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Published: 2012/06/11

Phish Welcomes Kenny Rogers at Bonnaroo, Announces UIC ’94 Box Set

Phish rehearses with Kenny Rogers backstage at Bonnaroo. via @Phish_FTR

Phish returned to Bonnaroo last night for the first time since 2009 for a performance that closed out the weekend’s musical offerings. Taking the stage shortly after 8 PM under a veil of light rain, the band treated the crowd to a slew of their “greatest hits,” along with a special guest appearance by another one of the festival’s performers. Early on in the first set, guitarist Trey Anastasio told the crowd how each time the band played the festival, they are offered the chance to play with some of their favorite musicians. Anastasio then welcomed Kenny Rogers to the stage for a take on Rogers’ famous rendition of Don Schiltz’s “The Gambler.” The song subsequently reappeared as a tease in the following song, “Possum.”

While the show featured many repeats from the band’s two-night run in Worcester last week, one bust-out did occur in the form of “Shafty,” which had not been played since December 30, 2003 in Miami. Otherwise, the set relied heavily on festival-sized rock anthems, with short segments of improv peppered in between. Highlights occurred during a brief “Tweezer” in the first set and an exploratory “Carini” in the second. The band also nodded to Tennessee with the second set closer, “Rocky Top.”

In other Phish news, the band has announced the release of a new six disc box set featuring the much-loved June 18, 1994 and November 25, 1994 performances at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. The release will feature remastered audio of both shows by sound guru Fred Kevorkian, along with bonus audio from the soundchecks and artwork by Jim Pollock. The box set comes out on July 31.

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