Phish dazzle the generations of phans at the Forum in LA!
PHISH – LIVE at The Forum in Inglewood 7/28/2018
There is nothing quite like a good ol’ fashioned Phish show. Trey, Page, Mike, and Jon have been touring and making albums for 30 years now and they just get better with age. Waiting for the band to come on recently at their yearly Forum Summer show I realized it had been 25 years since my first Phish show. Wow, I’m getting old! LOL, but yeah it doesn’t matter, a lot of the crowd were life long fans, and lots of new ones as well. Phish is one of those bands like their predecessors the Grateful Dead that seem to keep going through thick and thin and evolve yet never seem to lose their roots.
The crowd was electric, there was a huge parking lot party before the show and everyone was all fired up.
Phish took the stage and launched into “Julius” from 1994’s masterpiece and personal favorite album ‘Hoist’, it was on and the dance party had commenced. Trey Anastasio’s guitar hooks sent the crowd into a frenzy and the band sings “Don’t take another step, don’t blame it on yourself!”.
What happened next was a shock, delight and a rare treat of one of their oldest songs from 1987 “Suzy Greenberg” a total Phish classic usually reserved for 2nd Sets or encores. You just knew it was officially gonna be a great night and a great show. Mike Gordon slappin’ the bass and Page Mc’Connell bangin’ the keys, it was great baby!
After a solid version of “Timber” the band treated everyone to the Bob Marley classic “Soul Shakedown Party”, reggae vibes at a Phish show is always a treat! One of the great things about a band like Phish is they are all such talented musicians they can play anything from any genre or band and make it sound great as well as make it their own. This was a killer version of this song.
The had an amazing extended jam on “Kill Devil Falls” followed by a Mike Gordon lead “555” which had everyone boogying down.
The first set also featured a rare “Your Pet Cat” the cover from the ‘Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House’ soundtrack. It was not expected but definitely fun.
Solid versions of “Tide Turns” and “No Men In No Man’s Land” the band descended into the funky “Bathtub Gin” from 1990’s ‘Lawn Boy’ album. Page’s keys on this one really stood out, so good! The first set came to an end and the crowd was all fired up and wanting more!
After the break Phish returned to the stage and kicked the second set off with a funky and very cool jam of “Gotta Jibboo” from the ‘Farmhouse’ album. It set the tone of the second set, and sounded so great! They transitioned into the more recent “Fuego” and this song is one of the best more recent Phish songs that is so awesome LIVE! They killed it, great jam on this one!
Next up the band played a solid “Birds of a Feather” that soared as Trey Anastasio sings “Birds of a feather are flocking outside, like whippets they dance in a curly-queue dance”, indeed the birds were flocking and rocking and dancing. Crowd goes wild!
Next up was definitely more of a rarity these days and also goes back a ways with “Meatstick”, a song which emerged in 1997 and never made it on any studio albums, but is still a fan favorite and incorporates a synchronized dance if you follow.
Definitely not as big as the “Macarena” but certainly more fun!
The band did a version of the Trey Anastasio solo song “Soul Planet” followed by a really beautiful and moving “Wingsuit” before finishing the second set with a rollicking and fun “Cavern” from all the way back ‘Picture of Nectar’. So good!
The encores were perfect, they started with the frenetic tempo and energy building “Sparkle” that is always a barn burner and got everyones hearts racing. And concluded the evening with a stellar and always epic “Character Zero” from their 1996 album ‘Billy Breathes’, also one of their best Studio albums.
The show was very well rounded setlist wise, they really mixed it up and were very thoughtful for the rabid electric LA crowd. Phish are always a good time, top to bottom one of the best LIVE bands you could ever check out. They always bring it and never let you down.