If you'd rather just look at the pictures, you can browse the entire picture directory. Otherwise, scroll down, read, click, and enjoy.
This site recently moved to my home linux machine (johngreene.org) and should be a little faster than UMass site.
All setlists courtesy of Dan Hantman's PHISH-INFO mailing list.
-jg (July 8, 2000)
Part 1 -- Phish tour Japan 2000
Until a month ago, I'd never been farther west than California. Hell, I didn't manage to get to Europe until last summer. Suffice to say, I didn't consider myself much of a traveller. Well, all that changed on June 7th when we boarded United Airlines Flight 853 to Tokyo, Japan. It didn't really hit me until we were actually on the plane and the video screen showed our flight trajectory. Not 24 hours before, I was working the BEA booth at JavaOne and trying to tie up a dozen loose ends at work. But then it really hit me. We were about to fly for 11 hours over the pacific...
For those of you who didn't know, the original purpose of this trip was just a vacation... to see 5 Phish shows in Japan from 6/9 through 6/15. Phish then added two more shows for a total of 7 (June 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16). When I informed my superiors that I would be in Japan and "was there anything I could do while I was out there?", the vacation turned into a vacation/work double-shot: 7 Phish shows, 3 days of work in Yokahama, 2 in Seoul, and 3 in Sydney.
I've been seeing Phish for 10 years now. Actually, my 2nd show was 10/6/90 (my 20th bday), and in a couple months... 10 years later... I'll be seeing them at Shoreline on 10/6/2000. So much has happened in 10 years... wow... but I digress...
The plane wasn't completely full so we rearranged ourselves such that the 3 of us were sharing 4 seats in the center section. Heather slept for most of the flight while Rob and I got silly on bloody marys and watched the in-flight movies. One of them was that one about the making of Citizen Kane -- RKU something or other -- that was pretty cool. Other than that, the flight was pretty uneventful. I met some southern guy who was apparently into tech. stocks, although he didn't know about BEAS ;) I wonder if he bought any shares.
When we landed it was about 3:35p local time... we were all pretty out of it, but we had a plan! See we had all these maps... the guy who lived upstairs from Heather and me (Bryan) lived in Japan for 8 years, so he hooked us up will all kinds of maps and things... he basically made us a trip-tick from heaven. It was in the form of a little binder. Each city we were visiting had its own page in the binder. He helped us make reservations at Ryokans and hotels, and he made us Japanese flash cards for the taxi drivers so we could just get places without knowing anything. He even made us Japanese maps of all the concert venues to augment the small maps provided by the concert promoters. So we had our plan... we knew where we were going... we had to take the Airport train to Tokyo station. Of course, even with our super-cool instructions, we wound up just walking around.... mystified... just looking at all this foreign stuff... the signs, the billboards, the people.
It was really hot and we all wearing long pants, so after we made it through customs and got our luggage, we changed, got some Yen and tried to find our way to the train. It was actually pretty easy... this was the first of many positive train experiences in Japan... they really have it together with the trains... God, MUNI is such a friggin' joke.
When we got to Tokyo station it was just about rush hour. I don't think I've ever seen so many people in one place. It was unbelievable... we didn't even think about trying to find a train to our Ryokan... we just wanted a good ol' taxi. But, we couldn't even find our way out of the station... it was that big. Finally... outdoors... great. 80 degrees, windy as hell, cloudy, humid, drizzly. And we were realllly tired... it was 5pm, but I guess it was like 1am for us. We got in a cab, away we went. Didn't even tell the guy where we were going, just showed him this map that Bryan made for us, and pointed... we were on our way. We were driving down the wrong side of the street, but we were on our way. :)
Traffic was intense, but somehow we got there. An interesting tidbit is that addresses don't go consecutively in Japan, so you need to know exactly where you're going. Fortunately he did. As strange as it seemed to me, I stuck to the custom and did not tip him (no tipping in Japan).
Our Ryokan was very cute... as soon as we walked in the Inn-keepers knew... "Mr. Gleen? Care of Mr. Blyan?" That was about it for the English. Communication was literally impossible. When they pointed at the credit card machine, I knew they wanted me to pay in advance. :) 48,000 Yen for 4 nights... not bad for 3 people.
Shoes off, we headed upstairs. Our room was about as small as a dorm room single but with lower ceilings. Three people, three folded up mats, and a little pay-TV. We found ourselves saying "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." Rob and I enjoyed goofing around in our kimonos. Here's one more Ryokan pic -- happy heather.
Exhausted, we decided we had to go out -- going to sleep at 6pm wasn't going to do us any good wrt adjusting to the time zone. The first Phish show was the next night and we wanted to be ready for it. Then we noticed something really bad. Hanging on the wall of our room was a few rules about the Ryokan... one thing stood out: the hours... "doors locked 12am - 6am". So we were in Japan, going to see Phish, and we had to be back at our place by midnight or we're locked out? There was definitely a little panic. After considering alternatives, we figured we'd try to explain to the inn-keepers that we might not be able to get back by midnight. Rob was finally able to get the point across by simulating a clock going round and round. The inn-keepers understood and agreed to give us a key to the outside door whenever we needed it. Whew. What a relief.
The area was known as Gotanda... our home for the next 4 days. Yamanote station (JR line) in the main square of Gotanda was right around the corner. Little cafes, fast food places, and other buildings were everywhere. Pochinko places (weird Japanese pseudo gambling) were all around -- we enjoyed the weird change machine in this one place -- and there were plenty of restaurants and fast food places. After walking around for a couple hours we decided on a place to eat. This was not the touristy area and, of course, the menu was all Japanese. None of the people spoke a lick of English, so we ordered sashimi, rice, and soup -- it took us about 5 minutes with the waiter to order that simple meal. :)
The first show was at a Club called 'On Air East'. It was about 4 stops north on the Yamanote line. Doors open at 6p, show at 7p. We were aiming to get there around 5p. During the day we went to this wild area a few stops beyond the 'On Air East' stop that was filled with hi-tech retail shops. Microscopic camcorders, ultra-thin cell phones, watchs, clocks, DVDs, you name it. Dozens and dozens of these shops. We didn't buy anything (except a couple magic markers and large paper for a sign), but browsing and picture taking was a blast.
In addition to the shops, there were lots of video arcades... and they were old school in style. Tons of games... sports, racing, strategy, the works. They not only had that cool dancing game that's sweeping the globe, but a couple others like it: one with monkies and moraccas and another with a turntable (you are the DJ). They even had this virtual reality blackjack game! The gambling was for silly little prizes only, but it was fun -- I lost about $10. :) Heather, Rob, and I each took a turn playing this driving game where you'd driving this huge 18-wheeler across the country... wish we still had arcades like that.
At one point in our travels, we came upon a music store. This was one of the coolest moments of the trip. Hanging in the window of the store was a small (childen's) acoustic guitar that caught Heather's eye. It took some time to explain to the store owner, that we just wanted to get some pictures of this work of art. I'm sure most of you will understand why this was so cool. I also happened to be wearing the right shirt
After our hi-tech fix, we walked down a park in the middle of all these government buildings. We played on monkey bars (oo-who!) and rode on these springy toys. Rob tested the law of physics on one of them. The park was pretty empty... no one around except some homeless folks in these little tents.... this was our first glimpse of homelessness in Japan.... it's interesting the way it was kind of hidden away in the park, as opposed to all over the streets (like SF).
When we got to the club, we were a little shocked... all Westerners... it looked like any other small Phish show from back east in '91. "Oh no," we thought... "please tell me it's not going to be all Americans." We found a little bar with a few tables in an outdoor area. We sat, drank some beers, Heather made a "Curtain" poster, and we just took in the scene. Much to our delight, it wasn't that there were no natives coming to the show, it was just that they didn't show up two hours early like all the stupid Americans :)
We got in pretty early and headed up front. By the time the show started, the ratio had changed dramatically. I'd say the westerners didn't make up more than 10% of the crowd. Maybe less. It was incredible. All these Japanese Phish heads dancing and singing along. What a scene.
--- 6/9 On Air East, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo I: Axilla I, Taste, Billy Breathes, Golgi Apparatus, Funky Bitch, Moma Dance*, 1st Tube**, Chalkdust Torture II: Tweezer#, Bouncin, Mango Song, Squirming Coil##, Gotta Jiboo, Meatstick###> Tweezer Reprise E: You Enjoy Myself% * Funky Bitch teases ** Trey windmills a la Radio City # Walk Away teases ## extended Page solo ### in Japanese, Trey laughing and flubbing words % w/ vocal jam in the dark Japanese Meatstick Meatosticku Jiuando Meatosticku Kakushite' Meatosticku Toridashta Jiuan Do Do Atamaga Shock Do Do Atamaga Shock ---
The highlight of this show had to be the Japanese Meatstick. It was absolutely hilarious. Trey had these little cheat sheets and he still couldn't get the words right. Also, this one Japanese guy behind me was loving 'Taste'... he kept singing along "IIIII can seeeee through the rines!" (it's lines of course)... he was loving life, and so were we.
