“I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a comeback,” former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said after he was forced to resign last year. Echoing the words of the infamous Detroit mayor, Phish returned for a comeback of their own in the Motor City for this year’s fall tour opener, however, delivering on the comeback would be a different story. Save a few bright spots, (Down With Disease>Free and 46 Days) the show sounded like the first show of a tour, a bit rusty and apprehensive.
The quartet came out to a barrage of roses from someone hopeful for Ween’s Roses Are Free, that unfortunately didn’t come. Most of the first set was fairly straightforward as nothing really found a perfect fit. With the newer songs Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan and Kill Devil Falls, guitarist Trey Anastasio’s, for lack of a better word, Joy, was apparent as he played these new compositions just as noticeably eager as he was the past summer to push the crowd to enjoy them as much as he seems to.
It’s Ice made for an interesting highlight of the first set, but most of the opening stanza was filled with slower tunes such as Mist. Things got slightly more upbeat with Poor Heart and 46 Days would branch out a bit, with Trey pinging notes over a spacey pulsing background soundscape while lighting director Chris Kuroda covered the side walls of Cobo Hall during the ambient improv. Slowly, the space in 46 Days fizzled into silence before it got to any real interesting territory.
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