Phish Fall Tour 2019: Providence Night 1 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
Phish opened up their Fall Tour 2019 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island on Friday night. While it had been nine years since the band last visited this venue, last night was their seventh time playing the room since 1994, making it a familiar, comfortable spot to return to. Additionally, as discussed on several Phish podcasts as of late, it was this arena that inspired the whole idea for The Baker’s Dozen, which finally came to fruition many years later. So, to kick off only the second late Fall Tour of 3.0 in a spot with so much history felt like a good place to start.
The band hit the ground running with a “First Tube” opener, one of the highest energy ways to begin a show, which got both the band’s and the fans’ blood pumping right away. Featuring a bit of an extended outro jam culminating in a celebratory peak which Phish LD Chris Kuroda lit up in bright white lights, the energy and excitement pulsing throughout the room was not only visible, but it was palpable, as well. Next, came Kasvot Växt tune “The Final Hurrah,” which saw Page McConnell taking it a little easier than usual on the samples while interplaying nicely with Trey Anastasio, each offering up hints of “Blaze On” sprinkled throughout the jam. “NICU” followed, keeping the tone upbeat and happy before “Steam” broke through with a short Jon Fishman drum solo that would pave the way for a solid, fiery version of the song. Upon its completion, Phish wasted no time before heading into “Scent Of A Mule” to bring the tempo back up.
“Scent Of A Mule” included the first of many times on Friday night that piano player Page McConnell took the spotlight and really shined in this first set. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the slow and delicate intro of “Bye Bye Foot” began, with Fishman on vocals, surprising many folks, as this was Phish’s first performance of the song since August 10, 1997 — a 705-show gap!
“No Men In No Man’s Land” came next, bringing the energy back up again with a couple of builds and releases before an interesting late first set “Gumbo” was followed by an above-average “My Soul,” both of which really highlighted McConnell who seemed to be the MVP of the set. Continuing with the Page-focus, Vida Blue tune “Maybe” made its Phish debut next, featuring a beautiful, keys-heavy instrumental breakdown. A dark and gnarly “Sand” reared its head before a ripping version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” — the first since the Baker’s Dozen residency in 2017 — closed out the set.
Set two opened with a funky “46 Days” which quickly got deep, dirty and weird. Some evil-sounding interplay between Mike Gordon and Trey led to some serious peaks before Phish stuck the landing as they dropped back into the vocals. “Back On The Train” continued this funky ride, displaying the tightness and confidence with which the band was playing all evening. And then came “Plasma.” The Trey tune took many twists and turns throughout the course of the jam, with Kuroda seemingly causing chaos on stage with the lights, adding to the frenetic energy of the space. After this noteworthy performance, the band took a bit of a breather with “Farmhouse” before beginning another always-promising jam vehicle, “Light.”
While the “Light” jam did get a little out there, some indecision and uncertainty caused a bit of a fumbled ending, as the band returned to (seemingly) finish “Plasma” instead of the song they were already playing. Changing course, an aggressive “Birds Of A Feather” was a certain highlight of the evening before a somewhat deflating “Joy.” But just when it felt like some energy needed to be breathed back into the room, the drop into “Simple” woke many in the audience up and got folks moving again. Unfortunately, this “Simple” was short lived, as Trey decided to shoehorn “Set Your Soul Free” into the middle of the “Simple” jam. Phish explored some dark space in “SYSF” until the band somehow wound up in their third “Plasma” ending of the night. Before fans could spend too much time scratching their heads at what was going on, “Walk Away” arrived to close out the set.
Returning to start the encore with “Meatstick,” the befuddlement continued, as the four-song encore went on to include Trey acoustic favorite, “Sleep,” followed by the similarly beautiful “Driver” and finally a forceful “Bug” to end the show. Overall, this tour opener was a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of song selection. However, the confidence, focus and drive with which each member seems to be playing with certainly bodes well for the rest of the run. Phish concludes a two-night stand in Providence on Saturday night. A webcast is available via LivePhish.com.
Dunkin’ Donuts Center [See upcoming shows]
6 shows — 12/29/1994, 12/12/1995, 04/04/1998, 04/05/1998, 12/13/1999, 10/22/2010
12 songs / 8:04 pm to 9:26 pm (82 minutes)
14 songs / 10:04 pm to 11:44 pm (100 minutes)
26 songs / 23 originals / 3 covers
35.33 [Gap chart]
Bye Bye Foot -- 705 Shows (LTP - 08/10/1997)
Plasma -- 13:51 (1st of 3)
Plasma -- 1:15 (3rd of 3)
Hoist - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 6, Round Room - 1, Joy - 2, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 11, Covers - 3
33° and Mostly Clear at showtime
Fire Captured by Gregory Marcus
Bye Bye Foot Captured by Kembra Allen
Scent Of A Mule Captured by Matt Frazier
Phish From The Road Photos
Tour Dates for Phish