When Phish came back from their hiatus, the band played a mediocre New Year’s Run that left some fans wondering what was to come. But after two weeks in February, during which the band stepped up its game considerably, much of the community believed again. This was the only domestic winter or spring tour since 1994, and the frigid crossing of the nation brought a different feel to the two week journey. But each night, Phish’s playing warmed up the audiuence with increasingly creative playing and considerable on-stage risk taking. And by the end of the short tour, there were plenty of musical highlights to look back on. Enjoy these ten selections for this Tuesday, celebrating the band’s return to the road nine years ago.
“Mike’s” still had girth when the band came back in 2003, as it opened this second set in Cincy—nine years ago today—with plenty of filthy grooves.
“Tweezer” 2.20 II
Though Nassau’s gem gets the most focus of any “Tweezer” from Winter ’03, this Chicago rendition—the first of tour—is a dissonant and diabolical ride.
“Piper” 2.16 II
This Vegas “Piper” highlighted a big weekend in Vegas that symbolized the true return of Phish to the community at large.
“Twist” 2.24 II
A dark horse ride to outer space from East Rutherford’s second set, though much of the crowd was already blues’d out by BB King’s first set marathon sit-in.
“Bathtub Gin” 2.22 II
One of the most original and cohesive jams of Winter Tour, as the band pushed into a nouveau ambient-Phishtronica.
This sequence was the improvisational centerpiece of the band’s returned to The Centrum in Worcester.
“Seven Below” 2.20 II
With the above “Tweezer,” this “Seven Below” jam anchored the second set at Rosemont.
“Down With Disease” 2.21 I
An often-overlooked jam that got things rocking quickly in the first set of four on a snowy weekend in Cincinatti.
Tags: 2003, Jams, TTFF