Gorging On Gin: Phish Concludes Two-Night Stand At The Gorge – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

By Ben Greenfield Jul 17, 2016 4:06 am PDT

On Saturday, Phish played the second of two shows at The Gorge in George, Washington. On the heels of a Friday night romper that was loaded with teases and other shenanigans, the band played this show a bit closer to the vest. The first set included mountainous versions of “Sand” and “Bathtub Gin” as well as bustouts of “Buried Alive” and “Driver,” while the second half of the night featured some excellent playing and a stellar encore, but only a small helping of deep improvisation.

The band came out with a bang, opening with the year’s first “Buried Alive” and a spirited “AC/DC Bag.” “The Moma Dance” preceded the tour’s third “Uncle Pen,” making 2016 the Bill Monroe cover’s most prolific year since 2000. Next up were “555” and “Sleep Again,” with the latter making its second appearance of the summer following a long hiatus. “It’s Ice” gave the set its first taste of substantial improv, with a funk breakdown that pitted Page McConnell’s clavinet against Jon Fishman’s dexterous work behind the kit. The “Driver” that followed was the set’s first big bustout, returning to the stage for the first time since August 3, 2013.

The ensuing “Sand” was all Trey Anastasio, as the guitarist applied his MuTron to the dirty first half of his solo, then turned the pedal off and let loose, bringing the song to a furious peak. “Horn” allowed everyone to catch a breath before a high-energy “Halfway to the Moon” set the stage for “Bathtub Gin.” Fishman pushed the pace early in the jam, and Trey seemed to take it as a challenge, going into full-on shred mode in what would become a monstrous “Gin.”

“Blaze On” opened the second set, doing so for the first time since last July 24. Its jam was wide open and spacey but very focused; some of Friday night’s “What’s the Use?” teases would have fit right in, but they never came. Neither did the mammoth jam that seemed to be on the way, as the “Blaze On” jam faded into a straightforwardly energetic “Backwards Down the Number Line.” “Carini” followed, with a short, slimy jam that stuck to the song’s structure. “Birds of a Feather” came next, and turned a few musical somersaults before yielding the stage to a lovely “Wingsuit.” “Shade” provided a breather before “Mike’s Song.” Trey’s dirty MuTron-assisted solo led the jam, before giving way to “Farmhouse,” which immediately followed “Mike’s Song” for the first time ever. The “Weekapaug Groove” that came next brought some heat, with Page playing some funky clavinet solos, and Mike Gordon some synthed-out slap bass, over a start-stop jam. A few slick, funky minutes later, the song came to a close. On its heels was the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” closing the set.

Trey came back out behind the drum kit (though Fishman slipped and introduced “Mike Gordon on drums”). After Fishman noted that he could only ever remember Syd Barrett songs, the band played “Love You” for the first time since October 23, 2010. Fish sang his heart out, vacuumed his lungs out, then took a few bows on the piano before the band returned to their regular instruments for “Harry Hood.” As he has on multiple previous trips to The Gorge, Trey asked lighting director Chris Kuroda to turn off the lights for the song’s jam. Lit only by glowsticks and moonlight, the band set off into a blissful ambient space, after which the jam and the lights slowly built in unison. The evening concluded with “Tweezer Reprise,” which closed the book on the “Tweezer” that opened the run on Friday night.

The band returns to the stage Monday night in San Francisco.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

The Gorge [See upcoming shows]


15 shows — 08/02/1997, 08/03/1997, 07/16/1998, 07/17/1998, 09/10/1999, 09/11/1999, 07/12/2003, 07/13/2003, 08/07/2009, 08/08/2009, 08/05/2011, 08/06/2011, 07/26/2013, 07/27/2013, 07/15/2016

The Music

12 songs / 8:07 pm to 9:30 pm (83 minutes)

14 songs / 10:05 pm to 11:49 pm (104 minutes)

26 songs / 22 originals / 4 covers


19.89 [Gap chart]


Buried Alive, Driver, Hold Your Head Up, Love You

Love You - LTP 10/23/2010 (216 Show Gap)

Bathtub Gin - 13:29

Hold Your Head Up - 2:03

Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 2, Joy - 1, Fuego - 3, Misc. - 10, Covers - 5

The Rest

75°F and Cloudy

G2 #6 / NewDoc

Capacity: 27,500

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