Phish Cover-Heavy Santa Barbara Finale | Skinny & Setlist

By Scott Bernstein Oct 22, 2014 9:00 pm PDT

On Wednesday night Phish returned to Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth of twelve shows that make up this year’s fall tour. Once again, tickets were in ample supply for a show that sold out as soon as it went on sale. While Tuesday night’s show was a weird performance that was at times uneven and lacked cohesion, the Santa Barbara finale was more of a complete package.

Yes, this venue is real.

A photo posted by phishfromtheroad (@phishfromtheroad) on

Night Two started with an inspired opener choice -a cover of Bob Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party.” For a bit of back story, photographer Rene Huemer captured an image backstage of guitarist Trey Anastasio admiring a photo of Bob Marley in action at the Santa Barbara Bowl on November 25th, 1979 that was shared before the show on the band’s various social networking accounts. Apparently Trey took note of Bob’s legendary performance at the Bowl as Phish came out of the gates with “Soul Shakedown Party,” which had been on the shelf since July 1, 2012. “Soul Shakedown” wasn’t the only cover on tap for the first set as well-played covers of “Ya Mar” (The Mustangs) and “Jesus Just Left Chicago” (ZZ Top) made the setlist as well with the latter making its first appearance of 2014. Anastasio may have had his struggles at certain moments during Tuesday night’s show, but he played with an authority and level of precision not seen the previous evening throughout nearly all of Wednesday’s first set. The band seemed to gain more confidence as the set progressed culminating with a “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” awash in psychedelia, a typically dark and dissonant “Split Open & Melt” and a “Walls Of The Cave” with a particularly intense climax.

Phish also went for the rare cover choice to open the second set as they dusted off The Who’s “Drowned” for the first time since October 26, 2013. Bassist Mike Gordon had a hard time with the lyrics and was assisted by Anastasio, who tried to mouth the words to him, and keyboardist Page McConnell, who actually stepped in to sing the first few lines before Gordon took over. The quartet recovered from the awkward start to deliver a stunning multi-tiered jam that moved from a dreamy, blissful segment to a more crunchy funk segment. All four members of Phish moved in lockstep through both impressive sections of the “Drowned” jam. “Theme From The Bottom” kept the water theme going. Just as “Theme” was screaming to its finish, McConnell lit into powerful organ blasts and Anastasio threw a few rhythm curveballs into the mix and soon the band had broken through the song’s normal boundaries to an ethereal second “Theme” jam that was reminicent of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.” After exploring that space for a few otherworldly moments, Phish then completed a spot-on segue into “Steam.” Once again, it was the end of the song that was the most interesting part of it as Trey and Mike hooked up on a nifty pattern they used to transition into one more water-themed tune -“Waves” -which culimated with a spacey, structure-less improv that eventually faded into “Twenty Years Later.”

[Trey sports his Deset Patnact t-shirt, worn at many late ’90s performances, during Set Two]

“Twenty Years Later” saw Anastasio put his Echoplex effect to good use and was anchored by Jon Fishman’s sturdy beat. Speaking of Fish, the drummer took a turn in the spotlight during “Scent Of A Mule” as he offered the tour’s first Marimba Lumina solo while Mike and Trey scat sang along with the parts of it in eerie fashion. Meanwhile, Gordon pounded away on his fight bell with drumsticks during the wild Page-led section of the “Mule Duel.” While “Twenty Years Later” does contain a few lines about water, “Scent” seemingly ended the water theme that emerged early in the second set. Phish brought “Scent Of A Mule” to a complete stop before starting up “Also Sprach Zarathrustra,” aka “2001,” the evening’s fifth cover (no show this summer contained more than three covers). After a quick sprint through “2001,” the quartet also raced through “Mike’s Song” which led into “Runaway Jim” -completing the first “Mike’s” > “Runaway Jim” sequence in Phish history. The urgent rendition of “Jim” gave way to the expected “Weekapaug Groove,” with Gordon dropping “Runaway Jim” teases within his bass solo and Trey following suit. Anastasio had some teases in store for his own solo as he worked elements of both “2001” and “Runaway Jim” into the set-closing “Weekapaug.” For the encore, the Vermonters treated fans to the recently-reunited “The Horse” > “Silent In The Morning” pairing (“The Horse” returned to action in August at Dick’s after 10 versions of “Silent” were played without its usual partner) and the first “Run Like An Antelope” in the slot since December 30, 2010. Trey let Page handle the music of “The Horse” and kept his guitar on his back just as he did at Dick’s. “Run Like An Antelope” featured a vocal and instrumental tease of Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party” during the “Rye Rye Rocco” segment to bookend the show in a most perfect way.

Phish now heads towards Los Angeles for a performance at The Forum in Inglewood on Friday night.



  • Venue Type: Outdoor Amphitheatre / 4,562
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 2 Shows -08/27/1992 (Opening For Santana) & 10/21/2014
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 11 / 6:25 p.m. -7:46 p.m.
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 13 / 8:12 -9:58 p.m. (106 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 24 / 5 / 19
  • Biggest Bustout: Soul Shakedown Party -94 Shows (Last Time Played -07/01/2012)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1995
  • Debuts: N/A
  • 2014 Debuts: Soul Shakedown Party, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Drowned
  • Weather: 73°F and Mostly Sunny at showtime
  • Average Song Gap: 16.04
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy -2, Rift -5, Hoist -1, Billy Breathes -1, Round Room -2, Undermind -2, Joy -1, Fuego -1, Misc. -4, Cover – 5,
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Drowned 14:59 / The Horse 0:43
  • Audio: Live Phish

Phish From The Road Photos…

Soundcheck in Santa Barbara

A photo posted by phishfromtheroad (@phishfromtheroad) on

Yes, this venue is real.

A photo posted by phishfromtheroad (@phishfromtheroad) on


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