5-22-00 -- Radio City Music Hall - New York, New York
review submisions to me, dan schar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 12:43:42 -0800
From: Ian Koudstaal email@example.com
Subject: 5-22-00 Review
1: My Soul, Chalkdust Torture, Billy Breathes, Heavy Things, Back on the
Train, Split Open and Melt*, Sparkle, Horn, Bathtub Gin (1:09)
2: Bouncing Around the Room, David Bowie, Sand, The Mango Song, Ghost, Rock
E: Bug, Golgi Apparatus (0:15)
*With various colorations of the house lights incorporated into the light
I just wanted to give a brief review of the Radio City show. I don't know if
Phish has torn the roof off a classier venue. Radio City was amazing, from
it's pure style to its phenominal acoustics. Great energy in the crowd, I
could tell from the start it would be a show to remember, but what show isn't
worthy of remembering. On to the play-by-play:
My Soul: Great opener. Really concise with some nice work by Page on the
grand piano. Definately Chairman of the boards night to shine in such a nice
Chalkdust: Took the energy up a notch, you're average raging CDT, the band
is obviously having a lot of fun and it rubs off on the crowd.
Billy Breathes: Beautiful song. Really well played.
Heavy Things & GBOTT: Our expected dose of farmhouse. I like these tunes
alot. Their fun, funky and once they dwindle from the rotation a little they
will hopefully get more respect. It is after all a CD release party. Phish
knows how to throw a party unlike anyone I know.
SOAM: I love this tune, especially seeing as I was executing some melting
myself. Kuroda was out of control, playing with the house lights. Truly
mind blowing how tight he is with the band.
Sparkle: Another fun, relavent song. Tightly executed.
Horn: Another mellow song, sounded great at Radio City, everyone was
respecfully silent when they brought it down.
Bathtub Gin: Raging set closer to a solid set. One of the highlights of the
show with out a doubt. Really good set IMO. Good song placement, some nice
tight jamming. Solid.
SETBREAK: Mayhem, Radio City is a really entertaining place to hang out
while waiting for Phish to return.
Bouncing: The boys are back, mad energy in the house. I know alot of people
don't like this song and I've seen it a bunch of times too but it was a very
appropriate opener if you ask me. Segued spacily into:
Bowie: My buddy called it and I was psyched as hell. Nice noodling in the
intro, they tend not to jam out the intro as much anymore. Beautiful jam,
nothing ground breaking, just really tight with a raging closing section.
Sand: They took a little while to decide and then they kicked into a tight
groove. Nice sound effects from page.
Mango Song: Beautiful. Page is on fire.
Ghost: This is when the show got heavy. Clocking in at around a half our
this was not only the highlight of the but easily the sickest version of
Ghost I've heard. The jam passed through about six different distinct
sections all tightly linked together. More amazing effects by Page. Really
melodic at points. A must hear.
Rock & Roll: Perfect show closer. Very high energy with a raging jam.
Appropriate New York reference and you can't dislike a cover that has the
band screaming "everything's all right"
Bug: I really dig this tune, really beautiful, feel good song. "it doesn't
Golgi: Great choice. Definately reminded me how psyched I was to have a
"ticket stub in my hand" The end climax yielded rockstar Trey waving his
guitar in around in the air doing crazy stuff with feedback with the rest of
the band following his guitar. Really cool.
All in all I had an amazing time. Such a tough ticket to get, they
definately made it worth the stress. Besides the fact that it was a sick
show musically, the venue made it that much better. Great atmosphere. The
Ghost was out of control. Plus, New York is a fun place to wander around
after a show too.
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 00:51:09 CDT
From: Mark Hutchison firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Radio City Reviews (finally!)
Monday 22 May - Radio City Music Hall
My Soul Bouncin Sux
Chalkdust Torture! David Bowie!
Billy Breathes Sand
Heavy Things The Mango Song!
Back on the Train Ghost!!!
Split Open & Melt!! Rock & Roll!!!
Horn E: Bug
Bathtub Gin! Golgi Apparatus
That first set was the one-half that I was excluding in the "truly stellar
performances" comment. That's not to say it was without it's
highlights....a nice Chalkdust, and a lighting effect at the onset of the
SOAMelt where Kuroda killed the stage lights and bathed the audience in
RCMH's eerie house lights: first blue then yellow and back to blue. That's
not to discredit the music itself, though, it was assuredly nothing more
than your typical, out-of-this-world kickass Melt jam. The Gin was also a
nicely moving and typically energetic set closer. And I remember being
especially moved by the intimate Horn.
Set Two began strangely with Bouncing, and a Bowie with Bouncing teases in
the intro. The Mango Song was extended a bit longer than usual with some
spirited jamming at the end, and the Ghost was great except for the -
frankly quite boring - last four or five minutes. Rock and Roll was as
incredible as you would have expected it, and a great closer to the two
And that's really what it was -- a two night stand at one of the classiest
(and uniquely decorated!) venues in a city that is gaurenteed to give you a
good time. For those interested I was patched for the two days from Neumann
U89i->Apogee. (Thanks again for the AWSEOME tapes, Dan!) Those of you in
the greater Ann Arbor metro area will have access to the DATs just as soon
as Patoonia sends me his address (or calls me, ya slacker!)
Take care, and I hope to see each of you all soon...
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 13:42:08 -0400
From: Brian Fegan email@example.com
Subject: Radio City second night
Okay, I chose to review this because I felt that it was easily the better of
the two nights. And I thank whatever force, sprit, etc. that I have to that I
was lucky enough to get tix for both nights for face value. Anyway, on to the
review. I gotta say this place holds such a special place in my heart. First
off, I live in NYC so it has never been easier to go to a show. I mean
nothing. No traveling, no traffic, just order my delivery service and hop on
a subway, drink at the Heartland, and then go to the most amazing place to
see any type of music ever!
I feel it would be sacrilage not to say a few words about the venure first.
Let me say that Phish will never play in a place this nice ever again. It
felt so great in there and everyone was just in the best mood I've ever seen.
I've been to dozens of shows now, but seriously, I've never felt luckier than
I have at the last 3. New Year's, and these two shows are really the
culmination of so many years for these guys and I really feel so happy for
them and all of us to get to experience ANY of it.
