Phish brought their summer tour to Raleigh, NC, last night for a one-off show at the venue formerly named Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, now the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. The band delivered a unique show that was webcast for free via their YouTube channel and featured a number of playful moments, including some stage banter, an impressive mashup of “Runaway Jim” an “Run Like An Antelope” in the second set, and even a quick, wholly unexpected tease of a Drake song from frontman Trey Anastasio.
The evening was kicked off with a punchy opener of “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” before bassist Mike Gordon took over for the group’s take on Son Seals’ blues-rock-infused “Funky Bitch.” “Ocelot” then led into classic tune “The Wedge.” A funky “Wombat” got Anastasio and company into a talkative mood, with Anastasio dedicating the song to late actor Abe Vigoda, who helped Phish debut “Wombat” in 2013. The guitarist then took a cue from drummer Jon Fishman, leading Anastasio to address the crowd, saying, “God, we’re talking—this is so weird!”
Anastasio then proclaimed, “As long as we’re talking, Mike and I want to dance,” before leading the band into “Guelah Papyrus,” which did indeed feature some moves from Anastasio and Gordon at the end. An energetic “Birds of a Feather” kept the crowd moving, leading into “Saw It Again,” which included both dark valleys and bright peaks, plus some screams from Fishman leading into a spooky jam, and “Timber,” which featured some lyrical teases from “Saw It Again.” “Limb By Limb” then gave way to “Farmhouse,” which again included a tease of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” before the set was closed out with a short “More.”
The second frame opened with more antics from Anastasio and company, as the band launched into “Meatstick,” with the guitarist using the Japanese lyrics section to tease some lyrics to Drake’s recent hit “In My Feelings,” singing, “Keke, do you love me?” and offering a bit of the dance associated with the tune before trailing off an laughing to his bandmates. The tour debut of Phish’s cover of The Who’s “Drowned” was up next, the longest song of the night up to that point, followed by a “NICU” that saw Anastasio call out the familiar “Play it Leo!” before keyboardist Page McConnell’s organ solo.
After a run of “Thread,” the band jumped into the highlight of the night, starting with “Runaway Jim” and quickly segueing into the equally frantic “Run Like An Antelope.” The band then surprised the audience by going back and forth between the two songs before moving into fan-favorite “Makisupa Policeman,” with Anastasio offering the “keyword” “Kush.” Anastasio prompted Fishman to sing a bit, but the drummer eventually gave way to McConnell’s “kush” riff, to which Anastasio replied, “I don’t know what that means, but it’s beautiful.” Another round of “Run Like An Antelope” then led into an extended “You Enjoy Myself,” replete with trampoline jumping and a hefty vocal jam to close out set two. The quartet then returned to the stage for the tour debut of The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” for the night’s encore.
See the full setlist below, along with full, pro-shot footage from last night’s YouTube webcast (with a backup from Phish’s Facebook feed, in case the YouTube video is taken down). Phish continue their tour tonight with the first of two shows at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.
Coastal Credit Union Music Park At Walnut Creek Raleigh, NC
Set I: Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan > Funky Bitch, Ocelot > The Wedge, Wombat, Guelah Papyrus, Birds of a Feather > Saw It Again > Timber (Jerry The Mule), Limb By Limb > Farmhouse > More
Set II: Meatstick > Drowned > NICU > Thread > Runaway Jim > Run Like an Antelope > Runaway Jim > Run Like an Antelope > Makisupa Policeman > Run Like an Antelope > You Enjoy Myself
Encore: A Day in the Life