Phish returned to Dayton, OH’s Ervin J. Nutter Center for the first time since their famed December 7, 1997 stop that yielded a special archival release.
Last night’s show kicked off with a surprise as Phish slid into Trey Anastasio’s cut “Tuesday” for the very first time, adding to the list of debuts early on in this tour. Frank Zappa’s “Peaches en Regalia” followed much to the delight of the crowd and then a “Free” that featured some extended jamming in the middle led by Anastasio and Mike Gordon.
A slinky “Roggae” gave way to the night’s most disjointed section, as “Sugar Shack” continues to struggle finding its footing. “Maze” provided a cathartic moment for the quartet after a rough “Sugar Shack” as Anastasio and Page McConnell dug into the song followed up by a simple “Horn.”
The next debut on the night came from Mike Gordon’s catalog as “Crazy Sometimes” made its Phish debut featuring vocals from all four members including Jon Fishman screaming over the top of the chorus. The set closed with standard versions of “46 Days” and “Runaway Jim,” the first time “Jim” has closed a first set since 2000.
With not much improv in the first set, Phish came out with yet another 20+ minute jam to kick off the second set as “Down with Disease” set the tone for the rest of the show with relentless, cohesive improvisation.
After a quick breather with the delicate and euphoric “Mountains in the Mist,” Anastasio called for “Waves” and again the band stretched their improv legs before landing on “Ghost,” the next notable jam on the night. “Ghost” was Anastasio’s highlight as he took each section to a taller height than the last.
As “Ghost” dissolved into “Wombat,” the assumption that this is be a breather spot would be a safe one. But yet again, Phish continued many of the themes established in “Disease” and “Ghost” with a surprise jam out of “Wombat” that leant on their funkier sensibilities as McConnell and Gordon drove the dark funk jam to the tune of 13 minutes.
A return to rock closed the set as “Chalk Dust Torture” ended the six-song set before the band returned to allow McConnell one more moment in the spotlight on “The Squirming Coil.”
Phish return to the stage tonight in Pittsburgh.
Here’s a look at the setlist:
Ervin J. Nutter Center, Dayton, OH
Set I: Tuesday, Peaches en Regalia > Free, Roggae, Sugar Shack, Maze, Horn, Crazy Sometimes > 46 Days > Runaway Jim
Set II: Down with Disease > Mountains in the Mist > Waves > Ghost > Wombat > Chalk Dust Torture
Enc: The Squirming Coil