2-24-03 - Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ

review submisions to me at dws@netspace.org or dws@gadiel.com

please review the show, not other reviews

Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 21:22:26 EST From: MoeRaculous@aol.com Subject: 02/25/03 NJ Review from the Front Row FRONT ROW, CENTER, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MIKE. Now that is a once in a lifetime experience...and no, I didn't pay any scalper either. This middle-aged dude from NJ w/ a wife and kid just couldn't make the show for whatever reason, and sold them to me near face. I got incredibly lucky, and don't ever expect to be that lucky again. For me to be no more than 10 feet away from my all-time favorite band...just unbelievable. It makes you think...these guys are just 4 human beings, but it's really their sound that's so ... immortal , almost. You close your eyes for a second...and wow...is it just those 4 up there? wow... Just wrapping up my personal story, and offering the front-row perspective, Mike is so into the music. He looks down when he plays, actually down right at me, which was really cool, but he's paying attention to the music. On the other hand, Trey looks up at the "sky". At one point in the show, right before Wolfman's i think, I was standing right in front of this security guard who had his back to the stage. The guy was standing all stiff and trying to make himself seem all tough and lifeless sorta, and Trey just points down at him, all mockingly, and looks at me and we share a big laugh. I found it extremely amusing. The guard had no clue that the yoke was on him...hahha. But I'm telling you, things that seem little and dumb like that, like sharing a joke with Trey from the front row, they really make your time. It's like...wow, I communicated individually with my favorite musician ever....seems stupid, nonono, VERY cool. Oh, one last thing and then I'll shut up about my great seats. When B.B. King was up there, the first time he threw a pick, my girlfriend caught it and gave it to me. So yeah, I have a pick that he used. Unbelievable In conclusion, I was glad to be at least one person up that close who was there entirely for the music. I'm not rich at all , and am proud and happy for myself. Thanks Phish!!! ON TO THE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!: (This was my first show of this tour, and my first show since New Years.) SET 1 DWD: SICK!!! This is a killer opener. I remember this opened the 2nd set at PNC, summer 2000, and the place went nuts. This was no different...Trey's guitar soloing was fantastic. The jam was long..strung out and intense... Definetely, a solid version that doesn't disappoint. They've been rockin' out DWD a lot this tour. Corrine Corrina: This tune I don't know so well, so I can't really comment on it. Nice, mellow one, not too long. Cool that it hasn't been played in a while...shows they value the NJ show still (hometown shows for Page and Trey , after all) Wolfman's Brother: REAL SICK JAM!!! Most of the song was pretty standard... I gave Trey a nice howl for "the telephone ringing" lick...but listen to this jam if you can. I'm not a huge fan of Wolfman's, but they really tore it up as best they could. DEFINETELY one of my faves from the evening. Listen to the later parts of the jam! Limb by Limb: Pretty standard version. Always fun to hear. Decent jam. Nice. BB KING?!?!: Noooooo......it can't be!!!! BB KING WAS IN THE HOUSE, JAMMING WITH PHISH. The crew brings out this folded chair , and I was just thinking, oh wow, what are they up to now?? then BB comes out, and man, this guy's got attitude..I love it. what a showman...he really has a presence of superiority on the stage...if not in talent, in age (and size!! haha) The BB/Trey jamming was insane...so much blues...BB was actually turned up a little louder than Trey, but that's cool. The difference in style was certainly evident, but BB was real appreciative of it. At one point, Trey ripped out some great licks, and BB signals for Trey to lean down...and Trey leans down , BB whispers in his ear..and I read his lips clearly now...BB says, "I think I have to go!" They both laughed....haha, awesome.. I don't know the 3 BB tunes that they played, but I can describe the jamming. The Phour all ripped out some great licks now...it wasn't just Trey, but the two guitar greats were standout. Actually, Page didn't end up coming out until the second or third song really. I remember....Page ripped out some great, quick piano licks, and BB's eyes doubled in size!! Page seemed to be enjoying himself...and even Mike. Hey, Mike is always obliged to play with the greats, anyway. Trey seemed the most intense and intent to play well with BB (the egotistical maniac that is, we love him, but yeah) but he fulfilled his goals just fine. Wasn't expecting this much blues, but loved it...after one 23-minute song, I thought the set was over...oh no, BB stayed up there with them for nearly an hour, making for the longest set of the tour so far , actually. What an experience...what a surprise... Blues , blues , blues!! Nice that Phish can pick up the BB tunes so well too. (Mostly improv, yeah, but still had their own themes and rhythms...nice) BB walked off last, and accepted a "B-B-King!" chant before waving and finally walking down the stairs stageside. SET 2 Halley's Comet: There we go!!! When they came out there, I thought I heard "Reba" starting up (the octave bouncing from either trey or mike)....but Halley's was just as well... I don't think anyone was expecting this one. Nice , solid singing (they've really improved and come so far vocally)....Good version, fun to hear HARRY HOOD: OK, so Harry is my favorite Phish tune... I'm a little biased. But they rocked this one like no other! It was my 3rd Hood and my favorite by far. If you can, LISTEN TO THIS HOOD - it's incredible. Decent glowstick/ring crowd, but nothing like NYE. Still, this jam was far superior to the others I have heard live. Trey watches the glowsticks/rings while he plays Hood , too, which is cool. This jam was unbelievable...I can't describe it any better..you have to hear it. Heavy Things: Nice...fun to hear. Nothing special, though... Was this some sick joke?...I noticed that all 3 songs started with "H" from the second set..was this going to continue?? Twist: Nope..just my imagination. Before this started up, I heard the three Twist chords being played, real subtlely, and confused them for starting up a Roses Are Free....but Twist was cool....it got REAL trippy and went off into this interesting , quiet jam....built up real slowly, and finally went back into the Twist chorus (the change back wasn't too smooth, but whatever, that jam was real interesting and out there and...GOOD!) In general, I'm not huge into Twist, but hey, that jam put a cool "twist" on things ahahahhahaah All of These Dreams: what a nice tune...real relaxing. For once, I sat down during the show and relaxed...the song doesn't have a real jam segment, it's pretty straighforward...but real nice. I enjoyed hearing some nice, new material...it's new but it's short and sweet...I like this one! Waves: This is certainly one of my favorite songs on the new album. OK, so this wasn't as cool as Waves -> Divided, but the song was played much tighter than I had heard it on New Years. It's improved musically so much...I love when the jam merges back into "instead i'm standing...." ...so cool - The jam wasn't fantastic, but it was good. Sample in a Jar: Wow...i was NOT expecing this !! esp. after the night before, when they closed the 1st set with it. It was my first 'sample', fun to hear...trey nailed the solo real well, identical to the studio version...but solid. nice...thought the 2nd set was over....but.....wait?! Chalkdust Torture: NICE!!!!!! Trey loves playing Chalkdust, and I could see that clearly on his face ... he was having fun...after all, this song is great for him...long, extended guitar solo into the written out part at the end....real good build to end the 2nd set. I was really happy that they threw that in there last...nice!!! Can I live while I'm young?! ENCORE Farmhouse: OK...can't lie here. Farmhouse was not the encore I was hoping for, but hey, a decnet amount of the encores lately have been lame. Oh well, I guess they're trying to make other songs more prominent. For a Farmhouse, it was great...but it was a Farmhouse. I don't hate this song by any means...I like it....just not as the encore. Was sort of hoping for a First Tube (not yet this tour?!) ....oh well, maybe I'll get it at Nassau. SUMMARY: Front row makes a difference, so it's VERY hard for me to complain about this show. Phish is also playing real well this tour, in my opinion, so even the decent phish show these days is a fabulous concert. This was a decent Phish show...highlights are definetely Wolfman's, the whole BB King thing, and Harry Hood. DWD wan't too shabby, either. And one last thing, sitting closest to Mike than anyone else there, and watching him, I realized (not that I hadn't earlier but whatever) that he is absolutely the most talented bassist I've seen live. He may not be as charismatic as Trey, but focus on him...he's fabulous...so into the music. Thanks for reading...Peace! -Sam Madden
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 23:36:16 -0400 From: Ashley Saab applepies60@hotmail.com Subject: Jersey Show Well what can Isay?? this was my first phish show so I had absolutly no expectations. I was completely blown away. I mean I have been a fan for years, but to see them do what they do live is completely out of this world!! 3 of my friends and I traveled 15 hours from New Brunswick Canada, and we were definatly orgasmic to say the least!  The DWD opener blew me away, I wasn't expecting that! Nor was I expecting BB King! that was definatly a once in a life time kind of thing . My entire night was defintaly wonderfuly life changing! a few highlightts were definatly "Harry Hood" that was intense! Sample and chalkdust were awesome. I was happy to hear everything! I guess I can't be a critic, it was my first show, but then I sit back and wonder how anyone could be!  I hope they stick around long enough for me to see tons more! peace -ashley
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 13:47:52 -0500 From: raj mitra raj@thirteen.net Subject: NJ review So i've been reading these NJ reviews. Some people are VERY UPSET about how others think it was a "bad show". Others are MORE UPSET at the lack of enthusiasm for BB King. So, of course I'm throwing my two cents in... 1) Meadowlands staff are the worst I have ever seen. The only people worse are the NJPD. These guys are total assholes. They must all be NYPD rejects, with a chip on thier shoulder. I didn't have a bad experience with either of the two groups, but I saw plenty of people who did (like one guy who kicked the fence, and got chewed out for no reason by the cop). 2) The sound at Meadowlands sucks. It's too big. I was sitting in sec. 233, mike side, high up near the top. Yes, that affects the sound, but it was muddy everywhere (from what others told me). 4) This show was really like 4 different shows, or sets. There's the pre-BB set, with DWD, Wolfman's that are pretty good versions (Wolfman's at Hampton '03 was only slightly better, but this one rocked anyhow!). DWD kicked hampton's ass. Corrina is nice, but not life changing. Limb x Limb was great. Then there's the BB King set. This set started off kind of weak with the 23 minute blues song that was only about 10-15 minutes of anything worthwhile. There was so much confusion in the band as to who was soloing, when to end, etc. Of course BB is a real treat, but this song didn't really make anyone shine. Thirill is Gone, of course, is like a total 180. Mike and Fish clearly planned to lay down a thick groove, and the solos--whoa! BB showed us who had the original "sustained note". Sounded much more natural than the way trey does it (I think trey uses more feedback than sustain). So that was great. The final blues tune was also pretty rockin, but I think Thrill is Gone was where it was at for the BB set. Truly a treat to see BB sit in with Phish. I think if that first tune had gone a little smoother (maybe a bit shorter?), people wouldn't complain about him being onstage for an hour. Then there's the start of the second set, which was roughly 30 minutes between the halley's and the hood. The halley's jam was astounding! Towards the end, the four came upon a groove that was just out of this world! A top ten halley's for sure. When they started Hood, I was thinking "Ballsy!". Kind of like 11/22/97, busting out Hood after a Mike's Groove, in the first set! The glowstick war didnt' get going (thank goodness, i'm sick of watching the band get pelted!). The build in Harry was "average", but when they got to the top trey just laid it on us. The final few minutes of Harry are great! I thought this was going to be a legendary set/show. Heavy Things, Twist, Dreams, Waves, Sample, Chalkdust is like another set. Heavy Things...I don't like it. there's no jam. whatever. Twist was interesting, and the jam was dark and loud, but it didn't really "go anywhere". I thought a segue into something else was coming, but trey just started playing Twist chords over the thick sounds coming from mike, and they maneuvered back into Twist. I enjoyed the Twist>Free in hampton much more, but that jam was totally different. Dreams is a nice tune but there's no energy. People were already sitting down from the dark jam in Twist. This didn't help. Waves was nowhere NEAR the NYE version, and still no one stood. Sample has some energy, but since there's no jam to it ever, it's kind of useless. The chalkdust was a final attempt at salvaging the set. It was a pretty raging chalkdust but it was too little, too late. The end of the second set left a bad taste in my mouth. As far as the "slow encore" goes these days, Farmhouse is miles ahead of Friday. In some respects it's better than Wading, but they are both pretty good. anyway, this farmhouse was nice, first of the tour, but it's almost like phish was saying "We are so very sorry, there's little we can do..."
