1-2-03 - Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

From:   Gawronski, Ryan (CORP, Consultant)  
Sent:   July 21, 2003 09:11 AM
To:     'dws@gadiel.com'
Subject:        My Hampton review 1/2/03>finally>long overdue

What a wait up to this point, as I was thinking, getting in to my car on a brisk morning in January.  
The second of January to be exact.  I'm sure there were other people like me who were unfortunate
enough to catch NYE, knew that same thought I had had at that point across this great divide.  I was
starting a 5.5 hour road trip all by my lonesome with a suitcase and about 30 or so Phish discs of
old.  I was about to see the boys back in business and Oh what a feeling.  SO many thoughts of the
nights set list and also the next nights as for that is all I had tickets for.  I was also about to
meet some friends I had met on the web via the PP message board.  I had a very cheap hotel room on
the "beach"  for trade because good old MO and Ticketbasterd shut me out and needed any tics I could
get.  I happen to meet a great guy who works for GE just like myself who was up for the trade.  My
wife not wanting to come along and meet the new friends left me with 1 extra for the Friday show.  I
worked my magic over the web and set up a trade for Thursday night.  It all worked out.  The Internet
is great.

I arrived in Norfolk at 12 or so and needed a knap.  I awoke from my sleep to greet my friends from
Chicago.  We discussed some things, set a game plan and were out the door.  We hit the lots at 3:45
or so and it was on from there.  We parked by the blue light which was the meeting point for a few
incidents through the evening.  Such nervousness going thorough the minds and bodies of the fellow
followers like myself.  We made our way up to the doors at 6:30 or so and waited in the taper line as
it looked like it was moving quite nicely.  It only took 10 to 15 minutes to get in so not that bad.  
We made it in to see a mad frenzy for POLLOCKS at the t-shirt tables.  I waited in line for about 5
minutes and said screw that, there is always tomorrow.  After the failed attempt at the POLLOCKS we
decided to grab some seats.  We sat first tier of second level at the top row. (Mike Side)  We
occupied the first 6 seats or so.  The time was 7:40 or so and the stage activity was telling me it
was close to the time I have been waiting for.  5 or so minutes pass and the lights go down.

CHALKDUST>Trey kicks it in, Fish rolls, Mike slaps and Page strokes the keys and its on....LETS GET
READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!...What a great opener and such a classic.  Cactus was bobbing and weaving
like always.  His sound was not as loud as I would like but oh well there they were BACK ON THE
TRAIN...Here we are living while we are young.  This was very tight.  Nice loops during the JAM.

BATHTUB>Weird entrance by Fishman throws Trey off a bit, nice to hear the classics rolling out.  
Page ever so nice on those keys.  The band sounded very tight on this also.  Nice tight Jam section
on this one.  Trey rocking out having a great old time into song number 2.  Sneaky little outro,
nothing fancy.  (Trey plays a riff of what appears to be ICE and introduces Tom Hanks, fist Banter of
the 3 night run)

IT'S ICE>What another great classic and the organ sounds so good. There is a little feedback in the
beginning but taken care of nicely.  Cactus was slapping the hell out of the bass and turned up very
loud on this one.  For being off as long as they were off the 2 songs we heard so far and the one we
are hearing now were superb and a great choice in my opinion Trey nailed the hell out of this one.  
Page flubbed a few lyrics.

GBOTT>Hard to tell what this was coming out of the ICE. Good to hear this tune as it was time to get
back on that train that we have all been off of for so long now.  Great crowd response when Trey
stated lyrics, it took me a long time to back on the train.  Nice to feel that warm feeling of the
lyric and what we interpreted it to mean.  This to add to the 3 jams played was TIGHT and sounded
like a GBOTT of old.  Nice extended version with some heavy soloing by Trey adding to his Rock and
Roll Star Status!!!

ROUND ROOM>First new song off of the title album.  What a perfectly fit song for the SPACESHIP.  For
it is rather round.  This is one I would like to see again coming up in the Fall.  Sounded super
tight, as it should being the new rehearsed material.

THE HORSE>SILENT>OH MY GOD, what another great old surprise.  The Horse was a bit rushed.  The last
time I say the boys in Hampton I got this (12/18/99)  I am so glad to hear this for the first night
back.  This one was placed in quite nicely.

STASH>What a long set so far and it keeps getting better and better.  A great get the crowd going
tune with the clapping and such.  This was a strong sounding Stash with Mr. Rock and Roll showing his
stuff off left and right and also sounding super tight.  This was classic Phish at its best.  Cactus
and his bass line were loud and mean.  Thought this to be the set closer but I was wrong for next we

WATER IN THE SKY>Oh the sweet sounds of the piano on this one are outstanding.  Very tightly played
version here with no error.  The 5 minute jam was very well played and all the harmonies of the boys
were nicely hit on this.  I had heard this last time at Hampton also, (12/17/99)This had to be the
set closer but again I was wrong for when ever I am at a show they always close a set with:

CHAR ZERO>this was played in MSG, but I will take another Char Zero tune for the close of the first
set, because I was told a month ago.  Very well played, but it is one of the most played songs from
the boys.  Very happy with the first time seeing the crew since 9/17/00 and what a powerful first set
back in the Spaceship.


