The Bombs Bursting In Air

7.4.99 Lakewood (B.Bina)

7.4.99 Lakewood (B.Bina)

July 4th Phish- an idea as American as apple pie- yet throughout their entire career, Phish and The 4th of July only met twice.  While New Year’s Eve and Halloween were sacred placeholders in the Phish calender, the band traditionally skipped the summer holiday.  From their inception through 1998, they had never hosted a birthday party for America.  But finally, in 1999, the band changed this pattern and merged two of our favorite summertime celebrations.  Once announced in ’99, everyone circled the two-night stand at Lakewood as must see shows, marking the first occurrence of patriotic Phish.

Coincidentally, July 4th was the fourth show of the tour, and the band followed up a strong July 3rd outing with a classic second set to celebrate our freedom and our way of life.  Foll0wing an underwhelming first set, everyone knew the second half was going to blow up huge.  There is a certain excitement to a set break after the band has played a straight-forward opening frame.  On this night, you just knew that the second set would be one to remember.  Throw in the significance of the national holiday and you had a recipe for some Phishy fireworks.

phish-atlanta-99-pollockThe opening “Ghost > Slave” combination of the second set traveled the spectrum of Phish music, from the darkest dance grooves to the most cathartic peak.  An adventure all unto itself, this portion of the show was a high point of the entire summer.  Transforming the patient bulbous rhythms of “Ghost” into the sublime opening melodies of “Slave,” Phish passed through some of the most stunning musical moments to emanate from their stage and accomplished one of the greatest segues in band history.  As they slid into the beginning of “Slave,” the transition was so smooth you almost didn’t realize it was happening- then just like that- you found yourself swimming in the song.  This was one of those moments that was so surreal, you couldn’t really know what was happening.  Akin to the emotional dynamic of “Disease > Mike’s” from Raleigh ’97, thoughts ceased and feelings flowed.  Pure inner emotion rose  as Phish orchestrated the masterful transition while channeling the higher powers.  It was this psychedelic joyride that provided the poignant musical depths of the second set; from here on out, things would feel more like a party.

Using “Horse > Silent” as a composed interlude, Phish promptly moved into one of the summer’s staple soundscapes- “What’s the Use?”  Off the recently released “Siket Disc,” Phish used the eerie song to create an ominous, post-apocalyptic vibe.  Answering their own call, the band followed with a rare, mid-set “Wilson,” getting the crowd re-juiced for what was to come.  Getting downright dirty in the “metal” section, the energy at Lakewood took on an entirely new quality at this point.  About midway through the song, I thought that it was the perfect set up for the drop into a late-set “Mike’s”- and lo and behold, the band and I were on the same page.

1999-07-04moImploding the pavilion with its opening riffs, “Mike’s Song” had everyone primed for blast off.  And when we launched, it was good.  Progressing from sinister to straight up candy-grooves, the “Mike’s” jam provided the most slammin’ dance music of the night to cap the show.  Moving into “Sleeping Monkey” then “Weekapaug,” Phish had put on quite the celebratory bash.  Returning for the encore, they segued out of “Carini” into a “Meatstick Reprise,” returning from its debut the night before.  Wrapping up the weekend in fine style, Phish emerged for their second encore in stars and stripes to wish the country a happy birthday with “The Star Spangled Banner.”  Following a night full of musical fireworks, there were some real ones, taboot.

2000-07-04mo1Phish followed up their lone July 4th performance with another the very next year.  This time, capping a two-night stand at Camden, Phish churned out one of the most improvisational sets of the summer as a tribute to Uncle Sam and the birthplace of America across the river in Philadelphia.  On the heels of ’99’s July 4th throwdown, one could sense this would be more than your normal show.

phish-e-center-00Phish’s second consecutive July 4th set differed from the heavy song-based jamming in ’99, and morphed into an improvisational journey through several Phishy realms.  Seemingly a joke, the band opened their holiday set with the 108th “Gotta Jibboo” of the summer.  Pushing this tune as if it were a top forty hit, the band was bringing it out every other night of tour.  One might have thought that July 4th would have been an exception, but it wasn’t.  However, the constant repetition of the song was soon forgotten when the jam kicked in.  Spring-boarding into a high paced and celebratory jam, the band stayed within the song structure for a while before departing into some faster, funk-based, rhythms resembling a summertime “Antelope.”  This section of the jam highlighted hard-hitting grooves before giving way to a darker and more abstract feel.  Gradually spinning this jam into the introductory rhythms of “I Saw It Again,” Phish had taken the most commonplace song of the tour and turned it into a 30 minute epic.

