Phish Destroys North Carolina

Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC

1: Llama, Roses Are Free, Kill Devil Falls, Time Loves a Hero*, Alaska, Water in the Sky, Runaway Jim > The Moma Dance > The Divided Sky, Cavern
2: Backwards Down the Number Line > Halley’s Comet > Light > Fluffhead > Have Mercy**, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone*** > Free > Wading in the Velvet Sea, The Squirming Coil > Suzy Greenberg
E: Boogie On Reggae Woman
*LTP: 12/31/02 (127 shows)
**LTP: 10/10/99 (181 shows)
***LTP: 10/30/99 (189 shows)

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC

1: Buried Alive > AC/DC Bag > Vultures, Wolfman’s Brother, Get Back on the Train, The Wedge, Mexican Cousin, Stash, Sparkle > Chalkdust Torture
2: Drowned > Jam > 46 Days > Twenty Years Later > Lizards, Carini > Fuck Your Face* > Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) > You Enjoy Myself  > Vocal Jam**
E: A Day In The Life
*LTP: 04/29/87 (1,413 shows)
** Contained Proud Mary and Get Back teases

Check out our reviews and pics after the jump…

Phish | 07/01/2010 | Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC
Seeing Phish at Walnut Creek was especially exciting for me because I saw my first Phish show at the same venue just over ten years earlier. The lot scene was what one would expect…heady quesadillas, grilled cheeses, Newcastle for sale (143245 brah). We rolled into our seat behind the tape section just in time for the start. “Llama” was a great way to start the show and get people moving, but the second song, “Roses Are Free“, was a pleasant surprise and got the audience singing along. The sound mix sounded great on this song from where we were sitting. The last studio album I’ve listened to from Phish is Farmhouse so I don’t know much about the new stuff. “Kill Devil Falls” was a danceable tune with a nice guitar solo from Trey. I don’t know the background on the name “Kill Devil Falls”, but I suspect it may have been a shoutout to Kill Devil Hills. Next were “Time Loves A Hero” and “Alaska“, which has some nice soulful riffs, but at this point Event Staff EMS was crawling over our area at this point because some woman had a panic attack or something. She better be glad she got out when she did, because what happened over the rest of the set would have given her a heart attack. “Water In The Sky” is a classic Phish tune that became the start of an amazing sequence of music. I guess no one really yells for the Everglades (Big Cyprus 2000) anymore. Next was “Runaway Jim“. OK, so now the crowd was jumping around the lawn a bit and were settling into the music. The groovy jam session during Jim was perfect for the time of day as the sun was falling behind the lawn. “The Moma Dance“. PHISH FUNK! YES! Now everyone was getting down. Gordon’s bass was resonating all through the covered portion of the amphitheatre. Did I mention how good the sound mix was? Then Trey hit those familiar intro notes of “Divided Sky” and at this point, everyone was enjoying the tension and release of the composed part, yet excited with the anticipation of the assault Trey was about to put on the Raleigh crowd as the darkness crept over the venue and the light show became more apparent. Trey went off as expected and to end the set, they brought out “Cavern“. This is one of my personal all-time favorite Phish songs, and even with the Divided Sky leading up to it and all of the other great songs play at Walnut Creek, this was the peak of the show for me (I’ll get to Suzy Greenberg later). As I write this, over a week later, I’ve since listened to this track close to 10 times and each time my hair still stands on end thinking about what was going on when it was played live. The entire fucking crowd was dancing and the light show was on point. It’s just something about looking across 20,000 people dancing and singing in unison lyrics as obscure as “Give the director a serpent deflector / a mudrat detector, a ribbon reflector / a cushion connector, a picture of nectar / a viral dissector, a hormone collector”. Everyone there was having fun.

The second set started with “Backwards Down the Number Line“…pretty standard. Next, “Halley’s Comet“; after a standard “Backwards”, this got the show going again. Mike’s slap bass sounded especially good through this song. The next song, “Light“,  was new to me, but it was kind of a big deal. The jam was long, spacey, and psychedelic. “Fluffhead” was a nice upbeat song contrasting from “Light”. The complex sections of this song included some nice contributions from Page on piano leading to the ending chorus “Fluffheeeeeeead!!!!” with Trey doing what he does best. The end of “Fluffhead” drifted into the reggae tune, “Have Mercy“, which had not been played since 1999. The same went for “Light Up or Leave Me Alone“, the next track, which was a real treat. The epic “Free” was up after the two bust-outs and Mike tore apart the jam portion. The emotional (if you’ve ever seen the Coventry video) “Wading In The Velvet Sea” was next. Awesome. “The Squirming Coil“, another classic weaved its way through its several complex arrangements until it was capped off with Page’s signature piano improvisational solo, which held the full attention of every ear in the audience. The following insanity of “Suzy Greenberg” capped off the second set. Everyone was yelling the chorus and the bright lights shone over the crowd as if to give the mic to the crowd. After this exhilarating finale, the encore was just right. I know I’ve harped on the sound mix already, but Mike’s bassline on “Boogie On Reggae Woman” was sick.

Overall, this show was  absolutely awesome. It is definitely the tightest and most confident I’ve heard Phish sounding since the first time I saw them here before the first hiatus. If Phish comes near you, go see them. Pictures from the show are below.

Phish | 07/02/2010 | Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
It is always a great thing to see a band you love play live in your hometown.  Dropping by Charlotte on the final stretch of their summer tour, Phish was bringing the heat – although, after carefully dissecting the Raleigh setlist, I wondered if the band would have anything special in store for us because the tour closer was in Atlanta on July 4th and Raleigh got an outstanding show. I had this weird feeling that I would somehow be let down with my Phish experience in Charlotte.  Holy shit… I am glad I was wrong.

