2-21-03 - US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH

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Date: Sun, 30 Nov 2003 03:18:56 -0600 From: TRedling@new.rr.com Subject: 2-21-03 Cincy Review It's 2:30 in the morning some 9 months after the show, but listening to the burned CDs of this show in my car tonight makes me what to comment on my first Phish experience since the hiatus. First set: WILSON: da-da...da-da.....WILLLLSSSOOONNN!!! Awesome opener. I love Wilson to open! Reminds me of the time I came into Deercreek lawn a bit late (7/10/00) to hear Wilson play and the crowd erupt while E was kicking in. Massive!! FRANKENSTEIN: One of my 2 favorite instrumentals by Phish. (The other to follow.....) Came straight outta Wilson and further rocked the crowd. DWD: A great song anyway but truly psychadelic version this time! Crazy jam led by Page after the 2nd verse. One of the best DWD I've ever heard! LIFEBOY: OK, we all needed a break. This slow song I'm not a big phan of but since it wasnt played since 98? it was a nice surprise. BOOGIE ON: I wasnt always thrilled with this song, but you can't deny the solid reggae beat created by the band. All I have to say is Mike---NO DOUBT! My boy Phil is all about this song. ANTELOPE: You're kidding me right? First set? Overplayed as some may say, this is a song I can never get enough of. Incredible version....with a hyptonic transfer jam before the climax at the end. Yeah, I said climax. Great, great antelope! I felt like running in the aisles with my fingers on my head like the happy antelope that I was... I DIDN'T KNOW: No, I didn't know Phish would come back with antics after an Antelope but they did! Funny stuff with Trey, Page, and Mike dancing around a vacuum playing Fishman. Even better from the 12th row (where I was lucky enough to sit). Crazy improv by the boys. All in all, a tight first set from 2 and a half years of not seeing Phish live. God, I missed them during their break and now I remember why. You can't get music like this from anyone. PERIOD. After a little break, basically to calm me down, the second set started: MIKE'S SONG: Is this turning into the concert of my dreams? I replayed this song a number of times from the Vegas DVD and couldn't wait to hear it live. I loved it, though hearing different versions of it, not the very best. (I love the version form the Hampton 6 CD set) Still, being so close to the stage I got a great treat.....I've heard that Trey picks out people in the audience and can just jam with them for minutes at a time pick up the mutual energy and go with it. I swear that Trey focused on me for a good two minutes during the jam part after the two verses. I am about 6' 6" and I had a clear view of the stage. Yeah, I may be full of it, but it will be something I'll never forget. FREE: It keeps getting better! What a money Free! about 12-13 minutes of pure bliss. WASTE: Ok, they did know I was coming to the show. I love this song so much I can play it on my own guitar. One of the best slower songs in the repetoire. 2001: Yeah, this is my other favorite instrumental song. Are they playing anything bad tonight? Lifeboy is the only weak link to this point otherwise who could ask for anything more?? HOOD: Another crowd-involvement tune. Harry.....HOOD! Harry...HOOD! Where do you go when the lights go out? I stay right here waiting for more! ALL OF THESE DREAMS: new stuff from Round Room. Not crazy about this particular version or this song in general but it has grown on me a bit. POSSUM: again not overly enthralled with this song but tonight it flowed like the beer I had in the parking lot. Great buildup in this one! CAVERN: one of my all-time favs! They sounded a bit off on this, which is also heard on the CD of this show, but it made for a cool difference. Not hearing the typical can make for a great change! This difference can also be heard on Free, making it a bit weird and off, but it makes for a cool unexpected treat! (I think the boys partook in some festivites buring set break) Encore: WADING: A bit disappointed to end with a ballad like Wading after such an energetic awesome show. It was almost a downer goin back to the lots being the last song in everyones head, but WHAT A GREAT FUCKING SHOW! THIS SETLIST IS REALLY HARD TO BEAT......WILSON FRANK, DWD!!! ANTELOPE, MIKES, FREE WASTE, 2001, HOOD, CAVERN was the highlights! That's almost the whole show. Hearing this again and again in my car only confirms the fact. WOW, PHISH IS BACK! For those who haven't got into it after the break, GET BACK! Trust me, Phish is the best thing going in music right now.
