5-21-00 -- Radio City Music Hall - New York, New York

review submisions to me, dan schar at dws@www.phish.net or dws@gadiel.com

Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 00:51:09 CDT
From: Mark Hutchison markaha@hotmail.com
To: traders@umich.edu
Subject: Radio City Reviews (finally!)
Hi, everybody!  Now to first dispell any unpleasant rumors, I am not dead,
nor am I married, nor did I mean for that to come out like some kind of
comparison between the two.  I am, however, recharged and sustained - for
now at least - by two truly stellar performances (well, one and a half that
were _truly_ stellar...) and have no remorse that I missed what would have
been the smallest East-coast Phish show in some 10 years, but am a bit
disgruntled that Greater Northeast Productions, aka the Mail Order Gods
decided in their infinate wisdom to overlap tour and mailorder once again.
No, I did not M.O. for Fall.
So let's tawk about New Yohk.  What a beautiful venue!  Not so much ornate
as it was 'in a class by itself'.  An impressive theater with a heavy
curtain draped from the top of an enormous stage - the lobby was painted
with scenic scapes involving floating clouds, chandeliers and lots and lots
of mirrors.  The internet's "Project Phormal" was a considerable success,
with probably about 50-65% participating by dressing up somehow the first
night, and a little better participation the second night.  Yours truly
opted for a comphy first show, and a tie & tails for the Monday gala.  Now
onto the music...
Sunday 21 May 2000 - Radio City Music Hall
I:                           II:
First Tube                      Gotta Jiboo
Wolfman's Brother               Down with Disease!!!
Squirming Coil                  Dirt
Possum                          Twist-->  (new - different)
MOMA Dance                      Piper!!
Limb by Limb                    Harry Hood
Character Zero                  Velvet Sea
(0:59)                          Guyute
E:  In-Law Josie Wales (aka "Minestrone" and "Bake & Boil")
    Loving Cup
Very nice, strong opener, and a definate nice suprise from the opener
everyone and their brother were calling - Farmhouse.  Of course, to open
what had been dubbed the "Farmhouse Promo Tour," what else?  This has been
called "Bing Bong" by me and others in the past, but I now relenquish that
title since the album that was actually produced by Trey has the title
"First Tube" on it, even though "Bing Bong" is a clearly superior name.
When it's my band, I'll change it.  But its Trey's band.  And Trey likes the
internet community's descriptively cryptic moniker.  Another thing Trey
liked is doing Pete Townsend-style guitar windmills during this tune after
the change to major key (at about 4:00 on the album).
Everyone got their little solo tonight, not so much a true "solo" as their
chance to be heard on the (really kick-ass looking) Radio City stage.
Page's came at the end of Coil and was considerably short.  Of course, all
the screaming fans probably didn't help.  It's clear on the tapes that even
if he'd wanted to strech his dynamic range on this solo, anything under a
mezzoforte would have been drowned out by the lurid cheering.
Fishman's solo was his inhuman singing/drumming extrazaganza during the Limb
outro.  Fish was funny these couple of nights.  For the first time ever in
my watching him, he seemed not to be intensely chugging away as usual, not
at all - but rather laid back.  He dropped a couple of beats here and there,
one in First Tube, and I overheard at 7:00 before the Monday night show that
he was reachable "only by phone" from one of the crewmen, and that they'd
just been able to locate him for the first time that day.  A taper said he'd
seen Fish at the bar he was at when he left at 1/4 to four am...
Mike's solo I guess was the second set Disease, which was over 20 minutes in
length and raged, rocked, and funked throughout the entire time.  This
Disease was easily the highlight of the two days, and the only reason I put
it above the Ghost from 5/22 is becasue this one pumps hard all the way
through to the end, and while the Ghost is definately funkier and more
intense at points, it peters out into what I almost dare call a
"Simple-style jam" for the last five minutes.
Trey's solo came - well, he had a lot of them I guess.  It could have been
Character Zero, a fairly standard version, or as Dirt, his self-professed
"favorite of the new songs," or even the next night with Horn.  He played a
particularly beautiful Horn.
Most of the tunes this first night (with the exception of the aforementioned
Disease) were fairly straight-forward, no real suprises.  Which was exactly
what I expected.  We got to see a familiar combo with the Twist->Piper,
although the Twist was especially mellow.  Probably due in part at least to
the new arrangement (yes, again) that differs from the version they did in
Hampton as well as on the album.  This one starts out with just Fishman
really soft, then fade in slowly adding Trey, then Mike and Page, leaving
out the clever intro with the vocalized bassline entirely.  Piper raged, and
had similar form to the CD version, in that they launch out of the first
vocal chorus, taking off with tightly-knit and seemingly reckless abandon
rather than the '97 approach of a slow & steady build.  This Piper morphed
into Trey's favorite dj-style wah-wahs and had a slight Birds of a
Feather-feel jam in the outro, akin to the 10.22.99 Minneapolis Piper
although not as pronounced or long.
