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Saturday, July 9

Summer Finally Starts as Phish Throws Heat from Beginning to End. Recap and Setlist

Summer Tour seems to finally achieve liftoff as Phish puts out a winner from start to finish.  There was no denying that the band came to play as the grabbed the pig by the tail and didn't let it go until the LizCup ending. This show is the first show of the tour that I saw Phish lock in and become one unit with eight arms.
So they started the show with "Pigtail" and maybe I got a little nervous. They then proceeded to drop the wildest, funkiest, dancin-est, "Moma Dance" on the crowd that they've pulled out of their hat this whole tour. Maybe they felt the energy start to creep up from last night but from that point on, even the slow songs rocked. This setlist had the song placement fans have been craving all tour. The rumor mill was starting to turn but this show should pull the plug on that machine for awhile. Next up, was the raptor trio. "Birds of a Feather, Meat, Vultures," followed by the booming, opening chords of "Free" and if there was any worry about Trey being tired, he put the haters to bed and didn't miss a note. This was a large, expansive 98' style version and Mike knocked the bottom out. The biggest bustout of "Let Me Lie", couldn't even dampen the energy in the room. A break was called for and supplied by Trey's ballad and then out came the spaghetti and meatballs for "Halley's Comet." This was headed towards an old school jammed out version when it took a left turn into "Julius" that was jammed out like it was a new tune again. There was some weirdness to shake off but from this point on it was nothing but fire and a set closing," You Enjoy Myself" started it off. With the band members switching instruments, it's almost like they had a band meeting and got out of their own way. What a way to end a set! This one was hot from start to finish and even though it's composed for the most part, you could feel the heat coming off the band.

What to say about the second set? I could just say it was the best set of the tour and consequently, the best show of the tour. That's not fair though. They opened with one of the longest, spaciest "Down with Disease" of the tour and didn't stop playing as they dove into "Sand". This one-two combo set the tone for the rest of the set. These two songs can't be raved about enough but wait, there's more! They brought "Tela" out to play next which, by itself, makes shows for some people. it's on a lot of bucket lists but they didn't stop there. "Carini" scared the shit out of the ram and everyone was screaming when they saw the lump and maybe that's why the cooled off with a well-played,"Twenty Years Later", that's right. This song even had the potential to go type-1 hot tonight. But nevermind, after the lovely jam, the opening notes of "Run Like an Antelope" sprung out of the speakers. The whole band played for all they were worth and it put all doubts to rest about Trey, who gets my vote for MVP tonight. I mentioned setlist construction and they put "Backwards Down the Number Line" in the perfect spot. It was a cool down from Antelope but still had the crowd jamming and was a hot version and a perfect way to end the show. Or so the audience thought. 

  courtesy of

For the encore, they travelled back to Gamehenge and pulled out a beautiful "Lizards" that threw the crowd into a frenzy. After that rarity, they continued the trend of closing with a cover and pulled out the old classic, "Loving Cup" for what I'm calling the "LizCup" encore to end, in my opinion what rates as my show of the tour so far and finally a show that shows what this band can do when they're on.

Written by: Greg Heffelfinger

XFINITY Theatre, Hartford, CT

[1] Trey on Marimba Lumina, Page on bass, Mike on keys for portion of the jam.

Notes: Let Me Lie was last performed on 8/10/10 (229 shows). Portions of the YEM jam featured Trey on Marimba Lumina, Mike on keys, and Page on bass.
courtesy of

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