46 DAYS>HOLY S....This was the highlight of the evening for me.  Pages organ sounded super tight.  
Fish and the cowbell sounded nice.  The whole band totally had this song together and knew all the
ins and outs of this new one.  I love listening back to this song when ever I throw in this disc.  
Really jammed this one out, something like 15 + minutes or so...this was the 2nd tune off of Round
Room and like I said it was the highlight of the night for me....then they go into a >

SIMPLE>WHATT!!!!!!>which was out of no where.  This was the most error ridden song we had heard thus
yet.  But who cares just, it gives me something to comment on in this review.  One had a simple, one
had a band, one had a saxophone, and the other had a band also.  Super funny and loved every minute
of it though.  That just shows you that they were not afraid to take challenges by whipping out the
jams that may not be so tightly knit as the days of old.  MUCH RESPECT DUE!!

MY FRIEND, MY FRIEND>What a nice outro from simple>into MFMF.  This song was my second highlight of
the night and the first time I had heard the boys rip this.  THEY WERE TIGHT FOR THIS ONE> It has
some special type of meaning for me also because I had gone with friends and I was the only one with
the wife.  Someday I may be the one with the knife also, (HA HA HA) with the way marriage goes some
times.  I felt things ticking like a bomb, just waiting for the spaceship to blow it's
top off with the way they were going all out for MFMF.

LIMB BY LIMB>Love when the BASS kicks in for the intro and also for the outro on this tune.  Also
love the harmonies from the voices of the crew.  Well played, see this song all the time so I felt
like I did not miss it much.  Sounded very tight otherwise.  Trey has his rock star moment for the
breakdown hitting every note as it should.

THUNDERHEAD>WHATEVER.  Could really care less for this one.  Took a pee, a walk outside for a breath
of fresh air and took a peek at some of the t's for this run.  With my little break I was just
getting my gears ready for the next tune.

ANTELOPE>NAILED!!!!!!!!!!  All I could say for this.  MARCO ESQUANDOLES.  SPLIFF!!!  

CAVERN>I always get a CAVERN 2nd set closer.  This version, as many other versions, came equipped
with the classic Trey Flubbed lyrics going on. Was getting nervous as I knew the first night was
almost coming to a close.

OH TEQUILLA>Did not care much for this song much before I got to Hampton, but after I left I loved
it.  Just talking to people in my hotel room and in the lots, just made me change my viewpoint on
this song.  Would have loved to see a stronger closer but I always will take what I can get.

SO there it is my review is now done and overdue by just a few months.  I don't have much to say for
my outro notes, other than Phish is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to
get.  Take care of your shoes and peace to all you who I met in the Fall and look forward to seeing
you again in Camden or at the IT this summer.

