Phish | 06.10.09 | Knoxville

Words by: Tony Hume | Images by: Dave Vann

Phish :: 06.10.09 :: Thompson-Boling Arena :: Knoxville, TN

Trey :: 06.10 :: Knoxville, TN
If they brought the heat to Asheville, then Phish brought the, well, warmth, to Knoxville. There were many of us who thought Knoxville had the potential for the sleeper show of the tour (ala Salt Lake City's '98 Dark Side of the Moon show) with many fans passing up the night in lieu of the impending madness that is Bonnaroo, yet we were pleasantly surprised to see a nearly full 26,000 capacity house.

Lights down at 8:10 p.m. with a typical '90s opener of "Runaway Jim" kicking off the night, followed by yet another once-standard opener of "Punch You In The Eye." Fans of CK5 should be most excited for the stunning light show hitting every little nuance that even the band sometimes seems to forget. "Ocelot" followed with its infectious melody line, paired with the dynamic, powerful "Foam," one of the first set highlights. Cooling off for a bit with "Trainsong," the band launched into the first "Undermind" of the summer '09 run. The ever favorite trilogy of "Mike's Song" > "I Am Hydrogen" > "Weekapaug" was next, and just as the "Jim" – "Punch" opener surprised many, the "Squirming Coil," "Character Zero" AFTER "Weekapaug" was most welcomed.

After a short 38-minute set break, the band was "Back On The Train," off and running in the second. A most welcomed and first in five years "Waves" followed with a short flashback to the ambient days and a nice space filled, patient jam out of the "Waves" segued nicely into the first "Song I Heard The Ocean Sing" in five years, which led into one of the highlights of the second set "David Bowie." For anyone who was at or heard the Hampton shows and the sometimes sloppy work on the more intricate written out parts to Phish favorites, forget it - this is a different band.

Phish :: 06.10 :: Knoxville, TN
This is a band that not only sounds hungry but is also hitting all of those amazing composed lines that made you fall in love with them in the first place. Trey egged on Page to hit a solid "Army of One" before Trey launched into the most welcomed and familiar beginning octave in the key of "F" – "REBA." Just as "Foam" contained in the first set, "REBA's" dynamics were amazing, dropping the level to a pin drop before bringing it back up to fist pumping hotness. Gathering in front of Page's station came a beautiful "Hello My Baby" before the boys took their spots for what seemed to be a "Julius" set closer, but just as the first set packed a song selection surprise, "Cavern" came next, and just as you had been fooled once before, a crisp "Harry Hood" finally did close out the second set of the second show of the southern swing.

Encore time: Page strapped on his Jan Hammer-esque keytar and Mike donned a red flame bass (flames ala hot rod street car protruded from the bottom of the body of the bass), and with Trey and Mike all standing next to one another, the show ended with "Frankenstein" sending the crowd home fulfilled.

Phish :: 06.10.09 :: Thompson-Boling Arena :: Knoxville, TN
Set I: Runaway Jim, Punch You in the Eye, Ocelot, Foam, Train Song, Undermind, Mike's Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, The Squirming Coil, Character Zero
Set II: Back on the Train, Waves > A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > David Bowie, Army of One, Reba, Hello My Baby, Julius > Cavern > Harry Hood
E: Frankenstein

Keep an eye on our Phish Summer Tour Page for lots more from tour...

Continue reading for more pics of Phish in Asheville...

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