Phish Shares Stage With Wynonna Judd, Del McCoury, Sam Bush & More On This Date In 2000

Wynonna led Phish through what still stands as their lone non-a capella cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird."

By Scott Bernstein Jun 22, 2022 6:00 am PDT

On June 22, 2000, Phish began the North American portion of Summer Tour with a guest-filled performance at AmSouth Amphitheatre in Antioch, Tennessee. The concert still stands as one of the best tour-opening shows in the foursome’s history.

The first set in Antioch was a fairly straight forward affair filled with staples, but the real fun comes in the second set. Phish began “Harry Hood” following an impressive and well-jammed “Gotta Jibboo” > “Also Sprach Zarathrustra” > “Sand” sequence. Out of nowhere, the quartet inserted rarity “Dog Faced Boy” within the opening section of “Harry Hood.” After finishing the Hoist ballad, they picked back up where they left off in “Harry Hood.” The evening’s first guests came out for the jam as Robbie McCoury (banjo), Ronnie McCoury (mandolin) and Sam Bush (fiddle) added to the action.

Phish then hosted more guests for a three-song mini-set of bluegrass favorites. Robbie, Ronnie, Sam, Del McCoury (guitar), Ricky Skaggs (mandolin), Mike Bub (upright bass) and Jason Carter (fiddle) augmented the quartet on “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome,” “Hold Whatcha Got” and “Uncle Pen.”

If the set would’ve ended at that point, fans still would’ve gone home well satiated but the biggest surprise of the night closed the second set. Country legend Wynonna Judd walked on stage to lead Phish and all of the other guests on a full version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” as opposed to the a capella versions the Vermonters had performed in the past. Wynonna told the crowd she was singing “Free Bird” to celebrate the one year anniversary of her divorce and was in fine form as she fronted the ensemble. Phish still had one more trick up their sleeves as when they returned for the encore they treated fans to a full “You Enjoy Myself.” Not a bad way to start a tour.

Watch fan-shot video featuring the entire show below via the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA):

June 22, 2000

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[Originally Published: June 22, 2016]

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