This week, I want to highlight a couple 2003 shows that don’t get much attention, but should: the fourth show of the year, from 2/14/03, and the fourth-to-last, from 12/28/03. The Valentine’s Day tour opener was overshadowed by the excellent Vegas run that followed, and the amazing statements the band made later in the tour, in Chicago, Cincinnati, Worcester, and Long Island. Likewise, the opening show of the New Year’s run was arguably the weakest of the four, but it has some excellent moments. Let’s get started with the Tweezer, which features some Gilmour-esque licks from Trey early in the jam, followed by some playing that is distinctly Trey:
Next up, the Frankie Says, which was extended well beyond the song’s normal boundaries:
And finally, Suzy Greenberg – I believe the second longest version ever, after 9-14-00. This jam gets dirty. Starting around two minutes into the Part 2 video, Trey launches into what some would call wankery, but what I would call the reason the Monday Morning Video Pick-Me-Up exists: straight up pedal-to-the-metal rock. Shortly afterward, the band goes into some well-placed and beautifully played space. Chris’s lights during this portion are fantastic. Check it out:
From 2-14-03, I want to call your attention the Gin. Truthfully, it’s probably the weakest of the three February ’03 Gins, but that’s only a testament the greatness of 2/22 and 2/28. Remember that this show in LA was just the fifth the band had played together in the previous 28 months. And after the shaky New Year’s run, this jam was the definitive statement that Phish was back.