Ryan Gawronski

Date: Sun, 04 May 2003 20:58:46 -0600 From: jmacaule jmacaule@du.edu Subject: Hampton 1-2-03 Review Phish- Hampton Coliseum- Hampton, VA- January 2, 2003 Its been a while, but I have been meaning to continue reviews for the holiday run which was such an awesome time for me. To skip my pre-show rambling- feel free to jump down two paragraphs. I had been totally denied on mail order for hampton but got lucky on ticketmaster with two out of the three shows (Friday and Saturday). I then traded DMB MSG tickets for the first night of Hampton and the full run was on (good trade- eh?). I had read so much about Hampton and it was the 98 box set that had really gotten me hooked on Phish. It seemed as though the 3 nights at Hampton were really neck and neck with the MSG new years show for what people were anticipating more. There was reason for anticipation. Hampton is steeped in Phish tradition and one of the most intimate venues Phish still played in 97-00, holding only 13,800. I had read that one of the best things about Hampton was the way that it was located at the heart of a compound of hotels. Unfortunately, all of the hotels had been overbooked since a few hours after the announcement of the shows. I devoted myself throughout the fall to figuring out a way to get into one of the hotels and completing the Phish Hampton experience. After calling over and over, a friendly fan hooked me up with a room at the Days Inn that he wasn't using but had reserved on August 14 at only 80 per night (an absolute steal on the strip!). They told me that they were so overbooked that they could not confirm my room but that they thought they would be able to come January 1. So I didn't really know that I had the room until then. When I called them up on the first- finally Project Hampton was complete. I used most of January 1 to sleep after the late night in NYC. There is nothing better than that feeling of being on tour. Because I would be driving from Hampton straight out to Denver for school, I had to finish packing everything up for the journey. I could hardly sleep for my last night of being home for break- I was just too anxious to get on the road. I woke up early to pick up my buddy at JFK from an overnight flight from Denver. I have probably never been so awake at that hour- which was good because he was dead tired. We made great time once we got out of the morning rush in NYC. We were both giddy which made for some amusing stops as we traveled down the DelMarVa (certainly the better way to travel to Hampton). Nothing like being on the road in the middle of nowhere with the feeling that there is NOWHERE else you would rather be (between MSG and Hampton on the NYE run!)- people in gas stations and fast food places have no clue what has you in such a good mood! Occasionally, throughout the drive, we exchanged glances with others headed for Hampton. The best part of the drive is certainly the huge Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. We stopped in the middle and took some cool pictures. Quite a dramatic way to arrive. I could hardly contain myself with each road sign for Hampton. The nice thing about arriving from the Norfolk side is that the highway goes right past the coliseum. The spaceship indeed!! Such a cool looking building set right on a huge lake (I'm sure everyone has seen pictures). I decided to not tell my buddy that I had ended up getting us a room next to the venue. I acted like I wanted to just go to see the venue and then pulled in to the Days Inn and told him we were staying there- definitely a nice surprise. When I had talked to them the day before, I had requested whatever room had the best view of the coliseum. They had come through nicely with the third floor room on the spaceship end of the hotel- couldn't see the venue but what a view of the strip which was certainly cool on its own. After moving in and getting my old hotel room canceled (thanks to Bonnie- the coolest hotel manager in Hampton). It was a great feeling to move into the room where we would be living for the next three days. Walked around and talked to various others at the hotel- everyone full of excitement for the show that we would soon be heading to. The bubbling excitement was palpable throughout Camp Hampton. We walked to the McDonald's and had a tasty dinner full of laughs with phans. Suddenly, it was time to head to the mothership. One of the coolest things about Hampton is the PERFECT lot. A beautiful tree-lined trail goes from the hotel road through the lot and up to the building itself that lends itself to becoming the supreme shakedown. Despite warnings that vending was prohibited and fans without tickets would be turned away- the opposite was taking place. The trail had turned into somewhat of a bazaar with people lining the entire thing and selling all sorts of things. Despite the throng of people, the scene was really chill in comparison to the through the roof excitement that had been outside of MSG two nights earlier. Another really cool feature of Hampton is the huge fountain that makes for a nice meeting spot and separates shakedown from the lines to enter the venue. The coliseum looked downright majestic as we waited to enter. Finally, it was time to go in which was a much simpler process than MSG had been. We ran inside and, for lack of any better knowledge, found nice seats in the lower section towards the back of the left side of the room. The floor was nearly empty when we got in but I knew it would eventually be packed and I had no desire to deal with it. Once we were settled in, I went to check out the merch and found out that there was a Pollock. Similarly to MSG, madness ensued as everyone attempted to get a poster. The poster system would change every night- all leaving me posterless. I got a shirt and then took a walk around. The layout of Hampton inside is perfect for general admission. The floor is huge (probably holding about half the people) and has its own floor with merch and bathrooms. The venue is totally round (round room) which means that there are only about ten rows behind the stage and on the far side from the stage. On each side the seats go up high but you get the feeling that there really isn't a bad spot in there other than the back of the floor (the dance space zone- preferred by some anyway). The venue is old and has a ceiling with a rafter setup and white lights going out from the center in circles that increase the spaceship look of it. It really feels like something out of a sci-fi movie. The security was pretty light coming in but far lighter once inside. It mainly consisted of local volunteers who were all very friendly. We sat for a while listening to the weird salsa type music they played. With the venue very packed, the band came out to a roar that was probably not even half of what MSG had been- but everyone was still pumped. They were surprisingly prompt for Phish- only 15 minutes after ticket time. CHALKDUST was what I (and many others) had been calling for the hiatus-ender at MSG for months until it was played at SNL. It has that classic explosive Phish-rock sound that makes it a nice energy-boosting opener. This version didn't do anything