Not Quite a Phish Reunion
As it turns out, the rumors were almost true. After a few days of speculation, Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman did indeed join Trey Anastasio during his performance at Uticas Memorial Auditorium. In an effort to mark his first visit to Utica since 2002, when the crowds energy caused plaster to peel from the Stanley Performing Arts Center’s balcony during Mr. Completely, Anastasio began the Countdown to Utica online, fueling rumors that the guitarist would reunite with his former bandmates. As speculation grew, Gordon also got into the fun, leaving a series of messages on his hotline that moved his location from en route to Utica to Boston to California. As a nod to his last Utica performance, Anastasio, dressed in an I Love Utica t-shirt, opened his set with Mr. Completely and dropped balloons near the start of his show. Then, during the now custom acoustic section of his performance, Anastasio brought Gordon out for such Phish selections as Access Me, Divided Sky, Back On The Train, Bathtub Gin, Ghost and another nod to the Stanleys crumbling ceiling, Heavy Things. During Divided Sky, Fishman also ran onstage and played the cymbal during the songs composed break. As an encore, Gordon and Fishman joined an electric 70 Volt Parade for frequent Phish cover Boogie on Reggae Woman.
A night later Gordon, who maintains on his hotline that it was actually a look-a-like performing onstage with Anastasio Friday, stopped by Nectars to see another old friend. Page McConnell joined sometimes bandmates The Spam Allstars onstage for an extended portion of its Burlington performance. Shifting from the past to the present, Anastasio, meanwhile, was guesting with his current opening act, Tea Leaf Green, at Bates College. Anastasio will dig even deeper into his past tonight when he performs at Princeton, NJ’s McCarter Theatre.