There was no rest for Phish after two unique and memorable shows in Las Vegas that ended September of 2000 for the band. Just one night later they took the stage at Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix for a concert on October 1, 2000 most notable for a 20+ minute “Piper” featuring references to an obscure professional tennis player.
Phish opened the second set in Phoenix with a cover of Ween’s “Roses Are Free” before taking “Piper” deep. This was no slow build “Piper” as the foursome quickly started singing about the Red Worm. Guitarist Trey Anastasio, just one night removed from a birthday celebration, spent the first few minutes of “Piper” stringing together one aggressive riff after another. He then focused on rhythm as his bandmates latched onto a funky groove. Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman and bassist Mike Gordon sang “oooh-oohs” as they patiently worked over the dance-able groove.
Trey then started chant lyrics from a poem lyricist Tom Marshall had written including a line (“or will I dance on grave”) that would turn up in “Mock Song” on the 2002 album Round Room. From there, Anastasio and Fishman began to sing “I never met a man who I could not forget except for Guy Forget” over and over again. The line, which Phish.net states was written by Anastasio and childhood friend Dave Abrahams, had first surfaced in early ’90s soundchecks in reference to French tennis player Guy Forget, who accumulated a 380 – 291 record between 1982 and 1997. Phish went back to free-form jamming with Fish occasionally throwing in the line about Forget. The improvisation throughout the 20+ minute segment is all over the place with Trey utilizing the keyboard that was part of his rig at the time and Fishman keeping the beat steady throughout nearly the entire magnificent piece of music.
Thankfully, pro-shot video of the entire segment was included as filler on Phish: Live In Vegas:
Stream an audience recording featuring the soundcheck and full show shared by fromtheaquarium: