Watch 1:45 worth of Phish’s performance at UMASS on February 17, 1990.
A new HT contributor offers his take on a recent ABB performance.
Words: Eric Wyman
Phish @ Great Woods, June 7
As the geographic center of Phish’s original fanbase, shows in Massachusetts have always held a special reverence. Located in Mansfield, the Comcast Center (formerly known as Great Woods) has long been the New England summer destination of choice. With historic shows spanning 15 dates and including a legendary Gamehendge performance in 1994, it’s hard to find a fan who doesn’t have at least one epic story from Great Woods. With the modern era, gone are the weekend blowouts in favor of the less desirable Tuesday night slot. Guaranteed to be a good draw on an otherwise dead night, performances in the past two years have been lackluster to say the least. On Tuesday night, Phish took the stage in their old stomping grounds ready to write anther page in their Great Woods story.
[Photo by Parker Harrington]
Opening with the high energy Llama, a song that opened that Gamehendge performance of 7/8/1994 they immediately recaptured some of the magic from that summer 17 years ago. Carrying the frenetic energy through the beginning of the first set with Moma Dance, (yet another) Possum and some good Cities improv, Phish finally slowed down with their version of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma”. Picking right back up into David Bowie, the band took the first steps on to an off the beaten path jam route that would explode in the second set. The Phish debut of Al Green’s “Rhymes”, a song you may have heard via Scott Murawski and the Mike Gordon Band, showcased Mike’s remarkably improved vocals. Seriously, go back and listen to a late 90’s show. Mike has really worked on his voice and now has the range to carry a wide array of songs. What happened next though, would define the set.
When the opening notes of Divided Sky found the air, I for one was ready for 13 uneventful minutes. Boy was I wrong. Well executed through the composed section, a far different result from its last performance over the weekend, Trey unleashed a unique melody employing the staccato feel we’ve all grown so accustomed to in a manner that was certainly not expected in this arena. Unique and powerful, Trey led the band through an extended outro that will partly define this show and has to be added to the song’s long history. A perfectly acceptable exclamation point to the set, Phish was set to close with even more energy via Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan. READ ON for more about Phish’s latest Great Woods show…
Phish @ Great Woods (Comcast Center), June 7
Phish returned to the venue formerly known as Great Woods – now the Comcast Center – for the 15th time this evening as the quartet’s summer tour continued in Mansfield, MA. Starting on July 21, 1992, a show where Phish opened for Santana, the venue has been a regular stop for the band outside of 1996 – 1998 and 2003.
The band opened up this evening’s show with only the fifth Llama since they reunited in Hampton. Possum reared its head for the fourth time in the tour’s nine performances thus far and didn’t reach the heights of the much buzzed about Blossom version according to Phish.net’s Scott Marks. Later in the set, Instant Karma! saw its first action since the quartet debuted the John Lennon cover on June 12, 2010 in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
Great Woods shows are known for their one-timer covers such as Rita Clarke’s Lit O Bit in 2010, Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd and the only electric take on Boston’s Foreplay/Long Time in 1999 as well as a fun take on The Modern Lovers’ Roadrunner in 2000. This time around Al Green’s Rhymes, a song the Mike Gordon Band has performed 15 times between 2008 and 2011, got the call with Gordon handling vocals. Phish closed out the opening stanza with Divided Sky and the Joy staple Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan.
For the second set, Phish came out with Back On The Train and once again used the second slot for a song that provides an improvisational springboard with Rock and Roll filling the role this time around. Wyman noticed “distinct segmentation like [the Down With Disease] from Friday” while adding “[I] can’t compare, but very impressed.” The first Mango Song of the year followed and started a string of three 2011 debuts that also included Bug and Pebbles and Marbles. Fans hoping for another extended Halley’s Comet were disappointed as Phish quickly transitioned into Meatstick. The Run Like An Antelope closer featured Meatstick, Bug and Divided Sky teases before the group encored with a curfew-busting Suzy Greenberg.
HT’s Eric Wyman will provide a full review tomorrow, but in the meantime, READ ON for tonight’s setlist and The Skinny…
Phish performed at the Mullins Center on the campus on UMASS-Amherst four times between April 16, 1994 and December 5, 1995. Fifteen years later, the group finally returns to the basketball-centric arena for two shows starting tonight and continuing tomorrow.
READ ON for tonight’s setlist…
Phish returned to the venue formerly known as Great Woods – now the Comcast Center – for the 14th time this evening as the quartet’s summer tour continued in Mansfield,
It’s been a crazy day for the Disco Biscuits that started when guitarist Jon Gutwillig injured his wrist in an accident after the group’s show in Albany. The band decided to go on with their scheduled show at the House of Blues in Boston this evening and have turned the gig into a free one with refunds being given to all ticketholders. The group will invite special guests to perform with them for what’s sure to be an incredibly unique performance.
We’ve got a couple of HT staffers at the show that will report on the setlist and offer insights live from the House of Blues. We’ll keep updating the page, so be sure to refresh.
March 19, 2010
House of Blues
Set 1: Oname Wa, Park Avenue^, Orch Theme^, Tricycle^ > Uber Glue^, Mirrors^, Helicopters^^ > Gangster^^ > Helicopters^^
Set Two: Show Canceled due to “technical difficulties”
Without Jon Gutwillig
^ – w/ Chris Michetti on guitar, ^^ – w/ Michetti and Joey Zarick
7:45 PM: Check out the audio of the call that ticketholders received from Ticketmaster about tonight’s show…
READ ON for a transcription of the call and more of our live blog…