IT both days - Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME

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please review the shows not the other reviews....

Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 16:03:03 -0400 From: Eric Finkelstein Subject: It review Where to begin? With three Phish festivals under my belt†I have developed a new sense of when and what I describe as a successful festival.† Ultimately so many people deal with dozens†of variables that will make or break these events.† For me, each variable seemed to make the trip for us rather than break it.† I like so many others was 10 miles away friday morning in traffic, preceded to the listen to the officers who told us to get out of line†on 1a†and go†to route 1 and ended up only 8 miles away, listened to a friendly local who gave us backroad directions and ended up inside with only a 5 hour wait, a success a believe compared to the horror stories of our friends and others. †Actually kudos to my friend Meg who kicked my conservative ass out of line to risk the advice of a local maine dude.† .† While I can understand the complaints of others, I must say that the general development of the whole site was fine.† As I see it, you have 60,000 people coming to an area not suited for this onslaught of humanity.†† All I expect is for the basics to be maintained--potable water, functional portojohns (although they would get nasty late at night), and food if you needed it.† No matter how much these festivals are planned, you will always run into a few variables i.e. dirt, rain, and oh yea people how just want to have a good time which we should all know means, loud amazing music, cocktails of wonderful drugs, and all and all a giant party.†† That's what I had expected when I left work on Thursday afternoon and that's exactly what I†got.† In terms of the†music, † Hi-lights---first day---the first set opened very strongly, my first 'bag' which I had eluded me for so long set things off, ya mar was a great jam.† Also, I really like these day sets, something you never get and it almost feels like a bonus, as I still have two more sets ahead.† I agree that the second night was much stronger, but I enjoyed the two evening sets of day one.† As Trey said prior to the encore, the boys are just going up there and playing w/o planning, which creates long meandering sets and†more spacey jams.† Some reviewers have panned this general aspect of the music, I applaud it.† These 4-6 song sets are awesome, total jams that are so musically intricate that it doesnt matter if the song is waves because 15 minutes†into the jam†it could be any number of jamming tunes.† I for one was happy yes happy not to hear farmhouse, sand, gotta jiboo, or any of that other crap that had been diluting sets prior to the hiatus. Waves, Pebbles and Marbles, and 46 Days are all better tunes than anything off Farmhouse, but its not just the album comparison that Im trying to make, the general playing of these songs mixed with the old classics is just much stronger.†† Get the shows and listen to them, especially fishman who I felt excelled during the 20+ minute jams by keeping good beats and ultimately providing the glue to the sound.† The second day, second set was epic---I have always and will always love ghost jams throw in yem and I am smiling ear to ear.††Other hi-lights, mango and dog log encore,†extended chalkdust†yea†its chalkdust but†this was more,†solid reba, solid bowie, and pebbles and marbles was awesome.† I will say whats the deal with 7 below,†heared it to open the new year at msg, see it on the free sampler†disc that we got when we†entered the festival, and then it†appears†in the†third set first night.† Not a bad tune, but somebody†onstage must really like it??????Trey.†††† Final note the†doses where in full effect as was anything else, I'll take Maine over Florida anyday.† Later all Eric
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 16:17:10 -0400 From: "Paul, Travis" Subject: It review I think Phish finally got their message accross at IT.......I have lost count to how many Phish shows I have been too, but if there is one thing that I get out of every show, its how to learn from your mistakes in order to have a better time. This time, I think me and my posse did it up right. We went ghetto style and rented and RV for the weekend.And I tell you it worked out beautifully. For once we didn't have to worry about the porta potties or the traffic. As far as we were concerned, the traffic didn't get us down because we had a traveling living room. And besides, once we finnally got into the base, we were just going to be on pavement anyways....So we took turns in the traffic and everyone got a good nights rest on the 7 beds in the RV. If any of you went down to florida for NYE back in the day, you would know what 12-15 hrs of traffic is like..So the RV kicked ass... After we pulled into the lot they shuffled us down to the VIP parking right near the tower b/c we flashed a handi cap permit...A few mords of wisdom, anyone who had to park down at the end of the run way in section J , I understand how far away it is,...So next time after everyone has arrived...Move your vehicle closer to the venue.....But back to what I was saying before about phish finnally getting their message across...I read somewheres that Phish would like to be the band playing at an event where they are not the main attraction...They just want to be a Part of the show and not the whole show...And this time, I think they accomplished that...It was a great feeling to be able to explore and at the same time still be able to hear Phish playing....Good job Guys.....Peas out. Knugget Travis James Paul
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 11:05:55 EDT From: Subject: sh-IT ive seen phish once or twice or maybe a couple hundred times...† sh---IT was unquestionably the worst show (musically) i have ever seen.† The setlist may look good on paper,† but try listening to the tapes or cds or whatever those dorks spend endless amounts of time archiving.† how many times did they miss changes, lyrics, beats ,† you name it and somewhere in the show they fucked it up.†† the phish has the ability to blow our minds each and every show .† there is no question about the talent they have ,† or the power they possess,† which could send us all into raging orgasmic convulsions.†† but to no avail.† shit why didnt they come out and just play heavy things>jennifer dances>fefy>farmhouse>any other sh--IT thats slower then death.††† no† Fuck your face.† no Tube. no forbin, stash, ice, 2001, maze, hood, ha, llama, carini, axilla, bbfcfm,† the list goes on... GOT TRAFFIC. tower jam was sick. kuroda good work.† boys good work showing new direction,† intuition. youd think that theyd just let it all go once .† just once. Dark Prince
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 03:35:21 +0000 From: mo aversa Subject: MY IT † My story begins in traffic as most phans expierienced at IT. My wife and I have been touring with phish (seing select shows) since 1993. IT was to be my 60 and 61st shows. These shows would be a†new experience†for us because we decided to include my 3 year old son. We drove up from Baltimore MD and hit a wall of traffic about 18 miles outside of the venue. IT did not move. We spent the next 10 hours trying to hold things together untill we got inside the venue. My son had a couple of meltdowns but overall was as good as gold. The TV/VCR in our car was essential under the circumstances. We finaly were redirected by some cops to another location off the main route which actually worked in our favor and we got within 50 cars to the gate by 11:00 pm. At one piont we were just sitting in our car in the dark just †waiting and suddenly a MOOSE runs out from nowhere! Phans started phreaking out and the moose just took off running down the road past all the waiting trafic. IT was quite a surprise. Finally we got in at 12:00 am. I quickly bolted to the family camping area to set up my tent. My wife headed to the porto potty while my son was asleeep in the car. I quickly unloaded my gear and scoped out an area. Suddenly this girl comes out of nowhere. She said her name was ally and she was lost and "jammin". I tried to help her the best I could but she could not even comprhend most of my helpfull suggestions. I also was beat, from all the days trials. All of a sudden Phish starts playing the sound check and you could hear it perfectly. I watched and listed as I was setting up my tent. I also laid a tarp inside my tent to keep any moisture from bieng annoying. I then got out of my tent and to my amazement there was a girl passed out next to my tent! I went up to her and rolled her was Ally. I gently shook her.."" I said. "you cant sleep here your giong to be all wet". She did not wake up. My wife then returned and I told her the situation. My concern was the if she got up she may fall on the tent wich contained my 3 year old sleeping. My wife then went over and said to her "there are babies in that tent". Ally then responded and was so happy to get off the gound. I rembered she said to me and my wife "your so nice" and then she stumbled away. Meanwhile Phish was playing an epic mysterous jam. My wife and I then laid down in the tent. We were almost asleep when we saw headlightes comming towrd out tent. My wife was like "oh no, this is not acceptable". Our fear was that somoen who may run over our tent with us in it possibly bieng tired and not using god judgement. I then jumped out and let the people know that the mounties were making people park on the run way and not on the grass. It was another family and they were very cool about keeping our area vehicle free. Finaly we got some sleep. I was so happy to just finally be there. The next day was just awsome, great weather and to my surprise the family caping area was loaded with kids!. My wife and I were very relieved that other kids were at the show and my son, sean would have playmates. We also discovered Ally's Shoes on the side of our tent "what ever you do TAKE CARE OF YOUR SHOES!". We kept them the whole weekend but she never returned. (Phish actually played Cavern that night>>>Go Figure??) The show was excellent with AC/DC BAG, Vultures and Seven Below standing out in my memory as very intense flawless versions with a "new" profound energy and purpose in the jamming sections. My son was loving this girl who was blowing bubles durring the set break and he was screaming "bubbles!!" and running all around the infield. My wife retired to the tent for the third set and I went down alone to try and get up front. Again the 7 below, very intense especially after eating a very good gooball earlyer. I made it to about 50 feet to the stage. After the show , I wondered around the lot just lovin life. I wound up watching a very interesting band called "PetePidgeon"? They were just jammin and many peeps were dancin including myself. At aound 2 am I started back towards my tent when I saw some peeps with balloons (wich is the only time I saw that) and I thought to myself "you dont need that tonight" So I turned around and as soon as I did the TOWER OF POWER lit up. There thay where in all of there glory..the four ...shrouded in smoke atop the tower wich was lit in a purple setting. Phish hovering over the lot had come to roost. The jam that insued was just wicked. I sat in a prime location beneath the tower and IT was just simple SICK! IT was mezmirizing...get the tower jam. IT went on untill about 3:30 am. I was toast after IT and headed back to my tent. Sunday I awoke to people talking bout what had transpired the night before atop the tower. Most people had slept right through IT or heard it and thought they were in some type of dream..which wasnt to far from what people who actully witnessed the event experienced. My family and I cruzed shakedown and the lots, I took my son on the ferris wheel..which he loved and also to Sunk city which was the BOMB! I loved the tape area in the forest which myself and my son contributed too. The tape area looked like a scene out of RIFT. There was even a hand constructed out of tape holding several rolls of could not do IT justice..IT was something you had to be there to experience. The show was even better than saturday and I decided to take some mushies to really spice things up...they did not dissapiont and nether did the band..what a Epic show on Sunday. Trey's hand was moving so fast I was like "Oh my god" at certain pionts. The overall intensity and layerd jams the band busted out was indeed of "epic" proportions. IT's good to see that phish can still "shock and Awe" me after all of these years. "what a Ripper!". The fireworks were intense to the piont that I feared the stage would catch fire and need I say more>>. This was my second Phish festival (First:Clifford Ball) and aside from the traffic, this was one of the best experiences I have ever had with phish..the Shows the Karma ..all in IT! Finally I would like to personnaly thank Phish for providing a family camping area. IT was so nice to have a area where IT was safe for children to run and play/sleep. If you wanted to walk over to where all the loud night owls were you could, but for Families IT was refreshing to have a sanctuary. Thank you again Phish for this gem. And I hope that you will continue to provide a Family camping area in the future as a part of IT (festivals). As many of your Phans get older we will need IT. Peace, Tom & MO
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 00:18:19 EDT From: Subject: late it review †††††† Initially I was going to write a rebuttal against all the nay sayers, but then I saw the disclaimer half way down. Anyway, "it" was dope. The first day was rockin.' Personally I think vultures is under rated. I fell in love right before the tower set, though now i find it wasn't mutual. Oh well, love is love. The vans playing 70's funk hits all through the event was key. second night rocked harder, besides the fact that some dude was all "you should go see the medics" when i was under the influence of mushrooms. the rest of my night was spent hiding from guerilla medics. this review sucks, but the bottom line is .....don't ask what your band can do for you, ask what you can do for your band, and remember this was it, not bonnaroo.
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 18:45:09 EDT From: Subject: No Subject as for was a magical time for me from the start when the car rental people screwedup and the compact car we ordered was not availble the morning we left for the trip so they had to give us a windstar van with a fully loaded killer sound system At the first rest stop we stoped at in maine a hippie gave us some killer got to the show thrusday night and we parked in the campground right next to the entrance of it for $8 and around midnight they let us pull onto the base and get in line...we were about car # 59. Then in the morning, the ushered us into the parking space next to vip camping, were we quicklly ran and set up our tarps and tents up against the fence wher e it was actually almost dry. we claimed our space..directly across from the garden center, and hanger 10 we got to see all the beautiful police horses every morning come out and line up in to keep the peace! We got to use the fence to hang all wet stuff to dry each day. We wer the closest to the was ureal. I did a candyflip of the purest in the land and had the best time. On the way home in burlington lake champlange camp ground. i called a cop a big fat potatohead, lit up a bowl in front of him, and then i ended up sleeping on the floor in a cell with 3 crackheads till the nex t day when they let me friend was waitin at the gate and we drove back to philly. Thanks joe for the great hit...thanks to mryellowbunnyface for the candyflip. thanks to phish for being the coolest band ever....the weed there was the best i have ever tasted...that organic maine sufff i have not tasted stuff like for lyears...bravo pot growers of newengland bravo!
