Phish Grace the Queen City with an Expanded "Winterqueen"
Phish’s visit to the Queen City of Charlotte last night proved successful following a four-day break. In the 3.0 era, Charlotte has consistently spawned inspired performances from the Vermont quartet and last night followed that blueprint.
Opening with a “Mike’s Groove” with “Back on the Train” between the two cornerstones set the bar high for the rest of the show as all three songs saw intense Type I jamming throughout. Another “Wingsuit” allowed the band and crowd to take a short breather before the energetic “Possum” started an impressive trio that included “Tube” and “My Friend, My Friend.”
The centerpiece of the first set came, surprisingly enough, with “Winterqueen.” The delicate Fuego track eclipsed the 10-minute mark and included some patient, cohesive jamming throughout. A tour debut of the Page McConnell-led “Beauty of a Broken Heart” preceded “David Bowie” (which would also include “Beauty” teases) before “Golgi Apparatus” closed the set in thrilling fashion.
Set Two began with the new “555,” making its first appearance in the second set. While there wouldn’t be a surprise jam on that song on this night, the “Chalk Dust Torture” that followed certainly picked up where the famed Randall’s Island version left off. While this wouldn’t come near the 30-minute mark, the 16-minute jam solidified “CDT” as a 2014 jam vehicle.
Yet another “Fuego” followed, as the tune has made an appearance at every stop thus far. The cohesive trio that followed—“Twist,” “When the Circus Comes” and “Piper”—showed off some of the tightest playing of the tour as the band expertly and patiently transitioned from one to the other with extreme care. While “Piper” was brief and the abrupt segue into “Rift” wasn’t handled with the same care, the latter was performed well nonetheless.
Charlotte’s finale included another take on the gorgeous “Waiting All Night” before a rare second set “Reba” appeared. This was the first second set “Reba” this year, with the last coming on New Year’s 2013. “Character Zero” closed the set and, in a bustout of sorts, “Loving Cup” made its first appearance in 25 shows to close down the encore.
Next up for Phish is a pair of shows at Merriweather Post Pavilion beginning tonight. The shows will be webcast via LivePhish.com.
Here’s a look at the setlist from last night as it appears in our Box Scores section:
PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC
Set I: Mike’s Song > Back on the Train > Weekapaug Groove, Wingsuit > Possum, Tube > My Friend, My Friend, Winterqueen, Beauty of a Broken Heart, David Bowie, Golgi Apparatus
Set II: 555 > Chalk Dust Torture > Fuego->Twist->When the Circus Comes > Piper->Rift, Waiting All Night, Reba, Character Zero
Enc: Loving Cup