1-4-03 - Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 17:19:57 -0500
From: Eric Liebetrau eliebetrau@cap-press.com
Subject: 1/4/03 Review

First time seeing them since June 2000 in Raleigh, so I was obviously
pumped about the show, and was encouraged by the good reviews of the
previous new year's and hamptons shows. first time at hamptons also, and
definitely enjoyed the lot scene, and spectacular venue. kuroda in an
inside venue is truly something to behold. especially during the 2001,
but more on that later.
on to the show:

Llama: was expecting a punch or possibly a bag, so this caught me by
surprise- but set the tone right away for a rockin' energetic show, and
always enjoyable.
Boogie On: huge cheer with the first chords of this groovin' wonder
favorite- first time seeing it, and did not dissapoint. standard boogie
length, just a great dancing song, and always great to hear Mike lead
the way.
Roggae: was expecting this at some point in the show, and somehow it fit
in nicely here. probably one of the best versions i've heard, as they
injected a little more into the jam than usual- took it to a higher
level, but still within the sublime beauty that is roggae. as always,
great running interplay between trey, mike, and page.
Maze: hands-down the best version i've heard- after a quality middle
section from page, instead of launching full-steam into the guitar jam
like usual, trey brought it down and started a longer sustained build
that resulted in multiple atomic crescendos- every time i thought it
would go to the end portion, it just built on itself again. just
fantastic, highlight of the set for me.
Anything But Me: probably my least favorite slow song on the new album,
but good soulful guitar work by trey, as per usual on the slow ones.
needed a break after that maze anyway.
Ya Mar: more excitement when this began- pretty standard version, but
this song is always welcome. love it.
Saw It Again: my friends don't share my love for this one, but one of my
favorite tunes of those not in regular rotation. ripping, classic rock
star trey at the end.
Bouncing: i feel the need to give it the standard thumbs down, but the
ending of the song is so pretty
SOAM: old school phish at its best- straight-ahead version until trey
got hit square in the chest with a glow stick, at which point he
exploded into some raucous feedback and took the jam into some fairly
dissonant territory. but it did cover some interesting ground, and built
back to the end nicely. good glowstick was, by the way. and at least the
majority of flying objects were the soft rings.

solid first, no segues, which i would have liked to have seen. other
than the maze, no spectacular versions, just solid playing with lots of
peaks. 7-8 out of 10.

Rock and Roll: probably my favorite second set opener- got it in Atlanta
in 2000, and was just as happy to hear it here. i always love it when
page sings. and this was an excellent version, with a powerful jam and
some great work between page and trey especially.
Mike's: everyone was expecting a groove at some point in the night since
it hadn't been played yet on the tour, and here we go. not an excellent
mike's, but good all the way through, with great work by kuroda and
mike- appropriate given that it's his song.
Mist: as mike's died, and they almost went into simple, perhaps
forgetting it had been played already two nights previous, we thought a
hydrogen was coming, but we got mist instead. that's ok, cause this is a
great song, and a great version.
Weekapaug: didn't begin like most paugs, but out of what sounded like a
bluegrass beginning, and then trey strumming the opening chords, with
fish and mike coming softly at first. i liked the way it grew, and this
was a great version, with a wonderful funky mid-section, and then a near
disco-synth breakout midway, with trey making some great synth sounds
with his guitar, before going back into the rocking section, then slowly
coming down into what sounded like a possible disease, but instead...
What's the Use: absolute transcendence, that's all i can say. amazing.
Disease: now it came nicely out of what's the use. and just how i like
my disease, around 10 minutes and high energy all the way through, then
slowed quietly and smoothly into...
Fast Enough for You: ahhh, yes...one of the best phish slow songs, but
unfortunately, probably marking the end of the set. but...
ASZ: no way! completely unexpected- not sure, but think this is the only
time this has ended a second set. not a long version, but great
nonetheless, and the surprise points were through the roof. energy
explosions from the crowd at each peak. kuroda was off the damn hook on
the lights- best i've seen at phish show, and hence, the best i've seen.
keep it up chris!

second set: 9

excellent overall show, and i can't wait til the winter tour! thanks for
coming back guys!