After Velvet Sea, Page turned to the audience and thanked them, saying he
"used to come here as a kid" and that this was a special show for him (and
also that it was his mom's (?) birthday).  Trey, not to be outtalked,
commented that he and Page had come to see Steveie Wonder in RCMH, then went
on for nearly three minutes about how great "this whole thing" was - and
that "we don't want to do anything to screw it up, so let's just keep this
going for as long as we can."  He profusely thanked the audience, saying how
lucky he felt for the last 15 years and how they've "built around the four
of us," and said they were the ones who should be applauding us.

Take care, and I hope to see each of you all soon...
- Mark
PS - Deer Creek tix go on sale this Saturday!
PPS - 12/11/99 Sneaking Sally-->Ghost!!!

Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 06:46:32 -0400 From: SHANE THOMAS SHANE.THOMAS@FERGUSON.COM To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: RADIO CITY REVIEW 5/21 Phellow Gliders- I have never had the gumption to review a show for I am greatful for seeing the band whenever I get the chance, but these two days is worth writing about. Heres how I saw it go down. Set 1: First tube rocked.. hands down a tight opener. Wolfman was about the same as its played in Hampton (my back yard..) and Squirming Coil was abbreviated to include a mini piano solo in the middle of the first set. Happy belated Birthday goes to Pages mother for producing such a talent. Possum was about as intense as song will allow and that funky Moma's Dance was really tightened up to produce the funk. Limb was on time to wind down the first set and Dirt and Char. Zero put the nail in a strong set. "Then the funk really wafted in.." Set 2: Jiboo was stinky funky.. it almost stuck to my fingers when the lights went out. Then smacked with Down with Disease and Mikes nasty bass funk. Twist was a nice bring me down so the band could slam into Piper (which jams as always.) After a long pause, Hood made an appearance and I had thought this was the final tune for the set.. little did I know Velvet Sea and the jammer of the night Guyute rolled onto the set. Guyute was the best it has ever sounded. The long devilish sound of bouncing like a newborn elf shuddered the onlookers and the sound was a wall of ooze. Tight set. To finish the evening up, Trey pumped a nice version of Inlaw Josie Wales that had the crowd hushed with his acustical skills (which I love) and then smashed the crowd in the face (and prepared me for the next evening) with an outlandish Loving Cup. To end the night off, the band said it best.. "OOOO what a beautiful buzz, what a beautiful buzz" Shane T. in Hampton
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 12:39:10 -0700 From: swank.49@osu.edu To: dws@gadiel.com Subject: Radio City Sunday Night Well I'd like to start this off just by saying what a memorable experience it was to be at this show, and how cool and cooperative everyone was including the NYPD and the show security. There is such a wonderful vibe surrounding this community now and I just want to thank phish's crew and thank all of you, the phans for everything that this has become. Now on with the show... At 8:14 the lights went down and the place erupted!! Trey gave a couple fist pumps before he plugged in his guitar and then ripped into Set I: FIRST TUBE: great tune and well played, Trey even added in some windmills on his guitar, you could tell right from the beginning that they were having a great time. WOLFMAN'S: pretty good version Mike had some really funky lines in this one. SQUIRMING COIL: Definately didn't expect this but very pretty version of the song, Page added a very nice but short solo on the baby grand at the end. POSSUM!!: Always love to hear a possum. Everyone really seemed to get into it after SC. MOMA DANCE: One of my personal favorites, pretty good rendition but not as funky as other versions i've heard, still very good though, right into LIMB BY LIMB: Fish added a very cool solo at the end and it was a great way to end the song. CHARACTER ZERO: Always love to hear this tune pretty rockin and this ended the first set @ 9:14 putting the first set at exactly an hour long. Set II: The lights dimmed at 10:04 and the second set began with JIBOO: This song always puts a big smile on my face, love to hear it and really enjoy to get down to this tune. DWD: Pretty interesting version, but damn was it good, I had it clocked at around 21 min. DIRT: I really enjoy hearing this song plus this song stood out because it just sounded great echoing out through RC! TWIST: Another interesting version of this song too, it started out with a slow beginning and the melody managed to stay pretty slow throughout, really spacy and funky! PIPER: One of my show favorites, this tune had some excellent jamming and Kuroda's lights were amazing!! HOOD: To all of you that were there I would like to say thanks for not throwing glowsticks, not that I don't enjoy seeing them at other venues, but I was really glad to see that everyone respected the venue and one another by just groovin to a good Hood. VELVET SEA: Fairly good, not one that I like to hear as much but how can you go wrong. SPEECH: One of the very memorable parts of the show began with Page thanking everyone for what has evolved around the 4 of them in the last 15 years, Trey added to what Page said and just gave the most wonderful speech I've ever heard! I don't think I was the only one who was a little choked up after hearing him talk. GUYUTE: Not one of my personal favorites but they were right on and it sounded great. Guyute wrapped up the set at 11:34 putting the second set at 90 min. E: 11:37-11:47 INLAW JOSIE WALES: I was thrilled to see Trey get his acoustic out and hear him play this wonderful tune. I was close enough (15th row, OO) that I could see his fingers sliding across the strings, silence fell over the crowd as everyone was moved by the acoustics. As I watched him play I thought of just what a wonderful experience it must have been for Trey to be playing and hear it echoing out through Radio City. Phabulous!! LOVING CUP: Oh what a beautiful buzz!! This song wrapped up a truly memorable experience. If you're still reading thanks for taking the time and I'd like to say a special thanks to Matt and Sharon for the ticket. And also to the young lady who let me use her very cool illuminating pen throughout the show to write the setlist. Thanks and Peace, I'll see you this summer!!! Ryan Swank Ohio State University
