, attached to 2000-09-09

Review by The__Van

The__Van Night 2 starts us off with a classic Possum opener. Great way to begin the set. Trey starts up MFMF and the crowd goes absolutely nuts! The AUD really sells this total explosion. MFMF gets to it's standard build up ending but instead of dying down the band stretches out the climax, milking it for all it's worth. It's certainly an atypical ending but IMHO doesn't deserve the moniker of "Jam". Gumbo up next provides some great interplay between the band, weaving in and out, very good stuff! One -> into Maze later and the energy is through the roof! A huge improvement over last night's 1st set. Boogie next up and I'm honestly a little taken aback at how stellar these picks are. I had the impression by Fall 2000 Phish was tired and ready for a break and that came out in the music. But none of that is here. Moving on we finally get a cool down with Roggae but don't sleep on this beautiful rendition. Like Gumbo, interplay is the name of the game here. Guyute and Antelope close out a very good 1st.

Gotta Jibboo opens the 2nd set and once again full band interplay features heavily here. Don’t be fooled by the length, there’s some great stuff packed into 11 minutes.

I’m sure there were those in the audience expecting another The Curtain With after the monumental bust out earlier that summer but alas this will be the final Curtain sans With until Superball. I wish I could say this transition into Sand is good but... it’s not. Fish seems to misread his own count off and starts up the Sand beat way too quick and has to pause for Gordo to get him back on track. From there, Sand does it’s usual ‘99-‘00 space/noise jam. Unfortunately it’s not terribly interesting that is until Michael Ray comes onstage and starts blasting some big band style trumpet runs. It’s chaotic in a good way. Even reminding me of The National Anthem off Radiohead’s Kid A, although that album wouldn’t release for another month.

Makisupa gets some added flair from Ray’s trumpet stabs. Just an all around good time on this one. I’d have to assume CTB was a request from Ray as he nails all the chord changes more so than other sit ins tend to. Funky Bitch also gets some flair, but by this point the gimmick was losing me. Cavern caps off a set that had some good potential going in from the 1st but didn’t meet my expectations.

Hood encores are always appreciated. Bringing the night to a thrilling conclusion is one of my favorite things Phish can do and Hood will 9/10 times do it perfectly. This was... almost one of those times. Ok so the band is playing fine but Ray is out there with them doing next to nothing. The show notes seem to say he just sat on the drum riser and then pulled some fans onstage. He doesn’t even pick up his horn until 13 minutes into Hood; basically the very end. He blasts some chaotic trills while the rest of the band eschew the “you can feel good about hood” line in favor of continued peaking. I can tell they don’t really know what to do and just stick to playing the same chords again and again until Michael decides he’s done. Finally Trey decides to pull it in to somewhat of an ending. Trey thanks the audience and chastises Ray “we want to thank all the people who came up to sit with Michael so he wouldn’t have to sit alone when he couldn’t find his horn.”

This show is disappointing. The 1st set has so much promise that the 2nd set doesn’t really deliver on. Add the mostly one note sit in and a messy Hood ending and it feels like swing and a miss. Stick around for the first set and the Jibboo but the rest just isn’t worth your time.


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