. I had a blast playing with the fact that while it would be calm, I could yell, and thousands of people would join me. When stash hit I was had no idea about the phan claps, so when that part hit for the first time, and everyone did the first clap clap I lost my mind. What the hell just happened? How did everyone know to do that? Guyute was next, I wish I knew at the time how lucky I was to catch that on my 1st show.

If I wasn't hooked on the Phish experience yet, the start of second set addicted me for life. Tweezer came out with energy that even super noob me could see the energy coming from the band, to the crowd and feeding right back to the band. 2001 made me fall in love with CK5. We were in the upper levels a section or two forward of the stage (still one of my favorite places to watch a show), seeing the lights pan out over the crowd with the musical climb of the song, blew me away. Out comes Jeff Holdsworth, and what do I know about what it happening besides the crowd is going nuts, and my brother looks like his head is going to explode... He filled me in after on who this guy is, and why it was monumental that he played with them. A Jimi Hendrix cover for an encore had me smiling ear to ear.

Walking out of the show, I looked at my brother and commented on how insane that was and that it might have been the best time I ever had in my life. This was a special show right? They can't all be like this? Thats when he told me it was special because of Jeff Holdsworth, and would always be special because it was my first show, but musically, it was an average show at best... Thats when my head really exploded... this was a feeling that I could keep coming back for! I was in.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by Anonymous

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

Most Phish fans speak of the first time they ever "got it." For most, these stories obviously hold a special place in their hearts. Some border on overly sappy or even religious experiences: a moment where their lives were changed, or some other cliche. The first time I understood Phish wasn't quite so dramatic. It came in seventh grade while listening to “Harry Hood” on A Live One (a rendition which I understand converted many).
My first show was equally special, and nearly every show I've gone to has had that moment where I start smiling and giggling uncontrollably. But it wasn't until this past winter, in Albany of all places, where I finally realized what a special place in my life these four guys hold. I finally understood what the sappiness was all about. I finally, truly, "got it."
My brother and I started our journey from Providence at around 4:00, and soon found ourselves driving in darkness over the Mass Pike, with snow flurries and black ice patches over the Berkshires, to boot. The clouds in those mountains seemed especially threatening that night, and thoughts invariably came into my head of why the hell I was doing this. After all, I had a few major projects to work on for various classes at Providence College, with the semester winding down. I'd be playing catch-up after this, so it had better be worth it. I mean, the Nassau show a few nights before was good, but this kind of work had better be damn worth it for someone as uptight as me, who nearly lost my mind in the traffic of Limestone the summer before.
Finally arriving in the parking lot, I began to calm down. The overwhelming homogeneity of the parking lots outside the Pepsi Arena had a soothing effect on me, and for the first time in a while I was able to laugh at the stereotypes of our scene that we all seem to fit into. With people practically giving away their extra tickets, I began to get the feeling that this could be a very special show.
Then it happened. Completely sober, I became aware of something very special in the air. It came on just as the snow began to fall on those packing into the awesome-looking glass building that is the Knick. The crowd's cheers as we approached the gates were especially electric this night, and those icy roads on I-90 suddenly seemed light-years away.
Then the show. As 8:00 neared I already felt it. That this would be the best show I had ever attended already seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Everything in my body told me it would be. Trey's soaring, orgasmic guitar in “Chalk Dust”, the dark and threatening “Stash”, the majestic “Guyute”, the delicately beautiful “Thunderhead”, and the absolute nirvana of the greatest “Wolfman's” ever, which found its way into “Good Times/Bad Times”, confirmed my earlier belief.
It was only a warm-up, and I wasn't the only one who knew this. The wave from the crowd at set break told me I wasn't, and with the opening notes of “Tweezer” I knew the band was aware of it, too. It seemed inevitable that “Tweezer” would end up going into “2001”; it was just that kind of night. And when they followed with “YEM” it was only a confirmation that this was the show of their four night run. It might not have been their best show ever, but for me it might as well have been. I was connecting with what was happening around me on a level unlike anything I had experienced before.
I was so happy that Jeff Holdsworth got to be a part of this night. Even as a member of the band 20 years ago, he couldn't figure out that something overwhelmingly special was happening, and he went his separate way. Perhaps it was meant to be that he wouldn't be a permanent member of Phish, and I know it wasn't coincidence that the boys found Page to take his place. But on this night, Jeff finally realized the important role that he played in this wonderful band. Jeff has nothing to be ashamed about for leaving, because for those final five songs that night, I know he felt all the joy that music can possibly bring to one person. He finally "got it." And so did I.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by Anonymous

