Eat your hearts out, Kid Rock fanatics: Hippies had Detroit's pimp daddy all to themselves on Friday night when he graced Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center stage with Vermont jamband Phish.
Rock had been standing in the wings throughout the band's set, barely visible through the haze of smoke, but recognizable by his signature hat and drink in hand. Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, who accompanied the "American Bad Ass" during his "Saturday Night Live" appearance, asked Rock to join the band for the final three songs of an hour-long second set.
Rock wailed Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" and the first verse of the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" before he was joined by drummer Jon Fishman, who added nonsensical lyrics and got down on his knees to imitate Rock's tiny Twisted Brown Trucker cohort Joe C. After repeating the same verse twice, Rock finally turned to Anastasio and asked, "Can we play some rock and roll now?" The band obliged with a set-closing cover
of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long."
Returning with the band for the encore, Rock, who had been spotted earlier in the parking lot signing autographs, thanked the crowd for "making me feel at home," then asked, "Who here is from America?" before jumping into Grand Funk's "We're An American Band." Kid Rock offered some impressive freestyling during his stay on stage, but he received the biggest response for his line "All the hookers at the Mandalay Bay [Hotel]... are going home with Trey." Fred Savage of "The Princess Bride" and "The Wonder Years" was also seen wandering around the grounds, but of course, he didn't play.
The second night of the two-night Vegas run, which marked Anastasio's 36th birthday, found the crowd in rowdy form. Hundreds of balloons that read "Hippy Birthday Trey" were distributed by a group known as "the Phamily" and the audience sang an overwhelmingly loud "Happy Birthday" as the band returned to the stage for its second set.
no guests appeared on the second night, though anticipation was high that Primus leader Les Claypool, who was performing the same two nights post-Phish at the House Of Blues in Mandalay Bay, would sit in. Anastasio had jammed the night before with Claypool and Police drummer Stewart Copeland in a reunion of the one-off New Orleans Jazz Fest trio Oysterhead (see "Claypool, Copeland, Anastasio To Unite For Show"), but Claypool was a no-show the following night.
Anastasio took a rare narrative opportunity during the concert to clarify any misunderstanding about the upcoming extended hiatus the band plans to take following this tour, during which the group intends to write new songs and recharge for "another 17 years." He did not specify exactly how long the break would be, however.
Phish played Desert Sky Pavilion Sunday night in Phoenix and will play Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California on Wednesday and Irvine's Verizon
Wireless Amphitheatre on Thursday before wrapping up its tour on Friday and Saturday at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.
For a full-length interview with Phish and tons of live RealVideo, check out the MTV News Online feature "Phish: And The Band Played On."