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 19:16:55 -0500 From: Andrew Jacobson Andrew@sjtax.com Subject: 2-24-2003 Meadowlands Greetings to all! First, I am not going into details about each song that was played – everyone has seen the setlists and reviews. Second, this was my 65th Phish shows – therefore, I can speak with experience of reviewing a show. Third, I have seen over 400-500 concerts in my life (including 128 Grateful Dead shows). Last, my review of 2-24-03 at the Meadowlands. This show was my 5th since Phish came back from their hiatus. After reading the reviews (positive and negative), I just need to say one thing – LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE!!! What we’ve witnessed at the Meadowlands was probably the highest honor that Phish has ever received. When you have a legend such as BB King coming to play with your favorite band, you have to respect what your band was trying to do!! Phish was trying to take advantage of the opportunity to play with one of the greatest (if not the greatest) blues player of all time. This was a dream for Phish!! They wanted to make BB King as comfortable as possible and get him to play as much as possible. Yes, there might have been some slow moment – however, it was beautiful to see BB King!! His distinctive voice and guitar was so sweet and beautiful – I wanted more! I have never doubted Phish for one second to think that this show lacked energy and yet negativity ran abundant through the reviews about “too much BB King”?! Too much BB King?? Are you kidding me?? Please, if you don’t have any nice to say, then DON’T SAY IT!! BB King is relentless when it comes to touring. For BB King to come out and play with Phish is just absolutely mind boggling. The fact that he’s in his late 70’s make this even more special. This special guest does not come around too often, especially with someone with BB King’s legendary status. Therefore, instead of pouting about what happened with BB King, just appreciate this for what it’s worth. I can assure you that you probably won’t ever see BB King playing with Phish ever again (never say never). Finally, Phish is like a fine wine – getting better with age! Keep up the great work PHISH!! Peace, Andrew Jacobson New York City
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 21:31:24 -0500 From: Robert Ulon rulon_99@hotmail.com Subject: 2-24-03 NJ SHOW To my brothers and sisters, to the tribe of the contrived,  this was the first show I have seen since Pelham Alabama in Spet of 1999, , since then moving on to more noble aspirations than those that blight the Phish scene, you know, overwhelming self-centeredness, contrived spiritualism, shallow altruism, and, forgive me, but a terrible sense of style, LOL  But really, I had been thinking about the day i'd see Phish again for over two years, maybe even three I don't know, I left work early, raced home to prep myself, hop into reasonable dancing skibbies, picked up the love of my life, which was to be her first phish show, and off to see the boys, prancing in the parking lot, getting over the fickleness of those that fill up space in the parking lot, turning my head to take a look at the new wave of heads, while always an eye on my lady and here I was a few years older a bit more responsible, with a lady, meeting up with the person I saw my first phish show withn at MSG( coincidentally and magically, Phish's first show at MSG), some 8 years or so ago, catching that wonderful buzz amongst my homies, grabbed a beer from some good ole's souls, Now I listen to Harry Hood, and I think, but anyway, I had floor seats luckily, only been so close during hampton runs, 11-22-97( what a wonderful night), but this is 2003 and now tickets cost 37.50 instead of the 22.50 we were all so proud of back in the day, that our boys made it resonable,  so DWD, and it was real, i was wathcing the boys, with my lady, in my state, with a buzz, amongst frolicking children, happy as hood, but to say that it was an exceptional DWD is inaccurate, Corrine  was nice, but I really don't remember much after that, and BB KING,  I love BB, I 've seen him before, and it was nice, but I didn't think anything at all of that first song they did for 23 minutes, Oh I thought it was terrible, BB unmistakably reluctant to get into it, or jsut couldn't but that was 23 precious moments that failed to ever take off, The Thrill was sweet, but you know, I ahdn't seen my boys in over three years, and I am not bitter at all, I will love and continue to love, but I just wanted Phish, them up there, playing Phish tunes, and the 1st set was, though only a smidgeon, a blemish, for me, and I know Im not the center of the Phish world, and, I don't wnat to be one, but I wanted to see the boys dripping with song and jam, warpped up in the crowd, and swimming with us, but, frankly there was no ocean of notes or feelings to swim in, and the 2nd set, figured  Haley's Comet may salvage the night, only to be follwed by a Ahrry Hood that was no more than a showcase of Phish, there was no envelope pushing,( and dude's I know it can't happen everynight), but the rudimentary hunger that we all feel at a Phish show, just was not there in my estimation But I'll be back to catch the Magic, hoping that it still exists somewhere in this universe  oh yeah people, look at yourself and make a change, the world is waiting for those kind of people, in fact needs those kind of people, following phish is as self-centered as it gets ALTRUISM BELIEVE IN IT?, well then live it
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 16:44:45 -0500 From: Pete Ackerbauer Packerba@nycap.rr.com Subject: 2-24 Well this was the first show i've been able to hit since the rain out in Darien 2 years ago, and i must say i'm pretty pissed that i spent $70 on ebay for those tickets! Dwd, Corrina, and Wolfman's bro were a killer way to hit off the night, and i was set for a crazy show. The B.B. King was a part of the show was a great idea, but i didn't pay money to see him sit there and clap his hands for three hours. I mean bye this time the boomers are hitten hard, and i'm ready to run out the doors screamin like a maniac. I didn't feel like groovin to that, I mean were at a PHISH show. I finally calmed myself down and they come out with Hally's comet for an openner, which a is nice call, and harry hood has a nasty beat. Sample in a jar and Chalkdust Torture got me thinking we were set for a great encore. Well, i was wrong. Farmhouse made me want to see how far i could jump off the 2nd floor balcony. I guess Trey didn't want anyone to dance or something. Maybe he walked off the stage without saying anything because he knew the show sucked. But, i am a big phish fan and i'll see them again, definitly! The best part of the whole show was some dude in a harley davidson shirt opening the doors to the fan room in sec. 240. That was fuckin awsome. Felt like you could fly away. Well guys, too bad i had to knock ya, but you could have given little more to your fans this time!                                             Pete  G-ville              P.s.   maybe you could ask those bastards in yellow for my sherlock back.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 22:56:07 EST From: JAKSPARKS@aol.com Subject: 02-24-03 Review I'm sorry, but I have to do this. Take it for what it is, but, I have to rip into Phish for this show. This is not the same band I fell in love with many years ago. The energy, the creative edge, the jamming- it's just not there anymore. I have never sat through an entire set of Phish until this show (2nd set). First, I'd like to say that the Continental Arena has to be among the worst venues Phish has ever played. How many people waited an hour (even longer) on line to get into this place? Too many! How cold was it? 15-20 degrees? All of the employees I encountered were ASSHOLES! I've never been rude to an employee of any venue until this night. One of them physically grabbed me. I'm very mellow (seriously mellow), but I snapped and almost ripped this persons head off. I could understand if I was being violent, or whatever, but I was walking to my seat. PHISH- done ever play this venue again, please!!! Enough on the venue, I'll get on with the show. First set: Missed DWD because of the line outside, but I heard it was pretty raging. Corrina was very nice. I hadn't heard it since Cypress. Trey can really sing when he gets into a song. Wolfman's Brother is a phatty song that's been played. I found it pretty boring. I'm a Limb By Limb fan, but felt this was a pretty boring and uninteresting version. Having BB King come out was pretty sick. But, I didn't feel any energy from the three songs they played. BB is up there as far as age, and from what I here he is a diabetic. It seems that he really couldn't keep up with Phish. Some of Trey's soloing was some of the better soloing I've heard him play in a long time. He ripped some sick blues solos, but, 30 years ago, BB would have blown him off the stage (People- Trey is not a guitar god. Try to check out some other bands and you'll see what I'm talking about.). Solid first set though. I thought Phish was going to be ready to blow up the second set, which never happened. Second set: I was feeling the Halley's Hood opener. I thought it was a pretty good way to open up any set. Heavy Things. What can I say. To be perfectly frank, I think this song blows. I have to say the same thing about Twist. The jam was boring, very boring, and just when I thought they might go into (hopefully) Ghost, or Bowie they bring it back into Twist. Unimpressive. All of These Dreams is pretty boring. I thought the Waves on NYE was sick, for some reason it just seemed to be a perfect fit for the beginning of that set. I didn't feel the same way about this particular version. It was lacking in energy and creativity. I've never liked Sample in A Jar at any show in any set, and I hated it here. Chalkdust was loud and obnoxious (almost as obnoxious as Saw It Again) as always. Encore: Farmhouse. Dull, boring, no energy, no creativity. Bad encore. It's up there with the Waste, Velvet Seas, and Friday encores. They had BB come out for the first set, what about a Johnny B. Goode encore with him (granted, he was probably already home and asleep). Nah, that would have been too raging, Farmhouse is a better pick. (sarcasm alert- some people dont pick up on it). >From this show and Philly, I'd have to say that the creativity is gone. The energy in their jams is gone. I dont need a Harpua, or a Destiny, but what about Fluffhead, Brother, Tela, Camel Walk, Sleeping Monkey, Timber, and to be a little more reasonable, wheres the Split Open & Melt? Where's the Phish?
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 23:43:17 -0500 From: John Buzz jabuzz420@adelphia.net Subject: NJ Review Some good, some bad - That's what I have been reading - I was there, and had a blast - I am pumped to take the trek to Greensboro tomorrow.  The bottom line is this - B.B. King jammed with Phish - Period - Think back to the days of old - There have always been great shows, and there have always been not so good shows - But when something historic happened, we were all psyched.  So who cares that the Twist was not as good as some, or the Limb by Limb didn't take off.  Let's focus on the fact that B.B King and Trey traded licks.  That is history.  I was glad to see it.  I hope there are others that are just as glad.  Let's not be so critical, but enjoy the fact that Phish is back.  Who cares if the show was the best ever, and who care's if it's the worst - Remember what it was like without them?   That's my 2 cents - Take it for what it's worth.
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 20:25:47 -0500 From: Andrew Glancy arg5@lehigh.edu To: dws@gadiel.com I really have too much to say! It was only my 13th show, but I didn't even think I would get in...especially not for face. THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got a ticket that was reported stolen for the Philly show, so I and a very good friend were denied. Come to find out it was my dream show, so I thought. Little did I know what the boys had stashed around the corner. I really appreciated the way last night's show portrayed each one's personal ability to amaze us with their solo work. I think Vida Blue is the most talented band to recently come to our music scene. They absolutely blew my mind, and once I started listoning to them, I couldn't stop. Being that Pagie's my favorite member of Phish, I was melting by the first couple strokes of the keys during Final Flight. I, however, did not like the way Trey took over Page's whole solo. I don't think anything could dampen my attitude after seeing that Stash opener. I could go on forever... I will definately agree with anyone who sys this is one of the best shows ever!!!! I was hoping to hear some randoms that aren't normally played, or at least some crazy jams. YEM----------who am I kidding, the whole thing was better than I could ever ask for. Phish, you are a part of my life...my heart...my existance...thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who ever's going to NewYork, I'll see ya there!
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 17:39:15 -0500 From: Jared Subject: 2/24/03 Review Got to the arena at around 4:30, and I was pissed about paying $10 to park.  We hung out in the lot which was cool, but didn’t have the hustle and bustle (at least not where I was) that I love about summer shows.  Since it was much colder than I thought it would be, we went in as soon as the doors opened.  Our seats were directly in front of the stage, but back as far as the lower level went.  The sound was OK.  The boys finally came out and I was pretty damn happy.  We all heard the spacey effects in the beginning and we knew it was coming… Down with Disease opener!  Excellent.  We sparked up a fatty and rocked out to this excellent version.  Fishman was destroying me.  Carinne Corrina – I had no idea what this song was, but I still really enjoyed its groove and Page’s solo.  Limb by Limb – Nice.  Great version. What?  Trey’s bringing “a friend” out on guitar?  Who’se this?  Holy shit, BB King!!  The blues itself is here.  What did they have in store for us?  45 minutes of blues gel.  I was very pleased with this (I mean seriously, The Thrill is Gone LIVE AT PHISH SUNG BY THE MAN?), but I was even MORE pleased after I downloaded the show from livephish.com.  This is so great to hear off the soundboards.  Trey and BB were really gelling I thought.  It was great to see the mutual respect between them (BB was obviously impressed with Trey’s creativity) and Trey and the boys looked so happy to be playing with the King.  I can see how some people weren’t thrilled – there were only 2 well known Phish songs in the whole first set, but whatever.  Have some respect.  As someone else said, this is BB King – They aren’t going to bring him out for 15 minutes and kick him off.  Besides, go back and LISTEN to it!  Really great blues from Phish!  OK end of first set. The setbreak was pretty long, but I caught up with an old friend of mine, and we hung out for a while.  Got back to my seat… DAMN MAN, Halley’s Comet?  How cool, I thought.  I was having a blast. HARRY HOOD!! Didn’t see it coming, but I was really happy.  Sparked up another fatty and enjoyed.  I really love the feeling I get seeing Hood.  Watchin the glow sticks from my section was great. Heavy Things – OK maybe not the greatest placement… Still a good version and I had fun. Twist – This was a great twist, but I could see why some people were sitting down.  This wasn’t the most danceable show. All of These Dreams – I’m officially sitting down.  Not a fan of this song. Waves – Alright, still not what I expected but I was glad to hear it, and it was a damn good version. Sample – Here we go, I’m back up dancing again.  Good version. Chalkdust – I knew this was coming out at some point.  Kept us rockin from Sample – great version, Trey was shredding by the end. Farmhouse encore – Not too shabby I thought.  To sum up the show, nothing I expected, but what I got was pretty damn cool.  Excellent versions of DWD, Wolfman’s, Halley’s and Hood.  The BB King stuff was terrific – especially going back and listening a second time.  Just because you weren’t dancing the entire time doesn’t make it a bad night!  See everybody in Nassau.  Peace out Jared
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 17:05:19 EST From: Thedoors33@aol.com Subject: Jersey review From Adam Hertz 2/24/03 Jersey So, I have been reading the reviews from this show for a while, trying to understand the point of view that some people had of this show.  I have always held back on writing reviews because I usually enjoy just about anything they play (including this night) but I felt I should share my thoughts today because of how strongly I feel. It was a huge hassle getting into the venue as my tickets were on will call (ticketmaster never sent them to me - bastards!)  Anyway, got in just in time to get to my seats on the floor - 15th row Page side - hell yeah!  It was my roommates first show which made me that much more happy. The DWD opener was a great start to the show.  It wasn't one for the record books, but definitely a solid start that got me super pumped... then... Corrine Corrina!!  Wow... what a treat!  3rd time since '89... Very unexpected after DWD, but made me very happy! Not gonna do a full song by song, 'cause that'll take a while, but Wolfmans and Limb by Limb were both good... couldn't expect what was to come next... B.B. King! Who would've thought it!?!  A lot have people have been saying he played too long, there was akwardness between him and Trey, and the jams were boring.   In my opinion this was simply not the case.  From the moment BB came on stage there was a look on trey's face that made me realize how special this was.  Musically, I thought the 45 minutes that BB was on stage for were excellent.  In Everyday I Have the Blues Trey and BB went back and forth with some great solos.  By the look on BB's face, it was clear he was having a blast... and then the dance!  The crowd went nuts!  There was a point in the song where BB was trying to get trey to solo and trey was trying to get BB to solo (giving each other looks as to say "you go... no you go") and finally they did what I think Trey intended all along.  They quickly went back and forth in a blues guitar duel.  It was sick!   The Thrill is Gone just pumped me up more with some great blues... and Rock Me Baby did not let me down either.  All in all I thought that this was one of the most enjoyable sets I have seen! The second set started with Halley's and got the crowd psyched! Follwed by Harry Hood... good stuff! But what followed I did not expect... after the Hood there was an extreme decline in energy from the crowd that lasted for the majority of the second set.  Granted, it was a very mellow set, it definitely had some great moments, however, the crowd didn't seem to be digging it.  I had never seen so many people (especially on the floor) sitting down for such a long period of time.  Get up and dance people!  Oh well, what can ya do?  I thought it continued to be a great show musically, despite the lack of crowd energy.  I hope everyone still had a good show, as I sure as hell did!! (The second set Twist was ridiculous!! What a jam!!)  Thanks for reading! See you tomorrow in Nassau!! -Adam
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 06:43:30 -0800 From: "Schwarztol, Andrew (NCB, MSNBC)" Andrew.Schwarztol@MSNBC.COM Subject: 2/24/03     The negative reviews and positive reviews both have thier points. This was my 19th show and first since nye. The first set certainly had its moments.         DWD: I thought this version rocked, you could tell from the begining  that trey was having a gret time but you could also notice that the accoustics were somewhat week.         CORRINNA: Nice tune. Definitly mellow but the crowd as was I were definitly digging it.Pag had some sweet solos.         WOLFMANS: Look It may have not been epic, but it was tight and funky.         LIMB BY LIMB: This song never does too much for me, It ws a solid jam, nothing special and it did seeem that the boys were having trouble fining a flow.         BB KING: When he waked on stage it was magical as it was when he started playing. Yes i ttook them a while to jell together but by the thrill is gone, BB was hitting some beatiful likcs. The 45 minutes set may have not been for every fan but it was still worth the price of admission. It was vintage blues played by an absolute legend. The 45 minute performance sould not be taken for granted as it was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.         Overall a very strong set. Maybe not enough phish tunes, but it was a long set and the band definitly seemed stoked. With that said I like many other people wree expecting a phenomenal set.         set 2                 HALLEYS: First Halleys since thehiatus was ag reat wy to start the show. It was little slow tempo, but the jam was very solid an dtrey was right on target with the lyrics.         Hood: AS much as I ahve seen it, I am never dissapointed. There were no flubs, high energy and efinitly se ta great one for the second set. So far it was pure perfection and then....             Heavy things: Nice song, Nice version, Bad Placement, didnt really kill the energy it was just a breather taht did not really have to happen considering the momentum they had after comet and hood.         Twist: Really good version, even though there were definitly peeople sitting down, even though there was a really crazy psychedlic jam, it just wasnt setting the place on fire. Witht aht said I was fine with it , but I was expecting more than....         ALL OF THESE DREAMS: Decent song, yes phish plays ballads but they also create great evergy which just was not happening.         WAVES: Another good song, look the boys were playing well all night its just that the songs were not really flowing, this song was rocking and I did find an excuse to get out of my seat.         Sample: I dont think so, seond show in a row, its not that I was looking for a yem or reba, but I did think it was time for a compositon that could ignite the crowd. Fun song, but very typical.         Chalkdust: I was psyced for this and even if the placement was poor, it still rocked th house, an above average version. Trey was tering it up(as he was for the whole show) problem is he was leading too much         FArmhouse: I jsut laughed through this one, it was a s good as a farmhouse goes. There were a lot off dissapointed phans after this one, I was a bit but still really enjoyed the show. I wil lnever have any regrets about being at this how, I mean I saw BB and phish play together. Their songs had its high points, as the DWD Hood comet waves ad twist were all excellent version. May have not been a top tier phish show but it was top tier any other show. 