Juxtaposing the grooves of “Jibboo” withe the heavy rock and roll of “I Saw It Again,” the band continued their musical contrast as they wound their improv towards hints of “Magilla?!”  Yup- right out of 40 minutes of madness, Phish slid into Page’s jazz composition; some cool relief to the hairy adventure that had preceded.  As the bebop subsided, the band opened the ambient intro to another Summer 2000 anthem, “Twist.”  Wrapping up the standard “Twist” textures, the band continued to improvise into a dark and slow medium, potentially hinting at a colossal July 4th Free.  This ominous music progressed into seemingly composed improv, as the band offered evil and abstract music on this celebratory day.

(Photo: Rolling Stone)

(Photo: Rolling Stone)

Yet, when the darkness wound down into a dronish silence, the opening notes of “Slave” were barely made out behind the sonic residue.  Returning the set to a point of triumph, this “Slave” provided the melodic peak to the entire set.  Nodding at ’99’s epic version, Phish built the set-closer while raising the roof with their musical arrival.  Chock full of improvisation and supported by the biggest anthems of Summer 2000, this set never lagged for a second. Topped with a double encore of “Lawnboy” and “Good Times, Bad Times” (complete with an in-pavilion rhythmic fireworks intro!), this July 4th show was one that would go down in history.

With Phish’s flair for the dramatic, it is certainly odd that we haven’t seen more July 4th parties over the years.  Perhaps the band always reserved the date for their own backyard barbecues; we will never really know.  With no show scheduled this July 4th, 2009, one wonders if we will ever see another Phish show on America’s birthday.  Regardless, no one can take away our two outstanding evenings of patriotic revelry in Atlanta and Camden in the waning years of the 20th century.



7.4.99 Lakewood, Atlanta, GA < TORRENT LINK

I: My Soul, Ya Mar, Farmhouse, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > AC/DC Bag, The Wedge, Vultures, I Didn’t Know, Fast Enough For You, David Bowie (1:23)

II: Ghost > Slave to the Traffic Light, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, What’s the Use, Wilson, Mike’s Song > Sleeping Monkey > Weekapaug Groove

E1: Carini,  Meatstick Reprise*

E2: The Star Spangled Banner#

*Chorus-only reprise; with crew and fans on stage doing “The Meatstick Dance”; after the song, others leave Trey and Mike on-stage to do the dance alone. #A cappella; band in stars-and-stripes (Fish: boxers; Trey and Page: pants and vests; Mike: tank-top underneath, revealed during the song); ended with eruption of fireworks.

Source: Schoeps cmc6/mk4v > Lunatec V2 > Tascam DA-P1 (@ 48 kHz)


7.4.00 E Center, Camden, NJ < TORRENT LINK

I: 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

II: Gotta Jibboo > I Saw It Again > Magilla > Twist,  Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Lawn Boy##, Good Times Bad Times

*A cappella. **With “Star-Spangled Banner” teases by Trey. ##Page wished everyone a Happy 4; then pyrotechnics went off on stage and in pavilion.

Source: Unknown

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210 Responses to “The Bombs Bursting In Air”

  1. msbjivein Says:

    “Customer” It means you have money the wooks can take.

  2. R1 Says:

    ^Wax Banks – do those mixes have track info?

  3. guyforget Says:

    that’s hilarious!!!! please use in a sentence so i can truly laught my ass of. I love to think that some fucking doped out stoner thinks he has the upper hand on me at anything!! Great stuff!

  4. guyforget Says:

    laugh my ass off….

  5. Jay Says:

    custy as in lot custy. Dude, here comes some custy’s! let’s get them to buy our MGD 40’s.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    Check out this 2.5 gram eighth he just scored, he got “custied” out

    ^^usage as a verb 😉

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ guy:
    “custy” = “customer” for lot kidz to sell drugs to

  8. R1 Says:

    ^or not drugs, as the case may be

  9. whole tour! Says:

    i agree about not liking the prospect of this place being overrun with phantasy tour people looking for a new “hang out.” Good to know miner is watching out!

    I have never in my life posted over at phantasy tour due to the immature showing off and negativity that occurs there daily. If the phelps story is true it is sad that some asshat felt the need to show off in that disgusting manner, but it illustrates perfectly the whole “look at me, i’m the coolest” attitude over there. Who the hell would brag about something that terrible? Phelps seems like a cool guy who’s career was ruined by the greed and immaturity of others.