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 14:02:10 -0700 (PDT) From: Chris Merenda chris_merenda@yahoo.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: 5/21/00 Review First off, please let me take a moment to thank everyone involved with the shows at Radio City, especially the people working the venue. Everyone was extremely friendly for this ^unique^ event and I think that their professionalism is what made everything run so smoothly. That being said, on to the review...this was my 40th show and 26th birthday, so I knew I was in for a treat! My girlfriend and I planned on spending the day in the city, but due to the wedding of two of my best friends (congrats Woody & Beth!), we were very sluggish in the morning and wound up getting into Manhattan a lot later than we had planned. Since it rained all day, we weren^t really that crushed we didn^t get to hang out, but we still got down to the Village and had a pretty decent meal at the gothic landmark, Jeckyll & Hyde^s. We arrived at RCMH around 6:45 to find the line already wrapped all the way around the building. Normally, this would be cause for some frustration, but since everyone was in such a festive mood, waiting for hour wasn^t even an issue. Kudos to everyone who participated in Project Phormal ^ it made the whole experience that much more meaningful! There was a Tom Marshall sighting ^ unfortunately, I didn^t realize it was him until I did the proverbial double-take. He walked right past the line and ducked inside the stage door. Naturally, this caused a bit of a buzz in the line, but apparently he wasn^t there to perform ^ just to party! Once inside (no pat-down), I was instantly blown away by the beauty of the hall. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would ever get to see Phish in such a gorgeous room. We walked around the lobby for a few minutes, taking in all of the sights and sounds. If you haven^t been to Radio City before (and I hadn^t since I was a kid), the basic dcor is Vegas-glitz, with reflective paneling, mirrors, gaudy colors, patterned rugs, the whole works! I snapped a few pictures, including what I hope will be a great overhead shot of the lobby and all the phans looking around in amazement. After a quick stop at the concession stand ($16 for two beers & bottled water ^ ouch!), we made our way to our seats. This was the second time in about 20 minutes that I gasped in amazement. The room itself was simply awesome. We were sitting Page side, 1st mezzanine 6th row and we had a tremendous view of the stage. There was a huge gold curtain (raised) framing the stage, and I wonder why the band didn^t take this opportunity to have a curtain rise as they started playing. At about 8:20 (estimate), the lights faded and the crowd went NUTS! You could already sense the wonderful acoustics as the cheers and applause echoed all around us. Trey had a huge grin on his face as he plugged in and, after taking a moment to look around, they busted into: FIRST TUBE was a somewhat obvious choice for an opener, in my opinion. I was hoping for something more obscure, like a Cinnamon Girl-type experience at the Flynn, but this still brought a smile to my face. Trey was in full rock-star mode, jumping and bouncing and even giving a little windmill action for effect. The driving beat drove the crowd into a pretty good frenzy. WOLFMAN^S BROTHER was pretty mellow with Mike providing the foundation of a chilled-out funk jam. I think that Mike will step up to the plate more on the older songs since the Farmhouse tunes don^t really allow him to explore as much. THE SQUIRMING COIL was placed in a weird place in the set, and the Page solo was shorter as a result. Pretty standard^ POSSUM got the crowd back into the game after two relatively laid-back tunes. Trey^s jam before the closing refrain was hard and fast and the floor was bouncing and swaying up and down. I love when they hold the ^POSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM^ MOMA DANCE, LIMB BY LIMB AND CHARACTER ZERO were all pretty standard as well. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but there just wasn^t much variation from any other version. Limb had a pretty good jam towards the end, and Chris^s lighting of the jam got a great reaction from those in attendance. SETBREAK - I was surprised at this point to have only heard one Farmhouse tune. I do like the new album very much and I think it^s their best studio work to date, but I was glad that they didn^t saturate the first set with new music. I guess with two nights of the ^CD Release Party^ to fill, they knew they had to spread it out. I picked up a commemorative poster at the break, and my girlfriend got her first Phish t-shirt. I was hoping for a short setbreak due to the possibility of a venue curfew, but that obviously wasn^t the case ^ typical 45-50 minutes. GOTTA JIBBOO opened the second set, and, of course, was a lot of fun. My girlfriend really loves this song, so she had a good time bobbing around with a smile on her face. DOWN WITH DISEASE is where the show really kicked into high gear. Once again, Chris^s spiral lights added to the jam, but even if they were in complete darkness, you still would have known they were kicking ass! I^m guessing this one clocked in around 20 minutes. There was a slow groove towards the end that I was really digging before they kicked back into the reprise. DIRT featured the somewhat new arrangement (new vocals before the first verse and some new backgrounds, I believe) and was a nice break after the big DwD. TWIST is one of the coolest songs off Farmhouse, but still hasn^t really been one of my favorites live. I feel that there are a lot of places they could take this song, but it always seems it just spirals down into a jam that peters out^ PIPER was also pretty huge ^ the jam after the second verse was a little disorganized, but very fast and kept everyone moving (and sweating!!) I