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

There was incredible energy inside and outside the venue all night long with almost no time to take a breather. Pre-show snow flurries, a downtown avenue blocked off and full of fans, spontaneous cheers, and a Boston ticket for face value all combined to put a big smile on my face before the show even began.
Once inside the venue, I didn't notice much security at all. I managed to score some sweet seats in the balcony in the front row and almost-center of the venue. It was my first time visiting Albany, but all my new friends had briefed me on the wonderful history of the venue. We were all pretty psyched about the show and wondering what special guests would be in town, but we had no idea how great this show would actually be.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo After last night, some of you might be saying...


But that's just, like, your opinion, man. Because then Phish strings together a show like this one, well, let's say 3/4 of a show, and...


Chalk Dust Torture starts things off with a bang. There is a saying in the sports world (probably in most worlds) and that is if one is to be successful, you need to "have a short memory." That is to say, regardless of how good or bad your last performance was, you'd be best served to forget about your previous performance ASAP and focus on what is happening right in front of you. I think Phish did this. In fact, after following this year so closely, I for one could hear the energy and focus with which they came out this night. Chalk Dust had an extra dash of hot sauce, played at a slighter quicker tempo, and broke into a true, focused jam right after the lyrics ended. Dropping into a quiet, pre-plinko groove, Phish, lead fearlessly by Trey, dropped the volume on the jam to near crickets before building it back up to near-jet engines. A quintessential example of tension-and-release, this was the opener we all needed, Phish especially, after the debacle on the 29th. A swooping Stash follows suit. Straight forward and driven with intensity, even if bordering on manic, Stash continues the energy release from the tension that the previous show had built. Stash never gets too far out of the box, but is just crazy enough for the listener to say, "Whoa. That was the second song of the set?" Although I am not a fan of Guyute as a whole, this version fits nicely into the tension/release, highly volatile set Phish has begun constructing. The frenetic chaos of Guyute matches what has been happening between the interplay from a couple nights ago to what's happening tonight. Is this art imitating art? Avast! A new genre has been born! Well, maybe so, maybe not, but there's no denying whatever was happening, the crowd and band alike were certainly digging it - as you can hear the roars from the crowd and the extra attention the band-mates were giving to their show, three songs in. Thunderhead drifts effortlessly into the set after Guyute's madness subsides. It's as if the clouds parted, ironically, and Thunderhead gave way to clearer skies. Enveloping and bright, Thunderhead was awash in music that took on the color of a sunrise. Unbounded by a steady beat, this song swung and swayed - and floated into another glimpse of chaos: Sparkle. Didn't see this coming. Not exactly the best pairing of songs, especially with how pretty of a version this Thunderhead was, but hey, Phish seemed to have a method to their madness tonight. Sparkle brought the craziness back to near-maxed-out levels before finally relenting to what I will say is the jam of the run... SO FAR. Wolfman's Brother was dirty and nasty. Starting out slow, with ample spacing between notes and downbeats, this Wolfman's took its sweet time to build momentum. One minute at a time it grew in pace and strength. One minute at a time it built energy and controversy, until it ultimately erupted into a jam that the NYPD were quoted as saying after the show, "There were no laws in place to control what was happening out there. Even if there was, we wouldn't have interfered." Apparently the NYPD had been reading Funky's Extended Dance Suite -Volume Six: A Comprehensive Guide to Funk Dancing for Self Defense - Foreword by Moe Szyslak. Lucky them. This version blows the pants off of, well, everyone (I for one started the jam with pants, ended it sans pants) and eventually relents into Good Times Bad Times. Now, let me reiterate something, GTBT was no where near as common back then as it is today. This was the second version of 2003 and it was met with a thunderous applause. The jam itself was just plain old shredding from Trey. He could do no wrong, the band could do no wrong, and just like that, Phish has a short memory and locked into a set that dropped panties, jaws, and bombs alike.

