There was an incredible amount of hype amongst PHISH fans when it was first announced back in October that the band would be playing The Met in Philadelphia, PA which holds a capacity of only 3,500 people. This is the smallest venue the band has played in nearly two decades and it was the perfect way to surprise fans with a truly intimate performance in celebration of PHISH radio presented by SiriusXM/Pandora. Trey Anastasio even unveiled his own Pandora Story, offering up commentary to a playlist of meaningful tracks from throughout the band’s career.
There was no way for fans to purchase tickets to this intimate show, so SiriusXM subscribers had to win their way into the show by calling in on-air to SiriusXM hosts Ari Fink and Jonathan Schwartz when the announced a “Met Drop” for tickets or by emailing entries online at SiriusXM/Phish. The demand for tickets was incredibly high for a chance to catch PHISH for such an intimate performance and fans showed up in droves for this show. There was even a stand-by line for fans that didn’t win, but still held out hope for a chance to check out this very special show.
The line to get in the door was massive and PHISH fans packed The Met Philadelphia from wall to wall. They could not have picked a better venue to host this performance, as the newly redesigned Met provided the perfect vibe. The band took to the stage just before 8:00 pm and the howls from the crowd were deafening as Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman began their set.
The set opened up with the not often played acapella version of “Hello My Baby” with all members of PHISH standing front and center on the stage. They then broke into “Tweezer”, kicking the show off in high gear. It seems to us, and other fans, that the band seems to be taking a new direction with many of their songs and reworked several fan favorites throughout the night. “Tweezer” jammed right into “Free”, followed by “The Moma Dance” and then back into “Tweezer” once again. Anastasio and the rest of the band appeared to be in great spirits, however, it is worth noting that this show was played in much more of a straight-forward manner with a bit less interplay between band members or lengthy guitar solos then we have seen at past PHISH concerts.
The show was kicked up a notch once again when PHISH broke into “Blaze On” and we were thrilled to hear the band’s amazing cover of ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago” make its way into the set, as it has truly been a while for that one! You could feel the energy buzzing in the room as the first set was coming to a close with a ten-minute groove-laden jam of “Kill Devil Falls”, before moving back into “Tweezer” and closing out the set with Ghosts of the Forest‘s “Drift While You’re Sleeping”.
The band started out set two with “Chalk Dust Torture”, before moving once again into “Tweezer”, followed by “Mikes Song” and then surprisingly into “Sparkle”. All eyes were on drummer Fishman when he broke into the hilarious “Ass Handed” before gliding right into “Weekapaug”. It was then time to slow things down a bit with the gorgeous ballad “Miss You” where Anastasio truly shines on guitar followed by “Waves” and then a huge audience sing-a-long with a cover of The Beatles “A Day In The Life”. Additional set two highlights included “2001” highlighting the amazing instrumentation that takes place within this band and “More” which really had the crowd up and moving. PHISH closed out their performance with “Waste” followed by “Tweezer Reprise” which was yet another delight to the crowd.
This was definitely a very special and very unique surprise show for PHISH fans, ones who were in attendance live and in-person and those that were listening in to the live broadcast on SiriusXM’s Phish Radio (ch. 29) and one that will remain in their memories for quite some time!
Phish Radio (ch. 29) plays music from the band’s extensive career, including their vast catalog of live songs, studio tracks, and musical influences. Listeners also hear recurring shows hosted by the band members, live broadcasts from their 2019 tour, as well as exclusive interviews and commentary from each band member.
SiriusXM subscribers are able to listen to Phish Radio, as well as this special performance on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more. Go to www.SiriusXM.com/streaming to learn more.