Phish Continues 2018 Run In Alpharetta – Recap, Photos, Setlist & The Skinny
After kicking off the East Coast leg of their 2018 Summer Tour with an instant-classic on Friday night, Phish settled in on Saturday for their second of three shows at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park in Alpharetta, Georgia. Phish was clearly feeling comfortable being back in the Eastern time zone as they once again put together another impressive show. Saturday’s first set was highlighted by “Chalk Dust Torture,” while the second set saw them focus in on deep space jamming within must-hear takes on “Soul Planet” and “Piper.”
Unlike Friday night’s rocking start Phish decided to go with a short, concise and poppy “Bouncing Around The Room” to get their evening in The Peach State going. As the Lawn Boy track came to an end, the band immediately upped the ante with “Chalk Dust Torture.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio delivered a series of Jimi Hendrix-esque machine gun guitar licks while bassist Mike Gordon dropped some heavy bass bombs. Anastasio put a heavy emphasis on the song’s “I plug the distress tube up tight” and “Can’t I live while I’m young” lyrics. The guitarist utilized a number of interesting tones throughout the jam first with his Leslie speaker, then one leaning towards a synthesizer sound, before settling in on a more familiar tone. This version was all about Anastasio as Gordon, keyboardist Page McConnell and drummer Jon Fishman kept the basic structure intact as he wailed away before bringing the song to a peak.
After the ripping “Chalk Dust,” a brief conference landed the band on the old-school “Fuck Your Face.” The quirky Gordon-penned rarity, which last saw action at last summer’s “Boston Cream” night at Madison Square Garden, was followed by “Wolfman’s Brother.” McConnell had his first chance of the night to shine as he focused his energies on the Clavinet for the early part of the jam. The band moved from 1970’s style funk to a more patient style of jamming that eventually built to a frothy peak.
Page had his first chance of the night to sing lead on the bouncy, bluegrass-tinged “Things People Do.” Fishman got in on the action next as “Lengthwise” was dusted off for the first time since October 15, 2016 – a span of 55 shows. The Rift track segued straight into “Maze.” McConnell was the star as he unleashed a series of wild runs on his Hammond B3, before switching over to grand piano. Anastasio took over next leaning in on some darker, hard-edged jamming.
The foursome slowed things down with the tender soft-rocker “Waiting All Night.” A blissful “Divided Sky” saw the band milk the song’s pause for all it was worth as the crowd’s cheering reached a frenzy. Phish brought their opening frame to a close with rocker “Character Zero.” The song gave Anastasio another chance to show off some fretboard fireworks, as the group officially hit the midway point of their three-night stand.
Phish opened up their second set of the night with a cover of Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed & Painless” – a cover they debuted in nearby Atlanta at the now demolished Omni Coliseum on Halloween 1996. Fishman led the way with a steady backbeat on the Remain In Light song as Page and Trey took things deep to outer space with some interstellar psychedelic sounds. Trey was clearly locked in on that theme as he had everyone climb on board a rocket ship that was headed to “Soul Planet” next. The standout version, which is becoming a favorite on this run being played for the third time so far, moved from its singalong structure into an extended multi-faceted jam.
As Phish entered into deep space funk territory with bubbling extraterrestrial alien effects, “Soul Planet” melted into “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing.” For the second take on the Undermind tune in 2018, the four-piece settled in on a delicate mellow groove. Not long into the jam, Trey began “Piper.” Last night’s take on “Piper” found Antastasio utilizing delay loops as they started to stretch the boundaries of the song into unchartered territory. Phish was once again locked in on spacey soundscapes and funky rhythms as they continued to push things into the outer realm.
Trey brought everyone back to earth with the familiar opening chords to “Possum,” as the band attacked the longtime setlist staple. A well-executed take on “Slave To The Traffic Light” brought the second stanza of the night to a close. “The Squirming Coil” was tapped as the encore, as Phish once again showed off another one of their winding, multi-part compositions. The stage was turned over to Page, who finished off the evening with a gorgeous piano solo. Phish returns to Alpharetta on Sunday night. A webcast is available via LivePhish.com.
Ameris Bank Amphitheatre [See upcoming shows]
10 shows — 07/03/2010, 07/04/2010, 06/14/2011, 06/15/2011, 07/16/2013, 07/17/2013, 08/03/2014, 10/21/2016, 10/22/2016, 08/03/2018
10 songs / 8:07 pm to 9:23 pm (76 minutes)
7 songs / 9:59 pm to 11:25 pm (86 minutes)
17 songs / 16 originals / 1 cover
1996 [Gap chart]
Fuck Your Face, Things People Do, Lengthwise
Lengthwise - 55 Shows (LTP - 10/15/2016)
Soul Planet - 23:39
Lengthwise - 0:52
Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 2, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Undermind - 1, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 4, Covers - 1
80° and mostly cloudy at showtime
Photos by Ian Rawn (From Night One)
Phish From The Road Photos
Tour Dates for