Phish Chicago Setlist & The Skinny | Night One

Phish made their FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island debut last summer, when they played a three-night stand at the scenic Chicago venue. The band’s first show at the venue was cut short by rain, while the second performance of the run was a three-set affair to make up for the lost time from the prior evening. Despite the weather issues, Phish decided to return to the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion for another three-night stand this summer that began tonight. While the first set of tonight’s show seemed straight off the factory line, the second set was anything but.

For Phish’s first of six sets in Chicago they focused on heavy rotation originals from their repertoire. The Mike Gordon/Scott Murawski-penned “555” kicked off this evening’s performance, marking the first time a song off Fuego has opened a show. Phish hit paydirt later in the set, after runs through setlist staples “Kill Devil Falls” and “Bouncing Around The Room,” with a particularly well-played and fluid “Reba” that saw gorgeous, rapid-fire melodies stream from Trey Anastasio’s guitar. The Vermonters then performed “Waiting All Night” for the second straight show, though this time around it came during the first set. Another Fuego track, “Halfway To The Moon,” was lurking just behind a compact “Birds Of A Feather.” The quartet kept the focus on staples with “Sparkle” and “Sample In A Jar.” Up next was “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing,” which was the third of the tour. “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” has been relatively rare since its 2004 debut. In fact, this summer marks the first time it has been played at least three times in one tour. A fairly straight-forward “Stash” and the Page McConnell spotlight song “The Squirming Coil” brought the opening stanza to a close. Bassist Mike Gordon screamed his backing vocals in the “Coil” chorus at a high pitch just as he did at SPAC. McConnell took an opportunity after his “Coil” solo to give a shout out of poster artist Jim Pollock, who was at the show and celebrating his 50th birthday.

The Vermonters quickly established a dirty groove they feasted on out of the “Golden Age” second set opener. Once they had built the jam to a rolling boil, the band began to decontruct the groove in a spacey way reminicent of the “Storage Jam” from Watkins Glen. Chicago’s “Golden Age” was well unlike any other improvisation on the tour to date and is worth checking out. Eventually the space melted to near quiet, at which point Anastasio began the year’s first “Mango Song.” “Mango” was last played on July 26, 2013 making tonight’s version the second biggest bust out of tour thus far, in terms of show gap (SPAC’s “Star Spangled Banner” remains first with 66 shows between versions). In an odd move, Trey started up “Piper” just as his “Sand” solo had begun to pick up steam. If the “Golden Age” jam focused on one specific groove, the “Piper” was a mover that saw the quartet explore a few different improvisational spaces. After a funky segment of the jam, Phish completed an impressive segue into “Halley’s Comet” as they eschewed the song’s usual vocal intro. The interesting transition was followed by another one that linked “Halley’s” and “Wombat.” Tonight’s was no ordinary “Wombat” as it went full-on “Type II.” Equally outstanding contributions from each member of the band led to a standout “Wombat” jam that was heavy on the major-key bliss. An intensely climaxed “Chalk Dust Torture” and another patiently-built “Slave To The Traffic Light” put an exclamation point on a wild second set. Phish said farewell for the evening with a “Julius” encore, but return tomorrow at the same bat time and bat station.



  • Venue Type / Capacity: Outdoor Amphitheater / 30,000
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 07/19/2013, 07/20/2013 and 07/21/2013 – 3 Shows
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 7:36 p.m. -9:01 p.m. (85 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 9 / 9:32 p.m. -10:59 p.m. (87 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 21 / 1 / 20
  • Biggest Bustout: The Mango Song -40 Shows (LTP -07/26/2013)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1998
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Tour Debuts: The Mango Song
  • Total Number Of Different Songs Phish Has Played This Year: 115
  • Weather: 73°F and Partly Cloudy at show time
  • Average Song Gap: 5.38
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy -3, Picture Of Nectar -3, Rift -1, Hoist -2, Story Of The Ghost -1, Farmhouse -2, Undermind -1, Joy -1, Fuego -4, Misc. -2, Covers -1
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Golden Age 17:04 / Bouncing 3:44
  • Audio: Live Phish

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