Okay, My Soul. Not my favorite tune. But honestly, they coulda played
anything and it would have sounded amazing in this place. The sound is
awe-inspiring. You don't lose anything like you would in the muffled space of
a club, arena, amphitheater, etc. This got everyone going.
Chalkdust - Alright, this rocked. Probably should have just opened with this
but I'm not complaining. Everyone is just getting more and more excited and
Billy Breathes - Now I'm not a huge fan of this, but the sound in this place
is so good that it really brings all the mellow tunes to a new level. It
gives them an air that I've never been able to appreciate them on. The vocal
harmonies were excellent.
Heavy Things - Hey, they played 10 out of the 12 new album tracks during the
two nights. What can you say? They have every right to push their new album.
GBOTT - Sweet country funk. Its like they invented a new sound with this one.
I don't think there are any other bluegrass tunes that use a clav on them.
Great jam. You could kind of hear how they are influenced by the album cut on
this one now.
SOAM - AWESOME!!! I love this song. And my god, the "we breathe deep" part
sounded incredible. I can't say this enough. All the quiet stuff was brought
to a new level by the accoustics in there. Its a marvel and a testament to
the architect of the theater. Great jam in the end too, and Kuroda showed off
the most during this one.
Sparkle - Okay tune. Finally something from Rift. Man, the mezzanine's were
shaking on this -- literally.
Horn - Just like the album after Sparkle. I love this song. The mellow part
is the finest mellow jam Phish has in my opinion. I was really happy to hear
this. And the crowd was really respectful and kept quiet during the mellow
Bathtub Gin -- What a rocker. Great song every time I hear it. This one had
some real interesting jamming going on. And Trey was really focusing on
playing jazzy melodies through chord structure rather than soloing. And it
made for the groundwork of a great lengthy jam where everyone was
contributing. Got real spacey and then came back to the melody a couple of
times to slow down and end it for setbreak.
Bouncing -- Um, why open with this? Mine is not to question why I guess. But
it segued into..
Bowie -- really well. Trey dropped some Bouncin' guitar teases during the
hi-hat intro and Mike grabbed a really nice bass solo. Then they kicked in
and the funk was in effect. Great version and the guys were on note for
note. The jam started slow and then brought the rawkus. You know the deal.
Its hard to go wrong on this one in a place as special as this, their focus
so high, and the the sound so clear.
Sand -- Really smooth. Never really got too rocking. They just kind of kicked
it on this almost trip-hoppy kind of groove. Really nice though. This song is
a great jam vehicle. Probably the best off of the new album just for taking
it out there and having those 20 min. jams.
Mango -- YES. I haven't heard this live since 12/96 so this was a treat for
me. I love this song and its always great to hear. They really represented
with "Lawnboy" tonight.
Ghost -- Okay. I would have liked to have heard a 2001 in this place. The
crescendo would've been unreal, but Ghost worked itself out rather nicely. A
smooth groove. Kind of ran along the same vibe as Sand but a little more
rockin. Still an excellent jam though.
Rock and Roll -- It was Alright! About time -- you knew they were gonna play
this. How can you not play the Velvet Underground in New York. So rockin'.
This got everyone sooooo hyped. Jumping around, yelling and screaming, just
flat out losing their shit. So explosive! This was such a great capper in the
whole experience for me.
Bug - Eh, 10 out of 12 songs again. But then...
Golgi - "Oh shit, we haven't played anything from Junta yet!" And what a
perfect selection. If there was ever a ticket stub to have, this was it. And
during the mellow part, it got so quiet that the band starting playing
quietly until they faded away into nothing and it was DEAD SILENT in there
for about 5 seconds. SO SURREAL! Incredible! I wish they could play this
place every night. What an amazing experience. I guess I'm going to have to
see as many shows as possible this summer.
Take it easy everyone and thanks for the incredible vibe,
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 12:25:26 -0400
From: Rob Silvers firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: 5/22 review
I just got back from Radio City. The show was really teriffic, definitely one
of the best I've seen. The second set ROCKED. Unreal.
My tickets were for the back of the 3rd mezzanine but we snuck into the 1st
mez and ended up in the front row/center. Very high energy crowd tonight,
about 1 in 5 went formal. Nugs and cigarettes all over and security didn't
care at all. Not even a pat-down on the way in. NYPD were very nice as well.
To the show...
Lights go down around 8:10, crowd roars...
MY SOUL- very cool, unexpected opener. The crowd was into it from the start, a
glowing snake starts to wiggle around the orchestra. A nice, rocking starter,
and then into the first licks of...
CHALKDUST- Yes!! Standard composed part, then the jam went into deep space and
emerged kind of fast again. Everyone's pumped for a...
BILLY BREATHES- hmmm. Not my favorite, I actually left and took a piss, which
HEAVY THINGS- you knew it was coming. I like this song, regardless of radio
play or 12 year old screaming girls or whatever. They played a nice, airy
version with nice jamming in the "ooh ooh, waaaah" section.
GBotT- Sweet, I loved this song the first time I heard it at Oswego and I love
it still. Sounded great. Next they pumped out...
SPLIT OPEN AND MELT- Now, I'm not a big fan of this song. But this version
rocked. Chris turned off all the main lights and projected weird
colors onto the dome walls of Radio City. It was really incredible, everyone
was going absolutely crazy and you could tell the band was into
it. Definite highlight. NExt came...
SPARKLE- nice surprise, was fun but nothing too special.
HORN- alright, now we're talking! This was great all the way through...very
solid. It'd be niec if they put this in the regular rotation this summer! I
thought this might be the end...but no. We got...
BATHTUB GIN- YES!!!! Page went nuts in the intro...sounded so good, especially
since you couldn't really hear him well throughout the show. Great fun as
always. Gin is one of the best. Nice jam...ended very slowly and that was the
Lights dim, place goes wild. After a first set like that, no one knew quite
what to expect. Most people were calling for a Sand. I heard a rumor that Page
was going to use the RCMH house organ for 2001, but no such luck :( Instead we
BOUNCING- I'm not one of those guys who hates Bouncing, but I don't think its
good enough to get the adrenaline pumping for the second set. I was a bit
worried...but no worries! This was just foreplay.
