Phish Commands The Mann In Philly – Setlist & The Skinny
After returning to The Mann Center for the Performing Arts for the first time in nearly a decade last summer, Phish made it two years in a row at the Philadelphia venue with the first show of a two-night stand on Tuesday night. As they continued to dig into their massive repertoire, the quartet’s first set was reminiscent of past “themed” sets like “Moby Dick” at Deer Creek in 2000, “Guyutica” in Utica and “I Saw It Again” at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2010. The second set featured inspired improvisation and even more tour debuts.
The show began with the first “Crowd Control” of 2015, the tenth consecutive performance of the song in the opener slot. The “your spaceship is about to blast off/your trip is short” sample signaled the start of a quick but peppy take on “Martian Monster” followed by the blasting, straight ahead rock of “Axilla.” Bassist Mike Gordon sang lead on the bust-out of Little Feat’s “Skin It Back” which was being played for the first time in over 100 shows (last time played August 22, 2012) and for only the 13th time by Phish. After getting into the groove of the bust-out, “Martian Monster” reappeared out of a deft transition. The reprise of the Phish Halloween tune was taken for a few turns before heading back to close the Little Feat cover with more “Martian” samples and quotes sprinkled in. The first “Vultures” of the summer flew in behind the mashup, presenting guitarist Trey Anastasio a chance to navigate his way through the intricately composed portions of the song and get in his first big solo of the night.
Another tour first, the drummer Jon Fishman-penned rarity “Dog Face Boy” was sung by Anastasio and moved into an uncommonly placed mid-first set “David Bowie.” “Bowie” jumped into a bright jam that featured excellent communication between Anastasio, McConnell and Gordon. 2015’s second “Scent of a Mule” – and first of the tour – showcased McConnell’s agile piano work during the “duel” portion of the song, tangling with Fishman on the Marimba Lumina. and including “Martian Monster” samples during both parts. The Thrilling Chilling samples continued at the start of the also uncommonly placed first set “Ghost” that came next. Anastasio embellished the lyric section with “Martian Monster” licks as more samples were littered about as the band again melded “Martian” with another song. Gordon and Fishman locked up and set a rhythmic landscape for Anastasio to slowly lead an improvisational excursion that was poised to leave the set on a high note. Not done, the foursome gathered downstage and sang the a capella “Grind” which ended a first set for the first time.
”Fuego” opened the the second set and at first hinted at an evil, dark, jam that was merely an avenue to an uplifting, airy, minimal motif that once Anastasio took charge of entered pure bliss mode. After the profound “Slave To The Traffic Light”-esque improvisation McConnell altered the lyrics of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll,” throwing a nod to the “Philadelphia station” into the concise cover. “46 Days” kept up the energy and more group interplay came from its live jam portion. A smooth segue seamlessly transitioned into the first “Taste” of the tour. McConnell showed off his skills once again on a nicely executed take on the scarcely played tune.
A funky and well-received “2001” set up the subsequent groove heavy “Sand,” driven by McConnell’s percussive clavinet and Gordon’s melodic basslines and ultimately Anastasio’s sizzling soloing for another fantastic bit of improv. The often passed over “The Horse” returned to its pairing in front of “Silent In The Morning” for the time this year. Back to back energetic rockers “Cavern” followed by “Backwards Down The Number Line” brought an upbeat end to the set. The high-octane rocking mood carried over to the show closing “Julius” encore.
- Venue Type: Outdoor Amphitheater / 14,000
- Previous Shows at Venue: 7 Shows – 07/18/1992, 07/16/1993, 07/01/1994, 06/25/1995, 06/26/1995, 07/08/2014 and 07/09/2014
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 11 / 8:05 p.m. ET – 9:22 p.m. ET (77 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 9:55 p.m. ET – 11:21 p.m. (86 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 21 / 2 / 19
- Biggest Bustout: Skin It Back – 111 Shows (LTP 08/22/2012)
- Average Song Vintage: 1997
- Debuts: N/A
- Tour Debuts: Crowd Control, Skin It Back, Dog Faced Boy, Vultures, Scent Of A Mule, Grind, Taste, The Horse
- Weather: 78°F Mostly Cloudy at Showtime
- Guitar Used By Trey Anastasio: KOA #3, aka Ocedoc
- Average Song Gap: 19.58
- The Spread: Hoist – 3, Rift – 2, Farmhouse – 2, Undermind – 2, The Story Of The Ghost, 1, Round Room – 1, Junta – 1, Joy – 1, Fuego – 1, Billy Breathes – 1, A Picture of Nectar – 1, Misc. – 5
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Fuego 17:00 / The Horse – 0:46
- Audio: Live Phish
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