With the hit of drummer Jon Fishman’s hi-hat, David Bowie attempted to give the first set a closing shot in the arm. However, the four members of Phish never really got in sync as the ending of Bowie sounded frantic and disconnected and never reached full throttle to finish the first set.
The second set would open up with a few bright spots, namely Runaway Jim and the highlight of the evening – Down With Disease -> Free. Trey would drive the jam out of Disease jumping around the stage as, for the first time in the night, all four members clicked in and barreled forward as Kuroda pulsed lights around the legendary venue.
Soon Trey started fluttering chops across his Languedoc to slowly sneak into Free. The rest of the second set, however, went back to slower tunes. Waste, Taste, Bug and Wading In The Velvet Sea found a lot of people sitting down as a quiet cloud of chatter hung over the crowd.
Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove brought most of the crowd back to their feet. McConnell crunched a dark dirty organ in Mike’s Song for a change of pace, while Trey searched across the fretboard with slamming chords before going back into the verse of Mike’s. After the tender Hydrogen and a short Weekapaug, the second set ended with a predictable and standard Cavern.
Overall the show never found much, if any, solid coherence between all four members to create anything spectacular, but a certain amount of that is expected for a tour opener. A relatively inattentive and somewhat undersold crowd also didn’t help matters any. Here’s hoping the rest of the tour will find the band taking more chances and pulling out more surprises than they did in Detroit.
November 18, 2009
Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Foam, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Bouncing Around The Room, Sample In A Jar, Kill Devil Falls, It’s Ice, Horn. Mountains In The Mist, Poor Heart, 46 Days, David Bowie
Set 2: Runaway Jim, Down With Disease -> Free, Waste, Taste, Bug, Wading In The Velvet Sea, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Cavern
Encore: Character Zero