Live Phish, Vol. 3: 9/14/00 (Darien Lake Peforming Arts Center, Darien Center, NY)

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Recorded midway through Phish's last tour before their self-imposed hiatus, this three-disc set has the band playing a highly focused show, a rarity in their later years. Though their energy and direction slip by the end of the second set (isolated on the third disc), they manage to maintain nicely until that point. The first set, as usual, features a good cross section of Phish's songbook, including run-throughs of the previously unreleased "Punch You in the Eye" and the abrasive "Carini" (which features a thunderingly bombastic jam). An ethereal "Reba" jam, a tender reading of Neil Young's "Albuquerque," and an extended groove workout on the rarely played "Suzy Greenberg" make up the highlights of the first set. The second disc, which has long versions of the Who's "Drowned" and Talking Heads' "Crosseyed and Painless" (centerpieces of Phish's legendary Halloween performances in 1995 and 1996, respectively), leads into the obtuse balladry of "Dog Faced Boy." The jamming during this sequence, which comprises the entirety of the second disc and the best of the show, is not particularly representative of the band in that period of their career, delving quickly into a highly evolved abstract jam led by drummer Jon Fishman and bolstered by guitarist Trey Anastasio's guitar and keyboard loops. The third disc, though touched by two nice acoustic numbers -- "Driver" and "The Inlaw Josie Wales" -- provides an incoherent end to an otherwise good show.

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