August 7, 2015
Blossom Music Center
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Review by Matt Wickstrom
Photos by Tom Wickstrom
Phish continued their 2015 tour Friday night with a stop in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, at the Blossom Music Center, their first time back to Northeast Ohio since 2012. The Vermont quartet played an energetic two sets featuring several songs that made their 2015 debuts.
Phish’s performance Friday night reflected back upon the early years of the band, with only two songs being played all night that made their debuts in the last 17 years. Led by guitarist Trey Anastasio, Phish came out of the gates on fire as they opened up their show with a earth-shaking rendition of “A Song I heard the Ocean Sing”. Following the opener were cuts “My Sweet One” and “Wilson”. One of the night’s most spectacular moments took place during the intro to “Wilson”, when the sea of people in attendance began chanting “Wilson” in unison. Ween cover “Roses are Free” made an appearance later in the first set. Following the song, Anastasio made a plea for Ween, which he referred to as one of his favorite bands, to return.
“I’d like to take a quick second to send a special message out to my friends Aaron and Mickey who are going to hear somehow through this”, said Anastasio. “Guys it’s time to get back together and start playing again, that’s from me here at Blossom. Aaron and Mickey I hope you hear that. Ween – one of my all-time favorite bands – time to get back together and start playing. You heard it here first.”
“Rift” and “The Moma Dance”, staples of Phish’s vast repertoire, made appearances later in the set, but a cover of Norman Blake’s “Ginseng Sullivan” was possibly the opening set’s biggest surprise. The cover hadn’t been performed live by Phish since October 29, 2013; a gap that encompasses over sixty shows. A long, amped up performance of “Bathtub Gin”, featuring a heavy Anastasio-led jam closed out the first set to resounding applause from the packed crowd filling both the pavilion and large hill behind it to capacity. Six songs in Phish’s first set Friday night made their 2015 debuts on tour.
After a lengthy set break, Phish came out strong to start set two, breaking into the popular “Chalk Dust Torture”. “Chalk Dust” led into an elongated version of “Tweezer” that lasted nearly twenty minutes. Following “Tweezer” the band broke into “Makisupa Policeman”, a song which had been shelved nearly as long as “Ginseng Sullivan” from Friday night’s first set. Before the song, Anastasio reminisced about vaping in Makisupa, in which he went on to say his favorite flavors are bubblegum and strawberry.
Hits from Phish’s early years rounded out set two. “Harry Hood” featuring a tease of “Dave’s Energy Guide” made an appearance, and a much anticipated “Tweezer Reprise” closed out an action-packed set. For their encore, Phish emerged back onto the stage and covered Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times”, sending the packed crowd home happy and satisfied.
A full set list from the show, along with a photo recap, can be found below.
Set 1: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, My Sweet One > Wilson > Timber (Jerry), Roses Are Free, Rift, The Moma Dance, Ginseng Sullivan, Wingsuit, It’s Ice > Bathtub Gin
Set 2: Chalk Dust Torture -> Tweezer > The Lizards, Makisupa Policeman > Ghost > Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise
Encore: Good Times Bad Times