Seven years ago Phish began the post-Thanksgiving portion of Fall Tour 2009 with a pair of performances at Albany’s Times Union Center on November 27 and 28, 2009 and a visit to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine on November 29. Each show featured a bevy of highlights and are still enjoyable to watch and listen to all these years later. High-quality, fan-shot video of all three concerts are available on YouTube thanks to pryan.
Phish’s November 27, 2009 concert in Albany featured a first set that included a handful of rarities and a second set with bust outs and debuts as well as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix in the encore. In the first set the quartet offered rare takes on “Driver,” “My Mind’s Got A Mind Of It’s Own” and “Two Versions Of Me.” The latter has yet to be played again. New-at-the-time “Light” ended the first set, the only time the Joy staple has appeared in an opening stanza.
After kicking off the second set with “My Friend, My Friend,” Phish unveiled a cover of “Golden Age” by TV On The Radio. While it would be nearly a year before the foursome played “Golden Age” again, the song would go on to become a staple of second sets. The improvisational highlights of the night were standout versions of “Piper” and “Harry Hood.” Phish’s second set from seven years ago today also featured the lone live version of Jon Fishman’s “Tomorrow’s Song” and one of just four takes on Page McConnell’s “I Been Around.” The band honored the birthday of Jimi Hendrix with a “Fire” encore to end the evening.
Fans loved to exclaim “Phish is back!” after particularly moving moments during the band’s first years back after returning to the stage in 2009. The sentiment meant most and was widely used following Phish’s November 28, 2009 show at Albany’s Times Union Center. On that night the foursome kicked off their second set with a “Seven Below” > “Ghost” sequence that spanned nearly 50 magical minutes. Phish gave fans what they wanted by delivering two long and stunningly jammed songs to begin a seven-tune second set. As if that wasn’t enough, the band followed the stellar start with their first cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Cool It Down” since 2003 and ended the night with a standout “You Enjoy Myself” as the encore.
Phish concluded Thanksgiving Weekend ’09 with a Sunday night show at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. The band opened with “Possum” for the first time in over 10 years, a sign of the unusual occurrences that lied ahead. 3.0 debuts of “Nellie Kane,” “Weigh” and “Meat” were fit into a first set that concluded with the fan-favorite “Mike’s Song” > “I Am Hydrogen” > “Weekapaug Groove” triumvirate. A rare second set-opening “The Moma Dance” kicked off the second set and led into well-jammed versions of “Rock & Roll” and “Light.” Up next was the first “Crimes Of The Mind” to be played without the Dude Of Life, which would remain the last “Crimes” until their recent visit to Las Vegas. Also of note was the return of “Pebbles & Marbles” for its tour debut and the first and only cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” of the era.
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