Our buddies over at PhishAuds.com just posted a remastered version commemorating the Camden 2000 Fourth of July show. Given that my buddy Pete and I had chatted about this very show on the return trip from High Sierra this weekend, I thought it fitting to ask him to give his run-down of how the show went. Sure, we’ve covered this before, but my memory escaped me and Pete filled me in on the setlist highlights. He’s agreed start writing a bit for this here music rag, too, so expect some more from him in the future. Here’s his first of many columns to come… –Justin
Ah, there’s nothing like seeing your first outdoor Phish shows — even if they occur in the war-zone that is Camden, New Jersey. The show the day before was an incredible eye-opener for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the all-killer no-filler setlist (and the third row pit seats didn’t hurt either). A quick disclaimer: I am a stats dork, so bear with me as I recount my memories from this show. It’s hard to believe it happened over 10 years ago…it seems like only yesterday…
- The crowd was high with anticipation after the 4th of July throwdown that had happened the previous year in Atlanta. It was another beautiful sunny day, and everyone was in an extremely festive mood pre-show.
- People were being especially bold with their bust-out predictions in the lot, as the night before they played the first versions of Foam, Guelah, and Glide in 50+ shows, and the preceding Hartford shows boasted the first Ha Ha Ha, Steep > Swept Away and Buried Alive in a long while.
- Unfortunately, I missed the Star Spangled opener, as I had to wait for a friend who was late to arrive. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever arrived late to another show, and sadly, I would have to wait til Red Rocks ’09 for my first a capella number. I arrived at my seat halfway through the Farmhouse that followed. This felt like an unexpectedly mellow start to the show, and then — BAM! — Rift (I didn’t realize it at the time, but Rift was a bustout as well). And so we were off and running, and it looked to be another killer first set in Camden.
- The old school set continued with solid versions of It’s Ice, The Lizards, Stash, and the last full TMWSIY > Avenu > TMWSIY until Phish 3.0 in the summer of 2009.
- They closed the set with my first ever Julius, which not only always brings down the house, but has a special place in my heart, as it was *the* song that introduced me to Phish.
- Couldn’t tell you a think about set break, other than the fact that spirits were high.
- Nothing more needs to be said about the 2nd set Jibboo opener other than the fact that I called it before they took the stage (not that this was a risky call, since they had been playing it in that slot essentially every other show). I could be wrong on this, but this was the first time Phish really opened up this song and took it into the outer realms of Type II jamming. To this day, it stands tall as the longest Jibboo ever.
- I’ve never been the biggest fan of I Saw It Again (a sentiment I’ve revisited a bit after this summer’s Merriweather rager), but again I’ll never turn down a bustout, so I wasn’t about to complain.
- Magilla was totally out of left field, but completely appreciated. The first since Alpine Summer ’98 (8/1/98, 127 shows ago) and only the third version on U.S. soil since 1994. A nice 3-4 min jazzy interlude which set the stage for….searing versions of Twist and Slave to cap off the 2nd set, and a nice reminder of the Ghost -> Slave from exactly a year before.
- A very fitting Lawn Boy > GTBT encore, complete with fireworks going off inside the pavilion to the opening notes of GTBT. Needless to say, the crowd went nuts.
- The post show mood can only be described as euphoric. Everyone was extremely grateful for the two glorious nights that Phish had just put together in Camden, and every other minute someone was shooting off fireworks of one kind or another.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better two-night run as my only summer shows until post-hiatus. I haven’t listened to either Camden show in a few years, but in case you can’t tell from my reminiscing, there’s no doubt in my mind that they still hold up on tape. Get them now if you haven’t already!