Tour Stop: The Crown

"The Crown" - Cincinati, OH

"The Crown" - Cincinati, OH

Looking past Festival 8, Phish will soon return to one of their Midwestern homes – “The Crown” (now called US Bank Arena) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Adding the arena to their routing in Fall ’98, Phish played four more shows there before pulling up short in 2004. The Crown doesn’t usually enter into discussions of classic Phish venues, yet, slowly but surely, that is exactly what it’s become.  Hosting one of four multi-night parties of Fall Tour ’09, The Crown will again glow with the aura of the Phish.

November 14, 1998

2.21.03 (Unknown)

2.21.03 (Unknown)

Fall ’98 contained a seven show Midwestern run that Phish’s capped off with their first performance at Cincinnati’s downtown venue. Coming off a stellar UIC run and stops in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cleveland, the band arrived in southern Ohio for a Saturday night gig. The first half contained serious versions of “Reba” and “Tweezer,” balancing the night’s improvisational highlights between the two sets. Reversing their usual pattern, Phish opened the second half with a colossal “David Bowie,” rousing the crowd with its ominous complexity. Tactfully, the band juxtaposed “Bowie’s” ordered chaos with a tranquil splash into The Beatles’ “Something,” calming the opening storm.

The second-set “You Enjoy Myself” stands out as the other significant piece of improv from Phish’s virgin visit to Cincy’s central part of town. As the jam dropped, Trey looped a rhythm lick and then began narrating a solo atop his own groove. This innovative style brought an added layer to “YEM’s” textured funk. And for an encore, the band surprised everyone by debuting The Police’s “So Lonely,” a classic track off of their first album Outlandos d’Amour. All in all, Phish’s first visit to The Crown provided a whole lot of fun and some indelible highlights. The vibe of the arena provided an added bonus, as ushers were non-existent, allowing fans to dance wherever they wanted to – a factor contributing to all of the quality experiences had at The Crown over the years.

December 3 & 4, 1999

2.21.03 (M.Hommes)

2.21.03 (M.Hommes)

Potentially due to this fan-friendly feel, Phish made The Crown a two-night stop along their climactic run of December ’99. Following a tour-opening blowout at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Phish moved south for a weekend stand in Cincy. Building momentum for Big Cypress throughout these shows, The Crown’s two nights brought more than a few “millennial” highlights, showcasing the band’s dissonant psychedelia. The first night, as usual, dove far deeper and darker, with the second set being the unquestionable gem of the weekend.

Opening with a ferocious “Sand,” Phish presented their first of many standout December ’99 versions that culminated at Big Cypress. Not slowing their creativity, the band followed the full-on, textured grooves with an incredibly exploratory “Limb By Limb” that certainly ranks among the best-ever. Moving beyond any conventional “Limb” jam into a section of deep ambient space while carrying melodic undertones, this version belongs in the record books – a truly transcendent piece of music. Phish closed out the set with a hugely aggressive “Piper” and a profound 20-minute “Hood” that dipped its ladle into ’99’s sonic ambiance as well. Composed of four significant pieces of standout improv with “Bug” as a breather in the middle, this set is among the best of December ’99.

2.22.03 (Unknown)

2.22.03 (Unknown)

The band came back Saturday night with a comparatively tame show that included only one standout jam – the second set “Split Open and Melt.” With their “millennial” sound peaking, Phish veered into a scintillating segment of psychedelic space-groove in one of the song’s best renditions of the year. The only other significant jam came in the blistering “Bowie” that closed the set. This Saturday-night-special catered to the weekend crowd with a lot of songs, and not a whole lot of improv. Even when they broke out a first set “Tweezer,” it remained quite contained with a simple build and peak. Nonetheless, the other-worldy “Split” defined this show, and provided another indelible memory at The Crown.

February 21 & 22, 2003

The next time Phish pulled into their Cincinnati home in February of 2003, the game had completely changed. Phish had taken their hiatus, and were now on their first tour since Fall ‘2000. As Phish regained their groove over this Winter tour, the Cincinnati weekend immediately stood out as the strongest nights of the tour up to that point. With another Friday / Saturday combo, The Crown instantly became a winter weekend destination for Phish fans across the nation. And when the band completed their fourth and fifth shows at The Crown, there were many outbound travelers leaving the city blissed out.