always love this song ^ so much so that I named my dog after the red red worm! HARRY HOOD was somewhat of a disappointment. No variations from the norm, and I was hoping as the song ended that it wouldn^t close the set. It appears that the glowstick war fad has finally dies out, but it would have been cool if Chris turned out the lights and Radio City was treated to the phans version of a light show. If the sticks were not thrown out of respect for the venue, that^s great! VELVET SEA was absolutely gorgeous ^ Page sings these lyrics with such passion and emotion. It was a good time to reflect on the enormity of the entire evening. After the song, Page talked about how special it was to play at the hall since he used to come as a kid to see shows. Trey echoed his sentiments, and mentioned how him and Page caught Stevie Wonder at RCMH when they were younger. I thought we would get a Boogie On here, but Trey went on to say how lucky the band feels about their ^situation^ with the phans and how they hoped they wouldn^t do anything to screw it up. He^s been saying this a lot lately in interviews and I think that the whole New Year^s experience really made everyone in the scene realize how special the scene is. GUYUTE was a good choice to close the set, but like Harry Hood, was a little too standard. I guess that this song will never really become the jam vehicle it had the potential for. I keep waiting for it to happen, but I guess I will be calling all Guyutes from here on out ^standard.^ Again, thinking that there was a curfew (it was 11:30 on the nose), I didn^t think they would come back. But the house lights never went on, so we waited and after about 5 minutes, the boys returned. INLAW JOSIE WALES is another beautiful song ^ Trey^s playing on the acoustic guitar is something breathtaking. I envy those in the first few rows who could really see his fingers working the strings. LOVING CUP was especially memorable for my girlfriend and I, considering I had drunkenly serenaded her with this song at the wedding the day before. I loved the fact that they slipped some Phish into the playlist at the reception ^ their actual wedding song was a 6 minute If I Could. In summary, I thought the show was good, especially considering the nearly six months away from the road. I think tonight^s show will probably be better, but I^ll have to find out tomorrow since I unfortunately won^t be there. I^m looking forward to the summer tour ^ I think that the band will take all the emotion they have been feeling about themselves, us, and everything related and give us a really memorable tour. Thanks again, guys!
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 16:53:30 -0400 From: Matt Enderlin m_enderl@skidmore.edu To: dws@gadiel.com, dws@archive.phish.net Subject: 5/21 review I was hooked up with a *free* ticket for the 7th row, right in front of Page. Woohoooo! But I must say, that this being my 23rd show, I don't think they played all that well. I am not disappointed in the least, in fact, I am never disappointed with phish. But for some reason Phish had their jam-meter turned off last night. Everything was based around each individual song, there was little imporvisation, and the jams seemed directionless. It seemed as if they were thinking "alright, we're at radio city- now this is a classy venue, so we should stick to the basics so we can sell ourselves to all the newcomers, business exec's, and the couples out for a night on the town- we can't really go off and jam out, becuase people might get bored and pigeonhole us as just another spacey-hippie-rock band". This is how I felt they were playing. Now let me say that I think that Phish's greatest talent is the heavy doses of funk/groove that began to permeate their sound in 97. I don't know why they have to deny that. You can hear it in Sand and First tube. As far as Farmhouse goes, that's about it. The one dose of funk that we did get last night was Moma Dance, and it WAS funky. But they ended it so quickly and kept it so basic (which isn't necessarily bad), that I was left begging for more- and didn't get it. Probably the most inspired and raw jam of the night was the 2nd set Down with Disease. It began to take on a life other than simply the song. The Dirt that followed was a nice break from the jam, and I was eager to find out what would come next- and we got-- twist. I'm not going to even start on that, but let me say that until guyute, it was all downhill from twist. Just a couple things I noticed...NO SEGUES- a dead giveaway of a heartless and mediocre show. and NOT A SINGLE SOLO OUT OF PAGE (with the exception of the squirming coil, which is part of the song)- what the hell is that!? I don't even think he touched his organ once throughout the show... Now that all that is out, let me say that I had a GREAT time at the show, the people were very respectful of the venue and it was truly magical to be there. I am sorry to everyone who couldn't get in, and to those who feel like ripping me apart for my review, go ahead- I had a great time ;) Matt
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 19:21:24 -0400 From: majik@tna1.tradewind.net To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: Radio City 1st night This show rocked! This was my first time in RCMH since I saw the Rockettes there way too many years ago. The whole scene was very laid back, exactly what I was hoping for. The first set was a little slow for the mood I was in, but the songs were great nonetheless. After a setbreak, it was like a whole different show. The second set was just unbelieveable. High energy atmosphere and great song selection. I haven't danced like that in a long time. Wish I could go tonight. Joe in Albany, NY