BOWIE- Probably the best song of the night. SO GOOD, so intense, so
raucous...it just went on and on, from space ot in-your-face rock and roll.
Easily the best Bowie I've ever seen or heard, and I heard others say the same
SAND- was next. I like this song, but I felt a little deflated because the
energy was so high following Bowie. It was a good version, but the placement
wasn't great in my opinion. No problem though, still having a blast. What
could they possibly pull out of their asses now? How about...
MANGO SONG- First time live for me and pretty cool. Nice jam brought the
energy level back. Into...
GHOST- I would estimate this was between 20-25 minutes. It went all over
the place...great funk. Very unique jam that I can't really describe: get the
tape. TO top it of...
ROCK AND ROLL- Whoooooooo! Velvet Underground cover tore the roof off the
place. Page was great on vocals, the crowd goes nuts at the mention of New
York, greta power jamming that left me breathless. One of the highlights, and
the end of a TERRIFIC second set. GET THE TAPE!!!!
BUG- interesting as an encore, but it worked out really well in a niec way.
Great lighting, everyone singing along. I didn't think that coudl end it, and
I was right...
GOLGI- alright! This was perfect placement, though I never would have
predicted it. The Bug-Golgi combo may look strange on paper, but somehow
it worked out really well. Everyone was dancing and jumping all over. Trey
gave some awesome feedback with his guitar while doing weird mime dances. IT
was strange, but so cool. They take their bows and leave.
Overall, a fantastic, memorable show. Very interesting transitions from space
to rocking in several jams which was nice. Hilites were SOaM, Bowie, Rock and
Roll for me. The Ghost was great as well. Thanks Phish!!!! This was really
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 18:25:53 EDT
Subject: 2nd Night Radio City- Wow!
My 39th show last night and it was a great one. For a variety of reasons
including seats (first row mezzanine dead center 2nd night), mental state (I
was emotionally exhausted after rooting for my Knicks Sunday) and most of all
the music, I think second night blew away first night Radio City. By a lot.
One of the better first sets I have seen in a while:
*My Soul and Billy Breathes are both relatively rare these days and were real
treats to hear.
*Heavy Things was fine, short and sweet. Back On The Train was solid.
*Sparkle and Horn were cool little "Phish" songs. Sparkle is always fun.
*Bathtub Gin was an intriguing and extremely well-played closer to the set.
It was almost like by the time they closed the jam Trey realized it was time
to end the set and he sort of forced an ending, but it sounded good anyway.
*But the true highlight of the first set was Split Open And Melt. A raging
version that was augmented by what Kuroda was doing with the house lights to
make the beautiful ceiling look different colors and light up the whole hall.
This lasted for a solid few minutes. People probably got great photos of the
balconies and fans during these few minutes. The crowd loved it.
*The 2nd set started off a bit tame with Bouncin' but quickly shifted into
high gear with Bowie.
*But what needs to be heard from this show is the Sand, Mango
Song, Ghost, Rock and Roll run. Wow. Incredible. Get the tapes!
*Sand got the place moving. This one is going to rule the summer tour. Mango
is another relatively rare one. Haven't heard it since Hampton '98. They
*Ghost was...unreal. What Sand kind of lacked in its usual techno sound,
Ghost made up for. A long and multi-layered jam.
*Rock and Roll is one of my favorite covers Phish does. Not long like Big
Cypress or as fast as Great Woods '99, but an powerful way to end the set.
The place exploded many times during this one.
*Nice to hear Bug as an encore. A great song with cool lyrics. I always have
fun during Golgi Apparatus and the place went 100% silent for about 10 seconds
in the middle.
Overall Radio City was fun both nights. Security was pretty cool. You could
have brought anything in. Lots of people had fancy cameras and even video
cameras so I am sure there will be good photos to be had. Sound was nice.
The tapes will sound good, I think. And once the lights went out, you could
stand pretty much anywhere.
First night- for friends and family
Second night- for the fans
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 22:51:11 PDT
From: Jake Cohen email@example.com
Subject: Re: tonight's show!!
Setlist isn't up yet, but I'll post a review now.
5/22/00 Radio City Music Hall Set 1: My Soul, Chalkdust Torture, Billy
Breathes, Heavy Things, Back on the Train, Split Open & Melt, Sparkle,
Horn, Bathtub Gin
Set 2:Bouncing Around the Room->David Bowie, Sand, The Mango Song, Ghost,
Rock n' Roll
Encore:Bug, Golgi Apparatus
Wow. What an amazing setlist, venue, scene, city and show!! This was one
of my best ever! First off, Radio City is a beautiful place. Big lobby
where you could look down from the mezzanine and watch everyone mill
My Soul: Interesting opener, I was expecting Farmhouse...Love the blues,
this started it off with a great vibe.
CDT: Wow!!! This raged, as it always does, needed something slow next...
Billy Breathes: Already three songs in and three older songs played. I was
hoping there'd be a lot more of the non-Farmhouse album songs, and I was
getting my wish!
Heavy Things: It's Heavy Things, nothing more to be said.
GBOTT: Now it's getting funky. This one just got people moving. My
favorite song on the new album!
Melt: Nice, always fun to get a melt. It got really cool when they turned
on the Radio City house lights in blues and reds. Made the entire place
look like a wind tunnel or something, and it complemented the somewhat
spacy and groovy music at the same time!!
Sparkle: All these old songs!! Fun as usual.
Horn: I love this guitar solo, and everyone was great about keeping down
during the quiet and melodious guitar solo.
Bathtub Gin: A Gin and a Melt in one set?!?!?! This was absolutely
spectacular, every aspect of it. They took it to this great little rock
jam that was so far from the Gin theme, and they rocked on that for a good
few minutes. Then they took it way down and spacey. And of course, out of
the space came that guitar theme again. I wish I knew how they do it.
As they left the stage, Trey was jumping and skipping along the back of
the stage, incredibly pumped up. I knew the 2nd set would complement the
Bouncin: Started off the second set nicely. At the end, Trey held out the
last note with feedback from Bouncin and led into a spacey intro to...
Bowie: As soon as FIshman kicked up the hi-hats, I knew we were in for a
treat. Mike took a bass solo during the spacey intro. Very clean and soft
sounding composed section. Then into the jam. As most do, it started of
very chill and spacey, with Fish on the hi-hats fast. From there it just
grew and grew, changing directions every few minutes. It seriously rocked,
and Trey finished it with dead-on accuracy.
Sand: I used to hate this song. Then I started listening to some hip-hop
and techno, like The Roots, and now I love this one. This jam was soooo
funky, dripping with funk all the way. Phat grooving by Mike, and Page was
played these great synths that sounded straight out of a Styx song, very
The Mango Song: My phirst one! Been waiting for a while now. Every note
was perfect, the jam was incredibly intense.
Ghost: Again, played with the same funk and drive as Sand. Nice jam, very
type II leading into the nice space.
Rack 'n' Roll: Awesome VU!! I was psyched, love this tune, it rocks no
Trey was going nuts during this last jam, and when they came back for the
encore, everyone was psyched.
Bug: Bug is Bug. It doesn't matter.
Golgi: What happened here was amazing. When Trey was playing the soft
middle guitar solo part, the very flowy and melodious section, it got real
quiet. The band took it down and faded essentially to silence, and for a
few moments there, there was complete silence in the room, no one was
really cheering or talking. People were shushing some people down, and it
was really nice to hear that kind of respect for the entire audience and
the band that we had. Trey then took off his guitar and was miming pulling
strings out of his guitar, making feedback noises each time. It was
All in all, a fantastic show! I must say that it wouldn't have been the
same without Chris Kuroda tonight. He couldn't get his entire normal
tourning setup going because it's too big for Radio City's stage. So he
was running a modified set, but he still put on the best damn visual
experience that you can buy. I really loved the patterns that were layered
in differenet colors on the walls, and when they lit up the mezzanine. 9
out of 10 for me.
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 11:26:21 EDT
Subject: Radio City Review
How goes it to all you psycho phish fans? To any of you who would even
dare say that anything about the last two nights was average, you need to
get a fucking life. This band plays for themselves and we are just
fortunate as fans to see them work there magic. It is never good or bad,
tight or unwound, its how they play. You phreaks who write in about the
jammin time you had feelin the groove and the liquid flow of things need
to get a little creative on your own and stop acting like Gene Shalit on
Phish. Bottom line the shows fuckin rocked, as they always do and your
opinions on the Sand jam and Golgi Solo, while appreciated by the band,
I'm sure, are nauseating to those of us who just love the whole
atmosphere. I apologize for the blunt edge to this review, but the fact is
we should all just say, "Thank U" and stop worrying so goddamn much about
things the band could have done to make your night better. I can't imagine
what some of you think about things that really suck in life when you take
up valuable review/praise space for ignorant rants about the spacey,
eclectic groovey jams these guys are nice enough to play for us. Smoke a
bowl and chill out! Hope to see you all just enjoying yourselves this
summer and try to avoid criticizing creativity!
If you feel the need to comment on my review, you can e-mail me at
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 11:52:17 -0700
From: "Dellin, Jeff" Jeff.Dellin@studiosusa.com
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" email@example.com
Subject: Review of 5/22
This one's a bit late as took some hours for the show to sink in...
First, a quick review of the venue. AWESOME. Just a great place to see a
show and a perfect place to kick back and concentrate on the music. The
scene was very mellow with no lines for drinks or the bathrooms and plenty
of space to hang out before and during set break. My only small criticism
was I felt the sound was a bit low in the third Mezzanine. If only summer
would be such a mellow scene, I would catch more shows. I must say that a
large number of attendees ignored the kind words of Radio City's general
manager posted on all the web sites. I saw several people walking on the
seats (c'mon guys grow up!) and way too many people smoking. Hopefully we
didn't leave too many burn marks in the carpeting and Phish will be invited
back. In general, the crowd was pretty respectful, but I was disappointed in
As has been observed, a very satisfying second night at RCMH. Like most
Phish shows I've been to there were moments where I thought "What's all the
fuss about?" and moments where I thought "This is just the most amazing
thing I have ever seen or heard. How in the hell do those guys do it?!?"
Monday's first set was a perfect example of this. I thought the show started
off very strong. "My Soul" had punch and bite and offered some very crisp
shifts. "Chalk Dust" was a great choice but perhaps a bit pre-mature. Then I
thought the set bogged down a bit. "Billy Breaths" was a nice attempt, but I
thought it was the flattest song of the show. The sound was muddy at points.
And dammit, I just can't get into "Heavy Things" (a song with not a lot of
places to go and if not right on, just kind of lays there). But, then I was
shocked at how great "Back On the Train" was last night! It is my least
favorite song on the album but this version just kicked. The band definitely
came together during this one which may have been the highlight for me in
set 1. "Split/Melt" got off to a bit of a sluggish start but they caught
fire somewhere in there and it was a worthy version. "Sparkle>Horn" was a
quick reminder of "hey look what we can do" and it did not disappoint. The
versatility of the band is shocking at times. The "Gin" closer was really,
really cool and at points I forgot they were playing "Gin". Not an epic
song, but an epic version from where I was sitting.
I don't know about you but I was psyched for "Bouncin". Maybe after the
third time in a week after 15 outdoor shows I would have been bored with it,
but in this pristine venue it was sweet. The boys attacked it not like one
of their "for the masses" songs, but really played it carefully and pulled
off a nice start to set II. Then the show just took off to where every
minute I was thinking "My God, these guys are good!" For some reason even
though I don't go to that many shows I always seem to get "Bowie" and this
was the most memorable by far. Other reviews have waxed much more eloquently
on this version so I'll just say I dug it big time. "Sand" is a great song
for Phish in my opinion and I really liked the sounds that they came up with
at Radio City. "Mango" was a total treat especially after gorging on mango
all weekend. Really fun as usual. "Ghost" just blew me away and the long
spacey outro was immaculate. I was expecting them to segue into another song
but it just kind of ended which I thought was cool. What followed was mind
blowing. A full-on ripping version of Lou Reed's "Rock And Roll" The boys
clearly enjoyed playing this song and I think it ranks up there as one of
their best played covers I have heard. It maintained the under-stated vocals
a la Lou Reed, but the instrumental work was so beyond the original song
that it gave new meaning to it. Just an awesome way to close a set.