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 11:47:02 -0500 From: Britt Wilson BrittW@mcoky.com Subject: 2/21/03 review whine. to complain in a childish fashion. I am so sick of all the complainers. I have been seeing jam bands since I got hooked on the Dead at Riverbend '85. First Phish show just so happens was Bogarts '92. What I am hearing from some reviews is the same ol whiny shit some deadheads used to say about Black Muddy River or Liberty encores. If it sucks so bad, STAY THE FUCK HOME. I have seen over 200 Dead shows, 60 Phish shows and plenty WSP shows. I have seen some of the most critically acclaimed shows.NYE shows. Halloween shows. Big summer festivals. And have never been disappointed. To me it is a privilege to be there. I am not going to name names, but next time you complainers think about bitching about a "drop off in energy" or "feedback noise", shut the fuck up and send me your tickets. I'll be one with a smile on my face dancin my arse off. > oh yeah, the show. IT ROCKED!!!! Can't wait till next time. Peace;) B. Wilson
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 16:07:32 EST From: MMMsigma93@aol.com Subject: 2-21-03 Review I don't know what everyone is talking about!?!? The first night of the weekend was out of control!!! The boys are back after a two year break and people are complaining that Trey messed up and whatever... Were you even there, did you feel the energy in the place?!? It was a great time, and I was just happy to be there! It was my first show since the nights at Hampton and I think the guys are doing a great job so far, maybe better than those nights! I'm just anxious to see more!                                                                                 ~Morgan "girlphan" Martin
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 16:25:05 -0500 From: Blake Rosser blaker@email.unc.edu Subject: 2/21/03 Review My first show ever (although i DO know my shit pretty well), and the first set was amazingly funktastic, esp. disease and boogie on reggae woman. I mean, these are obviously funk songs, but they were just incredible. Antelope would have been awesome, except at the peak of the jam, either Trey didn't know when to stop, or the light guy got confused, or something, cause the entire energy of the song got sucked right out. The vacuum solo to close was pretty clutch, with some mildly funny dancing antics led by Trey. This set was my favorite of the whole weekend. Second set is where I think i'm in disagreement with a lot of people. On paper, this is an AWESOME set, but the execution left A LOT to be desired. started awesomely with MikeS, and Free was incredible with some awesome soloing by Trey, gave me a new respect for the song. Waste was OK, there was a semi-groan from the crowd when he started, and he fucked up a lot of the soloing. 2001 would have been good except the lead-in jam was BORING, Trey doing basically nothing to help the situation, and also Trey fucked up the SAME PART in each "verse." i mean, once is understandable, but the same exact mistake twice? that's just carelessness, which annoyed me. harry hood, one of my favorite songs, would have been a highlight had Trey not COMPLETELY FUCKED UP just about every solo opportunity he had. this is when the show made a turn for the worse and never got back "on." I'm not talking about one note here and two notes there, i'm talking about seeming to forget how the song GOES, and not even trying to play anything in its place. this song is pretty complex, so if the lead guitarist doesn't play the build-ups correctly, it turns to shit pretty easily. I could not believe what was going on, instead of the build-up solos, he was playing this crappy feedback sustained-note shit. Page seemed to be equally confounded, he had to basically guide the entire solos just so the song would get FINISHED. All of these dreams was fine, i like that song. Possum was cool i guess, although Trey still wasn't really playing anything besides his feedback bullshit. It's almost as if he decided halfway through the set to stop playing. Cavern was very welcome, i had been waiting for this set to end, and i long since had stopped caring that Trey had seemingly forgotten to finish up MikeS or even go into Weekapaug. The Velvet Sea encore would have been fine, had Trey not fucked that solo up too. I cannot convey how upset I was with this show. There were literally times during 2001 and Harry Hood when I was wondering if they would even be able to finish the song, or would Trey just keep playing his meandering feedback notes for the rest of the night. There came a point during Harry Hood when I wouldn't have been surprised to see the boys stop playing, walk over to Trey and kick him in the balls for being such a dickhead. By the end of the show i thought, "OK, if tomorrow night's not better, i will have wasted a LOT of money by coming up here." and this was my first show! i wasn't going in skeptical at all, i was ready to be blown away. I acknowledge that I may be in the minority with not enjoying the second set of this show, but i think everyone who's raving about it is caught up in the setlist. yeah, the setlist looks great (harry hood is one of my favorite songs), but i would rather have a shitty setlist played decently than an excellent setlist played crappily. $.02 blakeR.
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:49:14 -0600 From: Daniel.Stephney@ndsu.nodak.edu Subject: 2/21 in Cincy I just wanted to be one of the many people to submit a review and verify the unbelievable energy of this show. I was in Chicago, and I thought that show rocked. Not even close to this show. No disappointments at all. I had about 6 songs that were my first, most memorably Mikes and Hood. Ive been waiting for Hood for 5 years, and man was I floored. Mikes, 2001, and Hood all in the same set. Jesus fucking christ, not to mention Free and Waste. Waste brought me to tears, and Free made me feel like I was walking on air. Did anyone else notice that trey's vocals are, maybe, better than ever? All of These Dreams was as smooth as silk, mainly because Trey sounded like Sinatra. I couln't believe there was no Weekapaug, but that just got the anticipation high for the next night (no let down there). Ive never seen so many happy faces or felt so many good vibes at set break in my life. I live in Fargo, North Dakota, and dont get to see many shows, Ive seen 7 so far. This show satisfied a need Ive felt ever since I started listening to Phish. Most of the reviews Ive read have been very, very posative. But to the few who thought this was average, STOP LISTENING TO PHISH, It seems like anything short of God showing up and shaking Phish's hands will be a dissappointment to you. So please, will all you negetive Nancys please stop buying tickets, your a waste of space, and a waste of a ticket. To all the rest of you, have a great year, lead by the memories of this epic, masterpiece of a show.
