SET 1: My Friend, My Friend, Cars Trucks Buses, White Rabbit Jam > Reba, Uncle Pen, Horn, Run Like an Antelope, I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome, Sample in a Jar
SET 2: Runaway Jim > The Fog That Surrounds, If I Could > Scent of a Mule, Mike's Song -> Keyboard Army, Weekapaug Groove -> Suspicious Minds > Hold Your Head Up > Cavern
ENCORE: Amazing Grace, Good Times Bad Times
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Review by pub1tzu
This was my 60th show, and it was in my transplanted hometown of the SF Bay Area.
This show wasn't even 2 months after Jerry Garcia passed away on August 9th, so being at the home base of the Grateful Dead with a ton of Deadheads in attendance, there was many many songs and moments that were either overtly or tongue in cheekly referencing Uncle Jer'.
You've likely heard this epic show, and maybe seen snippets of the video on YouTube or even that one glimpse from NYE 2003 when they had the video montage during set break.
One important note(to me) They've gotten my name wrong and spelled wrong all these years. Understandably, as it's a strange name.
I believe, in fact, like Tigger, I'm the only one.
PüTzu is the correct spelling. Pronounced POO-TZOO.
That being said, I'm going to start by sharing my unique tale from that day. And maybe add more to the tale over the years.
My show started long before anyone else's show that day.
I used to sell a lot of glass in the parking lot, however on September 30, at Shoreline,
I decided that there were more important things to do.
I was showing some pieces to some folks in the lot when my friend Greenpeace Mike came out from his cave in the backstage area and found me working as usual.
He asked me if I had wanted to play Page a game of chess.
I’d been after Page to play me for a couple of years so, I said, “Yeah!”
Mike told me, “Come on.”
So, I closed the case of glass, and excused myself and followed Mike to the backstage entrance.
When we got there, he told me to meet him back there in 1 hour. So, I went back to the lot and
told the clients that were checking out the glass that I was closed, went and put away my glass case, and hurried back to meet up with Greenpeace Mike.
When I arrived he led me inside the big wooden doors to the back-stage area of Shoreline.
It kinda felt like the big castle doors opening up to let me inside.
We bee-lined it to the sort of “hang-out” area for the band-members where John
was playing Ms. Pac-man. Mike and Page were sitting on one side of a table with a chess-board on it and Trey was just kinda
I said hey to everybody, but John’s attention was taken by Ms. Pac-man, then I sat down on the couch across from Page.
A lot of folks thought that I made a horrible move. I have played chess for nearly
50 years, and I play chess like I live life, from the hip. I only thought I was playing an innocent game of chess.
After the three moves, Trey had been pacing around, watching the game, Trey came over
and said, “That’s good.”
I said, “Huh?!”
“Oh, you don’t know what’s going on.”
I said, “What?!”
“Oh, You don’t know what’s going on,” and pulled me out of my seat
and took me to the front of the stage and showed me a giant velcro chess board.
He proceeded to tell me that they were starting this chess game against the
audience, where the band would make a move at the beginning of the show and
a different member of the audience would make the move for the audience each
night after set break.
I was like,
So, Brad showed me around and told me how things would go, and how I wasn’t supposed
to cross certain lines and where to stand. Then I was dismissed, and told
to meet Brad at the beginning of the show.
I ran outside and told everybody I knew not to be late for the show. I didn’t tell a
soul why. I wanted it to be a surprise. And a surprise it was.
I found out later that many of my friends were seeing their first Phish show,
and then I went and got up on stage. This was the first time, but wasn’t
to be the last time I would get onstage with the band.
So then the moment came, and the show began. Phish opened the show with the always
eerie, My Friend followed by an instrumental version of Jefferson Airplane’s
quintessential psychedelic tune, White Rabbit. During the My Friend and the
start of the White Rabbit Jam, I was on the risers stage left. (Jerry’s
side) The jam kinda thinned out and Trey began to explain what was going
on to the audience.
Phish are all big fans of chess, and spend a lot of time on the road doing battle at the
chessboard. They would be challenging the audience to a game of chess on this
national tour, with one move played at each concert. I was invited onto
the stage during the White Rabbit Jam. Having moved from the side of the
stage to the front row, all I had to do was climb onto the stage. And
there I was, a little nervous to say the least. Trey called me out to
the front of the stage to meet the audience. With 20-something thousand
in attendance, a large percentage good friends of mine, there I stood on the
front edge of the stage at Shoreline, home of the Grateful Dead, in my Jerry
Garcia postage stamp shirt, hands folded in front of me like a little kid.
But on with the game…
The game began with keyboardist and vocalist Page McConnell making a very normal move
1.e4 (1.P-K4) and then I responded, some have said, “sensibly, with 1…e5
(1…P-K4). Then Page played one of his favorite opening moves, 2.Bb5!?
(2.B-N5) which is the unorthodox opening known in some circles as the Portuguese
Opening. I responded with another reserved move, 2…Nc6 (2…N-QB3), and Page’s
next move was, 3.Nf3 (3.N-KB3).
The music continued with Reba, Uncle
Penn a touch of Antelope, and then an acoustic rendition of Blue and Lonesome
dedicated to Jerry Garcia, with Sample in a Jar closing out the set. But
for me, the night was to become a strange psychedelic journey into the draw-bridge
that was coming down between The Grateful Dead and Phish.
I was wandering around backstage for a little while when I saw this woman playing basketball
with a young boy, perhaps her child. Not really knowing what I wanted
to do next, I sure didn’t want to leave the inner sanctum of Shoreline’s backstage
area with Grateful Dead emblems and iconography everywhere, I watched them play
horse for a minute and then asked them if they were with Phish.
“Nope, Grateful Dead,” she replied.
And that was all I needed to make my night complete.