After the show, we walked back down to the square w/ train station. The 600 or so people at the show had absoluely zero impact on the sqaure. There were thousands and thousands of people everywhere. The intensity of the population was starting to sink in. Everywhere we went seemed like the happenin' place. Every train was full... unbelievable. Before we got on the train to go back to Gotanda, Rob and I snacked on a Japanese staple curb-side treat: tako balls -- at least that's what we called them. Little pieces of steamed octopus (tako) fried in this dough with some other goodies. The woman making them was amazing. Basically she had this little muffin-tin-like-pan over a heat source and she would use this little stick (like one chop stick) to poke at the dough and turn the goo into a solid golf-ball sized ball. A couple spices and some sauces and.... OWLM! yum.
The Saturday show was at this modern club called Zepp. On the map, it looked like it was going to be in the middle of nowhere. We decided to walk a good portion of the way... probably a couple miles... just to see what normal neighborhoods were like. As we walked we came upon all kinds of random stuff (like this statue). We checked out a pet store and a couple other random shops, but the most interesting thing (to me) was all the wacked out vending machines. The sidewalks are literally lined with them. Hot drinks, cold drinks, snacks, cigarettes (they were inexpensive too -- remember 100 Yen to the dollar), everything. For some reason, people like Bruce Willis and Cameron Diaz seem to be spokespeople for these products. Here's a picture of Rob gettin' some serious vending machine action.
We came upon this park/shrine thing. I don't even know what it was, but it was beautiful. There were two separate buildings and lots of other foreign things, like this wall. Heather found some incense in one, and Rob and I observed some sort of ceremony in another. We lit the incense and put it in this special place (I guess that's what you're supposed to do). At one point we found the Japanese equivalent of the almightly "All for a dollar" store.
Eventually we took this monorail across a bridge that made a 270 degree loop and ended up at this really modern area. There was a huge mall... very touristy and this amazing auto-dealer place. It had several floors, each about as big as the Moscone center. Rob and I went on this 3D theatre/ride thing where you basically feel like you're in a driving game. With the polarized glasses it was pretty cool. Outside, there was a big ferris-wheel and this crazy free-fall ride. Rob and I took the plunge (so to speak) and Heather watched from the (less nauseating) ground. :)
Zepp was about twice the size of On Air East. Above the venue, there was a cool resturant where many heads were chillin' and catchin' the pre-show vibe. The layout was well-designed. It was all standing and very wide. The stage was high, and about halfway back on the floor, there was a step up... then another few steps up every 10 feet or so (a total of 5 or 6) as you moved back. This way, even if you were in the very back, you could see quite well. The sound was perfect.
--- 6/10/00 Zepp, Parett Town, Koto-ku, Tokyo - Review I: Down With Disease, Sample In A Jar, Piper, Lawn Boy, Guyute II: Heavy Things, Sand*, Sparkle, My Soul, Bathtub Gin, Ambient Jam > Twist, Albuquerque, Wading In the Velvet Sea, Loving Cup E: Inlaw Josie Wales, Limb by Limb** * Trey on keyboard ** Huge disco ball hanging from ceiling lights up audience ---
Don't let the 5 song first set fool you. This show was one of the best. I didn't time it, but DWD and Piper had to be close to 25 minutes each. We were in disbelief after the first set... it was that good.
They've been playing the Farmhouse stuff a lot, and we didn't mind in the least. The jam in Sand has developed into this really spacey (Pink Floyd-ish) thing... amazing.
Again after the show tonight Rob and I got tako balls. These did not agree with me and I felt pretty sick on the way back. Fortunately it was nothing serious. Rob liked his. :)
The Sunday show was a 2pm start in Hibiya Park: a small outdoor amphitheater near Roppongi. (sp?) We got some pretty good sushi -- the sushi chefs hated us -- and headed over to the venue. After such an amazing show the night before, we didn't see how they were going to come out and rock. It was raining pretty hard on that particular day and lots of wet Phish heads were converging on this lovely green place. As we were walking toward toward the venue, some horrible garage band was playing on a little stage. There were about 12 people watching them.
