After 16 years, Phish finally returned to New Hampshire tonight for a performance at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
Tonight’s first set was filled with bust outs and tour debuts. In fact, Curtain With and It’s Ice were the only tunes performed during the opening stanza that the band had previously played this month. Coming out of the gate with After Midnight for the first time since Cypress, the “anything can happen” vibe continued after Sloth with Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues followed by a cover of Bob Marley’s Mellow Mood.
Mike Gordon’s Undermind-era tune Access Me saw its first action since Miami and the now rare Llama continued the streak of tour debuts along with the ballad All of These Dreams. Speaking of Undermind, A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing disappeared after two plays in June ’09…until tonight. While it wasn’t quite as jammed out as some of the ’04 versions it was quite a treat in a set full of them. Even Round Room got some love with only the second Walls of the Cave since Hampton. Overall, according to Phish.net, the average song gap for the set was a ridiculous 46.31.
10/26/2010 Verizon Wireless Arena
Set 1: After Midnight, The Sloth, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Mellow Mood, Access Me, Llama, All of These Dreams, The Curtain With, Scent of a Mule, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, It’s Ice, Walls of the Cave
Encore: Show of Life
Notes: After Midnight was played for the first time since December 31, 1999 (206 shows). This show featured the Phish debut of Night Nurse; original artist Gregory Isaacs passed away the night before, October 25, 2010. Weekapaug Groove featured lyrics from Ghost and Night Nurse as well as a Can’t You Hear Me Knocking jam and was left unfinished.
Set Two focused on more familiar territory with heavy rotation standards Possum, Light and Mike’s all getting a spin. There were still surprises in store as the group worked Gregory Isaacs’ Night Nurse into the middle of Makisupa Policeman in tribute to the reggae legend who passed away on Monday. The second Ghost of the tour was notable for a sweet segue into Mango Song that was patient, focused and well executed. Once Mango segued into Weekpaug more madness ensued as the quartet worked quotes of the Ghost lyrics and a Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ jam into the song’s outro before transitioning into the end of Llama – a tune they performed in the first set. Phish heads to Atlantic City for three shows starting on Friday.