There could not have been a better choice to open set 2. Tweezer is, without a doubt, my favorite set 2 opener... and when it comes on the heels of a first set like the one we had tonight - buckle up, baby! This version takes follows the pattern from set one - raging energy. For the first 5 minutes or so of the jam, it Just. Keeps. Driving. It Just. Keeps. Climbing. It has all the makings of a jam that is about to rival 2.28.03's Tweezer until, unexpectedly, it veers off-course into space. And, for some reason, it Just. Keeps. Going. And I don't mean this in a good way. It almost gets tangled in itself. Sometimes, the 2003 darkness gives way to a swanky beat or groove the elevates the jam into a multi-headed monster. Not this one. It is almost to the point of disappointing because of how good it started out (and how good the first set was) and then this Tweezer jam submitted into a relatively benign, even boring, take on "outer space." Outer space. Interesting, because right on cue, Fishman starts the 2001 beat in the middle of the murk. A slightly more spacey, and slightly less funky version, this one won't blow your mind by any means but it is a good pick-me-up after that Tweezer fizzled out. Still, a tame version. But then, as having a short memory would have it, the next Jam of the Run drops right into place (sorry Wolfman's Brother, you had a good run). You Enjoy Myself was most unexpected to drop into the 3 slot of the second set, but the crowd was up to the challenge. Coming out of the dissonance of 2001, this YEM hit the ground at a full spring. It stampeded through the composed section and never looked back. When the tramps section ended, Fishman took center stage. Ohhhhohohoho boy. WOW! Some sassy, saucy, cheeky drumwork from Fish punctuates this opening segment of the jam. Trey and Mike sitting back - trading single strikes on their respective instruments - Page not even playing (sandwich break) - Fishman becoming an octopus. I can listen to this 1-minute section over and over again. This is giggle-Phish at its finest (in the nation). The rest of the band can take no more or else they too will have their clothes fall off. They take off into a spunky, quasi-funk jam. Fishman anchors them to the woodblock. And then they explode. Fishman drives the freight train to warp speed. A cacophony of comets and galaxies! WE'VE GONE PLAID! The jam peaks! But wait, a false summit! Trey circles the wagons, needing more fury to feast on! Once more, twice more he climbs the scales - striking again and again and the peak! And BOOM! A second explosion! WOW!!! I have now sworn off pants forever. But, I did I speak too soon? Bass and drums, from the deep. They are coming... they are coming... even if Gandalf was here with us, no one could save us from this otherworldly bass/drums segment. If Mike is an all-star, then Fish is a hall-of-famer. Trading exceptionally brash exchanges of their skill sets, giggle-Phish reaches a new level of excellence. A bass/drums segment for the ages! The vocal jam winds down... and for all intents and purposes, the show does too.

Jeff Holdsworth (you know, the guy who found Jesus and didn't get a cent to show for it) gets invited on stage to perform with Phish for the first time since he made the worst decision of his life. Now, take these next five songs with a grain of salt because there was indeed a heartfelt, sincere vein of sentiment and respect tying these songs together - both from Jeff and Phish. Even if the songs weren't exactly barn burners, there was no doubt the guys were having a really good time on stage together (with, perhaps, just a small dose of "F*** you" from Trey during Antelope, which he 100% took the reigns on... not even sure if Holdsworth actually played guitar on Antelope). Camel Walk was sloppy. Possum was fun, but a little amateurish... but, really, still fun (if you listen closely, I kid you not, I think Holdsworth forgot the lyrics and FOR REAL said, "shoooby-dooby-doo"). Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress was REALLY cool to hear because of the history (Phish's first song ever played) and if you didn't get goosebumps listening to this, please have someone check your pulse. Antelope rocked, because I think Jeff finally just said, "I'm outta my element" and let Phish do what Phish does best. Fire was a perfect closer to cap off a fun, complete, rowdy, energized evening!

