Phish Begins Summer Tour 2017 At Northerly Island In Chicago: Setlist & The Skinny


What seemed like an endless wait for Phish fans is finally over, as the quartet kicked off Summer Tour on Friday night in Chicago with the first of three shows at Huntington Bank Pavilion At Northerly Island. Phish made their debut at the venue with a three-night stand in 2013 and returned for another trio of concerts at Northerly Island the following summer. Friday’s performance saw the band in mid-tour form as far as keeping fans on their toes, though they did show some rust at points. The concert featured four new songs including a cover of a tune from 1902 and three originals.

Phish went with a surprise choice to begin the show as “What’s The Use?” opened for the first time ever. A near-flawless rendition of the instrumental gave way to the breezy rocker “Breath & Burning.” The foursome first tested their improvisational skills on “Wolfman’s Brother.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio led the way on a typically potent “Wolfman’s” jam that saw him work a taste of “Dave’s Energy Guide” into his fiery solo.

Next up were a pair of debuts as the quartet took to the a capella mic for a rendition of the 115-year-old Tin Pan Alley song “In The Good Old Summer Time” (music by George Evans and lyrics by Ren Shields) and then strapped on their instruments for the Anastasio/Marshall tune “Everything’s Right.” The latter was first played by the Trey Anastasio Band on April 14 at The Capitol Theatre and quickly became a staple on TAB’s recent tour.

Phish took “Everything’s Right” well beyond the boundaries of the TAB version and embarked on the tour’s first Type II jam. Keyboardist Page McConnell started the jam on electric piano and then fronted the improv for a few minutes when he moved over to synth. “Everything’s Right” also gave LD Chris Kuroda a chance to show off his new rig as the LED panels are gone and have been replaced by a more traditional fixture that moves around. A bit of staccato improv brought the rare first set jam to a close as Anastasio kicked into “Limb By Limb.”

“Limb By Limb” featured impressive interplay between Trey and Page with both musicians soloing at the same time for a portion of the song. Up next was the tour’s first non-a capella cover, the bluegrass favorite “Nellie Kane” from Hot Rize’s 1979 self-titled debut album. One of the few trainwreck moments of the opening stanza was the intro to “Theme From The Bottom” but the band came together for a cohesive version following the awkward start. “Theme” gave way to a straight-forward “Blaze On” to close the set.

The jam stalwarts came out of the gates swinging for the second set by opening with an exploratory “No Men In No Man’s Land.” McConnell utilized new synth tones as the rhythm section of bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman anchored the improv and Anastasio strung together one emotional riff after another. Eventually, the standout “Northerly No Men” jam faded out and “Fuego” began. Phish nicely filled in the nooks and crannies of the title track from their 2014 studio album and extended it ever so slightly before pulling off a transition into “My Friend, My Friend.”

Phish continued the second set with “Your Pet Cat,” the tour’s first song from Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House, a Disney album the quartet interpreted in Las Vegas on October 31, 2014. Mike Gordon drove the band through the tune’s normal structure for a delightfully adventurous “Your Pet Cat” that somehow saw Phish weave their way into “Golden Age.” However, after working through the structured part of the TV On The Radio cover, the Vermonters quickly returned to “Your Pet Cat” for another vamp. Trey and Page then traded lead vocals on the debut of a new ballad titled “Leaves.”

After the breather the foursome dove back into the fun with a memorable “Harry Hood” that included teases from Trey of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Mountain Jam” and a full band excursion to “What’s The Use?” land. Phish alternated expertly between major and minor themes over the course of the “Hood.” Trey then led his mates through a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Shine A Light” and the blues-rocker “Julius” to end the second set.

[Harry Hood | Captured by The Kamherst]

For the encore, Phish had one more debut in store. “Love Is What We Are” was a quick reggae tinged song that saw the band repeat the title over and over. The quartet closed out the show with “Golgi Apparatus.” Phish returns to Northerly Island on Saturday night.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island [See upcoming shows]

6 shows — 07/19/2013, 07/20/2013, 07/21/2013, 07/18/2014, 07/19/2014, 07/20/2014

The Music

9 songs / 7:36 pm to 8:47 pm (71 minutes)

11 songs / 9:25 pm to 10:56 pm (91 minutes)

20 songs / 16 originals / 4 covers


5 [Gap chart]

In The Good Old Summer Time (George Evans/Ren Shields), Everything's Right (Trey Anastasio/Tom Marshall), Leaves (Trey Anastasio/Tom Marshall), Love Is What We Are (Unknown)


Nellie Kane - 18 Shows (LTP - 10/16/2016)

No Men In No Man's Land - 15:45

Nellie Kane - 2:49

Junta - 1, Rift - 1, Hoist - 2, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 3, Misc. - 6, Covers - 4

The Rest

68° and Mostly Cloudy at Showtime


Capacity: Up to 30,000


[Everything’s Right | Captured by The Kamherst]

[In The Good Old Summer Time | Captured by Nate Anderson]

[Golden Age > Your Pet Cat, Leaves | Captured by Nate Anderson]

Phish From The Road Photos

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