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 01:10:41 -0500 From: Eric Finkelstein ericjams@hotmail.com Subject: 2/24/03 review It's not surprising the amount of reviews I'm seeing of last nights show considering how difficult it really is to judge what went on. No song by song review, here's just a few thoughts and observations. I left nye very impressed with the emotion and obvious rejuvenated nature the band seemed intent on giving to each song, but the rust was evident. So I closely watched the setlists and reviews of this tour and seemingly the rust is definately diminishing. In another side note, I felt both at nye and viewing the recent setlists that song selections and placement had really improven, something that I think many, including myself, can sight as a problem before the hiatus. Enough digression, the jersey show as many have already mentioned was no matter how you cut it a mixed bag. The half set before BB was strong with nice song selection, the dwd and wolfmans were both well played, but not extended. limbxlimb was very very standard and in my opinion a bit rusty, but still a nice song live. I must pledge my allegiance to the pro BB reviewers of this show. How the hell could anyone possibly find a problem with there favorite band playing the blues with the one and only legend of blues. Admittedly, there was significant moments of trepidation both by trey and BB, but I thought this was kinda cool, when do we ever see Trey blink with nerves and tonight we saw him carefully guide BB prodding him along into moments of great blues action, all the while relaxing a bit himself and slowly letting loose. Yes the set lost momentum, but in my humble opinion I think phish can play the blues with the best of them (The Thrill is Gone was a musical highlight of vast proportions in my opinion just because it was played by the five men that stood in front of me, very very cool..... if you are a music fan, not just a HOLY SHIT I NEED ANTELOPE fan than get the tapes. Apparently many people in attendence were not psyched witht the BB set, only increasing the expectations for the second set. This was in my opinion one of the reasons for the energy deficiency that took place. Now the second set was certainly not an amazing set, thats fine... if amazing sets happened every night they wouldnt be amazing... theyd be average...some people need to get that through there heads. Halley's and Hood were the obvious highlights. Twist, for me, is weak because the composed part simply doesnt grab me like other songs, I cant really explain why. Nevertheless when they move away from the composition the song as seen last night can be psychedelic and exploratory. After Twist, there wasnt much other than some solid songs performed well, Chalkdust was better than average, but the mood was definately lost long before it closed the set. And Waves, which I feel can function well in the second set, was just not the right song at the time, much better placed as opener of second set at nye. Final comments, I enjoyed the show, nothing crazy but certainly much better that some late 99 and 00 stuff. Song selection makes this band, almost any song they play, aside from farmhouse :) can fit well in a nicely coordinated set. BB definately added a once in a lifetime moment to the evening, but obviously made the show very disjointed...something the second set could not rectify. You always hope to be present at the show of the tour, but come on folks lets not forget who you are dissing, and be thankful to be at any show. This is very long im sorry continue reading if you want more opinions and criticisms otherwise im sorry for wasting your time. Ok so Ive only seen 14 shows my bad, I wish I could sell glass and grilled cheeses and live on tour, but that aint gonna happen. Nevertheless I think my experiences give me a slight insight into the scene even if im not the grandaddy of phishdom. With that said, shame on anyone sitting through the entire show in section 101, the section from hell. I hadnt seen so many people sitting down since 5:15 am 1/1/00, and at that time there were legitimate reasons. Next time your dad gives you corporate tix, take the Bruce Springstein ones not those centerstage Phish tix. Its ironic that my two shows out of the year were at msg and jersey, definately not as many heads and many more teens with a 30 of coors, and corporate fams from manhattan. Just an observation, hope you all enjoyed my two cents and for everyone seeing the final shows have fun, Later Eric
te: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 15:56:24 EST From: Laurielala@aol.com Subject: 2.23.03 review Everyone has their opinion on what happened at the medowlands, just some of those opinions are unfortunatly based on pure musical ignorance. BB king---- was one of the top 3 ultimate phish moments EVER. Our seats that night were four rows back from the stage--- but behind the stage, which gave us a great view of Trey calling the tunes to the guys between each of the songs and all the smiling faces and dancing bodies of the audience. The crowd did seem youngish- but hell, we were all there once, right? During the first set, to my left, was this big old guy waddling backstage surrounded by people pointing him to the stairs. He carefully took the stairs, one at a time, and as he walked toward the guys, the place completely erupted!!! Holy shit! Thats fucking BB KING!! I saw him three years ago in Trenton, and even at his own show, the crowd wasn't half as loud. Maybe because he attracts an older audience and I was the youngest person at his concert (mind you I'm pushing 30) but truely great music crosses generations. Do any of you really thing that they rehearsed their collaboration? Does it matter? Musically they were communicating, finding words, phrases, expressions of a higher intelligence, feeling each other out, not stepping on each others toes, pulling out of each other the music and placing it in the air for us to watch, learn, absorb and most importantly enjoy and hopefully inspire. Watching Trey's face nearly brought tears to my eyes, you could see that this was a great thrill and honnor for him to have BB jamming with him and the guys. BB was feeling them out, seeing what they are made of- the phish groove was what he was getting. And holy crap, by the last song they played together he was leading the band and had quite and explosive ending to his 45 minutes on stage. The crowd erupted again, and all I saw were faces, arms and hands, all up in the air. The only thought I had at that moment was, wow, phish fans really know how to love and show it, cause man, I don't think BB ever expected that outpouring of affection from us all. This was history for the books, kids, and I was soooooo glad to be there to see it. I've been to dozens of shows over 10 years, all the festivals and NYE2000 in Florida- which is #1 phish moment of all time- but for those of you who thought BB was akward, played too long was out of his league ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME OR JUST KIDDING YOURSELVES???? One does NOT have BB King out for 20 minutes and thank him for playing and escort him off the stage!! I can't even go there and express the pure legend that is his own making. Bless his soul and thank god for BB- for his music and influence. And I thought he kicked major ass with the guys that night. Thanks to all for a night to remember.               Laurie Erlenmeyer   Laurielala@aol.com
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 17:00:13 -0600 From: "Kooper, Keith A." KKooper@Sidley.com Subject: Jersey show Just read some of the reviews on this page, and I was quite surprised at some of the negativity.  I keep wondering if I was at the same show as some of these "reviewers."  If you are coming to a show expecting Harpua and Destiny Unbound, then turnaround and go home, please.  Even sitting way up in the rafters of Section 204 with a high school kid in back of me upchucking his guts out couldn't take away from the fun of my 30-something show.  I left completely satisfied. Did anyone else notice that they were playing songs in the 1st set that were alliterations.  "Down with Disease", "Corrine Corrina", and then "Limb by Limb".  During Limb by Limb, I turned to my girlfriend and told her this, and then I said that if they continue on this track, Harry Hood is a definite (and my hopes were realized early in the second set).  Maybe this had to do with the arrival of that great blues-man..B.B. King. Or maybe I am completely off track.  It doesn't matter, the show was wonderful and I look forward to many more.