approaching what the Piper opener had done at MSG, but it was still a nice long Chalkdust and got people on their feet. BATHTUB GIN was also a Phish classic that we had all been waiting years to hear again- but did not go anywhere too special. IT'S ICE is a nice composed song that was played well and was nice to hear. BACK ON THE TRAIN was in most people's opinion the highlight of the first set but happens to be my least favorite Phish song. A long jam ensued that I thought was pretty boring and aimless- I just don't buy into the song. ROUND ROOM was when the set really crashed. They played the song decently and then tried to jam but had nothing going- so they stopped. HORSE-->SILENT is one of my favorite things they do and I really enjoyed hearing it, but it was very standard. STASH was the where the set picked up again. They basically played it perfectly and everyone had their clap ready to go. WATER IN THE SKY was also excellent, featuring Trey really going off on a cool bouncy jam. I was really surprised to hear CHARACTER ZERO because they had played it at MSG but this version did everything right that the MSG version had done wrong- it rocked in the best way that the song can and left us all with good tastes in our mouths during setbreak. On the whole, the first set was very standard, but it sure was great to be seeing Phish play! It was tight but lacked any sort of spacey jamming that really had not been heard yet in the run. I made use of the setbreak to go mingle, fill my water bottle, and go to the bathroom- all of which I strictly regimented throughout the run to ensure I was soaking in every minute of Phish. Set Two began with a tune that had established itself as the Round Room favorite of many fans- 46 DAYS. They really rocked it and proved that it is worthy of such adulation. It had a really cool jam that flowed perfectly into SIMPLE. They continued to bring the goods with Simple, reminding all of us how much we enjoy the tune. Simple then segued nicely into MY FRIEND- a tune that I had all but forgotten about for the evening btu one that was nice to hear and played very well. LIMB BY LIMB was also my favorite song at one time and did not disappoint. We were due for a chill song and got it with THUNDERHEAD- which I enjoyed. It flowed nicely into the opening notes of ANTELOPE which everyone screamed for, it being at the top of many people's "can't wait to hear" list. Antelope was rollicking and had everyone moving before dropping into CAVERN- always a fun one and a classic closer. Trey didn't quite know all the lyrics to it, but it was still great. The second set proved to be far better than the first and everyone was feeling good- the perfect setting for the first MEXICAN COUSIN which I thought made a nice encore for a great show. Most people were laughing with the lyrics and the band looked amused to. The song actually features a pretty cool little jam at the end. As we flowed out of the Coliseum, shakedown was once again in full effect. It is hard to describe how cool the spaceship looks at night with all the different colored lights. We walked back to our room and trekked out to Denny's which was a phish convention- way too many people for the space they had. It was fun waiting for a table and talking with people from all over the country about the show. I met one kid who was pretty cool who stopped me as I was walking around months later out here in Denver at the String Cheese Winter Carnival who asked me if I had been at the Denny's after Hampton- cool how that works sometimes. We didn't get back til late after the most lengthy Denny's visit I think I will ever have. It had been a long day to say the least and was the first long night of sleep I had the opportunity to get since before MSG. I was looking forward to the next night when I would be more well rested. Jimmy Macauley jmacaule@du.edu
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 17:58:39 -0500 From: Jason Marcheck jmarcheck@comcast.net Subject: Thoughts on Hampton 1.2.03 First let me say that I didn^t make it to any of the shows, so these thoughts are only after listening to the shows. After reading the most of the reviews of the NYE and Hampton shows, I was pretty psyched to listen to the shows to see how the layoff treated them. Most reviews acknowledged the rust and the fact that all of the shows were a little rough around the edges, but said that it was obvious that they were energized and as strong as they^ve been in years. Well, I^ll tell you what, after listening to the Hampton shows, I have to wonder if a lot those in attendance were just so happy to see the 4 of them back on stage together that they didn^t listen to the music. I don^t want to be a dark cloud, but seriously, they weren^t very good. Specifically, the first Hampton show caught my attention because that was the one I was most psyched to listen to. I^m a fan of pretty much every song on the set lists (Round Room and 46 Days I like, although Thunderhead has yet to grow on me), so I went into listening to this show thinking rust be damned, this is going to be a treat. Well, considering the layoff, I^ll say I was not disappointed (though not necessarily happy) with the first set. Chalk Dust was typically good, and I thought Page kicked ass in Bathtub Gin, but Trey^s vocals sound pretty rough and empty^ sadly a trend that seemed to reappear throughout the show. It^s Ice through Stash were all good, with Back on the Train sounding particularly tight. After that though, it wasn^t too pretty. Character Zero started off sloppy and didn^t really didn^t get much better. Trey sounded a little strained and Page sounded flat-out bad. They seemed to get a little bit back with the break, because 46 Days sounded good I guess, but then Simple sounded like they were playing it in slower motion than it normally does. I really didn^t care about the flubbed lyric but both Trey and Page just sounded like sand paper. Things sort continued a somewhat below par until Cavern where the wheels totally fell off. Which bummed me out because I love that song, and to hear a band like Phish butcher a song like that sucked. Seriously, it was so bad I had to put Nectar on and listen to the studio version just to get the bad taste of my mouth. Surprisingly, I thought Mexican Cousin was one of the best songs they played over the second half of the show. It goes without saying that its tough to fully judge a show without being there, but most of what I heard from last week would not even rank in the top half of what I^ve heard in the past (even considering most of the ^99-^00 stuff that I didn^t really like at all). I was glad to see that they have seemingly found the love for the pre-Hoist material again, but man, some of the stuff was plain painful to listen to. Maybe I^m expecting too much too soon, but here^s to hoping their voices (particularly Page^s) were just a bit out of shape, and that they will sync up during the rest of January and play up to their standards, because I^d rather listen keep listening to my old tapes and^ Pork Tornado^ before than any of these shows. Thanks for listening, Jay
