Review & Photos: Phish @ Cobo Hall

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
Cobo Arena
Detroit, MI

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

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40 Responses

  1. I actually thought the playing was very tight and energetic. I also don’t see how a 12 minute Weekapaug can be considered short.

  2. A SHORT weekapaug? Glide Magazine needs to work on their editing. Definetely one of the longer Weekapaugs, especially in 3.0

  3. really? i think this show was very tight and featured some very fiery play from trey. some of his better playing all year. taste is not a particularly ‘slow’ song and bug has a pretty meaty jam. i’d say this was an above avg 2009 show and far above par for a tour opener.

  4. Really, I thought along with two of my friends that this was one of the best shows I’ve heard in years! Can’t wait for the weekend!

  5. One of the worst reviews I’ve ever read.

    The energy was HUGE. They connected well. Very tight playing. One of the longest Weekapaugs of 3.0, if not the longest.

    I’m very excited about the rest of the tour after hearing last night’s show. GREAT JOB, Phish.

    Glide reviewer, how dare you hate on this performance. Quit going to Phish shows.

  6. Wow – terrible review. Aside from a few flubs here and there this was some straight forward, hard hitting best Phish we’ve heard yet. It’s easy to see Trey is catching his stride.

    You sir, apparently don’t know Phish enough to review a show if this is your attempt of Cobo’s two sets.. If this is bad Phish, sign me up for a fall tour of bad Phish.

    They were tight, full of energy and actually showed signs of early 90’s Phish goodness.

    Get lost and get a new job!!! Pronto.

  7. i wasnt there in detroit but have seen countless shows this year and syracuse to come on sunday.

    just saying however, Phish 3.0 deserves more from its phanbase than just ass-kissing.

    just cuz they’re a little older doesnt mean they can’t take the criticism.

    that’s why it’s called a review.

    also, an 8 min Weekapaugh doesnt equal “longest one on tour” (see Ryan’s comments)…

    Lastly, ‘My broad slap across a phan’s temple Award’ goes out to Rockin R if you think Detroit is one of the best shows you’ve heard in years, you have some listening to get down to ASAP. See livephish immediately.

    and another out to Jay ^^^ for heeping on criticism to Glide’s Pietro for his coverage.

    it’s a review. REad it or don’t. agree or don’t…but damn! why the harsh words?

    I am so tired of this 3.0 mentality that Phish can’t be discussed, criticized, flawed or not perfect. Get over it with this newb mentality about the band never doing wrong.

    Part of Rock-n-Roll is keeping a band honest. That’s the only I’d want it.


  8. I too agree that the review was weak. I would say there was nothing epic, but a overall solid, aggressive show with peaking moments in nearly every song. All four seemed to be united with a only a few flubs early in the build ups. All big notes were hit, and hit loudly and and point.

    Stuck in!

  9. way to attach your name to this review, you fuckin wuss. hide behind your keyboard and attack a band for being back together.

  10. What is this, a cut-n-paste from Phantasy Tour from someone who couldn’t make the show?

    This review sounds like nothing more than a jaded Gen Y/Twentysomething who statred seeing the band in 2004 (i.e. during Trey’s dope period of sloppy playing and uninspired jamming). The band for the most part has been on fire and re-energized all year. You people should go follow the Disco Biscuits as you do nothing but whine about 2009 shows.

  11. Last night rocked. I am not sure what this reviewer was looking for, but the playing was tight and the venue was great. I personally liked the song mix. Having just come back from 8, it was great to see Foam, It’s Ice, Taste, Bug, 46 Days (highlight jam) and Weekapaug (which was off the hook). The jam out of Kill Devil Falls was intense. DWD was a monster. Other than the encore, I was satisfied.

  12. never comment twice, but trey was machine gunnin during the knoxville weekapaugh.

    other great (yet brief) jams from ’09 include: hampton limb by limb, phenway’s dwd and undermind, camden’s sand, knoxville’s weekapaugh and ASIHTOS, burgettstown’s tube and wolfmans, red rocks boogie on, darien’s drowned and gin, hartford’s piper and slave, merriweather’s 46 days and spac’s BDTNL.

    I know some were left out but focusing on the positive here makes us all realize, that regardless of length (don’t wanna sound like your girl ;), the jams have been constant…

    Even With the 20:00 mark only be crested (fact-check me please!) 2-3 times (camden sand, spac BDTNL & ? ), no one has to worry. We’re still getting our jams.

