12/11/99 (Set II…but kind of the whole show)
I like Phish. A lot. So, every couple of Friday's I will post a show/set/segment, that highlights why.
Today is Set II of 12/11/99 (Corestates Spectrum, Philadelphia), but really the entire show is incredible.
After very successful summer and fall tours, the band hit the road in December to warm up for their now iconic Big Cypress millennium shows. The tour was good, albeit slightly inconsistent. However, one show that stands out is this incredible show from Philly. This show is known for its unbelievably raucous crowd, and multiple times throughout the AUD recordings, the cheering crowd almost overpowers the music.
The all-killer-no-filler show opened on a high note with a very intense Harry Hood; a song rarely played in the first set, let alone a show opener. Wasting no time the band went straight into a high powered Mikes Groove. The first set also includes a nuanced rendition of Scent of a Mule (not my favorite song) that is worth several listens.
The second set opens with Stevie Wonder’s Boogie On Reggae Woman. The band is clearly having some fun– as they add a little extra funk to their jam. The band then kicks off an equally funky and powerful Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, beginning nearly an hour of seamless and constant musical exploration. The Sneakin’ jam then segues into the opening notes of Ghost, which turns the show from (in my not-so-humble opinion) great to legendary. The Ghost jam is filled with tight minor mode playing by Trey, with the band following suit. The jam dissolves into a quiet melody before creating an off-the-charts soundscape. The band beautifully and tactfully lost all form of song, and sent the Spectrum into a deep space lysergic journey. We have liftoff! After several minutes of haunting futuristic sounds, Fishman begins the opening drum licks of 2001, kicking off the biggest intergalactic dance-party of the 20th century. The band slows the pace of 2001, creating a gooey-funk-mixed-in-with-the-soundscapey effect. As 2001 slowly goes into a sonic murk, the opening notes of Down with Disease arise. The resulting Disease is a furiously played rendition with a huge fiery peak to end the set.
Put simply, this set– with all its fascinating parts– adds up to a magnificent sum; a singular piece of music that ebbs and flows, and take the audience on a fantastic voyage around the world and back.