Review & Photos: Phish in Cincinnati

Everyone had high expectations for Saturday’s show after such a huge second set the previous night. The venue seemed to be slightly more crowded on this night and fans raced inside to grab the best views they could as staff did not make any effort to enforce “reserved” seating. The house lights cut, the crowd exploded, Phish took the stage, and round two was underway.


The first set was kicked off with an energy-filled Wilson > NICU pairing, two fun sing-along tunes to get everyone in the mood. This was followed by a funky Wolfman’s Brother. The band was completely locked in as they ripped through this staple in their repertoire.

Soon after they repeated the Rolling Stones cover, Torn and Frayed, played at Festival 8 in Indio, CA just a few weeks prior. Strange Design, Ginseng Sullivan, and Albuquerque followed next, which were three tunes that had only appeared a handful of times in the last decade. Rare treats to those fans keeping track. Limb by Limb and Run Like an Antelope closed the set with energy that was through the roof and the crowd was finally given a chance to catch their breath at intermission.


After a 30-minute setbreak, Phish took the stage for the final set of the weekend. They came out firing on all cylinders for a 15+ minute Rock and Roll that got weird and spacey before an effortless segue into a huge version of Ghost. The crowd couldn’t have asked for a better 1-2 punch to open. They let the band know as they roared in approval before Ghost came to a halt and the opening notes of If I Could began, another bust-out for stat freaks.

After a solid Backwards Down The Number Line, from the new album, Joy, Phish eased into Prince Caspian. It was Page’s time to shine on the keys during a funky Suzy Greenberg that transitioned into a short, but tight 2001. The Squirming Coil closed things out and the band left the stage one by one leaving Page to solo on piano. He stood, took a bow, and the entire building shook with the crowd’s cheer.


Phish took the stage for the encore for what would be the final time of the weekend. After Fish sung the final lines of Sleeping Monkey from behind the drums, Trey explained they wished they could play in Cincinnati for an entire week. He thanked the fans and said that the band would grant the request from one of the signs being held up in the front rows. With that, they broke into Axilla. The room went wild as Kuroda’s light show was perfectly in-sync and the crowd pumped their fists in the air singing along. A fun song to cap off a perfect two days of music. You could be sure that no one in attendance would soon forget when Phish destroyed Ohio.






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12 Responses

  1. Timmy…wow..I was there and thought it was the highlight of the show. Then I get home and read Mr Miner and see he feels the same…going as far as one of the best of 09… I guess to each his own and that’s cool…it was a top show in my list in any case.

  2. I’m of the mind that the SOAM in the second night was kind of awkward. Most of the set consisted of a very slow song followed by an extremely up tempo song. It was all hurry up and wait. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but it just made for a lot of go crazy, now wait, now go crazy. It was also going to be hard for the second night to live up to the first night, which I thought was roundly amazing. Either way, it was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. Your boys are definately back in fighting shape and hopefully are going to continue doing this for a while.

  3. Time Turns Elastic was extraordinary. you all are talking about great jams that they did nail, but what the TTE that shook probably the whole city during the ending. hands down best TTE ever. hey real phans try actually listening to it now, it has progress into a composition similiar to a Y.E.M or GUYUTE. The TTE at Cincy was so much improved and was played so awesome when u listen to it and really hear it, they made it so good you have to like it. stop hatin phans, i will bet you will have TTE in your top 5 really soon. having said that, TTE in Cincy was certainly the best song of 1st set, probably of whole night 1, maybe even song of the weekend. listen 2 it

  4. way better than the cobo review. these shows were pretty darn good. well worth the 16 hours of travel…. each way. msg is going to be huge

  5. If anybody thought cinci was bad they r an oblivious fool.night2 had 3-4 rare slow songs.soam.torn and frayed-what meaning this song has to the band.this was the 1st show I’ve witnessed the energy back like that in a long time.they r fusing the best of the past with the promise of change from tomarrow.the slow and fast change up the 2nd night seemed to have more spirits glowing or growing brighter thing as a veteran I noticed was treys singing has developed much better than before.shows like the 2nd night are more historic than most think.I call it the show phish started busting out the cover material,knowing fest8 helped this along like all the other halloween shows.both nights were fantastic.its been I while since this phishhead has seen a combination of the right crowd energy,the right band,and more importantly the right place and time.since phish has started the3.0 journey I’ve learned to analyze every data input into my brain.remember when we all just wanted phish back together to play whatever the fuck!we should be happy that we r getting way more than that at this point in time.its great and hope it builds a foundation to stay for15-20years of face melting,violating,making me vomit cause its so sick and gets better with each show/tour!in fact its like living in a dream.I’m going to go listen to that rock n roll -ghost-if I could,because this guitar player is restless.peace

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