2.22.03 (Unknown)

2.22.03 (Unknown)

The first night boasted an exciting setlist from start to finish. Highlight jams in the opening frame included a massive mid-set “Disease” and the hottest “Antelope” that had reared its horns in the 2.0 era. But Phish upped the ante in the second set, as they came out with the tour’s first “Mike’s Song” – a raunchy 15-minute rendition that destroys anything the band has produced from the song in 2009. Without choosing a classic “Groove” connector, they instead used a monstrous segment of distorted music to segue into “Free;” a bombastic combo that almost blew the roof off the place.

After stopping off in “Waste,” the band continued the fireworks, crafting an intro to “2001” in which Trey quoted Bach as the band blasted into the first “2001” of tour – totally surreal stuff. Infusing the set with a consistent danceability, Phish let loose in a session of serious collaborative grooves that kept the venue bumping. The band already possessed tight communication – a far cry from their comeback run – as they sculpted a superb set. Merging celestial soundtracks, Phish moved from the peak of “2001” into the always-ethereal “Harry Hood,” completing a phenomenal segment of Phish. The set continued with “All Of These Dreams,” “Possum,” and ended with “Cavern.” No “Weekapaug?” A “Velvet Sea” encore left the vicious “Mike’s” hanging without a “Weekapaug ” – a very rare occurrence in Phish history. The Crown’s ’03 reunion had commenced, and as people dispersed to the downtown hotels, spirits soared.

2.22.03 (Unknown)

2.22.03 (Unknown)

A “Sloth” opener on Saturday gave an aggressive kick-start to the opening of the show, foreshadowing bigger things to come. A third-song “Piper” blossomed into a scorching piece of improv, making it seem like we were deep in the second set. The band carried the fast-paced jam into even quicker tempos, immersing themselves in an exploratory piece that organically, and seamlessly, wound up in a wild “Weekapaug,” closing out the “Groove” from the previous night! Believe it or not, this is the only time “Weekapaug” has ever appeared in a show without “Mike’s,” and this nugget of Phishiness pumped the already excited crowd into a frenzy. The band was clearly embarking on a very special show.

The second set of Saturday night’s affair still stands out as one of the best frames of the entire Winter ’03 tour, highlighted by a crack-like ‘Tube” jam, a centerpiece “Bathtub Gin” that broke electro-ambient ground, and a late-set “Bowie” that showcased the band’s intricate connectedness. With a distinct flow from start to finish, this five-song frame concluded with the reflective denouement of “Bug.” A “Suzy” encore put a fun cap on two very significant nights at The Crown.

To honor Phish’s history at The Crown and their upcoming visit, I have compiled “Miner’s Picks: The Crown,” totaling over five hours of Cincy jams. The links and track listing are below.

MINER’S PICKS: THE CROWN < Torrent

MINER’S PICKS: THE CROWN < Megaupload

image00911.14.1998

1.”Reba” I

2,3. “Tweezer > Moma” II

4, “David Bowie” II

5.”Something” II

6. “You Enjoy Myself” II

7,8. “So Lonely > Tweezer Reprise” E

12.3.99

9. “Slave to the Traffic Light” I

10. “Down With Disease” I

11. “Antelope” I

12. “Sand” II

13. “Limb By Limb” II

14. “Harry Hood” II

image00412.4.99

15. “Split Open and Melt” II

2.21.03

16,17. “Mike’s > Free” II

18,19. “2001 > Hood” II

2.22.03

20,21. “Piper > Weekapaug” I

22. “Tube” II

23. “Bathtub Gin” II

24. “David Bowie” II

(Note: I had to pull low bitrate versions of good sources for the post-hiatus stuff, since I only have the SBDs archived. My apologies.)

