, attached to 2011-08-15

Review by dweeprise

dweeprise This is probably the best standard 2 set Phish show I've seen. (Non festival, NYE, or Halloween). I was starting my senior year of college the following Monday and I had to go back to school to start orientation for work at my dorm's cafeteria. I made the last second decision of going to UIC instead of straight to school in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois (10/4/99). So I drove to the 99th street Metra station, got on the train with my friends and then walked to the blue line from Lasalle and Van Buren.

Got to the lot and immediately started looking for an extra. Took me a while but I finally found a wonderful person selling one for face. I realized I got really lucky when I started seeing $100 a ticket as it got closer to Lights. Also helped some friends of friends find their extras. Felt like the show was going to be great just from the vibe in the lot alone. Probably the best crowd I've been in other than 10/31/14. We went in right at 8. Took forever with the massive crowd outside and on the corner of Racine and Harrison.

Started walking down the steps to the floor and Back on the Train started as I was waiting on the steps. The place erupted, and you can hear the epic crowd roar on the aud. The crowd was absolutely jacked for Phish returning to UIC for the first time since 98. This is a venue made for Phish. Just oozes energy and this place gets LOUD. Anyways, Phish proceeded to absolutely rip this opener. More great crowd roars on the aud during the multiple climaxes on this version of BOTT.

Phish then > into Rift for a very ripping and tight version. Then they wasted no time going into Guelah for another on point version. Clearly the band had come to play that night based on that start, song selection, and the energy and precision with which they were playing.

Next was Scent of a Mule which was played well with little to no flubs. The started very strong. Jesus Just Left Chicago was played next and the blues song was jammed well. Then came yet another great, ripping 3.0 Wolfmans Brother.

You must've been stuck looking for a ticket or in the bathroom if you couldn't tell this show was going to be one for the ages at this point.

Phish moved on to Anything But Me which took me a while to realize what it was. Then I realized it probably hasn't been played in many years. I couldn't recall a time hearing it listening to a show in the past so that was cool. Up next was Mike's Babylon Baby. I don't even remember hearing this song at the show, it's like like it never happened unfortunately. My only gripe with this show are the choices for Anything But Me and Babylon Baby.

Reba was next and the band delivered a beautiful version for 3.0. Admittedly it was peaked as well we all hoped. But the jam section was beautiful.

Then Trey condemned "that little green ball" for coming up on stage "just enough times" and he booted it. Trey proceeded to absolutely shred Alumni Blues>Letter to Jimmy Page>Alumni Blues. I still listen to this version to this day. Trey was absolutely ripping and the band peaked it properly.

Phish had just delivered one of the most memorable first sets of 3.0. It was at this point I was ecstatic that I made the decision to take my broke college ass to this show.

We decided to go to the bathroom and boy was that an experience. The line went all the way down the concourse. By the time we actually got into the bathroom, there were people people passing in the sinks. There was also some great hilarious banter while we waited.

We left the bathroom when everyone was done and went back onto the floor. When we got down, we made our way to the rail. (Trey totally looked at me). Just before the band came back on, our friend Tim somehow ran into us after sneaking into the show past some security guards through an exit behind the stage side of the building. We were jacked.

Then came the second set. What came to be known as "The Element Set". Which proceeded the "S Show". Very possibly got Trey's wheels turning to play themed sets which started happening at Dick's.

A GREAT Sand opened the set and segued nicely into Light for an above average version. Which moved into a perfectly placed Dirt. Always a great choice to slow down into in the second set.

The band moved into a wonderfully played Waves feauturing some amazing licks from Trey. Another song from this show that gets a ton of play from me.

Next came maybe the best Undermind ever outside of Dicks 12. Not my favorite jam due to the plinko that the jam usually evolves into. But this one was great. The band was just so totally locked in. I believe it was at this point our friend Will exclaimed that he couldn't leave the show so we formed a wall around him and he pissed in his beer cup. A bit of a minor distraction for the second set as we had to avoid stepping on his piss cup. Will would later piss in his beer cup at Fare The Well 7/4/2015.

Steam followed Undermind to continue with the element theme. Not a horrible version but nothing too special. I believe it was my first Steam and I remember thinking the fog farting out of the fog machines was kinda corny. But that wasn't going to kill this already awesome show.

A perfectly placed Fire ended the second set. And of course this version was rip roaring.

This second set was so special it left me speechless. The song choices, playing, overall energy of the band and crowd. My only gripe of the second set would be if they could've found a way to sneak a Foam, It's Ice, or maybe even Sparks instead of Undermind even though those aren't historically second set songs. That would fit the Element motif much better.

The encore featured FIVE songs. After Trey announced he didn't give a shit about the curfew. The "third set" opened with the always fun Camel Walk. Then came Guyute. I always love when they play Guyute during an epic show. The crowd always goes crazy when Trey says "I hope this happens once again".The Horse>Silent in the Morning followed and led to maybe the best Harry Hood of 3.0 at the time. Trey had some nice licks however it wasn't peaked like we would hope as is the case for 95% of all Harry Hoods since 2004.

We expressed our joy and headed for the exits. Walked out the Racine and Harrison exit and onto the Blue Line. We were glowing the whole way back to the Lasalle Metra station. On the Metra, we had a great time and talked about the show the whole way back.

I said goodbye to my friends, got into my car, and made the two hour drive back to Bloomington-Normal. I was absolutely exhausted the whole way. Felt like I was hallucinating parts of the way from the exhaustion.

When I got back to my house at Illinois State, I sat on the couch and day dreamt (at night) and had a hard time explaining why what I had just experienced was so epic to my roommates.


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