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 12:02:38 -0400 From: To: Having never had the pleasure of reviewing a show, I felt it somewhat necessary to write down some modest thoughts on the weekends show. I am a long time fan, and have been seeing Phish since 1995, and have always enjoyed myself and for the most part the company of others at the festival gatherings. This weekend was no exception, as I was most excited to see the band for the first time since 2000. A few thoughts on the traffic situation. The traffic was enough to make a person go completely insane. The van I was in left Portland on Friday evening at around 5:30, and made good time getting up to Caribou. At 10:30, with approximately 12-14 miles left in our journey, we hit the worst traffic I have ever seen. It was terrible, to be quite honest. We arrived in our parking space at 2:30 pm on Saturday afternoon, a mere 16 hours after arriving to Caribou. It was insulting and ridiculous that phans were forced to tolerate this kind of treatment. This festival had been planned for a very long time, and the rain should have not been a factor in letting people in. On top of that, most people took to drinking, and it became quite a dangerous situation, as there still was outward bound traffic. I have read of at least two people with broken legs, thanks to this traffic. This also created massive amounts of trash alongside the highway, which I am sure, will only make the local residents think twice about having Phish back to Limestone. I am not one to let little things get to me, but I could tell that other people felt the same way, as there were many conversations concerning peoples^“ discontent for the traffic situation. Shame on the concert promoters/ organizers for allowing this to get out of hand and inadvertently put phans in hams way. I digress, because as soon as the lot was finally reached, things got much better. The scene was what you would expect, only much bigger than I had imagined. Everyone was in great spirits, and I soon met up with a large gathering of my friends, and we went in for set one, just as the opening chords could be heard. Set one was great, the sun was out, it was great for dancing, and dance we did. The set was a lot of fun and a great way to begin the weekend. Unfortunatley, most of us were so tired from the drive that we fell aspeep in our chairs and missed most of the second set! Doh! We did get in to see Bowie, which was sweet. And to the girl who mocked me and my friend for trying to call a song, all I have to say is why? Why would you care what we say during the quiet moments of the set, there is no music to hear, and we are not bothering anyone. During the break, we decided to mve up front as we had been way in the back. There was a kid infront of me, who was looking pale, and passed out. I had watched him sway, and noticed he was about to go down. I led a troop of people, and we carried him to a non-muddy place to lay him down. Upon further inspection, we saw he was blue in the lips, and eyes. A medic was needed. I ran to the food stands. Medic! No response. I grabbed a vendor. Medic! Sorry, try the control tower in the middle of the field. I hauled ass to the tower. I mean, I was running seriously fast. I get there, Medic! Some inbred hick with a phish safety shirt looks at me (he apparently was ^”working^‘) and says, ^”Go find someone with a fucking radio.^‘ I looked him dead in the face and said, ^”I can^“t find anyone with a fucking radio!^‘ His response was to shrug and turn around and go back to watching the show. Never have I been so upset. Finally I was told by two other medics who were already busy, to go to the Ferris wheel. I found 2 medics, and they were going somewhere else. At this point I said to myself, ^”to hell with this poor excuse of a system,^‘ and returned to help this kid myself. Fortunately, he had recovered, and by the time I got back, he was on his feet again. This type of situation should have never happened. The lack of information, concerning the medical situation was grotesque, and the hired hicks should be more informed. I am sorry to generalize, because I did meet some very nice staff there, but for the most part, as far as I could see, many of them seemed to be on a power trip, because they had the orange or blue shirt on. At any rate, the rest of the night went great, and the encore speech was pretty funny. I ran the 5k and got a time of 28:58. Not too bad, I must say, considering the lack of sleep and proper nutrition my body had had. Props to Sarah, she gave me a ride to the show, and got 13th place! The fans were awesome in cherring us on! It was so nice to hear people come out, and it was also nice to see everyone who actually ran! I heard there were close to 3000 runners! Way to go! So the rest of the show was great, but I have to say the high lights for me were all of set two and three on the second day. I just danced so hard and got so into the music, that everything was right with the world, even just for a few hours (best 46 days ever). If you want a song by song review, I am sure that someone will post one, if they haven^“t already. All in all an awesome experience, and thanks to the phans for really not letting things get them down, when they could have easily done so. Take care all, and don^“t take what I write too seriously, unless of course you want to. After all, its just all IMHO. -erich
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 14:58:36 -0400 From: Subject: IT festival- both shows The drive in: What were they thinking? From what I understand, everything changed because of the 10 inches of rain in the week preceding the festival, but the way that everyone ended up parking (on the runways with tents 0-20 yards away on the grass) seemed to make more sense than what they'd planned in the first place (parking and camping on the grass). Oh well, this on-the-fly logistical alteration somehow cost us a full day on beautiful highway 89- we had a great time getting wasted on cheap american beer, tossing the frisbee, and harassing the high-school assholes in front of us that insisted on littering the highway. On Saturday morning, I saw a dude wearing a t-shirt that said: 'Jesus Is Coming, Look Busy'. I've never worn a witty t-shirt at a Phish show. I bought an intentionally ironic 'Don't Blame Me: I Voted for Nader' shirt online before the festival, but it didn't arrive in time. I was disappointed. On to the shows: 08/02/03, Saturday Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar > Runaway Jim, Reba, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick , Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern They definitely laid it down this set. Trey was wearing a shirt that said, "NEE-HAN," which means "hello" in Chinese. All of the campsite areas had Chinese restaurant-themed names and there was Chinese food for sale everywhere. Also, great Kerouac quote about "it" from On the Road on the way into the venue underscored the many 'it' references that were strategically placed in the music and venue. Kind of weird juxtaposition of 'it' and 'chinese' stuff to think about for the weekend- never quite understood why they did this. Oh yeah- one thing that stuck out about the shows was the professional camera work that they were displaying on the video screens. The giant (30 yards?) swinging arm with a camera on the end of it dominated the lefthand side of the venue and probably annoyed many. If you know someone who works for Phish, tell them not to do this again. Look for a DVD of this weekend soon. Anyway, highlights were: - a tight Reba. This was my first post-hiatus show. Pre-hiatus, I heard this a couple of times- very sloppy versions, by my estimation - and figured that this was just how they played this live. WRONG. This was note-for-note a composed song with a pretty little doodling jam in the middle. Great version- very pleased. - Meatstick with Japanese version of the lyrics- Mike and Trey danced. Everyone laughed. - Cavern: "Take care of your shoes" has never rung so true- many people were caked with mud up to their knees throughout the weekend. I'd say I'm on the obsessively clean side of the Phish fan base, and I still have pretty fucking dirty feet 3 showers into my return to the daily grind. Set 2: Down With Disease > NICU -> Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves, David Bowie Bowie was the only highlight in this set for me for the same reason as Reba above. They're really doing their old composed stuff right. The rest of the set was just ok at best. The unfinished Down With Disease (why even play it if you're not going to come back into the chorus?), the 40 minute pointless and average version of Waves - this was the 2nd most painful 'moment' of the weekend, if 40 minutes can be described as a moment- , and the awful new song, 'Discern' ruined the 2nd set. But there's always hope in the 3rd set... Set 3: Rock & Roll > Seven Below, Scents & Subtle Sounds > Spread It Round, Bug WRONG!!!! This will go down as the worst set in the history of Phish festivals. I have a buddy who's one of those Rain Man types about Phish setlists and generally lives to see Phish; about 1 minute into Spread It Round, I asked him what song it was- his response, "I don't know- I wasn't listening." This song was definitely the lowpoint of the weekend- kind of sounds like a rocking version of a 70s dogfood commercial jingle- it's the worst, least original song that I've ever heard them take seriously. My wife calls it "the herpes song"- get it? Anyway, after literally sitting through that tripe, I swore I would leave if they didn't bust out a serious surprise for the set closer. The opening notes for Bug played and I mournfully marched back to my tent. Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song Cool songs, but I'm glad I had the backbone to leave before they were played. A man's got to have principles. Encore II: The Tower Jam (a.k.a., "the worst-kept secret ever') There were 2 jams here. 1 was instrumental and the 2nd vocal. The second vocal one ended with Jesu, Joy of Man's Desire (if you've been to a wedding, you've heard this). So, for those of you who were hoping to hear a song during this set and are bitching that you didn't, you did! 08/03/03, Sunday Set 1: Daniel (Saw the Stone), Saw It Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove After what I thought was a terrible show by festival standards the night before, I said that they'd have to earn my presence at the muddy venue that evening. Daniel and the opening notes to Saw It Again accomplished this. PYITE, a weirdly botched Wilson, and the Mike's Groove added to the justification for me being there; Army of One (boring) and Chalkdust (waaay too long- the jam went nowhere) did not. I saw a fat dude with a mullet wearing a t-shirt that said: I Beat Anorexia. Set 2: Mellow Mood, Ghost, Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself > Chariots of Fire, Loving Cup By far the best set of the weekend. Highlights: - Ghost, to me, is a jam vehicle. I'm always, at the very least, satisfied with the jam that flows out of the funk of that song. This one blew me away- tight and thoughtful with at least 4 or 5 different themes throughout. GET THE TAPE. The glowstick war that ensued had to be the best since the Hood one at Limestone in '98, if not better (I wasn't there- can't be sure). - Pebbles and Marbles- by far the best new song that they played all weekend. Tons of energy and they didn't jam it out for 40 minutes. - Chariots of Fire- the dude who won the Runaway Jim 5k ran it in 15:01- that, my friends, is BLAZING.. Set 3: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like an Antelope They shouldn't play 46 Days for more than 10 minutes- tops. They played it for 40. That and the horrid Secret Smile couldn't ruin this set though. Julius and Lizards (how they compensate for the lack of horns in these songs is beyond me- both sounded like they had 10 musicians up there playing 'em) brought down the house and the serviceable Antelope gave us one last reason to boogie. Encore: Good Times Bad Times# VERY impressive fireworks display. Retrospective: All of the old stuff sounded better than ever- the composed songs sounded leagues better than did pre-hiatus and they bring a ton of energy with them. Maybe they just weren't 'on' this weekend with respect to jams, but most of the jams didn't do anything for me at all. DWD, most of the 3rd set on Saturday, Chalkdust, and 46 Days were pretty pedestriatian; only Ghost satisfied, but - OH MY GOD - did it ever satisfy. The new songs, for the most part, were terrible. The lyrics are all pretty cheesy and the music to these lyrics is boring as hell. I'm sort of glad I made this trip, but I'm never doing it again. But, I'd already decided this ahead of time. See all of you next time in a big city where the infrastructure of the USA was set up to support us in the first place. Mark Linnen
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 09:45:31 -0500 From: Julie Liuzzo Let's see…where do I start? I was psyched….from the moment I left work on Wednesday night for the first Camden show I couldn't stop thinking that we'd be leaving for IT in only one day.† I've been listening since '93, but never had a chance to get to one of their big events.† We got in the car after the second Camden show and took off for the 12+ hour drive up to Limestone and arrived at 3:30 pm Friday afternoon 15 miles from Loring.† We had pretty good time hanging in the traffic for about 5-6 hours….but the following 12 hours were grueling.† We were parked out in no-man's land (Parking Area J) with not an empty spot of grass within 100 yards.† Thank goodness for air mattresses!† We were so exhausted that we spent our first 6 hours sleeping.† We barely got to enjoy any of the festival fun and we were so exhausted by the third set that I was falling asleep in the mud (that will also tell you what I thought of the third set).† First set was decent…Birds of a Feather was pretty decent, but I've definitely heard better.† I really enjoyed the Meatstick and that was the first time the band looked like they were having any fun.† I heard some people were annoyed with the roving camera, but that was the only way the other 50,000 people in the back could see what might be going on. Second set…fantastic version of Brother and a really enjoyable Lawn Boy which I've never seen live.† The David Bowie seemed really out of place at the end, but it was still pretty good.† The third set put me right to sleep right after Rock 'n Roll…slow…my husband said it right..they seemed to be on autopilot.† They needed to really rock that set to keep up all the sleepy fans who waited ALL NIGHT to see them.† I did wake right up for the encore and really enjoyed the Dog Log (there's just something special about that song) and who doesn't like the Mango Song?† So, we were tired (just like everyone else) and hadn't eaten in a couple days so were trekked back to Lot J to grill up some food.† It took us almost an hour to get back to the car which would have made it about 2 AM when we pulled out the grill.† We didn't see, hear or feel any music from the Tower Jam…we had NO IDEA that it was going on.† We were not asleep, we were facing towards the tower (which we couldn't see because we were so FAR AWAY) and we didn't hear a thing!† I've waited months for this event and I had no idea what was going on…I heard there was a parade (apparently we were still in traffic for that one) and some other events which I read about in the Bangor paper on Monday.† We paid $300 to miss most of the fun.† The area where we were parked had no food vendors and one set of toilets for way too many people.† They were overflowing!!!!!!† DISGUSTING!† When some guy who hasn't showered in the three days refuses to use a port-o-john you know there is something wrong.† They didn't get emptied all weekend.† Needless to say, I was really disappointed in the whole event.† The music was definitely good and pieces and parts of it were definitely great (check out the second set from the second night!† WOW!), but I barely got to enjoy it due to lack of sleep, lack of available water (which I didn't want to drink anyway because then I would have to use the overflowing toilets), decent port-o-johns (which isn't asking much) and lack of food because of the 45 minute walk to get some….just your basic necessities…food, water, shelter…And we spent the whole weekend worrying about the traffic getting out…would we be able to get home on Monday? I doubt that we will ever make the trek to another Phish festival.† I would rather spend 12 hours in the car driving to Deer Creek or spend the money to fly out to the Gorge and camp there.† It might not be the "special" event of the summer, but I'm sure it will be a special event without an extra 17 hours of traffic, concrete campsites, overflowing toilets, etc.† Perhaps if the band would offer to fly us and our gear into the venue and provide me a backstage pass (just to use their toilets), I would reconsider. We are patiently awaiting the IT DVD so that we can see what else we missed…. Of the 60+ shows that I've been to…this was the worst experience ever….only a phenomenal performance by the band would have made up for the hardship and I don't think we got that. †- A really, really disappointed fan. (JML)
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:26:54 -0400 From: Bert Salter Subject: IT 2003 Phish were great, but I think the drugs have reached a high point since my 1st show in 93’. These were my 42 and 43 shows and I have never seen more people whacked out and out of control. †There seemed to be a lot more people who were there for the purpose of getting plastered and could care less about who was playing. I am all for a good time, but for Christ’s sake get a hold of yourself people. The heavy ones seem to have taken a foothold on tour. I can’t count how many times I was asked if I wanted heroin or coke or if I had someone’s pharmies. Too many blank stares and looks of confusion on people, as always though, once the band took the stage, I could care less what anyone else’s problems were for a while and concentrated on having a blast which I did, especially since it took 2 days and 3 full sets of screaming ANTELOPE to finally get it. Thanks and see you next time. Take care of yourselves and enjoy the tunes. Lose your shit, but not your mind!
