The show, which was streamed live around the world from New York City's historic Ed Sullivan Theatre, was nothing short of one for the history books. Hundreds of Phish-heads assembled in the house that The Beatles built to catch one of the most intimate performances in the bands 30+ year history; as they played an inspiring 8-song set that was filled with mind-bending jams, new songs and even a few older favorites.
Hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now", the band certainly lived up to expectation; performing an incomparable version of "The Line" on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' before taking to the Ed Sullivan Theatre green room for a pre-show interview in which the band talked on a number of topics including recording the new record at 'The Barn' once again, contributing as a full band of songwriters and much more.
Following the interview, Phish was ready to hit the hallowed stage. After opening up the webcast promptly atwith an unbelievable jam-infused version of '46 days' (originally off 2002's 'Round Room'), the band treated the capacity New York City crowd to another Phish classic, ‘Undermind’ before switching it up and bringing them into the first brand new song of the evening, 'Halfway To The Moon'.
After a passionate performance of ‘Carini’, the band kept rolling with "Fuego" tracks '555' and 'Devotion To A Dream’; each with improvised jams that gave the songs a whole new feel and meaning; truly immersing everyone in attendance into the 'fresh Phish’ as fans were nothing short of entranced by the new material.
The band then brought it back to their 2000 effort “Farmhouse” for an incredible performance of ’Twist’, as the Ed Sullivan Theatre chanted "It wouldn't twist around that way" along with Trey. After a blistering finish to ’Twist’, the band thanked the Phish Phaithful once again and departed; only to return minutes later as Trey cued the band into the final song of the evening, ‘Character Zero’.
The song, which serves as the second song off the bands sixth LP “Billy Breathes” closed out the show with a bang - wrapping up what proved to be one of the most unique and memorable 'Live on Letterman' experiences in history.
By Gian Vassaliko