Eric Liebetrau

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 10:36:53 -0500 From: Christopher Sahl CSahl@Richmaylaw.com Subject: Reviews for 1/4/03 Jan. 4, 2003 My thoughts on this night... a more standard setlist flow that the night before (a ripping guitar song, a funk song, a slow song), with some notable exceptions. I've been wanting to see What's the Use for some time, and it did not disappoint. The patience and thickness of this song blew me away in a live context. Also, as disappointed as I was about the amount of Diet Phish in this show, they did pick the Diet Phish I really like (save Friday, which was much better than the album). FEFY and Mist, both awesome songs, though better suited one per set than within a half-hour of each other. I thought the band's vocals were easily the weakest part of their sound this weekend. Trey sounded like he was losing his voice from the beginning on Friday night, and the harmonies on songs sounded unconfident and imprecise to me, more so than I remember them sounding before. As the band moves towards more slow songs and complex harmonies, this may become a problem. I the first set highlights were Roggae and Maze. I've never heard a Roggae that contained such an energetic jam. Usually it seems they kind of meander melodically for a while before completely fading out. Here, the dynamics and emotion built the jam, instead of fading it. The final chords at the end were horribly wrong, which sounded really weird. The Maze was sheer sickness. After Page's nice solo, instead of cranking right into the solo, Trey held a note quietly until the band brought the volume level way down to rebuild it all the way up into a shredding climax. Kuroda jumped a few of the changes at the end, as the band was not ready to bring the song home. Split Open and Melt started off promising, until about 3-4 mins. into the jam, Trey got belted square in teh chest by one of those really thick, bright orange glowsticks. The rest of the songs turned into a boring guitar-pedal exposition, as the rest of the band struggled to maintain the rhythm during Trey's arhythmic exploration. Rock and Roll ripped. At the end, they sang the "It was Alright" refrain over and over, energy so high, and the band firing on all cylinders. The Mike's Song was unimpressive, I thought, compared to other Mike's I've seen, and I heard a definite brain fart at Trey hit the F that goes into Simple before remembering they'd played it already. I'm a huge Mist fan, so that was nice. The Weekapaug sounded like Trey was going into a bluegrass number, as he strummed in his bluegrass style before the rest of teh band slowly picked up on Weekapaug. It was probably a good minute plus before they were at regular Paug volume and speed, which fired up the crowd. The jam took an unusual turn into minor-key territory, and eventually they locked into a four measure regular sounding Weekapaug, four measure minor jam that alternated that reminded me of the "Slice of Pizza, Bucket of Lard" 'Paug whose date escapes me right now. Disease was teh way I like Diseases, maintaining the high energy and under ten minutes. After the last "now I'm on my way", it looked like Trey forgot to end the song there, and they went into the slow-it-down continuation of the song's main chords into ambience that they started doing later in the 90s. I missed the exclamation point-type distinct end on the Disease, but it was alright. Nice solo on FEFY, and the ASZ was fun and focused. All in all, an above-average show, probably a B/B+, compared to the A/A- from the night before. My main concern about the return from the hiatus, that the aging and maturity of the band would keep them from rocking as intensely as they're capable of, was completely disproven, and combined with hotels within walking distance, a great collection of old friends and the friendliest citizens of any town I've seen the band in made this one kickass weekend. Christopher D. Sahl
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 16:15:16 -0500 From: Brian Fegan thirdz@hotmail.com Subject: 1-4-03 review I don't write reviews too much anymore, but I only see 2 on this page. One was by a girl seeing her first show. I'm glad she had an amazing time and was able to get her stolen ticket replaced. And the other guy was complaining about the township of Hampton. So, I'll talk about the show. (Incidentally, I thought the peops in Hapton and the popo did a fine job. That town probably doesn't see a dime in revenue this time of year and they pretty much let you get away with whatever you wanted - and I sure as hell got away with a shit ton, my brain is in a million pieces - as long as you weren't flaunting it. But that's just my opinion.) The show was great. The mini-tour was great. Maybe not the best Phish shows I've ever seen, but these were some pretty damn good shows! Especially considering the break and everything. We're talking only one repeat in 9 sets and 4 encores of music that hasn't been played in front of people for over 2 years. And musically, they were tight as all hell (even if some lyrics were flubbed now and then). Only one major screw up during YEM on 1/3 where they decided to start over cause they "had practiced this one a lot" and wanted to get it right! Word! And the energy was high all 4 nights. I was impressed. SET I: Llama: Rockin! I love this as an opener. Its fast, hard, and sets the pace right off the bat. Nothing too different about it, but I felt that was the theme of the whole tour - Phish songs the way you traditionally know them in your head and wanted to hear them cause you hadn't in a long time. Classic Phish. Boogie On Reggae Woman: A nice surprise for two reasons. First, it was only the 2nd cover of the tour to this point. Second, they hadn't really touched the phunk too much. I was psyched to hear this. I live for the phunk. Roggae: I enjoy this song sometimes. But I thought we were just getting