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 04:32:23 -0400 From: Maureen Murphy bsmm96@localnet.com To: dws@archive.phish.net, dws@gadiel.com Subject: Phish at Radio City on 5-21-2000 First thing i want to say is that it was a blessing to be in NYC and to be at one of Phish's historic Radio City Hall shows. I was hooked up with a comp ticket by a lucky stroke of nepotism and even scored a pass to the after show party where i met Mike Gordon -- Very Cool Experience. The long wait in line was rewarded the moment i stepped into the hall -- it's an amazing, grandiose place that had me awe for a while as i just stood scanning the buzzzing crowd of people. Everything was high class and immaculate the staircases, the carpets -- it was fucking Radio City!! After buying a shirt i was off to find my seats which turned out to be about 20 rows away from the stage dead center -- i smiled and laughed as i walked in a daze down the aisle, it seemed so surreal -- the energy level was already high you could just feel the vibrations, then just as i reached my unbelievable seat the lights went down and the crowd went crazy as Phish took the stage. There they were so close, first show since the magical madness of Big Cypress, what would they play? Would their be any special guests? Any special oldies or new jams? Unfortunately the answers are nothing spectacular, no, and no, respectively. Now don't get me wrong there were some highlights -- First Tube opener captured the energy that was lurking in every corner of the beautiful hall and threw the crowd into a frenzy although Page's brilliant work in the song was drowned out by Trey's over-abundant loop layering toward the end. Wolfman's Brother was cool when it started but never came to life. Squirming coil always a well played number sounded great especially Page's solo of course -although he kept it basic. Possum always fun -but this one seems again to just die in a cacophonic blaze of noise instead of morphing into the funky-country romp it has been several times in the past. Now my biggest quam of the first set a song that i love and feel has some of the best live possibilities Limb By Limb was just boring. Character Zero could have described the set. Second set was better -- Jibboo and DWD were the highlights for me - trey was generous, Fishman kept the beat, Page was the mad scientist over the keys and Mike just blew the place up with his tenancious hard-hitting bass. Dirt was nice and clean and thats all, Wading in the velvet sea sounded great, Piper was theatrical but not much more, Harry Hood was good-basic, Guyute - something more unique maybe--would have loved to have seen a funkyfied Boogie On after mention of Stevie Wonder--but alas. Inlaw Josie Wales answered my acoustic wishes and Loving Cup was an upbeat way to end so the encore was somewhat redeeming. But now for the part that's gonna piss off all you bitchy fans who think that its so heinous to ctriticize Phish--they are just people like you and i --except they have a shitload of money and connections and are believe it or not extremely Fucking Famous--Trey played SNL with shitty snot-nosed Kid Rock-- Trey = Celebrity. basically they can handle the measly criticism im dishing out here on my pc and to all the morons who think that every time Trey builds on three chords and a obnoxious amount of special effects and the lights (which yes are awesome-but has that become too much of a focus??) swirl like crazy its "phat"-- you're wrong. Trey sells himself short by doing that for more than two or three songs a night -- and he did it about six or seven times on Sunday making it impossible to hear PAge or Mike and what a shame that is because Phish is at their best is a seamless blend of all four members--not just Trey. He was just way too loud most of the night. My only thought came at the aftershow as i weaved through a bunch of pretentious forty-year olds in suits--Maybe they just wanted to show off the balls to the walls side of their music --which is Trey centered--that would explain the utter lack(besides DWD) of any exploratory, building, reewarding jams that we all know and lust after. They simply didn't show their true colors--plus i heard that 1/3 of the tickets were complimentary which means industry people friends/family etc--not typical phisheads. Anyways if this pisses you off too bad-- i support Phish just like you do i just feel like i have the right to exercise some criticism if i feel that way. I think the guys are amazing musicians and have been transformed by their music several times over. It was a memorable beautiful evening, Radio City was beyond my wildest dreams, i just wish the music could have taken me to those places i love to visit with Phish- hopefully ill get there this summer and fall see you there and lighten up y'all DONT MISS BERKFEST AUGUST 11-13!!!!--Bela, SCI,Moe.Galactic MMW and more jumps,jives,and jams -B-Win
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 15:33:35 -0400 From: Alex Petisi petisi@snet.net To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: Review I have to disargree with some of the comments regarding last night show.... First of all, the whole show scene was unbelivible. The venue was the nicest i have ever seen and the sound was perfect. Now on to the show... This show was intense. For not playing together for a long time i thought there jams were very tight... First Tube - Killer opener, got everyone moving Wolfman's - Pretty nice, not my favorite song but they brought out a nice jam in the middle, good to hear Squirming Coil - Intresting placement of this song, a little out of place but cool to hear in the first set, pretty good Page solo.. Possum - Yess! got everyone moving again, i thought it was played very well, very high intensity Moma Dance - Pretty funky yet could have been jammed out a little more Limb by Limb - I have never heard it in concert so it was pretty sweet, good version Character Zero - Sweet, loved it, good jam and cool closer to the first set SET 2 GOtta Jiboo - Nice 2nd set opener, one of my favorite songs off the new albulm DWD - Great, i dont know what Wolfman was talking about, i loved it, great Jam cool to hear, Mike was on fire Twist -> Piper - Im not a huge fan of Twist but i thought is was played well, great transition into Piper which was slightly short but definatly rocking Harry Hood ->Wading in the Velvet Sea - Harry Hood, what can i say, GREAT... wasnt the best Jam i ever heard but very well done, trey was very tight as usuall... Veltet Sea was nice to hear but im not really a fan Guyute -> Definatly cool, played perfect E: Inlaw - Trey sitting by himself with his acustic guitar, wonderful, the sound quality was unbelivible and Trey played it perfect. Loving Cup - Great finisher, got the crowd going nuts alex
