Phish Summer Tour 2012 continued tonight in Manchester, Tenn., where the band made their second Bonnaroo appearance. Long credited by Bonnaroo organizers as providing the blueprint from their festival, the quartet closed out what’s already been a spectacular weekend on the farm.
While Phish’s two sets featured many repeats from Worcester, most Bonnaroovians were on the farm since the Phish tour started this past Thursday. About 30 minutes into the opening stanza, guitarist Trey Anastasio stepped to the mic and mentioned he loved playing with musical heroes at Bonnaroo and welcomed out Kenny Rogers, who played his own set at the festival earlier in the day. The Country Music legend sang his most famous song, The Gambler, with Phish. This was the Phish debut of The Gambler, a song written by Don Schiltz which Rogers recorded for his 1978 album of the same title. Tweezer offered a chance for the band to stretch their improvisational muscles and they delivered a fairly straight forward version of the tune filled with heavy arena rock riffs. Shortly after the group turned a corner into spacier territory, all four faded out and Anastasio started Free. Backwards Down The Number Line and Cavern continued the high-energy, heavy rotation theme to close the set.
The second set started with a pair of covers in Golden Age by TV On The Radio and Also Sprach Zarathrustra and continued with Chalk Dust Torture, another high-energy repertoire staple. Festival attendees were then treated to Carini, which was one of the highlights in Worcester, and again Phish took the song deep. After a few minutes of exploratory jamming, the band settled on to the first version of Story of the Ghost track Shafty since December 30, a tune Phish soundchecked on Friday night. The stellar segment continued with a frentic romp through Rock and Roll by the Velvet Underground complete with Trey screams and rapid-fire licks. Alaska once again saw action in a second set and was followed by what one fan dubbed “a circumsized Hood” that segued during the solo into Light. A pair of heavy rotation favorites, Character Zero and Rocky Top closed off a standard set (show for that matter) that featured one sensational segment. Show of Life, Julius and Tweezer Reprise made up the encore with the former being the first song debuted in 2010 Phish has played in the three shows of 2012 and the latter featuring a festival-ending fireworks display. Phish returns to the stage on Friday in Atlantic City.
 Phish debut, with Kenny Rogers.
 The Gambler and Streets of Cairo teases.
Notes: The Gambler (Kenny Rogers) was a Phish debut and featured Kenny Rogers on vocals. Possum featured The Gambler and Streets of Cairo teases. Shafty was played for the first time since December 30, 2003 (159 shows).
Here’s The Skinny from Phish at Bonnaroo 2012…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 80,000 / 75,000 (Estimate) / Major Multi-Band Festival
- Previous Shows at Venue: 2 Shows – 06/12/2009 & 06/14/2009
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 8:05PM – 9:24PM (79 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 14 / 9:58PM – 11:43PM (105 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 26 / 6 / 20
- Biggest Bustout: Shafty (LTP – 12/30/2003: 159 Shows)
- Debuts: The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)
- Weather: 73° Light Rain at Show Time
- Wardrobe: Trey – Black and Grey Striped T-Shirt and Black Long-Sleeve + Jeans / Mike – Black and Grey Checkered Button-Down Shirt and Jeans / Page – Blue Short-Sleeve Button Down and Jeans / Fish – Dress
- Average Song Gap: 9.2
- The Spread: Picture of Nectar – 4, Hoist – 3, Billy Breathes – 2, Story of the Ghost – 2, Joy – 2, Covers – 6, Misc. Originals – 7
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Tweezer 12:20 / Rocky Top 3:39
- Audio: Live Phish