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 12:33:47 -0500 From: Jodi Bryan jbryan@tellus.org Subject: 2/24 NJ I had a great time at the show. This was...umm...number 38 for me? I know, pretty low in the grand scheme of things, but a fairly decent number for a Newbie of '96, just to try to boost my credibility. Anyways, I thought the show was phat. B.B. King folks!!! The crowd had very little appreciation of what was going on. B.B. was amazing!! Trey, on the otherhand, kindof went a little overboard. While some say that B.B. was encouraging more solos from Trey, I think it was more that Trey wouldn't shut up. I mean, I didn't have a super-clear view of the stage, but whatever. Phish is not a Blues band and saying that B.B. was out of his element is pure B.S.!! It's that phish was out of thier element. B.B. is a Blues living legend! Phish wasn't laying it down enough for B.B. to do his stuff. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE phish. I think they are excellent, but saying that phish can play anything and be great at it is just stupid. Phish is an EXCELLENT jam band, but that's what they are, a jam band. I'm sure they may be able to swing some jazz, but you still couldn't compare them to like, the Miles Davis Quartet or anything, ya know what I'm saying? The energy was building up until the B.B. King "set", and yes, it did sink quite a bit during this "set", but man, just the treat of seeing B.B.! Sure, we paid for tickets to see phish, but I wouldn't get all pissy and moany because you HAD to sit through some B.B. King! Anyways, I just wanted to clear this up from all of these poor reviews of the show. If you didn't have a good time, it was your own fault. Give the band a chance to get back in the swing of things. They were having a good time. Usually that makes the crowd energy level soar, but this time it didn't seem to do much. What's up with that? We drove about 5 hours to see them in NJ, even though we are seeing them in Worcester tonight, which is 10 minutes from my boyfriend's house, and I can say that it was well worth our time and money to go see that show. Nice job boys, if you read this. :)
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 09:43:02 -0500 From: Jim.Kapp@stmartins.com Subject: 2/24 Meadowlands Hello folks, I was at the Meadowlands show on Monday night, and reading through these (negative) reviews, perhaps folks felt an overall "buzz-kill" because Continental shut down the beer sales in the middle of the first set! I was quite upset by my beverage edit, until I asked a State Trooper, and he said that too many underage fans were trying to get served, and were also harrassing the beer vendors. I can't vouch for the details, but maybe other readers might have had a similar experience. Oh well. jimbo
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 21:48:48 -0500 From: John Kelly drweather@hotmail.com Subject: Meadowlands Review Wow, First thing I have to say is "Whats with all the freakin' bad reviews.  Now, I have seen tons of concerts in my life, BUT-- Why is it with Phish that everyone goes in with the expectation that they deserve the greatest show ever and when it doesn't come true they get down?  This was not the greatest show ever but so so far from the worst.  I mean, where else would you rather have been at any moment during that show?   Pre-Show Note:  Yes the lines were long....in the front of the arena...There were 8 entrances to the show yet 90% of people went to the front 4.  That is why the complaint about the lines...I got in from end of line to security check in about 2-3 minutes and got through the ticket check as fast as I could walk.  Now time for the show:    Who wouldn't want a DWD opener after the hiatus. It was many phans first show back in the area and this was a great way to start it rockin.  Got real dark for awhile in the Jam and slowed down and BOOM right back into the outro soloing and chorus.  GREAT.    Next came CORRINE CORRINA.  Slowed it down but didn't kill the mood.  In fact, seemed like everyone was just diggin it.  Really nice placement.  WOLFMANS BROTHER-  My first, which is surprising but nonetheless I was totally into it.  Definitely wanna hear again.   LIMB X LIMB-Another nice placement.  At this point my mind started drifting while watching the band.  Honestly I was thinking how, Phish wasn't as exploratory as they used to be, but they're chops are down right now.  You have guys pushin' 40 just tearing it up.    A little pause in the action and a seat comes out.  All this seemed surreal.  Next the Blues man himself walks out and plops himself down.  Mr. Burger I mean BB King.   Couldn't believe it.  Now, I'm gonna warn some people again about expectations.  To see Phish jam with BB for 50 minutes was an honor not a nuisance.  This man seemed to be enjoying his first phish show, remember how floored you were too.  He was just having the time of his life as was I.  As a guitar player myself this was just a dream come true, except I never dreamed this, its one of those moments where you're totally caught off guard.  Yes the vibe was weird at times but there were some great moments too.  Overall, I thought most people were really into it....until reading some of the reviews but whatever.  Everyday I Have the Blues (23 min) - The Thrill is Gone (12 min) - Rock Me Baby (12 min)     SET BREAK   HALLEY COMET- Another first for me on a song that I really like.  After a first set as draining as that and a setbreak to chill, this got me back up and just groovin.   HOOD -  Last Hood I saw was at MSG and this was a song I had no problem seeing again so soon.  It was a Hood that made you feel good. No if, ands, or buts.  HEAVY THINGS- Leave the hate with the politicians, I was diggin this.   TWIST- Not the biggest fan of this song elsewhere but when they're playing it live I can get in to it.  Woo.    ALL OF THESE DREAMS- Really nice song and for some it allowed them to finally sit down.  Just a nice song to just really focus in on the band etc.    WAVES - Didn't top the NYE version for me, but I like Waves and its welcome at any time. It didn't rise up the crowd after All of These Dreams but it was a nice touch.   SAMPLE + CHALKDUST- Two rockin' songs to bring us out of the mellowness that had taken over.  I can't rip on either of these songs.  Just great to be there hearing them.  All the negativity should be pushed aside.  This was just rockin' Phish.  They have not pussed out or sold out or whatever, they just rocked the house tonight.   Encore: FARMHOUSE- My last one was at PNC '99 so I may not be as annoyed as others. I like the song, and it is nowhere near my favorite but I was glad not to get a Wading or Character Zero again as a show closer but this song just made me collect all my thoughts and put a nice finish on a great time.  Conclusion:  To each his own.  For some if they new BB was coming out, maybe they wouldn't have come.....ARE YOU KIDDING ME....Last thing I  would ever have thought about when I woke up that morning and the only thing I could think about as I went to bed. I give the show a B+.  It wasn't a show with the great exploratory jams we all hope for but one that was Rockin>Bluesin>Rockin....No complaints here.   Again, CK5 brought the A game... THe dancing spider lights, the colors, the mood shifts.  This mans impact on the show is astounding.  See you all at NC.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:55:20 -0800 (PST) From: Ken Scelfo krsuno@yahoo.com Subject: REVIEW 2/24/03 NJ Ok, I see a lot is up already for reviews on this show. I'm somewhere around 40 shows deep and this was a show of highs and lows to say the least. The vibe was challenged at several times inside and out, but I think overall, in retrospect, it was a neat show. The scene: The security seemed to be pretty mellow, not many hassles. Once the sun went down, though,it got frigid and the hold-up to get into the arena was a mind crusher. I nearly got challenged to a fight by an old Deadhead who thought I was cutting in line. The Show: DWD- A good sign to start. The jam seemed to be pretty good, but the sound was horrible. Very muddy in the back. The boys looked very excited, especially Trey who was bobbing and weaving ala 1994. Corrina, Corrina- Suprisingly very good. I knew it from hearing it at a Stones show, but I think most people were confused. Vocally, I thought it was perfect. It got a nice reception from the crowd. I'd definately like to see it again. Wolfman's- The rythhm was locked and groovin. Again, Trey was beaming the whole time. Something was up. Limb by Limb- The jam was really slow and different from other versions I've seen. No fireworks here, standard. B.B. KING!- When Trey announced that he was bringing out a special friend, the place nearly blew the roof off when B.B. King stepped out. Everyone was questioning reality at this point! Rather than go into to the whole experience, I'll say this: The man is a goddamn legend and still sounds unbelievable at 75 or whatever. His voice and guitar still found a lot of great, powerful moments. I think he was a little embarrassed by the whole thing. Trey seemed like a little kid around him, and I think didn't want to step on the masters shoes, although, BB kept encouraging him to solo himself. The three songs were outstanding, but the jams in between seemed to lack any fire. There was a rather uncomfortable ten minutes or so when Mike and Fish were just laying down the beat, and Trey an BB fooled around. I will say also that Page threw in a few nice bluesy solos, getting even BB pointing and encouraging the audience for applause. When he did find the groove, early in Everyday I have the Blues and the classic lines in The Thrill is Gone, BB was once again the King of the Blues. He was gyrating and clapping from his seat and had everyone going nuts. SOMETHING TO TELL YOUR GRANDKIDS ABOUT PEOPLE! The Second set was a time to scratch your head. Halley's Comet- A welcomed return!! A perfect start to the set with the place obviously singing every quirky line in pure ecstasy. Brought back some good memories. Harry Hood- the "Phish" highlight of the show, hands down. Nothing roaring, but simply beautiful, with everyone floating on the groove. Every section was nailed and energized. Heavy Things, Twist, Dreams, Waves, Sample, Chalkdust- I'm grouping these together because, I hate to say it, they just didn't work. Things just weren't connecting! I absolutely hate to be negative, because I was still by all means having fun, but musically it just was sorta blah. Heavy Things was bouncy and Waves had it's melodic moments, but by Sample most people were left hoping for something else. Oh well, what can you do. Chalkdust came at the end of the second set and was a stranger in this area of the setlist. The place was definately rocking again, with the tension and release in full force, but the vibe was all but gone. Encore: Farmhouse- I was thinking they would end it with something short but fiery, where Chalkdust left off, like an nice 8 minute Fire or Glide. Nope, Farmhouse. Overall, it was still a fun show. BB was something that, when he was on, it was something completely unexplainable. A moment to purely treasure. The second set started off incredible, but then fizzled out and left everyone thinking about Philly. THANKS BB!!! -KEN SCELFO
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 21:27:42 -0500 From: Matt Miktus matt_miktus@hotmail.com Subject: 2.24.03 It's been a long time since i've last seen Phish... and for the most part it was worth the wait.  Shakedown was fine, the state po-po kept to themselves, and the fact that they came to my backyard to play made me smile.   For those who didn't like the venue, to bad.  As far as i'm concerned Continental Airlines Arena is a great place to see anything - from shows, to the Devils, to the Nets it's all good.  I hope they come back to see us again.  Oh, and for all ya'll stuck in that monsterous pat-down line... next time check the other entrances.  if you walked 30 seconds more, you got in there like w/o a wait or an issue what-so-ever.    I will not run down the songs in a 1 @ a time fashion; rather hit ya off with a set x set breakdown.   Set 1:  It was a well played, well rounded first set.  DWD Corina Wolfy's and limb are all good songs and got my chubby white ass shakin.  I had waited a long time for last night, and was ready to move.  BB KING - the one n only... I dig the blues, so for me this was heaven.  the fat man came to testify, and lord knows i was listening.  I'm glad he came out, adn 3 songs was just right for me.  I paid to see phish, so this was a treat.  In now way do i feel he overstayed his welcome.  It saddens me to see that some of ya'll wanted him off in such a hurry - but to each their own I suppose.  I'm glad I got to hear a live "thrill is gone" sang by the man himself, and was elated that i got 45 minutes of BB.    set break - a little long, but what ever.  i've had longer and shorter.   Set 2:  How to follow up an unusually special and surprising first?  This wasn't it.   Haleys opener got me thinkin they wer just going to keep it up... nice!  hood ( called it before set 1 ) kept me up and moving...         keep your damn glowsticks away from the baby grand please! and after that... it was all down hill... there is NOTHING wrong with the songs they played... it just brought the whole tempo to a crawl.  Heavy + Twist + Dreams + Waves = my ass in chair for the better part of the set... only to get up for Sample > Chalkdust closer and then be sat back down by a solid but slow Farmhouse.   This was show # 16 for me.  Not a true Vet, but not a n00b either.  These tickets are getting difficult to come by - b/t ticketbastard, scalpers, and starving phans hungry for phish it's truly become work to see them.  I wasn't unhappy with this show, but asside from a moments of house rocking bliss (and it DID rock - if you stood still up in the 200's you could feel it) , it was just ok.  I would have rather they took the winter off and rehearsed as opposed to hearing trey flub through the basics... but i was happy to be there none the less.   PS:  kick ass fajitas on shakedown.  my compliments to the Chefs.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 14:16:34 -0500 From: J-Mastronardi@sacredheart.edu Subject: 2-24-03 review 1: Down with Disease, Corrina, Wolfman's Brother > Limb by Limb, Everyday I Have the Blues, The Thrill is Gone, Rock Me Baby 2: Halley's Comet, Harry Hood^, Heavy Things, Twist Around -> Jam -> Twist, All of These Dreams, Waves, Sample In A Jar, Chalkdust Torture E: Farmhouse This show is getting a ton of bad press, and it's a real travesty. My first show since Hartford 2000, so i was very excited. The sound was average; I was to the side, perpendicular to the stage. Trey sounded very off, his vocal delivery sounded in a higher pitch and he was constantly behind in the vocal rhythm. Alas: ----DWD: very excited to hear this. the place erupted when Mike hit that opening bassline. The jam was average, never really reached a highspot. It just kind of happened. Still, enjoyable and energetic. ----Corrina: as Bill Walton would say, this placement was HORRIBLE. anyone who says different has never seen High Fidelity. what they needed was another energetic song to tear the place apart, THEN bring it down. still, i like Corrina and it was played well. ----Wolfman's Brother-> Limb by Limb: Wolfman's seemed generic. a good jam, but nothing spectacular, same for limb by limb. These songs so far have been on the threshold but doesn't cross. ----now i need to use hindsight. the boys were definitely playing to get to BB King, and it was probably on their minds the whole time. ----BB KING SUITE: awesome. on this there can be no debate. anyone who says different is just musically ignorant. If anything, it didn;t go long enough. i could have seen them jam with BB the whole time. as for the criticism that BB would just play a note then stop, you could tell that he wanted Phish to jam. all of your who complain that BB took away from Phish, you probably weren't actually at the show, or too fucking stoned to realize that BB was trying to give you exactly what you wanted. Now i know, this is a Phish show and i came to see them, but this is BB KING. the man is almost 80! feel grateful we got to see our favorite band play with him. as for the criticism that the boys seemed self-conscious: first of all, BB King is not merely a music legend. he is an AMERICAN CULTURAL ICON. i'd be a little nervous too. BUT...there were also grins from ear to ear on all four of them. but as for their jamming, it was awesome. more emotion than any other jam that night. trey and page showed their versatility with their blues chops. BB was scattered, but when he did jam for extended periods it was pure bliss. history will vindicate this moment. BB really was encouraging them, as if saying "i'm here, i wrote these songs and i've been playing these songs for 60 years. you have fun with them for a bit." He was very content to sit back a while and enjoy Phish and soak in the moment. His dancing, of course, always makes me smile. On a side note, Lucille looked absolutely gorgeous, like the holy grail of music she is. ----as for the actual music, i though BB totally rocked that classic opening solo to Thrill, and trey singing rock me baby was awesome. BB was obviosuly moved by the ovation as he left the stage. the "BB" chants were incredible. ----Halley's Comet: very awesome. better jam than first sets jams, obviously because the nerves of playing with BB were gone. ----Harry Hood: yes, this was segued into. The lightsticks were flying for this one. Kuroda's lightwork ewas breathtaking, and the jam was pure magic. very moving. ----Heavy Things: ok, here's the deal. after Hood, they took a few moments and were deciding what to play. I was getting excited, hoping for a Slave. Heavy Things came. it was better than people give it credit for, just because as a song it holds up. ----Twist: now we're talking! i adore Twist, and this one had a definite Fukuoka feel to it. The segue back into Twist was non-existant. Trey just played the Twist chords out of the blue. was really the only downspot, although for me the true downspot was that they didn't segue into Rock and Roll. ----All of These Dreams: everyone sits down. ----Waves: i'm not really familiar with the new stuff, i've listened to Round Room only twice and really have spent more time listening to the Halloween Shows. so i was really impressed by this one. cool little jam and nice guitar work. ----Sample In A Jar: wow, lot of Hoist tonight. this one got people back on their feet. very strong as a song, and the peak notes were hit. solid as usual. ----Chalkdust Torture: they hadn't played it in 7 shows, so i was willing to bet the farm on it. the problem: they never hit their stride in the jam, looking back, besides wanting Rock and Roll this was the only complaint. well, come to think of it... ----Farmhouse: no way. i don't want to hear the arguments. "leave them wanting more," or whatever. i REALLY wanted a Monkey Top. farmhouse is just way too anti-climactic. so there.