Phish @ Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls OH
Phish returned to Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH this evening for their fifth-ever performance at the Cleveland-area shed. The band continued on the improv-heavy path they went down last night once again tonight, especially during the second set.
[Photo by Joe Ringus]
The first set saw the band dust off their cover of Little Feat’s Rocket In My Pocket from Waiting for Columbus for its initial post-Halloween performance. Mike Gordon sang that one as well as Fuck Your Face, which popped up for the first time since Augusta. Foam, Guelah Papyrus and Guyute also made their 2011 debuts during an opening stanza that ended with a Run Like An Antelope which Justin Wendt of Oh Kee Pah Blog feels was “slaughtered.” The Antelope closer featured a Streets of Cairo tease and featured Trey making shout outs to his band mates and LD Chris “Toph” Kuroda.
Birds of a Feather opened the second set and was followed by Possum – the song Phish has played most since Hampton. Yet, this wasn’t a typical Possum as the group screwed around with the tempo towards the end leading towards a “meltdown” similar to the version of Boogie On from Bethel. Out of what Wendt described as “dark ambience” came the first original debut of 2011 entitled Steam. The Anastasio/Tom Marshall-penned tune had, “some elements of 46 days to it but played much slower and [more] deliberately” according to YEMblogger Josh Korin. Unlike the terribly short six-minute Piper from three nights earlier in Holmdel, the version that emerged out of sound effects used for Steam was extended nicely with improv HT’s Wade Wilby described as a “really pretty ambient jam.” Piper transitioned into Lizards before the quartet laid into a take on Allen Toussaint’s Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley that had “heavy psychedelic overtones” according to Wilby and was “the business” in Wendt’s mind.
Out of Sally came Harry Hood and smack dab in the middle of the usual Hood jam, Phish switched up the tempo and had keyboardist Page McConnell lead them into the rare Have Mercy before finishing the Harry Hood sandwich. Character Zero, another staple of the rotation that doesn’t vary very much from version to version, wasn’t a standard take as guitarist Trey Anastasio worked in numerous Smoke On The Water teases in both his solo and the ending. Not content to end the evening with a throwaway encore, Phish delivered Slave to the Traffic Light in the bonus frame.
READ ON for tonight’s setlist and The Skinny…