The encores were solid. "Bug" is a nice song that really fits the Phish
repertoire and "Golgi" was especially sweet for me as the last time I heard
it was at my first Phish show at the Variety Arts Center in 1992.
For all of you who didn't get a chance to go, you didn't miss an all-time
show, but you did miss seeing the band in a venue that really promotes the
versatility and creativity of the band. And kudos to Chris for the lights.
At first I thought they were coming on too strong but after he did that
really cool thing with the houselights, the lighting was perfect. Rock on!
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 10:38:39 PDT
From: The Wolfman firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Review of RCMH 5/22
Oh yes. Oh double oh yes. Tonight we were treated to upper echelon
Phish. Three major quality impactors, venue and energy, song placement,
and actual playing, were all fabulous. As far as all jam-rock shows are
concerned, with this being high quality Phish, tonight was a showcase for
Energy was again fantastic in the house. Everyone there had either done
something crazy to get in or was talking to someone who had, and that has a
huge impact. The building is still incredible. This is a MUSIC HALL, not a
basketball arena, and Phish used that to its fullest tonight, through sound
as well as lights. One gets the sensation that they are sitting in the
middle of a giant speaker in this place, and wouldn't you know it, that's
exactly what's happening. Throw in the wide aisles, non-existant security,
dancing on carpet and not a bad seat in the house, and you've got yourself
one hell of a venue and energy level.
Song placement and selection were used brilliantly, creating a constant
and coherent show. We had the old and the new, the staples and the
rarities, the hard and the soft, type I and II jams. They used a lot more
of the large composed-section songs tonight (SOAM, Bowie, Mango, Golgi)
which provided great contrast and compliment to the straight ahead tunes
(Chalkdust, Train, Sand, Ghost). Billy Breathes was placed superbly, right
after they came in with a clear intention of showing us the rock with My
Soul and Chalkdust. Then came Heavy Things. Oh, the controversy this song
is stirring up! Let's keep it purely musical here. Fishman's shuffle beat
is really slick, and the whole arrangement does succeed in pulling off the
cute, catchy feel that they are looking for. It's obviously not fantastic
Phish (YEM 15 years ago and Heavy Things now?) but it's not a bad song.
Sparkle was a great way to keep things going after SOAM, Horn was totally
out of the blue, and a quality Gin closed 1st set. Selection 2nd set was
nice as well. They opened with Bouncin'. I don't care if you hate the
song, you have to appreciate that this took some serious balls on their
part. Opening their last Radio City set with their most tormented
song...that's balls. Bravo. The rest of the set was a mix of composition
(Bowie), straight grooves (Sand, Ghost), a rarer tune (Mango) and a cover
(Rock and Roll). Good contrast! The Golgi encore was a great way to both
rock out of the place and make note of the ticket situation.
The songs were placed well, but how they were actually delivered is
something entirely seperate. The delivery tonight was splendid. Before I
mention the four guys on stage, it is important to note that they are not
the only people performing, and the MVP tonight was Chris Kuroda,
hands-down. He was given some fantastic stuff to work with and several
times there was crowd reaction purely for the lights, something that did not
happen last night. The use of the house lights during SOAM was marvelous.
Way to go, Chris. The jams tonight were simply superb, a true showing at
points of why these guys are the kings of jam-rock. The extended
off-the-cuff type II jam to open Bowie is a great example. They really had
coherency and direction with this and in general they did all night. In the
middle of Ghost Trey began strumming a simple rhythm pattern and completely
handed the reigns over to Mike, who led them around and through some great
dynamics and feel changes before they went back to a four-man jam. Right
after they followed with Rock and Roll, which was M E G A and Trey led them
all the way. He really stepped up here. Bowie was masterful, especially at
the end where they alternate the short type II's with the raging melody.
The type II's were all tight, pointed, and different. Sand and Gin were
both very good, with so much purpose and direction; direction that was
missing last night, especially last night's DWD. Only SOAM and Chalkdust
left anything to be desired tonight, and they were both well done
Phish, as the leaders of jam-rock, have been called upon to represent
all that jam-rock can be these two nights. Tonight they did it. What a
masterful display of the central jam-rock principles of difficult and
original composition, tight and varied jamming, and song selection. This
was the epitome of what a jam-rock show should be, which is what we look for
when we see Phish. I am surprised that there would be such a discrepancy
between the two shows, but it is now forever part of Phish lore that the 2nd
night of Radio City was the one to be at. (I don't like when that happens,
but what can you do?) A lot of response has come in from my not-so-rave
review last night saying to be quiet and not give an honest opinion because
it's all about the music. These people are right on the money, because of
course it is all about the music, and one thing we all surely know is that
not all shows are musically created equal. That is why we review them here.
The last two nights were showcase shows, and last night Phish played it
like a showcase show. Bravo, boys. Last night you showed the world that
you still have the mastery, and we showed that we still have the passion for
This show has everyone in New York bewildered. We really have no idea what
to make of this show for 3 reasons; there has never been a made-for-TV Phish
show, it has been at least a decade, if ever, that a show was announced on
three day's notice and every fan got tickets by standing in line (many all
night) and it is simply so small, especially for New York City! The line
for tickets last night was a mess. There was a lot of bickering about
cutting, people were heaped on top of each other both out of lack of space
and trying to stay warm, and the entire line ran right past everyone who was
sleeping, even though they had been there all night. Everyone in line,
especially those who were not in Radio City, was in varying states of true
desperation to get the coveted wristbands. It was not chill at all, and
that combined with the weirdness of not knowing what to make of the show has
lead to a really twisted situation right now. We'll see what happens...
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 10:04:27 -0400
From: "Littlefield, Justin (Exchange)" email@example.com
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" email@example.com
Subject: reflections on Radio City
A few thoughts on Radio City as I try to adjust to my normal, and much
less exciting, working life on this Tuesday morning:
Thank You to the kind folks who draped, in gigantic black letters, the
message "Thank U" to the band last night. I looked back at the crowd (I
was 8th row center) during the highlight of the 2 nights for me (the
spectacular Ghost), and it was beautiful realizing that the only message
the band could see in the crowd was the enormous "Thank U" hanging from
the top mezzanine. Imagine how nice it would feel to be Trey or Mike or
Page or Fish and to be left with that single message? No song requests,
nothing personal, just the most simple and most meaningful message we, as
a collective crowd, could leave the band with. (Was it me or was Trey on
the verge of getting choked up when he thanked the crowd Sunday night and
vowed to keep this "thing" going as long as possible?)