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:26:39 EDT From: Subject: It is in Limestone, again Got lucky, were rerouted from 1A to the back roads and beat some friends that left only a half hour later than we did by 14 hours. Excellent lot very chill and collected, and without any trouble, from what I saw. Too bad for the rain that came in the days before, I believe it threw out some planning procedures and caused a few reroutes in the base for camping which may have extended the time in the vehicles for the people coming in. All sets were solid, but I caught a few flubs from trey, and page seemed a little more into his keyboard than the lyrics in the Bug. I thought that the night was going to get ill with some new cover and perhaps a few old school bust outs, but it did not go like that. They seemed to almost play it as it was just another show and not a an event in which we waited 1/2 days to go 4 miles, but I don't make the calls for the songs. Highlight of the evening, or early morning was the 2 am set on the tower, thank You for making up for the earlier sets with that fellows. Between me and my Crown Royal, was some of the sickest and most discusting jamming ever from the boys. Fishman had me thinking they would bust into something known with his slick tempo on the drums, but they must of forgot the mic's on the way up. It's a shame they couldn't of played up there two nights. Soundcheck friday, since I was in the lot, was nothing shorter than spectacular and I even thought I caught some Stones even though the radio did not broadcast that. Good weekend and I thank the beer drinkers who helped me keep my total costs of the trip down. Ross† Columbus, OH
please review the show, not the other reviews.... how come i have at least 20 reviews of other reviews in my inbox??? please review the show...people who know, know a bad review... have a good rest of your week...dan
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 14:11:06 -0400 From: "Rossi, Chris" Subject: Limestone Review August 2 & 3 To put this review into to context, IT was my 29th and 30th shows since 1996.† This included the Great Went and the Lemonwheel.† I have heard a great deal of Phish music and seen some incredible shows..... † I'm not going to do a song by song detail, but I will go into all the other little things.....the odds and ends of the festival experience, because I feel that this is more than just another show.† But I'll comment on the music first because after all that's what we were there for. † 8.2.03 The first set was such a 'feel good' set and a great way to start the music.† Traditionally, Limestone first sets have been 'song-y' and though the first set setlist might look song-y it contained an absolute ferocious YaMar....You'll be hard pressed to find a more extended version in the HPB.† The Yamar went all sorts of places not typically covered in Yamar.....This would be a theme throughout the entire festival......jams and lots of them.† The rest of the set was *dead-on* Phish.† An absolutely perfect Reba in the composed section.† I really enjoyed Two Versions of Me (as I would enjoy all the new tunes this weekend.....keep em coming) I wonder if Trey wrote the lyrics to this one....The lyrics are deeply personal and the music that goes along with it really compliments Phish's delicate side ( A side which is grossly under-rated by the 'give me YEM, Antelope, MIkes's type of fan) A memorable Limb by Limb that won't rival the Went version but was it's own monster in it's own way with a 2003 tone, a more fire breathing Trey led jam, if you will. † The second set started off with a DwD that, to me at the time, was reminiscent, in parts to the Nassau Tweezer.† The jam section had Trey doing whammy bar washes a la Hendrix.† Very enjoyable version but won't rival 12.30.98 or any of the monster DwD's of yore.† Brother was a nice kick down tune.† Lawn boy is now 3 for 3 at Limestone.† Discern, Waves was the highlight of the set for me.† The intro piano work by Page in Discern is so beautiful and it brings a new musical outlet to Phish.....lovely stuff.† I haven't heard Waves that much (my only post hiatus show was 2.24 and was by far one of the worst Phish shows I have ever seen) but if this is what Phish has been doing with this song.....It's already a monster.† An obligatory Bowie followed.....throw it on the heap of the hundreds of other well played set ending Bowie's.† This set was the least enjoyable of the day for me, not because it was poorly played but because set 1 and 3 were just so damn good. † Set 3 is just one monster jam.† The setlist really should read Rock n Roll ->Seven Below->Scents->Seven Below->Bug.† This is a groundbreaking set of phish where they put the new material out on it's own and it worked great.† Sounded incredibly fresh.† Groundbreaking in a way that the Went first day Set 3 was.† The new material has a more serious tone lyrically which makes for a more 'whole' sounding and complete phish experience.† Bug was perfectly placed as was everything else.† The encore was just topping on the cake.....we did walk across what was left of that lawn. † 8.3.03 The first set of this show was probably the most rusty playing wise.† PYITE and Wilson just didn't sound that good but sandwiched in-between them was a highly emotional Army of One which had page singing......this is a great tune.† Chalkdust was way out there and came back† This could rival Camden 99.....while the jam wasn't as jaw-dropping on the whole it was a denser and deeper version then Camden 99.....I'll have to listen again to see.† The Mike's Groove was compact, tight and flawless.† Great way to top a set.† Second daytime Limestone Mike's Groove.....A sharp contrast to the Wheel Groove for sure.† A little side note about the Wilson Lyric flub......Trey's comment about 'here's one for kevin....archive that' just goes to show, to me at least, that Phish could care less about flubbing......and more about jamming, energy.† I think they might be sick of playing the real old material as evidenced in the past by forgetting lyrics/sections.....every new song this weekend was *perfectly played* lyrically sung correctly and flawlessly played why can't Trey play Wilson right?† they just might be sick of them. † The second set was easily the best set of the day with Mellow Mood opener.....How can you go wrong with that?† This goes into the Ghost which is Ghost hall of fame material in the hall with Va Beach '97 and a slew of other incredible pre-hiatus ghosts.† I think despite the glow war this version will hold up on tape.† (I still think the Went glow war was better but this is the closest they have come to topping it)† The Mountains in the Mist was stone cold perfectly placed and played just right.† Pebbles was refreshing and nice departure from what the ablum version sounds like.....this is definitely more authoritative and fired up.† Nice to see the Bass and Drums section return to YEM's......enjoyable YEM...smiles all around.† Rock solid set.......will probably over shadow all the other sets....maybe deservingly. † The Third set was a mixed bag, continuing the tradition of Limestone 2nd day Third sets weirdness.† The Went and Wheel both had clunkers in their own right and this Third set joins them.† 46 days got really spaces and though I enjoyed it others around me just wanted to get fired up more.....but there's a lot of stuff going in this 46 days.† They were playing like possessed aliens.† Other than that I don't have much else to say about this set....Lizards is always a struggle for Trey and this was no different but they pulled it together and Secret Smile was enjoyable.† Did Trey forget how to communicate with a crowd?† That ramble at the end of Antelope was almost un-intelligible.† Probably my least favorite set of the weekend.† † Overall, musically speaking, this was in the middle of the pack as far as the Limestone experience goes.† Better than the Wheel but not quite as musically pleasing as the Went. † odds and ends -Checking every car on the way in definitely was the cause of the slowdown.† Despite checking for fireworks and other things that weren't allowed, fireworks were constantly going off in the lots and even during the concert field on Sunday.† This is really really dangerous and dumb.† There's no reason to be setting off fireworks in a crowd of 60k+....not only that but it distracts from the music.† When did fireworks become such a big deal at shows?'s on a magnitude of ten times more annoying than anything that happened with glowsticks as far as lame, annoying and dumb factor.† And it caused a lot of people†to sit in massive traffic for no reason at all except a spotty half-assed car check.......whatever happened to: here's your wristband have a good time.† instead I was asked if I had guns and fireworks......who are these phishheads? † -The stage was most definitely not centrally located.† Anyone who was camped out in section 'J' can tell you......about a 2 mile walk to the stage and vendors.† I'll take the old setup over this one......but that just might be because I was lucky in the location of camping for the first 2. † -The crowd has got a little Dave Mathews-ized.† There's a lot of people at the shows not paying any attention at all to the music.....I understand that some people are coming to party but there was a lot of people more concerned about whatever drugs they're doing and what their friends are doing and moving all about the concert field not having any regard for other peoples space/tarps/or just plain personal brotherhood/sisterhood.† whatever....maybe I'm getting old......but I remember a highly attentive audience but that's hard when everyone is setting off fireworks and talking about how great this molly is. † -The concert field would have been something special without the mud but that's mother natures fault......not phishs'.† Sunk city was really cool.....oddzillaed it's ok.....the band in the box was a really interesting concept even when you apply it to phish.† It's great that phish is willing to go out on a limb and subsidize these projects.....nobody does this type of stuff and it gives a voice to people who would otherwise never have a chance to do art that is see what the results can be....very much in the spirit of what phish tries to do musically. † -The port-o-poties have gotten way out of control.† Out in the nether reaches in section H, I, J......they weren't even cleaned once.† once.......a whole weekend of people duecing down without them getting cleaned and you've got toxic waste wafting into your tent a good 200 yards away.† I thought it was damn near against the law for that type of sanitation or lack there of to be going down.....this is unacceptable....not for me but for the women out there who have no choice but to use them.....especially in light of what they said was months of's 2003 and we've figured out how to download a concert 48 hours after it takes place but we still haven't figured out a way to deal with poop in a manner comfortable for all. † Otherwise Phish is still jammy as ever and whole lot more rock n roll than what I saw before the hiatus.† It was definitely refreshing to see the music after all the struggles to get into limestone.....but for's just not worth it anymore to sit in killer traffic, deal with huge crowds and have to poop in the woods to see a phish show.....I'll see em locally from now on.
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 18:29:39 -0500 From: David Dec Subject: IT Rev brief Hoyt R I respect. Views are reviews. I saw IT again was real my friend I demand to weigh your meaty things NEw songs are thigt esp. the c(ake)heck is a gppd !st 'et, for the superbly crafted weekend: Good for fellow jersians to listen to on the traffic. I hate writing letter(view)s.. too un-vital. Peace
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 00:43:42 -0500 From: Matthew Miller Subject: My IT Review IT was, as you've probably guessed from reviews (and as the encore suggested) good times and bad times. You've heard about the traffic and the mud. The mud was not fun mud. Some mud is fun. This mud was of a strange consistency so that any dancing whatsoever†quickly pounded you into a deepening hole. One would move from spot to spot, pounding holes until you tripped. That was annoying. Maybe more than the lines. Actually, the lines were more of a bummer on the scene than a bummer on me personally, as I drove through scenic Canada and dropped down from the North, saving about 14 hours of driving and waiting. It's a smart move for anyone not coming from the New England area (or the South, I suppose). The first sets, both nights, were the band playing what they thought we wanted to hear, and often, as with the Meatstick and the Daniel, nailing it (for me at least). The second sets were the classic Phish jam sets, and the thirds sets were the "new Phish" jamming sets. Contrary to all of the opinions that I've read, I think the best played set of the run was the third set first night. Some folks go for the bust outs (these are the†fans most frequently let down by shows); some go for the jamming. I go for cohesion and thematic resonance. I like a set where everything has to be where it is, where everything is an essential part of one commanding gesture. I've seen an awful lot of shows, and only a few "bust-out" songs really feel like bust-outs to me anymore. Other highlights: the Ghost, yes, though in my opinion it wasn't as good as some are raving, the DWD>NICU>Brother sequence (divine segues all), the first night encore, and sections of the gargantuan jam in the 40-minute 46 days (I thought they might be going for a 46-minute 46 days at one point). But the greatest thing for me by far was the Tower Jam (AKA "Great Gag in the Sky"). That was special beyond words. It was truly THE best light show I have ever seen anywhere under any circumstances--topping the light show projected onto the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day, the day after France won the World Cup in '98. It was more like a performance art/installation piece than a Phish event. Breathtaking, make-you-think-about-a-higher-power kind of stuff. I caught at least one thing that I haven't heard anyone mention: the "sight" theme that opened the second night. Notice the run of the first few songs: Daniel SAW the Stone, I SAW it again, and PYITEye. That connection is obvious, but the rest of the songs in that set†had at least oblique sight references too. For example, the lines from Mike's "These friends of mine / I can see right through." What does it mean? Perhaps it was an homage to the visual treats of the Tower Jam the night before (or the nearly as stunning sights of the light show in general). I also kept thinking about classic themes of "only the blind can see" kind of thing, relating to a quest for IT. Indeed there were many mysteries to the show. The Chinese food stuff--what was up with that? And why are they calling the Tower Jam a "gag" in the sky (aside from the obviously P Floyd pun). I mean there was nothing comic about the jamming. It was serious, quest-for-Nirvana-style jamming. All throughout the event, I kept feeling bathed in mysteries that I only glimpsingly understood. Folks were roundly kind also, though the partying seemed much more mellow than at the Went (I missed the Wheel). A lot of people were just plain exhausted from the 15+ hour wait in line. That was so demoralizing to so many. I can only imagine how incredible the scene would have been without that massive downer looming over things. And even with it, IT was pretty damn cool. I welcome comments from people at Matt Miller
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 10:34:05 EDT From: Subject: reveiw of it i must say something before i burst. I was at IT, my first festival, and i had a blast. like many people, i had high hopes for lots of bustouts (forbin>mockingbird come to mind), but like everybody else was left high and dry. Ive read the reveiws, and ive noticed people like to think that phish is pissing in there ears (a reference to the bittersweet dvd, cmon folks, at least be original). Although there may not have been bustouts, phishs new style is great. i love it. its dark, is heavey, its layered, and its original. Not for everybody, but i love it. If you dont want to hear it, go home. the last thing i wanna hear is some whining bitch complaing how its not like the old days. fuck you, nobody said you had to come. if you wanna hear all the old songs, listen to the tapes or whatever, but dont bitch about it. i came to hear what phish wants to play. i have a great deal of respect for the music they have created. they are a fresh and original band, as they have been for years. theres no reason to complain. if you read the it papers floating around all weekend, you might have read an article about seeing one to many shows. I think thats what many of the reveiwers have done. i say, take the weekend for what it is worth. i figured we had gathered for a weekend of music. listening, not only to ourselves, but to others. thats what will keep me coming back. i wanna see what they will do. i guess this is not so much a reveiw, but a plea. To all you jaded, bitter old heads who arent satisfied with new material and common songs, please, dont litter the scene with your complaints. do it at a biscuits show for all i care. If you come, you should appreciate every moment. theres no reason not to. Your spoiled little kids who cant stand it when your favorite band doesnt cater to you. they want to move on to new things. theyve been doin it for years, let it keep on keepin on. have a little common decency and give the boys some respect. theyve certainly done some wonderful things in the past, so dont spoil the mood by comaring everything. otherwise, youll just have a terrible time. the trick is to surrender to flow...