    I also have never in my life heard actual live people (not on the internet) ever say “custy” or “noob.” The word “custy” in of itself is a derogatory term. One used by people who would brag about the fact that they sling drugs, thus in their mind making themselves seem superior to the people they happen to sell shit to. Most of the time people who use the word “custy” also feel like it gives them the right to sell bunk shit to someone they deem below themselves, which thus destroys the scene.

    Noone i know ever uses the terms “noobs” or “custy”….they are words that in of themselves describe the general attitude over at Phantasy Tour IMHO.

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    I’m making t-shirts that say CUSTY on the front and NOOBIER THAN THOU on the back because I’m way kewler than anyone who ever lived.

  11. guyforget Says:

    thanks for the lesson guys. hyterical!. I know what T shirt i’m getting made and wearing all summer…

    “I’M WITH CUSTY –>”

  12. guyforget Says:

    Dude, bingos, you beat my by half a second….:)

  13. Jay Says:

    It’s people like that in the lot that turned my GF off to Phish. The hilarious thing is PT requires 24 wait period berfore you post. LMAO!

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    I’m diggin that shit guy. Remind me not to stand next to you though.

  15. Pete Says:

    So anyone know what officially happened to Phantasy Tour???

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    PT servers probly crashed due to traffic is all. Or were taken down to avoid scrutiny. The story that links to PT made the top screen of Google news earlier today which is worth like a billion hits.

    My friends and I use n00b and custy all the time but we do it ironically, more or less, i.e. not seriously, basically laughing at w00ks and lot rats. But then as a founding member of the internet generation I am required to do everything ironically.

    IMO “n00b” is a perfectly cromulent word – but to me it is no insult since we were all n00bs once. They just need some experience to embiggen their mind. n00bs require extra patience, maybe, and a little babysitting when they come off their first hose and wonder WTF is going on and where their old reality went.

    I like the verb form of custy as in “don’t get custied” which is actually great advice for n00bs. “I’m taking my little bro to his first shows at Jones Beach, I need to hang with him aftershow so he won’t get custied since he’s a total n00b.”

    Anyone who uses it seriously – like “haha you n00b custy I am headier than you” is a complete tool and douchebag, end of story

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    on the other hand someone that’s been to several shows and still acts like a n00b – well they deserve to get custied I guess eh?

  18. kingshaffy Says:

    HA! SO funny…I had a nitrous balloon at Jones beach at a phil and friends/trey show and some dirty Wook called me a custy. I said “WTF does that mean?” He said, “you have money to buy that crap.” And I responded something like “and after I inhale 300 more baloons I’ll still have more brain cells than you.”

    I look at being called a custie as a positive. Its basically being called a Phan with a job and ticket to the show – which is much better than a wook with dirty toes and a meth addiction.

  19. Jay Says:

    I can afford to be a custy “Cause I got a Degree!”

  20. Jay Says:

    So, I guess a custy is anyone who buys anything in the lot. Real tour rats trade or wookies bring their own are the mottos I guess.

  21. guyforget Says:

    and more money! Kingshaffy, that’s what i’m getting out of this whole thing. It is SOO funny!!. If some “lot rat” calls me a “custy” this summer, i’m going to knock his fucking teeth out which haven’t seen a dentist since pre-hiatus!! Then i’m going to take his shit and give it away to all the “custies”…for free.
    SOAM – where you at?

  22. guyforget Says:

    ^^ i guess i mean “wook” instead of lot rat. Ha. Best discussion ever.

  23. EL Duderino Says:

    It’s all infantile!!! This is what gives Phish phans a bad name… douches saying shit like that!

  24. guyforget Says:

    i’m just kidding dude….

  25. whole tour! Says:

    lol…it is pretty funny.

    originally the words newbie, which turned into “NooB”, AND Customer, which turned into “Custy” were somewhat legit. But their overuse and their constant use with put downs have turned them into played out lot trash lingo.

    When people get pissed at someone on the internet i often see pharases such as “Your a F**king custy ass noob” or “i custied this one NooB out of $100 selling him pieces of notebook paper and his custy ass thought he was tripping balls.”

    both have turned into derogatory terms IMO. There is so much headier than thou hate that has shown up around the concert scene in recent years. This shit never happened when i first started seeing the band. People feel the need to always be viewed as more significant than someone simply based on the fact that they have seen more shows or done more substances….it’s all somewhat childish IMHO.

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