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Day three in Tokyo and after two spectacular shows, we were anxious to see what was next.  This show was a daytime show, and I believe, a Sunday.  Hibiya Outdoor Theatre is an amazing amphitheater smack in the middle of downtown Tokyo, surrounded by skyscrapers. It was raining as we walked up to the show but it didn’t seem to damper spirits too much.  The venue was too unreal for anyone not to be stoked out.  There were food vendors set up at top and to this day this is the only show I have been to where you could by fried octopus balls.  It was a GA show and we entered at the top of the venue and headed down to secure a spot.  As you entered the venue they handed out Phish “Farmhouse” promo Japanese fans.  They were sweet, but not really needed due to the rain.  Also due to the rain, not a ton of these survived.  I have one in good shape and one that got sopped.

Big Frog opened the show and they were good.  We knew the Big Frog folks and all their peeps from the ’99 shows at Fuji Rock Fest and they are awesome people.  I’ve mentioned in the previous posts how good the music was on this tour, but really it was the Japanese heads that made it so great.  The locals made us feel so welcome and at home and the energy they gave off at the shows was incredible to be a part of.

I always thought this show was the weakest of the run musically.  In listening back for this post, I realized it’s still a very good show:

Set 1First Tube >  Punch You In the Eye,  Horn >  Ginseng Sullivan,  Stash,  DirtPossum >  It’s Ice,  Farmhouse

Set 2Birds of a Feather,  Free >  Beauty of My Dreams,  Bug >  David Bowie,  When the Circus Comes,  Back on the Train >  Harry Hood

EncoreCharacter Zero

It doesn’t have the huge 25 minute versions of the previous two shows but it’s all well played. The first set closes with particularly strong executions of Dirt, Possum, and It’s Ice.  The breakdown section of It’s Ice is money. They cap it off with a decent Farmhouse.  As Farmhouse was the new album, we were hearing it everywhere in Japan this week.  Heavy Things was the single and we heard in our hotel lobby, on the radio in the taxi and while shopping in stores.  It was like we couldn’t escape it.

The second set started off with a solid Birds, and picks up steam with a very good Bug>Bowie.  I love 2000 Bugs, and this one is no exception.  While this Bowie doesn’t reach the heights of the Japan ’99 Bowie, it has a similar feel and is a show highlight for sure.  The two biggest highlights for me though are the set 2 closing Hood and the Character Zero encore.  As the band came out for the encore, the rain finally let up, the skies cleared and a giant rainbow stretched from one end of the stage to the other.  You can hear the whole crowd going nuts during the beginning of the song.  It was unforgettable.  Well played version too.  While this isn’t typically the show I reach for when I want to hear Japan 2000, I’m glad I gave it another spin, it’s got some good stuff.  Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the next show, which is my favorite of the tour.

The Harry Hood is smoking and well worth a listen or three….so good:

And I never get tired of the crowd reaction when the rainbow appears over the stage after they start up Character Zero:

Parts of the show was also broadcast on Japanese TV and it’s up on YouTube: