Anastasio was in fine form all evening and was even a bit frisky telling Gordon to take a Heavy Metal bass solo in Wilson and introduced McConnell as “Marco Esquandolas” in the Run Like An Antelope that ended the first set. Also of note was the electric debut of Anastasio’s Sleep Again from his 70 Volt Parade days. Unlike that band, this tune worked well with McConnell taking a concise piano solo. Another highlight was the second set Birds of a Feather opener in which the jam took an adventurous turn. Gordon added some funk tones courtesy of his Lovetone Meatball pedal while McConnell and Anastasio ripped it up.
You Enjoy Myself has been hit or miss since the band’s return; some versions didn’t even contain a real guitar solo. Last night’s version was a sensational hit. The band members expertly worked their way through the composed sections and the jam featured remarkable interplay between Anastasio and McConnell. Nothing was rushed as each segment was played to its fullest.
Now, Philly Night Two was far from perfect. The placement of Time Turns Elastic was horrible, the ending of Farmhouse was badly botched and the transition from Halley’s Comet to The Divided Sky was poorly executed. Yet none of those miscues took away from the overall flow of the concert. Phish treated us to tight playing, a few inspired moments of improv, spirited banter and a beautiful cover for an encore. It wasn’t epic but it was a good Phish show.
The quartet has clearly gained confidence as the tour progressed and even though last night’s show didn’t have a dream setlist with big gun after big gun, Phish was on. Not every show can be “epic,” and there’s nothing wrong with a good Phish show. Phish’s Fall Tour continues tomorrow night at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.
Set 1: Kill Devil Falls, 46 Days, Sugar Shack, Halley’s Comet, The Divided Sky, Sleep Again, Ocelot, Train Song, Wilson, Run Like an Antelope
Set 2: Birds of a Feather, Farmhouse, Tweezer, You Enjoy Myself, Esther, Time Turns Elastic, Tweezer Reprise
Encore: Oh! Sweet Nuthin’