Last night, Phish played the second show of its summer tour at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Trey Anastasio walked out on stage, and said, “Happy Birthday, Dan” into the microphone, and a playful yet reflective tone was set for the evening.
Phish opened with a debut cover version of The Band’s “Look Out, Cleveland,” which referenced not only the show’s location,
but the evening’s forecasted inclement weather: “the storm is comin’ through, and it is runnin’ right up on you.” Luckily, Phish fans were spared the rain, and the quartet appeared to celebrate its continued revitalization with an upbeat and occasionally unpredictable Saturday night show.
“Water in the Sky” was played in honor of the weather before giving way to an intense version of “Stash.” The band also offered only the third appearance of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” since 1993. Phish also dove into its prog rock setpiece “Time Turns Elastic,” which featured an energetic closing jam, and then ended the set proper with a rather dynamic version of “Mike’s Song>I Am Hydrogen>Weekapaug Groove.”
Continuing the trio theme, Phish came out for the second set, and launched into a nearly 45-minute seamless section of improvisation that included “Rock and Roll>Harry Hood>Backwards Down the Number Line.” From there Phish offfered the nostalgic look back “Twenty Years Later,” from 2009’s Joy, and the Phish debut of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma,” which keyboardist Page McConnell played with Vida Blue and other projects. “The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony,” a rarity played only a single time each year the band has been active since 1998, followed before the band launched into “Suzy Greenberg,” and a duo from 1996’s Billy Breathes, “Waste” and “Character Zero.” As the sky finally began to open, and offer its own liquid commentary on the proceedings, the band encored with “The Squirming Coil” to end the evening on another warm, reflective note.
Phish returns to the stage tonight with the third date on their summer tour at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pennsylvania.