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 02:25:19 -0500 From: Marie Keuning mariekeuning@hotmail.com Subject: Review of Hampton 1-2-03 Hey Dan. It's awesome that you compile and organize so much Phish stuff for so many fans to read and see and share. I was just reading the reviews of Hampton, to see what other people thought. I saw all three shows. I've only read the reviews for the January 2nd show so far...but I really thought I needed to share my review with you. It's a bit different from what other people wrote, and I don't think my voice is alone here. I was getting a weird vibe from a lot of folks around me. From a lot of folks at Hampton first night first set in general. I love the band, and I've been to 56 shows, not that that "legitimizes" my standing as a Phish fan, but it at least gives you some perspective on my perspective. (Note: I was NOT on psychedelics. These are "clear" perspectives. :) Anyway...so here's my breakdown: Chalkdust: Unexpected. We'd been calling something more along the lines of Get Back on the Train. Just, 'cuz, you know. It'd be fun. And we're all back on the train now. But Chalkdust was good. It is a crowd pleaser--fun to dance to for everyone--new heads, old heads, whatever. Catchy. It started regular, but then the boys just drifted into this weird place. It was spooky-sounding, echoey and deep and lost. Slow. Wandering. In a bad way. It was kind of sloppy and not-together. It didn't really go into an intense jam, and it didn't really lead into any other song. They just sort of jammed and spaced out and eventually wound it up. The crowd had been dancing, but by the end of the song, there were a lot of semi-confused faces. Not just blank and happy, but blank and...unsure? The crowd stood the entire time, but if you compare THIS show with the many others I've seen, there was a lot less dancing going on. And there should have been TONS of busting out the moves. It was HAMPTON after OVER TWO YEARS OFF. So much anticipation and build-up! Anyway, I think I remember correctly that there WAS a break and not a segue between Chalkdust and Bathtub. The jam just sort of ended and laid there. Bathtub: I'm thinking, "Good. Okay, okay. They'll get it back together. I love Page's parts during Bathtub. Bring it on. I'm ready to DANCE." But they sort of flubbed Bathtub too. It started off normally, with some energy, but then just trailed off.... off.... like an incomplete thought. The guys were just NOT on the same page. This was part of almost everything in the first set of this first night; there was just a battle between sounds/instruments or something. Instead of blending and giving each other space, it's like they were sloppy and stepping on each other. It's Ice: Okay. I like this song! I'll try again! But the SAME THING happened. I feel like I have to explain here: I had taken some moli, and you know how E is. You're happy and fairly clear-headed and want to dance. You empathize with everyone. Everything is more beautiful than it might regularly be. Blah blah drug talk blah. But what I'm saying is that I had a fairly strong pill and it was NOT of the psychedelic variety that might make you feel distant from people and events. If anything, I should have felt the show was better than it actually was. It was NOT me feeling disharmony. There WAS disharmony. Phish's playing actually made me feel SOBER. At one point during Chalkdust or Bathtub, I remember thinking, "Is the band on acid? Is that why they're so spacey and not together tonight? Did I take the wrong drug?" The crowd was NOT dancing very much at all. It was an on-off on-off thing more than the growing wave of dancing that usually happens, like how you bob at first and by song 3 everyone's just INTO it and there's no stopping the energy. Anyway, during It's Ice, I kinda thought that Trey was communicating lyrically to us as an audience that all of their doubles were trying to pull them down. It kinda felt like an apology for whatever was happening onstage. I tried to give them a break. It must be SO HARD to play to a room of people who aren't responding like a Phish crowd usually responds. That must be so must pressure. After two years. You must feel like you're on a pedastal... Back on the Train: OKAY! *Now* we'll start! I was READY. I figured this was the boost the band needed to get back in touch with the crowd. Something short and fairly simple with a rising momentum PLUS the added bonus of being a metaphor for the post-hiatus shows. Perfect. But the energy wasn't there like it could have been. Round Room: Obviously since this was its breakout show, I've never seen the song played before, so there are no "other comparisons" to make. It's nice. It's bouncy. It's new. It should have been a light break between heavier things... But during this song, I just remember thinking, "Okay, you guys HAVE the round room now. You're in it. You're with us. Get us all back with you now." The Horse > Silent: Taken out of the context of this flubbed set, a very decent version. But overall, it didn't quite fit. Water in the Sky: Same thing as Silent with the not-quite-doing-it. I LOVE this song. It could have been faster though. It should have been peppy. Like raindrops and happiness and people seeing Phish for the first time after two years. This verion was kind of on the lower quality end compared to other versions I've heard. I think it was at the beginning of this song when Trey actually walked over to Mike and they talked. They might have done it before too, but I saw them speak here. Before they started playing notes. I was quite a ways from the stage, but it seems like they were TALKING about what to play because they couldn't just drop each other musical hints. They don't really TALK much onstage, do they? Unless my memory and the hiatus years are just failing me... Anyway, I felt like the band was kind of mad at each other, like they were gonna have a LOT to talk about at setbreak. Character Zero: Speaking of setbreak.... You couldn't really choose a more standard closer than Zero. It was a good version. Very good. BUT, because of all that happened during set 1, it felt VERY tacked on to the end. Like, "Get us off the stage! We need a closer. This is standard. Let's just do it. We can't mess it up." I danced. We cheered. One of my friends (who felt the same way as me about the first set as it was happening) went to the bathroom during Zero, and he said that a group of girls came out of the floor area crying. They were saying, "It's over. Phish is over." The first set was THAT disconnected. Confession: I also love the String Cheese Incident, but I love Phish more. But during set one of Hampton 1-2-03, I thought to myself, "Well, this will be a fun 3 days. Don't give up. You got those 2 tickets in February too. Phish is still good. But if *this* is Phish now, um...I guess I'm 'converting' to Cheese. I always thought they'd be #2...but, you know..." Anyway...sorry to be blasphemous, but confession helps. :) (SEE, I *am* a devoted Phish fan and not just some cranky person complaining about some show just to complain. I WANT to believe. I NEED to believe...) Set Two: 46 Days: Good. Simple: IT'S ON!!!!! They got it together. Setbreak did 'em good. They worked it out. Whatever was funky (in a bad smelly way) before, was now FUNKY (in a good groovy way). They were tight. They were musically on. They were sharing and playing off each other. They were giving each other more space. The energy went off the meter everywhere. It was a MUCH better set. Bascially, there's not a ton more to say here. Really, from Simple to the end of set 2 was amazing. It was very good Phish. Not the best ever, but very good. All the choices were right. The energy and the high level of playing were back. The reasons I love Phish were back. It was all there. I was so relieved. Confession: Set One was THE WORST Phish set I have EVER seen. I've seen 56 shows. Run Like An Antelope: I always love this song. Ahhhh... Cavern: A good closer. High energy. High tempo. Fun for old fans. Fun for new fans. Fun for the whole family. Take care of your shoes! As for Mexican Cousin: I thought it was a good closer. On the album version, I kinda thought the "wooo Mexican cousin agaaaiinnn" part was kind of drawn out and unnecessary. In concert though, it worked fine. It was a good ender. Kind of nostalgic for something that you can easily do again. You can drink tequila again, just go down to the store and get some. And don't worry, you can see Phish again, just stop on by the Hampton Coliseum tomorrow. :) Thanks for reading my review. Take care, Marie Keuning
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 19:16:21 -0500 From: bshirley@email.unc.edu Subject: 01/02/03 Hampton Review The first night of Hampton was the only show of the 4 nights I got tickets to, and I am perfectly content with that. I don't have that much money anyway. This was my first trip to Hampton and first non-North Carolina show (seen five in NC since 97), and Hampton definitely lives up to the lore. Needless to say, I was excited as hell. Me and my friend got there a few minutes after the lots opened at 3, and there were already tons of people in there roaming about. We walked right up front and the lines were short so we decided to just go ahead and wait around for a few hours and get a good spot (we ended up about 2nd row in front of Mike). I got the pleasure of meeting Salvo in person (randomly of course), which was great. RMP folk woooooo! Showtime was about 7:45 PM(parentheses are start time) Set One: Chalkdust (7:45) Bathtub Gin (8:00 I think, I forgot to write this one down) Its Ice (8:16) GBOTT (8:25) Round Room (8:38) Horse > (8:44) Silent Stash (8:50) Water in the sky (9:02) Char. Zero (9:08) Set one ended 9:15 Set Two: 46 Days -> (9:55) Simple -> (10:17) MFMF (10:27) Limb (10:34) Thunderhead (10:44) Antelope (10:56) Cavern (11:06 Set two ended 11:09 Encore: Mexican Cuz (11:12) Ended 11:17 Chalkdust: Classic opener. Was this to be a classic style Chalkdust though? Nay. It was probably the most far out one I've ever heard (rivals the 7-10-99). The jam was excellent, it had moments of spaceyness and moments of shredding, and brought a huge smile to my face. Crowd was definitely digging this. This made me so happy, because it means the old songs (or atleast chalkdust) are still interesting for the band and can serve as jam vehicles. Gin: Nice! This departed into a jam which had some funkiness. Its Ice: Everyone mentally exclaimed "holy shit!" when Trey played the opening lick. Tangent: I'm glad to see the revival of some Rift tunes, and I think its interesting the number of old songs they are playing. The band seemed to be really happy to play them again, and they are definitely easing the new songs into the rotation. The whole night I wanted to hear some of the unreleased stuff (I even shouted "play something we haven't heard" a few times), but of course I was more than happy with what I did hear. End tangent. This Ice was well played I thought, maybe a few flubs but nothing major. The bottom of the pond jam was fairly short but it was pretty cool. Terrible description I know but just get the tapes/discs/8 tracks. Back on the Train: Well played, fairly long version. They seemed to be extending everything a lot tonight (which explains the long set times). Lots of trey soloing. Round Room: The first new song of the evening. This was well played, I especially like the contrasting part ("if I pass out^"), I think Mike's bass lines in that section are great. There was a little jam out of this one. Horse > Silent : Nicely played. I wish Trey would bring out the acoustic and play a longer guitar intro. Rant: This annoying drunk girl (who basically epitomized what I hate about some people at shows) behind me began to sing along (out of tune, of course) during silent, and dance all stupidly and occasionally rest her head on my back or beat me or the guy next to me on the back, all, in her words, "just trying to have a fun time." I'm sure you all have seen this type of person before, but by the end of the lyrics segment of stash (which she insisted upon singing every line AND guitar part to in her drunken stupor) I was about to kill her. She was that annoying. Honestly, I'm not an uptight person, I just want to enjoy the show too, and when you are impeding my ability to even listen to the actual musicians play that is definitely an abuse of any sort of "fun time"-having. I am all about having a fun time, but have some damn respect for people, especially at these shows. Sorry for the bitchy rant. Stash : Well played, with a jam that reminded me more of early Phish. Lots of great Trey shredding, and maybe it was because I haven't seen Phish play in forever and we were all there, but the music was about to blow the roof off. It was just so fucking intense. A lot of the jams reminded me of 92-95 type intense Phish. Water in the sky: Well played, I thought Stash would end the set. This always seems longer than it is (not because its bad though). Zero: More Trey shredfest. Classic set closer. Setbreak lasted about 40 mins. 46 Days: Wow! The tune itself is okay, but the jam that came out of this one was fucking great. For its first performance in a show, it blew me away. My ears heard a tease of Zappa's "He Used to Cut the Grass" jam at some point, but maybe it was just echoes from the 11-22-97 Halley's. This fell into ->Simple: Hell yeah! Blissfully simple. They flubbed the lyrics to this one, but who gives a shit. Glowshit was a-flying, and one stick knocked the shit out of my head. This lead into ->My Friend: Holy shit! Excellently played. That was a great 3 song run. Limb: This song has the greatest drum part ever I think. It was cool to see it up close. Lots of trey soloing. Thunderhead: This is one of my favorites on the new album, and I was really happy to hear them play it. Fish was doing some nice drum work. I like how Phish can play soft in a huge room and make it work. They extended this one very nicely over that chord progression that's at the beginning and end of the song, giving way to some beautiful interweaving lines. Antelope: Oh shit. This was another Trey AnaSHREDio. Actually I only remark on Trey's shreddiness because he's the only one in the band than can really make a shredding motion, but the other band members were pounding the fuck out of their instruments. I'm serious, anyone who thinks Phish completely lost their ability to shred/pound/combust heads get this show. It might not be pretty always, but headbanging is necessary at times. Cavern: Exclamation point. Trey flubs as always. There was a hiatus? What? Craziness. Encore: Mexican cousin - This is quite possibly the stupidest song I've ever heard. I think I heard Salvo remark that this was the new Sleeping Monkey, but seriously, at least in monkey you get to hear Fish sing. Whatever, at least it has room for Trey to solo some more. Highlights were Chalkdust > jam(!!!!) Stash, 46 days jam, and Thunderhead. Overall, this was a great show. I think the hiatus did exactly what it was supposed to do - it got Phish back into Phish. They didn't make any profound changes, they didn't reinvent themselves completely, yet the music sounds fresh and is still going new places. Hope the other two Hamptons are just as good or better for all those who were lucky enough to get in. Peace, Ben
