Phish turns 1STBANK Center into a steam bath on first night of three-night stand - 10/10/10
10.10.10 | 1STBANK Center
One night after the Fourmile Canyon Benefit warmed up the 1STBANK Center, Phish turned the arena into a steam bath. The band took the stage just after eight, and aside from two suites that were going unused, the 6,500 seat arena was crammed. The band opened up the first set (and their fall tour) with "Chalkdust Torture," with the entire arena singing along with the chorus "Can't this wait 'till I'm old, can't I live while I'm young" -- sadly appropriate for those of us who had to get up and go to work today.
The group then flubbed its way through "Ocelot", a slinky, blues-funk number off of its last release, Joy, before getting the room cooking with the eerie "It's Ice," adding a more worked section after the musical "fall-though-the-ice" segment in the middle of the song, before drummer Jon Fishman kicked it back into gear.
Keyboardist Page McConnell was strong through the first set, but really let loose in "NICU" - tearing up the electric organ on the uptempo ska tune until Anastasio ripped into the porno-funk of "Moma Dance." As the masses around the arena shook their asses to the Mike Gordon's thumping bass lines, light designer Kris Kuroda swirled colors and patterns around the arena.
The band seemed to really slide into "Stash" well, with Anastasio nailing the intricate composed lead into the song and taking the band along with him as he shifted keys briefly at the end of the tune before unfortunately abandoning the change and possible extended jam for the ending buildup that led into "Golgi Apparatus" to end the set. As a whole, the set was solid and had some clear highlights - but aside from solid playing by the entire band, most of the songs stayed relatively standard.
During the thirty-minute set break, I meandered around in a daze trying to find a place to cool off. Despite the cold rain and fall weather outside the venue, inside was more like a steam bath. Strangely, the east side of the venue was cooler than the west side - something I discovered while suite hopping. Downstairs, the packed hallways were crowded with sweaty bodies as steam mixed with errant pot smoke creating a muggy, thickness.
Police and fire crews wandered through the crowd the entire night, and aside from seeing one kid clearly too spun on chemicals being dragged through the hallway, there didn't seem to be any other big issues. Now and then security would shine flashlights up into the isles at people dancing, but most eventually gave up by the end of the show.