@ZackTeibloom With no Super Jam at Bonnaroo this year, there was hope that Phish would have a sit-in. Maybe David Byrne to play “Cities?” How about a horn section? No one could have guessed the Boss. OK, Laura did, but we all thought she was burned out when she said it.
As Phish wound down a spacier first set than Friday night, Trey said, “We’re having such a good time here, I can’t even describe it with words.” He then told us of his first concert 30 years ago in a small venue and how he thought all concerts would be that incredible and was sad when they weren’t.
He was talking about seeing Bruce and that was his way of introducing him. “My boyhood hero, and still my hero today,” Trey told us. The Boss strolled out with his sleeves rolled up and took center stage between Trey (on his left) and Mike (on his right) and took over lead vocals and guitar for “Mustang Sally.” A cover so spot-on perfect, it should be the definitive version of the song from now on.
Bruce felt comfortable calling the shots, telling the sound guy to turn up the piano and calling Page, “the piano guy” and ordered a solo from Page, “”Come on, Mr. Keyboard Man!” when he felt like it. Bruce eyed Trey with a bit of wonder, seemingly impressed by the chops Trey was laying down over his own rhythmic playing. For the next three songs, the two played an almost tug-of-war of a solo-off, each trying to out duel the other. Everyone won.
After the majestic “Mustang Sally,” Phish covered Bruce’s “Bobby Jean” and took the serious Phish fans who waited two plus hours to get in the front pit out of their element. Luckily, “Glory Days” was easier to get into for the Phish fans as Trey and Bruce brought their duel to another level in a wild display of power as they powered through the end of their first set. It’s safe to say Bruce let Trey take over by the end of “Glory Days” and Phish made it their own, with Trey leading the way.
Other than the historic Bruce sit-in, first set highlights included “Character Zero” and set opener “AC/DC Bag,” which continued where Friday left off, but didn’t hint at the long jams that lay ahead. “Tweezer” was a 10 minute funky masterpiece that led to a strong “Tweezer Reprise” to close the show.
Set two was a more played out, spacier set than the opening set as they let their jams play out as much as any time all weekend. They opened with “Rock,” but really took off during the beautiful exchange in “Limb by Limb,” where the spotlight switches from Page to Trey as they trade lines.
I’ve always found “Farmhouse” to be too poppy and not the Phish sound I typically go for, but Trey let loose on it and extended the outro in one of a seemingly endless stream of solos he took tonight.
“Backwards Down The Number Line” is a new weapon in the Phish arsenol and they dispense it without mercy. The new single already has a life of its own. Fireworks lit up the sky as they transitioned to the always strong “Prince Caspian,” before closing the set with “First Tube.”
Three hours deep, they came back for “Suzy Greenberg,” and the inevitable “Tweezer Reprise.” At that point it was early Monday morning, Phish had completely taken over the festival for over 6 hours and made every other performer seem inferior. Phish always have Bonnaroo to come back to. 9.7/10
Phish 6/14 Set-list
- AC/DC Bag
- Gotta Jibboo
- Punch You in The Eye
- Bathtub Gin
- Character Zero
- The Horse
- Mustang Sally (W/ Bruce Springsteen)
- Bobby Jean (W/ Bruce Springsteen)
- Glory Days (W/ Bruce Springsteen)
- 46 Days
- Limb by Limb
- Backwards Down The Number Line
- Prince Caspian
- First Tube
- Suzy Greenberg
- Tweeter Reprise