Runaway Jim, Funky Bitch, Tube, I Didn't Know, Punch You in the Eye, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Roggae, Split Open and Melt -> Catapult, Back on the Train, Horn, Guyute, After Midnight
Meatstick -> Auld Lang Syne > Down with Disease -> Llama, Bathtub Gin, Heavy Things, Twist -> Prince Caspian > Rock and Roll, You Enjoy Myself, Crosseyed and Painless, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Sand, Slave to the Traffic Light, Albuquerque, Reba, Axilla, Uncle Pen, David Bowie, My Soul, Drowned -> After Midnight Reprise, The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Bittersweet Motel, Piper -> Free, Lawn Boy, Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head Up, Roses Are Free, Bug, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Wading in the Velvet Sea > Meatstick
This was the second show of the Big Cypress festival. Fish was introduced as 'Soda Jerk' during I Didn’t Know. Split Open and Melt and Disease were unfinished. Melt contained A Love Supreme teases. After the ensuing Catapult, Trey remarked: “Only at the largest concert in the world could we get away with playing a song like that.” After Midnight made its Phish debut. The late set, also known as “The Show,” began at around 11:35. “Father Time” was on stage, pedaling on an exercise bike that powered a large clock. The sounds of the clock’s gears could be heard through the sound system. About ten minutes before midnight, “Father Time” collapsed from exhaustion and the clock stopped. Then, a large fan boat entered the concert field and approached the stage. Early in its journey, the fan boat exploded away and revealed the hot dog used in the 1994 New Year’s stunt. While the band rode the hot dog to the stage, an instrumental version of Meatstick began to play over the P.A.. The band reached the stage and fed several meatsticks to Father Time, reviving him so that the clock could continue moving toward midnight. The band then took the stage and played Meatstick to begin The Show. Dancers were on stage prior to Phish reaching it. Auld Lang Syne and Disease were accompanied by fireworks. Heavy Things was recorded live and rebroadcast as part of ABC television’s New Year’s Eve coverage. In a humorous effort to confuse the home audience, Trey instructed the crowd to yell the word “cheesecake” in lieu of cheering at the end of the song. After twice giving the example of yelling the word once, Trey changed his mind and instructed the crowd to chant it, adding for them to say it like they were pissed. Trey then introduced the band for the rebroadcast and offered a message of peace and harmony for the world where he reminded people to drive in the right lane unless passing another vehicle. Meatstick was subsequently teased as the New Year approached in the central time zone. YEM included a vocal jam based around the word “cheesecake” and Trey altered the lyrics to Axilla and Albuquerque to reference the word. Inlaw Josie Wales featured Trey on acoustic guitar. Sand contained Quadrophonic Toppling quotes and My Soul teasing from Mike. Rock and Roll included an After Midnight tease. Love You included band introductions; Fish introduced Page before the song and Mike and Trey afterwards, and the band as “Phish 2000” (see November 2, 1990). Piper contained Bug teases from Page. 2001 began with the signature Hood drum roll. After the show closed with yet another version of Meatstick, the Beatles song Here Comes the Sun was piped through the crowd at sunrise. Two breakouts were played: Crosseyed and Painless (first since August 13, 1997, or 159 shows), and Love You (first since July 5, 1997, or 179 shows).
Review by waxbanks
Most mid-period Phish fans who've heard this show love it. If you're not a fan of Phish's spacey late-90's improv, you might find it a bit samey; e.g. the last 20(!!) minutes of Roses Are Free head back to ground that'd already been adequately covered (you might say) by the last 10 minutes of Rock'n'Roll and the 15-minute 'Quadrophonic Topplings' jam and even the last six minutes of the *show-opening* Disease jam. That's a lot of twinkling ambient-textured psychedelia to sit through in one listen. If you're in the right mood, on the other hand, or happen to enjoy that sort of thing, you might call NYE '99 the canonical Phish show. Trey memorably thought so - he came offstage with Fishman thinking the band was done for good, and a little more than nine months after this night it was. It took them a decade to fully recover and regroup after this spiritual/musical peak.
Both camps have it, I think. The ferocious concentration and intensity of '97 were gone by this point in the band's arc, as was the larking bounce of 1998, but there's a miniaturist's precision to the sound-assembly and quiet interplay nonetheless. By late '99 the ambient excursions of fall '98 has started to integrate fully into the band's sound; even the driving rhythmic songs here start with Trey piling sonic sediment atop the rhythm bed, and the great guitar declamations are more rare than ever.