This was the only show featuring an opening band. They were called "Big Frog" -- a young Japenese jam band from Tokyo. Apparently these guys played with Phish the year before at the Fuji Rock festival and Phish dug 'em, so they got the opening gig. They were fun and they jammed pretty well too -- the Phish influence was clear... what a trip it must have been for them. The highlight of their set was a cover of "Godzilla" -- very fitting. It rained throughout the entire set, but everyone was having a great time. The rain's not bad when it's 80 degrees outside. Plus, the venue was selling these plastic ponchos for $5 -- perfect.
After a short intermission, more rain, and a few more beers, we were ready for Phish. The pavillion seats were reserved, and we were pretty close... about 15 rows back on Page's side.
--- 6/11/00 Hibiya Outdoor Theatre, Tokyo I: First Tube, Punch You In The Eye, Horn, Ginseng Sullivan, Stash, Dirt, Possum*, It's Ice, Farmhouse II: Birds of a Feather, Free, Beauty of My Dreams, Bug, David Bowie, When the Circus Comes, Back on the Train, Harry Hood E: Character Zero** * w/ Stash teases ** Enormous rainbow appears in sky and fades to end of show Japanese Band "Big Frog" opened. Very small outdoor venue; around 1200 people. After the show the audience stayed and cheered for almost 30 minutes. They kept announcing in Japanese over the loud speaker to leave. It was a very cool moment ---
First Tube just rocks harder and harder. I love it. Treat of the first set was defintely "It's Ice" -- don't get to hear that one too often these days. I think this was also the first time I've seen "Bug" performed live. The encore was amazing... we all thought it was going to be "Divided Sky," because for the first time since we'd been in Japan, the clouds parted and we actually saw the sky (it was more orange than blue!) and some sunlight. I couldn't see the rainbow from where I was standing... either that or I was too wasted to notice. No Divided Sky, but Character Zero rocked super hard.
It was only about 7pm when the show ended. Heather and I went out for (Tokyo's nasty interpretation of) Indian Food and Rob headed back to the Ryokan.Other Hibiya pictures:
Travel Day to Nagoya. We ate breakfast at this weird cafe in the Gontanda square... and we finally experienced super-expensive Japanese prices. Tiny cups of coffee were $5 each. We drank the coffee and ate (unexpected) egg-salad sandwiches, took a few last pictures of Gontanda and shoved off for Tokyo station. Once there, we (and a bunch of other Phish heads) eventually found the place where you exchange your $280 receipt (from the U.S.) for your 7 day Japan Rail pass. The pass is good for unlimited travel on the bullet-trains. These trains which take you from city to city travel upwards of 140mph and are smooth as silk. The trip to Nagoya was relatively short and painless.
Nagoya is about 1/100th the size of Tokyo (thank goodness). With Rob's navigation skills guiding us, we plotted a simple subway route to our Ryokan.
This is a good time to remark on how amazing the subways are in Japan. It's not just Tokyo... every city has it all figured out. The trains run all the time, the color-coded lines are intuitive and the ticket system is flawless. Makes BART and MUNI look like a joke. The electronic ticket machines let you get any combination of tickets and fares via a simple but brilliant interface. Let's see.... OK... 260 yen from here to there, that's 780 altogether. Insert Y1000 ($10), see all the fare lights go on, press the little button that looks like 3 people, see all the fares lights over 330 go off, press the 260 button... zip zip zip.... three tickets pop out. Compare that with trying to get two AirBart tickets with a five dollar bill.
The Nagoya Ryokan was a little nicer and more modern than the Tokyo one. Same layout on the room, just a little bigger... and the TV was letterbox format. There was also a guy there (inn-keeper's son) who spoke pretty good English. This would prove to be somewhat helpful later on...
This was kind of a recovery day... no show tonight (only day off in the 8 days) so we just took it easy for a while, watched some weird Japanese TV -- I can't even begin to explain our perspective on these shows, and relaxed for a while. Side note: watch out for your head when going down the stairs at the Ryokan.
