9-17-99 Shoreline Amphitheater
Phish w/ guest appearances by Phil
Lesh and Warren Haynes
Phil & Warren w/ Phish! -- The Rollin'
Rider, 12:08:43 09/21/99 Tue
September 17, Mountain View, CA. Well, well, well. Who would have thought….
As my loyal compatriot said best, Tonight, "these guys took 'taking it
to the point' to the point". Those not already familiar with the set list
should now get out and just take in all the twists and turns there, before
you try to digest the scope of the music that was played. For starters,
last night's Phish show and tonight's are right away the two most incredible
phish-stravaganzas I've heard to date, but that was probably a given knowing
the Lesh storm that was soon to come. Phish played a first set that was
one of the finest moments in musical history. Each jam seemed tainted
with just a little of the previous song's jams, and so forth. Almost like
a meta-jam, this cloudy figure, perhaps this ghost was around some every
corner n the songs, able to be accessed from other points.. it was strange,
twisted, beautiful. At many points, slipknot-ey, poised, crouching, serpentine,
at times light, benevolent, all-knowing. During "Piper", this persevering
Buddha-thing with the arms was screaming through as the lights ripped
colors not unlike Candace's finest moments…
And what to do faced with all of this in our faces?? If, as Robert Hunter
once said, the
proper response (to it) is art, well I cannot eloquently dance to you
the beauty of what
took place during the David Bowie, the Roggae. I wasn't surprised at all
when I heard
from Steve Silberman that the late Dick Latvala thought that these guys
were the shit.
Ah, but then we get to the Lesh.
Right off, you could take this meeting to a lot of different "points"
if you will. We all
heard just how fantastic the combination of Anastasio-Lesh has been in
the past, for
those of you new, refer to my last column, but many feared that the simple
having two bass players on stage would render a Lesh sit-in impossible.
many in the jam-band scene wanted this second meeting to happen in return
political sense, being the right thing to do sort of sit in, there was
the issue of just how
would double bass come through in a song in a mechanical fashion. Then,
there were those of us who hoped for a little more than just a "mechanical"
who realized the musical potential "…if, just if… " They could all come
together for a
Well, I'm here to tell you folks, that they pulled it off. Big Time.
In talking to a sparkle
eyed pixie after the show, she remarked " Phil's just not afraid to put
himself out there,
outside of any musical safety zone, and just play, and he always comes
out of it even
better than before" Phil doesn't just walk out, he gets on the fucking
Trey and mike during the deepest end-zone of the You Enjoy Myself. Phil
gets up to
the mike and sings the "Shirley Temple" for the 45 minute Wolfman's brother
we were just inquiring about. (not actual time) Oh, and in Spades, by
the way. Oh,
and did I mention the cold rain and snow? I mean, the VIOLA LEE BLUES?!?!?!?
But I get ahead of myself. The feeling of "big time" was apparent as soon
house lights went down for the start of set two. During the "Piper" some
heavies came out with the stacks, and some confusion arose, someone I
thought that Lesh was onstage, but the "stack in the back" was a sign
of some sheer
excellence to follow. Sure enough, Phil was there hearing what we were
all hearing -
Phish create some of the best music made this or any year, …and then during
throes of a raging version of the Phish crowd-favorite "You Enjoy Myself",
appears bouncing up and down with bass on a trampoline…as if he dropped
of the best jam moments of the year, and then helped sculpt the story
He laid low at first, finding his groove, facing his cabinet, then fell
into place along side
Mike Gordon, Phish bassist extraordinaire, and before you know it, the
band came to
silence, with only the precious sound of two basses pulsating into the
skies…the skies of shoreline, for some reason which have helped channel
special of "happenings"…. the solo was like everything you thought it
couldn't be -
because Phil has never "really did it" with another bass player, but here
willing to let Phil sit in with his band…now it was his turn to play with
and Trey and Page knew back in April that this day would come…..they must
have waited gleefully, we all did.
