In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Phish opened the first night of its two-show run at Columbia, MD’s Merriweather Post Pavillion with “Crowd Control” and “Kill Devil Falls,” the same song pairing that kicked off last year’s performance at the venue. Oddly enough, these are the only two times Phish has performed “Crowd Control”—a song from 2004’s Undermind —since reuniting in 2009.

The Vermont Quartet’s first set also included a first time cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea,” the title track of the seminal Athens, GA indie rock group’s 1998 album. Though Phish has never covered Neutral Milk Hotel in the past, Trey Anastasio has referenced the band in several interviews. The song is the latest number by a modern indie-embraced band Phish has covered over the years, following nods to the likes of Pavement (“Gold Soundz”), TV on the Radio (“Golden Age”), Tom Waits (“Cold Water”) and MGMT (a tease of “Kids”).

Last night’s performance was also notable for several extended second set sequences. Phish opened its set with an experimental cover of Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll” and also jammed out “Tweezer” and “Wolfman’s Brother.” A particularly animated Anastasio also joked that every fan-shouted request sounds like “Tube” so the band would play the song whenever they don’t understand what the crowd is shouting.

6/26/2010, Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD

Set I: Crowd Control, Kill Devil Falls, AC/DC Bag, Sugar Shack, Tube, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea*, Stash, Backwards Down The Number Line, NICU, 46 Days, Suzy Greenberg

Set II: Rock & Roll, Free, Fast Enough For You, Sparkle, Tweezer, The Horse > Silent In The Morning, Wolfman’s Brother, Slave To The Traffic Light, Tweezer Reprise

E: Show Of Life, Good Times Bad Times

* first time played, Neutral Milk Hotel