This will be the shortest thing related to Phish's show in Raleigh. The seminal jam band—the greatest thing to come from Vermont since Ben & Jerry's—and the accompanying neon rays of light, hurled glowsticks and vegan grilled cheese parking-lot bartering, return to Raleigh for only the fourth time in a mostly storied, sometimes hazy 28-year history.
Saturday's scene serves as a reprise from last summer, when Phish played a set of classic covers ("Roses Are Free," "Light Up or Leave Me Alone," "Have Mercy") to mixed reviews. But no one knew the significance at the time. The set list contained a hidden gem, a rendition of Little Feat's "Time Loves a Hero," that served as a clue to the band's Halloween costume show in Atlantic City—three sets that included the entire Waiting for Columbus album.
Phish also played the Raleigh pavilion in 2003 and pulled off an epic version of "Divided Sky" as gray clouds shifted and the rain ceased to fall. A show earlier that year at UNC's Memorial Hall marked the end of a decade-long Triangle hiatus, though the band had included the Triangle in both of their first two Southeastern tours, in 1990 and 1991, playing Cat's Cradle six times and also once at The Brewery in Raleigh. Luckily, we didn't have to wait that long this time. —Joe Schwartz