Phish @ Merriweather Post Pavilion – Night One: Setlist and Recap

Last summer’s Phish concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion on August 15, 2009, was greeted with lukewarm response at best from the group’s fanbase. While I did enjoy the controversial show, I certainly didn’t need to see it a second time, as last year’s show and last night’s performance at the Frank Gehry-designed venue last night had more similarities than any pair of Phish gigs in memory, let alone at the same venue.

Both shows opened with Crowd Control and Kill Devil Falls and closed with Good Times, Bad Times and Tweezer Reprise, although Show of Life was wedged in between the Reprise and the Zeppelin cover. Other tunes performed at Merriweather in ’09 and ’10 were 46 Days, Tube and Tweezer. For a band that prides itself on changing it up every night, it’s surprising Phish treated Washington D.C.-area fans to such similar setlists two years in a row.

Saturday, 06/26/2010 Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD

Set 1: Crowd Control, Kill Devil Falls, AC/DC Bag, Sugar Shack, Tube, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea[1], Stash, Backwards Down the Number Line, NICU > 46 Days, Suzy Greenberg

Set 2: Rock and Roll[2] > Free, Fast Enough for You, Sparkle > Tweezer, The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Wolfman’s Brother > Slave to the Traffic Light > Tweezer Reprise

Encore: Show of Life, Good Times Bad Times

[1] Phish debut.
[2] Moby Dick teases.

Notes: This show featured the Phish debut of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel). Rock and Roll contained Moby Dick teases.

[via Phish.net]

Now, while the similarities must be addressed, there were plenty of differences between Merriweather ’09 and last night’s gig – namely the quality of the band’s performance. Each member of Phish is on top of their game these days and no matter what the quartet played, they nailed it. Most of the first two weeks of Phish Summer Tour 2010 were light on the improv, but there was plenty of psych-rock exploration last night in both Rock and Roll and Tweezer. Wolfman’s also featured a dirty funk jam that the band took out more than your typical version of the tune.

Last night’s random cover came from the indie world as Phish slipped its take on Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over the Sea into the first set. While few in the crowd knew the Trey-sung cover, there were a few indie fans going absolutely ape shit. The first jukebox tour – over the summer of ’98 – focused mainly on classic rock covers, but this summer’s tour finds the band making more esoteric cover selections. We’ll see what genre Phish draws from tonight – if they do debut a cover – for the second of two shows at Merriweather.

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3 Responses

  1. Jeez, hardly anybody knew the NMH bust out. That’s weak, phans. That’s a kick ass cover. Very cool.

    No work for me for ten days. Just phish. Woohoooo!

  2. “. That’s weak, phans. ”

    Very true. I just don’t think today’s crowd is as interested in Phish’s influences as the crowd in the early to mid 90s were. BUt I do love the crazy amount of interesting covers this tour. Just waht Phish needed to invigorate themselves. Just my opinion.

  3. Agreed with the first 2 comments…it’s time to broaden your minds musically. Thank god Phish is letting some of their other influences shine through in their shows. I LOVE the classic rock covers, but the newer more “esoteric” covers are pretty fuckin’ cool in my opinion.

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