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Limb By Limb” 12.3.99 II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2-02-Limb-By-Limb.mp3]

Check it out.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.14.98 The Crown, Cincinnati, OH < Torrent

11.14.98 The Crown, Cincinnati, OH < Megaupload

I: Funky Bitch, My Soul, Reba, Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer > The Moma Dance, Sparkle, Character Zero

II: David Bowie, Something, Piper, Golgi Apparatus, Guyute, Hold Your Head Up > Sexual Healing > Hold Your Head Up, You Enjoy Myself, Julius, Hello My Baby

E: So Lonely* > Tweezer Reprise

*debut

Source: M.Gefell m210->Lunatec V2->AD1000->DAP-1 @48khz

Tags: ,

247 Responses to “Tour Stop: The Crown”

  1. Chuck D Says:

    Heh… that one went right over my head. Had to wiki cufflink 😉

  2. beepaphone Says:

    took me a sec too..the word link made me think they were renting out wireless hookups for the weekend….then i realized what a buncha smartasses they are

  3. Chonz Says:

    The Crown was home to my 50th show in 1998 and my only 2.0 shows in 2003. I don’t think I’ve ever relistened to that 98 show and look forward to downloading it when I get back home tonight. Wish I could afford to do the weekend in Cincy this year, but Indio is going to tap me out for the rest of fall tour.

  4. fat bastard Says:

    i miss AW

  5. Robear Says:

    ^markets down, give him time, he’ll be back…

  6. Chuck D Says:

    I miss AW too, especially his haiku-like phrasing and sharp wit. No one can haiku on the fly like adub.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    anybody else seen this pic? Pretty funny even though it is most definitely photoshopped…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27300502@N04/4016711445/

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    what is cufflink rental?

  9. morecowbell (aka jay) Says:

    The new protestant reformation? Love Jerry and please pass the Phish?

  10. bhizzle Says:

    Type III – thanks for sharing that’s sweet.

    “haiku-like phrasing and sharp wit” – described to the T

    @Little Buddy – The better half just got Stevie Wonder tix for her parents at Ticket Express, basically the Auditorium ticket booth. I asked her to ask if they’ll be selling Phish’s Syracuse show. They said yes. I think I’ll be standing in that line if the Lotto God isn’t with me this time around.

  11. beepaphone Says:

    @ Miner – literally cufflink eg suit man jewelry rental.

    surely a joke

  12. fat bastard Says:

    miner didnt get the joke either? ha

  13. Little Buddy Says:

    @bhizzle

    Nice. I’m there with you! I’ll bring the coffee and donuts…

    We were thinking of going to that Stevie show but it’s pricey, no? Like $85?

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    to the tune of ocelot –

    “aw aw where have you gone?”

  15. halcyon Says:

    festivalography part 1 is cool … thanks for the link sumodie..

  16. Little Buddy Says:

    Big game this weekend, halcyon. i hope the D can out some early hits on Brees.

  17. bhizzle Says:

    @Little Buddy..yes indeed. we’re not going to see. We’re just driving and I will prolly roll some dice while we’re there. Her mom loves Stevie. It might end up being cheaper to watch the show….wink

  18. fira Says:

    WHAT ABOUT THE WALLS OF THE CAVE JAM? THAT SHIT WAS BANANAS.

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    so Verizon is def the way to go, though you need to buy a $200 piece of hardware if you dont have a phone contract. For At and T. the shittier coverage, you need a separate contract- my phone contract means nada….weird.

  20. beepaphone Says:

    Ask around….maybe someone can lend you one just for the weekend.

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    Mr. C –

    This Darkstar mix is insane!!

  22. morecowbell (aka jay) Says:

    the sound on the phestivalography DL is decent to me. Not sure what people are complaining about.

  23. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    @miner
    If you have a verizon phone with data plan already, you can get an add-on tethering solution, that’s much cheaper than the crappy aircards.

  24. halcyon Says:

    you bet little buddy….I have to work Sunday night so I will only get to see the 1st half. This game should be fun. Let’s hope the D shows up to play.

    Do you remember the Big Blue Wrecking Crew posters from the 80’s. It had the defense sitting around all sorts of caterpillar equipment?

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ VT- right, but I have an AT & T contract / iPhone

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