Not even two weeks after it started, the current leg of Phish Summer Tour 2011 came to a close tonight at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
[Photo by Joel Berk]
Phish came out of the gates strong with the first Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird opener since November 3, 1989 (1,249 shows). While the Super Ball IX Forbin’s/Mockingbird contained a narration for the first time since the hiatus, tonight’s version did not. Next, Gumbo saw its first action since Merriweather back in June, while a typically fierce Possum was the fifth of this brief nine-show run. The group was clearly focused on reaching deep into their bag of tricks and in the middle of the set they came out with the Mike Gordon-penned Weigh, a song they’ve only played five times over the past 13 years.
There’s a special connection between the UIC Pavilion and Divided Sky. In 2004, guitarist Trey Anastasio told Charlie Rose that one of the most special moments of his Phish Experience happened during the Divided Sky pause on June 18, 1994 – a feeling perhaps re-created during this evening’s take on the classic tune. Alaska broke up the old school vibe before Bathtub was played on the 14th anniversary of the legendary Went Gin. Though they stuck “in the box” for this Gin, Trey brutalized his Languedoc throughout a hard-rocking, high-energy solo. The fretboard fireworks continued through Maze, beyond Cavern and into a perfectly placed First Tube set closer that fed off the energy provided by the frenzied crowd.
READ ON for a recap of the rest of the show along with tonight’s setlist and The Skinny…