Radio City is the nicest indoor venue I have ever seen Phish play in (last
night was my 45th show). What a truly wonderful place to see these guys
play. The crowd was respectful, security was laid back, and the acoustics
were great. Please play this venue again!
The 2nd set last night was easily the best of the 2 days. Let me preface
my comments by saying that I walk into work this morning with a gigantic
smile on my face, eager to see these boys again in a month. And I feel so
lucky to have had a chance to witness such a special 2-day run in my home
city. I do, however, think the bad took fewer risks than I would have
liked. There were some definite highlights in the 1st 3 sets
Sunday/Monday, but I thought both 1st sets from both nights were very
standard (get the Bathtub from last night, though- WOW!). The Gotta Jiboo
from Sunday was ripping and the highlight of the show for me. The Down
with Disease was long, and had it's moments, but I struggle when comparing
it to the more coherent, groovier journeys into creative space like
12/31/99 (Sunday's seemed a little disjointed). I thought overall Sunday
was an average show at best. I thought excluding the Bathtub Gin last
night's 1st set was average at best.
BUT the 2nd set last night made my 2 nights. The Sand was so tight and
just ripped. The Ghost was the type of journey, expanded and inspiring,
creative and original, groovy and fearless, that I had been expecting a
little more from the boys this weekend. In particular, the closing jam,
with Trey chording on his guitar and building and building and building to
euphoria, rocked. Awesome. I think Rock and Roll just plain rules, what
an energizing guitar line and overall vibe. Certainly not the best
version I've heard, but a great way to close a set. I could complain
about Bug and Golgi closing the 2-day run, but who am I to criticize this
band? Get the Ghost, the Bathtub Gin, the Sand, the Gotta Jibboo, the
Bowie. GET THE GHOST!
Thank you, Phish, for such a wonderful 2 days, you guys continue to get
better every year. (*Remember- these were their 1st 2 shows in 5 months!)
Can't wait to see everyone in Hartford.
Bear Stearns is not responsible for any recommendation, solicitation,
offer or agreement or any information about any transaction, customer
account or account activity contained in this communication.
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 11:53:03 CDT
From: Corey Ardell firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Magical vibes from RCMH
I'll try keep this short (which is difficult, cuz I've been
talking/thinking/dreaming about the shows for 2 days now)... First show was
what it was... beautiful moment for all, venue like the gates of heaven,
STAFF LIKE ANGELS, New York City bouncin' round the planet. Not the best
show I've ever seen, but heart like a lion in the face of a long touring
lapse, exhaustion and bewilderment at the surroundings, at the moment. I
think David got his ass kicked before he felled Goliath; Phish entertained
while they struggled, knowing that the lights, cameras, and microphones of
everyone's mind were working double time. At the end, a Loving Cup so
created for the phans reminded all that whether they were seeing Monday's
show or not, Phish's legacy would continue, for and by their followers.
The second show. Permit me to catch my breath.
First set requires no individual attention to any one tune, but begs the
question: "How in hell did these cats get so tight so fast???" Trey hitting
highs like MJ hitting free throws, Mike laying down the funk as only our
beloved Mike can, Page painting musical canvases, tight and orderly yet open
for traveling. Can't really remember a song that wasn't fully developed,
nor one that wasn't executed with as much technical precision as any good
Rock 'n Rollin' American can expect from a band that spends it's time in
outer space. The critic in me will be listening to that set alone for years
to come. BTW... kids thinking about starting a jam band: BATHTUB GIN!!!
Talking a mile a minute during the long break, slowly realizing the problem
at hand... Would this be another display of technical mastery, do they call
it a night and philter out, or... something else? Bouncing. ?? I've loved
the song for years, in that songs like Bouncing, Sample, and the like
brought me here in the first place. But Bouncing? Could only mean one
thing: warmin' up for the big ones. And the big one came like a bomb.
Plenty of improv in the next few songs, Bowie, Sand and Mango (loved all but
Mango, though the composition and general good feelings of the song are a
pleasure in themselves).
"I fear I've never told you the story of the ghost.
Who I once knew, and talked to, of whom I'd never boast". Yeah. Let's go
for a walk with a ghost.
They went into this song like they were now called the P Phish Allstars,
slappin' bass and tossing licks to make the crowd move it's collective ass
every which way but nowhere. And then goodbye. Phish, the WHOLE band, took
a trip to depths of such magnanimous proportion that I truly believed they
were gonna lose it. Visible confusion b/w the band members, breathtaking
acts of courage involving individual members coming to the resuce. At one
point, Trey pulled the band out of trouble by sitting in on the keyboard to
support the thickest, most sustained bass line I've ever seen Mike play. By
the time all was said and done, the feverish pitch had blissfully dropped
with the white stage lights, and the band had done in thirty-some minutes
what everyone everywhere had come to see: a jam, in all it's fearful
euphoric splender. For the first time in my life, I would have been
satisfied leaving before I knew the end had come.
Course, I'm glad I didn't. Rock and Roll was almost as good a cover choice
as Loving Cup, and we all danced to the success of our favorite band. The
encore could have been Mary Had a Little Lamb>Celebration, and the fans
would go home happy; the energy was electric, and the band could do no
wrong. Trey passed the love around via every phans favorite light saber, his
axe, and for one last moment, we just plain got it.
I'm sorry I carried on for so long. You should be listening to the show
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 09:44:23 EDT
Subject: Review RCMH Monday, 5/22
All i can say is, "wow."
In a year from now, they'll say this was a 'good' performance -- but as of
today, it's one of my all-time favorites. (is this a sign of things to
come?) The show began with a bang (My soul) seemingly w/o any wait time
once they hit stage. From beginning to end it was pure bliss i.e. SOAM w/
the dim houselights creating a dawn or dusk like appearance to this
grandios inside venue, and the mind-blowing Gin at the end to close out
the set just to name two highlights of a flawless set.
The second set blew it away.
