“This has been an incredible weekend,” guitarist Trey Anastasio told the crowd on Phish’s final performance of their long awaited reunion shows. The band played another marathon show on Sunday (March 8) to a delighted audience, dipping into a wide range of their back catalog as well as dishing out a number of favorite cover songs.
If the first night was high with anticipatory feelings and the second night more heavy on the funk, night three proved to have many overt references to the group’s time off. Starting the evening off with the rare tune “Sanity,” Anastasio grinned and shook his head during the lines “lost my mind just a couple of times”- a clear reference to his much documented arrest and struggles with drug use. “Undermind” repeated the phrase “reinvented, redefined” throughout and the crowd was ecstatic when Anastasio sung the line “I feel the feelings I forgot” during “Free.”
The first set clocked in at around an hour and forty minutes, with the band jumping from the hard rocking “Wilson,” to the dark and shifty “My Friend, My Friend” and “Maze,” to the sped up country of “Scent of a Mule.” And while the group has been concentrating on getting their material back on track, they proved they still have a few tricks up their sleeve. Bassist Mike Gordon tackled the Dickey Lee (made famous by George Jones) tune “She Still Thinks I Care” and Page McConnell emerged from his piano set, only to pick up a keytar and play it during the classic rock instrumental “Frankenstein,” which had him standing side by side with Anastasio and Gordon.
Fans love this band for their improv skills and set two delivered the heaviest of the free-form explorations, with a 22 minute version of “Down With Disease” that seemed to be ever-evolving, with Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman consistently playing with the rhythm towards the end. Later in the set, the band tackled more covers, choosing the theme to “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the Beatles tune, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” “Slave to the Traffic Light” capped the second set with one of Anastasio’s best lead moments of the weekend, bringing his band mates to a thundering crescendo over a course of almost 11 minutes.
Phish will resume touring for two and a half weeks this summer starting on June 4th at Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York. Aside from the Bonnaroo festival, all dates are sold out.
Here is Phish’s third night set list:
“My Friend, My Friend”
“Scent of a Mule”
“All of These Dreams”
“She Thinks I Still Care”
“Army of Me”
“Cars Trucks Buses”
“Down With Disease”>
“Silent In The Morning”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
“Wading in the Velvet Sea”
“Slave to the Traffic Light”