Looking Back On Phish’s Best Shows At Hartford’s XFINITY Theatre

first_imgPhish are returning to an old favorite tonight, as they will play Hartford’s XFINITY Theatre after a 252 show gap. Formerly known as Meadows Music Theatre and The Comcast Theatre, the venue is right in the middle of Phish’s home turf, holds 30,000 people (with a 22,500 person lawn!) and has seen some classic performances from Phish over the years. While the band gears up for tonight’s show, let’s go back in time and look at some of the best shows they’ve played at this classic New England amphitheatre.June 30th, 2000 – Meadows Music TheatreTheir first show at the venue, Phish showed up in a particularly playful mood, which was evident from their first-set-opening “Ha Ha Ha.” They followed that up with, “AC/DC Bag,” which flowed into a raging “Tweezer” that then bounced its way into “Runaway Jim.” A rare first set “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley” came next, which wound its way into bluegrass standard “Ginseng Sullivan” before landing on “Guyute.” Up next was “Golgi Apparatus,” which segued into another first-set-rarity in “Tweezer Reprise,” which was surprisingly followed by an uproarious, set-closing “Possum.”The segues continued in set two, as Phish opened up with “Halley’s Comet” into “The Mango Song” into “Twist.” Following a short “The Inlaw Josie Wales,” “Back On The Train” started, which eventually morphed into “Makisupa Policeman,” complete with the key phrase “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Big Fat Doob.” The show ended with a trio of songs in “Farmhouse,” “Sleeping Monkey,” and “David Bowie,” before encoring with “Cavern.” What a show.See below for full setlist details and audio of “The Mango Song” from 6/30/2000.Listen to audio from “The Mango Song” from Meadows Music Theatre below, courtesy of YouTube user dgmaffi.Setlist – Meadows Music Theatre 6/30/2000Set 1: Ha Ha Ha, AC/DC Bag > Tweezer > Runaway Jim, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Ginseng Sullivan > Guyute, Golgi Apparatus > Tweezer Reprise > PossumSet 2: Halley’s Comet > The Mango Song > Twist, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Back on the Train > Makisupa Policeman, Farmhouse > Sleeping Monkey > David BowieEncore: CavernAugust 14th, 2009 – The Comcast Theatre, Hartford, CTIn 2009, Phish came back with all their cylinders firing. With their stop in Hartford coming in August, this show came near the tail end of their first summer tour after reuniting early that year. It was certainly a celebratory summer, and Phish’s return to venue, which was then known as The Comcast Theatre, was one of the grandest celebrations of them all. In what was an instant-classic 3.0 show, Phish opened with the always-exciting “Punch You In The Eye,” followed by “AC/DC Bag” into “NICU.” The real surprises began with the next song, as Phish busted out “Colonel Forbin’s Ascent” -> “Fly Famous Mockingbird” for the first time in the 3.0 era. The mere mention of “Icculus” during “Forbin’s” set the crowd on fire, and set the table for what was to come in the second set.Set two was ridiculous, and set the standard for high-energy crowds in the 3.0 era. After opening with a “Down With Disease” that contained a “Reba” jam, the band segued into a raucous “Wilson,” the found itself blissfully landing on “Slave to the Traffic Light.” “Piper” was next, which flowed gracefully into “Water in the Sky,” and then the real prize of the night arrived. The band closed the show with a ridiculous segment in “Ghost” -> “Psycho Killer” -> “Catapult” -> “Icculus” -> “You Enjoy Myself.” The Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” hadn’t been played in 282 shows, and “Icculus” hadn’t been performed in. 193 shows. The crazy “Icculus” focused on how people don’t read anymore, and encouraging the “kids” to put down their iPhones and read THE book.Also of note, Phish encored with The Beatles‘ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which they also encored with at their previous concert at the venue on 7/1/2000.Watch an HD video of “Catapult” -> “Icculus” from The Comcast Theatre below, courtesy of YouTube user notmkdevoSetlist – The Comcast Theatre 08/14/2009Set 1: Punch You In the Eye, AC/DC Bag > NICU, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Birds of a Feather, Lawn Boy, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Middle of the Road, Character ZeroSet 2: Down with Disease > Wilson > Slave to the Traffic Light, Piper > Water in the Sky, Ghost -> Psycho Killer -> Catapult -> Icculus > You Enjoy MyselfEncore: While My Guitar Gently WeepsJune 18th, 2010 – The Comcast TheatreThe last time Phish performed at this venue, they scorched the earth beneath them with a fun show, capped by a memorable encore. The first set contained fun versions of “Rift,” “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Foam,” and a great “Reba,” while the second set contained some great segues, with “Halley’s Comet” > “Light” -> “Billy Breathes” opening things up, before the meat of the set followed with “Tweezer” > “Theme From the Bottom” > “Harry Hood” > “Wading in the Velvet Sea.”However, it was the encore that truly captivated the audience. First, due to a request via a sign in the audience, Phish busted out “Sleeping Monkey,” which he encouraged the crowd to sing along to, since the sign was no-longer in sight and the person who made the sign might be able to hear the crowd singing it for him on the recording. Gotta love Trey Anastasio.Then, After a standard (yet always raging) version of “Tweezer Reprise,” Trey announced that they were going to play the song a second time to make it up to all the fans at Hershey Park who witnessed a “Tweezer” without its “Reprise. They started things back up for a wild, ripping version of the song. The band definitely loses tempo a few times getting lost in their excitement, but it doesn’t matter, as the crowd in front of them was going bananas.See below for full setlist details, and a video of the band playing both versions of “Tweezer Reprise.”Watch back-to-back versions of “Tweezer Reprise” from Hartford 6/18/2010, courtesy of YouTube user HarpuaFSB.Setlist – The Comcast Theatre 06/18/2010Set 1: Fee > Rift, Wolfman’s Brother, Summer of ’89, Foam, Possum > The Moma Dance > Julius, Reba, CavernSet 2: Halley’s Comet > Light -> Billy Breathes, Tweezer > Theme From the Bottom >Harry Hood > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Stealing Time From the Faulty PlanEncore: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise, Tweezer Repriselast_img read more