Reviews > Shows
Phish Review: 6/7/12
_Phish rehearses at the DCU Center. Photo via @Phish_FTR
Phish kickstarted their summer tour last night in Worcester, MA at the DCU center, the first of two indoor shows at the familiar arena before they start their outdoor summer itinerary by headlining Bonnarroo in Tennessee on Sunday.
If anyone had doubts the band intended to dig in and go for it following their somewhat lackluster New Year’s run at MSG last December, those doubts were quickly laid to rest with the “Buried Alive”> “Runaway Jim” combo to open. Perhaps in part a nod to the “wipe out” show in ‘98, the “Buried Alive” busted the roof off the room in classic style, as a once-a-year rarity will often do. Along with the “Runaway Jim” that followed, it made for a pretty contagious high-energy good vibe to set the stage for the night and the tour. Phish then dipped into some of their rarer Rolling Stones catalog with “Torn & Frayed,” which seemed to convey a kind of “we know we’re getting older, but we can still get down” kind of sentiment “as long as that guitar plays.” A more or less rock-show approach followed in the first set, with “Rocky Top” making for a fun closer that foreshadowed their upcoming Tennessee jaunt.
After what seemed like a rather short set break, Phish came out and dropped “Carini”—a song that found itself in that slot more than any other in 2011, with the exception of “Down with Disease.” Thankfully, Trey and the band seemed intent on trying out a lot of different sounds from the get go, taking “Carini” into space, and pulling out a seamless (if easy) segue into “Taste” (complete with a “Norwegian Wood” tease), and then down again into a spooky intro to “Ghost.” “Ghost” too went strange places, with the band finding their footing without regressing into straight-rock habits. Both Page and Mike brought a lot to the table in the second half of the jam, which could have easily gone on longer.
In an inverted Phish 2.0 throwback, they paired “Ghost” with “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” and the jam that followed out of it was the show’s highlight. After both funk and rock excursions, Mike and Fish delivered a spacious enough groove that Trey was able to find a real comfort zone, and pull out some slick machine-gun lines to hose everyone down, complete with return-to-funk outro. (Definitely must-listen material and a promising sign of things to come for 2012.)
The band had earned a breather by this point, and chose another rarity with “If I Could,” a song that Phish hadn’t played since 2009, but which Trey performed a handful of times on his orchestra tour in recent months. The subtle and patient “Harry Hood” warrants close listening back, as well. With the shadow of the highlight 12/28/10 “Harry Hood” still in the air, they took this one to more humble but still beautiful territory.
Other than a fiery “Quinn the Eskimo” the rest was standard fare; common choices in a “Cavern” closer and “Loving Cup” encore may have prevented this show from generating more “wow” looks at the end of the night, but as far as tour openers go, in this day and age, you’d be greedy to ask for much more.
Check out an additional show recap and setlist here.
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WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
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