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 23:19:01 PDT From: The Wolfman terrapinwolf@hotmail.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: Review of RCMH 5/21 Since this is not the most positive review ever, allow me to preface it with a couple of important notes. First and foremost, I am unwaveringly thankful to whatever higher powers are responsible for allowing me to be in Radio City Music Hall tonight. Second, I had a GREAT time. I don't care if Phish comes on stage, plays one note apiece, and ends the show...there is nowhere else on earth that I would rather have been that night than at the Phish show. So before everyone goes responding to my musical review with "you should be grateful you got in" or "you're the type that ruins shows for those around them", please know that I am incredibly grateful and that I danced my balls off and that I spread love and good cheer to all those who encountered me. Now then... Is Phish the greatest jam-rock band ever? Absolutely. Is Phish the greatest jam-rock act out right now? Absolutely not. The boys came out tonight and put on a mediocre show. That's not by Phish standards, that's by all jam-rock standards. The first set was very straightforward, with some very uninspired jamming. Wolfman's did nothing special and ended abruptly. It was a smooth ending, but anyone who has listened to even a couple of older live versions of this song knows that there is much, much more room to expand from where they just ducked out of it. Squirming same deal basically. They just ducked out of the jam after it really went nowhere for about 8 minutes. Possum...anyone who has been to umpteen shows and has umpteen boots (which is a lot of us) has heard dozens of possums that put this one to shame. Good, yes, substandard, that too. Moma VERY abrupt. Where's the brilliant jamming guys? Maybe a segue or two? Limb By Limb and 0 absolutley nothing that stands out the least bit. And that right there is the essence of the show...it's not a BAD show, there's just nothing that stands out at all. The only 1st set standout was the First Tube opener. It was high-energy from the start (bravo for not opening with Farmhouse). The crowd blew the roof off of the 12-story room when the boys hit the stage. I don't think they've been greeted like that in quite some time. The show had all the energy in the world at the beginning, but it wasn't capitalized on. 2nd set was more of the same. Down with Disease was particularly lost. If you've listened to your boots and gone to your shows, take a listen to this DWD, and there's no question about it...the band has minimal coherency for the first 8 minutes or so. It's a matter of Trey struggling to find a groove and the other guys keeping the boat steady but not sailing sharply behind him. They finally locked in for about 2 minutes before diverging again, and climaxed together though far from the orgasmic level that we have all heard. Twist was the highlight of this set, with a smooth descent into some type II jamming, but then the ending didn't do anything. Piper was the weakest I have ever heard it. It's still Piper, but this was straight-up 4 minute album style and a good Piper is NOT 4 minutes long (Oswego...'nuff said). Song-by-song isn't necessary here, just look at the setlist and what you see is basically what you get. Every band is entitled to off nights. Unfortunately, I think this is where Phish is at right now. The last 6 Phish shows I have seen (besides Cypress because obviously only Phish could have pulled off that spectacle) are 7/12/99, 7/13, 10/9, 10/10, 12/12, and 5/21/00. In that same time frame, I have seen all of the following jam-rock bands put on shows better than any one of those: SCI, Strangefolk, The Zen Tricksters, The Disco Biscuits, Psychedelic Breakfast, and moe. and for non jambands Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Maceo Parker, and Victor Wooten. The jambands listed above put on incredible jams and coherent, well-planned shows. That, of course, is what has us in love with Phish in the first place, but there are other bands doing it much, much better right now. I sat in the front row of the 2nd mezzanine tonight and could see the entire floor, and let me tell you, the place was NOT getting down, and this is PHISH for pete's sake! I've seen way more dancing energy expended at the other bands listed above. Phish just isn't yanking it from us the way they used to. Listen to the tapes. It's plain to hear, I'm afraid. Tonight, Phish was out there for all the world to see. These 2 nights are their chance to show the world what jam-rock is all about. This crazy type of music that we all know and love is being showcased these two nights, and it is up to Phish to represent it. They are the undisputed kings of the craft...it will be a long, long time until another jamband dares descend into Radio City Music Hall and it will be a long, long time until any jamband again brings 80,000 people to the most remote corner of the country for $150 a pop. These two shows should be the epitome of jam-rock, two of the greatest jam-rock shows ever produced, played by the undisputed greatest jam-rock band ever. They fell far, far short of that tonight. Considering that they know what people went through to get in tonight, a segue or a rarity tune or even just a few mindblowing jams or ANYTHING to make the show a standout is not too much to ask. The building itself and the ticket availability were fantastic standouts tonight. The boys' playing should have been there with it. -Wolfman terrapinwolf@hotmail.com
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 08:30:46 EDT From: HPB24@aol.com To: dws@archive.phish.net, dws@gadiel.com Subject: 5/21/00 Show Review Last night's show was simply amazing. Whether it was a combination of the talented performance, the the electricity of being in the Radio City Music Hall, the show will go down in history. Having Gotta Jiboo as a second set opener blew me away. The setlist for the show is outstanding. Thanks. -Mike M. (HPB24@aol.com)
