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Phish-10/18&19/2016-Ascend Amphitheatre-Nashville, TN


PHISH 10/18/2016 & 10/19/2016 

Photos and words by Roger Patteson


Yes, things got Weir’d in Nashville once the internet rumor mill got cranked up early Tuesday afternoon.  The siting and sounds of Mr. Bob Weir sound-checking with Vermont’s finest quickly paved the way for a hopeful sit in.  When doors opened and the rail riders lined up, it was easily noticed that the stage held an extra mic stand up front and center.  The question became “When?”

Making their second stop in as many years to Nashville’s newest and greatest music destination, Phish rolled into the Music City for the third stop of their Fall tour at the beautiful Ascend Amphitheater.  Prior to Nashville, North Charleston, SC served as the tour opener and Jacksonville, FL claimed its first experience.  Both had already been treated well by the proverbial leader of the jam scene.

Kicking this tour off on the release of the brand new album, Big Boat, the set lists were expected to contain a lot of new material and disappoint, Phish has not so far.  In addition to tried, tested, and perfected giants like Halley’s Comet, Sand, Twist, Caven, and Fuego, Trey and Co. showed the Big Boat goods with Breath and Burning, Tide Turns, and Miss You.

Bob Weir made his appearance in the second set after My Friend My Friend to crank off a nice Samson and Delilah.  The buzz that was felt by every single person in attendance was electrifying, goose bump worthy, epicness.  Everyone knew they were witnessing something special and legendary.  Twist stretched out in usual fashion while Trey and Bob traded lead roles on the improv machine.  The shining moments came during the Dead’s pride and funk joy, West L.A. Fadeaway, and into the Donna-less Playing in the Band.  The only proper encore that could have happened did and it’s called Quinn the Eskimo.

Night 2, the crowd was still reeling from 23 hours earlier.  “How do they top that? How do they complement that?” among other things could be heard in the crowd.  And, almost as if Phish was hearing this thirst, they open with Theme, Camel Walk, and My Soul to get the phans quickly primed.  Next came Petrichor.  Yes, Sirius XM and their beloved show hosts are putting this new song through the test of constant play.  And, yes, similarly to Time Turns Elastic, the reviews are coming in as a mixed bag.  However, Nashville received a perfectly executed version in all of its complexity and glory that left many show goers with a completely different understanding and newfound appreciation for Trey’s latest heavily composed piece.  When finished, Trey gave a mini bow that garnered a smile from one ear to the other.  The pride and joy in his eyes could be noticed across the entire GA pit area.  A Big Boat debut, Running Out of Time, surfaced and, again, pleased a skeptical crowd before an almost huge Tube fed its way into a set closing Rolling Stones favorite, Shine a Light.

Night 2 Set 2 would reveal the Phish that everyone has come to trust and confide in with a terrific version of Golden Age to open; a big type two Tweezer; and an even bigger, heavier, funkier No Man in No Man’s Land.  A rare Plasma surfaced next having survived a 62 show gap before the glowstick heavy, sensual Harry Hood kept the crowd on level 10.  Mrs. Greenburg would end the set 2 fire.  Walls of the Cave and Tweeprise were the encore dessert.

Set on the Cumberland River and against one of the most beautiful skylines in the South, the Ascend Amphitheater was able to barely contain the Phish one more time leaving southern residents hopeful for another return.  The Fall tour continues along to Alpharetta, GA; Grand Prairie, TX; and four nights in Las Vegas, NV before yet another year of Phish ends at the MSG in New York, NY.



Soundcheck: Jam, Blues Jam, Tide Turns, Petrichor, Walking Blues

SET 1Chalk Dust TortureBlaze OnGhostLawn BoyHalley’s Comet > SandTide Turns46 Days > Breath and BurningLimb By Limb > Cavern >Also Sprach Zarathustra

SET 2Julius > Fuego > My Friend, My FriendSamson and Delilah[1]Twist[2] > Miss You[3]West L.A. Fadeaway[3] > Playing in the Band[4]

ENCOREQuinn the Eskimo[2]

[1] Phish debut; Bob Weir on guitar and vocals.
[2] Bob Weir on guitar.
[3] Bob Weir on guitar and vocals.
[4] Phish debut; Bob Weir on guitar.



Soundcheck: Home, Let’s Go. I Always Wanted It This Way, Plasma

SET 1Theme From the BottomCamel WalkMy SoulPetrichorStealing Time From the Faulty Plan > My Sweet OneWaking Up DeadHalfway to the MoonRunning Out of Time[1]Tube > Shine a Light

SET 2Golden Age > Tweezer > No Men In No Man’s Land > Plasma > Harry Hood > Suzy Greenberg

ENCOREWalls of the Cave > Tweezer Reprise

[1] Debut.




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