PHISH RETURNS TO NORTHERLY ISLAND WITH
THREE SETS AFTER RAIN-SHORTENED OPENER
[Photo via @Phish_FTR]
Weather continues to be one of the big stories to come from Phish Summer Tour 2013. Last
night a coming thunderstorm forced Phish to cut short their second set at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at
Northerly Island in Chicago after just 11 minutes, an unprecedented occurrence
in the group's history. Shortly thereafter, a decision was made by venue staff to "call it
a night." Earlier today, the band announced they would play three sets and offer partial
refunds to Friday ticket holders in an effort to make it up to those who attended the
rain-shortened opener. Tonight's show marks Phish's first non-Halloween, non-New Year's
Eve, non-festival three-set performance since a July 12, 1996 gig at the Melkweg in
Phish picked up right where they left off last night by opening with "Prince Caspian."
This time around the quartet actually made it through unscathed. Next up was "Twist," the
first time the song has appeared in an opening stanza in over a decade (February 18,
2003). The straight-forward "Twist" included its more usual than not "Oye Como Va"
tinklings and led into the tour debut of the Jon Fishman-penned "Ha Ha Ha." Heavy rotation
staple "Possum" then joined the "5 Club" as one of only three songs to be played five
times in 2013 ("Chalk Dust Torture" and "Backwards Down The Number Line" are the others).
"Cities," the evening's first cover, featured a fluid if unadventurous jam section with
guitarist Trey Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell trading licks. McConnell then took
a turn in the spotlight as he delivered his signature song - "Lawn Boy." Next, drummer Jon
Fishman dusted off his Electrolux for "I Didn't Know," which may have been prompted by a
fan who handed Anastasio a t-shirt with a picture of Otis Redding just as the band took
the stage last night. "Rift" came next and was followed by the year's second versions of
"Destiny Unbound" and "My Friend, My Friend." "Destiny" was notable for a solo Page took
towards the end of the song, while "My Friend, My Friend" contained the traditional "Myfe"
ending. Phish then dipped into their more recent offerings for "Kill Devil Falls" off
2009's Joy. "Kill Devil Falls" was the only song performed in the first set written
after 1997 as the old school first set came to a close with "Cavern" and a "David Bowie"
that saw Fishman vocally quoting "Melt The Guns" and Trey string together one blistering
riff after another.
The band returned for the second set just after the clock struck 9 p.m. and
opened with "Back On The Train." Phish has been toying with the placement of "Mike's Song"
on this tour. Tonight's take on "Mike's" came early on in the second set and featured an
even more intense peak than usual before seguing into "Theme From The Bottom." This
evening marked the first time "Theme" has ever followed "Mike's." "Theme" was particularly
well played and just as the song ended, Anastasio unleashed a rapid-fire lick that he used
to prod his bandmates to make the turn for "Weekapaug Groove." Weather again became a
concern as the set progressed and rain started to fall at a steady pace. "Weekapaug" was
an improvisational highlight of the set thanks to McConnell's dirty clav melodies and
Anastasio's chunky rhythm work. The quartet opened up the "Golden Age" that came next.
Phish's 21st version of the TV on the Radio cover proved to be lucky as all four members
of the band equally contributed to its ethereal jam. Just as the exploration faded, Trey
kicked off the tour's first "Waves" making for another wonderful segue. "Waves" was a
fitting choice since the rain continued to pick up in intensity, however the song's jam
never found a direction before "Piper" emerged. Page hopped on organ to lead the "Piper"
jam, while Fish laid down a double-time beat and bassist Mike Gordon weaved in and around
the melodies McConnell and Anastasio delivered. Eventually Trey stepped to the forefront
and dropped a jaw-dropping run of notes that brought the exceptional jam to a close.
ballad or something to give fans and band a breather at this point? Nope. "Slave." As with
many recent versions, tonight's "Slave To The Traffic Light" saw the quartet build the jam
to a blistering and beautiful crescendo that brought the second set to a close.
With the 11:30 curfew approaching, Phish took a quick 20-minute setbreak and came back
just after 10:30 p.m. with "Meatstick." A high-octane "Birds Of A Feather" was followed by
the serene "Strange Design," the first of 2013. Over the course of its first three years,
"Ocelot" was relegated to the first set. Earlier this tour we saw "Ocelot" make its second
set debut and tonight it emerged in the third set. The scorching "Ocelot" led into another
song off Joy - jam vehicle "Light." You never know what you'll get out of a "Light"
jam. This evening's take first featured an atonal jam that broke down into a spacey
segment anchored by Fishman that included a clear "Dave's Energy Guide" from Trey. After a
few minutes of pretty major-key jamming, the drummer kicked off "Harry Hood." Just as with
"Slave," Phish has been guiding "Harry Hood" through a renaissance of sorts lately. Mike
Gordon stole the show during this evening's "Hood" by engaging in a call-and-response
segment with Anastasio and guiding the quartet towards a massive peak. "Good Times, Bad
Times," only the third cover of the night, served as third set closer. Ending Set Three
with a cover didn't deter the band for returning with a cover encore as they treated the
capacity crowd to "Shine A Light" by The Rolling Stones. Phish returns to Northerly Island
tomorrow night to close out the run.
here to view the
breakdowns of every show Phish
has played in 2013 including setlists, recaps and our statistical rundowns.
Here's The Skinny from Phish's second of three shows in Chicago...
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 30,000 / 30,000 /
- Previous Shows at Venue: 1 Show - 7/19/2013
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 13 / 7:16 p.m. - 8:34
p.m. (78 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set: 8 / 9:01 p.m. - 10:11
p.m. (70 minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length - Third Set and Encore: 7 / 10:31
p.m. - 11:31 p.m. (60 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 29 / 4 / 25
- Biggest Bustout: Ha Ha Ha - 41 Shows (LTP - 6/20/2012)
- Tour Debuts: Ha Ha Ha, I Didn't Know, Waves, Strange
Design, Shine A Light
- Average Song Vintage: 1995
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 78° and Partly Cloudy at Showtime
- Average Song Gap: 8.28
- The Spread: Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, Picture Of Nectar - 1,
Rift - 2, Billy Breathes - 3, The Story Of The Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 3, Round Room - 1,
Joy - 3, Misc. - 9, Covers - 4
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track:
David Bowie - 12:00 / Ha Ha Ha 1:37
- Audio: Live Phish
Phish From The Road Photos...