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 17:29:22 EST From: DiHoJaDa@aol.com Subject: 2/21/03 Cincinnati Review It was my first Phish show since the bands return from the "hiatus" and as the lights went down around 8:00pm, my friends and I were screaming with excitement and curiosity about what the night might have in store. We were not alone. It is no coincidence that one of the tour's only 2 night runs was booked in the Natty. Phish phans from Ohio and surrounding Midwestern states tend to be particularly enthusiastic about the Band and the energy level as the band took the stage was intense.           The band's opening 1-2 punch of Wilson>Frankenstein seemed a perfect opening, embracing the crowds excitement with two of the heaviest tunes in their repatuar and getting us dancing our asses off right from the git-go. A relatively tight 10 minute DWD followed, giving the band an opportunity to settle into a good trance funk groove. I have always liked DWD in the first set, and it was a nice contrast to the Jam metal of Wilson>Frank.               Lifeboy has always been one of my favorite Phish slow songs and I was super- siked to hear this rarely played song. The band mostly stuck to the melody and standard chord progression, but built it up with the bitter- sweet, anthem-like refrain, "God never listens to what I say" until it had been thoroughly digested by the audience.  It is nice to see (and hear) the band revisiting some neglected songs and adds to the sense of "what will they play next, it could be anything!". While the song was a little sloppy, It was really nice to see the band taking risks and being more unpredictable then they had become before the hiatus.          Phish then brought the serious funk with "Boogie on Reggae Women." Page and Mike were on fire and I even saw security and sound techies shaken their legs.  Stevie Wonder would have been proud.                The arranged part of Antelope was a little sloppy but the following trance jam was deep and reached a high peak before settling into the razor smooth Marco section.  As the band put their instruments down, most of us in the crowd assumed it was the end of a great set... but wait... Is that the vacuum cleaner?! Mike, Page, and Trey's harmonizing was solid on I Didn't Know and Fishman's vacuum solo was in it's finest caveman- plays- fart- noises- form. The band's loosely choreographed worshiping of "The Man in the Flinstone Dress" was ridiculously goofy and fun.             Everyone in the audience knew Phish was due to play a Mikes while in the CinCity. The Mikes>Free 2nd set opener was Phish at it's best, with well developed jams and everybody completely locked into each other. Free went into a deep funk jam, before melting into soft dissonance and fading into Waste. Trey led Waste into a soaring, heart felt jam, before collapsing into the space funk of 2001, which once again sent the arena into booty call. Harry was well played, rising and falling like waves until picked back up by Trey's guitar for the ending refrain.         All of These Dreams was a low point in the show. I really like some of the new tunes, but this one seemed contrived and boring in concert.  Apparently, I was not alone in feeling like the song was worthless (except as an opportunity to rest) because I encountered a long line at the bathroom.          Fortunately, a rocking Possum quickly brought the energy level back up. It seemed like a set-ender, but once again we were surprised and treated to another rarely played (in recent years) gem. Cavern sent the crowd into funk bogey overload and left us all with huge smiles on our faces. The Velvet Sea encore was a not- super- ending to a super show. I liked the guitar solo and verses to this song, but the endlessly repeating refrain of "I've been wading in the velvet sea" is just to damn cheesy to carry any emotional weight and be taken seriously.        Through out the show, it was obvious that the boys had been playing their listening games at practices in the barn, because the subtle interplay between the instruments was amazing. I thought Page and Mike were particularly tight and it was nice to see Trey giving  them some breathing room and not treating them like his back- up band as he did too often in 2000- 2001. The Phish served to Cincinnati on 2/21/03 was delightfully phresh.
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 20:18:57 -0500 From: galboj@purdue.edu Subject: 1st night cincy no need for a song by song, long ass review of this show. this was my first show post-hiatus, and i had no idea of what to expect, especially because of how rusty people had said they sounded.. i honestly came out of this show stunned. phish not only played the best show this tour (thus far), but in my opinion this show was better than the majority they played in 2000. Any rustiness they may have had was shed this show and the boys were shining, andit felt like 97 again. the enthusiasm was back for real, and everybody knew it. i've never seen these guys have as much fun as they were last night, and that was definately evident in the music. no flubs, at least not hardly, and trey even nailed the lyrics to cavern. bravo phish. of course everybody was wondering where in the hell weekapaug was, but i don't think it even mattered by the end of the show. phish gave us one of "those" shows, and everybody who was there will remember that this wasn't any ordinary night in cincy. after the show was definately horrible, and for some reason the parking was totally different from 99 and everybody was so messed up or in awe of the show, or both, that it felt like we were going in circles for days, in a huge shivering, mass of people falling on the ice and totally not giving a flying shit because this show was worth it. thanks phish, next time i'll know never to have any doubts before going into a show.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 22:47:18 EST From: Jmohr711@aol.com Subject: review for 2-21- 03 I've never written about a show before but I couldn't hold back on this one. I've seen over fifty shows and I've never been disapointed, but there is always a first time I guess. This show absolutely sucked.  They screwed up every song in the second set.  This is the first show after the hiatus I've seen so I didn't know what to think.  Fortunately the next show was great so hopefully they just need to work the kinks out. Sir Jeffery
