After months of speculation, Phish made their grand debut at LOCKN’ Festival. The anticipation was at an all time high, considering the rarity with which the band performs at festivals, let alone large scale “jam events.” When you consider that every band performed one after the other, Phish’s hour break felt like an eternity as fans filled into the main area. Couple that with the band’s absence from the road for a month, and that was a recipe for pure excitement.

The band struggled a bit out of the gate, with some touch and go moments in “Wilson” and the intro to “DwD.” Once they got to jamming in “Disease,” all bets were off! The band fired through “Free” and turned the corner on “Wolfman’s” for some great first set jamming.

A real highlight from the show was the jammed out “Tube” in set one, picking up from where they left off back in July at Chula Vista. Let Tube jam.

Mike Gordon and Page McConnell each took turns singing lead on “555” and “It’s Ice,” but it was Trey Anastasio front and center for “Wingsuit” and “Simple.” They closed out the great first set with their new a cappella version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” enthralling the crowd with pantomimed guitarring.

After a well executed “Punch You In The Eye,” Phish delivered a jam heavy second set. The work between “Blaze On” to “Fuego” to “Ghost” to “Bathtub Gin” was Phish at their finest, weaving in and out of melodies in style. Interestingly the set focused mainly on longer songs, keeping the jams flowing without interruption.

After a melodic “Number Line,” Phish closed the set with a classic: “You Enjoy Myself.” Bringing YEM out on night one was the final blow – there could be no denying that the band was locked in and loaded.

Finally, they closed out with a rock and roll “Character Zero,” setting fans into the night with a smile on their faces. Best of all, Phish is set to do it all again on Sunday, but not before a bevy of talents all perform. Viva Lockn!

Setlist: Phish at Lockn Festival, Arrington, VA 8/26/16

Set 1: Wilson > Down with Disease, Free, Wolfman’s Brother, Tube > 555 > It’s Ice > Wingsuit, Simple, Space Oddity

Set 2: Punch You In the Eye > Blaze On > Fuego -> Ghost > Bathtub Gin[1] > Backwards Down the Number Line, You Enjoy Myself

Encore: Character Zero