going when they slowed it down. I think Phish is really into the mellow stuff now. The album is super mellow and I read in some interview how Page and Mike said the greatest thing about playing together again is they forgot how delicate they can be with each other, where most bands always tend to play louder and faster when you haven't played in a while. I'd like more upbeat stuff, but whatever makes it fun for them, I'm down. Maze: Alright, hear we go. Pick the pace back up. I love this song and this version was great. Some of the more spacey stuff they played up to this point in the tour. (Melt which followed later probably had the most "trippy" jam of the tour.) Anything But Me: This is what I mean about them liking the mellow stuff. Just when they picked it up, they brought it back down. I sat down. I smoked. Just soaked up the scene and what I've been lucky enough to experience over these 4 shows. Ya Mar: Was happy to hear this. The 3rd cover of the tour and we get to hear Mike sing some more. Saw it Again: Sometimes this song is a bit monotonous I think, but Trey was fuckin rippin it up during this version. Plus, there was this guy takin pictures right in front of the stage and I felt like Trey was rock star posing the whole time for him during this tune. Getting into the bending notes on his solo with his whole body, jumpin up and down, pointing his guitar straight at the photographer. And you know Trey - such a rock star - I think he gets so turned on by the posing that he plays better and better. Fuckin hysterical. Bouncin': Take it or leave it. Relax. Smoke. Let the people who like it enjoy it. Split Open and Melt: Nice!!! This was definitely the craziest, "out there" type of jamming they did the whole tour in my opinion. I was psyched to hear it. And I always love the "we breathe deep in a steam dream" part - such unbelievable song writing and texture on this tune. It was a great way to leave on an energetic note before set break. SET II: Rock and Roll: Great opener. 3rd cover of the night after only 1 played before tonight. Wonder if they did that on purpose? This song always rocks. Wasn't as crazy as the Cypress version, or as energetic as Radio City. But this song always rocks. And they came back to the "It was alright" vocal part after the jam in a really cool way. Mike's Song: Awesome! Wasn't sure if we were gonna get this. Jam was great out of it. Really rockin version as opposed to newer funkier versions. And there was no traditional d, e, f# 3 chord build before they change keys for the 2nd part of the jam. They really chilled on the key change to f also. Thought we were gonna get hydrogen cause it got so chill and cause so much of this tour has been like classic nostalgic Phish, but we got^Å Mist: I really like this song. Which says a lot for me cause I don't like a lot of the newer slow stuff after hoist. But this has a beautiful melody and arrangement. And the harmonies are so sweet to the ears. This song got huge applause for a couple of lyrics obviously. Since it was the last night, "I'm worn and bruised, but I am here at least." And, "^Å'til I'm released, a wakened beast, I'm on the road again". Weekapaug: Now this was really cool cause it started weird. Instead of Mike taking his slap bass solo to start it off. It started with this rhythmic build with the Weekapaug chords and rhythm growing out of it until they were just playing Weekapaug. Really cool! Huge jam went on for a while and then it kind of stopped. And then started again with them playing the weekapaug closing melody in cut time, much slower than usual. I though Down with Disease would come next cause Mike was makin a lot of bass noise but it segued into^Å What's the Use: this was a really cool segue cause this grew right out of the slower Weekapaug melody Trey was playing. Not much to this one. Just a beautiful melody and song. Which started to get quieter until Mike started rumbling his bass again and here was my^Å Down w/ Disease: This rocked as always. Not much more to say than that. Phish tried to find a way but they just couldn't stop, stop, stop playin shows. This went into^Å Fast Enough: Another slow fav of mine from the older days. This tour had so much of the rift album covered which I love cause Rift is my fav album by far. I mean Mound, Horn, Rift, Horse/Silent, Maze, and this tune. They definitely made an issue to play a lot of material from Rift. Thanks guys! 2001: It^Òs the only tune I really wanted to hear that they hadn't played yet. Awesome!!! It was a little shorter than those of recent years. But sick none the less. The crescendos in this tune get everybody in the arena yellin and screamin like there is no tomorrow. And at that moment, I don't think anyone would care if there wasn't. The ending was cool. Trey thanks everyone and says how much they appreciate playing and how great the vibe is and how lucky they are to have us. Couldn't here too well what he was saying cause they place was screamin like mad, but you got the gist of it. And we're lucky to have them back too! Then they kind of faked each other out for a big rock ending. Everybody stopped except Trey (by accident I think), so he just kept holding the chord in arena rock fashion. Fish gets up from behind the kit and just points to trey, jokingly, like he's the man (he is, of course). So they go with it. They all come back in and hold the chord. Next they all drop out 'cept for Fish, then all come back in. Then same thing with Mike and Page, before they all come in one more time to close it out for good. I love when they get playful like that. I LOVE THAT THEY'RE BACK. SICK SET!!! ENCORE: Friday: New tune. Had some sentiment cause if it were Friday ("why isn't it Friday today?") we'd have another night of great music and partying. But its kind of a slow tune. I would have like something bigger and faster. But that's me. I was born to rock. Ha. All in all, I loved these shows. The middle night in Hampton was my favorite. New Year's and the last Hampton night were tied for 2nd. And the first night in Hampton was in 3rd (but still a great show anyway). If the New Year's third set had a little more energy it would have been my favorite show. The encores were kind of anticlimactic for me each night except for the contact, tweezer reprise night. (my fav night incidentally). But like I said, I think the boys are really into the mellow, delicate stuff lately. And if that's what they get off on now and makes them want to play together again, then power to 'em. They always evolving and that's why they are so good. They're the best fuckin band on the planet! Can't wait for the feb tour. Peace, Brian Fegan thirdz@hotmail.com
