Something Happened On The Way To The Forum: Phish Los Angeles – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny
After years of switching between venues, Phish seems to have found its Los Angeles area home. On Friday the foursome returned to The Forum in Inglewood for the third year in a row following stops on Fall Tour ’14 and Summer Tour ’15. Wednesday’s first set at the Bill Graham was filled with bust outs and tour debuts, while the second set never really saw the band connect. Both sets on Friday were like Wednesday’s second set. Those looking for jams and tour debuts will need to keep looking and though a few scorching solos were found there were also a number of miscues at The Forum.
While all the attention when it comes to “The Moma Dance” has been focused on the adventurous version from SPAC earlier this month, the band has been playing it particularly well the last few years finding nooks and crannies within nearly every measure to add extra mustard. The “Moma” that opened Friday’s show fit that bill as well. A rough “Sample In A Jar” came next yet the quartet nailed “Paul & Silas,” a bluegrass song they hadn’t performed since October 20, 2013 (107 shows). It was then back to the staples with “Yarmouth Road” and “Kill Devil Falls.” Bassist Mike Gordon belted out the former, while guitarist Trey Anastasio put his wah-wah pedal to good use on the latter.
Keyboardist Page McConnell had his turn in the spotlight with “Halfway To The Moon.” The extremely “first set-y” first set continued with especially peppy versions of “Heavy Things” and “Blaze On” as well as a “Stash” with an abnormal intro of Trey mute-strumming his axe. Anastasio had issues with the composed part of “Stash” but pulled it together for a ferocious solo including one sustained note he held for an extended period of time. A fun romp through “Cavern” led into a set-closing “Run Like An Antelope.” Friday’s “Antelope” featured more ferocious soloing from the guitarist and though not an exploratory version it was well-played. He also substituted “Mike” for “Marc” to sing “MikeO Esquandolas” towards the end of the tune.
Phish opened the second set with “Axilla” marking the first time they’ve used the rocker in that position since July 8, 2012. The tour’s sixth “Fuego” followed. Page focused on electric piano work on the “Fuego” end jam, while Trey showed off a number of different, intense tones as the quartet moved beyond the song’s normal boundaries. After a few minutes of exploration the guitarist engaged a segue into a straight-forward “Back On The Train.” Next up was “Saw It Again” which made its third appearance of a tour for the first time since Summer ’97. The song-oriented start to the second set continued with “Prince Caspian.” Out of the ballad came the return of “Waves,” a song missing in action in 2016 until Friday night. Even “Waves” couldn’t bring the jams on this night as the Round Room gem yielded to “Joy.” A quick “The Wedge” followed ahead of a “Scent Of A Mule” that saw Trey and drummer Jon Fishman show off their Marimba Lumina skills. The second set came to an end with a strong straight-forward “Rock & Roll” and a “You Enjoy Myself” that saw Mike and Trey move next to each other for a bit of call and response.
The band said farewell with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman” and the one-two punch of oldies “Bouncing Around The Room” and “Golgi Apparatus.” Phish returns to the stage Saturday night at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California. A webcast for the final show of the current run is available via LivePhish.com.
Photos by Paul Citone
The Forum [See upcoming shows]
3 shows — 02/14/2003, 10/24/2014, 07/25/2015
12 songs / 8:15 pm to 9:35 pm (80 minutes)
14 songs / 10:32 pm to 12:21 am (109 minutes)
27 songs / 24 originals / 3 covers
11.67 [Gap chart]
Paul & Silas, Waves
Paul & Silas - 107 Shows (LTP - 10/20/2013)
Paul & Silas 2:49
Junta - 2, Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Rift - 2, Hoist - 2, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Round Room - 1, Joy - 2, Fuego - 2, Misc. - 4, Covers - 3
80° and Sunny at Showtime
G2 #6, aka NewDoc
Phish From The Road Photos
Tour Dates for