Phish spun the wheel and won big with their 3-night Atlantic City run this summer. These shows began building momentum that has continued to grow and grow over what is shaping up to easily be the strongest tour of 3.0. Here’s some random musings, thoughts, pictures, and more from Welcome To Now as we were lucky enough to be on the scene soaking it all in at all three nights. Below is a night one review, with thoughts on the second two nights to come soon!
While there hasn’t been a lot of action on the blog recently, be sure to ‘Like’ the Welcome To Now Facebook Page where we are keeping the love phlowing all summer long!
Phish in Atlantic City – Night 1
Phish came charging out of the gate with bust-outs, energy, and a very fun and playful attitude for set one on Friday night. First set highlights included an always welcome and jovial My Sweet One bustout and a long awaited It’s Ice. While the latter was not flub-free, the band made a great group effort at one of their more complicated originals, and came out with a strong and united effort. The two big standouts of the rest of the set were a sublime Simple -> The Wedge and downright shredded Stealing Time. A beautiful Squirming Coil (right after sunset) put the end to a well-rounded and solid opening set of the weekend.
The second set, however, was another story altogether. Throwing caution to the wind, the band laid down by far the most impressive set of the summer (up to that point) with some stunning and impressive group improvisation and fiery jams. The My Soul opener got the party started in style and then the band got serious and dropped an all around jam-fest 15-minute Birds Of a Feather that really got people moving. Following up this awesome Birds was the set’s only slower points of BOTT and Heavy Things – which featured precise playing and chill jams – but nothing to write home about.
What came next, however, was an adventurous Twist->Piper that showed that the band came to AC to play for keeps. This two-song smoker featured great playing from all of the boys and started the fun summer ‘Woo!’ chanting that has continued throughout the tour. The rest of the set flowed like butter, featuring a beautiful and welcome Billy Breathes bustout (a personal favorite), a danceable and energetic Sneaking Sally, and a David Bowie set closer that featured teases galore from Trey before a raging peak. A First Tube encore nearly blew up Bader Field – an exceptional version worthy of a re-listen for those not there or those who were there whose faces had already melted to the ground.
All in all, night one was the kind of Phish show you walk out of and have a hard time contemplating how much fun and musical exploration is to come over the next two nights. The band came out firing and made it clear this was going to be a weekend to remember. It was arguably the best show of the summer tour so far, until night 2 (review to come)…
Night 1 setlist courtesy of Phish.net:
Encore: First Tube
 “Woo!” quotes from Twist in intro.
 Stash, It’s Ice, Birds of a Feather, Simple, and Ginseng Sullivan teases. Wedge tease from Fishman.
 “Woo!” quote from Twist.
For those of you interested in summer tour recordings, follow Welcome To Now on Facebook and send us a message and we’ll help point you in the right direction ;)