Phish Fall Tour 2019: Providence Night 2 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
Phish continued Fall Tour 2019 on Saturday night with their second of two performances at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The band was in a playful mood throughout the show, as they resumed the “Plasma Reprise” antics started one night earlier, utilized unusual song placements, had guitarist Trey Anastasio introduce a handful of songs and tied it all together with a synth riff keyboardist Page McConnell repeated throughout the evening. Tack on a deliciously weird encore and a few choice jams and the end result was a memorable night at the Dunk.
After a brief huddle, Phish kicked off Saturday’s concert with “Turtle In The Clouds,” the first song from their Halloween 2018 Kasvot Växt set. Guitarist Trey Anastasio and bassist Mike Gordon pulled off the same choreographed dance moves they premiered on October 31, 2018 to the delight of the capacity crowd as keyboardist Page McConnell soloed on his Nord Stage 3 synthesizer during the first ever “Turtle In The Clouds” show opener. The quartet then reached back for “Punch You In The Eye,” which gave Trey and Mike yet another chance to show off choreographed dance moves. Phish took their time working through an extended intro while LD Chris Kuroda draped the audience in hues of purple and green. Anastasio laughed off a vocal flub in one of the first verses and recovered without further incident.
“Llama” filled the three-slot and while not quite played as slow as the funk arrangement debuted by the band on August 14, 2015, the A Picture Of Nectar classic was performed at perhaps half the speed of the original. Gordon took a solo in the middle of “Llama” as his band mates accented the one. A trend then started as Trey introduced “Meat” by telling the crowd, “This next song is a little thing we call ‘Meat.” He then added, “Hit it Page” ahead of McConnell kicking off the tune with an ascending synth blast akin to the THX Dolby Digital test. The same thing happened again before the three songs that followed: “The Old Home Place,” “Lawn Boy” and “I Didn’t Know.” Saturday’s “Lawn Boy” came on the 30th anniversary of its debut and Anastasio gave this lengthy introduction to “I Didn’t Know”:
Now we come to an odd segment of our show, people. We’re going to feature a very strange instrument on this next number. We’re going to sing an old song for you now, it goes way back and it’s in the key of A-flat. It’s an old number, back from our old days. It features a funny little item that you may have in your home but in this instance, we’re going to use it as an instrument.
The item the guitarist was referring to was a vacuum as “I Didn’t Know” featured drummer Jon Fishman‘s first vacuum solo of the tour. While Anastasio didn’t introduce “Maze,” Page did play the “THX Riff” before the band lit into a typically potent version of the song. The pre-song shenanigans continued with McConnell delivering the synth riff yet again ahead of another number from 1993’s Rift, “Horn,” and “Gotta Jibboo.” The latter was one of just six songs from Phish’s Farmhouse album the band didn’t play at Friday’s tour opener. Page accented the verses of “Jibboo” with wah’d out Clavinet fills and nicely augmented Trey on Rhodes while the guitarist soloed. Eventually, Gordon led a move to a major key that the four-piece explored for a few glorious minutes. Next up was a “Stash” that started with the now perfunctory instrumental intro by Page. This time it was Trey who initiated a transition from the typical evil “Stash” jam space to a more blissful progression and back again before a reprise of “Plasma,” which came after the band ended the song three times during Friday’s second set. Phish went on to cap the frame with a fairly spot-on rendition of “Golgi Apparatus” that included Page playing the “THX Riff” at both the beginning and end of the song.
Phish kept the surprises coming by opening the second set with “Bathtub Gin,” which marked the first time the band had done so since way back on August 12, 2015 and just the second time since November 20, 1998. The quartet started the jam at a fast pace and broke through the song’s normal structure into Type II territory. Mike, Trey and Page connected on a swinging blues-rock progression they used to build to a strong peak powered by Fish. McConnell hit upon the “THX Riff” before Anastasio kicked into the first second set “Alaska” in over six years. “Alaska” went unfinished as Trey settled in on a swampy lick he played over and over again until the rest of his mates went silent and then he called for “What’s The Use?”
The ethereal instrumental was followed by “Piper,” yet another song from Farmhouse. Phish covered plenty of ground in the “Piper” jam as they swiftly moved between keys, feels and tempos over the course of just 10 minutes. Saturday’s stellar “Piper” was an egalitarian affair with all four members equally contributing to leading the improvisation before a transition into “Golden Age.” The TV On The Radio cover was more aimless and Anastasio didn’t wait long before reprising “Plasma” to bring the jam to a close. While “Gotta Jibboo” and “Stash” both were highlighted by key changes from minor to major, the “Harry Hood” that followed the show’s second round of “Plasma” went in the opposite direction. The quartet began the jam in blissful territory before transitioning into darker terrain. Phish used the new key they settled into as the base for a build to an exemplary climax. After painting outside the lines, Trey fronted a move back into the song’s typical progression to end the must-hear “Hood” and set. But not before Page threw in a “Dolby Riff” for good measure.
When Phish returned to the stage for their encore, they flubbed the start to a song. “We’d like to do an old favorite we used to do back in the old days that none of us can remember,” Trey laughed before the band began “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” On a night chock full of unusual moments, “BBFCFM” had more as Fish inserted some lyrics from “Lengthwise” and the quartet eventually aborted the song in favor of “Kung.” The first ever “Wombat” played in the encore slot followed. Phish then delivered a particularly potent “Possum” and said farewell with the evening’s third “Plasma Reprise.” The tour now moves on to the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on Sunday night. A live stream is available via LivePhish.com.
Dunkin’ Donuts Center [See upcoming shows]
7 shows — 12/29/1994, 12/12/1995, 04/04/1998, 04/05/1998, 12/13/1999, 10/22/2010, 11/29/2019
13 songs / 8:05 pm to 9:27 pm (82 minutes)
10 songs / 10:05 pm to 11:36 pm (91 minutes)
23 songs / 21 originals / 2 covers
8.48 [Gap chart]
Gotta Jibboo & Alaska -- 17 Shows (LTP 06/26/2019)
Bathtub Gin -- 17:53
Kung -- 1:52
Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Rift - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 10, Covers - 2
31° and Clear at showtime
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