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Published: 2009/07/31

Phish Revisit Halloween Covers During Rainy Red Rocks Performance

Phish returned to Morrison, COs Red Rock Amphitheatre Friday night for the second show of its four-night residency. Like the opening night of the groups run, the two-set performance found the Vermont Quartet stretching out considerably more than the first leg of its tour, a sign that the group is becoming more comfortable onstage following a five-year break.

The evening opened with three tightly executed standardsRunaway Jim, Chalk Dust Torture and Bathtub Ginbefore looking forward with the extended Joy composition Time Turns Elastic. Page McConnell then moved to the front of the stage to lead the band on Lawn Boy, though the keyboardist was left in the dark when lighting designer Chris Kuroda failed to shine a spotlight during his lounge singer routine. As it started to rain, Phish busted into an up-tempo version of Water In The Sky and then wrapped up its set with a bluesy, jammed out version of Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan and a funky, bass-heavy Split Open and Melt.
The rain became considerably heavier during setbreak, causing Phishs road crew to cover the bands equipment and delaying the start of the bands second set. Phish responded by returning with a cover of The Whos Drowned that eventually uncoiled into a deep, groove-heavy Crosseyed and Painless (one of the few times the band has segued between songs from two of its Halloween musical costumes). Crosseyed and Painless moved in several different directions, displaying the new, clean style of group improvisation that defines Phish 3.0. Phish slowed the evenings pace with the title-track from its new studio album Joy, but stretched into the ether shortly after with an extended suite of music that moved from an extended Tweezer into the new sing-a-long rocker Backwards Down The Number Line, the tightest version of Fluffhead since the bands reunion, a piano-led Piper (a show highlight) and a set-closing cover of the Beatles A Day in the Life.
The encores of Suzy Greenberg and Tweezer Reprise brought the night to a close. Phish will return to Red Rocks this evening.

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