My call for the opener was “AC/DC Bag“, but instead we got “Buried Alive” – a rare, bouncy instrumental that the band played as a sign request from the crowd.  Trey got off to a shaky start, but I was happy to see that Gordo, Fishman, and Page were locked into the groove.  Then BAM, they slammed it right into “AC/DC Bag” which was slated to be the original opener according to the band’s setlist.  This one definitely got the crowd pumped and everyone around us was high-fiving and grooving hard.  This version was extra funky with Gordo dropping some extra juicy bass bombs throughout.  “Vultures” is a rare Phish tune that doesn’t appear on a studio album.  It contained some nice jazzy changes while the overall feel of the music mimicked that of vultures circling around.  This was the tour debut of the song, and a nice treat for the uber-heady Phish fans.  “Wolfman’s Brother” was a crowd pleaser and featured Gordo dropping some serious funk all over the place.  He and Fishman were dialed in all night long.  “Get Back On The Train” had a loose roll that chugged along as Page went nuts on the clavinet for awhile – a very psychedelic version that had everyone’s heads bobbing along.  As the sun began to set, the band settled into a nice version of  “The Wedge” – another Phish rarity that had the brahs worked up into a frenzy.  “Mexican Cousin” is probably one of my least favorite Phish songs.  A guy a few rows down from us had a request sign for this song – the more he danced and screamed as they were playing it, the more I wanted to walk over and punch him in the eye.  “STASH!!” Finally, one of my favorite Phish jams of all-time.  The lights really began to take hold during this version.  The band teased the climax at least 3 or 4 times before finally exploding.  You know the feeling… This was the Phish I came to see.  “Sparkle” is another one of my most hated Phish songs…  “Chalkdust Torture” was an appropriate closer that had the entire place rockin’.  Just when you think the band can’t take a song any higher, they come right back around again and kick you in the teeth.

The setbreak was rather short (much to my surprise), and at last, it was completely dark.  Lights.  Camera.  Action.  The band took the stage to 20,000 rowdy fans eager for more, and opened up with a kick-ass version of The Who’s “Drowned” which was some of the more harder rock I’ve ever heard Phish play.  There was a glowstick war and a solid 6 minute jam that had faces melting.  Boom!  Right into “46 Days” which is one of Phish’s better new(er) songs.  Again, this one was chock-full of Gordo funk.  (Do you see a recurring theme here?)  Trey cut it a little short and a quick vocal jam segued nicely into “20 Year Later” which is another new song that I was not familiar with.  It started a little slow, but ended with a heavy blues-driven jam with a trippy cherry on top.  “Lizards!”  Old school Phish again that had the heads gyrating and flailing around like a bunch of fish out of water.  The melodic outro added a nice touch and then HOOOOLLLLY SHIIIIITTTTT – all hell broke loose!!!!  “Carini!” FUCK YES!  Another one of my favorites.  Absolutely disgusting.  I felt like this was the first song of the night that Trey completely owned.  There were 20,000 heads at Verizon just getting the fuck down – bodies contorting in all directions.  It was so awesome to see.  Wait a second, “Fuck Your Face???”  Good Lord…  I wasn’t familiar with the song (as they haven’t played it since 1987), but I swear the group in front of us was about to have a joint aneurysm.  I was worried I might actually see someone die.  According to all the message boards, this was the biggest bustout in Phish history, so it was pretty cool to witness.  As if this set couldn’t get any more out-of-control, I heard the ominous Page organ fading in and Fishman and Gordo lock in the funky backbeat of “2001” which almost blew the roof off the place.  Fuck You, Phish!  I can’t handle this anymore.  By this point, I was up in my seat dancing like a fucking fool, but I didn’t care – Phish had completely taken over my mind and body.  How could they possibly top that??  Three letters. “Y.E.M.”  Fuck it.  Simply nasty.  23 minutes of musical bliss…  Of course this is the quintessential Phish song in my book, so it would make perfect sense to end one of the best sets of live music I’ve ever seen with it.  Mind Blowing.

A Day In The Life” was about the most perfect encore I could’ve asked for.  It is one of my favorite Beatles’ tunes, and Phish executed it to perfection.  The buildup slowly brought me back to reality, yet I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear.  Thank you – Trey, Mike, Page, and Jon – for one of the best musical experiences of my life.

Raleigh Pictures by Andy Medlin and Ryan Graven

Phish 07.01.2010 - Getting Started

Phish 07.01.2010 - Sun Low in the Sky

Phish 07.01.2010 - Lawn Party

Phish 07.01.2010 - Noob

Phish 07.01.2010

Phish 07.01.2010

Phish 07.01.2010

Phish 07.01.2010 - Evil Monkey

Phish 07.01.2010 - Chris Kuroda Rules

Phish 07.01.2010 - One More Song


~ by cdowell4 on July 12, 2010.

5 Responses to “Phish Destroys North Carolina”

  1. Sounds like an amazing experience. Wish I could have gone to the show, especially with “A Day in the Life” as the encore.

  2. great pics. I like the “noob” picture quite a bit and am fascinated by how completely uninterested everyone else seems in her predicament.

  3. great article boys… ive got a couple more up here in the midwest to finish out the summer, cant wait

  4. […] Phish will return to NC on June 17 and 18 in Charlotte and Raleigh. If you recall the last time these guys destroyed North Carolina, then you’ll probably be sure to hit both shows. One giveaway for the Raleigh date at least […]

  5. Man..I am excited!! I am from India and this is for the 1st time I will see them with all the Phan at Raleigh. It’s like a dream-come-true.

    Eagerly waiting for the days to creep in..and let there be a blast!!

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