[UPDATED] Superfun Sunday In Syracuse: Phish Makes Lakeview Amphitheater Debut – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

By Scott Bernstein Jul 11, 2016 9:30 am PDT


  • Jul 11, 2016 • 9:30 am PDT

    Bryan Lasky captured the action in Syracuse for JamBase. Check out a full gallery of his photos below as well as fan-shot video of most of the show captured by Megan Casezille.

On Sunday night Phish played their first-ever show at the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, New York. The venue opened last September on an EPA Superfund Site following five years of cleanup work and one year of construction. Syracuse is the hometown of drummer Jon Fishman and while the city hosted the quartet five times between 1989 and 1994, Sunday’s performance was just the second since. Though Phish didn’t make the old “Never Miss A Sunday Show” saying come true one week prior in Saratoga, it was a much different story this time around as the foursome delivered an instant classic performance on the shores of Onondaga Lake.

Phish came out with a “The Landlady,” the A Picture Of Nectar instrumental the band busted out at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park near Denver last September for the first time since 1994 and played once again in Mexico this past January. After the fiery opener, the quartet lit into “Blaze On” with its apropos “buried near the shore” lyric. Guitarist Trey Anastasio showed off a thick and meaty tone throughout his solo as for the first time he used his brand-new Languedoc guitar for an entire show. Trey then took an opportunity to shout out “Syracuse’s own Jon Fishman” and introduced the Fish-penned “Ha Ha Ha” as “one of our favorite songs.” Phish had last performed “Ha Ha Ha” back on August 29, 2014 at Dick’s. Anastasio noted Fishman was a graduate of Jamesville-Dewitt High School at the end of “Ha Ha Ha” and advised the audience they would be playing another song written by the drummer, while Jon added “it’s a song about outer space, one of my favorite subjects” before starting up the second-ever “Friends.”

“Tube,” as always, had fans wanting more before it concluded after a few funky minutes of jamming. It was then on to another tour debut as beloved rarity “Destiny Unbound” reared its head for the first time since October 25, 2014. The band did fairly well with “Destiny” though struggled with its ending. “My Friend, My Friend” made its third appearance of the tour next ahead of the return of “The Mango Song.” Like “Ha Ha Ha” and “Destiny Unbound,” Phish hadn’t played “The Mango Song” since 2014. But wait…there’s more.

At this point Phish has performed nearly all the songs from The Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House at least one other time since debuting their original take on the album in Las Vegas on Halloween ’14. One of the notable exceptions had been the hard-nosed “Timber,” but the foursome finally gave it a second go marking the fifth song of the night they hadn’t performed since 2014. When “Timber” was listed in the Playbill given to fans as they entered the venue on Halloween ’14, some wondered if it was the same song as the Josh White/Sam Gary tune Phish regularly covers called “Timber (Jerry)” or “Timber Ho!” While they are two different tunes, on Sunday the quartet connected the two with an inventive and expertly pulled off “Timber” > “Timber (Jerry)” > “Timber” sequence.

The first set just wouldn’t quit as keyboardist Page McConnell led his mates on a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “The Ballad Of Curtis Loew” last played in…wait for it… 2014. A standard “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” then gave way to the tour debut of “Mound.” From there, Phish took it down a notch with the mellow tones of Fuego’s “Winterqueen” which was the set’s ninth tour debut. Anastaio delivered a beautiful solo which featured lots of interplay with McConnell. Speaking of Page, following “Winterqueen” he went to center stage with Keytar in hand for what was probably going to be a cover of Edgar Winter Band’s “Frankenstein.” After Trey toyed with the Keytar, the keyboardist called an audible and returned to his regular setup. Page told the crowd the band would be playing a song by one of the band’s favorite composers. With that, Phish began Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love” the set’s TENTH tour debut out of just 15 songs. And yes…”Bold As Love,” which closed the instant classic set, hadn’t been performed since 2014 either.

Phish wasted no time getting into the improvisational action as they kicked off the second set with “Drowned” and wouldn’t you know it, The Who cover was yet another tour debut. The foursome used “Drowned” as a springboard, quickly moving beyond the song’s normal boundaries to explore various jam spaces in a compact time frame. “Drowned” wasn’t long, but it was adventurous ahead of a segue into “Twist.” The straight-forward “Twist” gave way to the pretty “Waste” before one of the shortest versions of “Piper” in the song’s history. Just a few minutes into the jam Anastasio started up “Simple.” Trey, Mike and Page worked over the delicate end jam for a brief period and then came the now two-week-old new Phish original “Breath & Burning.” Unlike the last version in Philadelphia, the quartet didn’t take the Syracuse version deep. A quick romp through the first “Rocky Top” since the ’14 – ’15 New Year’s run followed.

A rare late in the game “Martian Monster” gave fans their second taste of Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House. The band extended “Martian Monster” with Trey heading to the Marimba Lumina, while Mike played Anastasio’s guitar. Gordon eeked out wild sounds from Trey’s axe, while Page made the move to bass. These “rotation jams” with Fish staying put on drums have become a full-on trend this tour. While the music was certainly interesting at times it sounded like the “You Ate My Fractal” soundtrack. Eventually Anastasio, Gordon and McConnell returned to their normal instruments to end “Martian Monster.” Apparently there’s either some connection between “Golgi Apparatus” and Syracuse or a really weird coincidence as Sunday was the sixth time they’ve played the Junta classic in their eight Syracuse shows. Towards the end of the set McConnell broke out his Keytar once again and this time Phish did play “Frankenstein,” another tour debut. Alas, the Keytar had issues so Page had to play the Edgar Winter Group cover from his normal setup. The drummer’s solo within the song gave Trey a chance to yell “Jon Fishman! Jamesville-Dewitt High School!”

A “Character Zero” encore gave fans and band one more chance to let loose. Phish now have four nights off before tour resumes at The Gorge in Quincy, Washington on Friday.

The Skinny

Sponsored By

Phish’s 2021 Summer Tour recaps are brought to you by Section 119 – the fan-approved source of officially licensed Grateful Dead & Donut merchandise, taboot. Glide on over to Section119.com to stock up for tour – you’ll be glad when you arrive.

The Setlist

The Venue

St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview [See upcoming shows]


The Music

15 songs / 8:15 pm to 9:44 pm (89 minutes)

11 songs / 10:22 pm to 11:38 pm (76 minutes)

26 songs / 20 originals / 6 covers


23.81 [Gap chart]


The Landlady, Ha Ha Ha, Destiny Unbound, The Mango Song, Timber, Curtis Loew, Mound, Winterqueen, Bold As Love, Drowned, Rocky Top, Frankenstein

The Mango Song - LTP 07/26/2014 (70 Show Gap)

Drowned - 12:09

Timber (Ending) - 1:01

Junta - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Rift - 2, Billy Breathes - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Joy - 1, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 9, Covers - 6

The Rest

69° and Mostly Cloudy at Show Time

G2 #6 / NewDoc

Capacity: 17,500

Want more Phish stats?

Visit JamBase’s The Skinny Hub
to explore past shows and tours.

More Skinny

Photo Gallery by Bryan Lasky

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”312″ gal_title=”20160710 Phish Syracuse Bryan Lasky”]

Videos (Captured by Megan Casezille)

[Start Of First Set]

[End Of First Set]

[Second Set]

Phish From The Road Photos


JamBase Collections