We’ve reached the home stretch of the first leg of Phish Summer Tour 2011. Tonight the quartet returned to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA for the second of two shows at the fan-friendly shed.
[Screenshot of Live Phish webcast]
Once again Phish opened the show with a rare bluegrass cover and this time it was Paul and Silas getting the call. Tonight’s take on the traditional tune was only the fifth version in the past 15 years. Standard takes on Back On The Train and Foam followed along with the slow version of Water in the Sky which was in reference to the thunderstorms that enveloped the area around the venue both before the show and during the first set. Runaway Jim didn’t quite reach the heights of Bethel, but the harmonics section was extended nicely tonight as well. Page McConnell’s Army of One saw its first action of 2011 and featured some of Trey’s best work of the set. A pair of covers – Roses Are Free and Timber (Jerry) – came next and were joined together by a quick and painless transition.
It’s not very often that Phish is forced off the stage by bad weather. Notable instances in the past include Deer Creek ’09 and Polaris ’00. Fans must’ve been thinking about those times when members of Phish’s crew emerged during only the fifth Mound since 1997. Trey took to the mic and told the audience that a nasty storm was about to hit and that the band needed to leave the stage. He promised there would be more music soon as the shortened Mound came to a close.
Forty-nine minutes later Phish returned to the stage and finished Mound. Tweezer came complete with a lyric change of “cold” to “wet” in honor of the downpours. Just as Tweezer was getting good Trey started playing the Julius intro and hopes for a long excursion were dashed. While the Slave to the Traffic Light that followed did provide some fine interplay between the band members, Gotta Jibboo was the clear improvisational highlight of the closing set. McConnell in particular helped to push the jam to an interesting place shortly after killing his Suzy Greenberg solo. At the end of the set, the acapella mics came out for the first time all tour and Phish delivered a zany version of Birdwatcher and an acapella Kung led by Anastasio and Fishman with help from Page and Mike.
When Phish dropped jaws with a near 25-minute Down With Disease in Clarkston, MI back on June 3 hopes were high for more extended jams this tour. With just three shows to go on this leg we’re still waiting.
READ ON for the setlist and The Skinny…