Phish fans raved about the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA after the band’s two performances there last summer. Tonight, Phish returned to the venue for the first of two shows. If you can’t make it to Alpharetta you can watch all the action live through a Live Phish webcast.
[Screen Grab from Webcast]
As with each of the past three shows Phish picked a sign in the audience to provide the name of the opening song. This time for the fitting Dinner and a Movie got the call. Moma Dance followed and led into the sixth Possum of the tour. There were other rotation staples a plenty in the opening stanza including Cities, Fluffhead, Ocelot and Kill Devil Falls. The band also dipped into their catalog for a bluegrass cover, Norman Blake’s Ginseng Sullivan, which saw live action for the first time in 50 shows. While the start of the 87-minute set didn’t contain much improvisation, the end was a different story. Bathtub Gin came to a big climax similar to the version from two nights earlier at Merriweather and a cover of Traffic’s Light Up or Leave Me Alone featured an extended solo filled with firey work from guitarist Trey Anastasio that was the clear highlight of the set.
Carini may have been a jam vehicle for Phish in 2010 but in 2011 each version has been of the straightforward variety and tonight’s set two opener quickly segued into Sand in what seemed like a surprise to every member of the band except Trey. Sand has had a fine tour thus far and tonight’s take was no exception. Down With Disease once again featured out of the box exploration for a spell before the band deftly worked their way towards Maze. Anastasio and Page McConnell were both in fine form technically throughout the light on improv second set, so Maze was a good choice to give them each a chance to shine. A sequence of well-played, heavy rotation stalwarts followed to close the set – Meatstick > Also Sprach Zarathrustra > Bug > A Day in the Life > Run Like An Antelope leading to a Quinn The Eskimo encore. Phish returns to Alpharetta tomorrow night.
READ ON for the setlist and The Skinny…