Phish Makes First Visit To Reading | Setlist And The Skinny

By Scott Bernstein Oct 29, 2013 4:40 pm PDT


Phish has visited many familiar venues over the course of Fall Tour 2013, but tonight they play the lone room and city on the 12-show run they haven’t performed at in the past -the Santander Arena in Reading, PA. Reading is the fifth most-populated city in Pennslyvania and is known by the nickname of “The Pretzel City” thanks to all the pretzel bakeries within its boundaries.

[Photo from Hartford by Scott Harris]

The quartet kicked off the show with the first “Cars Trucks Buses” of the tour. Though the title of the Page McConnell-penned instrumental refers to signage found along the New Jersey Turnpike, the Vermonters chose not to wait one show to perform the song in The Garden State during their Atlantic City run. Phish then reeled off “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” and a cover of “Ginseng Sullivan” before lighting up “Wolfman’s Brother.” McConnell set a base of wah’d out clavinet work for guitarist Trey Anastasio to wail over in the stand out “Wolfman’s.” The set proceeded with “Sparkle” and a rare cover of The James Gang’s classic rock staple “Walk Away.” Many fans lit lighters during the pause in “Divided Sky,” continuing a trend started earlier this tour. A haunted, eerie “Split Open And Melt” that was even more psychedelic than usual foreshadowed Halloween. Just when the “Melt” has reached its evil peak, the band took their collective foot of the gas and went outside the structure of the song for an interesting transition into “Julius.” The blues-rocker wound up closing the set with “Split Open And Melt” left unfinished.

Bassist Mike Gordon offered a “Pop Goes The Weasel” as part of his “Down With Diease” intro to start the second set. Phish explored a number of varied sonic landscapes before settling in on a blissful chord progression that they then drove to a huge, crowd-pleasing climax. The crowd went wild as the band kept peaking the “Disease” jam, which eventually gave way to the tour debut of “Taste.” “Twenty Years Later” was extended beyond its normal borders into a hearty, infectious, funk groove, making for the first “Type II” version in the song’s history. The must-hear “Twenty Years Later” spanned nearly 15 minutes. “Piper” came next and featured a meaty organ solo from McConnell and masterful rhythm work from Anastasio. Standard takes on “Backwards Down The Number Line” and “You Enjoy Myself” were followed by the a capella “Grind” to end the set.

The band returned for the encore with “Bouncing Around The Room” and then finally served up the first “Reba” of the tour. “Reba” had last been played as an encore on October 19, 2010 in Augusta, ME. This evening’s typically gorgeous version was just the fourth “Reba” encore in Phish history. Not content to end the show there, the Vermonters had one last treat in store -a cover of “Good Times, Bad Times.” Phish concludes the tour with a three-night stand in Atlantic City that starts on Thursday, when they will cover an album as part of a three-set Halloween show.



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 first show in Reading…

  • Venue Capacity / Type: 8,800 / Indoor Arena
  • Previous Shows at Venue: Phish had never played Santander Arena before tonight
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 9 / 8:05 p.m. -9:19 p.m. (74 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 9:53 p.m. -11:43 p.m. (110 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 19 / 3 / 16
  • Biggest Bustout: Cars Trucks Buses -28 Shows (LTP -7/12/2013)
  • Tour Debuts: Cars Trucks Buses, Walk Away, Taste, Grind, Reba
  • Average Song Vintage: 1994
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Weather: 56° and Clear at Showtime
  • Average Song Gap: 8.42
  • The Spread: Junta -2, Lawn Boy -3, Rift -1, Hoist -3, Billy Breathes -2, Farmhouse -1, Undermind -1, Joy -3, Covers – 3
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: You Enjoy Myself 23:29 / Grind 2:30
  • Audio: Live Phish

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