Turns out Phish has a short memory after all. What a show!

Must-hear-jams: Wolfman's Brother, You Enjoy Myself
Probably-should-listen-to jams: Chalk Dust Torture, Thunderhead, Run Like an Antelope
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by whatstheuse324

whatstheuse324 12/1/2003 was a crazy night for me. I drove my wife Stephanie, my friend Ted (who was going to his first show), and my friend Marcy (who was going to show 250 or something), from New Jersey. Marcy's Husband Alex was meeting us in Albany. He had been at his sister's place in Providence, RI, which he had secured for a group of us to stay at following the Boston show the next night. I also met up with both of my sisters in Albany that had come with other friends. I had to drop Marcy off with Alex, give my sister Germaine a ride back to NJ after the show, but not before dropping off my wife at her parent's house in Easton, PA so she could go to work the next morning. I would then drive solo from New Brunswick to Providence the next day to meet up with the Boston crew and go to the show. Anyway...

Set one rocked. Even Thunderhead had a little something extra added to it. Everyone remembers the Wolfman's Brother from this set, and rightfully so.

Set two started in epic fashion with a seventeen-minute Tweezer followed by a spectacular 2001. It was not the 2001 of 10/9/1999, but still carried the funk party for over eight minutes. Kuroda was killing it! YEM was a twenty-five minute monster.

Suddenly, Trey introduced Jeff Holdsworth to the stage. I couldn't believe it! I knew Dude of Life and Tom Marshall made appearances at the previous two shows, but this was truly amazing. Other people did not seem to realize the magnitude of this. He sang Camel Walk and Possum. People can say whatever they want about this, such as he was rusty and not very good. Yeah, no shit! He hadn't been in Phish since 1986! Give the guy a break.

During Long Cool Woman my phone kept going off in my pocket. I finally answered it out of frustration. A muffled voice informed me that they were taking care of my sister Germaine in the depths of Pepsi Arena. She had apparently passed out in line while trying to purchase a beverage and was being treated by paramedics. SHIT! I had to bail on the Jeff comeback and travel into the bowels of Pepsi Arena. I came into a room with sick, drunk, and drug-induced kids lying on medical cots. I found my sister and was able to talk with her. She didn't eat enough during the day and fainted. She was ok, more embarrassed if anything, but they were still wheeling her out of the show via ambulance to the hospital. I would have to go pick her up after the show when the hospital released her.

I made it back to my seat to find my wife and Ted and to inform them of the situation. I was able to catch the halfway point of Antelope on and rocked out double-hard for Germaine.

When the show ended, Ted got a ride back to New Jersey with some other friends that were there. Steph and I drove to the Albany hospital and waited until they released my sister. They pumped her full of fluids with an IV and let her out around 12:30 AM. This was going to put a damper on the driving plans, but destiny was on my side. I was able to make it from Albany to Easton, PA by 4 AM to drop off Steph at her parents' house. She would then sleep for two hours before getting up for work. I then drove from Easton to New Brunswick, NJ and made it to my sister's apartment a little after 5 AM. I slept on her couch and planned to take off to Rhode Island when I woke up to meet Marcy, Alex, and crew to see the 20th Anniversary show in Boston.

All in all, it was a fun time with some very intense moments. In the end, everything worked out and I got to see Jeff Holdsworth play with Phish.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by phishjones

phishjones I had a blast at this show, my good friends got free tickets and I got a face ticket to Boston the next night too. Very pumped crowd; lot's of energy in the air.

Absolutely sick wolfman's - if you haven't heard it then do yourself a favor and do so.

Tweezer>2001>YEM wasn't too bad either.

