You could say that Phish has a South Carolina complex. After hitting Asheville on last summer’s tour, their first since their 2004 breakup, they’re scheduled to visit Raleigh’s Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion (better known as “Walnut Creek”) on July 1 and Charlotte’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on July 2. But it’s been 12 years since they last played in S.C. (Greenville, 1998).
Last Sunday’s Father’s Day show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., found guitarist Trey Anastasio teasing “Dixie” near the end of the Phish classic, “Wilson.” Perhaps it’s a nod to the coming weeks, which include a rare four consecutive nights below the Mason-Dixon (they’ll play Atlanta on July 3 and 4).
If setlists from their thus-far-northeast-based-tour are any indication, the jam-juggernauts will feel the heat when they roll South. Let’s just hope for something like their last Charleston appearance in Oct. 1996, featuring a second set with everything from “Bathtub Gin” to “Fluffhead” and an a cappella “Carolina” encore. There’s sure to be a heavy, heady contingent of Charleston phans making the run.