Great opening placement for bouncin'. it was great to see the crowd
totally pumped even considering it's relatively unpopular status. The
bowie for many was the set premier, but sand?? c'mon -- this tune defines
their comittment to funk. Mango was killer, and the Ghost was so mind
bending--thank the guys for returning to what was working so well before,
the FUNK. oh, just when you were about to come up for air, into the rock
and roll. How did i fail to see before the pure energy and intensity of
this tune? What a closer! did i miss some songs here? who knows, but
Encore: Bug. whew! This tune i was singing to everyone i saw today as i
strolled thru NYC. wow. then the satisfying end of Golgi which never fails
to stimulate every part of my spirit when it climbs into the final "i saw
great energy. the venue was magical. I hope we're invited back soon.
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 09:55:25 -0400
From: "Ballard, Mark" email@example.com
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" email@example.com
Looking at the setlist, I might have been a little disappointed with last
night's show. I'm sure a lot of people were. I heard the My Soul and
Bouncing groans to start each set, and I even groaned a little myself, but
the sheer pleasure of finding a ticket moments before showtime, walking
into Radio City for the first time, and seeing my favorite band made me
(as Emerill says...) happy, happy, happy. The could have played a thirty
minute My Soul and I'm not sure it would have hurt my disposition all that
much. Because Phish is a touring band and so many of us see them night
after night they are, unfortunately, put under a microscope. A lot of
these negative reviews on the net are just people who are afraid of
change, people who wish Fall of '97 would never end. Phish is changing,
and that's all I'll ever ask of them. As long as they keep changing, I'll
keep coming back. What if they dropped Mikes-->Weekapaug, YEM, Reba,
Maze, Hood every night? The shows would take on a sort of
predictability... They're keeping the music fresh and that's good. And
just so you people don't think I'm totally without opinion, schweet
Bathtub, flat Mangos.
But after all, "...it doesn't matter!"
Thank You Radio City. Thank you Phish.
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 12:48:20 EDT
Subject: radio city monday 22nd
Beleieve it or not on sunday at around 1:30 in the afternoon, after an hour
of looking for a ticket a pretty young girl gave me two 100% free tickets to
sundays show. Of course I traded one for mondays show which was the best
decision I made since decideing to fly from colorado for the shows... It had
to be oneof the most fun loving shows, just hours of hard phunky jamming with
thousands of my best friends. It was like they were playing in my livining
room, monday blew away sundays show..... I needed a cigarette after the show,
better than sex.... Miracles do come true... thanks lady.
FREE TICKET BOY..... Kevin, COLORADO
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 07:03:17 -0400
From: SHANE THOMAS SHANE.THOMAS@FERGUSON.COM
Subject: Radio City 5/22
As Mike sat in the window overlooking the crowd on 51st ave, I knew that
he knew there were some phans there to rock the house, and he spreaded
the news cause the band rocked. I have never heard the sounds that band
produced that evening in all my years of Phish. Everyone by now has had
the oppertunity to check out the amazing set list that went down that
evening so I am not going to rub it in for those who couldn't attend.
Here however, are my thoughts of this increadable night.
Set one started with the classics and worked its way to the nitty gritty
of the set. A mystical Billy Breaths, a nice Heavy Things and then back
on the train. My friend wanted to hear SOAM all day and POW! like a
smack in the face, it was jammed (and well!) Forget the Hampton version
of 98 or 99 being tight, this one ruled. Laff and Laff was a great rest
for the Horn (my personal favorite from Rift) and then one I called out
to be played and made me half drunk, Bathtub Gin. It all rocked.
Set 2 started Bouncing me around the room and the crazy intro for Bowie
had me all flattened out. Thing after that weren't the same. Sand,
Mango Song were intros for an unbelievable Ghost that sent goosebumps to
my arms. The band confirmed that their following was Alright and that
listening to Rock and Roll music was alright. It was real nice.. real.
Then the roof caved in.. Bug was awesome and the Band ended up screaming
"I saw you, with a ticket stub in your hand.." whit Trey jumping up and
down full of energy. It was all really really nice.. real.
In conclusion, the banner that hung from the third mezzinine said it
all.. "Thank You" for a tight show and a wonderful experience. The
vibe that was felt the second evening was on that assured Phish at the
top of their game. Phish: Please keep doing what you do, for if you
quit, nobody can fill your shoes." You guys are musical pioneers.
Thank you again.
Shane T. in Hampton
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 06:11:31 EDT
Subject: Radio City Review
Seeing Phish at Radio City Music Hall on May 22, was the most intimate
experience I feel I will ever have with the band, due to the tremendous
size of their following, combined with the exclusiveness of the venue.
It was a beautiful sight to see 6,000 people grooving so hard in such a
spectacular theatre. I felt honored to be there as I am sure the band was
as well. Knowing how special the occasion was, I had great expectations
and felt that I could not predict what they might do tonight.
Unfortunately, these expectations were not met judging by the set choices
and the typical two and a half hours of music plus fifteen minute encore
that was played. I cannot figure out whether the band has just lost a
certain creative energy as the years have gone by. Why not take the
opportunity to play something insane in a place where you could have heard
a pin drop at one point during the show? Is a third set or a second encore
so implausible that it should be the greatest surprise if they pulled it
off? And if not, why not tonight?
I'm lying if I were to say that I did not groove harder than ever,
listening to by far the best Bowie I have yet to hear. The second set was
absoultely some of the most beautiful music they have played in a long
time, but where are the circus dancers that used to come on stage and the
crazy stage sets that they have made in the past. New Years was an
amazing accomplishment, but walking off the stage after a Meatstick with
nothing to say? On stage their chemistry looks so good and their stuff
sounds better than ever but I truly wonder if they need some time to
really regather their creativity. I have tickets to almost every show
this summer and know that I will hear some great jamming, but I really
hope they remind me why its worth it to drive to Maine, Florida, or Deer
Creek. This incredible fan base has occurred for a reason and I feel it
needs to be reaffirmed. Towards the end of a school year my work ethic
tends to wear thin and then I use the summer as time to regroup and get
motivated again. I wonder if The Phab Phour need a little time to think
Said with all the love and sincerity that they deserve,
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 00:22:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Greg Longo firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: 5/22/00 Review
It^Òs about 2:15, I^Òm just getting back from the Radio City show, and
I^Òm still smiling. I have to admit that I^Òm rarely let down by a Phish
show, and tonight was no exception. This is my first review, and for what
it^Òs worth my 29th show (1st was in 95 but most came in the last 3
years). The scene was pretty cool outside, not as many ticketless people
as I expected. People were offering $200 for an extra, which is pretty
crazy. I mean it was a good show but that^Òs like the price of 7 normal
shows. Anyways, I was lucky enough to find a parking spot on the street a
block away, and I made my way into Radio City. I say about 20% of the
fans were in phormal wear. I met my brother at our seats on the first
balcony trey side. about 20% of the fans were in phormal wear. I met my
brother at our seats on the first balcony trey side. The venue really is
pretty amazing. Now on to the show:
My Soul: An interesting choice for an opener, I thought. I like all of
the different aspects of Phish and it^Òs fun to see what they can do with
a standard blues song. I haven^Òt caught this song in a while so it was
welcome. The sound was really pretty amazing from our seats.