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 07:06:44 -0800 (PST) From: Nathan Coblentz phrodo41@binarycortex.com Subject: review - 1/2/03 Phrodo41 says: This was my favorite night of the three. People have complained that they were sloppy, the lights were off sync, or whatever, but I hardly noticed. Everyone just seemed so happy to be there, and Trey brought us to so many peaks that night that it just seemed unreal. Ok, here's the song by song bit. Set I: (I was on the floor with Phulcrum in front of the soundboard) Chalkdust Torture - this was a strong opener, about fourteen minutes long or so. The jam hung around in A (I think) about halfway through, and sounded a tad reminiscent of the famous Camden version. The jam wandered into this gorgeous ambient space, and slammed back into the outro. Gin - Big crowd pleaser early in the set. This was my first Gin, and I was amazed Page's piano noise intro just pierces through everything else. I remember the jam being very blissful and serene, with lots of high notes from Trey. It's Ice - I called this one, b/c I knew they soundchecked it at the garden. Was it really all that sloppy? It sounded tight to me. . . Back on the Train - a much funkier intro than usual; I remember some of us looking at each other thinking it was a new song. Of course we had been expecting this at some point, and the crowd made all the appropriate noises! Plus, some SWEET clav work from Page. Round Room - also called this one, as Hampton is a perfectly round room. This was nicely executed, but not too different from the album version. The Horse > Silent in the Morning - aaaaahhhhh, this was nice to hear live. Not much else to say about this, but it was nice. Stash - the set closer for sure. Absolutely thunderous Stash. The details are kind of a blur, but that great tension/release element was fully present. Water in the Sky - some of my favorite moments in a set are when they play an alleged set closer, and then keep going. This is such a very, very HAPPY song, and seemed to just keep on going, with incredibly phrasing and fingerwork from Trey. Again, reminded me of the Camden '99 Water. Character Zero - the one and only song played twice for the entire run. Well, it was character zero. Set 2 (Again with Phulcrum, but from a nice spot behind the stage on Mike's side. This was the best view of Fishman I've ever had.) 46 Days -> Jam - I've heard differing perspectives on this jam. Some call it a wandering, direcitionless wank session, and others claim it was the highlight of the evening. I was thrilled with this jam. It picked up speed and went into sci-techno mode, for back of a better description. Great synthy sounds from Page, and then this heavy metal riff emerges from Trey. It sounded like a tease, but I haven't heard anyone who recognizes it. I really can't wait to hear this one again. Then, out of nowhere, a -> into Simple - aaaaahhh, simple. This was THE glowstick war of the event, and made all the other glowstick wars look like petty geurilla activity. Nothing too different about the jam, except for the fact that it didn't emerge from a Mike's. The crowd got excited when they flubbed on the vocals, making for a great moment of audience/band camaraderie. Then trey seems to get stuck on this one note. It sounds like the Rift intro, but slower and in a lower key. Then we gradually realize that they're actually playing, no, can it be??? It is!!! My Friend My Friend - I guess this was pretty "standard," which means it rocked. No complaints here. Limb by Limb - brought us to great peaks, reminiscent of 12-11-97. Thunderhead - I was taken off guard by this enchanting jam. Mostly because i was never expecting them to actually do anything with this tune. This had a very liquid feel, like watching a lava lamp. It seemed much longer than 8 minutes, and had me in a trance, that was quickly broken by the opening strains of Run Like an Antelope - this was the main tune I had to hear, which wasn't asking much. Not a particularly long version, but it kept peaking and peaking, at some points so high that the rhythm descended into chaos for a few seconds, and then peaked some more. I don't think I've heard a more intense antelope. This was definately in the league with 4-3-98. Cavern - this has never been my favorite tune, and seemed a bit anticlimatic after such an antelope. But it was well received. E:Mexican Cousin - not such a bad encore. Trey's solo just melts into more bliss, which seemed to be the theme of the evening. final notes: While I thought the second set of 1/4 was the most "flawless" set of the run, and more people seemed to favor 1/3, I really think that 1/2 was the best show I've ever seen, by any band ever.
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 09:12:30 -0500 From: Chuck Rothofsky carothofsky@yahoo.com Subject: 1/2/03 review 1/2 Chuck "Hazystare" Rothofsky's - (1/2/03) Hampton Review First show of 2003. INCREDIBLE! As the journey began.....My wife and I left Trenton, NJ at 9:30AM to make the trek for this show. This was our first trip to Hampton and we were very excited to at least be catching one show. As we passed Camden, we knew that it was not just an ordinary day. Began seeing lots of phans traveling and we hadn't even made it out of Jersey yet. A little bit nippy and overcase, it was kind of a blah weather day, but we could already the anticipation starting to swell. On the way down my wife chooses to pop in 7/20/99 to enjoy, which incidentally opens with a chalkdust, and who knew what we had in store later that evening... The scene....as we pulled into Hampton right around 4:20, the traffic began to back up and we could see the zoo. Along the strip we began seeing literally hundreds of the "new kiddies" with their fingers in the air, looking for those few tickets (speak more of this later in the recap). We worked our way through the traffic and got to the parking lot, where the security was somewhat beefed up and they would only allow phans with tickets to enter. No ticket no entry they also had signs saying no alcohol or vending, but there was no inspection of cars (and at this time in the day though they were enforcing the no entry policy for the ticketless) We parked, met some nice people around us, and at this point the vending was not