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 09:28:15 -0700 (PDT) From: doug bennett Subject: IT both days My wife and I left the kids at home and flew out from California for our anniversary after seeing the shoreline and gorge shows. We hit the lobster festival on Thursday and headed up to limestone on Friday, getting to within 7 miles of the venue by 5 o'clock Friday night. By the time we pitched our tent, it was 11 O'Clock on Saturday morning. A long sleepless night is no way to prepare for phish. I was thoroughly exhausted but excited just the same. Let me just say that I got on the phish bus late (Vegas 2000 was my fist show) but in that short amount of time I'd seen 17 shows going into the IT festival. Therefor I feel that even though I'm somewhat of a newbie, I feel I'm at least qualified to give my honest opinion. The first set the first day was actually pretty hot. The first thing I look for at a venue is a speaker rack and then I go park myself in front of it. The sound was exceptional but that usually is the case with phish. AC DC bag was a perfect opener and going into Ya Mar did't slow things down at all. They had the mojo going. They mixed in a Runaway Jim and a Reba and I was thinking that all is right in world. They seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely and to prove it they pulled a meat stick out of the hat, which was fun. Vultures was my first live version and it did not disappoint. Birds of a feather was flawless, Limb by limb is one of my favorites and the cavern was the perfect closer for a set that went nearly two hours. The new song Two versions of me was the only song I would have changed. This was a solid set that got me very charged up for the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately everything went downhill from there. Second set opener was DWD which was killer but the jam didn't do it for me. It went about 10 minutes too long but going into NICU saved the day. That was a hot and tight little version. The brother was mildly amusing but a weak choice, lawn boy is killer but it's short. Page needs to take over more often. At that point I was hoping for 'It's ice' and Discern didn't cut the mustard and all of the sudden they bust into David bowie and I knew they'd close the very short set with it. I looked at my watch and realized we weren't going to get 2 hour sets for the festival. It was disappointing but lets get one thing straight, phish is like pizza and sex, even when it's not that good, it's still pretty good. The third set started and we were still at the campsite so we rushed back and arrived before the opener, Rock And Roll, was over. It sounded good with a nice extended jam that helped make the fifteen minute walk easy. The next hour was actually pretty boring and I couldn't really get into it again till they went into bug. Now I'm not a huge fan of bug but damm, it was hot. What a powerful song. At last my faith was restored, until they walked offstage when it was over. Just as the set was getting hot, very disappointing. I guess they had something else to do. The encores dog log and Mango were superb. Absolutely fantastic. I was thrilled for those few precious minutes. It pisses me off that they play all these new songs when classics like harry hood, 2001, gumbo, divided sky, stash, moma dance and fluffhead get left off the play list all together. That part is frustrating but what the hell are you going to do? Phish has way too many songs and the only way to see them all is do the whole tour. (memo to self- drag the whole family around the country next summer following these guys) The tower jam rumor had been floating around all day and sure enough, at 2 am the boys were at it again with an ambient jam. At this point the fungus had worn off and the traffic jam had taken it's toll so we sat around the camp drinking beer and were fast asleep before it was over. I must say it did flow rather nicely. The anticipation before the first set of day two was unbelievable. My expectations were high and being 37 years old, you'd think I'd know better. The higher your expectations, the easier it is to be let down. It wasn't like the show sucked or anything but every time they got the ball rolling, things quickly seemed to deteriorate and derail. Daniel was OK but people acted like they were at a lynyrd skynyrd concert and the band had just gone into free bird. It's a rare song but it's not all that. I saw it again was a nice pick and you could feel the momentum kicking in and sure enough the boys whip out PYITE. Wow, I'd been praying for this song since NYE, like 8 shows ago and finally I felt a whole lot better. Things were looking up and I was stoked again beyond belief. Audience participation is huge at phish shows and the croud was chomping at the bit to scream 'hey' in unison with Trey. It just simply puts a smile on your face. Until the next song called Army Of One. During this song, I thought of 317 other songs that I would rather have heard. Humanely, they busted out an extended version of chalkdust that literally lost me. After about 15 minutes I turned to my wife and asked what song is this? She didn't know either. What a kick that was. The shortest version of Wilson ever did not suck. In fact, it was rather refreshing, especially since they followed with mike's groove, complete with all the trimmings. All good stuff to be sure, but not epic. A Marley opener was OK, I guess, but why? Harry Hood was available and they left it on the shelf. That stung. The ghost eased the pain. Verrrry impressive I must say. The mist and pebbles nearly killed me. Letdown city to be perfectly honest. My resentment towards the new songs was now growing out of control. Once again the boys bailed me out with a beautiful yem, chariots, and lovin cup. Those last three songs salvaged the set after an epic ghost. Set 3 got off on the wrong foot. The 46 days should have gone for 8 minutes instead of 40. That was brutal because I knew that every extra minute of 46 days cost me the chance of hearing Gumbo, Fluffhead, SOAM, 2001, squirming coil, wolfman's, My friend, etc,etc,etc...... Julius was a pleasant surprise and lizards is a personal favorite but the wind was out of their sails. Secret smile was the last nail in the coffin. Are you kidding me? During this song, I thought of 427 other songs that they could have played. Absolutely horrible timing. Like closing the last Vegas show with Friday. Just reprehensible. The antelope was missing my favorite part. Marco Esquandolas was nowhere to be found and that was kinda sad. Do you have any spike? The led zeppelin encore was 3 songs too short. There was too much that they left out while they force fed us all their new material. Maybe in a couple years I'll love all the new songs but I heard too many too fast and the experience wasn't as special. All in all IT had it's moments, but the shoreline and gorge shows were a cut above. My wife won't be back next year, the traffic jam ruined her, but I wouldn't miss it for the world, I mean after all, anything can happen at a phish show. The Bennett's in Cool, California
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:22:43 -0400 From: Peter Ullsperger Subject: IT OK, here it is. The traffic (18 hours to get in) and logistics (2 miles to the stage) †and facilities (think they could have the water and toilet thing down by now?) were awful and inexcusable. I will not review each song because I very much agree with everyone else's. The new songs are not my cup of tea. Slow, boring and not as clever as the old stuff. Some of the old ones were played too long. I remember being at Dead shows thinking to myself, "If they would stop playing this nonsense that is going nowhere, they could play 3 more songs." Well, at the last several Phish shows I've been to, I've had similar thoughts. Playing one song, and a not so good one at that, for 45 minutes is a waste of my time and totally self-indulgent.†We all know that there is a line you can cross†where†improvisation and extended formless jamming can become really irritating. You also know there is trouble when you can look around and see that many other people are just as bored as you are and that was the case a lot of the time. I was at the Ball, Went and Lemonwheel. Those were all far better and more enjoyable. It seemed like they were going thought the motions with this one.† While I am not angry at the whole deal, I will never travel like this far to see them again. I really think that they have gone corporate in trying to be just the opposite. $20 hot-dog†anyone?
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 13:23:00 -0400 From: Eric L. Gatsik Subject: IT Review IT Review Enough already, I can't deal with all the negativity surrounding IT. For those of you who didn't enjoy yourself, I'm sorry, but you were just not able to relax, and "Surrender to the Phlow." My background, somewhere between 55-60 shows(who can keep track) since 12/31/95, favorite set ever 4/3/98 set II (roses are free>Piper freakin sick). While conditions may not have been optimal, there is only so much that can be done to prepare for an event of IT's magnitude. That being said, everything in this review is considered completely seperate from any problems such as traffic and mud. I will first discuss the scene, and then of course, the most important part, the MUSIC. The scene was not quite as hoppin as I would have hoped. Vending was sparce off the main Shakedowns, and there was a ton of fake everything around. But all in all people were relatively friendly, and minus the mud and traffic everyone seemed to be having an awesome time. On the production end, the Sunken City was pretty cool, and all the official vending sucked as usual (except for the egg sandwiches, they were DA BOMB). I was camped in the area on the map the read "tent camping only", it was the only place on the map marked as such. Our campground was right on the highground above the concert field giving us a great view of the stage and crystal clear sound from our campsite (I'll get back to that later). Portapotties and water facilities on my end of the runway were in good condition, so no complaints there. With all that covered lets get to the music. Sat. Set 1. I dont really feel like I can give an honest review of this set. I was in a bad spot for sound, and had a hard time getting into it. Initially I thought that they didn't sound very tight, which showed greatly during Reba (although everything sounded much tighter on second, third and fourth listening). Song selection was fair (I'm always psyched to hear Vultures). So thats all i'm gonna say about that set. For set break we headed back to the tent, where we stayed for a good portion of the second set. At our tent you could hear the music crystal clear as if a stereo were playing the tunes right next to you. It was the perfet volume for sittin around chillin and getting pumped for the rest of the show. Halfway through we went into the concert area and visited the sunken city. We went in during lawnboy and emerged during waves, providing the most awesome soundtrack for our excursion. As a side point, I remeber at somepoint at some other festival (i cant remeber which, they all meld into one for me) Trey was saying how they wanted to create an environment where people could wander around and enjoy the music but not necessarily have the music be the prime focus, so I did my best to accomodate their wishes by using some of the music time for other pursuits such as exploration, and relaxation. Anyway we reemerged at the end of waves just in time to catch a sweet bowie. Thrid set was kind of a blur. There was so much anticipation regarding the tower set that I didnt really focus on the set. As I recall it was a pretty tame set with a an interesting encore, but nothing more. In the end I went back, cleaned my feet and got primed for the tower jam. A couple friends and I heard them start playing, grabbed our chairs and walked towards the tower until we came to a nice unpopulated section of a side runway with a perfect view and sound. We proceeded to sit down and continued to melt into our chairs for about an hour. It was a way out there jam, but sweet as hell. The lighting was like nothing I have ever seen or imagined, and the experience for me was one of my favorite Phish experiences ever. The second day came around, and being dead tired, a couple of us decided to stay at the tent for the first set, which wound up being cool. The onlything I regret not being in there for was the H2, but I was spinning and dancing by my camp site any way. We headed in for the second set with he Mellow Mood opener, which is such a great opener. As we danced our way down to the front third of the concert area you could feel the energy building. When Ghost started we decided to stop going forward and set up shop so we could dance. The Ghost was sick, and pefectly jammed. P&M and Mountains in the mist were both alright, but not quite what I was looking for. Loving Cup was awesome, I love that freakin song, definitely my second favorite cover. Then the BOMB 46 Days. I know a lotta people trashed this version, but in my opinion, this was far an away the best jam of the weekend, and on my top five of all time. The first 20 minutes are awesome, then the spacey drawn out part, that no except for me seemed to like, and the continuation of the jam. The whole thing was Incredible. For those of you trashing jams like this, get used to it, because I think it is where Phish is headed in the future, much more type III exploratory jamming, and thats fine with me. I dont care if they just jam and dont play any somgs at all, as long as they play. Lizards and antelope were both sick, and I was glad to hear them. I would have done anything for a tweezer encore, but alas, we got a rockin GXBX which was a smokin version. All in all the weekend was sick, dont listen to the naysayers, theyll hate on pretty much anything given the chance. I took IT at face value, for what it was, a great time, with good friends, and great music, how can you complain about that. Thanks Eric
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 11:50:12 -0400 From: Robert Begley Subject: IT Review As a whole, IT was the worst festival that Phish has ever put on. You'd think with six sets to play, Phish could have put together something special for the phans, but the truth is that I've never seen this band so uninspired. You really couldn't even pick out two sets and call them a good regular show. People have talked and written about the 2 am surprise tower jam and the sunk city being great, but what does that tell you? It tells me that people have been trying very hard to find things about this festival that they liked. And if you're talking about how great the sunk city was and not how great the music was, then you know that the band didn't get it done this time. I won't go into detail about the driving or traffic, save to say it sucked and has to make you wonder why Phish keeps picking these out-of-the way and inaccessable locations? And rather than give you all the low down on every song in every set, I'll just say a few things about the show in general. The first set of the festival was perhaps the best and most energetic. Think about that folks. by 7:30 pm on day 1, we had all seen and heard the best we were going to get, but we just didn't know it yet. Bag was a good opener. Some have said that the Ya Mar was the best ever, and I really liked it too. Vultures was a nice surprise and offered some dark melodies. When Trey said that they would honor the request for Meatstick, I thought, awesome, they're gonna give us what we want....but, alas, it ended there. Similar pleas for Fluffhead were rebuffed with Trey saying "Mike doesn't want to..." Whatever. Yeah, they're in charge, but c'mon! People drove hundreds of miles and payed out their asses to see the band and the songs they love. With six sets they could still honor a few requests and play what they wanted too. Sets 2 and 3 were a complete waste of time. Nothing inspiring there. Some good tunes, but absolutely nothing great. Phish didn't get great by playing back to back to back to back slow tunes, did they? No, they got great by improvising sick jams into upbeat tunes. Yet this show had none of that, and its still pissing me off. I might want my money back. Seriously. The second day offered only fleeting happiness in the form of Ghost (very nice) and Saw it Again (also good). Everyone seems to hold the 46 minute, 46 Days in the same regard. What a stupid song to play for 3/4 of an hour. It wasn't as if they were jamming it like crazy. It was just this mellow, kind of spacey, go-no-where jam. At times it just sounded like noise. Going into the show I had a list of 20 songs I wanted to hear. I figured that I'd get somewhere between 8 and 12 of them. I only got 4, and 3 of them were in the first set of the first day.... All in all IT was a sham. The band didn't seem to care a lick about the phans or the music they were playing. I have no problem with them not discussing the music until they get on stage (since it seemed to work well for most of the tour), but for whatever reason, it did not work at IT. Some have implied that as phans, we need to accept whatever the band feeds us. I say that's bullshit. If nothing else, as phans, we have come to expect a lot from Phish (and rightly so) because we know that they are capable of so much. To see them fold like they did was downright depressing. All I know is that I'm taking a much needed break from Phish until they get their act together. If anyone has any thoughts about the festival or would like to discuss it more, please email me at Thanks Rob
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2003 21:30:05 -0400 From: nick eckhardt Subject: it review sunday morning--awake early absorbing all of the scents and subtle sounds which occupied the runway at the time, i came across a fan and new friend while sitting on the hood of my car. seeming a wee bit overwhelmed from the events occurring prior to sunrise, i realized that she needed a tiny reminder of what it was that we were all there for. enveloped in a simple embrace, i believe that it was then when we both realized that all of us were merely "colors in the void." so through a mildly healing hug and an accompanied walk down the runway back to her campsite, i reassured her that it was all happening and that getting lost staring into the clouds for the remainder of the day was perfectly OK. thank you for the memory jessie from brunswick, ME, it will stick with me always. -nick boone, NC
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 21:08:02 -0400 From: Tucker Williams Subject: IT review Parts/Attachments: 1 OK ~24 lines Text 2 Shown ~53 lines Text ---------------------------------------- Sure the line to get in†was hours (i heard the line to get out was just as long if you left†after†9†30 am†on monday). Of course there was sketchiness (what ya expect with 80,000 people). So what ya couldn't find your friends until the last two sets on saturday (hey you haf to make new ones). I had the best time I'v ever had at a Phish show (since 1992). I don't see phish nearly as much as I use to so i got to rediscover them once again and damn it was great. † Musical†summary: first set day one was the best set of the weekend†(Meatstick!), i missed most of the 2nd set because I'm dumb, third set was great, almost new to me with just a great seague between the 3 new songs that start with S, Dog Log was Awsome. The Tower Jam was sick. I was completly spaced out. Look out ya better duck! Those are some sick kites dude! Day 2: fist set begins a little mushy but it all gets worked out in Chalkdust. Holy Rage Batman! we get the shortest Wilson (back to back with the longest Chalkdust?) Mikes Groove...SICK....set 2 is all about the Ghost...chh.chh..chhhh..chh...set 3 first 46 days i heard and i'm sure i'll never hear another like it..this was some heavy stuff...we needed the Lizards and the straight ahead rock of Julius. For some the extended space or tonal jams were too much (hey this is nothing new) but you haf to surrender to the flow. To all those i met (this is Tucker)†at the IT..get em up high!
