Phish At Blue Cross Arena In Rochester | Setlist And The Skinny

[Photo via @PhishPics]

After an eventful three-night stand in Hampton, Phish continued fall tour tonight in Rochester, NY. This evening marked the band’s first show at the Blue Cross Arena since 1999. The Vermonters made their debut at the venue formerly known as the War Memorial on December 11, 1997 -a show immortalized in the documentary Bittersweet Motel.

“AC/DC Bag” has been a popular opener choice in 2013 as tonight’s performance of the Gamehendge tune was the fourth show-opening “Bag” of the year. The set continued with the tour’s first repeat (“The Moma Dance”), high-energy rocker “Axilla” and an unusually placed “Meatstick.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio lit into his “Kill Devil Falls” solo with some of the fastest runs of notes he’s played yet this tour, while “Scent Of A Mule” gave drummer Jon Fishman a chance to utilize his Marimba Lumina. From there, “My Friend, My Friend” contained its old-school “Myfe” ending and segued into the Page McConnell-led “Halfway To The Moon.” Is there a connection between “Maze” and Rochester? We’re not sure, but after tonight’s solid take it has now been performed at all four Phish shows that have taken place in Rochester since the song was debuted in 1992. “Character Zero” was a fitting set closer for an opening stanza chock full of potent rockers.

The second set began with a cover of “Crosseyed And Painless” by the Talking Heads. After breaking through the song’s normal boundaries into a different arena-rock progression, the band settled in on a groove they rode for a while before Anastasio kicked off “Light.” A cool moment occurred as the “Light” jam heated up, when Trey started singing the lyrics to “Golden Age” over a funk groove providing a mash-up of the two songs. As Phish moved through “Golden Age,” they kept the thick and funky backbeat that had developed in “Light” going. A raucous “Birds Of A Feather,” straight-forward “Halley’s Comet” and the tour debut of “Possum” followed the “Light” / “Golden Age” hijinks. “Possum” hadn’t been played in nine shows, the longest the Vermonters went without performing the song since an 11-show streak in 2003. You might think “Bug” screams breather, but it contained some of Anastasio’s most ferocious work of the evening. Another original from 1999, “Heavy Things,” came next leading into a set-closing “You Enjoy Myself” with an ever-so-patient solo from Trey. The title track from 2009’s Joy started off the encore, its first time as an encore song since August 15, 2010. Yet another original from 1999, “First Tube,” brought the show to a close. Tomorrow, Phish will play their first show at Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, NY since 1994.



Click here to view the full breakdowns of every show Phish has played in 2013 including setlists, recaps and our statistical rundowns.

Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s return to Rochester…

  • Venue Capacity / Type: 13,000 / Indoor Arena
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 2 Shows – 12/11/1997 and 12/05/1999
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 11 / 8:08 p.m. -9:27 p.m. (79 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 10:01 -11:40 (99 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 21 / 3 / 18
  • Biggest Bustout: Crosseyed & Painless -14 Shows (LTP – 7/26/2013)
  • Tour Debuts: Everything except Moma Dance, Golden Age
  • Average Song Vintage: 1997
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Weather: 44° and Cloudy at Showtime
  • Average Song Gap: 6.45
  • The Spread: Junta -1, Rift -2, Hoist -1, Billy Breathes -1, Story of the Ghost -2, Farmhouse -3, Joy -3, Misc. – 6, Covers -3,
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: You Enjoy Myself 20:19 / Axilla 3:21
  • Audio: Live Phish

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