Phil and Mike tried each other's groove's on for size, and those same
doors that were
cracked open in April were now immediate portals into this "new sound".
way I found myself describing it at the time was "parallel processing",
vaguely about hearing something about how the speed of computer servers
exponentially increase as you add another processor. I don't know, but
the "many as
one" theme, when it finally took hold, let them take us right to the fucking
else? What did we really expect? The ending of that song was a bit of
When we heard Page hit the opening chords of the Wolfman's Brother, we
were in for a treat. The first verse was actually a little tenuous, I
smirking, and trying to think of the last time I remember wishing that
they would throw
another guitar in the mix. Those of you at recent Furthur Festivals can
with me, but thankfully Trey, musical genius that he is, found a way to
glide in and out
of each of the bass player's notes, weaving the threads together into
thick rope, as
this six-pointed shimmering star formed by the lights organically morphed
yet unseen. The sounds Phil and Mike made, did what trey and Steve at
(a/k/a the April Warfield shows), managed to do. They engulfed each other,
one BASS…one gigantic line of thunder…chasing each other dancing around
note…. perfect harmony.
And then they land on planet Cold Rain and Snow. One visited often by
Shoreline, the hills themselves seemed like they joined the many deadheads
crowd tonight singing along during the chorus. And Phil sung the lead,
not Trey or
Page, and for those of you who don't like Phil's singing, sorry, but when
he belts one
out, well, I am reminded of the "Touch Of Grey" video skeleton-Lesh, it
THAT MUCH like the Grateful Dead. So he doesn't sound like Eddie Vedder.
me, we all can't. But he can do these songs justice, if not grace.
That song, that jam, was gigantic in its own right. Tapers, quick, get
out your 5 best
versions of the Cold Rain And Snow, because they'll have to earn their
alongside this gem. Words truly fail. When the last ringing note of the
reverberation of the Cold Rain silenced, a truly grateful cheer arose
from the crowd,
signaling that yet again, a momentous occasion was allowed to be witnessed,
enjoyed by those so ready and willing to revisit ecstasy. Immediately
to the encore; if Mountain View had their way, I'm sure the concert would
been over, but do the boys let a moment like this end just yet?
"THE JUDGE DECREED IT! THE CLERK HE WROTE IT DOWN!!!!
Fresh from last night's too-short encore, Warren Haynes joined up with
Phil and his
new "best phriends" and they proceeded to rip open another Viola Lee Blues.
one was everything that Aprils was not. Where April's was jazzy, introspective
melodic, this was angular and screaming distortion loops of fury, but
Grateful Dead, and oh how Jerry would have loved it. Waves upon waves
another peak and another, I was beginning to get a little seasick, to
tell you the truth,
but then they pull it back in for one more rousing Viola Lee Coda, and
we all were
thinking the same thing when they sang "I've got a friend somewhere. "
Ah, but as any epic show must, this one two comes to a close after 34545
(approx) of beautiful precision-cut cast-in-digital-stone sickness, but
it leaves many
questions shimmering for the near future. With Phil not yet stating what
his new years
plans are, The Rolling Rider would not blame you if you headed on out
Seminole lands of Big Cypress Florida to ring in the new with the Phishy
boys. Hell, our crew was considering packing it all in to follow Phish
after tonight, but
we too have treats in store for us this fall, with GDTS announcing Phall
Phil Tour for
REAL this time. With Bob and Mickey around the Bay Area for Y2K, you can't
Phil staying close-to-home out. And isn't that the beauty of it all folks?
Phil to follow…
Phil on a trampoline -- Mike, 12:06:39 09/21/99
At 04:03 PM 9/18/99 -0700, MICHAEL LYALL wrote:
Phish just finished a 2-night run at Shoreline and Phil sat in with them
the second night. Phil made his appearance during the second set, shortly
after the crew put out 3 trampolines (the other 2 were for Trey and
Gordon), and sat in for the rest of the show. Phil was actually bouncing
on the trampoline, but bailed out after a short while. First he joined
for a couple of Phish tunes, which included a real nice bass duet with
Gordon. Then they broke into Cold Rain and Snow, with Phil on vocals.
Encore was Viola Lee Blues, with Warren Hayes of Allman Bros and now
Government Mule fame joining in as well.
One thing that really struck me was watching Gordon's and Phil's playing
styles standing right next to each other. Gordon plays like a bassist,
but Phil definitely plays like a lead guitarist. Not just musically, but
also with his fingering. I had listened to people saying for years that
plays like this, and you can definitely hear it in the music, but last
night it just hit me like a thunderclap how special Phil's style is.
As for a detailed show review, I'll leave that for the Phish discussion
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