Phish Continues Las Vegas Run At MGM Grand Garden Arena – Setlist, Video & The Skinny

By Scott Bernstein Oct 29, 2016 11:33 pm PDT

Phish returned to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday as they presented their second of four shows in Sin City leading up to Monday’s Halloween night finale. The quartet first played the MGM Grand Garden Arena between October 31 – November 2, 2014 and began this year’s run on Friday with a show highlighted by a “Golden Age” for the ages. Saturday’s show featured a second set that picked up where the “Golden Age” left off with peaks upon peaks and bursts of frenzied improvisation.

For the second night in a row Phish opened with a song they had debuted at the same venue on Halloween 2014 during their Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House set. On Saturday “The Birds” got the call, making its only other live appearance since October 31, 2014 besides this past summer at SPAC. Up next was a “Kill Devil Falls” featuring a particularly patient guitar solo from Trey Anastasio. Bassist Mike Gordon then stepped into the spotlight to lead “555.” The set rolled on with a typically gorgeous “Roggae” and the tour debut of “Gumbo.” It had been a while since Phish pushed beyond “Gumbo’s” boundaries, but they did so on Saturday with Anastasio infusing the song’s jam with dark staccato stabs as drummer Jon Fishman played a funky variation of the normal “Gumbo” beat. The band found a groove and rode it hard.

Keyboardist Page McConnell took an opportunity to welcome fans before fronting the group on “Lawn Boy.” Page strolled over to Gordon’s part of the stage to shout out Mike’s side as part of his loungey “Lawn Boy” crooning. Next up was the first Gamehendge song of the Vegas run in the form of “Wilson” and a “Maze” featuring some of Anastasio’s fastest finger-work of the tour. Trey also shined on the set-closing pairing of “Wingsuit” and one of his Big Boat contributions “More.”

“Mercury” was shelved between plays at the 2015 and 2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park run, but has entered heavy rotation during Fall Tour. Phish opened Saturday’s second set in Vegas with the third “Mercury” of the tour. The band expertly worked through every section of the ambitious composition with ease. Trey mentioned in a recent interview with Relix that “Mercury” was a direct result of his Fare Thee Well experience, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that tones of Grateful Dead psychedelia were found within the Vegas “Mercury” jam. Phish extended “Mercury” nicely and didn’t complete the song as they veered off into “Piper” instead. It took little time for Trey to find his footing in the “Piper” jam as he threw in one anthemic lick after another into the mix as Page raged organ, Mike propelled the improv and Fish banged out a powerful beat. The foursome eventually settled on a funky groove they worked over for a delightful five-minute stretch before building to a massive climax. The jaw-dropping “Mercury”/”Piper” sequence spanned an incredible 30 minutes to start the set in fine fashion.

Phish was far from finished as they dusted off “Scents And Subtle Sounds” for its Fall Tour debut out of “Piper.” Once again Trey wasted little time making his presence felt. The guitarist weaved one fierce riff into the next as he used a dirty, overdriven tone to great effect. When the “Scents” jam faded to near silence, Anastasio at first teased “Lizards” but then ripped into “Tweezer.” It was an embarrassment of riches for the masses. This time around Phish patiently built the jam instead of starting at quick pace like the “Piper” and “Scents” that came before “Tweezer.” Mike drove the improv, while Trey focused on rhythms. After spending a few moments setting the scene, Trey went right back to shredding out powerful leads using the same dirty, overdriven tone utilized in “Scents.” The quartet built to a strong climax and went with a spacey approach to lay the groundwork for a transition into “I Always Wanted It This Way.”

The Page-led, synth-rock jam vehicle was the fifth song of the set to give way to full band exploration. After a tone clinic from Anastasio through the first four jams of the set, it was McConnell’s rig that provided the fuel for the “I Always Wanted It This Way” improvisation. The keyboardist moved from organ to synth to Clavinet as Trey pounded out Marimba Lumina beats. After 60 jam-filled minutes Phish finally provided a breather in “The Horse”/”Silent In The Morning” pairing. It was then on to a quick romp through “Golgi Apparatus” to end the second set. The night came to a close with a joyous cover of “Shine A Light” by The Rolling Stones and a triumphant “Tweezer Reprise” serving as the encore.

Phish plays the third of four shows at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday night. A webcast is available from Watch “The Birds” and “Mercury” from Saturday’s webcast below:

Full Show Audio (Taped by Scott Schneider / Shared by nognuisgoodgnu)

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

MGM Grand Garden Arena [See upcoming shows]


4 shows — 10/31/2014, 11/01/2014, 11/02/2014, 10/28/2016

The Music

10 songs / 8:15 pm to 9:30 pm (75 minutes)

10 songs / 10:07 pm to 11:34 pm (87 minutes)

20 songs / 19 originals / 1 cover


12.2 [Gap chart]


The Birds, Gumbo, Wilson, Scents And Subtle Sounds, The Horse, Silent In The Morning, Golgi Apparatus,

Gumbo - LTP 06/28/2016 (31 Show Gap)

Mercury - 16:50

The Horse - 1:28

Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Rift - 3, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Undermind - 1, Joy - 1, Fuego - 2, Big Boat - 2, Misc. - 4, Covers - 1

The Rest

77° and Partly Cloudy at Show Time

Koa 1

Capacity: 17,157

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More Skinny


[Tweezer > I Always Wanted It This Way | Captured by Paul Giza]

[Mercury | Captured by Paul Giza]

[Wingsuit | Captured by Paul Giza]

[Scents & Subtle Sounds | Captured by Kembra Allen]

[I Always Wanted It This Way | Captured by Kembra Allen]

Phish From The Road Photos


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