, attached to 2000-09-14

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This review is based not upon attendance, but upon the Live Phish 03 release (wow, has it really been 12 or 13 years since that first batch of 01-06?) I'm a huge Reba fan; it may be my favorite Phish song, and this one, though sometimes derided by those of lesser panache ;) is really one of my favorites. To paraphrase a phan Trey quoted in The Phish Book, I really appreciate that it modulates. There's some Digitech Whammy II action going on, but I quite enjoy the sensation of a bittersweet or even melancholy soul-baring performance on Trey's part, with of course awesome interplay and accompaniment by Jon, Mike, and Page. The--to my ears--road-weary theme continues with Albuquerque, which has taken on personal significance that's not necessarily positive, in light of the soon-to-come hiatus. "Independent from the scene that I've known..." I don't want you to, Phish! But maybe the hiatus was a good thing. We certainly got some great solo-project shows out of it. Carini, well, I've never been a huge fan of Carini. This version, just from memory I'm saying this, was average-great. Suzy has a jam portion that reminds one of the 12/7/97 Tube > Tube Jam. I love Phish funk, and Suzy Greenberg can get funky with the best of 'em. A fine first set, all things considered.

The Drowned -> Jam > Crosseyed and Painless forms the bulk of the second set, and it's quite a "-> Jam." Drowned is a less-frequently huge-jam producing song, but this jam takes turns that climax with a triumphant almost onomatopoeic expression of solidarity between the band and the phans, as I see it: almost imploring us to accept the inevitability and necessity of the hiatus, and as would be the walk-out PA music on the final show before the hiatus (10/7/00), to Let It Be. Dog Faced Boy is one of those anomalous songs that by the first year of this millennium it seemed only Phish could pull off. I think it's a beautiful song, self-contained and poignant though its lyrics may seem nonsensical. Phish gets criticized for the silliness or "meaninglessness" of their lyrics (many of which are courtesy of Tom Marshall), but I like the bonus factor of wringing emotional value out of words that are purely poetic in many cases, even poetic in the sense of simply being rhymed. It's my own point of view that Phish has some lyrics that approach Robert-Hunteresque grandeur, though perhaps not by design. One could argue that Phish is a postmodern band, however, at least by the definition of mingling "high" art and "low" art. Is it not thoroughly removed from pre-World-War art for a nominally progressive rock song to include an almost imperative sequence of words like "Tipsy fuddled boozy groggy elevated prime did edit her?" But I recognize that Phish is not so easily pigeonholed. I do find it engaging and useful to classify things sometimes, and art--if only by consequence of being discussed and assimilated so intently--tends to lend itself readily to labels, however misguided some of them may be.

I've got a special place in my heart and statistical/analytical brain for this encore, which almost--kind of, haha--reduplicates the encore from my second and so far most recent show attended, 6/24/00. In 9/14/00 we have Driver, The Inlaw Josie Wales (please bring this beautiful song back!), Sample in a Jar to close the show, whereas at 6/24/00 it was Guyute, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Driver, Tweezer Reprise. Maybe I'm trying to impose my own comparison onto this 2000 show compared to one of my 2 attended 2000 shows, in hopes of... I dunno. 2000 was a heady time for me as a phan, and this show is probably more different from 6/24/00 than similar. Variety is the spice of life, and we all know that the spice expands consciousness.


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