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PHISH
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
*Click images below to view larger versions.
PHISH
Phish
PHISH
Mike Gordon
PHISH
PHISH
PHISH
Trey Anastasio
PHISH
PHISH
PHISH
Page McConnell
PHISH
PHISH
PHISH
Jon Fishman
PHISH
PHISH
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
November 24, 2009 
 
        Until the summer concert season kicks into full swing, I'll go back to last November for this week's review and photospread . . .  the PHISH concert in Philly at the Wachovia Center.  As I pulled into the parking lot early, knowing that PHISH was in town for a sold-out two-night stand, I was reminded of an old GRATEFUL DEAD show that played in the soon-to-be demolished Spectrum next door, where PHISH had previously played nine sold-out shows. Nothing like a tie-dyed crowd trying to hustle anything and everything, holding up cardboard signs reading, "I need a miracle to get a ticket to get in."  Ever present was the scent of pachouli mixed with "that other famililar fragrance" floating through the parking lot.  Some things never change!
        On this night, PHISH played, as they always do, without an opening band.  They hit the stage at 9:00 pm to a nearly full arena. The only fans not yet present were still in the parking lot amidst the fragrances waffling through the night air.  PHISH walked onto the stage that had only a piano, drum set, bass, and electric guitar . There was no back-drop or video screen on stage, allowing them to fill every seat in the house and all the way around the back of the stage so every fan could view the band. They started off with a strong collection of classics and never took their feet off the gas.  They opened with "Chalk Dust Torture" and "Bathtub Gin" before breaking long enough to say hello to nearly 22,000 fans. Granting the wish of a front row fan who was holding up a sign that read "Cities,"  PHISH skipped over their setlist and launched right into the song and then rolled into "Camel Walk."  Singer Trey Anastasio was sporting a Philadelphia Flyer jersey and the crowd was singing along to every song by now. The band, obviously boosted by the energy of the crowd, jammed full tilt through "The Curtain With", "The Wedge", "The Moma Dance", "Reba", "Golgi Apparatus" and closed their first set with "Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan."
        PHISH concerts always deliver with a varied set list that keeps the fans wondering what song will come next . . . and they DELIVERED as they rocked the crowd in their second set with "Possum", "Down With Disease", then jamming into "Twenty Years Late".  Anastasio kept hooking up with bassist Mike Gordon for a number of creative patterns while drummer Jon Fishman kept the beat strong and keyboardist Page McConnell inserted a few counter-melodies for good measure. The crowd continued their sing-a-long as the band rolled through "Harry Hood" and "The Mango Song." The next jam session of the night started with "Mike's Song" which led into "Simple" and "Slave To The Traffic Light" before ending the set with "Weekapaug Groove."
        For their encore, the band played a cover of the Beatles "A Day In The Life" that absolutely brought the entire arena to their feet. It was an AMAZING three-hour night of PHISH. It's hard to imagine them topping the show the following night, but I'm betting they did and did it well!  If you've never experienced a PHISH show, I recommend you visit www.PHISH.com <http://www.phish.com/>  to check out their summer dates which run from June 11th through August 18th and include concerts at Camden, NJ on June 24th & 25th and Merriweather Post Pavillion on June 26th & 27th, both venues easily accessible to Eastern Shore music fans.
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photo journalist
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