In the early evening we headed into the center of town to scope out the club and get some grub (woo!) -- the club was on the 8th floor of this huge mall. We rode the escalators and stopped on each floor. Dozens of trendy shops all selling weird clothes and things... most of the stuff was horribly expensive... like these little stupid fashion T-shirts were like $60. One cool shop was this Snoopy store... everything snoopy... it seems that there's this subset of American culture that's really hot over there. At the same time, they are into these 12inch platform shoes. I can't seem to figure it out.
For dinner we ate at this funky crab place. There was this huge mechanical crab on the outside of the restaurant... once we saw that, we had to go in :) The three of us sat upstairs, shoes off, at a large table for four. This place had an English menu, so the ordering was much easier. We started with some miso soup, sushi (including a crab gut roll), sashimi, and some kind of warm rice/porrage thingie. Then came the crab... a whole, oversized, hairy freakin' crab. Heather didn't like it, so there was more for Rob and me :) Rob worked on most of the legs, while I slurped the guts down like it was ice cream. YUM for me, gross to Heather :)
Day at the zoo! After a yummy japanese style breakfast, we spent the whole day at the zoo in Nagoya. The highlight of zoo was the bird area. This one peacock came right up to us and flirted for 15 minutes. He actually let us touch his beautiful feathers.Some zoo pictures (if you want to see more, come visit us in San Francisco):
After the zoo, we had to go back to the Ryokan -- I had to get my Phish ticket. Also on the agenda was money -- we were totally out. There were two banks at the Kamemaesu subway stop (near our Ryokan) so surely one of the ATMs would take our cards, right? Bzzzzt. Wrong. We thought about trying to get the inn-keeper to charge my Mastercard/debit card and give us cash, but that didn't work... so I got my Phish ticket, we dropped off the room key (with Ryokan, you generally turn in your key when you leave for the day, and when you return they give it back to you), and we walked to the club (20 minute walk). After all, some of the American heads had to be in the same boat. Ding! One of the heads told us about a Citibank ATM a few blocks away. Thank God for Citibank. After we replenished our Yen supply, Rob and I were on a sushi mission... we'd been on a sushi mission all trip, but nothing we'd found compared to what we were about to find. The place looked closed from the outside, but we poked our heads under the little flap hanging from the door top and we were welcomed. Heather didn't want to think about sushi so she went off to find something else.
This was the best sushi we've ever had... no contest. We didn't recognize half of the selection (and the selection wasn't all that big) but we were in for a treat. I'm sure I'm spelling this wrong, but in addition to uni, we were treated to: toriguy and akaguy -- two shell fish that are unavailable in the states. Apparently the fish is still alive, so after the chef slices off a little piece, and places it over the rice, he gives it a little smack and the edges curl up as if in defense. These were a little chewy (like tako) with an amazing unique flavor. Other new favorites included: aji and another I can't remember right now. The ika was incredible too... softer than we were used to.
The Nagoya venue was really small. Capacity couldn't have been more than about 300, but there were 400 in there easily... it was super packed. On the way up (on the escalator) we got two really cool pictures:
This show sported one thing that none of the others did... some bad vibes. Between sets, Rob, Heather and I tried to move a little closer to the front. Apparently we really offended a group of people by invading their space. Now I respect personal space, and saving room for your friends when they go to the bathroom, etc. All they had to do is tell us nicely that there just easn't any room and we should just go back. But these kids were downright mean. This one girl was literally stomping on my toes while I was talking to the guy, and this one asshole actually pushed me to the point where I almost fell over. This type of shit just doesn't happen at a Phish show (especially one this size). The weird thing, these kids didn't see anything wrong with their behavior. I know I got one picture of Mr. dickwad-supreme. Ah, yes... here it is.
Anyway... the show was fantasic:
--- 06/13/00 Club Quattro, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya I: Meat, Maze, Meat Reprise, Ya Mar, Fast Enough For You, The Old Home Place, Wilson, Mike's Song > Simple > Weekapaug Groove II: Gotta Jibboo, Wolfman's Brother*, Run Like an Antelope (unfinished) > Contact, Sand**, Roggae, Prince Caspian, Rocky Top, Cavern*** E: Brian and Robert, Good Times Bad Times * with "Is She Really Going out With Him" (by Joe Jackson) tease ** Trey on keys *** with alternate lyrics ---
The whole Meat thing was really funny... after Maze they did the Meat ending again... then they were chatting on stage like they were talking about the next song... a minute or two later they did the Meat ending again. We kind of thought they'd do it throughout the show, but that 3rd time was it.
