Phish Closes Worcester Run With Deep Jams, Special Guest
Last night, Phish wrapped up their run at Worcester, MA’s DCU Center with more intensive jams as well as a special guest during the encore. Kicking things off with “Party Time” and “Punch You in the Eye,” the crowd was warmed up right from the start. “Bathtub Gin” allowed the band a moment to stretch their improvisational legs before digging into the rarely played Blues Image cut “Ride Captain Ride.”
The end of the first frame saw a couple of rare first set tunes such as “Simple” and “David Bowie” before “Character Zero” brought the first set to a raucous close.
The final set of the weekend started not with music, but rather with something some fans may have deemed equally important as the show that evening—a World Series update. Page McConnell stepped to the mic and updated the Massachusetts faithful on their beloved Red Sox (prompting a “Let’s go Red Sox” chant) before opening the set with The Who’s “Drowned.” Making just its third appearance this year, “Drowned” featured an extended improvisation that reached the twenty-minute mark before transitioning into “Light.”
The Joy cut is a popular jam vehicle for Phish these days, and this version saw more experimental jamming from the band as Mike Gordon utilized nearly every effect at his disposal to create an atmospheric groove. “Sand” allowed the band and crowd to revel in the funk for a bit, as Trey seemingly channeled Nile Rodgers during segments of “Sand,” teetering on a Daft Punk “Lose Yourself to Dance” tease. The set closed with some quality rock and roll as “Mike’s Song” rocked into the emotional Led Zeppelin cut “No Quarter” before “Weekapaug Groove” brought the set to an exciting close.
During the encore, drummer Jon Fishman exited the stage towards the end of “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” giving way to drummer Kenwood Dennard, best known for his work with the likes of Miles Davis, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Dennard led the band through the end of “Boogie” and on into the show-closing “Possum.” Jon Fishman then returned to the stage, remarking that Dennard is one of his “favorite drummers” and wanted him to play with the band before the show concluded.
Phish’s tour continues tonight in Hartford, CT at the XL Center. Tickets for the show are still available via the XL Center website.
Here’s a look at the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section:
DCU Center, Worcester, MA
Set I: Party Time, Punch You In the Eye > Back on the Train, My Soul, Bathtub Gin, Ride Captain Ride, Stash, Simple > David Bowie, Character Zero
Set II: Drowned > Light, Sand > Theme From the Bottom > Mike’s Song > No Quarter > Weekapaug Groove
Enc: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Possum*
Notes: *with Kenwood Dennard on drums