Welcome back to the Video of the Week! Every Friday, we will highlight a video with a brief recap of the show it is from and what makes it interesting, noteworthy or simply fun. With the help of Dan Saewitz from Phishvids.com, we hope to keep the stream of videos coming at you entertaining and interesting. Have a cool video you’d like to suggest? Interested in contributing a review yourself? Please feel free to PM me and we’d be more than happy to get your input. In a stroke of serendipity, our choice last week of the David Bowie from 11-02-1990 was on the recently released Live Bait. Thanks for reading and watching.
In a show largely forgotten due to the following monumental festival that was Big Cypress and the previous years’ (‘97 and ‘98) Hampton shows, 12/18/99 is a hidden gem. The weeks leading up to the two night run at The Mothership were filled with hype and excitement from what many fans started to refer to as “The Hampton Factor”.
After a less-than-stellar first night, the show kicks off with only the second “Hood” opener since 1989 at 320 Spear Street (the first being a mere seven days earlier in Philadelphia). Trey quickly jumps in to Jimmy Smith’s “Back at the Chicken Shack”. This is one of only eight performances ever, ranging from late 1998 to early 2000. The crowd knew it was on. As Chicken Shack rolls to a stop, Trey starts up “Dog Log”. It was a heartened performance accompanied by a cannon of cheers. At the end, Trey dedicates Dog Log to Paul Languedoc, Phish’s [ex] soundman and guitar/bass builder, and remarks how it is his favorite song. “As a matter of fact he likes it so much, we’ll play it again!” They then play the first few bars of the song before stopping and flying into a ripping "Tube". The set continues with other 1999 necesseties such as “Heavy Things”, “Back on the Train”, “First Tube”, and “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, before closing out with a quintessential “You Enjoy Myself”.
The second set featured an array of classics opening with “2001” and ending with “Mike’s Groove”. A “Ya Mar” and “Sleeping Monkey” encore truly proved that Hampton Comes Alive. Fans walked out that night satisfied and excited for the Big Cypress New Years Festival.
A few recollections from the evening from Phish.net staff:
@pnazzaro: "The evening of 12/18/99 at Hampton Coliseum holds several distinctions: A "Harry Hood" show opener had been a rare treat in the second half of the 90's. A young "First Tube" that I somehow labelled as "First Thought" on my master DAT that was excavated for this blurb. An extended and extra spacey "Also Sprach Zarathustra". A muscular and powerful "Mike's Song". A surprise Weekapaug-> Buffalo Bill> Weekapaug sandwich (which is nothing really special, musically). And as a totality of a show, it was the last rave-up before that magical weekend in the Florida Everglades.
But most importantly, it was the unofficial album release party for the second-most witty album title/concept ever. And the nods at Frampton during Also Sprach Zarathustra bear that out.
@ScottyB: "You think Phish fans like to hype upcoming shows? Well just imagine the hype leading into two nights at the Mothership after the band threw the fuck down at that venue for the two years prior. Those who had missed the '97 and '98 runs made sure not to miss the '99 run. Everyone talked about the "Hampton Factor" and we all expected the best of the best. Unfortunately, Phish shit the bed the first night. In what was their worst performance to date at the venue, there were no debuts, bustouts and they didn't play well to complete the trifecta. We all went back to our rooms and shook our heads at what we just witnessed. How did that happen? Would that trend continue the next night?
Harry Hood, Back at the Chicken Shack, Dog Log, Tube immediately made it clear "The Hampton Factor" was in full effect for night two. The band played well and were inventive with the setlist. A rare first set-closing YEM was the icing on the opening stanza cake. Shit got real in Set Two with the Frampton tease we all knew was coming after Phish named their album Hampton Comes Alive and the Weekapaug was INSANE. Now THAT'S how you end a tour before heading down to Florida for the Millennium.
@sethadam1: I was at the show and I remember it perfectly. I was sitting in the second to last row of the upper bowl, Page side, there was a Hood opener and then BATCS kicked in. It was most certainly not my favorite song, but in retrospect, it was one of the last performances of this little bluesy number, and it was great in the "second song" position. The Hampton '99 shows are overlooked largely because they are way overshadowed by both the previous Hampton shows (97 and 98) and the Big Cypress festival that immediately followed, but this night was full of interesting twists and turns. Dog Log, Buffalo Bill, etc, made this an unpredictable setlist. A bombtastic 2001 opened set 2.
But, back to Chicken Shack and Dog Log, obviously, neither show has seen its 3.0 debut yet, and both were fairly exciting - and bustouts - at the time too.
Video by the immortal. great, and awesome Silverchair97.
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