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 14:44:56 -0500 From: "Paradise, Steven" Sparadise@us.nomura.com Subject: last nights show I will try to make this Brief. I have been going to phish shows for 10 years now.  No one out there is a bigger phan or loves the sweet sound of Trey's guitar more than me.  So let me just give a little insight here.  Last nights show Rocked! - but it was not without some down points. Before BB King came on they were ripping, really ripping.  I have been to NYE, all of Hampton, both Las Vegas and last nights first four songs were the most aggressive, energetic and Musically stimulating that I have witnessed in 2003.  BB was great, and I just love how much phun Trey had playing with him, but he was definitely up there too long (and no doubt, not by design).  I think having BB up there for such a long period of time took some of the energy out of a crowd that was beaming. Not the crowds fault, Not Trey's fault, it just was what it became; just too long.  But none the less it was still a great set of music and pure pure guitar playing by two all-stars. One other negative may be that Twist, tends to drift off a bit and again may have taken out some of the energy that had been so nicely building.   I would have to guess that there are a lot of new Phish phans at a lot of these shows because in reading some of the same stuff over and over, I think a lot of you don't get it.  Maybe you had certain expectations during the hiatus (likely not haven seen them before), about what they would be like. Maybe said expectations were based on endless MP3 downloads (Thank you god for the internet and thank you to a band for being way ahead of the curve on the correct model for selling music with music phans' best interest at heart), and from what they heard from word of mouth what it would be like.  But what ever it may be, what a lot of you are not getting is, that it is about what you are hearing and not about what you expect to hear.  I heard this idiot talking in the lobby of a hotel in Hampton VA the day after the NYE show saying he was disappointed in Taste - he thought it was supposed to be longer and that they played it differently. What?? This is improvisational music. There is no one way to play any song. That is what phish is about. Moving on here- Listening to people questioning the Encore's saying they have been a bit lack luster and were hoping for more of a show stopping song to end with.  You have to understand that what Trey really loves to play, is not just aggressive hard jamming songs like Antelope, or Possum etc. but what he loves equally, if not more are the less aggressive, more romantic (for lack of a better word here), licks where he just goes off on a melody with pure crisp, clean picking and bending.  Songs last night like Heavy Things, Farmhouse are just perfect examples of this.  Both of those songs had great Trey-esk jamming in them and they were awesome.  And WAVES! This song rocks- Big time- Its not hard core jamming, its exactly what phish is: just awesome, awesome music.  So please people, start listening to the music, and stop looking at the set list. Stop bitching about it too.  Phish came back for them, not you. They came back to play the way they want to play.  Not for you to write down the perfect set list.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 20:55:54 -0500 From: N1CKELS@aol.com Subject: 02-24-03 Review WOW! It's so good to have the boys back in town, I mean my boys Trey, Mike, Jon, and Page! Actually this was my first phish since Trey at Bonaroo, and for those of you who were there, you know that was the most legendary performance ever..i mean it has gone down in musical history! So for my first real phish show ever, I was psyched to be at Continental Airlines Arena, in my home state of Jersey ! Everyone was talking about how good the sound carries in this venue and that surely was the truth. Ok now for the show: DWD - Mike's opening bass line is really sick, but I think Fat Tony from TAB would have nailed it a little sicker given the opportunity. Either way, one of my favorite lyrical phish tunes. I remember listening to it on this old tape I had from 1999 and thinking, wow this song really has evolved a lot in those years. But now I'm on my way.... Corina Corina - Isn't this a Bobby song? I remember hearing it on So Many Roads the Dead anthology. Anyways, it just brought me back to the parking lot, thinking of all the coronas I drank. Wolfmans - Some people like the funked out versions of wolfmans, but I like the straight no holdsbar rock version of this song that they played last night. Again, if it were TAB, they would have got the horns right like off the sick album hoist. I've seen Phil play this song and man, he would have ripped it harder than Mike did. LimbXLimb - at this point my friend molly met up with me, and I was so happy to see her (havent seen her since Bonaroo) my limbs felt like they were popping out my sockets I was dancing so hard. Overall tight. BB King - I saw this sick BB King cover band once and they played better than this boring-ass 3 song jam. I felt like I was in a Burger King ad, it was really a buzzkill to me and I'm sure almost everyone in the whole arena. 2nd Set: Haleys- Trey must have known that since this is an airlines venue, he had to rip out something from the sky! And believe me, for those who weren't there, this was the sickest Haley's ever! Hood- Best glow war ever! I've heard so much about them that when the first throws were shot, I felt good to be on the front line of the battleground. Heavy Things - Not too familiar with those old favorite, but I remember seeing it on ABC during the Big Cypress Festival. I unfortunately couldnt be there, I was in Pensacola at my Nana's. Twist- I felt twisted at this point - the jam off of it was so spacey and full of psychadelic twists. And then bam - they went back into it and I landed from the distant planet I was on. All of these Dreams - Good campfire sing along song, and another reason why I think Roundroom is the best album ever. Perfect placement, as I was really in a dream! Waves- Isn't this a Disco Biscuits song? Sample- I was predicting the TAB to come on stage as a second special guest for this one, because honestly this song just sounds better with the horns. Chalkdust- A song I wish they would explore a little more. Most of the 30 phish tapes I have have this song on 'em and I wish they would just change it up a bit. Overall though, I was psyched to hear it. Encore: Farmhouse- Another song I wish they would play longer, especially as an encore. I'm still waiting for my 40 minute house dawg! Overall, I really think this show will be made into a live CD because it was that good. By far the best I have seen and am looking forward to Nassau! I'll be wearing the Split Open & Melt Hoodie, come say Hi and give me a Hug!
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 16:14:31 -0500 From: Eric Levine phish86@optonline.net Subject: 2-24-03 review I haven't seen the boys since 6-29-00 at PNC, and I was more than ready to finally see them again. The lot was a lot of fun, and everyone was pumped for a great show.   1st set: DWD-Sick! best opener I have ever seen. Nice tight jam, got everyone pumped!   Corina-wasnt expecting this, but I love this song, & it chilled everyone out.   wolfman's-very sick, & very tight!   limb-mellow, but I love Limb. After limb i was hoping they would continue with this (what could of been) sick set. Instead B.B. King comes out........   B.B. King- The man is a legend and I have a lot of respect for him, but he was on that stage for way to long. He couldn't keep up w/ Phish. He would play a couple of riffs & build everything up, & then he would just stop & look at trey in wonder of what to do next. This kind of bumbed me out, but I just figured that the 2nd set would be insane!   2nd set: Haley's-VERY nice. tight jam that reminded everyone they were at a phish show!>   Hood!-This hood was sick! glow sticks flying everywhere, and the jam was perfect!   Heavy Things- I DO like this song (as many phans disagree) but, I just wanted them to rage! Every show on the tour so far looked so sick, and at this point I was thinking maybe this wouldn't be one of those shows.   Twist-I love this song & it was insane, but I was still looking for that song that would tear everyone a new asshole like Hood did!   All of these dreams- Again, a very good song, but wrong placement   Waves-Hate to repeat myself, but wrong placement. This jam was sick & I was very pleased w/ my 1st waves, but we allready had our euphoric jam w/ twist, so it was time to go nuts!>   Sample-at this point I knew that this show wasnt going to turn out to be the best, but I'll deal w/ a sample, its fun.>   Chalkdust-I love chalkdust, & this was very well played, but my stuborn mind just kept telling me, "this isnt the show you were waiting for"   When the 2nd set ended, I turned to all of my friends (who were all seeing their first show) & I almost felt kind of bad. Dont get me wrong, I am not saying Phish took a turn for the worst, I heard shows from this tour & they are sick! But this wasnt one of those shows. I wanted them to hear their first fluffhead or YEM, or something of that nature. Now I was just hoping for a good encore so I could leave w/ hearing  just one more rager!.........This didn't happen.   Enocre: Farmhouse:.......uuuuuuummmmmmm, aright enough said. I am not down with these slow encores like friday, velvet sea, etc. If they play a sick show, by all means play the slowest song you know, but the show was pretty weak, & this just added to it.   Leaving the arena, all I kept saying to myself is "you're going to nassau, it will be sick!" Then I figured, this is only my 3rd phish show (1st-10/7/99, 2nd-6/29/00). My 1st 2 were incredible. When you talk to people who have seen 50 shows, they always tell you about the few bad shows they saw, and I just figured that this was that show for me. Some of my friends thought it was the greatest thing in the world, and I'm not trying to persuade anyone, but I guess I just had to high of expectations. But in conclusion, I saw Phish again. Thats all that matters, I waited almost 3 years, & I just need to see a Phish show, and I got it. Now, its time for Nassau......muhahaha.
  Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 15:31:25 -0500 From: "Freundlich, Jordan" jfreundlich@reboul.com Subject: Jersey Review Can I get an amen for Jeff Spittell. I couldn't agree more. From where I was sitting, the sound was great, the show was hot and the vibe was tremendous (except for the dude sitting behind me that kept saying the show was lame, and asked my friend not to dance in front of him, jack-off). The naysayers have entered a place where they will never enjoy a show if they can't enjoy last night. Please, please, do us a favor and just stay away. BB King is a legend and you still got a ton of Phish (although a guy sitting next to me had a funny line, "The thrill was gone for me after 30 minutes."). All of These Dreams is a great lyrical ballad. Not every song needs to bring the house down. I've now been to 70+ shows, and if you can't feel the freedom, and can't appreciate the magic, just stay away. Far, far away. This message is a PRIVATE communication. It may contain information that is confidential and protected by privilege from disclosure. If you are not an intended recipient, please do not read, copy or use this message or any attachments, and do not disclose them to others. Please notify the sender of the delivery error by replying to this message, and then delete it and any attachments from your system. Thank you. RMH&M
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 18:22:52 -0500 From: Brian Hamer bwh85@hotmail.com Subject: Review Of 2/24/03 This was my 2nd show, and i was extremely excited for this one...To start out, I went with my friend Chris, who always makes this joke about how his fav. song is Farmhouse and that he'd rather hear that than anything else...Its kinda annoying bc i always think ppl take him seriously and think hes weird when they over-hear him, but its funny nonetheless... The boys came out on stage and the weird, jumbled noises usually associated with DWD started. DWD-This had me in a frenzy to start the show...However, the sound was pretty terrible and low in the beginning of this, and didn't really clear up and get loud until the final chorus was sung. Other than that, this was a solid version. Corrine Corrina-I had never heard this song before...It was a relatively slow number without that great of a jam...Wasn't terrible, but since I didn't know the original it meant little to me. Wolfman's Brother-After this unknown cover, the lights focused on Page who began the Wolfman's opening chords...This was a tight, funky version that climaxed in a stellar way at the end...VERY solid. Limb x Limb-This song was delivered perfectly, and had a pretty raging jam to end it...This converted me from someone who doesnt reely lke this song to a big fan. Everyday I Have the Blues-The place went fuckin crazy when they realized BB King was playing...This song was easily the best of the 3 that they played with him imo...but I think that i believe that bc i was expecting mroe phish after this one song with BB King. It was a bluesy, great-soloing version... The Thrill Is Gone--After EIHTB, i was expecting the guitar legend to leave the stage, but they started this up...During this, i got a little tired of it to be honest....I had worn myself down dancing during the 23 minute number before, and I was looking forward to more Phish, not more blues-Phish w/ BB king... Rock Me Baby-After the Thrill Is Gone, I was sure that BB King was going to leave, and I prepared myself for a closing SOAMelt...however, King stayed...at this point, I was sick of it--nothing against BB King or Phish, it was great and played well---but not what i wanted at the time... SET II Halley's Comet--I was extactic to hear them open with this...Trey was singing the lyrics a little behind (on purpose I believe)...They started out with a nice jam, and then it got reely FUNKY!!! :-D....it was a sick funk jam, but unfortunately Mike was not turned up loud enough and was not clear enough in the mix to have the jam be fully enjoyed...it did not get great to my ears until Trey started leading it...it was simply good (meaning awesome lol)...I'll have to listen to the SBDs to hear the jam again with better Bass... Harry Hood-I was very excited when they started this too , my 2nd hood :-)...the composed part was hit for what i could tell....the jam was very good...nothing out of the ordinary-meaning an amazing Hood. (Great lights) Heavy Things-I wasn't upset at all to hear this-- I like the jam out of it, i think its uplifting and light...Dont mind it at all... Twist-This started out slow and nice...Trey had some nice soloing over it...good stuff...this went into the Jam-This jam was dark, heavy, spacy...I loved it...I remember at the time being really into it...kinda reminded me of 10/31/98 except not as dark, and Fishman had a pretty nice fast beat goin... Back into... Twist-They finished it out nicely... All Of These Dreams---I was one of only 7 people maybe in my section still standing for this song...I loved it--beautifully delivered....Good rest. Waves--AWESOME! I dont know why, but i got really into this jam-they nailed it...it was beautiful and powerfullly raging at the same time---SICK SONG! Sample In A Jar--Was SIAJ--good, fun to participate with...I like it. Chalkdust--I've noticed something about the Chalkdust's of this year...instead of the jam opening up and simply raging, they now start off slightly mellow...Then open up, rage a little....then build tension and release it with the Chalkdust riffs...>I Like how they deliver this now, as opposed to just shredding it, bc they have alot of songs to use as shredding material now (piper, carini, char. 0, etc) Encore--They came back out and started Farmhouse--Chris looked at me and we started laughing so hard...It was ridiculous that they played this...especially since its not played very often...It was actually a good version of it---Left the night on a good note---nice ligh jamming out of it---Great encore imo... On that note---My 2nd show was great, i had an amazing time...The only part I wasn't completely into was the BB King/Phish blues jamming towards the end and the very beginning of the funk jam out of Halleys because it was hard to hear Mike, who was leading the jam (thus causing complications ;-))... Thanks for reading, Brian
