On July 1st, Phish made their triumphant return to Raleigh and played their first show at Walnut Creek since 1998. During their most recent hiatus, the band released a DVD from their legendary 1997 performance at the venue which has had Triangle Phish fans itching for another performance. The anticipation was high in the parking lot and the lawn was full of fans of all ages several minutes before the band took the stage. The Vermont rockers did not disappoint. They turned the volume high right out of the gates opening with the up tempo “Llama.” The immediately recognizable drum beat was met with enthusiasm from the nearly sold out crowd. It was the first time Phish had pulled “Llama” out of their bag of tricks in 2010 and only the second time since 2004. As if “Llama” didn’t already suggest that it would be an epic night, the band then launched into Ween’s “Roses Are Free”, a true fan favorite. After jamming a newer Phish song, “Kill Devil Falls,” the band busted out Little Feat’s “Time Loves a Hero” for the first time since 2002. Phish nailed the song despite not playing it in a while, then played a standard but solid rendition of “Alaska.” A quick playing of “Water in the Sky” proved to be a nice sing-a-long that mellowed the crowd. It turned out to be the calm before the storm as Phish tore through “Runaway Jim” with extensive type-I jamming that smoothly transitioned into the always funky “Moma Dance.” This song turned Walnut Creek into a complete dance party for about ten minutes. The band then transitioned into some spacey type-II jamming, featuring dissonant improvised chord progressions and droning bass lines from Mike Gordon. The band was completely in stride at this point and had the crowd captivated. As the jam began to wind down, I got the sense that it could be the set closer. Wrong. As his bandmates slowly faded the jam out, Trey began playing the opening chords to “Divided Sky.” The crowd erupted and the band played the highly orchestrated classic beautifully. I thought for sure that would be the set closer but Phish proved me wrong again as they ripped through a rocking “Cavern” to close the set.
Phish Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion July 1 2010
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