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 12:05:07 EDT From: JWen984924@aol.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: radio city 1st night my last 5 phish shows have been dissappointing and this one was the same. Not tight at all very weak jams no inspiration and no surprises like mound ice friend destiny new songs arent doing for me sorry im not complaining just stating that phish is going down a different path which i dont want to take selling summer tour tickets to follow string cheese sorry for the my sad outlook Bear
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 20:50:11 -0700 (PDT) From: Sam Fensterstock slapshotsam@yahoo.com Reply-To: samf@creditriskmonitor.com To: dws@gadiel.com Subject: 5/21/00 RCMH Review I usually am never one to post reviews about shows - but after reading some of the postings here I just had some thoughts I wanted to put down that relate to some of the negative reviews I have read here. First - I want to say that the Sunday show was great - Radio City is the best place in the U.S. to see a show and I had a wonderful time. Second - I want to say to all of the negative posters - you are all are entitled to your opinions and yes everyone has their point of view about how a show was - how good or bad they jammed, what songs they played, their energy level and so forth - but remember this - seeing a blah Phish show is better than seeing no Phish show at all. I started going to Phish shows in 1990 and really enjoyed them. But, until 1995 the Dead were it for me. As like many of the readers here about Phish, I was very critical about the Dead's performance when I went to see them, especially if I was seeing several shows within a few days. I left most shows critiquing every song, how it was played, how it was sung, the jam and the mood. Looking back now, what I find is that after seeing the Dead 100 times - I was way to critical about their performance. I loved them - but often they could rarely do me 100% justice - and you know what? I was greedy - because in 1995 it all got pulled out from under me when Jerry died. Now I have no Dead at all - and I miss it. I would rather still be able to see the WORST Dead show that be stuck like I am now - being able to see no Dead shows at all. (thank god for a little Phish) So what I am trying to say to all of you phans is simple - you go to see this band because you love their music and it does something too you. The same way Mark McGuire does not hit a home run every time he goes to bat - a band will never be 100% every night. Learn from us stupid critical deadheads - and DON'T be so critical. Love it no matter what - because when it^s gone (and hopefully that will not be for years) - man does it suck. ===== Sam Fensterstock Vice President - Sales Development 516-327-2400 ext 237 samf@creditriskmonitor.com
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 12:39:34 EDT From: daniel sage dsage19@hotmail.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: 5/21/00 review I have to disagree with some of the disappointed reviewers. I agree that the 1st set was nothing particularly special (except for first tube which rocked), but the second set had some serious highlights. Gotta Jiboo was very very good, disease absolutely rocked, and piper - piper I think has been kind of underrated in the reviews I've read so far. I was present at the prague and oswego pipers, and I think this one easily held its own, if not surpassing them at some points. Mike was simply all over the place (think gorge 98 weekapaug, the really fast part near the end - it kind of was like that, but for 8-10 minutes, quick chord changes, extremely tight). Twist Around the highlight of the set? Huh? I almost fell asleep - easily the low point for me. Instead of rocking out the jam, it got kind of slow and spacey, not that that's bad, but this had no direction at all. The hood was okay, loving cup was fantastic. Did I expect more from this show? Not really, it kind of surpassed my expectations. It's the first show of the year. Sure, it's a small theater, and the boys tend to play above and beyond for small intimate crowds. Take a look at 12/6/96 - that was the end of the tour, though. This is the first show of the tour, and for what it's worth, I think they did a pretty solid job. If they are playing like this right from the start, it will only get better. I think we can expect a fantastic summer and fall tour. Considering it was their first real show since their break, they sounded pretty damn tight to me. cheers dan
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 13:00:02 -0400 From: brian perla brian@musicvision.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: radio city review Brian Perla brian@musicvision.com Phans, Im really not sure what show wolfman was at, but I have to say, this show was intense.Yes, the first set was straight forward, but you know what? I loved it. To hear the core of the songs so clearly at Radio City is quite a thing to hear. I was on the 1st mez 3rd row, and from where I was standing, I could see the whole place getting down big time. At least the section I was in was completely going off, having a blast. The second set was certainly more peanut butter and jammy, and there were a few times where I thought the roof might start cracking and crumbling due to the boys massive, screeching, building (and straight out ripping) solos. There was a sharp contrast between the clarity of the songs and the jams they did last night. THe songs were so crystal clear, while, for the most part, the jams were hairy and crazy. Trey used the loops a lot too which added to that sound considerably. I don't see how anyone could have criticized the band for this performance. It was clean, solid and full of grooves worthy of ANY band known to get down. I had an extremely good time and everyone around me did as well. Phish is alive and well people, and let me tell you, even from the 1st mez level, you could tell the furious four wanted to be there more than anyone else. See you all dancing in the aisles! -Brian
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 12:08:56 -0500 From: Jared.Siegel@bmge.com To: dws@gadiel.com Subject: Radio City Music Hall! Radio Phishy Music Hall! See you tonight in front of the Red Mercedes....I can feel good, good about hood!
