, attached to 2004-06-19

Review by JSilco_Photo

JSilco_Photo I recently stumbled across a thread a discussing the best constructed set or show ones seen. I Immediately thought of that Saturday night at SPAC in 2004. Now, never before have I written a review for .net as I’m usually trying to capture the show through my photos. So I thought I’d share my response and experience from 12 years ago.

6/19/2004 - Saratoga Preforming Arts Center

REBA - Reba opener should of been an early indication of the greatness to come. (First Phish song I ever heard, First song I saw live. How fitting)

Strong JIM, NICU in the 2+3 slot. The show then started to blast itself into the legendary status it's become.

SASS - Scents gave way to utter bliss before finding the Swampy marshes of Wolfman's Brother.

WOLFMAN”S - Remember Wolfman's in 2.0? They were all amazing.

WALLS - The Highlight of the first set undoubtably came in the second quarter. Phish absolutely tore through the composed section of Walls before sailing into sonic ambience that resembled the type of jamming that came out of the IT Waves. 20 Minute ride later Fishman's Hi hat became audible.

Signaling BOWIE. Really no better way to end a set.
And then there was the 2nd set....

ASIHTOS - Now it's really really hard for me to pick a single favorite Phish jam. Basically it changes everyday. That being said If I was stranded on a desert Island with only 5 jams on an iPod. SPAC ASIHTOS would absolutely be one of them. This jam really is THAT good. Doesn't sound like any other jam from any other era. Completely Original.

PIPER - It's kinda baffling to think all that happened before the opening notes of the Greatest Piper of all time even started (IMO of course). I'll never forget standing at the top of the lawn in amazement with thousands of glow sticks flying over head. The Complexity and fluid movement of this Piper jam are what set it apart. Oh yeah.. And that unrelenting massive Tweezer Reprise peak. The most impressive part of this Piper came as the jam was winding down. Or was it? After 28 minutes of mind bending improvisation where in the hell does a band go from there? Mike Gordon knew exactly where this ship was headed as he convinced his bandmates to hop aboard. From the darkest of darks to a sublime peak, somehow we now found ourselves in a funk jam that ever so smoothly slid into Gotta Jibboo. What In the F%^& just happened!?! How the heck did we get here? Please.. Has anyone seen my brain?

LIMB BY LIMB: Ok thanks Phish. You gave me all of about 30 seconds to gather myself before further blowing what was left of my brain. A truly fantastic Limb with a soaring peak that still holds up with the greats.

CAVERN - Limb crashed into Cavern and while Trey's immortality was palpable all night, messing up the lyrics to cavern really isn't anything new. Great way to end the set.

WADING - I’ll always look at an encore as a bonus and really nothing more. Whatever they do or don’t play won’t have much if any impact on the show. While Velvet Sea wouldn’t of been my first choice, I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to argue after a show like that.

Looking back: It certainly was a puzzling time. Possibly due my youth, I was somehow able to brush off the fact Phish was calling it quits helping to enjoy every (last) experience to it’s fullest. I am so grateful though for how far we’ve all come. Truly a great time to be a Phish fan.


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