ate: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:46:31 -0500 From: Todd A. tamodeo@stern.nyu.edu Subject: 2/24/03 review Shut out of NYE, this was my first show back. First show since Albany 2000. I was out of my mind with anticipation! I had heard so many opinions (both good and bad) and I was anxious to step up to the plate and see for myself. First set...DWD....hey, ho, here we go, rock and roll! A high spirited rockin opener. Here they come! CORRINE CORRINA...Not too familiar to me. Not too exciting. WOLFMAN'S BROTHER...fun, fun, fun. Nice jam. Same deal with LIMB BY LIMB. All good...nothing spectacular so far. This Head dancing next to me tells me he heard a rumor that Trey had met B.B. King at the Grammies and invited him to sit in. Oh wow! Just after Limb by Limb, they bring a chair out and sure enough there he is. B.B. King. Wow! What a sight to see him on the same stage with our boys. Now...here's where things get weird. Really weird. They go into EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES with B.B. sounding more than a little hoarse vocally. But hey...it's THAT voice and when he plays guitar... it's THAT guitar sound. So beautiful. So distinct. So he takes a solo and then stops playing and looks back to Trey. Trey plays a little solo (the most self-conscious, awkward guitar playing I've heard from Trey) and then he hands it back to B.B. Well B.B. spends a lot of time looking back at Trey and doing funny arm motions. Trey gets up close on him and starts talking to him....encouraging him to jam on. And they go back in forth in this kind of comic thing where B.B. plays a few notes then stops. The problem with all of this is that it went on and on for three LONG mellow songs. Finally at the end of ROCK ME BABY they managed to push and prod B.B. into nice climatic jam. Now...here's one of the best (non-musical moments). The crowd goes wild. They give mad love to B.B. despite the down turn in energy. B.B. waves to the crowd and gives thanks back. As they are all walking off the stage, B.B. (the last person on stage) stops, turns around one last time and gives the crowd a little wave like to an old friend. This was a real calculated, show biz kind of moment but it worked and the crowd showered B.B. with enthusiastic applause. Now...please...2nd set...Can we have our Phish show back? HALLEY'S COMET...Oh yea...always fun...The jam quickly got away from Halley's territory and into some nice crunchy spaces. HARRY HOOD...Hands down (IMO) highlight of the show. The song was well executed. The jam had tremendous, explosive power with Kuroda chiming in with some fireworks of his own. The crowd went INSANE at the end of this. This is the Phish I had been waiting to see! Now...here's where things go off the rails again. HEAVY THINGS....I always dug this song, especially the fun bouncy, rhythms that Fishman lays down. This one never quite came to life and really sounded like it belonged in the first set. TWIST AROUND...I get the vibe that Trey really loves this song and really wants to get it over with fans. But it's a mediocre song and can only be saved byhot jams. (See the monstrous 4/2/98 version) The band sounded rough on this and the momentum was now completely sucked out of the arena. However, it was redeemed by some very nice exploratory jamming. All of these Dreams...Nice song. Very Attics of My Life. Very Robert Hunter. This would have worked better coming right out of the insane energy of Harry Hood. But after two mellow songs...it was definitely not the energy boost I was looking for. Waves...wow...what a cool, interesting composition. Feels like new worlds for Phish. They pulled it off. Harmonies, changes, etc. This also had some intense jamming in it. Sample in a Jar...Ah, the classics. (1993 is classic isn't it?) Good times. Good fun. Good jams. I thought that might be it....but they jacked things up one more level with a thunderous Chalkdust Torture. Wow...Raging jam! Again, great work from Kuroda on the lights for the peak points of the jam. Hot, Hot, Hot! I was thoroughly underwhelmed to hear the choice of FARMHOUSE as encore. My initial assessment was proved completely wrong as they proceeded to deliver a really passionate version of the song with nice harmonies and some hot improv thrown in for good measure. A nice way to end the show. FINAL ASSESSMENT: Despite the smoking highlights of this show, I walked away with mixed feelings. First...it's only human...Phish do at times sound like a band that's been off the road for a while. This will pass in time. No worries. The pacing of the show was the biggest problem. Because of the unique nature of B.B.'s presence, we were all willing to deal with the disjointed energy of the first set. I only wish they had better maintained or evolved the explosive energy they achieved on the Harry Hood in the second set. I had fun and I can't wait to see them jack it up a notch two at Nassau on Friday! -todd amodeo
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 16:07:35 -0500 From: Ruben - FlatRate Moving ruben@flatrate.com Subject: review of 02/24/03 After reading some of the reviews, I wonder why you people even go to shows.  Why have crazy expectations?  The boys are only human (although they do levitate us from time to time).   This was my first show since Hershey 2000.  The long line for the bus outside of Port Authority was a bummer, but once we got to the Meadowlands and found shakedown, it was on.  I found what I needed, including an upgrade to the floor.  True the loooong lines sucked, but having gotten off the bus opposite side the main lot, I walked back around the venue to the short line. Once in I found my seat, said hello to the strangers around, put my jacket down, I  got ready to find my groove spot.    I had no expectations going in, except to see Phish.   I was not let down, and I feel sorry for all of those who were.  Sure, from time to time it was less than perfect, but WHO CARES.  Overall, I thought it was a great show.  After, when I finally found my posse, they had the same positive comments.  Maybe the set list was weak, and the song placement was off, and we even had a few tour repeats.  But for not having the ability to see them for the entire 2001 and 2002 year, they could have pissed in my ears and I would have lapped it up.    See Ya'll in Nassau   Ruben Mendez Manhattan
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 16:16:18 EST From: Lostboyz25@aol.com Subject: continental show this was my first Phish show, and I must say, I have seen some mad good shows, butt his was by far the best performance I have ever seen.  They came one playin Down With Disease, and this was great.  Later in the set they played a loop containing Wolfman's Brother>Limb By Limb, this was awsome, everyone was goin crazy.  After Limb By Limb you would not believe who came onto the stage.  It was the one and only B.B. King.  Phish and BB jamed for 23 min., now you now life is great.  The second set opened up with Halley's Comet then to Harry Hood with Glow stick and circles being thrown everywhere(it was intense), then to Heavy Thing, Twist Around>Jam>Twist which was 18 min.  All of These Dreams, and Wave, then onto Sample In A JAr and Chalkdust.  They go off the stage with a standing ovation for about 10-15 min.  COme back on the stage and play Farmhouse.  Seriously this was the best concert I have ever seen in my life.... Thanks Guys
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 16:16:18 EST From: Lostboyz25@aol.com Subject: continental show this was my first Phish show, and I must say, I have seen some mad good shows, butt his was by far the best performance I have ever seen.  They came one playin Down With Disease, and this was great.  Later in the set they played a loop containing Wolfman's Brother>Limb By Limb, this was awsome, everyone was goin crazy.  After Limb By Limb you would not believe who came onto the stage.  It was the one and only B.B. King.  Phish and BB jamed for 23 min., now you now life is great.  The second set opened up with Halley's Comet then to Harry Hood with Glow stick and circles being thrown everywhere(it was intense), then to Heavy Thing, Twist Around>Jam>Twist which was 18 min.  All of These Dreams, and Wave, then onto Sample In A JAr and Chalkdust.  They go off the stage with a standing ovation for about 10-15 min.  COme back on the stage and play Farmhouse.  Seriously this was the best concert I have ever seen in my life.... Thanks Guys
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:36:17 -0500 From: Neil Sharma nms2001@columbia.edu Subject: Continental Review First off, thanks to the Phish.net people for their organization of the site, and the anthology of reviews. 99% of the time, I am the hungry reader, and its a great service done gratis for us. 02/24/03 Meadowlands - NJ 1 (86 min): Down with Disease, Corinne Corrina*, Wolfman's Brother > Limb by Limb, Everyday I Have the Blues**, The Thrill is Gone**, Rock Me Baby** 2 (81 min): Halley's Comet, Harry Hood^, Heavy Things, Twist Around -> Jam -> Twist, All of These Dreams, Waves, Sample In A Jar, Chalkdust Torture E: Farmhouse Notes: * - third time played since 1989; ** - first time played, and WITH B.B. KING; ^ - w/ glow skirmishes (not quite wars), and end dragged out as Trey sets up delay loop for Heavy Things. Two prefaces: (i) The sound in the Continental Arena is the dirts. Muddled up like a senior citizen gargling salt water. My review of the entire first set may be negatively biased due to the acute inability to hear anything substantial. Phish, don't play their again. Do a two night stint at either MSG or Strong Island. (ii) I've been hearing great things about this tour. However, I think the boys brought their sloppy seconds to NJ last night. Good, straight-forward Phish show, and definitely fun, but not worthy of the comparisons to '97 and the such. This show, to me at least, hangs in the halls of mediocrity. But then again, after seeing a bunch of these guys since '93, its hard not to judge compared to the rest of my contextual history. DWD: Strong opener. Almost too strong if you know what I mean. I thought to myself, how are they going to maintain this level of intensity for the rest of the show? IMHO, the show should build, hence as much as DWD is a top 10 song for me, I'd rather it be later in the set, or in the fourth quarter. This is just a subtle, minor comment though. DWD rocked everyone's wool socks off. Definitely better than the Hamptony pony DWD. People were jumping, screaming, and making a commotion, as they should. Great return to the song after a pretty solid jam (what I could hear of it anyways). Corrina: Fun little ditty. I didn't realize it was such a rarity, since I've heard it before. I really like this, but it definitely got hurt by the muddy, muted, dirty sound that Continental was embarrassingly promoting. Reminded me of Ether Sunday the Trey song. I am sure I am going to like this on tape. Oh, and proper placement after a rager like DWD. The Wolf: Good choice, but I thought the guys fell a bit short on this. The Hampton version was powerful, and perhaps comparing last night's to it is unfair, but it just did not lift off as much as the song could. (Quick aside on Wolfman's: can anyone honestly say that they saw this tune becoming the monster truck that it is now, after your first listen to Hoist? I used to skip this one, despite many Hoist listens, which in hindsight was such a travesty). Anyways, this one was middle-of-the-road. And trying not to sound like a broken BB King record, I think the sound might have something to do with my opinion. LxL: Good choice again, but this definitely did not go the places it went in Hampton. That introductory note (to the jam) was not as singular and vocal as it usually is. And the jam was not quite the soaring eagle it can become. BB King Extravaganza: Okay, I will say that it was cool to see a living blues - or, better, music - legend on stage with my fellas. And I am SURE that they were all pumped for the experience. BUT, I think this went on too long. It brought the crowd WAY down and quiet and shy. BB's guitar just didn't shine. And his vocals showed his age. Every now and then, Trey would kick in, and things would pick up, but it only reminded one that you kinda wanted straight up, pure, unadulterated Phish after 1-2 songs with BB. In fact, I think Trey kept trying to politely say, "thanks (but its time to get off stage)," but BB was immobile. And what can you do, kick off the legend? Anyways, I hate to say it, but this three song buzzkill shot a silver bullet in what would/should have been a decent Phish setlist. Cest la vie. To finish on a good note, if you used to like Garcia/Grisman, Thrill is Gone was sure to put a smile on your face (yes I know its not their song, but you know what I mean if you liked Garcia's guitar). Setbreak: People say its too long, but I am happy to have the time to catch up with friends, and take care of biz (drinks, b-room, t-shirt preview, etc). Halley's: YES YES YES!!! First since the hiatus, if I am not correct? Oh so good to hear. Somewhat underrated Phish tune in my opinion. I think it belongs on the varsity team with Hood, Reba, YEM, Mikes-Week, etc. This was fun, good, and everything it should have been. Now that I was front and center in the Kuroda zone and audible sound area, things were A LOT better. Once again, hat's off to Mr. Halley and his Comet. He did us justice last night. HOOD: Um, triple YES. And then one more for seasoning. Haven't heard this for myself since the break. And I was feeling very good about hood. The version was not as epic as other's I've seen, but still what it should be. Definitely full and thick and interesting. Good hood build towards the end. I thought I'd see more glowsticks, but whatever. Its probably good that that trend is waning towards defuct, b/c I remember Trey getting whacked in a not-so-good way at times in the past. Yes, thank you Mr. Minor. The milk does a body good. Heavy Things: Rounded out the H-trick. I know a lot of Phish fan folks do not like this tune. Bah humbug. I love it. I thought is was perfect placement after the one two of Halley's Hood. Upbeat, fun, appropriately (in my opinion) poppy. And fun guitar licks in the jam in the end. Oooh ooh, wah ah. Sorry, I respectfully submit my vote that this stay in rotation. The H-trick was perhaps the most solid run of songs in the show, as far as I am concerned. Twist: Yuck, I just never got in to this song. I think it should be downgraded to junk bond status, and put in the first set. The jam usually goes decent places, but I just cannot get over the song structure, and its inherent weaknesses. I must say that it was during the Twist jam that Phish got the most psychedelic last night. We interrupt this review for a quick Kuroda digression. Man do we owe this guy our love. He should come out and bow with the other 4 when the show's wrapped up. Since the beginning of time (well, Kuroda time), the lights have only gotten better and added to the shows. Talk about tripping the light fantastic. Mmm Hmmm. And I love that new circular blank white canvas that Kuroda paints on. Great addition sir. During Twist, it got the most interesting. His stuff really helps define the Phish aesthetic, and certainly is the definition of their visual interpretation of this unique musical style and phenomena. AOTD: Good song, wrong placement. I am not going to waste our collective time explaining why (well, other than that it was a bit of a downer after Twist. The bizzaro one two after the opening Supermen. Good sing along, kinda like Ripple from that band the Grateful Dead. Earlier guys, or sandwiched between two big slices of hearty bread. Waves: A ha! Totally brought things back in order. I haven't had a chance to hear this yet. New Phish tunes - can you beat it? And good ones too. I thought Waves was wonderful, and a newish sound for these guys. More open and exploratory. Play more of this one fellas. Good jamming, and I like the song as well as a launchpad. This was the triple double player for the fourth quarter. And one. Now, if only they had played 7Below. Nassau? Please? Sample: Another that most of the Phish board bashes. Allegedly b/c it is not a "jammer" (bullshite). But I think behind the scened its b/c it was the popularity contest tune off of Hoist, at a time when new fans infiltrated the Phish territory. Fuck it all (pardon my Francais). I think it is a swell tune. High energy, sing along factor. Pound your chest type of stuff. Great soaring guitar at the end. My only complaint is that it should be a closer. Sample Chalkdust as a one two finisher is a bit lame. One of those should have been the closer, and we should have gotten a bigger penultimate song. A la YEM or something. Or slightly lighter beer, like AC/DC Bag. Chalkdust: See Sample commentary/banter. This song DEFINITELY works best as a closer. I did not like it as an opener in Hampton. "This has all been wonderful, but now I'm on my way...Can I live while I'm young?" Wonderful verbal juxtaposition by these brainiac geniuses we call Phish. Open with the "getting older, getting onward" statement (DWD), but close with the "keeping it youthful" vibe. Bravo. Good set closer guys, just don't double down with Sample, ya? E: Farmhouse: Boy, I sound like the defense attorney for freakin' Worldcom. Once again, a song which the masses seem to bash, and label a "bathroom break" or "get your coat, we are beating the crowds" tune. Al contraire mofrair (sp?), I think this was a great ending. Feelgood song, great guitar in the middle and end, and a good way to go home knowing that in the farmhouse (the Barn) things'll be alright. They sure were when they recored Round Room. For that alone, gracias. I am erring on loquacious here, so I will close with some final commentary. Good, middle of the road Phish show, which is always a good time, and better than anything else going on musically out there. No complaints here. Just wanted to tell interested people one person's take on the show. Minus the BB King stuff, I would have said B-B+. Since an entire quarter was spent riding pine for me while BB missed the open net, I downgrade to B-. Not a bad grade, especially given that I am skipping bschool classes these days to see see these guys. Ay caramba. Back to stocks, bonds, buy low, sell high today. Well, this guy is very much looking forward to Nassau. Here's to hoping they pull out the AK-47 and pierce our body armor. Cheers Phish fans... Neil Sharma
