Phish Play Through a Downpour at Jones Beach
Phish took the stage at Jones Beach last night in the middle of a prolonged, intense downpour, with relentless cold rain and winds creating a decidedly unpleasant concert viewing situation. Nevertheless, the crowd, and the band, soldiered on, and by the start of the second set the inclement weather had more or less subsided.
The show kicked off with a run of the mill “Chalk Dust Torture” that got the fans moving enough to take their minds off the storm a bit. Next came the (first of many) tour debuts, as the band went into the Page McConnell penned “Cars Trucks and Buses.” The band also played this year’s first “My Sweet One,” which preceded back-to-back water-themed tunes, as the surprising “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” was followed by the less surprising “Water In The Sky.” The tour debuts of “The Sloth,” “Beauty of a Broken Heart” and “Sugar Shack” toned things down a bit before an exciting “46 Days” got the crowd rocking again. However, the intensity of that song was muted a bit by the “Backward Down the Number Line” that followed. The ball got rolling nicely again, as the set closed with the tour’s first “Reba,” followed by “David Bowie.” The set was all over the place but, for most in the crowd, the first half of the show was as much a battle with the elements as anything.
Fortunately, the rain finally came to a halt towards the end of the set break. The band returned to what looked like a thinner crowd, suggesting that at least a few concertgoers had left during the intermission. That turned out to be a bad move, as the set kicked off with a fun “Rock and Roll” that turned into a crowd pleasing “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” The best stretch of the night came next, as a great “Tweezer” jammed into “Cities,” with drummer Jon Fishman teasing “The Wedge” beat before the rest of the band moved into that tune. An unremarkable “Wading in the Velvet Sea” brought down the energy level before the set wrapped up with “Character Zero.”
As the encore began, McConnell, who has become the de facto band spokesman for the tour, said that the next song would be dedicated to the people that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. He also noted that it would be a “song about redemption.” However the “Sleeping Monkey” that followed was bit of a mess. The tune started off with a flub, as Trey Anastasio messed up the lyrics before the band was finally able to find its footing. Notably, Fishman changed one of the lyrics to “my sleeping monkey is redeemed” to fit the redemption theme. The whole thing then came to a close with “Tweezer Reprise.”
Phish will kick off a two-night run at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD this evening.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via Phish.net
Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Cars Trucks Buses, Ocelot, My Sweet One, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Water in the Sky, The Sloth, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Sugar Shack, 46 Days, Backwards Down the Number Line > Reba, David Bowie
Set 2: Rock and Roll > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer -> Cities1 -> The Wedge, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Character Zero
Enc: Sleeping Monkey2 > Tweezer Reprise
 The Wedge teases by Fishman.
 Dedicated by Page to people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Alternate lyric by Fish: “my sleeping monkey is redeemed.”
Notes: The first set took place during an unrelenting rain storm. Fishman teased The Wedge in Cities. Sleeping Monkey was dedicated by Page to people affected by Hurricane Sandy and contained an alternate lyric by Fish: “my sleeping monkey is redeemed.”