Chalkdust Torture: I remember liking this version but not being blown
away by it. Although I have to admit that right now the details are a
little bit hazy
Billy Breathes: came next. I think it^Òs a beautiful song, that makes you
feel like your floating. Trey really brought a lot of emotion to the
instrumental song, that makes you feel like your floating. Trey really
brought a lot of emotion to the instrumental part.
Heavy Things: I was expecting this at some point, being it was the album
release party and they didn^Òt play it last night. I thought we would see
the other half of the album tonight, and we did except for Sleep and
Farmhouse. It may be catchy or poppy or whatever but I still like this
song. I^Òm still not sick of it, although I do see a potential to get
tired of it if it gets played too often. This version I thought was
particularly tight, with trey taking the lead.
GBOTT: I like this song as well, although it doesn^Òt really seem to vary
that much from performance to performance. During this song I was really
focused on Mike^Òs playing.
SOAM: I thought this was a good choice at the time. The acoustics of the
venue really brought out the acoustic part of the song, which was very
touching as always. Then the outro jam. Which is really a blur , but I
remember being happy with it but not feeling that it was as long as
Sparkle: I know a lot of people get sick of this song, but I enjoy
dancing to it until I feel like I^Òm going to explode.
Horn: This is really a pretty song, and one of the few that I can play
through on the guitar so I was locked into Trey^Òs solo playing along in
my head. Again he really manages to convey a lot of feeling.
Bathtub Gin: I don^Òt think I^Òve ever heard this as a closer, but it is
always welcome wherever it comes. The jam locked into a good groove with
the band members just riding it. It then got more and more distant and
started to drift into space, but right after it got really spacey (and was
probably about to lose me a little bit the way the PNC Arts Center^Òs Melt
did last year. Trey brought back the Gin theme, and ended the song. It
wasn^Òt the high that they usually get us to before set break but I was
still happy with it.
Overall Set I: On paper it looks worse than it was. Although it featured
many shorter non-jammed songs (Heavy Things, GBOTT, Sparkle, Horn) They
were all solid versions. The Gin helped the cause a lot, and it was in
contrast to the jammed out set that was to follow.
Set Break seemed pretty long (I didn^Òt time it or anything) and then they
came back out for set 2
Bouncin^Ò: While I don^Òt hate this song when given at the right time, it
seemed to be starting to get to be too many of their poppy songs and not
enough meat. However things were going to get pretty interesting
Bowie: After the usual bouncin ending They started playing again but much
more spacey/ambient. Trey wound up reprising the outro guitar to
Bouncin^Ò in this style before going into a space jam. I thought sand was
going to emerge until I heard the tell tale hi-hat of Bowie. The intro to
Bowie was stretched out with Trey not rushing to get to the song where as
Fish seemed to be trying to edge it along. Right when I thought they were
going to make the transition, Mike stepped up and took over for a little
while on the bass. I found this very interesting because he was playing
melodic lines simmilar to what I would expect from trey but a little out
of character for Mike. Finally after building up the anticipation they
launched into Bowie. It was a solid version of the song. Even the
lightning fast parts at the end that keep comming back in seemed to go on
for longer than usual.
Sand: I got the Sand that I was expecting before. It was a good solid
version with a nice delay loop jam. This is probably my favorite song on
Farmhouse and I enjoyed it although after experiencing the Big Cypress
Sand that seemed to last for an entire day this one couldn^Òt help but
The Mango Song: I don^Òt thing I^Òve heard this since the Lemonwheel, and
I was happy to get it. I thought it was a powerful version.
Ghost: For those of you who really seek exploratory jamming this was it.
After taking some time to communicate with the band members, Trey started
us off on a Ghost that would take us to a lot of places. It was thick and
funky as ususal, the song went to space a little as trey was noodling
around on the keys, I have to say that while overall the crowd was good
and there were some kind pholks in my area J, I was distracted for a
little while during this song by a girl who thought it was a good time to
start telling complex and detailed stories to her friend, as if there was
no show going on. Out of this spacey part Trey started jamming more
aggressively over the song and then the jamming got less fierce but still
had a drive to it. They stretched this part out for a while bringing up
many cool grooves. Toward the end Page even took charge on the piano for
a while. All in all a sick version of Ghost for those of you who like
Rock and Roll: After being lulled down by the extended Ghost, this tune
got the place jumping (literally) It was a high intensity Rock and Roll
(In stark contrast to the ½ hour from Big Cy) This one was much shorter
but really got the crowd hopping, and trey was jumping around like crazy.
The band ended the set after this song
Overall: I thought set II was very well done, and complemented the first
set very well, because it had a totally different feel to it.
Encore: Bug: I like this song on the album and enjoyed hearing it again.
Golgi: After Bug Trey called out Golgi counted off and launched into it.
It wasn^Òt the tightest version I ever heard but it did get some energy
back into the crowd. There was one really cool part when the band was
playing a decrescendo and the audience picked up on the cue pretty quickly
and everyone quited with the band. There was not a sound in the place
until someone had to ruin it by screaming right before the band came back
in. Well, it was still pretty cool
Hope this helps. I would definitely recommend getting the tapes.
Thanks. Questions or comments email me. Now time for my 3 hours of sleeep
click here to return to the 2000 reviews page