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Phish Celebrates Mike Gordon’s Birthday at Ruoff Music Center

Photo by Rene Huemer

Last night, Phish resumed their tour with the first of three performances at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Ind., which was originally known as Deer Creek. The performance fell on bassist Mike Gordon’s 57th birthday, and the band lovingly teased “Happy Birthday” a few times throughout the night.

When known as Deer Creek, the Ruoff Music Center had hosted Phish a handful of times over the years before last night – since their first gig there on June 19, 1995, and now the band have done 27 appearances.

Phish opened the show with “Theme From The Bottom,” the same track that kicked off their first show there in 1995 and marked the third time they’ve used the song as their opener since 1997. Next came a cover of “Boogie On Reggae Woman” by Stevie Wonder which saw the first teaser of guitarist Trey Anastasio’s “Happy Birthday” near the beginning of the song. Then comes a 17-minute “Everything’s Right” rich in masterful improvisation and heavy transitions. “Esther” followed which culminated in “Buried Alive”. Next is “Alaska” with a long piano intro by Page McConnell, who had a sticker on his Prophet synthesizer that read “RIP Dave” in honor of the late Dave Smith, known as the father of MIDI. “Mull” followed, which shone the spotlight on the birthday boy. They closed the first set with a series of “Birds Of A Feather” in “Cavern”.

The second set began with “No Men In No Man’s Land” which culminated in the start of the “Down With Disease” tour. After 15 minutes, the sound became almost silent before changing to “Joy”. Then comes “Ruby Waves” > “The Lizards” > “Fluffhead”. They closed the set with “Chalk Dust Torture”.

Phish returned to the stage with Gordon taking care of “Contact”, which again saw Anastasio teasing “Happy Birthday”. The track then morphed into “First Tube” which served as the evening’s closing song. Phish will return for night two at the Ruoff Music Center tonight.

Ruoff Music Center – Noblesville, Ind.
June 3, 2022

together i: Theme From the Bottom, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Tout va bien, Esther > Buried Alive, Alaska, Mull, Birds of a Feather, Cavern

Series II: No Men In No Man’s Land > Down with disease[1] > Joy > Ruby Waves > The Lizards, Fluffhead > Chalk Dust Torture

Enc.: Contact > First Tube[1] Unfinished.

Trey teased Happy Birthday in Boogie On Reggae Woman and Contact.

setlist via