The Joe Jackson tease in the 2nd set was totally old school: for some reason, Mike started playing the bass line of "Is She Really Going out With Him" before Wolfman's Brother. Trey tried to join in, but couldn't get the chords right... still they tried to sing it, but that didn't work either. The audience was into it though, and a good porition of the crowd finished the verse and sang the chorus while Phish just stood there and giggled. At one point, an audience member chastized the band for not knowing the song. Fishman yelled out, "Oh, we know it!" even though they didn't know it.
After Wolfman's brother, I was sure I heard Mike playing the beginning of Contact, but then Trey played Antelope. I shook my head in disbelief... sure I'd been smoking some hash, but I was sure I heard Contact. My faith was restored when after the huge build in Antelope they went right into Contact (i.e. no marco or gearshift part).
After the show everyone was packed into the little lobby area outside the venue. There were two or three elevators providing service to the ground -- remember, we were on the 8th floor. The crazy thing is, the stairway exit was locked! This seemed normal to the natives but very strange to us. What if there were a fire? No stairs access? Crazy. We finally got on an elevator and made our way outside. It was... guess... RAINING... of course. Still warm from the club, the rain was nice... after walking around for a while, we finally found what we were looking for... a nice, mellow, dark bar to just sit, have a brew and decompress. We had our drink, listend to "One Of These Days" (Pink Floyd) on the jukebox and taxied back to our Ryokan.
When we arrived it was close to 1am. As we approached the entrance, we saw that it was totally dark. In our rush to find an ATM we had forgotten to ask about hours and get a key! To our amazement, the automatic sliding door was still working, and even though no one was around, our key was just sitting there on the front desk! This was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. I guess the crime rate is so low, that it's ok to do stuff like that. There's no way in hell that would ever fly in an American city.
Long travel day to Fukuoka. Even by bullet train, Fukuoka is a four hour ride. There was only one train that made sense (10:30a -> 2:30p) and just about all the American Phish heads (not to mention the band) were on it. I didn't see them, but a couple heads said they saw Trey sleeping in one of the cars... pretty cool.
After a little nap and some cool articles in the New Yorker, Rob taught me how to play Euchre, and we played for an hour or two... very cool card game. I still like cribbage better but I could get into this one I think.
The scene at the Fukuoka train station was wild. Very few natives were traveling to Fukuoka on a random Wednesday during the middle of the day, so, for the first time, our presence in the train station actually had an impact. When we got off the train, everyone noticed that one of the signs on an adjacent track said "DEADHEAD 101". It seemed like it had to be a joke, but then the sign flashed to Japenese, then back again to "DEADHEAD 101". According to my friend Steve, a deadhead is a freight train engine that has no cargo and is being sent to pick up newly loaded cars, so I guess it's for real... wild! Thanks, Steve. Rob found another sign worthy of a picture.
We only had a couple hours to check to the hotel (yay, no more Ryokan), get situated and get to the gig. This was the first day of sunshine since we got to Japan. It was absolutely gorgeous... sunny, warm 82 degrees. Our hotel was really nice, and the toilet even had a bidet :) Those who know me well know how much I enjoyed that! We had some sushi in our hotel and headed toward the venue. We wanted to get up front this time, so Heather took Rob's ticket (lower entry number) and went exploring while Rob and I went to find a bar near the venue (Drum Logos).
We found this wacked out place just down the street from Drum Logos, it had this small upstairs with all kinds of cool couches and artwork. We had the whole section to ourselves. The sun was getting lower in the sky and it shone in nicely through the window. Shoes off, feet up, lying on the couch, we soaked in the reality of the trip. We were in Fukuoka Japan on Phish tour... two American monkey-geeks sitting in one of the weirdest bars ever... just chillin'... sippin' a beer and catchin' a smoke. Rob too! From the balcony, you can see the venue and the surrounding area.
Our waitress was named Tomako (I think that was it). Her English was very good and she was nice, cute, and socialable. She was interested in hearing about Phish and I think she actually understood what it was all about. She asked if there was any way she could get a ticket, but of course it was sold out.
