Phish and Fishman Rarities in Asheville
Phish crammed into Asheville, NCs 7,200-person Asheville Civic Center last night for its most intimate performance in years. Like most of the groups summer tour, the gig featured a handful of new songs in contention for the bands forthcoming album, including a show-opening Kill Devil Falls, the emerging anthem Backwards Down the Number Line and the first stab at Trey Anastasios Alaska a solo favorite the guitarists first played with Mike Gordon at the Rothbury festival last July. In addition, Phish debuted Bill Monroes When The Cactus Is In Bloom and revived its version of Jimi Hendrixs Bold as Love for the first time since 2000. The Page McConnell sung song has been in Phishs rotation since the 1980s, though the tune was scarcely played in the groups later days.
To the delight of most in attendance, the Vermont Quartet continued to dip into its back catalogue and revived lost originals like Jon Fishmans Lengthwise, a song the group has not played since the summer of 1998 (before that the Rift track was in hibernation since 1993). Phish also busted out Dog Face Boy (a group collaboration instigated by Fishman) for the first time since its reunion and surprised many by playing the Anastasio/Fishman original Tube two shows in a row. The rest of the bands set featured staples like The Moma Dance, Sample In a Jar, Stash, Gumbo, The Divided Sky, Ghost, Theme From the Bottom, Golgi Apparatus and Possum, among others. The slew of Fishman songs coincided with a narrative thread where an uncharacteristically open Anastasio discussed how he would steal Fishmans journal entries and put them to music as the group made its way through the club ranks.
Phish will appear at Knoxville, TNs Thompson-Boling Arena this evening.