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 15:25:05 -0400 From: Hoyt R Subject: it review Where do I begin?† Brace yourself phish heads because this is about to get nasty!† Maybe I was expecting too much from the boys or something but it was not the shit.† The drive from jersey was not bad, though when we hit traffic i started having flashbacks of big cypress.† we pulled off out of the line to wait on some friends and ended up paying a local to take us on a couple of shortcuts and skipped six miles of traffic, thanks to the maine guy at the store at the eight mile mark. ††† Now on to the show.† The first day we sat on the rock pathway inside the venue, not bad seats.† ACDC Bag opener!† I was waiting for this since we hopped on tour in charlotte.† Good choice but relatively dull bag.† Ya Mar was alright but the music was not turned up loud enough so it was hard to get into it.† Runaway Jim had an alright jam. Reba!!† It was a good reba but in my opinion reba should be played when it is dark outside, not in the middle of the day. Birds of a feather was good, it got the crowd moving a little. Meatstick!!! I enjoyed this song.† i think i was the only one around us that remembered the whole dance.† Great jam at the end.† I love hearing the Japanese lyrics.† Two versions of me sucked.† Phish, the new songs aren't doing it for me. Stop playing them at every other damn show!!!!† Vultures, nice but the atlanta version from july 4th can't be topped.† Limb by Limb was good but i still can't hear shit.† Turn the fucking music up!!! Cavern i have heard one too many times, but all the little high school kids were loving it.† Set II:† DWD opener, great jam>nicu,another good jam by the boys>brother- i like this song but i had just heard it in penn. so i wanted something different.† Lawn boy!!! Very good version, page has stepped it up a notch and he needs to start taking over more often.† Discern- i can not stand this song!!!† I hated it in Raleigh and i hated it at IT.† Waves was next and once again too many new songs.† Set closer was Bowie.† i am a fan of bowie but we heard at every other show this tour so by IT i was sick of hearing bowie.† i thought that things were for sure going to get better after two under par sets for phish. During set break we started "stoner games 2003."† we set up cups and were trying to knock them over with the little pebbles.† Twenty minutes later we had the whole section playing with us.† We (team florida) kicked everyones asses!† If you were sitting near us you know who we were! Set III: Rock and Roll- great tune and great jam. it got the crowd rocking. then they started teasing 7 below for about ten minutes and then went into it.† once again the new shit sucks! Stop playing it.>Scents and subtle sounds- i enjoyed this song in jersey but it sucked at IT!!> Spread it round- the only new song that i can tolerate. i danced hard to this tune.† Then Bug.† good jam but we have heard it too much this tour.† for some damn reason phish only picked about 30 songs to play this tour out of an eternity of songs to choose from.† Encore: Dog Log!!!!!† Yes!!!!!!!† Finally they play something that was actually due.† great tune and yes, i was walkin' cross the lawn!!!!! Then Mango!!!! Another song that was due.† i danced hard to this one and never wanted it to end.† The encore was the only good thing about this show!!!! † Day 2 Set 1:Daniel saw the stone-† i like this song.† i heard it for the first time in penn and loved it. great version at IT as well. Saw it Again-† we had been waiting all tour for this one so it was good to hear. P.Y.I.T.E- yes, yes, yes!!!† always love hearing this one.† they jammed it well as i was dancing my ass off! Army of one- alright tune, although at this time i don't think i was really paying attention because it was not turned up loud enough!!! Chalkdust was relatively the same as all the chalkdusts' but got a little darker than the avg. chalkdust Wilson- short, short, short!!!† what the fuck is going on phish? Mikes>hydrogen>weekapaug- nothing special.† what happened to simple?† i need a simple!! but no.† Phish denied me once again. assholes. Set II:Mellow mood- very standard version Ghost- this was the highlight of the weekend.† Killer version of ghost and at least 20,000 glowsticks involved in the war!!!! largest glowstick war ever.† i love ghost and the reason i love it is because you don't hear it every other show like you do the other songs they decided to play this tour. Mist-† i love this song and it was a good breather after a gnarly and awesome ghost!!!! Pebbles and Marbles-† this is the only song† that i like off of the new album. got the crowd moving. YEM- i enjoy this song but don't play it every other show!!!!! I was sick of this song by this point.† standard jam. Chariots of fire- was a good selection to play for the runners ceremony.† how the fuck did that guy run a 5k in 15 minutes?† he must be half kenyan or something. Loving Cup- good version but very standard once again and left me disappointed about†IT so far with only one set remaining. Set III: 46 days- was 46 minutes too long.† this song is not worthy enough to have a jam that long. Julius- i like this song but for some reason i just wasn't feeling it. Lizards-† i absolutely love this song.† this was my first lizards and it left me very, very, very disappointed. it was too standard.† phish, what are you doing?† are you nervous or are you just ready to get off tour? Secret smile- sucked, sucked, sucked!!!!† Why are you playing this same shitty song over and over and not playing tela or fluffhead!!!! Antelope-† worst version that i have ever heard!!!!† is that phish on stage or is it some crappy phish cover band. Encore: Good times bad times-† i was so pissed that they ended their own festival with a cover† song.† how can they do this to us.† what happened to my phish that i listen to day in and day out?† they clearly were not at IT. So, to make a long story short IT SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!† they pissed in my ears but i was not happily lapping it up!!!†I left IT with so many questions.† where was phish? why did they only play the same thirty songs over and over the whole tour?† why was trey cutting off mike and page's jams the whole time?† This isn't TAB trey!!!† In my opinion every one in the band has gotten a whole lot better except for trey.† he has forgotten more lyrics and please pick up your old guitar for at least a couple of songs.† i give huge props to Fishman.† He has improved so much!!!!† They need to stop taking orders from "KING Trey" and do whatever they please.† I was extremely disappointed in IT.† IT was not worth the $150 that they charged us.† why can't they play like they did in 1997?† i am sorry if i hurt your ears but we came from florida expecting a lot more. WHOSE GOT MY PRE-HIATUS PHISH?????????????
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2003 20:27:15 -0700 (PDT) From: Brian VanEtten Subject: IT the positive review I have been reading reviews in hear for years and never posted one.† After reading some negative reviews, I felt it was my duty to enlighten all readers on what a phantastic time it was. † I heard about the rain coming and had heard about traffic jams for the festivals in the past, so my traveling partner and I decided to get to IT around 3pm on Saturday, and I can not tell you how blessed I felt when the rain stopped 30 minutes before we got in and waited in line for about 30 minutes as well.†The good luck streak continued on as they camped us between C and D which was only about a 20 minute walk to the stage.† Everybody who was camping in our section experienced the same good fortune which gave us extra positive energy before heading to the show. † Now before discussing the setlists, I believe that Phish took the time off for 3 reasons rest, expand upon musical pleasures, and most important to WRITE NEW SONGS THAT WILL BE PLAYED AT CONCERTS!!!! † † Most of first set we were still at our camping area but could still hear everything crystal clear. † NIGHT ONE SET I † 1. AC/DC Bag-- great opener sounded fantastic 2. Ya mar-- also a great day time set song 3. Runaway Jim--fantastic Jim but not quite the 45 minute Jim 4. Reba--I have loved this song since the first time I heard it, I remeber watching this is in a rainstorm at Darien Lake in 2000.† Still at camp during the begining of Reba it was time to head into the mud 5.† Birds of a feather--a first set classic that is who we are 6.† Meatstick -- definitely a fun song apparently everyone was cheering for it and we got the Meatstick in Japanese but no Fluffhead 7.† Two Versions of me-- If you are not familiar with this listen than listen again outstanding!!!!!!!!! 8.† Vultures--always a surprise and always phantastic 9. Limb by Limb--excellent first set song 10. Cavern--great way to rock out first sight † Time to go back to the car for some beers and some laughs and prime up for secondset † SET II † 1. DWD--awesome dwd the crowd started raging 2. NICU- excellent 3. Brother- rare song and phantastic 4. Lawn Boy-throughout the night time for a stroll 5. Discern -WOW 6. Waves-was great felt like i was in the ocean and I don't understand why people are complaining about this tune 7. David Bowie--awesome bowie allot of fun mud flying everywhere people dancing in muddles great closer † Back to the car more drinks everything becoming bliss † SET III † 1. Rock N Roll-need i say more 2. 7 below-another tune people said they did not like,,,i found it phenominal 3. SCENTS AND SUBTLE SOUNDS-This is the reason I wrote this review of all the new songs this one is phantastic..The night before I left from New York I was downloading some phish songs that I did not have...I was so fortunate to get a version of this song to prepare, I told my buddy on the way there wait till you hear this it is Harry Hood's brother...Always have had Hood as my favorite tune, when I heard this song I knew they were going to play it, and was probably one of the few who knew what it was. So I was prepared for it from the first note and absorbed all the energy from this soon to be top 10 Phish song.† Totally made the concert for me.† On the way home I stayed in Bar Harbor and met a phan who was also on his way home from IT.† He had been to all the festivals and some historic Halloween Shows, He asked me if I knew what the song was in between 7 below and spread it around I told him what it was and made his night!!! 4. Spread it around- very good 5. Bug- maybe not the best closer but it had a phantastic jam 6. DOG LOG-> Nobody called that and to quote comic book guy "Best DOG LOG EVER!!" 7.The Mango Song-> Also a great encore that nobody expected a nice surprise.† I have a dead head friend who hates Phish but he loves the Mango Song and says that is there only good song He missed out † SET 4 † Was back at camp and watched this exciting alien encounter and it was just incredible, at that point I realized there was only 24 hours left of IT, time to Push on till the day † DAY II † Met some great people that day including honorable mention to a fella named STORMY who stumbled into our camp area and slept on a chair for nearly 6 hours.† He was suffering from severe exhaustion I belive and was wearing the Otis Redding "I didn't know that I was that far gone shirt" and believe me he did not know † SET 1 † 1. Daniel- awesome just got a copy of this recently as well loved it 2. Saw it again-> excellent 3.Punch-always a good pumping up song 4. Army of one- also good would rather have heard army's on ecstasy 5. Chalkdust-30 minutes or so very experimental and crazy jam nobody expected that 6. Wilson-"Shortest wilson ever" 7-9 Mikes/Hydrogen/Weekapug--need i say more this is what we love about phish † SET II † 1. Mellow Mood-I actually got to see this in Syracuse with Trey Band the first night they ever played it, I remember him saying they had just practiced it back stage. For me that was just awesome to hear that Marley tune again † 2. Ghost-Very Ghostly I think this was during the sick glowstick war I love theGhost 3. Mist- another awsome tune that got negative reviews 4. Pebbles and Marbles-also got to see Trey do this pre-round room in Utica last fall awsome song maybe the best from the new album 5. YEM-wow we all came here to see this, so i hope everybody was ready I know I was, a glorious yem they should have said BOY MAN GOD "IT" (Great t-shirt idea!!) 6. Loving Cup- Second best cover, they probably play this more than the stones † SET III † 1.46 DAYS--I believe it was a 46 minute 46 days, could have been shorter but who gives a damn that was totaly spacey and totally a jammin version 2.Julius-first phish tune I ever heard was really shocked to hear it it's just great 3. Lizards-Ok keep raging guys old school bad ass jam 4. secret smile-woh what's going on i guess they need a rest 5. ANTELOPE--I've heard it before in here and now it's my turn to say I wanted to run like an f'n antelope all over that place although i did miss the raco, marcos, spleef part † GOOD TIMES BAD TIMES--I don't know the only way they could have topped this is with a Terrapin into Hood and than Paul Simon would have had to have come out and helped them play the entire revolver album and than all got into a space ship and flew away...but since my idea didn't happen Good times bad times was a great ending to a great weekend. † The fact alone that the gods smiled down over limestone for 46 hours of no rain during the event made it all more perfect.† I don't give a damn about mud or that i didn't here free or guyute or that there was light vending, i came to see phish and i saw them and i enjoyed myself every second of th night.† As a final side note I heard somebody come by our site and ask us if we were coming to IT 2.† If there is one I will be there!!!!! Thank You Phish for making my summer complete again.† also to anyone who does not now, the smoothies were smooth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: 08 Aug 2003 17:18:10 EDT From: Dustin J. Maurice Subject: IT review Anyone who's been a part of this scene for 8 to 10 years should be ashamed of themselves for putting up with that fest. I've never seen Phish in worse shape, I've never seen lot in worse = shape, and I've never seen the "phans" in worse shape. Dead tour 95 = anyone? It's as over as it gets at this point, and if the band had a shred = of dignity left, they'd quit now to save some face. I've seen around 50 normal = Phish shows since 93, and that was my 5th Phish festival, and the odds of = me ever seeing Phish again are slim to none. It used to be so fun, the music was = SO good, the people were SO nice, chill, funny, smart, everything. Now it's all about = ME, there is no love. The band kicks down if and when they want to, and if they don't = want to, they're plenty happy to piss in your ears and take your money. Trey's = speech at the end of IT was the same thing he's said for years.............only this time, = he knew it was bullshit, and=20 so did a lot of us. If you couldn't hear it in his voice, or feel = HOW FAKE he was being with that shit, then you just don't know Trey. He even let out a little evil = chuckle at one point, as if to say "I could lie right to all of your 70,000 faces, and you wouldn't even know it, = and you'd still pay $150 bucks a piece and sit in 10 hrs of traffic and stand in a field full of = shit to kiss my ASS!" The sad thing is, he's right. I would have thought with Jerry dying the way he did, that Phish = would avoid the pitfalls of hard drug use.=20 Alas, the soul has been sold for a dirty high once again. Thank god = for all the smaller other scenes holding it down, you know who you are. Have fun you kids, be safe, and = remember, never trust a junkie. DM
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 12:44:48 -0700 (PDT) From: scott shulimson Subject: IT review both days A lot of mixed feelings about "IT" right now... I think a lot of it just comes down to expectations.†† The shows were very good but not quite up to the level of the other phish festivals I've been to† (lemonwheel and big cypress).†† We did a whirlwind trip through nova scotia and new brunswick before IT so we just came through the canadian border into limestone cutting off most of the traffic. Ended up taking three hours from the time we got into the U.S. to get to the festival.††We got parked about a mile and half†from the†stage.† The soundcheck the first night was great. Smooth†groovin peaking†jams.†A†word about the weather:† It had poured prior to the festival and† the site was really muddy which was sort of a hassle at times.† I had a great time being barefoot in the wet grass mud until a friend told me the site (lorings air force base) is actually a superfund site.†† This kinda sent me on a bummer ( had I been absorbing carcinogenic radioactive or even atomic toxins through my wet feet all night?)† Anyway though it had poured before the fest it didn't really rain the whole time we were there.† It sprinkled and it was overcast most of the time but this just served to block out the sun and sleep later.† Driving out today as soon as we got going it started pouring. IT was amazing timing because a downpour would have killed the energy and lowered the vibe.† ††† First set first set was really nice with extended and energetic jams.† Second set was so good at first I actually thought this could turn out to be one of the best phish shows I'd ever seen, then the energy dropped off. The third set didn't regain it imo.† They played so many new songs† I actually† almost all the material and want them to play what they feel like playing but it seemed to drain the energy.† Also trey seemed a little tired or something (??!!)† by the third set.†† ††† We had heard rumors of the control tower and were not dissapointed.† I wouldn't want the recording of it but it was just amazing eye candy.† This military industrial control tower comes to life with black lights and then phish starts going and smoke starts pouring off the top of it totally lit up with red and white lights and the band playing like some kind of crazy air raid kinda thing.† I wish I hadn't known about it and just seen this thing smoldering.†† Anyway it just got better with each† of the ten flights lit up with a different color and strobing in patterns.† Then three dancers did this crazy anti gravity repel dance.† I wish I had my† videocamera.† Musically not so hot but overall coolness the peak of the weekend.† † Second night Trey was a little off at first but got into it.† Second set was really good. My favorite. The third set I thought they all sounded a little tired. I wasn't so into the 45 minute ambiant jam in 46 days and I was in† a state of mind to enjoy it.† They just didn't have that much energy. which brings me to expectations.† The energy at the gorge seemed more consistently on which led me to expect something at least as good as the other festivals.† While the middle sets from both nights had some stellar jams the energy seemed† to be fleeting at other times. It was a long tour and maybe that had something to do with it.† Maybe they are to old to peak at the end of the tour these days.† Also one of the two guys who designs all the phish fests died in†† a car wreck on monday and that had to effect the vibe.† It seemed a little funny they didn't mention it at all out of† respect. †† Non musically there were highlights like the really cool forest complete with tree top path and masking tape web craziness. Lowlights include a lack of the consciousness among the east coast phish scene that makes west coast events like high sierra so special. But this is my third phish fest and I haven't seen a sing fight or crazy belligerence.† Not bad for 70,000 drunk people on runways. ††† No traffic leaving (the way we went).† All in all I am curious to see where they go from here. My post gorge exuberance has left me.† At times they sound better than pre-hiatus but Trey seems a little more musically moody than ever and that's saying something.† - scott
Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2003 14:44:04 -0400 From: John Darby Subject: IT Review OK folks, here's the down low on the IT festival. I've read a bunch of the reviews already posted, and I have to say that I'm in agreement with the dissenters on this one. This was just not a great all around festival, plain and simple. Some have been bold enough to say some of the things that I'm going to say, while others have accused the "negative reviewers" of not getting the point of "IT." But the mere fact that so many people felt that the festival was lacking in one way or another is ample evidence that there was something missing in the music this time around. I mean, who walked away from Big Cypress with a negative vibe? No one. Maybe some people liked certain songs and didn't like others, but the overwhelming feeling was that Phish brought something special to the everglades that new years eve. You simply cannot say the same thing about IT. As one other poster noted, why hasn't Phish learned a thing about venues and traffic? I find it hard to believe that they don't care about us, but the lack of organization was appalling. It took my group 6 hours to go the first 400 miles and 13 hours to go the next 12 miles. Not exactly anyones idea of a good time, but to tell you all the truth, we were so pumped up to be going to IT that we were in good spirits despite the horrendous traffic. But on to the music..... DAY 1 Set 1 - If the rest of the sets were like this set, I would be writing a glowing review. AC/DC was the perfect opener. Got all the tired asses on their feet and gave us something to cheer about. Ya Mar was obscene. I mean it was absolutely amazing! It towered over the crowd with an overwhelming power. Could have been the best song of the whole weekend. Get it and listed to it over and over again. Vultures was a real treat, and although I used to not like this song it has really grown on me. It's dark peaks and valleys brought us through a controlled melodic maze that was mind blowing. Why oh why couldn't they keep it going?????? Meatstick was also a crowd pleaser. Loved it as the opener at Cypress and I loved it at IT as well. I think they could have taken it a bit farther, but Trey just kind of put a halt to it for no reason. Birds was also tight and brought some nice jams to our ears. All in all a great opening set. Set 2 - So, so beat. Bowie and Disease were both average (if not dissapointing) and the rest of the set was unmemorable. Two things became apparent here that would plague the rest of the sets throughout the weekend. The "get you on your feet/kick your ass" songs were played way to run-of-the-mill and short and the "super chill" songs were played way to long and drawn out. Set 3 - Redemption seemed at hand when they broke out Rock & Roll. This was a good version, lots of energy and gave everyone the feeling that the band was going to go nuts. But all our hopes were dashed when we were dealt Seven Below, Scents & Subtle Sounds, Spread It Round and Bug. None of these songs were that special and Bug has to be the worst closer ever. I did like Scents & Subtle Sounds, but something tells me that I would have liked it more if it was stuck between a Piper and a 2001 or something like that. Sticking 4 slow-style songs in a row to end a set is not good. Not good at all. DAY 2 Skipped the race in an effort to make the perfect egg sandwich. Success! An egg and cheese on a bagel for breakfast is where its at folks! But I digress..... Set 1 - A better set than 2 and 3 of day 1. Daniel was a weak opener, but Saw it Again was a peice of art that should be cherished for all time. Definitely my #2 favority song of the weekend....can't get that Ya Mar out of my head! Anyway, Chalkdust was good, but went on for too long. Wilson, Mikes>h2o>Weekapaug were all good, but again, not great. No long jams, nothing too special to make them memorable. SET 2 - It's possible (with the exception of the greatest Ghost ever) that the highlight of this set was "Chariots of Fire." I'm not kidding. Aside from Ghost, there wasn't one memorable song played. YEM was waaay to standard, and lacked any serious jam I wanted them to do something crazy with it!!!! Cup was a good closer, but again, not a memorable version. Ghost was, well, insane. I don't know if it was the glow sticks or the music or the just the sheer lack of other good jamming songs, but I'll never forget it. I mean, wow! That's all I can say folks. Wow. SET 3 - This would have been a good set, say, as the closer on day 1. But I found it lacking as the closer of the entire festival. 46 Days started out great, but it ran to obscene lengths and in my humble opinion, cost us all a good song or two. Julius was tight, with some nice riffs and jams. Lizards was a crowd pleaser that got everyone bouncing around. But how can Phish justify playing Good Times Bad Times as the closer? If anyone can explain this, please help me out. A huge bummer. So there you have it. Some might say I've been harsh, and I'd say I'm just being honest. I usually walk away from Phish shows completely fullfilled. This time I left feeling a bit ripped off. I can't say that I abide by this whole notion that the band is going to play what they want to, even if the phans want to hear other songs. You don't become as big or as great as Phish by not pleasing your phans. You play to them. That doesn't mean I don't understand the whole mantra of not discussing the music before they come on stage, but c'mon, there's a difference between being creative and adjusting the formula than there is to scrapping the whole thing. The fact is that this festival could have been so much more, but wasn't. There were so many times that the band could have broken into 2001 or Fluffhead or Moma Dance or Wolfman's Brother or Free......but we got none of that. IT was a big letdown....
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 13:37:10 -0500 From: Subject: Loring AFB Review Where to start? Well, why not start at the beginning. After deciding to make the 1600 mile drive from NE Wisconsin, to Limestone ME, hopes were high and expectations were even higher. I've been catching Phish shows on and off for the last 10 years. Being a veteran of the Great Went and Big Cypress, I had a good idea of what was in store. It had been planned that I would pick up my buddy in Detroit, and burn through the next 1200 miles, to arrive in Limestone around mid AM on Friday. Hell, I figured that to be the golden time to get in the show. Boy, was I wrong. Did Phish learn nothing from the 10-20 hour debacle of 2000, that came in the form of Alligator Alley? Apparently not. Either the band doesn't care about weary travelers, or the people that they have in logistics planning are severely under qualified. C'mon, think about it for a second. 3 roads converging into one, two lane road. Plain and simple, that doesn't work. Especially when that entry road goes to one lane at a point. Anybody who hit lane closures and road construction knows that traffic always flows better when there is less of a chance for people to "Bogart" up and cut in. They tried the one entry point thing in the Everglades, and the result was much the same. Although, I did rather enjoy grilling food in the middle of the highway. Why not funnel the traffic in one direction? Next time, try closing off US-1 to Phish traffic. The less lanes converging on a single point will allow the flow to keep constant. Better yet, take some of that $137.50 and build a few new entry roads!!! On to the show. After the whole traffic incident, I really didn't see too much of a problem with the camping area. We found a place in the western edge of the base where people had busted down the yellow boundary tape and drove up into the "forbidden lands". This was a gem. We got to park on grass and camp by the car. No humping gear for this guy. After a quick dinner, it was straight to bed. I had not slept but 15 minutes in the past 36 hours. Saturday morning was spent waking up, finalizing the camp site (taking care of all the little things that get overlooked when one sets up in the dark), and checking out the scene. Plenty of heddies to be found by all. Saturday's first set was awesome. Bag opener is always a great way to begin a show. Plenty of energy to get the crowd going. Hearing Vultures was a highlight for me. It had been since the Great Went in 1997, so my ears welcomed the tune. During the break, I went back to have a bit of dinner, expecting it to be at least an hour thirty before they came back. Sure enough, right as I out my fork to my mouth, the first notes of DWD were played. Oh well, I thought. Not a big deal. Man, was I glad that I decided to stick around and have a nice dinner. I feel bad for all those people who were ankle deep in mud when Phish decided to waste everybody's time with Waves > Jam. Don't get me wrong, nice tight jamming is right up my alley, but this was a little much. It reminds me of a 50 minute version of Dark Star that I have that turns into nothing but noise for 20 minutes. After the 2nd set, I thought to myself, man, the 3rd set's going to really cook. Rock & Roll started out the 3rd with a bang. I hadn't heard that song live before and being a fan of the VU, it was enjoyable. We can skip the rest of the songs and head straight to the encore. Dog Log and Mango were a damn good way to end up the 1st night. I'm not saying that they were the best, but it could have been much worse. Bouncin'>Rocky Top comes to mind when I think of terrible encores. Sunday had me rolling out of my tent in time to see part of the 5k. Too bad I missed the sign-up. That would have been a fun event. I'm sure that many had a great time. My day's wandering brought me to many places, many new faces, and a few old ones believe it or not. By the time the 1st set rolled around, I was really hungry for some tunes. Daniel opener was a bit confusing at first. I did not have the privilege to see it a couple nights before, and before that, it was something like 280 shows. Punch is always welcome, along with Chalkdust. Taken in moderation of course. I wish that they would have given some of Chalkdust's time to Wilson. I'm sure a ton of people will disagree with me, but Chalkdust should be kept to 10 minutes max, not the 30 minute monster of Sunday. Again, I'm a huge fan of jamming, but noise and feedback and not welcome sounds. Sunday's second set may very well be the best set of the festival. I'm not a huge fan of Mist and Pebbles and Marbles, but Mellow Mood, Ghost, YEM, and Loving Cup definitely made up for it. My optimism was at an all time high after the 2nd set. The set break was spent moving the car up to the front of the base. Having obligations back in Wisconsin on Wednesday, I could ill afford to lose 12 hours waiting in a traffic jam, again. The break was just enough time to secure a place near the entry/exit, and get back to the show. Having the master escape plan in place, the 3rd set was to be most enjoyable. 46 Days seemed like a cool opener for the set. I've liked this song ever since they played it on Letterman. In following the trend set by Waves, 46 days was dragged out, beaten like a dead horse, and put back in its place. Even Antelope was lack luster at best. The Good Times Bad Times encore pretty much summed up the entire experience for me. Very fitting. The master plan worked. We got out of the show in about 15 minutes. I couldn't help but notice the poor layout of the exit cones. That sharp turn by the gate must have caused some serious delays, especially when those big RV's were rolling out. Yet another logistical problem that could have been avoided with a bit of forethought and a lick of common sense. This string of shows could have been so much more. My friend said it best during Waves. If they would have broke into a hot Funky Bitch, the place would have erupted. That was not the case. Slow song after slow song really brought the show down. New material is great, when taken in moderation. Where was Moma Dance? Where was Carini? Where was Camel Walk or Wolfman's Brother? I'd have even settled for a Bouncin', and that's not saying much at all. 4 days removed from that show, I can most definitely say that this was not "IT". My ticket for next year's show will be available to anybody who wishes to buy it. J..
date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 12:07:14 -0400 From: Alan Noonan Subject: IT Review IT.....was not that great. I can't believe I'm writing this, but alas, it is true. Maybe after 30 shows and 3 festivals I've come to expect too much from our beloved band. Or maybe the traffic and mud just got to me. Or maybe the music just wasn't up to par. Either way, I thought that IT was good, but certainly not great. Day 1 I thought that the first set of the day was by far the best of the entire weekend. AC/DC was a great opener and primed everyone for an upbeat and crazy set. Just what the doctor ordered after sitting in a car for almost 20 hours. Ya Mar was by far the best I've ever heard and really took us for a ride. Runaway Jim, Meatstick, Birds of a Feather, Vultures and Limb by Limb aslo did not dissapoint. All were tight jams expertly mixed with sublte spacey tunes and phunky peaks and valleys. Well done. Set 2 was a big dissapointment after such a great opening set. Down w/ Disease and David Bowie were nice bookends, but the rest of the set was way to mellow. Just nothing special happening. One measure of a good show is the number of people dancing. While I'm sure that many people were dancing during the whole second set, most that I saw were either sitting or just bobbing their heads. Not the sign of a killer set. Set 3 was a huge huge dissapointment after the second set. I think everyone expected them to come back with some sick jams and upbeat stuff, but we were all let down big time. Scents and Subtle sounds was alright, but it seemed to go on forever. Seven Below or Seven Blows as I like to call it, was super beat. Bug and Spread it Round put me to sleep. All in all, the day started great but went downhill really fast. Just not that impressive. Where was the intensity? Where were the jams? When I think festival, I think of intense jamming and creativity. This was more like a super chill, tame and lame day, save for set one. I give it a C+. Day 2 Woke up excited and expecting a big difference from the first day. What we got was a mix of good and bad..... Set 1 started off way too chill with Daniel. Never heard it before, and I guess it was ok, but c'mon, they can much much better. Hell, I would have preferred a Guyute opener, and that's saying something. I though Saw it Again was great though. A thoroughly well played song with some nice jams and phunk, even if it wasn't quite as up-beat as I hoped. Then there was the predictabe (but good) run through Wilson to Mike's Song to I Am Hydrogen to Weekapaug Groove. All were well played, but none stood out as any different than any other version I've heard. Another example of the band not pushing limits and not taking the music to a higher level. Damn.... Set 2 was much better because of Ghost and YEM. Quite frankly, the glow stick war during Ghost was the sickest I've ever seen. It was like there were fireworks going off for 20 minutes. Incredible. YEM was also tight, although not a particularly memorable version. The rest of the set was just ok. Set 3 was better than set 2, but again epitomized what I considered a somewhat lackluster effort by the band. Everyone thought that they would finally play Fluffhead (people were screaming for it the entire weekend) but they didn't even tease us with it. Yes, 46 days was a really good song and Julius was a nice surprise, but what's the point of playing 30 minutes of spacey phunk during the last set of the last day? I mean I liked 46 Days, but did we really need a 45 minute version? Hell no. Total score B-. So that's the gig. Not bad, not great, just ok. I give the entire weekend of music a very lame C+/B-. I've got to say that while I understand the bands desire to play new music, this was not the venue or occasion to play so much new musice. People came a long way to hear their favorites and see Phish rock the joint. What they got was way too chill and not all that exciting at times.....Where was the 2001, Fee, Fluffhead, Timber Ho, Makesupa Policeman, or First Tube? To tell you the truth, I've seen good shows and bad, but this was the biggest dissapointment ever for me.
