Phish returned from their hiatus with their first public show since October 7, 2000. The pre-show music alluded to the end of the hiatus with such songs as the theme from Welcome Back Kotter, Feels Like the First Time, Back in the Saddle Again, Reunited, and The Boys are Back in Town. The final selection was Foreplay/Long Time, during which time the band took the stage. Piper included a Low Rider tease. Prior to Wilson, a scene from the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away was played in the arena (referring to Hanks’ character searching for his volleyball/companion named Wilson). Trey subsequently introduced Hanks to sing the final lyric. Major news media reported the Hanks appearance, but the guest singer was actually Page’s brother, Steve McConnell. Mound was played for the first time since November 19, 1996 (276 shows). Bowie included a DEG tease. This show included the debuts of Waves, Seven Below and Walls of the Cave. Appropriately, Seven Below began about seven minutes before midnight. During the song, the crew lowered a disco ball from the scoreboard and created a “snowfall” on stage. Dancers dressed in white as snow creatures took the stage and circled the band before dispersing into the crowd. Some of the dancers ascended ladders and donned stilts to become snow angels. At midnight, white balloons and confetti were dropped on the crowd. A dwarf remained on each front corner of the stage, popping balloons, while the snow angels continued to dance. Runaway Jim contained a Weekapaug tease from Page. Time Loves a Hero was last played August 11, 1998 (or 151 shows). Walls included a San-Ho-Zay tease from Trey. The evening was capped with perfect post-show music: Let’s Stay Together.

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