Soundcheck: Beauty of a Broken Heart, Scabbard, Wombat
SET 1: Llama, Chalk Dust Torture, The Moma Dance, Yarmouth Road, Tube > Bouncing Around the Room, Maze, Waiting All Night, Lawn Boy, Devotion To a Dream, Wolfman's Brother, Suzy Greenberg
SET 2: The Wedge, Golden Age > Reba > Mike's Song > Ghost > No Quarter > Weekapaug Groove > First Tube
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Review by turtledb
by Dwayne Boyd
August 14th 2015 marked the 18th anniversary of the now infamous Darien Lake show featuring Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. On my most recent Phishing trip to Walnut Creek, NC, I kept an open mind and the belief that anything can happen. Summer 2015 has been full of surprises, bust-outs, and tight playing by Phish.
Friday was an example of Phish having some serious fun. The “Llama” opener was slowed down and played as a funky jam. Elements of this song seemed reminiscent of Blondie’s 80’s hit “Rapture.” This was a new spin on a tune that is usually played as fast as possible.
“Chalk Dust Torture” was a straight forward rocker. It lifted the tempo and got fans jumping.
More Phish flavored funk was delivered during “Moma Dance;” It is a sultry groove.
“Yarmouth Road” had a definite Reggae feel as fans under the pavilion swayed and bounced.
The “Tube” that came after was well played; it got the blood pumping. It had the potential to break things wide open. Instead, we, the fans were taken to the very edge.
The band opted to move into “Bouncing Around the Room” next. Fans under the shed, around me, were pogoing up and down.
“Maze” was a heavy rocking version. Phish climbed the hill, before leveling out and slowing things down a bit.
“Waiting All Night” from Fuego was atmospheric.
Page stepped out from his “Chairman of the Boards” position and sang “Lawn Boy” for the phaithful. During this particular offering, he gave multiple nods to “Bassman, Mr. Michael Gordon.”
“Devotion to a Dream,” is a song that resonates personally with me right now. My connection with this band runs deep. It’s is uncanny how they provide a soundtrack for current events in my life.
This trip from Massachusetts to Raleigh and back is part of my healing process.
Phish brought the funk back with a laid back but still groovy take on “Wolfman’s Brother.”
This was followed by one of Len Fishman’s personal favorites, “Suzy Greenberg.” This rendition did not disappoint. It was an appropriate closer for set one. Jon attempts to share his feeling about neurologists and tries to say that his name is, “Max.”
The second frame of this show began with “The Wedge.” It’s a rhythmically interesting song that always tends to transport me to an earlier time in phishstory.
“Golden Age” is a cover originally performed by T.V. on the Radio showcased some sonic exploration by The Phish from VT. The tune seemed to open a portal in the set.
A seemingly playful version of “Reba” followed.
What transpired next, I was not prepared for in any way. When “Mike’s Song” began, I was all for some “sharin’ in the groove.” Nonetheless, those in attendance got more than we bargained for. I expected a Mike’s suite of Mike’s > Hydrogen>Weekapaug.
“Ghost” appeared instead. It was a like a welcome, funky friend.
This song was followed by the gift of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter.” It was delivered with just the right amount of scary. Page’s vocals and haunting keyboard work were similar to the version in The Song Remains The Same. Seeing this tune played by Phish is a highlight in my personal touring career.
“Weekapaug Groove” dropped into the final slot of this musical movement. It’s a sold version that holds its own. It continues the vibe of the evening. Trey even drops some “No Quarter” teases to remind those who may have missed it.
If things were not already Phishy enough, “First Tube” brought the energy. The second set was closed with some punctuation.
The two song encore started off sweet with “Farmhouse.” The night ended with a nod to Hendrix. A blazing “Fire” almost sent me over the rail.