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 15:53:00 +0000 From: Andrew Rose Subject: All of IT Review "Good times, bad times," is probably the best way to sum IT all up. The only qualifying point I would make is that the greater the contrast of highs and lows, the more rewarding the experience. IT had its problems on all fronts, from ungodly traffic (you don't want to know), to miles of mud (we're talking knee deep, get your foot stuck, this doesn't smell like mud, mud), to the occasional jam that went nowhere, to all the tunes that didn't get played. But it's a waste of time talking about all that, because when IT was good, it was really really good, and when it was IT it was AWESOME. (If you're not into long reviews, or ones that put the negative in with the positive, but want to know what IT was about in a nutshell ... scroll down until you get to the part about good ol' Day 2, Set II, ok? Good. Otherwise, read on, I promise I'm telling IT like IT was.) Sunk city, 96.1 the Buuuuuuuuunny!!, the Runaway Jim 5k Memorial, were all non show elements of IT to be incredibly proud to be a part of, even if you were just laughing at the 16 000 balls, spacing out to the Soundcheck in traffic and rocking to Kevin's always amazing archive show (anyone else remember the 11.11.98 Halley's being that good?), or cheering on the runners. All of the festivals have had these kinds of moments (I've yet to miss one), and they never cease to make me feel proud of the Phish scene, despite its faults. The music? Anyone who expected Phish to not stay with some of the tour's trends still has a little to learn. There was an increasing sense towards the end of this tour that the band wants to make it clear that yes, they know what they are playing, what they haven't played, and that you know what? -- they're in charge. ("Everybody knows it's not the tune that counts, but IT--") There was a lot of tongue-in-cheek stuff referencing this all weekend, from ^”the shortest Wilson EVER^‘, to the ^”Mike says no^‘, etc. Sure there were moments when I would have liked to hear a different tune, a longer jam, but isn't that always the case? IT was significant for a number of reasons, not the least of which was a sense that the band is able to play what they want and not really care about how people react. And I admire them for that. If I gloss over a song, assume that it's par for the course in terms of post-hiatus Phish. I'm going to mention the good stuff so you'll know what to hear first. I've got Ya Mar-->jam-->Jim written down. Full on exploratory jam out of the end of Ya Mar to get things going after the rocking Bag "let's get the show on the road" opener. Intricate, original, soaring, and as slick a slide into Jim as I've ever heard. The first set was actually perfect in the early goings .... Reba was absolutely gorgeous, with Trey going out away from the standard Reba jam on numerous occasions. The band appeared to have ended the song, to be deciding what else to play, only to come back with the whistle minutes later. During the brief interval they must have decided to take on Birds. Some may have noticed that Phish has been doing some wicked space-rocky stuff to Birds lately, and this version will knock you on your ass guaranteed. Never a dull moment in it. At this point I was preparing myself for a weekend on musical onslaught. And while the first day never really got back to the highs of the first set for me, there was still another gem waiting after the Birds. Now I'm fairly certain the bunch of us that started chanting in the first 3 or 4 rows (you can hear it on the discs) weren't the only ones responsible for the Meatstick. There was a sign somewhere as well (alas, my Psycho Killer sign will have to make another appearance, but I didn't really expect them to play it ...). I guess a lot of us wanted to hear Meatstick. And rightly so! I love the Meatstick, you see, plain and simple. I love the lyrics, I love the song, I love the jam potential (check out 7.15.99). Another long pause ended with Trey coming up to the mic and saying "we'd like to honour your request because ...". He was cut off by massive cheers, and started to chuckle, so I guess we'll never no why. Before they started up he mentioned something about having nowhere to go for two days, but whether that had to do with the request I don^“t know. No matter. A beautiful version, complete with Japanese lyrics (and no teaching of the dance to get in the way). I taught the dance to as many people as I could, by example, as I went. Mike and Page were taking off when Trey seemed to want to end the jam. Still a fantastic version, despite the abbreviation (why don^“t they jam this out? it has such a nice sound!) and made my set. Standard fare from there on. Set II saw a Disease with lots of potential go nowhere too special, and an NICU that was sloppy until Mike took it over in full force. Highlight of the set was probably the tiny jam out of NICU into Brother. Yes, they played it in Starlake. But it rocks, I loved it, and hadn't seen it since the Clifford Ball, so I was happy. Waves ended and slid into a very long and nice spacey jam that turn into a short Bowie intro. 2001 was on the tip of it (all weekend, it seemed). Bowie was the short and sweet one they've been doing. Trey would seem like was about to take things up and out, and then deliberately return back to the Bowie. Ending nailed. Average set. I need to hear Set III again. A few times. First thing I'll say is they didn't stop once, with perfect segues all the way through. Rock n' Roll was just that (at it's best) for a while, then elaborate and bouncy, then Seven Belowish, then rocking again, then slid into Seven Below nicely ala Alpine. Rocking jam had Can't Your Hear Me Knocking-esque moments, Scents was great (again, segues, flawless), and then came back to the Seven Below theme again fairly quickly before launching into another nice jam segment. I love Bug, but it didn't work for me as a closer here. The old school encore made everyone happy. It was a nice nod to the past (Trey got a little chatty while they were deciding what to play, and made a few comments about the old, the new, and something about "pissing on the present", if I'm not mistaken) after having three new "S" songs dominate Set III. At this point I had had a good time, but between the traffic and the mud, and with Nassau having been the last show I had seen, I wanted more. A lot more. (Don't worry, I got it, keep reading.) A late night set anyone? After five festivals and three late night jams, and never a trip to Limestone without one, I was ready at 2am to find IT. It wasn't hard. I guess there are going to be tons of pictures up, and either way I don't think it makes too much sense to describe IT. Visually, let me just say that I have seen a spaceship, and aliens, and that more importantly, I was completely sober when I did. Uh-huh. You^“ll just have to wait for the DVD I guess. Oh, and the hour long jam was f--ing amazing. I loved the ambient jam from Lemonwheel--think it's one of the best things they've done--and this was like an original sequel that just took things one step further. The average show was more than compensated for between 2 and 3 am on Saturday night with (mostly) down-tempo space-rock. It set the stage for a few of the better jams on Day two as well. Set I on day two let me down a bit, with at least one exception. Pysched to hear Daniel (the only thing that came close to Bluegrass all weekend, would you believe it?), but the rest of the set was fairly standard. Oh, except the Chalk Dust was like, 25 minutes, or something ridiculous like that. I need to hear it again to give a full fair report. It never hit any glorious type II moments, but certainly went away from the Chalk Dust jam for long stretches. My main beef up to this point wasn't that things weren't tight (the Mike's was as solid as ever in terms of soloing, etc., but short, standard), they were just straight ahead and a lot of the time. What can I say? I like my type II, and ultimately, that's what I still go to shows for. Remember Day 2, Set II of the Great Went? One for the books, right? That amazing, glorious Gin, the funky as hell 2001 complete with art jam, beautiful Trey speech, and Hood with the first real glow stick war on a massive scale? Well I was at the Went, and I loved it, and I've listened to the crap out of that that XL II--and that disc in more recent years--and IT happened again on Day 2 Set II. This year. Mellow Mood? Lovely. Perfect. Fine. I saw Trey mouth "Ghost" on the screen before it started up. I jumped. I screamed. I would be doing a lot of that. So I've been giving a lot of respect to the Nassau Tweezer since seeing it back in February. Comparing it to all time favorite jams ... the 12/6/97 Tweezer, the 11/17/97 Ghost, the 12/30/93 Mike's, things like that. Well put this half-hour Ghost in the books right next to it, people, and hear IT, and hear IT soon, and hear IT many times. You want to know what IT is? What "filling empty space with the substance of our lives" means, as Kerouac puts it, as the band was so kind to point out--outside the gate--(and wouldn't you know it, I went digging and found IT, and it's the only thing underlined in my copy of the book). Well IT is in the Ghost, and the Ghost is in IT, and I think that just about says IT all. I think you could always say that .... but I still go to Phish shows to be reminded, to get the kick in the ass, to remember that it's not the tune that counts. Hear this jam please. Yes there was a crazy massive scale glowstick war, and much went on energy-wise, but I don't want to speculate on how many people were cheering for the sticks, and how many for the music. The fact is the band was on fire, they were feeding off the energy, and I was bouncing and laughing and dancing and yelling for the music. I've done my share of snobbery and cynicism, but if someone tells me this is their favorite all-time Phish jam, I won't argue. I'll have to listen to it a few more times, but I just might have to agree. Do you want to know the rest? The set was one for the ages, too. Everyone was on, filling every space of composed sections with something fresh, and taking every jam--even if it was short or type I--to the right spot. If you ever had doubts about Pebbles and Marbles, hear this version. YEM has grown new wings ever since Worcester in February (I didn't know that was possible), and tonight was no exception. Complete with a Chariots of Fire theme out the vocal jam to present the winners of the Runaway Jim 5K Memorial with their Loving Cups. That must have been pretty neat being up there. I couldn't help thinking that Phish seemed to haved trumped the world of sport completely... to not only top it in terms of fan appreciation, participation, enjoyment, when it comes to the mass gathering, but to incorporate it into the entire scene without bringing along the hostility and aggression that often accompanies it. And oh yeah, that was one of the best sets of Phish I have ever seen, and likely will have ever heard. Set III will bring on a few gripes I'm sure. Song selection, no doubt .... where was the Gin, the Tweezer, the 2001, the Fluffhead? Yes, I love these songs. But at this point, I didn't care. I got what I came for. And I'm pretty sure the 46 Days was creeping in on 40 minutes ... I'm pretty sure it was the kind of jam that will sound even better on disc, that I'll listen to over and over. I'm pretty sure that Page sounded amazing throughout the entire set. That it was the best version of Lizards I've heard ... that I had visions (sober ones) of Mike and Fish as these incredibly mature musicians, doing their rock solid thing with gusto and pride as always (was Fish the most consistent throughout the weekend?) ... that Trey rocked that Antelope (original fills in the composed section by the way) harder than ever, even if he did sacrifice the Rye Rye Rocko in doing a little speech. It was as sincere as I've ever heard him, and I'll take that over a Marco Esquandolas any day. And what an encore. As apt, given the weekends happenings, as you'll ever hear. Oh oh, and listen to Page's Plant (and Trey's Page, for that matter) on this one. Never been better. You know I had my share of IT this weekend. And when you can say, you know something is going right .... Foolish to ask for anything more. Fall Tour please! xox andrew logowriter rose
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 15:35:29 -0400 From: James Houck Subject: IT Full Fest review After, literally, 10 miles of traffic amounting to 19 hours of waiting, partying, and cat-napping on route 89 (you know it's bad traffic when your alarm clock is the car honking behind you), redemption was mine in the form of the "Best Damn Parking Spot in the World...Ever." Yes, it is true. I was parked directly in front of the air-traffic control tower, dead-center, with an amazing view of the concert stage in the distance and all vending being a short skip away. It was so darn good that I became jealous of myself. All gloating aside, Phish, and the phans who followed, transformed Loring†Commerce Center into a unique cluster of peasantry, pageantry, and harmonious beneficence. IT was raw, bare-chested, run-around, fun and magic--the kind of party that screams, "This is Righteous...Dude!" The music, itself, almost became secondary to the many attractions, intentional and not, inside and out of the concert area. Official highlights included (1) the Ferris Wheel and other structural amusements, (2) Outfield 13, which featured crafty craftsmen (and women) and a plethora of food vendors (both nutritious and delicious), (3) the Runaway Jim 5K (bonghits and beers on the sidelines anyone?!?!), (4) the parading carnival of sexy (and not so sexy) "bunnies," gigantic puppets, jugglers, and random weirdos, signaling the opening of the concert area (noonish, each day), (5) and most definetely Sunk City--Phish†meets Swiss Family Robinson, featuring boardwalks criss-crossing the tree-tops amidst abstract art installations (including a full size Cadillac stuck in the†pines) and†rooms of insanity (my good friend J-rod having†stumbled across†"hole in the wall prison-cell" with lunatics chasing tequila shots with more tequila shots during an informal, but very much serious and very real, poker game involving real monies). Sunk City truly was a Shantytown that Hunter S. Thompson would envy--very bizarre, very cool. Then there's the music... No need to analyze each and every tune or try to discern what thought processes were involved regarding song selections, because of one singulary defining quote by Mr. Anastasio during the the first festival set: "Ya know, this whole tour we've been trying to...uh, just going out on-stage, not knowing what were going to play and letting the music lead us...So far we feel we've done a pretty good job of it." True dat, Trey. And quite honestly, I can only remember what I believe to be the highlights of the festival. Day One, 1st Set: "AC/DC" opener was a punchy start and well done, proceeded by a stellar "Ya Mar," which featured the first notable jam of the weekend--very smooth, extremely ambient, and "liquidy" to the ears. It was a mind-melt that was†effitively brought back, full-circle by Trey's rhythm playing at the end. "Birds of a Feather" took flight for 8 minutes or so towards the end and was an equally fun groove. "Meatstick," half sung in Japanese, was a crack-up riot, the last unique highlight of an fun average set. Day One, 2nd Set: "NICU" into "Brother" was shifty and soaring at times. "Waves" provided another ambiant jam and "Bowie" was straight-up rock n' roll. Awsome. Things were starting to warm up. Day One, 3rd Set: "Rock n' Roll" has got to be one of the coolest songs to open a set with it, especially a second set, even more so to a 3rd. Lots of energy = lots of danceble fun. Though not as strong as the tour-ending Greensboro second-set opener (dated 03.01.03), this scratched an itchy crowd, eventually rubbing elbows with a workman-like "Seven Below." Personally, I was in Seventh Heaven (some posters apparently were not). "Bug" was delicious and the encores ("Dog Log" and "Mango"), a pairing I've seen once before, were flawlessly performed. Day One (technically day two),†Late Night†"mystery" Set: 19 hours of all-night traffic and 3 sets of Phish had me hitting the straw for a well-deserved sleep. But at 3 a.m. or thereabouts, there they were, right in front of me on the control tower, begging me to wake up. So, out came the lawnchairs--let the chilling commence. A spacey set for a spaced-out crowd. Day Two, Set 1: This was the nitty-gritty, thru and thru, tried and true, rock and roll set of the weekend. "Saw it Again," "PYITE," "Chalkdust," "Wilson," "Mikes>h2o>Weekapaug." All rocked out (especially Chalkdust). All well done. Nuf said. Day Two, Set 2: "Mellow Mood," "Ghost>Mist" Say it with me pholks, "mellow...mellow...mellow...mellow..." So sweet and velvety. Possibly my favorite run of the weekend (don't hold it against me, puhlease). The rest of the set looks great on paper, but was fairly standard to the ears. Though "Chariots of Fire" was both moving and hilarious. Day Two, Set 3: "Julius" was a mover and shaker. "Lizards" is always fun. And "Antelope" provided more the Phish's raison d'etre. The encore of "Good Times, Bad Times," complete†with fireworks, took me back to July 4th, 2000 in Camden and provided the final punch in the nuts to†a rock-steady†resume of mystery and history. A Note: notice I don't mention any of the new songs. This is for two reasons: (1) I don't think any have developed into show-stoppers, though a couple ("Scents and Suble Sounds" to name one) have potential and (2) none of the new songs contributed needed emotion to the sets, but rather served as sort of "palate cleansers" between the songs the know and love. Just my opinion. A Final Note: there was close to zero traffic leaving the venue. This being approximately 10:30 a.m., Monday. A Final, Final Note: Thanks to Phish and to all phans who made IT a festival, clean of†despair and rife with positive vibrations. † j. schuyler houck