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 13:37:26 EST From: RachelKobren@aol.com Subject: 1-4-03 1-4-03 @ Hampton was my very first Phish show.   I was familiar with some Phish's music before the show and was excited to check the band out live.  I was awarded tkts via Phish Ticketing and traveled 8 hours to see them.  The morning of the show, my bag (with the tickets) was stolen.  My friends and I frantically scrambled to contact Phish Ticketing, Fleet Credit Card Services and the Hampton arena.  After a loooong cat and mouse chase for the credit card statement, we arrived desperate and crying at the will call window, the location in which our fate rested.  We explained our story at the first window, but they couldn't do anything b/c it was Ticket Master. The 2nd window was somewhat of a help but couldn't solve the problem b/c the woman had no authority to resolve the problem.  Finally a kind and wonderful gentlemen named John from Phish Ticketing, came downstairs to hear our pathetic and desperate story...the encounter concluded by him saying "Why are you girls crying...you're still going to see the show..print these girls up 2 tickets!"     Well, my first experience @ a Phish show as kept me thirsing for more.  These guys played two of the few songs I did know and love (Bounce Around the Room and the Weekapauge Groove).  The experience was priceless, the fans were incredible and enegry was nothing I have ever seen.  From the glow sticks flying to the balloons floating on air, to the heartfelt thank you from Trey,  this show was the best concert I have ever been too.   The final song before the encore (Also Sprach Zarathustra) had the arena rocking!!!   Thank you to John at Phish Ticketing, Phish and my crew for making this first experience one I will never forget!  Can't wait until Continental and Nassau!!!
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 15:56:27 -0800 (PST) From: NewSchool Radio newschoolradio@yahoo.com Subject: 1.4.03 review I have seen phish 38 times in about 25 different cities and towns since July 94. What I saw in Hampton was like nothing I had ever seen. The music was spectacular. I won't break down each song for you, I'll let others do that. What I would like to address are the folks in charge. Talk about squeezing every last penny out of phish heads. I saw a few things this weekend that blew me away. First and foremost, I'd like to send a big FUCK YOU to the following: Hampton Police, Target, and last but not least,Mid Atlantic Collision & Towing. What a great scam they have going. When the lot filled, the coppers just directed traffic down the road, to no particular location. Find a spot kids and hope your car is there after the show. I, along with many others, parked in the Target lot. At about 11:30pm after the show myself and others arrived to find the lot empty of all vehicles except those with Virginia plates. Nighttime Target security, aka a grown up Beavis & Butthead, laughed at all us "dumbasses" but was quite helpful in informing us that our cars had been towed 4 miles up the road and we could quickly retrieve them in exchange for $95 cash. Conveniently, there were cabs in the Target lot waiting to take us to Mid Atlantic towing. How nice. Upon arrival we found many phish phans in our same predicament. Tired, cold, and now broke after giving this town just a little more money before we left. Thanks Hampton! So now I have my car and I'm about to leave this wretched place. I stop at the Shell station to gas up before leaving. Amazingly, they are out of regular and medium grade gas, only the most expensive kind is available. Surprise, surprise. At the station we meet a couple of other phans whose car had also been ganked from Target and needed a ride to pick it up. Feeling their pain I agreed to give them a ride. The tow place is on the left hand side of the street separated by a median. So I, like my cabbie 30 minutes earlier, proceeded to the next traffic light and did a U-turn. Guess what happens next? Heeeeeee'res Johnny! No U-turn ticket. Of course, why not, I don't want to leave Hampton, I just want to drop off all my money to various spots around town. What did these two instances have in common? Both were local laws with no signage to indicate the law. In my home state of NY, if you can't U-turn in a certain intersection we have these signs with a giant "U" with a cross through it. It is universaly accepted to mean no u-turns. Technology is great. Also, this technology is appllied to parking. For example, if a lot is private property and there is no parking for a nereby event, we use these signs that say "no event parking violators will be towed". It works great. The commonwealth might want to enlist these techniques. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, but taking advantage of people in town on an already expensive vacation is way fucking rude. I wonder if anyone from the Home & Garden Expo next week at the Hampton Colesium will be towed before leaving with their guide to better mulch or whatever. Thank you Phish for a great weekend. If it weren't for you I would have gone postal last night.
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