Phish DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston | Setlist & The Skinny

By Scott Bernstein Jul 16, 2014 7:50 pm PDT

Tonight Phish tour moved to the Midwest for the Vermont jam band’s second-ever show at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, MI. As the tour continues into its third week, we’re continuing to see the band focus on jam vehicles in the second set and dig deeper into their massive repertoire of originals in the first.

Phish began with a first set like many others this tour that didn’t see the band stray too far afield improvisationally. The Vermonters opened tonight’s show with “Wolfman’s Brother,” the same song they used to open their only other performance at the Detroit-area shed on June 3, 2011. Considering “Wolfman’s” has only been utilized as a show opener seven other times since 1994, that’s either a crazy coincidence or there’s some connection to the venue or area we don’t know about. But we digress. A typically potent “Wolfman’s” led into the evening’s first Fuego track, “Devotion To A Dream.” From there, “Wilson” finally saw action after a gap of 13 shows between performances. The last time Phish went more than 13 shows without playing “Wilson” was between December 5, 1997 and July 8, 1998. “Poor Heart,” another tour debut, was followed by first set staples “The Moma Dance” and “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan.” The set continued with the string of “Lawn Boy” (the tour’s first), “Yarmouth Road,” “Rift” and “The Line.” Once again “It’s Ice” contained a dark and funky jam that saw keyboardist Page McConnell work over his clavinet in fine fashion. The set came to a close with “46 Days” and its powerful rock peak.

An uneventful “Mike’s Song” opened the second set, but was notable for seguing into “Ghost.” Phish had never played “Ghost” after “Mike’s” before tonight. It seems like every night we discuss a blissful, major-key jam Phish lays down early in the closing stanza and this evening turned out to be no exception thanks to a gorgeous segment of improv within “Ghost.” The band quickly broke from the rock-heavy start of “Ghost” and moved on to a prettier landscape, where they stayed for the duration of the night’s most impressive jam. There wasn’t much free-form exploration in “Ghost,” as instead the quartet milked the same blissful progression for everything it was worth. Anastasio pulled the plug on “Ghost” for “Prince Caspian,” which was followed by the second “Backwards Down The Number Line” in three shows. Bassist Mike Gordon then propelled a standout “Weekapaug Groove” with plenty of slapping, popping and powerful bass blasts. The band seemed eager to move beyond “Weekapaug”s typical boundaries, when out of nowhere drummer Jon Fishman kicked into “Cavern,” leaving “Weekapaug” unfinished.

“Piper” wasn’t extended too far tonight, a pattern we’d see repeat, though the song’s brief open-ended improvisational segment did segue into “Waiting All Night,” marking the first time Phish has transitioned from a jam into the Fuego track. The “Tweezer” that came next also didn’t stray much from the impactful rock feel it started with. If you were wondering if the Vermonters would continue the trend of performing “Fuego” in each city they visited so far this tour, the answer to that question is “yes.” This evening’s “Fuego” was the sixth of the tour and that doesn’t include the version Phish played as a web exclusive for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday night. Those hoping “Fuego” would go Type II once again were disappointed. Instead, the straight-forward, rocking “Fuego” paved the way for a “Tweezer Reprise” set closer. The band had another trick up their sleeve to start the encore as they played “Also Sprach Zarathrustra,” aka “2001,” for the first time ever in that slot. Earlier in the evening “Backwards Down The Number Line” surpassed “Possum” as the most-played song since 2009 (77 vs. 76), so we had a feeling “Possum” was looming – and there it was, as the final song of the show. Phish Summer Tour 2014 continues on Friday night in Chicago.



  • Venue Type / Capacity: Outdoor Amphitheatre / 15,274
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 06/03/2011 -1 Show
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 7:40 p.m. -8:54 p.m. (74 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 13 / 9:21 p.m. -10:56 p.m. (95 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 25 / 1 / 24
  • Biggest Bustout: Poor Heart -19 Shows (LTP -10/31/2013)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1997
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Tour Debuts: Wilson, Poor Heart, Lawn Boy
  • Total Number Of Different Songs Played This Year: 114
  • Weather: 63°F and Mostly Cloudy at show time
  • Average Song Gap: 5.28
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar -4, Rift -2, Hoist -1, Billy Breathes -1, Story Of The Ghost -2, Farmhouse -1, Round Room -1, Joy -2, Fuego -4, Misc. -5, Cover -1
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Ghost 11:35 / Poor Heart 2:29
  • Audio: Live Phish

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