Phish's last night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre was made complete with one very special guest, Bill Kruetzman. The former drummer of the Grateful Dead was not expected and to bring him out for six songs to close out the second set was quite a treat. In typical Phish fashion, the band employed a little trickery to keep everyone guessing. Instead of honoring Jerry Garcia on his birthday, Saturday August 1, they choose to bring Bill Kreutzman out on the day after his birthday, because it just wouldn't be Phish if the act did something actually predictable. Kreutzman is the third member of the legendary jamband giant that has joined the members of Phish on stage.
Once again, Phish opens its set with another fan favorite, a cover of Ween's "Roses are Free." Although this version was condensed, the normally extended jam heavy song was still a delight to hear. The remainder of the first set was smooth and finely tuned and featured eleven other songs, including the prodigious "Wilson," the upbeat "NICU" and the epic "Reba." The cover theme continued into the second set with Stevie Wonder's "Boogie on Reggae Woman," guided by Mike Gordon's intense bass lines. After a nice version of their signature tune "YEM," the Phish crew brought out a second drum set and out came the legend Kreutzman. He toiled for six songs including a fantastic duel with the Phish drummer Jon Fishman.
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Phish's return to Red Rocks was nothing short of spectacular. Fans waited thirteen years to see them take the stage at the famous amphitheater again, and performances like these made it worth the wait. Ending with a bang is quite an understatement. The three-song encore and appearance of special guest Bill Kreutzman is another addition to the analogs of Phish history that will long be enjoyed by fans.
Phish - 8/2/09
Red Rocks Amphitheater
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Roses Are Free
Get Back on the Train
Beauty of a Broken Heart
Sample in a Jar
Kill Devil Falls
Boogie on Reggae Woman
You Enjoy Myself
Bouncing Around The Room
Slave to the Traffic Light
* with Billy Kreutzmann