  13. This is the worst review I’ve seen, and I thought the energy was fantastic! They are definitely on track for a resurgence of their early 90’s concert energy.
    Best show I’ve seen in a long time.

  14. This was no tour opener! They just played 18 days ago some of the best music ever! The Show was great! The 1/2 filled floor and all the dancing space reminded me of the shows back in 94′ Have Fun in Cincy Tonight!

  15. Ok everyone get it together. Phish hasn’t played all that well since the reunion. They are sloppy and all the old classics aren’t even played at all. Tela-Brother-Izabella-Sally-Reconsidered-Mangos are almost written by another band. There is more to a show then energy. It’s called music. When the guys start playing like summer 94 EVERYONE will agree the show kicked some ass. Until then it’s exactly like a lot of whats out there…AVERAGE!
    Make them responsible for a comeback and play with the vigor they once did. It’s more like Phish Vista not Phish 3.0.

  16. @ Reviewer–

    you suck. kys. that was some of the fastest, tightest, finger plucking by trey in 3.0—no f’in whale call bending note bs that he was doing over the summer and his tone is very clean—

    also, there were no noticable flubs and every song was played extremely tight. so what if the jams weren’t 30 minutes…they don’t have to be to be good…and i’m sorry but mist was amazing–sorry if you don’t like ballad phish…

  17. This was a great show! What a terrible review this guy wrote! I heard he and GOFF are both perfect, never make mistakes. This review has such a negative undertone, and for what? I am actually ticked I had to read this review. I just think it is great that we get to hear Phish again. Stay positive.

  18. I hate when people refer to this as Phish 3.0. Like I shouldn’t compare it to Phish 1.0, 2.0 or 2.5. Phish is Phish and I can compare a show from 2009 to a show from 1993 or 1997 and I can tell that the band has lost a step or two. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it or wish thay hadn’t come back, cause I do enjoy it and I’m glad they came back. Ive seen my fair share of shows and I know when they’re tight and I think this review feels the same. But, and I hate to sound like an old effer at this point, they’re just not as good as they once were.

  19. This review = Fair & Balanced. Show had some hot points but they sounded like a band who hadn’t rehearsed for tour just yet.

  20. Reviewer is full of crap. I’ve been to over a hundred shows and this show was absolutely great. I new while the show was going on a lot of simple minded people were going to complain about the setlist. The music was absolutely fantastic. In fact, listening to the recordings, it fucking rocks hard. I hope Glide magazine does away with this awful reviewer.

  21. weekapaug was 7 minutes max. The reason livephish says its 13 minutes is b/c the SDB includes Cavern.

    Set I was junk, period – no cohesion, dumpy song selection. I thought that a majority of set II was good and played fairly well(less Bug), while I found the DWD and Taste to be quite impressive (and rip like wet toilet paper). I thought taste was easily the highlight of the night, despite my indifference towards the song. Mike’s groove was pretty rockin – nothin special though.

    I feel badly for anyone who thinks this show was great or good.

  22. I am not sure if this reviewer knows what he’s talking about with not mentioning “46 days” in the entire review. Being a veteran of shows since 93 I can tell you that this jam is what we are all there for. Yes DWD was also a mind fuck.As for the slower songs, I think the juxtaposition of the grime and decay of the landscape outside of Cobo’s doors compared to the melodic beauty Trey and the boys brought to a Wednesday night in the middle of the work week was simply beautiful. Free, Wading, Taste and Waste while not rave pumping, rock driven cockbusters were fantastic vehicles for Trey to explore this harmonics of this indoor venue and exploit it’s resonance. The house was brought down by Mikes>H2>Week. While Character Zero may be an overplayed encore, its how they play it not that they played it. They killed. I would also like to mention, this non-sellout crowd in the D was one of the loudest I has ever heard.

  23. worst … review … ever. it lacked creativity from the beginning. the editing was sub-par at best. its like this re-re just sat at home drinking wine rather that getting down at a show. the energy of the show was great… I was dancing my ass off….. now, granted, I was one of the few, but I just figured I was the only fan. I’ve been on phish tour since 95, and i’ll never say these shows were best ever, but the energy and precision of this band is much more pleasing to me than 03. I love the sober band. viva la phish.

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