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 02:20:35 -0600 From: Tim Paliga moonjaba@hotmail.com Subject: 2/21/03 review   I really don't even know what to say.  This is the second best show that I have seen.  Second only to Halloween '95.  The energy in the arena, fans and the boys, was out of this world.    Wilson opener wasn't a big surprise, but rockin' none the less.  Frankenstein is always cool and Trey was really diggin' it.  Down with disease was nice with great jams.  Then Lifeboy, VERY NICE, great way to catch your breath and relax momentarily.  BOOGIE ON^ÅThis was my first so I may be biased, but I don't have the words to describe the level of funk.  This was one that I wasn't sure I would ever get to experience.  Damn it was HOT (did anyone else catch the lyric flub at the end of the first verse? Didn't ruin anything, made it even more of a treasure.) Antelope was a great follow up, keeping the energy way up and not letting anyone settle.  Great way to send everyone to set break, or so I thought.  I DIDN'T KNOW^Å unbelievable^Å After first verse and chorus, Trey, Mike, and Page saunter (and I mean saunter!) over to Fish snapping into his ears before kneeling down in front of him in praise "We're not worthy" style.  Mike even picked up Henrietta as if to say "Bow down before the vacuum."    What a first set!  My friends and I were in awe!  The energy was immense.  The boys were ON!  It was unbeatable.  UNTIL^Å.   MIKES!!! great second set opener.  Mike played that bass like a man crazed.  Seemed like an extended solo bass section, where Trey and Mike "dual."  Free was beautiful.  Kind of shocked because of it's appearance at 2/15.  But a great jam anyway.  Waste almost brought me to tears.  The riff at the end was soaring.  Absolutely wonderful choice.  Then the energy took control again.  2001 was amazing.  Jesu, Joy of Man's Desire teased throughout intro and beginning.  As usual the lights were right on and intense.  What could follow this? HOOD!!! great Hood.  The place was a madhouse.  I can't even tell you how may glow stick wars occurred on this night, but this was by far the most insane.  I was a little surprised by this for the same reason as Free, (heard at 2/15) but who wouldn't want to hear it again.  Jamming was as tight as I have ever heard.  All of these Dreams brought us back to reality and a normal heart rate momentarily.  This was a first for me so I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Then Possum.  Possum was good.  Great energy, nice surprise.  Kind of short (? maybe I just didn't want the show to be over,) but wasn't short on enthusiasm.  Cavern to close the set.  Nectar is the album that turned me on to Phish so this was like Christmas to me.  Great song, great end of set two.   I am not a big fan of ending the show with a slow tune, but^ÅWading was spectacular.  Harmonic Perfection.  I loved it.  Kind of a let down after such a adrenaline rush of a show, but a great way to end the first night of a two night stand.    I cannot even begin to capture the energy of this show in words.  It was sublime.  It is the reason that I see Phish.  It is what gets me through the expanse of time between shows.  This show sums up why we travel from place to place to hear these guys play.  We are in search of shows like this.     A+ in my book.  Great set list, Great energy, Priceless experience.  Like I said, this review does no justice to this musical moment.  You had to experience it.  Get a hold of this show.  You will not be disappointed, I promise.   -TAP
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 01:37:57 -0500 From: Sam Stein Subject: Cinci reviews 2-21-03 Set I: Wilson, Frankenstein, DwD, Lifeboy, Boogie, Antelope, I Didn't Know* Wilson / Frankenstein - obviously, these two provided a rocking start to the Cinci run Disease - There was nothing really wrong with this one, but I can't say it really wowed me either. We had to move to a different section mid-song, though, so this Disease did not get my full attention. Lifeboy was of course a nice surprise. Boogie On - I love this song and also Phish's take on it, but I must say that with the way they play it, sometimes the song seems to require an exit segue to avoid sounding like it just dies. This version also included a laughable Trey flub or two on the lyrics. Still a pleasure to hear though. Antelope - I went like 22 or 23 shows without an Antelope, but now I keep catching them... weird... anyway, starting with the premise that a "weak" Antelope is still awesome, I will say this one wasn't so hot. The rest of the boys seemed to be carrying their portion of the load, but I thought Trey sort of disappeared or got lost on this one. I Didn't Know was a nice recovery in my book. Even someone as critical as me couldn't help but love this. Set II: Mike's > Free, Waste, 2001, Hood, All of these Dreams, Possum, Cavern E: Velvet Sea Mike's set 2 opener was solid. As was the case at Hampton (and perhaps elsewhere this month?), the song was not "finished" with the power-chord-type ending. Regardless - good start to the set. The band then really got going on Free. A top notch version in my book. I thought the show had been kind of mediocre after the first set, but this was the first hint for me that the boys were truly getting into gear. Waste - excellent - easily Trey's best soloing of the night through this point. Beautiful. 2001 - also top notch - I liked this one a lot more than Hampton's. A much looser version (the good kind of loose, not sloppy loose). Perhaps one of my favorites overall outside of some epic 1997 versions. Will have to hear the CDs. The Stash teasing was sick. If Trey ever actually managed to bring a Stash out of a 2001, I would likely crap my pants. Good Hood... including a gorgeous finish jam. I think the Free through Hood segment of this set was the highlight of the five shows I've seen this year. Possum and Cavern were both top notch as well to close out an excellent 2nd set. Velvet Sea was pretty, but was not really a great finish when a lot of people -- well, at least me -- probably had their hopes up for something special along the lines of a Weekapaug or perhaps something nutty like a 2nd encore "Weeka-prise." Outstanding second set and the first set was at least pretty on paper (even if only mediocre in my jaded opinion), so I'd say the show was above average overall.
