Phish in Chicago
So I was unable to attend Phish in Chicago this year. However, thanks to Couch Tour, I was able to watch the show live as it unfolded from my living room. That in and of itself was awesome, but the show was just unbelievable. After a rain-plagued run last year which forced cancelled and postponed sets, the boys from Vermont were clearly ready to redeem themselves this year, and they did just that. After only the first night of the three-night run, it's pretty obvious that this will be the show to remember from this tour. The first set was anything but cookie-cutter, featuring a solid opener in "555", one of the tracks of their new album Fuego. They followed that up with a blazing "Kill Devil Falls" into the blissful "Bouncing Around the Room". Things really jumped off after that with an A+ rendition of "Reba" (many a Phan's favorite song), wherein Trey let loose in a manner which defined the rest of the night. Another strong track off the new album, "Waiting All Night" dropped a soft musical haze over the crowd before "Birds of a Feather" came out hot, followed closely by an unusually rockin' "Halfway to the Moon". A couple shorter tunes followed this, "Sparkle", "Sample in a Jar", and "A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing". These are all very great relaxing tunes, but the tag-team set-closers "Stash" and "The Squirming Coil", with the tension-release and blistering collective jamming from the band were the perfect way to end a glorious first set.
The second set opened up with a 17-minute cover: TV On the Radio's "Golden Age", followed by "The Mango Song", which is always a great time. The "Sand" that followed was absolutely nasty an segued wonderfully into "Piper". Everyone got a chance to breathe briefly during "Halley's Comet". My personal favorite off the new album, "Wombat", got a nice Type II treatment (Type II refers to the extended, deep jams where the whole band goes off into space). Trey took the crowd with them in "Chalk Dust Torture" before bringing them back down with "Slave to the Traffic Light". A nice "Julius" encore rounded off what was an incredible first night to what will go down in history as an unbelievable run. Can't wait to watch tonight!