Phish Performs at Asheville Civic Center

The hot and humid air was not enough to keep the Phisheads from gathering together to watch one of the most anticipated shows of the year in Asheville.

On June 9, fans from all over the country came to watch this summer’s special treat. The show was held in the small 7,600 seating area in Asheville’s Civic Center. The small venue produced superb sound quality and had every fan inside the arena in the full swing mood for one of America’s most popular live music performance bands.

The first set opened up with a surprise from a new song from Phish. The band played “Kill Devil Falls”, which offers a preview of their more pop-like rock and roll sound from their latest album “Joy”, scheduled to be released in late July. Guitarist Trey Anasastio ripped a blues solo over the upbeat pace rhythm from keyboardist Page McConnell. The set continued with some of the band’s older songs such as “The Moma Dance”, “Sample in a Jar”, and “Stash”. The newer improvisation of “Stash” certainly received overwhelming approbation from the packed arena.

Guitarist Trey Anasastio paused the concert to tell a brief story about how the next song—”Dog Faced Boy” was written in drummer John Fishman’s college journal. Fishman, often known as “Fish”, left his drum set and laid down on the ground while the other three preformed the song “Dog Faced Boy”, written by Trey for Fishman. The popular funky song “Gumbo” continued the set with the groovy rhythms produced from the electric organ and bass. Finally, the set started to wind down with the long jam “Divided Sky”, followed by a cover song sang by bassist Mike Gordon “When the Cactus is in Bloom”. The final song was another popular cover written by Jimi Hendrix, “Bold as Love”.

Phish opened the second set with another song from their new album called “Backwards Down the Number Line”.

Jack Smeak, a Clemson University student, said “The new song has definitely been a success with much approval from the fans. I personally liked how the song transcends from the vocals to a smooth yet up beat jam.”

Midway through the second set, the band decided to play the rarely performed “Haley’s Comet”. It was a nice selection before the highlight of the concert when they played “Maze”. Pianist Page McConnell had one hand on the organ and the other on the piano. Meanwhile, Guitarist Trey Anasastio looked as if he could not move his hand any faster. The song gave the fans every cent their money was worth, as everyone was on their feet enjoying the music to its full potential.

Between the light show, the great song selection and the crowd’s involvement, the night could not have ended on a better song. The twenty year fan favorite song “Possum” added a great theme for the finish for a triumphant night in Asheville.
It truly was a treat to watch the show in such a small venue. Smeak also commented on the setting, saying, “Asheville’s friendly natives along with the small Asheville Civic Center produced a friendly atmosphere that allowed everyone to have fun and enjoy the show.”

Fans are hoping that the band’s first visit to the mountain city will encourage the members to stop by again down the road. It’s safe to say that this show definitely left the fans believe that there’s a good chance we’ll see them again in Asheville in the future.

Set I: Kill Devil Falls*, The Moma Dance, Sample In A Jar, Stash, Dog Faced Boy, Gumbo, Tube, Lengthwise, The Divided Sky, When The Cactus Is In Bloom, Bold As Love
Set II: Backwards Down the Number Line *, Ghost, Fast Enough For You, Halley’s Comet > Maze, Alaska, Theme From The Bottom, Golgi Apparatus, Possum
Encore: Loving Cup

* From the new album “Joy”