Phish

Austin360 Amphitheater

Mountain Trout Photography

Phish COTA-92

By John Croxton
Austin, Texas welcomed Phish back with open arms Tuesday night at the Austin 360 Amphitheater, a 14,000 seat venue centered in the Circuit of the Americas F1 Grand Prix racetrack. As July Texas temperatures neared 100 degrees, the band waited for the sun to recede below the horizon to take the stage and kicked into “Party Time”, a fitting way to start the evening.

Texas Phish fans have awaited the band’s return, last playing in Austin at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2010, with a full 16 years since the last time the band made a tour stop in the state (Austin, South Park Meadows, 1999). Last night’s show was a solid, if not fairly standard, effort that had the crowd groovin’ throughout.

The first set started strong after “Party Time” moving into “Free” and “Halley’s Comet”. The energy remained strong throughout with highlights including Page doing the lounge-singer act on “Lawn Boy” and the first appearance of “Dirt” in a few years (last played October 2013, Worcester, MA).

Trey really pushed it on “Run Like an Antelope”, the highest-octane and last song of the set, something many have been waiting for since the classic Fare Thee Well shows earlier this month. It’s hard to find fault with the Fare Thee Well shows, which were about as strong as anyone could have hoped for. However, some felt that Trey, at times, seemed to be holding back. Perhaps out of reverence, maybe wanting the spotlight to be on the ‘Core Four’, but many were practically begging him to take the reigns. He most certainly delivered, but it was another thing to see him back in the lead role with his own band and doing the things that Trey does. “Run Like an Antelope” had him back in that place, the driving force leading the band that has been his own for a not-too-shabby 30+ years.

The second set kicked it up a notch with classics such as “Ghost”, “Gotta Jibboo”, “David Bowie” and “Suzy Greenberg”. A show highlight was the appearance of “The Dogs”, from last Halloween’s performance of Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. “46 Days” opened the set and as it really started to rock, segued into “The Dogs”, before going back into “46 Days”. “Piper” and “Ghost” kept the good feeling going.

The second set also saw two of the recently debuted new songs “Shade” and “Blaze On”, “Shade” a quiet ballad, and “Blaze On” a fun New Orleans-funk/Little Feat-sounding mix.

Strangely, the band repeated “Waiting All Night” from the previous show. Less strange, but always welcome, they closed the second set with “Tweezer Reprise”, after leaving it hanging in Los Angeles three nights earlier. The show closed with the Rolling Stones Exile on Main St. classic, “Loving Cup”.

Overall, a nice return to Trey Anastasio’s birth state, for the first of two nights that the band is promoting as “Two for Texas”. Tonight, the band picks it up just outside Dallas at the Grand Prairie Verizon Theatre.

Setlist via Phish.net

Phish: Tue, Jul 28, 2015
Austin360 Amphitheater, Del Valle, TX

Set 1: Party Time,  Free,  Halley’s Comet >  Wolfman’s Brother,  Possum,  Lawn Boy,  Bouncing Around the Room,  Water in the Sky,  Dirt,  Devotion To a Dream,  Sugar Shack,  Run Like an Antelope

Set 2: 46 Days ->  The Dogs ->  46 Days >  Piper >  Ghost >  Shade,  Gotta Jibboo,  Waiting All Night,  Blaze On,  Wading in the Velvet Sea >  David Bowie,  Suzy Greenberg >  Tweezer Reprise

Encore: Loving Cup


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