Music review- The naked truth about Phish
Legendary rock band Phish came to John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday, December 5, for the final sold-out show of their fall tour. It was an appropriate setting, not least because Charlottesville has become a new center of sorts ever since locally based Red Light Management began repping them after their reunion shows in Hampton, this past March.
The four rockers opened with a jolting “AC/DC Bag” and pumped through a few more tunes before the phreak show turned into a streak show. Literally.
A few measures into “Ya Mar,” the band was greeted on stage by a dude in– you guessed it– his birthday suit. (And it should be noted that lead singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio didn’t miss a beat, immediately dubbing him “Naked Guy” after joking that the stunt “took a lot of balls”– and then busting into a unique and partially a cappella version of “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley,” which we can only guess was his subtle attempt to nickname this version “Streakin’ Sally!”)
Nuttiness continued well into the second set, which Phish launched with a 25-minute jam opening into their ever-popular, 20-year-old “Tweezer” and then seamlessly transitioned into “Light,” a new tune from their latest album Joy.
Other highlights included a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Sweet Virginia” sung by drummer Jon Fishman (which, not surprisingly, prompted extra-loud applause from the C’ville crowd), and a deep and dark rendition of “Run Like An Antelope,” complete with a fitting 11th-hour sing-along chorus change to “run like a naked guy, out of control!”
And an out-of-control show it was, proving once again that Phish is back– but perhaps more in control than ever.