Phish Chicago Setlist & The Skinny | Night Two

By Scott Bernstein Jul 19, 2014 8:40 pm PDT

A flyer promoting one of the first Phish shows to be played in Chicago read, “Mixing blues, jazz, funk, calypso, bluegrass with wild antics and onstage humor. This band from Burlington, Vermont has been compared to the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, AC/DC…headlined last year’s Montreal Jazz Festival…and has a rabid East Coast cult following. Are you ready to Catch PHISH????” Twenty-three years later much has changed for the quartet, who have been focusing on “rock” this tour, a genre not mentioned in the flyer for an April 13, 1991 gig at the now defunct Chicago club Biddy Mulligan’s, yet still showed off the “wild antics and onstage humor” found in those early days. On Saturday night, the Vermonters returned to the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago for their second of three shows at the outdoor venue.

Phish came out of the gates tonight with “The Moma Dance,” the second time the tune has opened a show this tour (Randall’s Night One was the other). Keyboardist Page McConnell then took us on a tour of his arsenal as he moved from acoustic piano to organ to clavinet to electric piano and back to the clav and grand piano on a hard-charging “Wolfman’s Brother.” The Fuego track “Devotion To A Dream” continues to settle into a familar first set role and was followed by standard romps through “46 Days” and “Yarmouth Road.” Each of the first five songs played this evening were also performed on Wednesday night in Michigan. “Brian and Robert” broke up the string of heavy rotation staples as the ballad had been on the shelf since July 31, 2013 in Lake Tahoe. The tour’s sixth “Wingsuit” led into a “Tube” that was notable for a “Smoke On The Water” tease from guitarist Trey Anastasio. Trey then teased “Wingsuit” in “Free.” The set continued with the delicate “Roggae” and the pop-infused “Heavy Things.” While the setlist choices Phish made in the first set weren’t unusual, McConnell’s bubbling organ blasts and Anastasio’s shred-heavy solo in “Heavy Things” were just two examples of the extra effort the band put into nearly each song they played in the opening stanza. The same could be said for a short and straight-forward “Run Like An Antelope” that Phish performed with authority and swagger. Towards the end of “Antelope,” Anastasio teased “Smoke On The Water” once more while drummer Jon Fishman sang “Istanbul Not Constantinople” throughout Trey’s final lyrics in reference to a song first recorded by The Four Lads and then covered by They Might Be Giants.

Just as with the first set, Phish added flourishes and details to nearly everything they played in the closing stanza to create a suite of music that flowed really well. Many of the “Carini”s of the past few years have seen the band move past the song’s evil progession into a more blissful, major-key space. The “Carini” that opened tonight’s second set followed that same game plan. This time around Phish didn’t spend much time exploring the blissful space and instead chose to segue into “Waves.” There wasn’t much full-band improvisation within “Waves,” though Anastasio strung together quick bursts of fluid melodies in his solo. Out of “Waves” came “Fuego” as now Phish has played the title track of their new album in every city they have visited this summer. Those hoping for an adventurous “Fuego” ala SPAC and Philly would have to settle for a fun jam on “Little Drummer Boy.” Speaking of “Fuego,” Page has been on fire this whole tour and his dynamic, whirl-of-motion performance on “Twist” was among his finest moments of the summer. “Twist” was fertile teasing ground for Trey as he worked references to both “Fuego” and “San-Ho-Zay” within the jam. Anastasio was also among those yelling “Woo” through the transition between “Twist” and “Light.” It was in “Light” that the quartet took the most chances on this night. Jon Fishman powered the multi-faceted “Light” jam with a groove he altered every so slightly between measures to keep the improvisation moving. “Twenty Years Later” made its 2014 debut in the breather/ballad slot after “Light.” From there, the drummer launched into another exciting version of “Harry Hood.” Anastasio mixed in plenty of minor-key, dirty blues riffs within the potent “Hood” jam, which is the reverse of a trend we’ve seen plenty of this tour. All four members of the band linked up on one of the big blues-rock sequences Trey came up with as they blew past the typical “Harry Hood” structure. Eventually, the guitarist led them back to familiar “Hood” ground for a trimumphant climax to what has become the tour’s most consistently impressive song. A quick run through “Cavern” brought the set to its conclusion. Phish then treated the crowd to a three-song encore that included a pair of tour debuts in “Grind” and “Bug” before they tacked on a “Suzy Greenberg” which culminated with all four members of the band screaming “Greenberg!” The tour continues tomorrow night with the finale of the Chicago run and you know what they say about Sunday shows…



  • Venue Type / Capacity: Outdoor Amphitheater / 30,000
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 07/19/2013, 07/20/2013, 07/21/2013 and 07/18/2014 -4 Shows
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 7:36 p.m. -9:00 p.m. (84 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 11 / 9:25 p.m. -11:02 p.m. (97 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 23 / 0 / 23
  • Biggest Bustout: Brian and Robert -38 Shows (LTP -07/31/2013)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1999
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Tour Debuts: Brian and Robert, Twenty Years Later, Grind, Bug
  • Total Number Of Different Songs Phish Has Played This Year: 118
  • Weather: 74°F and Partly Cloudy at show time
  • Average Song Gap: 7.26
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar -1, Hoist -1, Billy Breathes -1, Story Of The Ghost -3, Farmhouse -3, Round Room -2, Undermind -1, Joy – 2, Fuego -3, Misc. -5
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Harry Hood 16:28 / Grind 2:12
  • Audio: Live Phish

Phish From The Road Photos…



JamBase Collections