Happy Independence Day from Live Music Blog!
It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago today I was seeing Phish at the E Centre in Camden, NJ, celebrating what was probably my favorite 4th of July as an “adult” so far. It was the sixth show in a long East Coast run that I spent with various groups of my favorite people, all without much of a care in the world. This six-show run was probably the closest I ever got to going “on tour” with the band, and I feel blessed to have had the free time and money to pull it off. Beyond getting to the next show, we really had no other goals than to have a blast. And that we did.
Capping off that entire run was a special Independence Day celebration at the E-Centre in Camden, NJ, which had slowly become one of Phish’s key stomping grounds on the East Coast. The band kicked off the show with an a cappella version of the “Star Spangled Banner” and everything after that was like a perfect reminder of why live music + summer = one of the best combinations in existence.
Of course the highlight of the show was the mammoth second set opener, a nearly 30-minute “Gotta Jiboo” followed by a killer sequence of songs you could only hear at a Phish show. I included “Saw It Again” and “Magilla” because they’re my favorites of the second set:
- Phish – Gotta Jiboo (live, 7-4-2000) > [mp3]
- Phish – Saw It Again (live, 7-4-00) > [mp3]
- Phish – Magilla (live, 7-4-00) [mp3]
This “Gotta Jiboo” seriously kicked up the energy level and pushed the song and the band to their outer limits of improv. I like to think of this Jiboo in three large waves or movements. While each wave has a different sound and feel, the band maintains a pretty consistent high energy throughout the entire song.
Part I is the standard song portion, with the steady “Jiboo” groove and noodling guitar solo that perfectly fits the feel-good summertime vibe. Part II (around minute 11:30) finds the band changing keys and turning the standard, “happy Jiboo” sound on its end so they can head into darker, funkier territory. But unlike slower, swampier funk jams, this one stays pretty high-energy.
This audience recording is also a great example of why I often still like the auds over the crisp-sounding soundboard recordings. You can hear the audience reaction to every change of rhythm and key. At about minute 15:30, Fishman kicks in a steady beat on one of his drum kit toys and the audience chimes in. Then about three minutes later, the band locks into a chopping rhythmic groove and the audience again catches on, this time with clapping in-sync with the music, similar to the standard claps during “Stash.”
As the audience quiets down, they slowly start to morph back into a lighter, more major key “Part III” (around minute 19-20:00). With Mike’s “Jiboo” bassline, the band could easily head back into the song’s chorus and finish it off. But they don’t. They head back into the improv, with Trey showing off some serious guitar pyrotechnics and moving the song into arena rock territory. The energy keeps building and they proceed into that chaotic noise-rock that is a Phish staple. Each member meanders on a few different themes until they somehow drop into a familiar nasty groove. I’m using groove in the loosest sense, because this groove is dark and scary (can someone say “devil’s music”). The band then appropriately drops into the chaotic progression of “Saw it Again.”
The sequence that follows is one that shows off the band’s versatility. One minute, it’s the dirty rock of “Saw It Again” and the next minute they’re playing a mellow outro that segues into the straight-forward piano jazz of “Magilla.” It’s patented Phish, and in my opinion, a perfect way to celebrate our nation’s Independence.
If you want to check out the entire show, you can grab it in three separate parts (as .rar files via mediafire):
Setlist (via Phish.net):
07-04-00 E Centre, Camden, NJ
1: Star-Spangled Banner*, Farmhouse, Rift, It’s Ice**, Bouncing Round the Room, Stash, Lizards, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Julius (1:10)
2: Gotta Jibboo -> I Saw It Again -> Magilla# > Twist, Slave to the Traffic Light (1:10)
E: Lawn Boy##, Good Times Bad Times (0:09)
*A cappella. **With “Star-Spangled Banner” teases by Trey. #Followed by feedback that led into “Twist.” ##Page wished everyone a Happy 4; then pyrotechnics went off on stage and in pavilion.
Enjoy, and have a happy and safe 4th of July!