, attached to 2003-07-21

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround Ahhh, back at my old stomping grounds! Being from Toledo, I caught 95, 96 and 97 and made it to '00 from Colorado. You come to expect a lot out of your favorite band when seeing them play the same venue so many times and play it so well. Dead Creek may as well be called Phishhook Creek. Great times! We made the drive from Alpine in short order. We got to Dead Creek midafternoon and set up our camp in between JNap and thebigz. Z banked big time for four days, going thru a shitload of fat tire and grilled cheese. I ended up getting pretty damn drunk on Sunday night. This really came in handy. I was one of the people that never woke up at all during "Hurricane Guyute." I just sort of remember waking up in the morning in my tent, sleeping in a very large puddle of water. No worries, I pulled out my sleeping pad and went back to sleep on the grass and dried out for the most part. Ask JNap about this one! Is there any truth to a tornado touching down nearby during the maelstrom? >

SET 1: Cities: Wow, sweet opener; never would have called this. The Cities I saw at Deer Creek '97 about put me into the funny farm (in a good way). This one was the exact opposite, very cut and dry, no real jamming – very tight version and an excellent way to open up the Creek run.

Runaway Jim: Nice, something about this song, to me; says Deer Creek – that and Possum. Not sure why but it works for me. Nice Runaway, nothing too crazy but tight all the same.

Meat: Standard.

Water in the Sky: Nice nod to this morning's storm.

Stash: I don't know what's up w/ this tune this tour, but none of them have really grabbed my attention. Until now. This Stash really goes out there and gets it done. Very cool and spooky Page breakdown in the neighborhood of 9 minutes. Best of the tour thus far by far. Kind of allayed my fears about the future of Stash.

The Old Home Place: Standard.

Vultures: For a song that has got to be very difficult to nail as a band, they have to be very proud of themselves w/ this Deer Creek version. Lyrics/Vocals: Nailed. Composed sections: Nailed. It just sounded great, and I've got to think this tune is one of the more underrated songs that they play.

Birds of a Feather: Rips your face off! Not as good as say Columbus 99 or Deer Creek 99, but this Birds really gets everyone moving. Wailing guitar courtesy of your favorite red head. Sweet segue into>

Mike's Song: Whoa! I never saw this coming, and it straight knocked me on my keister. I love the fact that they are once again playing Mike's Groove to end first sets (see Utah)! It's such a great capper and unexpected at least for me. Mike lays down such a thick foundation behind Trey. Short Mike's w/ a shaky Trey lead segue into>

I Am Hydrogen: Gotta love this classic when it's played well by you know who. Once Trey gets thru the segue, everything else plays out quite nicely. >

Weekapaug Groove: Big time goosebumps for me throughout Mike's intro solo. Dancing like a goofball with a bunch of other freaks somewhere in Indiana, it just does not get any better! Crosseyed tease by Trey from 5:19 -> 5:25. Trey leading the Shock the Monkey tease was cool. This Weekapaug is a total rager, absolutely awesome version.

SET 2: Suzy Greenberg: Tons of energy coming out of the gate >

Taste: Phish has made a statement w/ this song on this tour. They want it to be more of a jam centerpiece, I think. It's taking spots in sets that hold a lot of importance I think, more so than in the past when you would consistently see it mid first set. Love it or hate it, if you are a fan of Phish than you must appreciate the extreme tension the band builds w/in this song and then explodes back into itself. Trey struggles to wrap this one up a bit at the end and Page even hits on a rare, missed note.

46 Days: Oh geez, things are definitely going to get dirty now! It's on for sure. This one actually stays much more low key than I expected. A lot less arena rock and much more ambient style jamming, especially the last three minutes of it. It gets way, way out into space. I absolutely love this version! Shares elements of The Moma Dance from 6.17.04. This melts/segues into >

Tweezer: Again, eh? Number four, I think. The energy in the joint is sky high at this point. Mike Gordon is a bass master; the man can flat out play. At eight minutes, Page takes over. 3 minutes later segue into >

Also Sprach Zarathustra: The mothership has arrived friends, jump on board. CK5 = thou knows no equal. The man is a flat-out genius. Short 2001. I don't think it really segued into LxL but Phish.net thought so >

Limb By Limb: Placement sucks. Flat out. Sorry but I have seen this song so much since 97 - oddly enough I think this, and Taste have very similar jams. But late second set at the Creek you want a heavy hitter, and this is not a heavy hitter. What followed however, was. >

Good Times Bad Times: Wow! That 8/10/97 show is really showing its face as both Good Times and Cities were both played that night at the Creek. Again like the Cities, that GTBT was completely different than tonight's. 97 was an exploration in mind f*** your audience. This version was straight up arena rock. Blistering. I thought my head was going to explode. Good God, what an amazing way to end the set.

ENCORE: Loving Cup: Standard >

Tweezer Reprise Standard.

Replay Value: Stash, Birds of a Feather, Weekapaug Groove, Taste, 46 Days.

Summary: Tons of meat on this bone. This show ROCKS. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats hanging out with a bunch of your friends at Deer Creek in that camping environment. Those were the best times. I would rate this as a 3.75 out of 5.


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