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 14:45:47 -0600 From: Will Wilson willwilson@willwilson.com Subject: Cinci, 2-21-03: The Town of Wet Slush. Cinci, 2-21-03: The Town of Wet Slush. Phish is back guys. I managed to catch all three nights Hampton and Cinci blew the Hampton run away. The Hampton energy will always be special, but my fellow partiers in Cinci-phatty threw down pretty hard. I arrived in Cinci about 4:00pm parked in one of the lots on the other side of the world and proceeded to get my party on. The parking garage closest to the venue was fairly bumpin both nights: lots of kids, lots of party. Security for the show was a serious joke. I kept expecting the security guards to fire it up at any moment. "Ya, the only thing we are really searching for is bazookas. We are really trying to keep the bazookas out of the venue." Crowd was hoppin, lots of pre-show tension. Lights down 8:01pm. Wilson, He was definitely the Duke of Lizards and everyone was lovin it. The jam was a little nasty, the evil backwards guitar noises flowing, very nintendo. Then we let the boys know we were ready to have fun and they return the favor with a mighty fine. Frankenstein, a super tight version. It was all Page, with some expecially mean organ work, lots of serious buildup. This song just rocks it hard, a solid version. DWD, standard happy jam out version, well played by all, lots of instrument "talkin". This is always a good mid-set tune. Lifeboy was unexpected, but fit well here. Time to pack the bowl, and an excellent breather before. . . Boogie, I be stupified by the grooves contained in that there boogie down, and if you cant groove to this antelope then you've got some serious issues. Boogie was all Page. Im talkin serious clavinet all they way down under the floor. Antelope was ridiculous, Trey kicked it into the lick and I wanted to run like a fucking antelope all over the fucking place. peaks everywhere. I didn't know was a seriously rad set closer, just to see the boys is good enough, but acapella and vacumm. YES!!! Im gonna go ahead and say that people were fucked out of their respective gords this particular night. We had some crazies, and we had lots of the incapacitated. Boys came back out 9:38pm, and I think everyone new we had a serious rocker on our hands. SetII Mikes opener. oh ya. nuf said. Free. wha. alright calm down, calm down. Waste, now usually this song is you mediocre lyrical piece, but Kuroda was all over it with these crazy yellow lights and man was it intense. I have no idea if this will translate, but it was amazing trust a brother. 2001. Im always game for a space odessy. The jam and tease were fun. nothing spectacular. I usually find myself enthralled by the lights but for some reason this version didn't grab me like the Hampton-1-4-03 2001, which was INSANE. Hood. hmmm yummy. I could of swore they were fixin to go into weekapaug so many times, but nope. All of these Dreams cranked it back down for a little break. Possum and especially cavern were great. Cavern having standout lights and some wicked guitar craziness from Trey. E: I could always do without wading, but Trey worked the solo pretty good and it turned out to be a decent end to high energy 2003 Phish. Overall this show rock it hard and has some notable jams and excellent song selection. I would put the Cinci run on my must have list, especially considering you can get fucking soundboard, ya!!! -=Will
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 14:03:28 -0600 From: Jeff Walls jwalls@woh.rr.com Subject: Cincy 1st night review thanks for reading. I put thought into this and I'm stoned and tired. First off I couldn't believe how good the lot scene was!! The chillest I've ever seen the cops in Cincy. They must have learned their lesson with the boycott. On to the show. I called Wilson, which wasn't any great feat, but I called it. The moment they started Wilson I knew we were in for a high energy show because this Wilson was raging. I actually don't care for this song a ton, but this Wilson was all about the bands energy pouring through with a pretty standard version in terms of no real extended jamming, but it just had that real power packed feel. Great opener! Frankenstein, regardless of what The Rick says, Frankenstein for peopele who haven't seen Phish in 21/2 years are stoked as well as me because this was a lot of fun and continued the energy from Wilson! The band again was just really putting out their hearts and oh the energy! Disease!! Just saw it in Vegas and Hampton but I never complain about Disease because I know it will probably have a good jam. This one was no exception. BIG JAM. For those show collectors, this jam includes Mike stearing a sweet laid back groove jam that Trey piked up on and just started SMILING and GROOVING and it was true Phish perfection. They settled into that for awhile until it was Treys turn to stear the jam which he did beautifully as well. On eof the better Diseases I've seen and I have seen alot. LIFEBOY!!! BUSTOUT! Wow, I was so pumped for this. My 1st one since 12-30-96. They played it near perfect and really captured a mood I've had about so many tragedies we've all experienced in the last 2 months. The ending of course was so surreal with th "God never listens" finale. Awesome. Boogie On! Again, The Rick says get a new cover. I say play this one every show I see! My favorite cover and I was pumped because they really didn't do much with it in Hampton. Mike started it which is something I haven't seen. It took them about a minute before they found the true beat of the song. This one, while not historic by any means, had tons of band energy to where you see how pumped and excited the band was and it seeped through every pour of my body (not on drugs). They basically funked around and had fun and so did I. FUN. Antelope. Now this is where I became confused. They were definatly putting out tons of energy for this again and it was really rocking and I was having a blast, but it seemed Trey just went to far out there to the point that he actually lost the rest of the boys. But I'm comparing this Antelope to the one in Vegas which just shredded. I Didn't Know. another bustout! Perfect for that Antelope which I think had Trey finding himself GONE! They nailed this and when Fishman started his vaccum they all 3 did this line shuffleing while snapping moving towards Fish in the center and did a semiccircle around him snapping in his ears trying to fuck with him. Then they went to their knees and started praising him as if he was a God. Mike was waving the vaccumm around like a sacraligous idol. FUN STUFF! Trey called him Henrietta of course. A great set closer and this ending reminded me of the DeerCreek show with the MOby Dick antics. SO MUCH FUN. On eof the better 1st sets I've seen. Second set I'll be more brief. Mikes was a real trip. It was basic rock and roll for the first 5-6 minutes of the jam and then it steared itself into mindsplitting EVIL PHISH!!!!!! They're BAACKK! This is classic 1995 Phish. Psychadelic rock jamming. Jamming that loses an actual theme of a song or music for that matter and becomes noise to fuck with people who are drugs! Thats what this Mikes was all about. INTENSE. Free. This version was way better than Vegas. An actual jam that left the normal jam of Free. Featured heavy Mike with maybe even a solo. This was an above average version that captured the vibe of the arena. I do remember Trey having problems either hitting some notes, forgetting how to play the note, or just being so lost and fucked up. Good. Waste. HMM. The first time I felt like this. Its Waste. what can I say. Treys guitar solo was way above average hear though and it put the energy right back. 2001!!!! AWWW YEAHH. Waste tease and that Bach tease which was really cool! This was a pumped up but very psychadelic 2001. Actually maybe the first 2001 that strayed from the funk and went to la la land. All thanks to Treys stash teas throughout most of his guitar work on this song. MAJOR BLAST. HIGH ENERGY!! Harry Hood. Way extended intro. One of the longest I've seen. This Hood was good. Had a blast. Problem is that I have been worn out by the band. Plus, again, this Hood is up against Vegas. It lost. BUT, this was fun and a powerful version. Its all about the band, who were having a blast! So did I. all of these Dreams. Open your Heart! This song is the closest to a Dead slow song that they have. Beautiful song. NEEDED IT. Possum. Ok, now I'm thinking whereis Weekapuag because the show seems really long and I am really tired, in a good way. They jammed this out pretty hard, but not lie Hampton. Way fun though because of the bands energy. Yet, a pretty standard version to me at least. Cavern?! So this DOES mean no Weekapaug. Wow. Cavern is a song that I have come to enjoy more and more. This song is so different thanin 95. They made it a funk song. I love it. Trey was flying by the seat of huis pants with the lryics but he made it. Way to end the set!! Awesome. Wading. Need it because I had nothing left. Of course a collective groan from the crowd but oh well. I felt like I had been at a P-Funk show. Overall I would say this show is an A- or A. The energy was off the hoook, ala DeerCreek Moby Dick show. Can't wait for tonight and a Weekapaug opener!? -Jeff W.