What happened next is more in-line with what should happen at a Phish show. When we got outside, we ran into Jennifer, an American hippy-chick with dreds whom we met the night before and saw again on the bullet-train to Fukuoka. When she saw us, she said, "do you know anyone who needs an extra ticket? My friend had an extra, it's a freebie." We looked at each other and instantly knew what to do. Rob stayed with Jennifer and I took the ticket back to the bar. When I found Tomako, I held out the ticket for her. She couldn't believe it when I said it was free. But there was one more problem... she was supposed to work all night. She asked her boss if she could go, and he said no. I told her to tell him that, "This is the best band in the world, and there's a good chance they'll never come to Fukuoka again, and that she absolutely had to go." Relunctantly, he agreed. She changed into street clothes and we joined Rob and Jennifer once again.
By the time we got inside, Heather had a pretty good spot up front. We got a couple beers and joined her.
--- 6/14/00 - Drum Logos 1-8-25 Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fokuoka I: Carini, The Curtain, Cities*, Gumbo > Crosseyed and Painless Jam > Llama, Fee, Heavy Things, Split Open and Melt** (1:05) II: Back On the Train#, Twist > Ghost Jam## > Walk Away > Jam, Also Sprach Zarathustra (1:10) E: Sleep$, Squirming Coil * "It's only the noodles" ** Trey: "Take intermit to replenish our body" # Long and jammed out groovy style ## Sounded like Ghost at first but then turned into heavy Phish jam $ per Request ---
Carini rocked, but is definitely a strange opener if you're new to Phish. We hoped that Tomako wouldn't be scared away. The Curtain was a great omen (recalll the sign Heather made a few nights back) and the rest of the set was excellent and solid. At the end of Split Open, Trey was being really weird. He kept repeating that the band needed to intermit. He said there'd be lots more music, and it would be better, but first they had to replenish themselves and intermit. Funny stuff.
The second set was possibly the best single set of the tour. Back On the Train grooved and jammed like I've never heard it... maybe all the riding on the bullet trains inspired them. The jam out of Twist was amazing. It was definitely Ghost at one point, but it just didn't finish going there. At one point, I was hearing Sneakin' Sally, but it didn't go there either. The jam went on and on (to everyone's delight) and eventually went into Walk Away (Joe Walsh tune) and finally into 2001. What a set.
After the show we said our goodbyes -- after 5 shows you start recognizing a lot of the faces and headed back to the bar. Tomako was already back there and was happy to bring us food and beer. She really enjoyed the show too and was very appreciative.
Note: 6/14/2000 was released as Live Phish Volume 4
Travel day to Osaka. More money troubles and how. When got to Osaka (huge city) we didn't want to (well, I didn't want to) eff around with the subways. We had our little Japanese card that told the cab driver how to get us where we were going so, why should be bother screwing with the trains. We learned an important lesson that day: get a subway map of every city before you go! Find out where your hotel is on the subway line and DON'T TAKE A TAXI. This woman took us all over the place, almost got crunched between two trucks, and eventually got us there 7000 Yen ($70) later. Between the three of us, we had just over 7000 Yen... we really cut it close. If we had just known where we were going, we could have gotten there by train with only two changes for about 1400 Yen.
This hotel was amazing... The Hyatt Regency Osaka. We were up 30 stories or so and it was another beautiful, sunny day. The view was fantasic (can't seem to find a picture). Once we got settled in, Rob made a copy of the venue map for Heather, and he and I took off while Heather rested. Tonight it was our turn to get in reasonably early and reserve the space. Of course we still had no money. Ugh, next time I'm just going to bring a shit load of cash and just get lots and lots of Yen at the airport. After putzing around at the Trade Center and this mall across the street and having no success with finding an ATM that would accept our cards, we went back to the Hotel front desk to ask them for suggestions. They informed us that they could swipe our ATMs and give us Yen in return. Duh. We should have thought of that first :)
With money in pocket, Rob and I headed toward Big Cat. We had to walk across this bridge to get to the train. These two guys were playing guitar and singing -- there were terrible, but Rob contributed anyway. The venue was in a really cool part of town. There were all these little side streets... mostly pedestrian traffic, with the occasional car trying to get through. There were shops selling T-shirts and lots of other clothes. Rob and I bought two huge blow-up "Hello Kitty" dolls for the show. Most people bring in balloons or beach balls... we wanted to do something a little different. :) You know the Hello Kitty thing is big when heads are wearing shirts like this.