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 11:04:48 EST From: NazarianD@aol.com Subject: 2-24-03 Meadowlands review Lot scene was decent. Minimal police presence, good shopping, crowded, cold, etc. The gates were slow on the way in, but the pat-down was a joke. DwD was tight. The jam wasn't too crazy. Lots of jazzy riffs from Trey. Trey sets the tone for the first set. Corrina was a gift. Better placement than Hershey. Wolfman's was GREAT. Funk done right. And into a beautiful Limb by Limb. Trey was in charge but Page added the highlights. BB King... what a testament this is to Phish's reputation... As best I could tell, it took BB a while to get comfortable. Trey seemed to be leaning over talking to him a lot, I'm guess to encourage him to really just let go. Trey didn't really do much... seemed intimidated, or just out of respect... your guess is as good as mine. First two songs were great but the third was the kicker. By that point, BB realized what kind of a crowd he was dealing with and started to have fun. Thanks, BB. Awesome Halley's to open 2nd set. Typical Halley's jam: light funk with some digital delay loop crap. Very nice. And then into a GRAND Hood. The majority of the composed parts were average or better, but the jam at the end was sooo good. High energy, Trey really just ripping into it, he owned that whole place. He builds and builds and builds and he carries everyone up to this WONDERFUL peak... AND THEN SCREWS US! That bastard...  I almost threw up. Heavy Things was, in my opinion, one of the ten worst song place,ments of all time. Don't get me wrong... it was surely the grandest, most-rocking Heavy Things EVER, but who really cares... I was too pissed off to really get into it. Ok... so maybe they just needed a breather (although we all know that's bull). So he brings us into Twist in a way that you just know it's gonna be MOTHER of a Twist... and it was... The jam was unreal. They explored... and they did so with complete success. Very progressive... I can't emphasize that enough. So what's the best way to RUIN one of the best Twist's I've heard since Camden 7/4/00? Follow it with some crap like All of These Dreams...  Honestly, that bastard is just screwing with us. "I am the greatest rock star alive! Now listen to this crap I wrote." Screw 'em. As my friends and I all sat there stupified by the wretched transitions we were witnessing, my buddy turns to me and says, "I don't know why the rest of the band puts up with it." Well said. Neither do I. Screw Waves. Way too much of a valley for a set like that. But then he made all the hurting go away with ragingest, rockingest Sample and Chalkdust. So high energy, I almost danced myself into a coma. EXCELLENT show closer. Our very own rock star. I love the guy. But I booed the bastard. Farmhouse encore was the BIGGEST KICK IN THE TEETH EVER. I sat my ass down, waited until they were done, then booed the hell out of 'em. I don't care what the hell you say... it's just RUDE. Bottom line: Trey is a bastard. He's screwing with us. BUT... I for one will be at Philly tonight... and Worcester the next day... and Nassau. The peaks were so high... but the valleys were way too low... and totally unneccessary. And of course... BB.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 01:54:28 -0800 (PST) From: Michael Vasiliou Subject: Phish - 2/24/03 in NJ Review! Well, I am finally back from the meadowlands show that I was predicting to be very good and it definitely delivered. Although both of my song predictions were wrong (no curtain and no tweezer), the night was filled with excitement. I'll try to give you my whole experience so you can get the feeling you were there... (Preshow Stuff) We got there rather early but it didn't seem to matter as the lot around the arena was already filled completely. Mostly with people that didn't have tickets with them, but I digress. $10 to park, little ridiculous if you ask me, especially since it was not even at the arena, but they want their money for everything at the meadowlands. I parked in the Giant's Stadium parking lot and walked through the huge tube walkthrough over the highway with hundreds of other people. We get to the other side of the tube after walking a bit and there are just tons of people just standing around, hanging out, smokin', drinkin', begging for tickets, scalping tickets, you know the usual crowd. The temperature was going down and I left my coat in the car because I didn't want it smelling of pot and smoke for weeks or until I cleaned it. We stood on the line to get checked for things at the gate before we got to go to the arena. They asked us to take out any phones and our tickets before being searched. The search on me was thorough, others were not, guess I looked like a bad ass or something. We walk up the stairs of the arena and get are tickets ripped inside the door. We were sitting in section 233 and we looked up and it said 201 or something so we walked to the right for awhile to get to 233. As we walked, we passed the shirt stand. I didn't get to really look at them but I noticed 2. One was a picture of Trey on it giving the middle finger and it said "Wilson" or something on it. The other one I noticed, I think it was the back said "I saw satan on the beach" It's nice to know their shirts are getting cooler. I almost wanted to look and buy one again. We keep walking and see the waterwheel foundation table and such. Finally we find our section and head up. Our seats were about half up 233, so we were pretty high up there. It wasn't too bad though, I saw the whole stage perfectly and it was over to the right side of the stage. At this point maybe 10% of the arena was filled. The stage setup was different from the last time I had seen them. Page turned his piano around so it's facing the front left of the stage and put his organ facing front right. So for the most part, Page was facing the crowd finally. Usually he is looking sideways or backwards. Trey is back in position next to page. He didn't seem to have his signature rig setup (that stereo looking thing) at all anymore and it was just an amp or 2 connected to his pedals and pedal board. He had 4 or 5 floor monitors around him and was on a rectangular rug. Fish was technically next. Something odd is, Fish is now up on a higher drum riser in the back. It's like a rock band type setup, which is different. His kit looked about the same and I saw the Electrolux on the side. Then Mike was stage right, not really on the side of Fish, but not really directly in front of him either. He had his pedal board and 3 floor monitors around him. The lighting setup looked about the same as well with the exception of a set of lights that were hanging out closer over the crowd. Maybe they were there the last tour, but I didn't go to the last arena tour. The showtime on the ticket was 7:30pm but we all know they don't hit the stage then. Since everyone knew that I would say on 40% of the arena was filled by that time, if that many. I noticed a guy putting a chair off to the side of the stage and setting up a smaller amp with a big hollow body guitar, I don't know what this is for at the time, but I find out later. Time passes, more people come, by 8pm I would say the place is 80% filled. It's 8:06pm by my watch, the lights fade, the crowd roars, and that 80% instantly turns to 99% in a blink of the eye. The Show - Set 1! First I will state that both sets were close to 90 minutes each, if not 90 minutes each. The first set is upon us! The guys walk out on the stage to a bright white light on the stage. Huge applause. That light fades and they start into doing a feedback and ambient type opening and goes right into "Down with Disease". They play a pretty good version of it for about 15 minutes and the crowd is pumped up. At this point it almost seems like they didn't have any plans to do any songs and just making it up as they went. Usually between every song they talked for a minute before deciding on what to play next. So, next they played a song they that they have only played 27 times in their career and only 2 times since 1989. That song is "Corinne Corrina". It was certainly a surprise to everyone and I was happy to see them play it. Another brief pause before they begin a version of "Wolfman's Brother" that lasted for about 10 minutes before it cooled down and segued into another 10 minute "Limb by Limb". That was a nice little thing to hear but nothing was as interesting as what happened next. They pause briefly and Trey says something while that chair that I was wondering about comes out on stage. They bring a mic over too so I say to my self, "SPECIAL GUEST, SPECIAL GUEST!" as I love seeing people jam with Phish. I then see a heavyset gentleman slowly make his way up the stairs and over. My jaw dropped as it was none other than the great B.B. King!! I think ol' B.B. was taken back a little bit by the audience reaction and the amazement that is a Phish show. He sat down with his classic guitar and jumped into a rendition of the song "Everyday I Have the Blues" or at least that is what it seemed to be. They jammed this song with Trey trading licks with B.B. in this truly legendary night that I am sure with go down in history. The jams were very disorganized and it seemed B.B. kept telling Trey to keep playing and at the same time Trey kept telling B.B. to keep playing so there were a lot of times that there were no solos if you listen to the tapes later. This song was over 20 minutes long. B.B. was dancing in his chair for half of it and really seemed to be having a great time. Next they played another blues song with B.B. King, "The Thrill Is Gone". This song didn't go on as long but it was getting progressively tighter between the two of them. I am assuming it was over 10 minutes easy. Finally they played the final song in the set, also with B.B. again. They played "Rock Me Baby" which is another song that I enjoyed hearing. That was another 10 minutes and the set was over. I was amazed at what I had witnessed, history was truly made. They told everyone they would be right back and finished. B.B. got up and shook Mike's hand, shook Fish's hand, pointed over at Page in a "you're good" way, and then gave a big hug to Trey. They walked off together. Lights came up, thick smoke everywhere... we sat down. I chatted about music, film, and art for some time before set 2 began... I go on and on sometimes, much like this review. Man, I'm a dork. The Show - Set 2 and Encore Lights dim again, crowd roars again, and they come out on stage... again. Trey starts talking to everyone in the group and starts playing 2 notes over and over that are Reba, but alas Reba was not played. What they did play though was equally pleasing. They all were up to the mics and all of the sudden "Halley's Comet" began and lasted over 10 minutes. I don't know what it is about that song, but it's just a fun song in my opinion. "...and I love meatballs so you better get ready" Little feedback and whatnot and they go right into a nice sounding 15 minute "Harry Hood". Halfway through the song the infamous "glow war" occurred. Luckily I didn't get pelted with any glowsticks or glowrings. I enjoyed the HH they did. Since those were the 2 opening songs of the set I was expecting another good tune. Well, they played "Heavy Things", and although I think it's a good tune, it really didn't fit in with the show so far. Not what I would consider a highlight by any means. It was followed by a song that did fit in more and was rather interesting. They played "Twist" into a different tempo jam and back into "Twist". It also seemed to be a little slower to me. Either that or it was all that pot I inhaled at the show. In total it was probably about 20 minutes. The segue back into "Twist" at the end was a little rough but it was still nice to hear the shouts of "Woo!" I also like the next song. "All Of These Dreams" is a pretty good tune off of the new album. It sounds so much like a tune that could have been written by the Grateful Dead back in 1972. I like it though, nice writing, nice melody. Next they played another song off of the new album. "Waves" is also a good song. I think they jam may have been a little weak on it in my opinion, but I still liked hearing that one too. "Sample in a Jar" followed and was a short and sweet crowd pleasing rock number that got everyone back up jumping and dancing. I always liked this song. I don't know if it's the catchy solo or what but I enjoyed it and so did everyone else. I figured they were going to end on that since they played awhile by then already, but nope. The final song of the set was another hard rockin' "Chalkdust Torture". Now I was positive it was the end of the set because they always try to leave concerts on a rock note. It was a pretty good version, about 10 minutes. Trey thanked everyone and they walked off the stage. Time for everyone to break out their lighters for the standard arena rock show sign to indicate "the fans want more" but you already knew that. I think Phish realized what time it was when they went backstage because it wasn't very long from the time they left until the time they came back. Time has proven that usually when a great show like this has occurred, Phish always comes back with a rather weak encore and in my opinion, this one was no different. They came out and played "Farmhouse". It was really misplaced and not the strongest one I have heard. I was really hoping they wouldn't end on that note but I am sure they hit the curfew of the place. Overall it was a great legendary show that you will hear about for a long time. Many ups, a few downs, but I wouldn't have traded this show for anything. Post-show! We walked down the crowded steps of the arena and for some reason people kept walking out onto the steps and just stopped. Either to check their phone messages or to tie their shoes or to just look around. I don't know why they had to do these things there and not from their seat, but some people are some people. When we finally got outside we just followed along with the countless amounts of people walking to the special tube again. It was a long, slow, crowded journey but we got over the rainbow to the pot of gold, which would be my car for those of you keeping track. Walked over to my car and drove my friend home. Here is just the setlist for people who don't want to read any of my babble to find what songs they played. 2/24/03 Continental Airlines Arena - East Rutherford, NJ I: Down with Disease, Corinne Corrina, Wolfman's Brother > Limb by Limb, Everyday I Have the Blues*, The Thrill is Gone *, Rock Me Baby* II: Halley's Comet, Harry Hood, Heavy Things, Twist > Jam > Twist, All of These Dreams, Waves, Sample In A Jar, Chalkdust Torture E: Farmhouse * with B.B. King Sorry for the length of this post.... just ignore it.