It was fun to see Jeff on stage (almost made this one feel like the real 20th anniversary show), but he was a little rusty on his axe.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by Mikesgroover

Mikesgroover The Wolfman's has some good moments and the Tweezer>2001>YEM is extremely inspired with fantastic drums/bass breakdown at the end of the YEM.
Unfortunately, the momentum shifts when Holdsworth appears and the rest of the show was of the "had to be there" type of experience. Clearly, the band and (especially Trey) was stoked to welcome Jeff back to the stage, but the musical results aren't really worth relistening too. We had very good sidestage seats, and watching Holdsworth try and keep up with the pace of Antelope was pretty funny.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks An enjoyably inessential affair. The Anniversary run was plenty fun, but nearly every other 2003 show is worth hearing first. The Wolfman's Bro is pure ejaculatory rock celebration and Set II opens well, but the rest is of primarily historical importance (though it was a blast to be there). Which is like saying a kiss is merely wonderful - it's a kiss, don't complain. But especially in light of the end-of-our-rope adventure at IT, this show is a highlights-only kind of download, y'know?
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by toddmanout

toddmanout On December 1st, 2003 I drove with a couple of friends from Toronto to Albany to see Phish at Knickerbocker Arena. nero must have just finished up a run or at least had a few days off in their relentless touring schedule that freed me up for a show, a relatively rare opportunity during that era of my life. Either way, I had a chance to catch some Phish and I took it.

The drive to Albany should have been a cakewalk, especially compared to the constant epic driving of the nero bus I was very accustomed to at the time. But it was storming the whole way, and it was storming bad.

A good eight to ten inches of snow had accumulated and it was still coming down fiercely. The traffic on the interstate was down to one lane in each direction and moving slow, the lengthy parade of cars stuck behind the salt-spewing snow plows that crawled along at no more than thirty miles per hour. We had a show to get to but even more pressing was the fact that my friend had an extra ticket to sell, and he was very worried that we would be late and he would have to eat the ticket.

Back then I was driving a pretty solid Honda Accord. It wasn’t a four-wheel-drive but it had winter tires and seemed up to the challenge. I pulled out and reclaimed the I-90 passing lane, flying blind past the snowplows with a steady hand and an iron nerve and wouldn’t you know it, we made it to Shakedown Street just in time to sell the ticket and get in to the show (albeit a bit late; we walked in during their second song, Stash).

The concert that followed has become infamous due to an extended sit-in by long-lost original member Jeff Holdsworth who, as I had heard it, walked off into the mountains one day during an early Phish tour and never came back, never called or wrote…nothing. I heard he just disappeared, found religion or something like that and nobody had heard from him since that day, and here he was stepping on stage at Knickerbocker midway through the second set and strapping on a guitar.

Just because nobody does, I’ll reference the first set, which was great. As I mentioned we walked in during Stash (having missed the opening Chalkdust Torture), then it went: Guyute, Thunderhead>Sparkle, Wolfman’s Brother>Good Times Bad Times. And so you didn’t need a crazy sit-in to make this a memorable show, but I suppose it helped.

Not that Holdsworth’s participation was musically transcendent or anything. Though notable for being historic, the second set won’t win any awards in the “killer jams” category. It was a fun event to be at though, no denying that, but when they started into Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress Dave and I rolled our eyes pretty hard, silently (I hope) urging the band to abandon their nostalgic romp and get back to rocking our faces off.

They didn’t though. They even encored with Fire.

I’m guessing we drove back to either Toronto or perhaps on to Ottawa after the show, maybe even dropping off or picking up a passenger or two along the way, I don’t remember. The storm must have abated though as I don’t recall the post-show drive at all.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by vtspeedy

vtspeedy My first Phish show. Did not enjoy it at all. Didn't scare me away though, apparently.
, attached to 2003-12-01

Review by MzRprz

MzRprz This show totally pissed me off. I was like get that Jeff dude off the stage! And no Reprise? No. Not good.
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