August 9

Phish Tahoe Setlist and Skinny: Night One

Another night, another new venue for Phish as the HT faves headed to the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena for the first of two performances in the mountain town. These shows are being webcast on leading to fans to speculate as to whether the broadcast would have an impact on the band’s performance. Would they play a “greatest hits” show or would they jam? We got a little of each tonight, but certainly more improvisation than the last shows which were webcast – Alpharetta – as the quartet threw down an exceptional 17-minute Light in the second set.

[Unofficial Lake Tahoe Poster by Steve Conroy]

After an uplifting opening segment of Party Time, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > AC/DC Bag and Mellow Mood kicked off the set, guitarist Trey Anastasio struggled to find his footing in the composed sections of Rift, Punch You In The Eye and Horn. The first Meat of 2011 was an example of how Phish dug deeper into their catalog in the opening stanza as compared to the first three shows of the leg. David Bowie featured the first exploration of the night and was highlighted by a beautiful but short major-key jam. A blazing 46 Days that didn’t stray too far out of the box closed the set.

The second slot in the second set seems to indicate “jam” in the 3.0 formula. This slot has hosted many of the wildest explorations of the era and that was the case again tonight when Light came out of a wild and wooly Gotta Jibboo. Light was used as a springboard to a lengthy trip to the unknown often in 2009 and 2010, but in 2011 its role was for quick and dirty jams. That started to change back in Watkins Glen and Light returned to its former glory tonight. This jam wasn’t a Trey shredfest – all four members made important contributions to keep the psychedelia flowing for over 10 minutes. Page McConnell made ample use of the synthesizers in his arsenal while Anastasio added effect-laden layers to mesh with the rhythm section. At times the jam hinted at Timber Ho and Undermind but the “ripcord” was never pulled. READ ON for the rest of the recap, the setlist, The Skinny, photos, tweets and much more on Phish in Tahoe…

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