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:59:31 -0500 (EST) From: Iii William F Luke iluke@Oswego.EDU Subject: Re: 2/24 The horrific 2.5 year wait is finally over. When i entered the arena i didn't really know what to expect. When i left the arena i was blown away by the well-oiled machine that is Phish. I don't know if they sounded as gaood as they did because i haven't heard them live in over two years, but i was amazed at how well they played last night. B.B King?? Are you kidding me?? Anyway, to those of you reading this who have yet to see a show and are lucky enough to have tix to one of the last 4 shows, you are in for quite the treat. Have fun and see you all this summer.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:54:36 -0500 From: David Fitzgerald lauraanddave@hotmail.com Subject: review 2.24.03 Gotta disagree with most of the reviews below.  I did feel like the music with BB King dragged, but besides that, I thought the band was tight, the setlist was strong, and the energy (at least in my section) was very high.  People, myself included, were having a great time.  A solid show.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:43:53 -0500 From: "Perla, Brian" Brian.Perla@Grubb-Ellis.com Subject: Feb 24th Show @ Meadowlands, N.J. Supposed Phish Phans never cease to amaze me. Every time I get back from a show I go online to write a review and to read others, and every time it's the same thing. "this show sucked" and "not as good as they  used to be" blah blah blah. Look, if you even sort of like music there is no way you could consider last nights performance bad in any way shape or form. The light jams were melodic and crisp and the heavy jams were out of control. Twist rolled into something dark and scary for a little while there. I was very very happy. Anyway, I do in fact enjoy reading peoples honest opinions, I just wish people were just as motivated to write about a good experience they had as they are the bad ones. Here is my pro/con list for the show: Pros:    That twisted Twist/heavy metal jam         Jammin' w the KING for 45 minutes (guitar players dream come true! Trey BB BATTLE!)         Crowd attitude/participation was fantastic         Glow Stick battle (would not call it an out right war)         DWD and SIAJ peaks and valleys         Once again, sick light show, very moving         HALEY'S COMET! NO WAY! Cons:    It was freakin cold mr bigglesworth         security was out for themselves…again.         Sound for the 1st song was dulled but was fixed half way through.         It ended. Please feel free….. Always. -Brian Poyla NYC
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 10:27:54 -0500 (EST) From: Jonathan Harris Rosen jhrosen@umich.edu Subject: notes on 2/24/03 (East Rutherford, NJ) Some notes on the WEIRDEST Phish show I have ever seen: This was my 16th show, 3rd of the tour. I had some positive reactions from this show and a lot of negative reactions, but I want to make it clear that I am not a spoiled phan....I am not the type of phan that gets pissed off when they play Wading or Heavy Things...I am very grateful for everything Phish has given to me over the past 10 years and don't want to take it for granted. That being said, I was shocked by the vibe at this New Jersey show. People complain about the vibe at Southern California shows, but this show was much worse. Here are a list of things that startled me last ni9ght: 1) Security getting into the arena. It was 25 degrees outside and they made us wait in a line for over a half an hour to get into the arena. Hundred of us freezing heads got frostbite waiting in that line...and then we missed the opening of DWD. I understand that this is the tri-state area, but if I get into the line at 7:15 pm, I should expect to get to my seat by the time the show starts. 2) Abundance of 15/16/17 year olds. Last night's crowd seemed like a Dave Mathews band concert - I am not trying to be judgemental, but what was up with all the high school kids? I chalk this up to being a New York area show. 3) 17 year old in front of me doing coke. WTF??? There is no place for coke inside a phish show. I don't know if the kid was actually 17 years old but he sure looked like it. 4) Two girls bugging out and collapsing. The vibe got even darker when two girls who I presume were on some hallucinatory drug collapsed within a few minutes of each other and fell against the steps, resulting in a lot of blood. I hope these girls were OK, because they were NOT moving and had to be carried off in a stretcher.... The music had its ups and downs. I'm not a huge blues fan, but the blues jam with BB King where Trey and BB took dueling solos was PHAT! The rest of the music was standard....lots of crowd pleasers, nothing that really stuck out. All in all I was slightly disappointed in the show, but let's move on! See yall in Philly, Worcester, and Uniondale! -JRoBisco
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 06:27:35 -0800 (PST) From: jeffrey spittel jeffspittel@yahoo.com Subject: review Frankly, I was ashamed to be a part of the crowd at that show last night. For the most part, the level of fan enthusiasm was what you might expect to find at a Montreal Expos game. The sense of negativity and entitlement that has emerged among the purported phans since the hiatus is particularly troubling. I have seen plenty of fantastic Phish shows, and I really enjoyed myself last night despite the pathetic, embarrassing performance by the crowd. In my opinion, we were treated to a much better show than we deserved. For chrissakes, they jam for 50 minutes with B.B. goddamned King, play their asses off for three hours and all I hear is complaining. For those of you who were disappointed by the show last night, do the rest of us a favor, and don't bother showing up anymore.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 08:27:49 -0500 From: "Singer, Ted" TSinger@exchange.webmd.net Subject: 2.24 Meadowlands Review I have to agree with the other posters about last night, it was sub par, a 3.5 out of 10. BB King killed the energy of the show which, while not perfect, had been building nicely from DWD through Limb by Limb. BB was on stage for nearly an hour, and they didn't really get cooking with him until the last song. He didn't seem to pick up on their cues at all, he even failed to wrap things up when they clearly were building toward a finish in "Everyday I have the Blues". The crowd was as lifeless as any I remember, but were also remarkably patient with the BB section, as was the band. There was really a feeling of, "It's BB, we've all just got to go with it". It seemed that the Halley's Comet - Hood second set opening combo was an indication of a monster second set but twas not to be. When "Heavy Things" came out next, I knew the show could not be redeemed. On a more positive note, I thought "Waves" was solid and can become a great jam-piece if properly placed. I actually felt that Sample and Chalkdust were welcome inclusions as it got the crowd back into it. While I've seen 50+ shows over 11 years, I only get to one or two a year these days so songs like "Sample" bring a huge smile to my face (I did used to curse its frequency back in 1994). Just shows that you mellow with age, kids. Farmhouse is a favorite of mine so I was happy to hear it, but I was walking for the exits as they headed for the end of the song which is something I never do. ----------------------------------------------------------- Ted Singer
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 08:27:05 -0800 (PST) From: Bruce D s2pid421@yahoo.com Subject: Phish review 2-24-03 Overall I thought the show was average. I know that Phish is capeable of doing a lot better then they did last nite.  BB King coming out was like history right there and it was fun to see him but the songs were dragged out for too long and it sounded like him and Trey were tuning up when infact they shoudl have been soloing.  Also iI wanted to hear some Phish not just BB King.  Hood was fabulous and farmhouse was a good closer as well. Does anyone know where Page was last night?? He didnt solo once troughout the whole concert and Trey took over the soloing most of the time.  He gets a little carried away.  I hope the next show will be better.
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 02:57:35 EST From: DrawBadCard420@aol.com Subject: review overall not a good show..this was my fist show back since merriweather in 2000 summer tour...the only good factor in the first set was bb king and the only good factor in the second was hood(which was weak).first bad setlist ive seen all tour and it had to be my first show back...hopefully tomorrow night in philly will be jammin    
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 23:22:53 -0800 (PST) From: Allan Morris atonm@yahoo.com Subject: Phish @ Continental Arena Review 02/24/03 Meadowlands - NJ 1 (86 min): Down with Disease (14 min), Corinne Corrina* (7 min), Wolfman's Brother (10 min) > Limb by Limb (11 min), Everyday I Have the Blues (23 min)**, The Thrill is Gone (12 min) **, Rock Me Baby (12 min) ** 2 (81 min): Halley's Comet (13), Harry Hood^ (14), Heavy Things (8), Twist Around -> Jam -> Twist (18), All of These Dreams (5), Waves (9), Sample In A Jar (5), Chalkdust Torture (9) E: Farmhouse (7) Notes: * - third time played since 1989; ** - first time played, and WITH B.B. KING!!; ^ - w/ glow skirmishes (not quite wars, and end dragged out as Trey sets up delay loop for Heavy Things. Warning...negativity below. I think tonights show may well have been the WORST Phish show I have ever seen (out of over 50), and I walked away extremely puzzled and disappointed in their performance. Lot scene was cool...LOTS of vending and a nice, chill crowd. We went over to the entrance at around 7:25, and got in the most disorganized line I've ever been in at a show. Thousands of people trying to squeeze into a 8ft wide opening in the fence. It was ri-fucking-diculous. We finally get in at 8:20, and halfway through Down with Disease, which besides just being played at Cinci, was pretty slow and mellow. Sound was horrible in our section (100's, Page side back corner). Corinne Corrina: It was nice to hear this song, as it brought back pleasant memories of Big Cypress. Wolfman's Brother> Limb by Limb: Pretty standard versions, and more repeats. I don't know if it was the sound, but I wasn't feeling it. Everyday I Have the Blues (23 min)**, The Thrill is Gone (12 min) **, Rock Me Baby (12 min): The chair comes out, and BB King walks on stage! The crowd went apeshit! The first song was cool, but it went ON AND ON. Slow blues is not why I'm at a Phish show. I don't want to slag BB, cause he's a legend, but I could barely hear him. And I certainly didn't want to hear 3 songs, taking up the entire bulk of set 1! I've never seen more people sitting at Phish show, or any "jam" show, and for about 40 minutes. Sucked what little energy remained out of the crowd. 97 minute set, though. Trey and BB hugged as they walked off. I'm sure it was a dream for the band, but I was bummed. So I'm thinking, where's my Phish? They better bust out a phenominal set 2. Halley's Comet: Ok, now we are talking! I love this song. But, it was very mellow and slowed down in tempo. Good version. Harry Hood^: Really beautiful version of this song. My second Hood of the tour. Very strange placement. The "feel good" section was drawn out nicely, and the buildup was intense. Kuroda consistently threw down some amazing lighting effects. Heavy Things: Are you kidding me? After that Hood, Heavy Things was the last song I wanted to hear, and continued the mellow song theme. Twist Around -> Jam -> Twist: I called this after 1 note. Even I was impressed :) This was a nice jam, dropping into this long ambient theme and then dropping back into Twist. I enjoyed it, but I could have enjoyed it from my seat too. Very slow tempo. All of These Dreams , Waves , Sample In A Jar: i'm going to treat these 3 songs as a group. After each one started, I was like WTF? Slow, noodly and just flat out boring. *Another* Sample? I didn't understand the song selection here at ALL. Trey would consult with the other band members for what seemed like an eternity between songs, like he couldn't figure out what to play. They just seemed off tonight. Chalkdust Torture: At this point, Chalkdust just did not fit. It certainly didn't rage. An afterthought... E: Farmhouse: I expected a Bouncin', but was not surprised we got another slow song that I did not want to hear. I've never been let down at a Phish show, but tonight I took one foot off the bus. I really hope they redeem themselves in Philly tomorrow, because what I saw tonight was an embarassment. You see folks, I can be harsh on bands I love as well. I'm sorry if this comes off as overly negative, but I am just giving my honest opinion. When 3/4 of the crowd sits down through almost half of a Phish show, you know something went wrong.
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 22:58:43 -0800 (PST) From: Jeff metastock69@yahoo.com Subject: 2-24-2003 Review Pre Show- The vibe was decent going in though the long lines for entry kind of wore on people perhaps sapping some energy?  1st Set-The band seemed somewhat disjointed through the first few songs.  It seemed the crowd and the band was needing to warm up, both figuratively and literally.  After pretty standard but ,I would say, sub-par version DWD, CORRINE CORRINA, WOLFMAN's, LIMB, Trey introduces "a friend" in BB King who took a seat between Trey and Mike.  This "special guest" may have been what seemed to distract them a bit in their play up to this point?  Anyway, I think the crowd was really excited at the prospect of seeing this legendary performer grace the stage to play with their beloved Phish; however, what could have been a truly special and transcendant experience was not to be.  There was weird energy between BB King, Trey and the crowd. The first number was uptempo, Everyday I have the Blues.  I thought BB and Trey clashed several times. BB clearly felt out of his element and out his depth.  He was timid and unable to play with any real confidence...it was a shame!  They slowed things down and Trey tried to shift from playing lead to rhythm, and this helped to bring BB out a bit during Thrill and Rock Me, but all in all the songs were tough to watch and listen to.  BB kept pointing to Trey to take his solo ops and for the crowd to cheer for him (Trey).  I wanted Trey to reciprocate and point to BB when BB played some decent licks, you know give BB some love, but he didn't.  I was emabarassed for the legendary bluesman.  I saw trey talking to BB and it seemed apologetic and respectful.  After getting through the set, BB gave a farewell wave and walked off with the band.  With all due respect, the whole BB king thing, while good on paper, was probably, in retrospect, a failure which brought the show down. 2nd Set-I had hopes for the second set as the band could put BB behind them and get down to business without further distraction.  The playing, while not the best, was noticably better as the second set progressed with Sample/Chalkdust probably being among the best numbers of the night.  Farmhouse encore was nice n sweet.   I have to say, throughout the show, despite some fleeting moments, neither crowd nor the band was not very enthusiastic.  And also, there was virtually no funk.  I also want to say I hate this venue.  Mediocre acoustics and a weird "Devil" vibe with the hockey team just didn't sit right for me!  Unfortunately, I consider this among the weaker shows of those I've seen and heard.  Maybe the hometown show at Spectrum, a much better venue, will make up for it? JB
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 01:23:11 -0500 From: Luke Charleston lawnboy@udel.edu Subject: 2/24 review Just some quick notes from the show..... Getting into the arena was horrible, security was "eh" inside...but onto the music.... Great opener....solid funk during Wolfman's......awesome ambient jam during Limb by limb....obviously no one expected B.B King....Phish certainly does keep everyone guessing. It looked like BB and Trey were struggling to find a groove or comfort zone a little bit during "Everyday I have the blues", but by the time the set wrapped up they had everyone feeling the blues. For anyone that plays the guitar, this was heaven....i was digging this to the max. Halley's was fun..H. Hood was awesome...Heavy Things was blah. Trey changed up his vocals a little bit during the verses which sounded a bit odd. The jam off of Twist was intense. I definitely fell into "the zone" here. Mike was definitely teasing or playing the baseline to another song...not a Phish song...i can't pick it out though....sounded like The End almost....did anyone else notice this??? Anyways, after Twist ended, Waves was pretty cool and good rocker to close out the set in Chalkdust. Farmhouse was a little bit of a let down...but like most Phish fans, I am spoiled. Good show....BB King was unbelievable....Trey was more unbelievable.....Phish is still pretty unbelievable. Peace, love and ice cream, Luke Charleston
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