Phish Fall Tour 2019: Charleston Night 3 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
On the heels of two of the strongest shows of their brief fall tour, Phish brought the run to a close with their third show in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday night. The tour will go down in history for one unprecedented feat: the band did not repeat a single song over the course of the eight-show tour. Even summer 2017 didn’t accomplish that — though the Baker’s Dozen included no repeats, the band did repeat songs outside the Dozen.
But while the Baker’s Dozen filled its space with extra extended jams, this tour, for the most part, did no such thing: there were no 20-minute jams, and there was only one that cracked 18 minutes. Sunday was no exception on this front: though the band found brief pockets of exciting improvisation, they seemed mostly intent on playing a bunch of songs and rocking out one last time before they got off the road.
The evening began with “Sigma Oasis,” an Anastasio/Marshall/Herman tune that had previously only appeared at one of guitarist Trey Anastasio‘s acoustic shows last December. The full band arrangement had classic rock vibes, a ripping guitar solo, and a melody that was likely stuck in every fan’s head — that is, until “Buried Alive” knocked it out. “Buried” included some “Little Drummer Boy” teases, a nod to the previous night’s shenanigans. After fairly tight versions of “Guelah Papyrus” and “My Sweet One,” came “Everything Is Hollow,” which Scott Bernstein noted on Twitter is now the last Kasvot Vaxt song to get a third spin — though it’s worth noting that it’s the first Kasvot Vaxt song to be played three times with a bright white light strapped to keyboardist Page McConnell‘s head.
Next up was the first performance in over seven years of a plain “The Curtain” — without the “With.” It was followed by “Mound,” enjoying its second rendition in a calendar year for the first time since 2013. After a breather in “Brian of Robert,” the energy picked back up for “Crazy Sometimes.” For those who needed some more cool-down time, the band gave them a couple more opportunities, first with “Frost” and then “Breath and Burning.” From there on out, it was all rock and roll: a spirited “Alumni Blues” / “Letter To Jimmy Page” was followed by “It’s Ice,” complete with a funk breakdown, with Trey on wah pedal, Page on clavinet, and drummer Jon Fishman and bassist Mike Gordon bringing the goods as they have all tour. “Walls Of The Cave” brought the house down to close the set, as Trey was in full-on shred mode.
With Big Cypress on many a fan’s mind as its 20th anniversary approaches and the excellent After Midnight podcast is in the process of commemorating the festival, the J.J. Cale song of the same name opened set two. The tune’s eighth rendition, and first since 2015, was relatively by the books, but full of energy. “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” had a nice, if brief, bit of exploratory jamming at the end. It was cut off for an excellent reason: so that the band could play “Energy,” The Apples In Stereo cover that Phish played four times in 2013 before dusting it off this past summer. It, too, featured a jam that was just taking off when the ripcord was pulled, this time for “Soul Planet.” This time around, the jam got a bit of room to stretch out, finding a driving groove before going into an ambient space over which Trey reprised the “You’re already there” refrain from “Sigma Oasis.”
“Wingsuit,” whose quiet first half tends to provide a nice landing pad for a jam, featured a customarily energetic outro that led into a more upbeat number, “I Always Wanted It That Way.” A brief rocking jam yielded the stage to “Petrichor.” When that song was finally over, there was still time for quick runs through “Boogie On Reggae Woman” and “Rise/Come Together.”
The encore had several surprises. The first was “Pebbles and Marbles,” which was surfacing for the third time this year after having been played just once since 2014. The second was that “Pebbles” was cut off midway through for “Beneath a Sea of Stars Part 1.” A pleasant, standard run through that song was followed by a third surprise: Jimi Hendrix’s “Izabella,” which had last been played at the final show of 2017’s Baker’s Dozen for the first time in 20 years. A few rocking minutes later, the band had another trick up their sleeve: “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise,” which was last played July 11, 2000. During the song, Trey acknowledged the band, then reprised the tour’s initial inside joke by playing the outro to “Plasma” one last time, as the show and the tour came to an end.
Phish returns to Madison Square Garden on December 28 for the first show of a four-night New Year’s Eve run in New York City.
North Charleston Coliseum [See upcoming shows]
10 shows — 11/18/1995, 10/27/1996, 10/15/2010, 10/16/2010, 10/17/2010, 10/14/2016, 10/15/2016, 10/16/2016, 12/06/2019,12/07/2019
16 songs / 8:06 pm to 9:34 pm (88 minutes)
13 songs / 10:13 pm to 12:03 am (110 minutes)
29 songs / 25 originals / 4 covers
53.93 [Gap chart]
Chalk Dust Torture Reprise - 524 Show Gap (LTP - 7/11/2000)
Alumni Blues - 0:34
Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Round Room - 2, Joy - 1, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 3, Misc. - 13, Covers - 4
54° F and Cloudy at Showtime