On December 12 I walked into the Providence Civic Center to see Phish, a band I haven’t heard much music from. At first, I was skeptical about what to expect. I knew they had plenty of musical talent. I realized this after listening to the first few songs off of “Rift.” I was also surprised at the exceptional song-writing in “Hoist.” The type of music they play has been pushed away from what we’ve come to view as mainstream. Their style is comparable to that of the Grateful Dead.
As the lights dimmed and Phish stepped on stage, the crowd roared. They opened with “Bouncing around the Room,” a song from “Lawn Boy.” No one sat still. For the first six songs about 20,000 people jumped around and danced. The idea of violence was left far behind. This concert was all about fun.
Then Phish took a break. About twenty minutes later they were back, but with a little more seriousness.
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At the beginning, bright lights and lasers mesmerized the audience. But during their song, “Down with Disease,” they dampened the audience with a purplish-blue light and began a jam session that ended in an intense strobe light blinding the audience as the level increased.
All at once the song stopped, leaving the audience numb. The rest is pretty much a blur, but they went out with a bang. After leaving the stage, they returned with a Jimi Hendrix finale as the strobe returned. All at once the crowd screamed, “Let me stand next to your fire!” Then it was over. We left while listening to the soft sounds of Elton John’s “Yellow Brick Road.”
I would do anything to relive that experience, so I have to see them again. All and all, I give them a firm A! .