November 26, 2019

Phish: new archival release 7/23/99 Polaris Amphitheater, Columbus, OH

Another archival Phish release is available for streaming and download: 7/23/99 Polaris Amphitheater, Columbus, OH:

On July 23, 1999 Phish returned to Polaris Amphitheatre for their second show at this 20,000-seat outdoor shed in the Columbus suburbs. It was the 17th show on a 20-date U.S. summer tour. Tickets cost $26.50 and the Friday night show in The Discovery City was sold out.

It was still light out on a sticky Ohio evening when the band took the stage with a rollicking Ya Mar opener, followed by NICU, giving Page back-to-back chances to “play it Leo!” Next came Back At The Chicken Shack > Punch You In The Eye with an extended synthesizer-infused intro, followed by a pretty Fast Enough For You. Strange Design and Possum ushered in the sunset and some ominous storm clouds. A seismic Ghost > Free (the first such combination) started set II as the lightning storm and music grew in intensity. Free landed in synth-soaked cacophony leading to an unhinged Birds Of A Feather as the band played the storm and vice-versa. Ghost > Free > Birds was a frenetic, electric 55-minute journey. The Meatstick followed (during which the band brought a couple fans onstage for the Meatstick Dance) as Trey explained that the Camp Oswego attempt to break the world record for the most people doing the same dance had been unsuccessful. He revealed that they’d try again at Big Cypress as Phish celebrated New Year’s Eve outdoors in Florida to “spread the gospel of the Meatstick.” Fire closed the non-stop, five-song second set. It started raining and grew torrential by the encore, Bouncing Around The Room > Rocky Top as Trey called on Page to “Play it a third time, Leo!” completing the Leo Trio and a(nother) spectacular Columbus show.

Polaris ‘99 was recorded by Paul Languedoc to digital multitrack and mixed by Jon Altschiller.

Setlist and notes from

SET 1: Ya Mar, NICU, Back at the Chicken Shack > Punch You in the Eye[1], Fast Enough for You, Back on the Train, David Bowie, Strange Design, Possum

SET 2: Ghost -> Free > Birds of a Feather > Meatstick > Fire

ENCORE: Bouncing Around the Room > Rocky Top

[1] Trey played keys for part of PYITE.
Trey played keys for part of PYITE. During Meatstick, Trey talked about the band’s desire to teach fans the Meatstick Dance and break the world record. He then informed the crowd that the New Year’s Eve concert would be played in Florida.


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