Page McConnell by Tammy Wetzel

Phish closed the first leg of its summer tour with a colorful Independence Day show at Alpharetta, Ga.’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park. The Vermont Quartet started a mini tradition of July 4th concerts with a performance at the nearby Lakewood Amphitheatre in 1999 but has not played on the holiday since 2000. Like Phish’s previous July 4th performance, the show started with a barbershop quartet version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Phish plugged in for “Punch You in the Eye” and only the second version of the Gamehenge classics “Colonel Forbin’s Ascent” and “Fly Famous Mockingbird” since 2000. Like the group’s previous take on the song pairing, last night’s performance did not feature a narrative segment. In addition, Page McConnell wished the audience a “Happy Fourth of July” during “Lawn Boy.”

The group’s second set will likely be remembered as one of the most unique of Phish’s summer tour. The set opened with a lengthy, improvised segment that segued from “Down with Disease” into “Piper,” “Ghost” and “Waste.” After a high energy “Julius,” Phish moved from “Mike’s Song” into another Gamehenge favorite, the recently revived “Tela.” Next, Phish busted into the storied “Harpua,” a song the band has not performed in the Southeast since 1994. This version of the rarely played favorite explored “alternate” and “often inaccurate versions of American history” and the Phish character Jimmy coming to America during the time of the pilgrims. Partway through “Harpua,” Phish moved into a first time cover of Rage Against the Machines’ “Killing in the Name” sung by Jon Fishman. Trey Anastasio introduced the song during the “Harpua” narrative by describing Rage Against the Machine as a band that tells the truth like Phish. A version of “First Tube” with fireworks closed the night.

According to ZZYZX’s Phish Stats, last night’s show was the first time Phish played “Harpua” and “Colonel Forbin’s Ascent> Fly Famous Mockingbird” at the same show since 1992.
Additional reporting by David Camferdam

7/4/2010, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, Ga

Set 1: The Star Spangled Banner, Punch You In the Eye, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Camel Walk, Ocelot, Heavy Things, My Friend, My Friend > Lawn Boy, David Bowie, Gotta Jibboo

Set 2: Down with Disease > Piper > Ghost > Waste, Julius > Mike’s Song > Tela, Harpua > Killing in the Name > Harpua > Weekapaug Groove

E: First Tube

setlist from