We’ve passed the halfway mark of the second leg of Phish Summer Tour 2012 which tonight found the band at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte, North Carolina. Phish first visited the venue on July 7, 1999, returned to the shed on July 25, 2003 and again the past two summers. The fun-loving quartet focused on older material during tonight’s historic performance.
The first half of the leg has found Phish pulling from a much smaller rotation of songs than on the bustout-filled June/July tour. That trend continued throughout tonight’s well-played, high-energy opening stanza. During Fluffhead drummer Jon Fishman urged the crowd to singalong to the “Bundle Full of Joy” section leading up to the typically powerful Trey Anastasio-led “Fluff’s Arrival” climax. The fun continued throughout the Alumni Blues that followed with Fishman bantering about not having a degree. Anastasio clarified that Fishman did indeed have a degree but registered the “lowest grade point average ever recorded at the University of Vermont for a non-fraternity student” – .0036. Trey then mentioned that Page brought the guitarist and the drummer to Goddard College and received a total of $100 for recruiting the pair. Big Red finished by saying he took some lyrics from his roommate’s (Fishman) journal and turned them into song and that they were now going to play one of those tunes for the crowd before starting Tube.
The banter continued post-Tube when Trey said they would perform another song from the Jon Fishman song book titled My Sweet One. Anastasio added “count the number of times ‘you’ appears in this song” and was about to tell the origin of the tune when Fishman finally started My Sweet One.
[Nice Work Sarah and Justin]
Phish returned for the second set by opening with a cover of Talking Heads’ Crosseyed and Painless. Crosseyed featured a heated, albeit straight-forward, jam segment unlike the masterful San Francisco take from a week prior. The spotlight turned to McConnell for McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters and the keyboardist shared his solo with the rest of his band mates making for another stellar rendition of the Gamehendge classic. Then, the Mike’s, Bouncing Around The Room pairing that was dusted off last Wednesday in Kansas City surfaced again.
Tweezer contained a gorgeous, major-key butter jam containing impressive contributions from all four members of the band that they patiently developed and explored – a version you should check out as soon as you can. Unbelievably, tonight was the only time Tweezer has also appeared in the middle of a Mike’s Groove. From there, Tweezer segued into Harry Hood for the first time and only time since a May 15th, 1990 performance at Hamilton College. The historic sequence was also notable as the first Hood in the middle of a Mike’s Groove since the December 6th, 1996 show that was immortalized as the Vegas ’96 release. Horse > Silent gave the crowd a breather before standard romps through Weekapaug and Suzy Greenberg ended the set.
Phish dug deep for the encore delivering their first Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars in the slot since April 8, 1994; coupled with the obligatory Tweezer Reprise. In a run of shows that have focused on material from the beginning of Phish’s career, tonight’s performance was the most old school of them all with an Average Song Vintage (found by adding the year each song was debuted and dividing by the total number of songs) of 1990. All in all, the quartet only played four songs the entire night that were debuted after 1992.
Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Mike’s Song > Bouncing Around the Room, Axilla > Tweezer > Harry Hood > The Horse >Silent in the Morning > Weekapaug Groove, Suzy Greenberg
 Crosseyed tease from Trey.
Notes: During Alumni, Fish stated he didn’t have a degree and later said he did. After Alumni, Trey said that Fish did have a degree, adding that they met in 1983 at UVM and that Fish held a very interesting record: the lowest grade point average ever recorded at UVM. Fish added “for a non-fraternity student” and both Trey and Fish joked about Fish’s GPA (giving low numbers). Trey added that they were both saved by Page at Goddard and that Page earned $100 for recruiting them to Goddard. Trey introduced Tube and My Sweet One as Fishman songs, asking the crowd to count the number of times “you” appeared in the song. There was a delay in starting My Sweet One until Page said they have a lot of interesting stories (about Fishman), prompting Fishman to immediately start the song. Mike’s and Suzy contained a Crosseyed teases from Trey. BBFCFM included Trey singing into his microphone that he raised above his head, playing his guitar behind his head and running around the stage and Mike playing his bass on his knees.
Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s return to Charlotte…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 18,700 / Forthcoming / Outdoor Ampitheatre
- Previous Shows at Venue: 4 Shows – 07/07/1999, 07/25/2003, 07/02/2010 and 6/17/2011
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 7:42PM – 9:08PM (86 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 13 / 9:37PM – 11:03PM (86 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 25 / 2 / 23
- Biggest Bustout: My Sweet One – 24 Shows [LTP - 06/15/2012]
- Average Song Vintage: 1990
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 80° and Mostly Clear at Show Time
- Wardrobe: Trey – Dark Blue and Light Blue Checkered Long-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt and Jeans / Mike – Gray Polo and Jeans / Page – Navy Blue Short-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt and Jeans / Fish – Dress
- Average Song Gap: 6.44
- The Spread: Junta – 2, Lawn Boy – 3, Picture of Nectar – 2, Rift – 2, Story of the Ghost – 1, Farmhouse – 1, Joy – 1, Misc. – 11, Covers – 2
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Fluffhead 13:56 / Letter To Jimmy Page :31
- Audio: Live Phish