Phish was all business for the first 2:45 of Friday’s show in Hartford, the second of two nights at the Comcast Theatre. But the encore, which featured a strange dedication and the same song played twice is probably what will be remembered most about this night.
Fee was an interesting choice for an opener on a Friday, when the crowd seemed ready for something with more energy. The song is fairly rare these days – it was played only once in 2009 – but doesn’t do much to get the crowd going and this version wasn’t really any exception. Rift was close and had some good moments but was not quite as tight as it should be as Trey struggled with the “darkness the light from above could not reach” lyric and several of the licks in the buildup and peak. The set got cooking briefly with a very strong Wolfman’s Brother that started funky but turned into more of a straight ahead rock and roll jam and the energy began to rise in the venue.
New Phish songs always sound strange the first time you hear them live. Everyone sort of looks around and shrugs and has that “I have no clue what this is” look on their faces. Summer of ’89 certainly drew those looks on Friday night. I can’t say I enjoyed the song all that much but I’ll reserve full judgment until it’s been worked out a bit. The beginning struck me as a Water in the Sky/Driver hybrid that tried to gain steam with a jam segment that didn’t go very far. But we’ll see how the song develops if it remains in the rotation.
READ ON for more from Luke on Night Two of Hartford…