Phish

Live Phish: 07.03.2010 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre @ Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA

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This is the second of three Phish shows recorded at the Verizon Park Amphitheater in Alphretta, GA, and one of two (the other is July 4) to be issued on CD: the first night is available for download on the band's website. The set list for this date is not only completely different from the proceeding one, it is also superior. The three-disc, two-set-plus-encore package kicks off with a rollicking seven-minute version of "Character Zero"; the band pulls out virtually all the stops right from the jump. Other highlights from set one include "McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters," "Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan," and the shapeshifting "Run Like an Antelope," which runs nearly 12 minutes. It features labyrinthine improvisational twists and turns and skittering syncopation. Set two kicks off with a cover of Lou Reed's "Rock & Roll," which in the course of ten-plus minutes, goes far beyond the confines of the original, without losing any of the song's immediacy or power. This track bleeds into "Prince Caspian," with surprisingly tight vocal harmonies. The set's other highlights are "Tweezer" and "Possum." The encores are a relatively brief "Sleeping Monkey," and a reprise of "Tweezer," but are both inspired. This is an exceptional entry in the Live Phish series.

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