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 13:24:00 -0500 From: garyshow@juno.com Subject: 2/21/03 As this was only my 16th show (over 7 years), I am hardly an a-Phish-cionado, but I have to say that 2/21 was among the hottest I've heard them for an entire show. My last show was Star Lake 2000, at which they sounded tired, like a 17-year-old band ready to retire. I was psyched to read that they were playing with renewed enthusiasm, and this show did nothing to disappoint. I think the setlist speaks for itself, but the energy in the band and in the crowd was phenomenal. Phans are as stoked to see Phish as they are to play again. I'll skip the blow-by-blow, but I do have some specifics to mention. First, although the whole second set was superb, and Down with Disease a long jamfest with a rousing climax, the show highlight for me had to be Antelope. A definitely high-on-the-wish-list song for me, and they scorched the shit out of it. I also loved the Fishman vacuum solo on I Didn't Know to close the set. After that Antelope, they could hardly have followed with a serious song. Also, someone posted here that the band "reeked of ineptitude" on Free (pardon me if I misquoted). I don't get that comment. It probably wasn't the best Free ever played, and may have been the weakest of the "big" tunes that night, but it's still Free, and it rocked. Possum was just so over-the-top, icing on the cake, gilding the lily, pick your metaphor. I really would have been satisfied if they had ended on the resplendent Harry Hood. Not that I minded at all, it totally rocked! And finally, I really liked the ballads played that night, which I can't always say. And no Rocky Top or other B.S. Overall, this was probably the most energy I've seen at a show since at least 1996. While Phish hasn't totally abandoned the ambient style, they didn't let it take over the show. The phunk factor is still there, but integrated within the show. The main focus was on old-school Phish insanity, which is exactly where it should be, in my opiniion. The phrase, "All killer, no filler," even if it was used by a band I don't like, The Offspring, is perfect to describe this show. I learned a few lessons Friday night. 1) There is no such thing as a bad seat at a Phish show. I was seated in 220, behind the stage. I thought it would totally suck. Was I wrong! The sound back there was fine, with speakers pointing right at us. The view was fine as well - no obstacles, and it was great looking down on the dancing, ecstatic fans in the front rows and on the glowstick wars (especially during Antelope). Phish takes care of ALL their phans. 2) The best shows (for me at least) are sometimes the ones I almost don't make it to. I had a scare with my car earlier in the day and almost didn't go. Last fall I almost didn't go to TOO in Cleveland because of weather. Both turned out to be incredible shows, and getting over the hurdles made me appreciate them all the more. 3) If you can get to only one show on a tour, do it, as it just might be an incredible show. I didn't get to last night, no ticket, but I'm glad, glad, glad I arrived at one! Peace
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 13:27:12 -0500 From: Matthew Texler frmtampico@mindspring.com Subject: 2-21-03 Folks, I lost count of how many shows I've seen somewhere after 80 years ago.  But what me and my friend Howard witnessed last night in Cincy is forcing me to write my first review ever.  A quick glance at the setlist would make one think that this was some f write-in request for a show, or maybe someone's mix tape of live Phish.  Yes, n Fluffhead and Slave still haven't been played since the end of the hiatus.  And so yes, the show could have been better, and no Groove at the end of the second set left om some people wanting, but let us not tempt fate.  From the opening of Wilson to a deafening welcome for our mates (keeping in mind even though for Howards and me this was our fifth show since hiatus ended, for most people this was their first show) to the end of Velvet Sea, this show was intense.  I really want to hand it to every ds single member of the audience for it was one of the most consistently high-energy crowds i've ever been a part of.  The highlight of the show was clearly for us Harry Hood, which we can only describe as FLAWLESS.  It wasn't the best ever (4.4.94 was arguably), but it was absolutely perfectly played.  Let's give it to Trey for also not missing a single lyric of Cavern, which after all of these years is an accomplishment.  Another moving Waste, and a solid 2001.  Can't wait for tonight.  -Matt Texler
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 13:24:41 EST From: Phishngruv352@aol.com Subject: my rare review... Well i just got home from the first night in Cinncy., and now,i wish i could of stayed even though i have no idea how they could of topped last nights show.... I will admitt i usually don't write reviews, i hate reading people bashing or saying how disappointed they are in the show....I think that is suck bull,.. Phish is back on the road f playin, nothing could be a dissapointment....I understand if you want a better set list or song selection, but being dissapointed is down right weird...... But i am here writting a review of one of the best shows i have seen in so long...so very long....i have been to 40 or so shows., was at every show during the nye run through hampton.., and this is the best i have seen in phish in a while................ On to the show.....!!!!                                   First Set........... Wilson:  My friend called this one, I though a tube was in the opening mix, but very              pleased to hear this.. Good jamming and a lot of energy with the              band and crowd...it was shorter but a very sweet version!!! Frankenstein:     Are you Kidding??  