Date: May 22, 2000 From: jsbend619@aol.com To: dws@www.phish.net Subject: Review Radio City Music Hall Sunday Night Show I would like to give my thoughts on the show Sunday May 21 at Radio City. I have seen a number of shows. I don't know exactly how many now, but I am sure that it is not nearly what most of you have seen. However I listen to a great deal of music and would like to give my take. With that said, I thought that the show was incredible. I have seen them play certain songs better that we could go back and forth about this one or that one but I think that some people miss what made it such a great show. It has been since New Years since we have seen them play and they showed how sometimes a break from touring can make them have a new found energy. I feel weather you like everything that they played or not they play the heck out of everything. They all seemed to have an intensity that I haven't seen in a long time. It was one of those shows where everything that they played from First Tube through Loving Cup was intense. I think that with diversity of fans being what it is (that some people are looking for the real spacey jams and others are looking for the more traditional shows) they came out on fire really showing an intensity which showed there love for playing together and playing to their fans. I think that this was apparent when Trey attempted to tell the fans how much he loved playing for us and with Page, Mike, Fishman. It was hard to hear since no one wanted to let him speak without yelling out (it would have been nice to hear him, but it is nice to know that we love them and there is no need to thanks us). All and all I thought that it was a great show. I wish that people would just appreciate the show in its whole rather then which song was better or which show was better. This was a great venue and a great performance with an intensity that you have to love. From start to finish this was a great show that will be talked about for years. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion. See you all in June!!!
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 02:05:53 EDT From: Phishyleo@cs.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: radio city (5/21/2000) There are to many negative reviews about this show swirling around. Have most of us lost that " i'm just happy to be in" mentallity. there were so many people who would have killed to be in the lucky position of those who got in to Radio City. A kid i used to hang with back in the day won tickets to the show and asked me to go with him. i felt as though i was the luckiest dude in the world. I've been to tons of shows and i can truley say that i had a blast. We are definately expecting way to much from these guys, instead of appreciating them. Think about it, it's the first show of the tour and many people are already bitchin. This show was definately a way to stretch there legs and start the summer/fall tour on a new level. Didn't Trey say how much they appreciate all the love we as fans give them. Now i say it's our time to give back to them what they have given us, 15 years of beautiful music and great times we'll be tellin our kids about when thereold enough for there 1st show. We all have our great versions of songs that no other music and great times we'll be tellin our kids about when thereold enough for there 1st show. We all have our great versions of songs that no other version could ever compare to, but who cares enjoy the Music; Isn't this why we are all into phish. Everyone says that many of the songs were standard versions, but are quick to add "but that's not necessarily bad". Obviously many phans are griping about standards, but without standards there would be no monster versions of any songs. Come on, did we ever think that maybe Trey, Page, mike and john were really excited to be playing Radio City that they might have just wanted to get in as many tunes as possible. Maybe the sound of the hall was just to good to pass up and they wanted to hear what this or that would sound like. Everyone let's remember that we are some of the luckiest people in the world that we get to see this great band as many times as we do. let's start appreciating the music more than criticizing it. We are lucky to have seen them in such a beautiful and crisp sounding venue. who cares that a particular song didn't quite make it into the annals of Phishtory as the cream of the crop. instaed remember waht trey said to us and remember Radio city as a "Beautful Buzz, O What A Beautiful Buzz" Leo A.
...Below are reviews that are directed at other reviewers...
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 10:23:31 -0700 (PDT) From: john marshall johnnybob00@yahoo.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: NYC reviews I will keep this short and hopefully you will get the point of this. When you (phans) began listening to Phish it was about the music, now some phans feel that they are such HUGE phans that they can become a critic. The whole "This show was nothing compared to 9/27/99, 6/7/97 or 3/7/95, I have heard Possum just too many times and this one just fell to pieces." type of jargon has to go. Once you start going to shows and then posting negative reviews you have lost touch with the whole reason you started listening to Phish in the first place. IT IS ABOUT THE MUSIC! NOT ABOUT REVIEWS! I believe Trey has an excellent quote on one of his "pedals" about critics. I have addressed this question of "reviewers and the music" to Trey for an upcoming internet interview session, I am interested in what he has to say. Thank you, see you on tour :)
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 02:41:03 EDT From: Speadrcr1@aol.com To: dws@archive.phish.net Subject: reviews of...reviews I would like to thank the guy who wrote about the people writing reviews. Seriously now, there has been way too much negativity generating from heads lately and I am really not liking it. People need to stop all their bitching about phish and thank god that they still play and deliver to you such vibrant sounds that no matter what, they please the ear. PHISH is the best thing to happen to music ever and you suppos'sed "phisheads" who complain al the time need to really get a reality check and re-learn how to appreciate our saviors, PHISH. on a lighter note i cant wait until phish takes over the world soon, soon peace, zev
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