`Phish Phans' jam to tunes by Pink `Phloyd'

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 3 1998 12:00 a.m. MST

Phish, the jam band from Vermont, surprised the festive gathering by playing Pink Floyd's (or should we spell that Pink Phloyd?) "Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety during Monday night's second set.

Everything down to the wailing of "Great Gig In the Sky" (screeched out by drummer Jon Fishman) was included in the mix. "Time," "Us and Them," "Money" and "Breathe" were the trademark tunes from that session. And Phish played them accurately - English accent included.In fact, the second set was the better. It was more energetic and kinetic, thanks to the frantic gestures of "You Enjoy Myself."

Phish - guitarist/lead vocalist Trey Anastasio, drummer Fish-man, keyboardist Page Mc-Con-nell and bassist Mike Gordon - not only played some classic progressive rock, but dabbled into the post-modern punk, too. For an encore, it cranked out Nirvana's "Smells Like Team Spirit."

As for the first set, the band stuck to a lot of its slower songs.

It kicked off the show with "Tube" and then slid into "Drowned." Those two songs carried the concert with their extended jams and rhythms.

Then with a nod, Anastasio led the other Phishermen into ZZ Top's "Jesus Just Left Chicago."

"Driver" and the acoustic "Bittersweet Motel" came next.

Although the audience, known as Phish Phans, cheered and loved the intricate music works, there was a bit of restlessness felt throughout the night. Part of that tension could have been attributed to the slower tempos. Even the rockers of the first set were mid-range moseys such as "Wading In a Velvet Sea," "Limb By Limb" and "Sample In a Jar."

Another surprise was the fact the concert wasn't a sellout. However, the phans that attended made up for that with their vigorous screams and singa-longs.

Anastasio's and Gordon's harmonies were smooth and soothing - almost dreamlike. Fishman's drumming was original, syncopated and precise while Mc-Con-nell's keyboards added an angelic quality to the extended jams and highlighted the softer, moodier tunes.

Furthermore, Anastasio's lead guitar - especially during the euphoric climax-laden reaches during "You Enjoy Myself" - were a rush.

Adding to the theatrics, the band - well, Gordon and Anastasio, at least - bounced around on exercise trampolines during some synchronized and choreographed moves.

Then came the light show. Man, what a trip.

The white-hot strobes seemed to turn the stage inside out while streams of blue, orange, red and green spotlights scanned the audience members' heads and shot illumination into the seats.

With no opening act, Phish triumphantly swam through a hazy sea of smoke and screams. Although the first set could have used a heavy dose of caffeine, the real downer was the hourlong intermission. But thanks to Pink Floyd and Phish's vast musical library, the concert was well worth the $27 price of admission.

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