In addition to the normal vending machines, this part of Osaka sported beer machines. You could get a 16oz can of Asahi beer for Y300 ($3). We slammed one and found this cool local-flavor food place. Actually, we didn't really find it, were more-or-less commanded to go by these heads that said that it was totally awesome. They were right. We ate some kind of egg omelette that had all kinds of goodies in it. It was grilled right in front of you (the counter was a grill). The woman who ran the place was pretty famous in the town, I guess. There were articles all over the walls and she had a little shrine in her kitchen. After we ate, she took us back to pay our respects to her shrine. (I know I scanned pictures of this place, but I don't see them now. Gotta check on this one.)
Somewhere along the way, we got another great yeP! related photo opp. Crazy, huh?
Big Cat (the club) was about the same size as Drum Logos... 500 or so. We got inside early enough to get relatively close. Heather joined us about 20 minutes later with her Rizalds sign. It was a picture of a big lizard with the made-up word "Rizalds" on it. We thought it was kind of funny... I hope we didn't offend anyone. I think Trey must of found it amuzing, ‘cause we got our Lizards in the 2nd set.
--- 06-15-00 Big Cat, Nishi Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 1: NICU, Chalkdust Torture, AC/DC Bag, Uncle Pen, Ghost, Frankie Says, The Divided Sky, Farmhouse (1:10) 2: Down With Disease*, Lizards, Bike > Hold Your Head Up, You Enjoy Myself (1:16) E: Gotta Jibboo * - 30 minutes, Crosseyed and Painless jam, Trey on keys ---
2nd set was just about as good as the night before. Again, 4 songs (Hold your Head Up doesn't count -- for those know don't know, sometimes Jon Fishman (the drummer) comes out from behind his kit and sings a silly song. Trey plays drums, and the band uses "Hold Your Head Up" (that stupid Argent song) as Fishman's little theme) but who cares? I'll take a 2 song set if they jam like they did at these small venues. I hadn't heard them do Bike since... shit, I dunno... Providence in '92? Another awesome show.
After the show, I was feeling a little tired. Seemed a little odd, I should have been well-rested. I wanted to go back to the Hotel, but Heather and Rob wanted to get some food and drink, so we found a little bar. Rob and I played Euchre while Heather socialized with some of the other heads. She wound up talking to a doofus who was part of that bad-vibe crowd at the Nagoya show. He didn't recognize us, of course, so Heather just made nice with him. It was kinda funny. The place was totally unprepared for the after-Phish crowd, and the service was terrible. After food, I was really starting to feel shitty. I should have known better and gone back right after the show. This was the beginning of a nasty bug/flu/cold thing that would ultimately stay with me for the rest of the trip.
Here are a couple cute pictures that are currently linkless:
Ugh. I could barely move when I woke up -- sickness in full swing. Fortunately and not by chance, the venue for the last show was within walking distance of our Hotel. Heather had been craving pancakes, so we went to the mall across the street where we had noticed a Friendly's-ish place the day before. I had some soup which helped, but I was getting worse, not better. I went back to the hotel and slept until it was time to walk over to the venue – Zepp Osaka. This venue was virtually identical to Zepp Tokyo except it was in the middle of nowhere. The whole area: the hotel, the trade center, the mall, and Zepp was in this new area. I imagine it'll be happenin' in a few years once they build it all up.
This was only show of the 7 that wasn't sold out, and that was actually nice. It was pretty full, I'd say 95%, but that's better than 120%. We all used this show to wind down... no drugs, no alcohol, no nothing. Just great music and good times.
--- Setlist: 6/16/00 Zepp Osaka 1: Limb by Limb, Sample In A Jar, First Tube, Golgi Apparatus, Heavy Things, Dirt, My Sweet One, Bowie Tease > Reba, Character Zero 2: Runaway Jim, Theme from the Bottom, Dog Faced Boy, Driver, Slave to the Traffic Light, Julius, Bug E: Bouncin Around the Room, Harry Hood ---
By now, Heather was pretty sick too, but somehow Rob managed to avoid it -- we headed back to the hotel. Eight days, seven shows. It was a crazy adventure.
The next morning, Rob headed out early. He needed to catch an early train back to Narita to catch his plane back to SF. Heather and I had plans to visit Kyoto (very close to Osaka) before heading to Yokahama (BEA Office) the following day. We felt like shit though, and it was raining. So we took an unreserved car on the bullet train to Yokahama, got a taxi to the Hotel/office in Yokahama and explained our situation: we were scheduled to arrive 6/18, but we were sick and needed to rest. They understood and hooked us up with a nice corner room on the 61st floor.
End of Part 1.