This is what i am talking about, i love this song,                      hate hearing it as an encore, but for them to bust this out after a                    good opening Wilson had me smiling already....!!! Down with Disease:  Was happy to hear this, i was a little wiery on the version i                     heard in hampton, but this had much better jamming, a funky                     type of jam sounded so tight, and you could tell they were                     having so much fun playing, i knew right away this was                     going to be a real fun night...the funky jam then perfectly segued                     into a very explosive ending.....Very Nice... Lifeboy: After a great start of a show, i was actually happy to hear this, I am not a              big fan of the slower phish, but i have never heard this live, and was very              pleased to get this, and the crowd seemed really happy to hear this with              it being hidden of out show sense 98'.. Boogie on Reggae Woman:  O'yea, i love this cover, such a great version., with such                            extatic funk...they busted there finest funk during the                            jam..this was a very short version but don't let that fool                            you, there is some excellent funky jamming in this one                            if thats your cream of the crop..(it is mine)  Antelope:     Ok, now this has to be one of the best first sets i have ever seen!!!!              I had a lof of fun in Dayton, OH. on 12-7-97, but other than that, this is d              one of the best first sets ever in my opinion......This antelope rocked!!               and this had the crowd in a huge frenzy!! Everyone was smiling and         dancing.. phish was connecting with the crowd and the energy was              like nothing i have seen in a while......... I Didn't Know:     Just as i thought they were done..!! I was wrong, Fishman brought                     out his friendly vacumm.. and phish had a nice treat for us to end a                     very great set....when fish was on the vacumm, trey, mike and page                     walked around fish and bowed down to him praising him....very                     funny!!!!! Set break:::: good enough time to reflect with everyone on a great set, and i mean              EVERYONE....                                   Second Set......... Mikes:   YES!!!   How great it is to go from a great first set to a Mikes opener.              This was the first mikes of the tour and the crowd was very excited to hear              it..  This was a very pumping Mikes.. a lot better than i had heard in              Hampton!!  Once again the crowd was in an uproar!, and me and my friend              could do nothing but smile...The foggy must surrounded the stage to               a silent, but yet powerful spooky jam....  All Smiles!!!!!!!!! Free:     As mikes slowly started to segue into the opening notes of Free I couldn't              help but think how perfectly it was.. the band is so on and did i ever feel so              free!!!  During the lyrics, "I feel the feeling i forgot" i felt this extasy rush              through my body... everyone cheared so loud when they sang this!!               Another good version, the jam was a nice funky tune!  It seems phish is              staying to this funky theme...    which is perfectly ok with me!!! f Waste:  Well not everything could be perfect... But this was a great song to sit and              rest a minute as my body has not been able to stop dancing to this point!!!! 2001:     At first they teased Stash.. and i swore they were going to bust it out, but              then out of nowhere, fish opened the opening notes to this excellent song...              Wow!! a mikes, antelope, and now a 2001 all fav's of mine............The jam              was very funky, perfectly feeding of each other and the crowd.....The band              seemed to enjoy each other and fed off one another throughout the whole              song!!  Very well played as i think phish is so much better when they are              playing as a band instead of singlely!!!  And you could tell through the music              during the whole jam!!  Very glad and pleased so far!! Harry Hood: Ok, now i know some people complain about a setlist or something!!!!!              But if you complain about the setlist to this show, then there is somthing              really wrong..  This was an adverage version, with a very excellent ending              and the crowd and band was having so much fun enjoying this epic show All of These Dreams:      At first i was a little questionable about phish's new album,                            but i seem to be gradually liking the sounds of the songs                            live, the new songs have been played so phreshly!!!! Possum:      OOOOOOO'YYYYYEEEEAAAA!!!!!!!!  Let me try to explain the              excitement that was in the air during this song....You know during shows              when everyone is dancing and smiling around the whole venue, and you              reach the epic point where you know you would't want to be anywhere              else but in that building!!!  Well i was feeling that feeling then!!!!  And              Phish gave me, and prolly everyone one of the best versions, kind of              similar to the 8-2-98 version at deer creek, that i have ever heard...!!!! Cavern:  And if they didn't already play an epic show!!  They decided to please us              with yet another roaring tune......I really love this song, and with all the              energy in the air, this was just FANTASTIC!!!!!                                   Encore............. Wading in the Velvet Sea:     If i wanted to hear a slow song, it would be this, and                            was glad i was hear to enjoy this show!!!!  I felt like id                            was wading in a velvet sea as they were playing ......                                   Overview............... Lot scene was preety good even though i hate cinncy police!!  I was able to get a ticket preety fast for 55 bucks which isn't bad at all....!!!  friendly people all around.... and to everyone, always be careful when buying tickets at a show!! make sure it is real!!!  my friend got ripped off after spending 100 dollars on a ticket!!! That was the only down side, besides the nasty weather, to the show................................. Well thanks phish for a great time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 11:48:08 -0800 From: Carolina Taylor mamacita88@hotmail.com Subject: Us Bank Arena 2-21-03       I will preface my review by saying that last night was my 46th show and was one of hundreds of concerts that I have attended, including over 125 Grateful Dead shows.  