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 01:03:27 -0400 From: Alejandro Tamargo Subject: IT review So I'm just going to write my review for the entire weekend in one shot, rather than writing two separate reviews. Seems like alot of other people are doing that anyway. So my take is this: I can never say that I had a bad time, becuase I had sooo much fun. But musically, it was just good, not over the top. I'm sorry but I have higher standards for festivals then for regular shows. They did nothing special to mark the occasion as they had in other phestivals. My other big gripe with the weekend was that I was really missing the phunk at these shows, or really anything that was even remotely related to phunk. I know it's not 1997 anymore, but come on, give me something groovy to dance to! All the other 2003 shows I've been to or heard on disc were able to satisfy me in that regard. But all the jams at IT were rock and roll based jams, ambient jams, or way out there outer space jams. Those are all good too. But for me to be completely happy with a Phish show, I need some of that ass shaking funky/groovy style jamming interspersed with those other three jamming styles. And it was lacking. I hope this isn't a trend that continues in the future. But that being said, there were still some sick, sick jams over the weekend. Some songs were drawn way out and explore the outer limits of space and time. 8/2/03 Set I: Alot of fun dancy songs. It was fun but not over the top. Reba was a pretty sweet version. Thought it was done, then they come back seemingly minutes later with the whistling part. And I was psyched for the first post hiautus Meatstick which I called on the drive in and neither of the people I was with believed me. Set II: Started off great with the Disease>NICU>Brother sequence. Brother was a shocker because they had just played it in Pittsburgh so I expected not to see it on a setlist again for at least another two years. I hadn't seen it since 10/31/96. Definetly a welcome surprise. But then that Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves sequence was just brutal. I had gotten maybe about 30 minutes of unrestful sleep in the past 40 hours or so, and was struggling to stay awake. They just can't do 30 plus minutes of mellow tunes when I'm that tired. i don't really like mellowness for that length of time anyway, but especially not when I'm tired. I don't know, maybe I'll appreciate it more when I hear it on disc, but I sort of doubt it. The Bowie wasn't enough to bring me back up. Just a standard Bowie, nothing spectacular. Set III: Pumped myself full of coffee between sets and was ready for the most ragin set of the night! Even though the setlist for whatever reason is missing a couple segue marks (>), this set was onebig long jamfest. It's just what I needed after the more subdued first two sets. My first live Seven Below was as good as I had hoped and it was jammed nicely into Scents (also a first live, although I've heard it on disc). It's is a song I've very quickly grown to love and this version was amazing. My fisrt time hearing Spread it Round live or otherwise, and I loved it! It's the only new tune that's upbeat and dancy and it had a sweet reggae section in the middle. Great build and climax jam at the end to into a beautiful Bug. I read in the "It" ewspaper put out by Relix, a great line from Kevin Shapiro. He suggests that all you bug haters check yourself into the AES, the American Entomolgical Society, to get some help with your problem. This bug was great, and I wouldn't have wanted them to end the set any other way. Encore: After Trey was talking about how they couldn't decide what to play, did anyone else hear Trey say "Now we're going to play something special" and then tease Bouncin'? My girlfriend and I both heard it, but I haven't found anyone else who seemed to catch that. I thought for sure it was the band messing with our minds. We're going to play something special, here's Bouncin! Of course they played Dog Log, which is only my second time seeing and a great song. I thought that was the end of night 1 but was pleasantly suprised to hear the opening notes of Mango. Wow! Great encore. (If only they had continued the trend on that on Night 2). The Tower set: For anyone who somehow doesn't know this, they played an hour long ambient jam ontop of a control tower in the parking lot at 2 am with Kuroda doing the light show. I am sorry to say that I was very much unconciouss during this. I had heard the rumors that this was going down, but I just couldn't force myself to stay awake for another second. I was so beat. I wish they had done this night 2 because I could have stayed up all night then. I heard it was pretty amazing. I really really wish I'd seen it. Hopefully I can get it on disc. 8/3/03 Set I: I am not at all a phan of Chalkdust. I'd say that I'm done with this song, but "done" doesn't even cover it. I was done with it in 1998. Now I've pretty much just accpeted that I'm going to have to deal with a Chalkdust in 1 out of every 2 shows that I see, so I just chill and wait for the next song. But this Chalkdust explored realms of space where no Chalkdust has ever gone before. I have to admit that I quite enjoyed the jam. I really enjoyed the Mike's Groove, because I always love to hear Mike's. But not because this particiular version was a standout version in any way. Searching for the phunk in Weekapaug, but alas, just a rockn'roll version. It was fun though. Rest of the set wasn't too exciting for me. Not bad, just nothing special for me. Set II: Mellow Mood opener was sweet. my second Marley bustout this year. I thought it was an appropriate way to describe the weekend too. I was pyshced to hear the opening notes of Ghost, because I thought for sure that I'd get the phunk I'd been craving. But it almost seemed like they were going out of the way to NOT be funky. Page's clavical solo was shorter than usual, and there was no Funky Mike Bass solo at the end of it. Then the jam: It started off going nowhere. Just Trey just kind of meandering about on his guitar, not really latching onto anything at all that I could groove with. But a few minutes into it they finally picked up on an ambient groove, and I rode the wave to the rocking climax. It turned out to be pretty awesome in the end. It was not unlike the other 2003 Ghost jams I"ve heard. Love Mist. Pebbles rocked the house (airforce base) once again. It's a very Disease-esque jam and I love it. YEM was YEM. Can't complain. Loving Cup closer was predictable (since the winners of the race were receiving the Loving Cup trophy), but it was nice. I always love to hear that song. Set III: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Antelope Setlist look weak? Let me tell you my phriends that this was the best set of the entire weekend. Not sure of the timing on 46 Days, but from what I can gather it was somewhere between 35 and 45 minutes. The jam started off pretty groovy, the closest they got to what I was looking for. Then Phish took us on a trip into deep space. It was dark and creepy there, but I knew I was safe because I was with Phish. Just when I got so dark I almost couldn't stand it, I heard the sound of the flying saucer taking off, coming in to take us into good space. It should be noted that I was on no drugs what-so-ever as I experienced these feelings. It was all in the music. Anyone who thinks that this was just 20 minutes of feedback as Trey was trying to find a groove needs to get theirselves the disc (or tape if you prefer) and listen again. It was so much more intricate than just feedback. So anyway, the band then came back to Earth and rocked out for a while. And the most beautiful thing was that after such a long trip into deep space, the band was actually able to find their way back home to 46 Days. I was impressed they even remembered what song they were in, because I'd pretty much forgotton by that point. Goes to show that sometimes those >'s can be overrated. This was so much more beautiful because they ended the song than it would have been if they had wandered into soemthing else. As for Julius I've never seen 60,000 people rockin so hard together. This was the highest enery point of the entire festival. The high energy continued onto Lizards, which is a song that I always would love to hear but rarely do. Secret Smile was nice. The placement reminded me how the Dead (the real Dead, not the imposters calling themselves that now) used to play the beautiful Jerry ballad at the end of Set II right before the set closing rocking Bobby tune. Phish's equivalent of the rocking Bobby tune in this case was an Antelope that absolutely raged. It was soo good. Then instead of rye rye loco. Trey starts babbling on about how great this is and how much he loves and appreciates us, much like I saw him do last year at Bonnaroo. He's so funny because he keeps saying that he's going to stop talking but then he goes "And another thing, I just want to say..." He actually laughingly told the rest of the band to stop playing the antelope background becuase he had a hard time thinking with the music. That was pretty funny. Although it did kind of disrupt the song. They then went back and finished it up. Encore: So this was my first trip to Limestone. (I'd been to the Clifford Ball and Big Cypress). I've heard about all the two song encores with burning towers of art or giant baby elephants moving through the crowd from previous Limestone festivals, so I was wondering what I kind of grand finale they'd have for us at IT. A local guy at a gas station on the way in told us that the stage was going to rise up 40 feet in the air. I think he must have heard about the tower set, and that that was 40 feet in the air and got confused. But anyway, we never really believed that, but we did expect something. So what do we get? Good Times Bad Times and fireworks? How weak! I don't care if they don't do anything special like burning art or giant baby elephants but at least give us a better encore to end the weekend. So when you add it all togehter I thought the music all and all was good but not spectacular. But hey, it was Phish, it was a really good time, and it was IT. It's hard to be too upset about that.
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 02:50:38 -0400 From: Hunter Rogers Subject: IT IT Festival, What a Festival. The atmosphere was hilarious and the mud was everywhere. Nugs were decent, and the cops were chill. First Nite of IT was damn good. Second nite was better. Now for the analysis. First Nite. 08/02/03 - IT Festival, Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar > Runaway Jim, Reba*, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick **, Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern Set 2: Down With Disease > NICU -> Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves^, David Bowie Set 3: Rock & Roll > Seven Below, Scents & Subtle Sounds^^ > Spread It Round, Bug Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song "Set 4": The Tower Jam# Let me say that this First set was incredible. The Jamming was incredible throughout this show. Even though the setlist could have been stronger at times the jamming was nice. Set 1: ACDC Bag: What an Opener. I was flipping my shit. I love this song. I knew it was just going to get better and better after that opener and it did. Ya Mar: This was a dank Ya Mar. At least 15 min. Very smooth and beautiful. Nice segue into Runaway Jim: This was a short version of this song but it was nice. Esp. considering that the next song is REBA: I love this song. I called this song 2 weeks before the show for the first set of the IT. This was a great Reba. They stopped after the song and they were mulling around talking about what to play next and I kept screaming for the Whistling and I think a little chant might have started but after about 3 min of waiting they busted out the whistling, good stuff. The Reba was played to near perfection. Birds of a Feather: Sweet tune, nice placement. Good jam. Meatstick: The entire audience was yelling for Meatstick and Trey finally said, you know what we are going to play that request. And they played it, and it was killer. Probably the highlight of the show, if not the Encore. It was with the Japanese Lyrics too, so that made it even more dank. Two Versions of Me: I have heard this song a couple of times already, I kinda didn't want to hear it again, I think they played too many of the new songs this tour. They kinda wore the ones they played out. Like 7 Below, and Waves, and this song. Vultures: Dankness. I loved this song. I never expected to hear it though. I am glad I did. Limb: Nice Limb. Cavern: Good song, Heard it in Atlanta, but still was nice to hear. Overall a Great set. Set 2: DWD: This was a Sick DWD but I am not a huge fan of this song. NICU: NICE. I liked hearing this one too. Nice Jam and nice placement. Brother: Oh yeah, Now this set is heating up. Gotta Love the brother. Nice Solid, jammed out Brother. Lawn Boy: I guess they need a breather after that beginning. Discern: Do you need this long of a breather guys. This song is not that great. Waves: Whats going on here. This is a festival not a Pavillion show. This was a nice Waves though. Bowie: Nice Bowie. Solid. Good set closer. Set 2 Starts out nice and ends nice and is jammed to the best of the ability for these songs. Good set. Set 3: Rock and Roll: Good stuff. Nice Opener. Good jam. Seven Blows: This was a nice Seven Below. Longer than I wanted it to be but it was fine. Scents and Suble Sounds: Good song, probably my favorite of the new songs. Spread it Round: Set of new stuff eh. I guess I can handle that. There were lots of people who didn't go to the rest of the tour just IT so I guess they needed to hear the new songs. Bug: Enough already. This set is annoying but good for those people who wanted to hear all the new songs and recent songs. I didn't really enjoy this set all that much. The Jamming was incredible but the song selections were shotty. Encore: Dog Log: Damn Phish. I didn't know you had it in you. I love this song. Wasn't expecting to hear it. Beautiful. Mango Song: Nice song, good version too. I loved it. Overall. This was one well jammed out show and they played the best versions of the songs they did play. The Third Set could have been better though. B+ rating. Ambient Jam: The Ambient Jam on the top of the control tower at 2 am was definitely a surprise for me. I hadn't heard anything about music at nite but i was walking around and heard Phish starting so I ran over there and sure enough, Phish was playing but I still don't know where they were. They were either on Top or in the room near the top. I am pretty sure it was the top but there was so much smoke and fumes coming off of that top. They had people rappelling down the sides of the tower and they were moving with the music, it was dank. The Tower Lights were controlled by Chris Kuroda and they were incredible. The Tower looked crazy. It was constantly changing color and smoke was going crazy. The Jam was nice. They teased some stuff and you could hear a little bit of funk in there. 08/03/03 - IT Festival, Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME Set 1: Daniel (Saw the Stone), Saw It Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson*, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove Set 2: Mellow Mood, Ghost**, Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself > Chariots of Fire^, Loving Cup Set 3: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like an Antelope^^ Encore: Good Times Bad Times# Set 1: Daniel: Good stuff, I liked this song. Never heard it though. Nice opener. Saw it again: I love this song, its always short but i love it. Hard Rocking tune. PYITE: Good stuff. I was hoping to hear this song going into the show. It didn't disappoint, Nice jam, nice landlady portion. good song. Army of One: I didn't even notice this song in the set. I must have been smoking my PYITE bowl. Chalkdust: KILLLLLERR Chalkdust. Over 20 min. Very enjoyable. Wilson: Shortest ever, need i say more. At this point the crowd was clearly yelling Fluffhead, Trey and Mike were talking and Trey turns back to the crowd and says that Mike doesn't want to play it. Which I believe is untrue, I wanted to hear Fluffhead so bad. But I guess they don;t want to play a bad Fluffhead first time they play it. So instead they played Mikes Groove: Good Stuff, The Mikes Song was kinda weak but it was sweet enough, Mikes songs are never as dank in the groove. Hydrogen, standard of course. Weekapaug, good jam. Nice first set. As you can see. Set 2: Mellow Mood: Good god. I love this song, love this as an opener and loved the next song, GHOST: Killer Ghost. SOOO LONG, SO DANK. Check this shit out fo shizzle. Sick Glowstick war. Mountains in the Mist: Good song, heard it a couple times too many but a good opportunity to sit down after that Ghost. Pebbles and Marbles: Nice song, Haven;t heard it sense Hampton. Good version. YEM: Sick Yem. Can't descibe it, just listen to it. Chariots of Fire: They played this while they gave out the awards to the 5 K winners. Loving Cup: Killer, Kill. Nice Set closer. Wonderful set. Set 3: 46 Days: Great 46 days, i got a little bored with it at times though and I kinda wish they would have not played it for so long and played something else. Like a 2001 or a Fluffhead. This Jam had some Ambient Jamming Similar to the Tower Jam. Julius: Gotta Love Julius. Good version nice jams. Lizards: Good stuff. Secret Smile: Enough with the new crap. Play some more old school jams. Antelope: Nice Antelope. Nice Jamming but Trey Stopped the Jamming to thank everyone and they skipped the Rye Rye Rocko and the Spike and all that goodness. Nice ending though. Nice set. Weird Musical Selections but nice jams. Encore: Good Times Bad Times: Nice. Good version, nice jamming. Nice Fireworks in the background, a little too many at times though so you couldn't see some of the fireworks through the thick smoke. I wish they hadn't ended with this though. I wish they would have ended with at least 2 encores. Oh well. It was still dank. Overall. Nice jams. Good tunes, weird song choices. A- Rating for the fact that Trey messed up that Antelope, which had some great potential until he cut into it.
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