Phish Hartford XL Center Setlist And The Skinny


[Photo by Mandy Berman]

Phish Fall Tour 2013 moved on to the XL Center in Hartford, CT tonight. The quartet first played the venue on October 23, 1996 and returned on November 26, 1997 and again on December 12, 1999. The band honored Lou Reed, who died earlier today, musically by opening the show with “Rock And Roll.”

The Vermonters, who famously covered Velvet Underground’s Loaded on Halloween in 1998, issued a statement about Reed. Guitarist Trey Anastasio wrote the following note that was shared on

“We had the honor of playing with Lou Reed on a festival bill in Germany when we were touring with the Violent Femmes in 1992. As we were walking up onstage, Lou was sitting in the grass next to the stage. I nervously approached and said hi, and he said ‘go up there and show em’ how to Rock and Roll, after all, we invented it.’ His comment made my head spin. The entire time we were up onstage playing I was thinking, ‘did he mean Americans, or him and The Velvet Underground?’ Because either statement would be true. Think about it for a second… long before the Ramones, without whom there never would have been the Sex Pistols or punk music, long before Patti Smith, long before Glam, noise rock, grunge, indie, long before the Smiths, Pavement, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and on and on… there was Lou Reed.

Thank you, Lou. You are the true father of Rock and Roll. We all are forever in your debt.”

-Trey Anastasio

Once Phish wrapped up the expansive “Rock And Roll” opener, Anastasio asked for a moment of silence in honor of “one of the greatest artists who’s ever lived.” Next came a string of 2013 staples: “Ocelot,” “Tube” and “Halfway To The Moon.” Trey then dusted off his megaphone for just the second “Fee” of the year. Keyboardist Page McConnell took to electric piano to lead the beautiful “harmonics jam” out of Fee. McConnell continued to be the work horse of the opening stanza with a powerful “Maze” solo and by fronting the band for the third time in the set on the tour’s first “Lawn Boy.” Page and the crowd substituted “Lou” for “Hues” at the end of the song. From there, Mike Gordon had a turn in the spotlight for a cover of “Nellie Cane,” just before the first “NICU” of the tour. A pair of scorching “2.0” originals, “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” and “Walls Of The Cave,” brought the memorable set to a close.

“Chalk Dust Torture” provided a rollicking start to the second set before “Tweezer” emerged. “Tweezer” continues an awe-inspiring run as tonight’s take was yet another outstanding version worth multiple re-listens and glowing adjectives. The band settled in on a funk groove to start. Then Anastasio led his mates through a descending run reminiscent of the “Mind Left Body” jam. McConnell soon initiated a change in direction to a major key that the quartet patiently and blissfully worked over for a few magical minutes. When the quartet finally had their fill, the jam faded into the start of “Birds Of A Feather.” A quick romp through the Story of the Ghost gem was followed by another cover of TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age.” Phish put on a funk/groove clinic during the highly syncopated “Golden Age” improvisation as they explored a number of different jam spaces making for the set’s second “must-hear” song by focusing on ever-changing rhythms. Live Phish should do good business tomorrow.

Would tonight be the night Phish would jam out “Halley’s Comet?” While the answer to that question was “no,” Trey and Mike both had fun by screaming and squealing the vocals and the band impressively dropped the end of “Halley’s” into a rhythmically adventurous “Also Sprach Zarathrustra,” aka “2001.” Phish kept the “big guns” coming by ending the set with a pairing of two of their oldest songs in “Fluffhead” and “Slave To The Traffic Light.” McConnell took an opportunity after the band returned for the encore to talk about how much they like the room, while Anastasio weighed in that he had seen many concerts at the venue during his adolescence. “Loving Cup” made its first appearance of the tour to start the encore, while “Tweezer Reprise” finished it. Next up -Phish’s first-ever show in Reading, PA on Tuesday night.



Click here to view the full breakdowns of every show Phish has played in 2013 including setlists, recaps and our statistical rundowns.

Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s return to Hartford…

  • Venue Capacity / Type: 16,282 / Indoor Arena
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 3 Shows – 10/23/1996, 11/26/1997 and 12/12/1999
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 11 / 8:10 p.m. -9:27 p.m. (77 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 9:59 p.m. -11:38 p.m. (99 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 21 / 5 / 16
  • Biggest Bustout: Fluffhead -13 Shows (LTP -8/3/2013)
  • Tour Debuts: Fee, Lawn Boy, NICU, ASIHTOS, Fluffhead, Loving Cup
  • Average Song Vintage: 1995
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Weather: 50° and Clear at Showtime
  • Average Song Gap: 6.38
  • The Spread: Junta -2, Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar -3, Rift -1, The Story Of The Ghost -1, Round Room -1, Undermind -1, Joy -1, Misc. – 5, Covers – 5
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Forthcoming
  • Audio: Live Phish

Phish From The Road Photos…