Phishin' in Detroit

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It's not to often two of my favorite bands cross paths in real life or in print so I wanted to share this article/review of Phish's opening night on their Fall Tour from Cobo Arena in Detroit. The Tragically Hip are mentioned in this article because it where the material from Live Between Us was culled. They are mentioned beside some pretty impressive live albums and the significance of this Phish show is that it is scheduled as the last concert for the venue. The Cobo complex is comprised of several buildings (including the arena) and their biggest gig of the year is of course The North American Auto Show. The arena is coming down as part of an expansion project that will hopefully keep the auto show in downtown Detroit where it belongs.

Phish Tour

REVIEW (WJRT) -- Cobo Arena in downtown Detroit has cemented its legacy as the host of more than a half dozen iconic live albums.

From The Doors' "Live In Detroit" to The Tragically Hip's "Live Between Us" and Journey's "Captured" and Kiss' "Alive!" and Bob Seger's "Live Bullet," the venue has certainly made its mark in the music industry.

And Wednesday evening, it added one more stellar live recording to its collection as jam band Phish opened its fall tour on the banks of the Detroit River.

The fact that the show was recorded isn't news, as every Phish show is available for download at But not every Phish show is like what the roughly 10,500 fans witnessed Wednesday night.

From the opening notes of "AC/DC Bag" just after 8 p.m. to the close of "Character Zero" just after 11:30 p.m., the band was locked in and the audience was hanging on every note.

Highlights were abundant as the set list was overflowing with crowd favorites. "Bouncing Around the Room" and "Sample In a Jar" were sandwiched between the lone new songs of the night, "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan" and "Kill Devil Falls" from "Joy," the band's latest album.

The mellow ballad "Mountains In The Mist" was used as a break for the crowd, which been on their feet dancing the entire set. And they'd need that break, as the first set ended with a flurry of "Poor Heart", "46 Days" and "David Bowie."

After a 30-minute intermission, the crowd packed the narrow concourse of the nearly 60-year-old building. Once the Vermont-based band got back to the stage, balloons and glow sticks rained from above on the floor seats as "Down With Disease" echoed through the hall.

As guitarist Trey Anastasio wound down his extended solo, he segued right into a trio of classics from their 1996 album "Billy Breathes." A blistering version of album opener "Free," Phish's most commercially successful song of their career, led to a crowd sing-a-long on "Waste" and "taste."

"Character Zero" finished things up with a mind-blowing, note-bending, furious solo from Anastasio. But the 45 year old also left plenty of room for exceptional bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell to show their chops.

The music was just part of the overall experience. Young and old, hippies and straight-laced businessmen and fans with long dreads were all onboard.

As the house lights came up and the band left the stage, the buzz from the crowd was palpable, having just experienced yet another legendary Phish show, and one more historic performance at Cobo Arena. -- Josh Daunt

Setlist: "AC/DC Bag"
"Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan"
"Bouncing Around The Room"
"Sample In A Jar"
"Kill Devil Falls"
"It's Ice"
"Mountains In The Mist"
"Poor Heart"
"46 Days"

"Runaway Jim"
"Down With Disease"
"Wading In The Velvet Sea"
"Mike's Song"
"I Am Hydrogen"
"Weekapaug Groove"

"Character Zero"

Original Article

Original content written and provided by mrjackstraw from Tragically Hip Tour at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.
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