12/29 Review in Trenton Times
"Phish takes the stage at a sold-out Corestates Spectrum"
by John Nalbone, Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA - Had Trey Anastasio hung around Princeton a few more
years, the coffee houses that have sprung up like weeds in and around
Palmer Square would have been an ideal forum for him to weave his
Now, Anastasio and the four-man band he founded in 1983 after posting
fliers in the hallways as a student at the University of Vermont, sell
out arenas and are considered by some to be the official house band for
Generation-X and the "new" counter-culture.
The new Phish album, "Billy Breathes" is steamrolling toward gold
status, the same sitinction enjoyed by the bandŐs two previous efforts,
last yearŐs "A Live One" and 1994Ős "Hoist."
Anastasio, 31, spent some of his formidable [sic] years as a student at
Princeton High before enrolling at Taft and then at UVM. He returned to
the area last weekend with two completely sold-out shows at the
Phish kicked off SundayŐs show with the hillbilly rocker "Poor Heart,"
before Anastasio made a sharp hairpin turn into the jazz realm with Duke
The first of three songs from "Billy Breathes" in the first set, "Taste"
gave way to the funkadelic "Guelah Papyrus" and there was no turning
back from there.
"Trainsong" and "Free" Đ the first single from the new release Đ
preceded a well-received "Squirming Coil" before AnastasioŐs southern
rock juices flowed during "La Grange" to close the nine-song set.
After a 30-minute break gave the twirling dance-fiends in the hallways a
needed respite, "David Bowie" exploded from the stage to begin set-two.
The BeatlesŐ "A Day in the Life", with McConnell (keyboards) on lead
The unquestionable highlight of SundayŐs Spectrum performance began five
songs into the second set when the instrumental jam "You Enjoy Myself"
just about blew the roof off the "old " building. During what was
thought to be the closing stages of the song, each band member suddenly
switched instruments (without missing a beat) to continue the outrageous
jam. Anastasio, who started on lead guitar, hopped on FishmanŐs drum
kit. Gordon, originally on bass, grabbed TreyŐs guitar. Fishman slid
behind the piano and McConnell went for GordonŐs bassÉ and so on. The
aptly titled "Rotation Jam" continued in front of a delirious crowd of
over 20,000 for 15 minutes before roaring back into "You Enjoy Myself."
Stunning the audience with yet another song in the now 90-minute-plus
set, Phish debuted a brief rendition of the recent Oasis hit "Champagne
Supernova" sandwiched inside a rare "Harpua" closer. AnastasioŐs
longtime friend, fellow Phish songwriter and Princeton resident, Tom
Marshall, lead [sic] the way on vocals.
After making the awkward, but triumphant, journey from country, to jazz,
to searing rock-and-roll, to folk, to delta blues and then back to rock,
Phish ended the evening as it began more than three hours earlier with a
country-fied version of "Rocky Top" for an encore to bid the masses
Welcome back, Trey.
Andy's Phish Page