In lieu of running down the list song by song, I thought that I would give some general impressions of the show.  First of all, I was highly anticipating these shows because we had been shut out of all the December shows, and that was particularly hard since Hampton is pretty much a hometown show for us.............Anyway, the scene in the lot was nice, as the Cincinnati police were for the most part nowhere to be found, at least where we were parked.  I thought that the show itself was about a B- grade show.  It was good but not great.  My girlfriend and I thought that the DWD jam was pretty in sync and the band seemed to gel nicely on that song.  Lifeboy was a total surprise to us, just a total left field choice.  It seemed to us that this one had been rehearsed, as Trey nailed all aspects of this underplayed ballad.  Antelope absolutely reached some great peaks and was also well played.  Well Caro (my girl) and I thought the little dance in I Didn't Know was kind of cheesy and uhhh.... not really a great way to end the set.  Mike's didn't do much for us.......Waste was totally nailed, really a high point of the show.  Free was what I had been fearing.  Total ineptitude was rampant and we felt lots of pain during this one.  Cavern was fun.  Well, I had said that  I wasn't going to run down the list, but I guess I did anyway......oh well.  Overall it wasn't too bad and the new song (All of These Dreams) seemed to really capture Trey's interest.  We had a good time, but I hate to say this,  it just isn't Fall of 97 anymore.  However, if they continue to improve I think there will be some really, really great shows down the road.
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 12:12:03 EST From: AdamKid4@aol.com Subject: reveiw for US Bank Arena After a very lackluster Chicago show, I could not have been more blessed last night. After seeing this band 51 times, from all different kinds of perspective, front, back, left, right, sober and completely blizted, this was a show I'll will remember up there with the best of them. No song by song breakdown here, but i will say this venue is incredible and I had the best seat in the house, stage right, perfectly eye level with the band. They were completely in the zone. Completely locked in.The crowd was tremendous, especially compared to the meathead market that infested the chicago show (I will never understand why Chi town Phans want to drill the band with glow sticks every chance they get!-u suck!). The setlist which looks totally incredible just looking at it, still does no justice to this masterpeice, gem of a show!! NOTICE: DOWNLOAD THIS SHOW ASAP Mikes (and no weekapaug?) into Free then an emotional waste into 2001 with stash teases!! So sick I thought my head was going to pop off my neck. Wait theres more oldskool to come. How about hood, possum and cavern! I am in heaven, even now as i relive last night still dizzy from L. Oh my.........more to come tonight, but how do you top that??? See ya tonight!!!!!!
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 11:41:39 -0500 From: Laura Hudson lowvoltagesun@hotmail.com Subject: First night in Cinci Last night was complete insanity....from the opening with Wilson to a bad ass Mike's Song into Free and the fun antedotes of I Didn't Know with the Fishman on the vacuum, my vote - hands down best show of the tour! And we still have another night to go.
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 12:12:38 -0500 From: RRHOADS@cinci.rr.com Subject: Cinci night one You could feel the energy flowing all up and down the ohio river in the misty Cincy.  It was time for the freaks to unite and uncork the universal vibration and release never ending grooves into the air.    Set I Wilson -  Coldn't ask for a better tune to unite the masses for the celebration that would unfold.  Yes, we can all still have a shit load of fun....   Frankenstein - Edgar Winter would be proud!  Fish nailed the drum section!   Disease -  Made me damn sure i still had the illness.  Mike started really letting into the liquid bass that continued through many songs throughout the experience.    Lifeboy -  What more can you say...Classic tune...I didn't get a refund...came close to crying during this one...   Boogie On -  Mr. Gordon was tapping into the energy and really releasing some bombs.  High energy tune for a high energy crowd.  Smiles on everyones face...   Antelope -  Set the show into ultra high gear...The show just gets better and better and better and better....   I Didn't Know - My first show, I received Acapella's to end each set - hence, made me a fan for life on this aspect of their musical talents.  They should do a whole show of Barbershop music...Plus the entertainment aspect of a musician playing a vacuum cleaner justs can't help but make you grin ear to ear and realize that you might just be that far gone...   Setbreak - Kind Bud orange barff!  Thanks to all the kind folks that supported me and got me juiced for the second helping ...   Set 2   Mike's - Awesome intro, like I have never heard before, set the tone for the 2003 winter grooving.   Free - Mike Gordon plays a very powerful bass guitar...   Waste - People who know, know that when they play this tune it is very special...still searching for the goddess to waste my time with.    Also Sprach -  Orgasim after Orgasim of mind bending fun...   Hood -  You couldn't help but to feel good.  Big tune after big tune   All of these dreams -  They leaked this tune into the underground stream...Every tune off the new album is so amazingly beautiful, this is no exception...Words of Wisdom - If you can not handle yourself during slow tunes, please for the benefit of others - sit down and shut the fuck up!!   Possum - Another classic! Cavern -  My favorite set closer - Fuckin Bitchin'   E: yes Velvet Sea -- I love slow peaceful encores to send you into the madness of life outside the show.  They certainly took a moment from my day...   Sorry if I was to general, but as you can imagine I still have to go to the second episode tonight to finish the Weekapaug.  Cheers to all...Universal Vibration
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