Phish Show Cut Short Due to Severe Weather in Wilmington, …


Phish Show Cut Short Due to Severe Weather in Wilmington, N.C.

Photo Credit: Bill Kelly

On Wednesday night, Phish brought their summer tour to Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Waterfront Park in Wilmington, N.C. The concert was cut short four songs into the second set due to extreme weather and heavy downpours that pummeled the band and audience. Before the unplanned conclusion went into full effect, Anastasio expressed his frustration with the situation, telling the audience: “I want it on permanent record that I didn’t want to stop. They stopped me!” 

Phish has been known to brave a storm, with a brief history of weather-induced cancellations, the most recent of which occurred 10 years prior, on July 19, 2013, at Northerly Island in Chicago. Interestingly enough, the band’s July 19, 1993, show was canceled due to insufficient ticket sales, according to, which presents a pattern tied to the date and the band’s history. 

That said, the Vermont foursome did get through some material before the forced stop occurred, including the night’s opener, “Cars Trucks Buses,” a Page McConnell instrumental. The ensuing number, “A Wave of Hope,” clocked in at 20 minutes and was made special with the addition of Mike Gordon’s newly introduced Serek bass. “Funky Bitch” preluded “hey stranger,” which was played for only the second time since its Dec. 29, 2022 debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 

“Lawn Boy” allowed McConnell to take a moment at the end and address the crowd: “We’re so happy to be playing on the lawn this evening.” The fitting comment gave way to “Back on the Train,” “When the Circus Comes” and “It’s Ice.” For the final song of the first set, Phish added in fan favorite “Blaze On.”

After a short storm delay, the band surfaced and rocked their way into “Chalk Dust Torture” paired with “Oblivion” and a lot of jamming in between. The latter was performed for the second time on Wednesday night, following their first-ever delivery on July 11, 2023, at Orion Amphitheater. 

The bandleader dropped into “The Wedge” before collectively moving into their last number, “Scents and Subtle Sound.” Then, Longtime crew member Richard “Dickie Scotland” emerged on stage and conveyed the weather concerns to the guitarist. Anastasio responded by saying he wanted it on permanent record that he did not want to stop, referencing a childhood story: “As my fifth-grade teacher said when I got thrown out of 5th grade, ‘This is going on your permanent record.’ It never did. He was lying.” 

But, I want it on permanent record that I didn’t want to stop. They stopped me! That’s on my permanent record,” Anastasio said. Jon Fishman also offered some words from behind the kit, “You know, Taylor Swift didn’t stop,” referencing the uninterrupted Eras Tour, and proceeding with some wet bangs before another crew member whispered something in the backbeat’s ear, ending the night. 


Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park – Wilmington, N.C.

July 19, 2023

Set I: Cars Trucks Buses, A Wave of Hope, Funky Bitch, hey stranger, Lawn Boy, Back on the Train, When the Circus Comes, It’s Ice, Blaze On

Set II: Chalk Dust Torture > Oblivion, The Wedge, Scents and Subtle Sounds

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