very prevalent where we were so we went up to the strip for a bit to eat. Returned to the lot by 6:30 and it was mahem, the ticketless were now fully invading the lot, it was a complete throwdown. A makeshift shakedown was set up along the path to the door and it was a complete free-for-all. Security as far as we could see was completely nonexistent. It was a great time. We made our way from there into the venue around 7:10, and all I can say is it was lax. Just scan tickets and get in. No pat downs, no magic wands, NADA. The show......We scrambled found some space on the floor and got ready to partake in the evenings events..... lights lower, crowd erupts, and the first few notes of SET 1 ring out...CHALKDUST!!!Great way to open the 3 night run. Lots of power and emotion. Exploded with energy and really got us shaking in our shoes. It was them and THEY ARE BACK!!! All I can say is it was great to hear them again and it was a solid Chalkdust. >From Chalkdust they enter into a BATHTUB GIN! Sounded Great, typical Bathtub, but just so nice to hear it live again. All the phans were really getting into it and the whole auditorium was bursting with joy. Most people were singing along. From my vantage point the boys were really starting to loosen up and have a great time. There was a nice Tornado of lights effect going on during this one. Trey joked about having Tom hanks coming out on stage for this next one, when they jump into.. IT'S ICE! A classic from the old days and just a great overall jam. I think there may have been a lyrical flub or two in there, but IMO, who cares, that is all a part of Phish. Slightly shakiy at first, they found their groove and kept it moving. The song rocks and it is great just to hear it again. There was some definate high points in the song and the the tune kept building and building....Just awesome. BACK ON THE TRAIN....Not sure if they reworked this song, but it sounded much different than in 1999-2000. It was much funkier than I can remember it being. It had a mellow undertone and solid funk groove oozing off of it and the lyrics really taken on a new meaning with the reunion and end of the hiatus. Simply great and one of my highlights from the show. I haven't smiled and grooved to a Train like this in a really long time, if ever. ROUND ROOM...called this one on the way down with my wife. I personally really enjoy the Mike songs and this one is no exception. There obviously is still some work that needs to be done to fully bring this jem into the fold, but it was great. There were moments when they seemed like they wanted to take it someplace, but towards the end they couldn't figure out where it was going. Great song and can't wait to hear it again! THE HORSE> SILENT IN THE MORNING.....It is a classic Phish tune and good song(s). Pretty standard. Nicely placed in the middle of the set. Gave us a few seconds to get some air before.... STASH! Unfriggin believeable. Who woulda thought! I didn't see it coming, but as soon as you hear those first few notes....it is all over. They really brought it together in this one. I just remember looking up at one point and seeing Trey with his head back just shaking it side to side. Mike was also all over this one. Not as exploratory as some Stashes from Pre hiatus, but a great choice nontheless. The boys were really into it and so was everyone else. WATER IN THE SKY....Good song, pretty standard Water, played solidly. Nice breather after the Stash we just went through. Page is just friggin awesome on those keys. CHARACTER ZERO..WHAT! A repeat from NYE? I wasn't there, so I was glad to hear it. From those I know that hit both, they told me that the Hampton version was much better than what they heard at MSG. Typical Zero as a set closer. Good way to end that high energy set. SET 2 opens with huge 46 DAYS. Good song, obviously much more extended jamming in this song than on SNL. More mellow and spacy exploration than on the album. Beginning sounded similar to an early Sleeping Sally or Camel Walk. They achieved a deep spacy groove on this one, then picked up the beat towards the end. The new songs will take some time to mature, but they are off to a great start with this one. Nice transition into.. SIMPLE!...fantastically laid it out there. Classic Phish. Few lyrical flubs here and there, but that is what the live experience is all about. If anyone complains they are being way to overcritical..IMO. It was great and really got the room popping and sucking people who were lost back into the groove. Simple plays out and slips into..... MY FRIEND MY FRIEND. I love this song and it was great to hear them rip it out. The boys were really getting into it. Definately had everyone around us bumping and grinding. LIMB BY LIMB....Classic and beautiful. Got a large pop from the crowd for this one. Love the melodic harmonies in this one. Some nice Jamming throughout. At times it sounded like Trey was trying to jam more notes in there than possible, but who could complain. I have read reviews of MSG saying that they were rusty and admittedly at times you could hear the "newness" of them once again playing together, but whatever, this is Phish and they are playing together, be HAPPY!! Lights were amazing and there was just some excellent jamming going on. Ended somewhat abruptly to me though, didn't finish with the lyrical repeat as in the past. THUNDERHEAD....Nice song and glad I caught the debut. I liked the studio release, but it is much more soulful live. Had a better feeling to it. Mellow groove and IMO a welcome addition to their growing library. RUN LIKE AN ANTELOPE....WOW! Glad I caught this one. They really built this one up for an eruption. Haven't experienced one of those in WAY TOO LONG!!! It was very climatic. One of the highlights for this show. Lights really grabbed and dragged you in and the boys took you there. Huge Creshendo. All I can say is when I was grooving, there was a point when my legs felt like they left my body. The vibe was just amazing and the jamming was really intense. It was played as if it were the closer, or at least that was the feeling around us. It definately didn't sound like they had taken all that time off ...at all..but from here they jumped into... CAVERN.....From out of nowherem we get a cavern. You woulda swore antelope would close and here we go again. They are ripping it up and we are all smiles. Incredible closer. There were lyrical flubs, but that is Phish, love it or leave it. Its an oldie and obviously with all the songs they know, words are bound to be forgotten. Great way to close this set. "Whatever you do take care of your shoes" - one of the best lines EVER! ENCORE - MEXICAN COUSIN...Great song. Very laid back, just grooving. Has a loving cup appeal to it, even in the jamming. Crowd really seemed to lap it up. Lots of people singing. Nice way to close the show and the SECOND mellow encore of this run. Thats it love it or leave it. Had a great time and am definately envious of those who got more than one, but was very grateful to have the one I had. Can't wait for Feb and more importantly SUMMER!!! Chuck email: carothofsky_AT_yahoo_DOT_com
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