Phish Makes Grand Prairie Debut – Setlist & The Skinny

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PhishTexas two-step continued on Wednesday as the band made their debut at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie 16 miles outside of Dallas. At a capacity of just 6,350; the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie is the smallest venue of the tour and with temperatures outside approaching 100 degrees fans were happy to enjoy a show indoors. The quartet dug deep into their repertoire making for a creative setlist with little in the way of full band improvisation.

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After a tour featuring plenty of new and recent material, Phish went the old school route to start Wednesday’s show. “Tube” opened for just the fourth time in the last five years and was followed by rarity “Guelah Papyrus” and the high-intensity “Punch You In The Eye.” The latter two each gave bassist Mike Gordon and guitarist Trey Anastasio a chance to show off their dance moves. Phish displayed a willingness to make out of the box setlist decisions in Grand Prairie with the choice of “Steam” in the cleanup slot serving as a fine example. Wednesday’s “Steam” was the first time in its history the song was played in a first set. Anastasio utilized a thick, fuzzy tone for the duration of a rare exciting jam within a first set. It was right back to old school first set staples with a run of “Poor Heart,” “NICU” and “I Didn’t Know.”

Trey took a moment in “I Didn’t Know” to talk about how he was born 20 miles away, referring to his birthplace of Fort Worth. He said he never thought he’d be on a stage near where he was born introducing a man in a dress playing a vacuum. With that, he gave way to the tour’s first vacuum solo from drummer Jon “Best Man” Fishman. There was a crispness to the band’s performance during the first set in Dallas that just wasn’t there in Austin one night prior. “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” was played with passion and precision, while “Divided Sky” soared on the back of a euphoric Anastasio solo. “The Squirming Coil” saw McConnell left alone on stage to close out the set with a beautiful solo of his own. Following “Tube” Phish kicked out nine tour debuts in a row to end the first set in Grand Prairie.

In 2014 “Chalk Dust Torture” was a contender for most valuable Phish song thanks to its use as an improvisational springboard. While the tour’s first “Chalk Dust” in Bend was of the standard variety, the band took the song deeper in the heart of Texas. The jam began with a blissful major key exploration featuring Page on electric piano. After a few minutes of delicate jamming, the foursome connected on a hard-charging chord sequence and Anastasio led a powerful climax. Out of the madness “Simple” emerged. The setlist antics continued when Trey headed up an interesting segue between “Simple” and “Silent In The Morning.” Though the first set didn’t feature any material from Phish’s most recent album, Fuego, they did work “The Line” and its title track into Set Two.

A solid, paint-by-numbers “Birds Of A Feather” started with a “They Attack” sample from McConnell. At the end, Anastasio fetched a t-shirt that read “They Attack!” from the crowd and draped it over his amp. “Fuego” stayed between the lines until a bit of ambience for its final minute or so and led into “Julius.” “Harry Hood” served as set closer and along with “Chalk Dust” was the highlight of the night. Trey used the skills learned in preparation for Fare Thee Well to peak “Hood” as if it were “Morning Dew” or “Fire On The Mountain.” Anastasio built to the climax using a single note that he sustained for well over a minute while McConnell wailed away on piano. Phish had one more setlist surprise in store for Texas by encoring with the fourth “The Connection” ever and “First Tube.” “The Connection” had been shelved since June 29, 2010 – a span of 200 shows. In an interesting twist, Phish started the night with “Tube” and ended the evening with “First Tube.” Next up for Phish Summer Tour is a two-night stand in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday nights.

Setlist…

[via Phish.net]

  • Venue Type: Indoor Concert Hall / 6,350
  • Previous Shows at Venue: Phish had never performed at this venue in the past
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 10 / 8:15 p.m. – 10:31 p.m. (76 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 9 / 10:03 p.m. – 11:34 p.m. (91 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 19 / 0 / 19
  • Biggest Bustout: The Connection – 200 Shows (LTP – 06/29/2010)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1996
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Weather: 98°F and Sunny at showtime
  • Average Song Gap: 19.16
  • The Spread: Junta – 1, Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar – 3, Rift – 1, Hoist – 1, Story Of The Ghost – 1, Farmhouse – 1, Undermind – 1, Joy – 1, Fuego – 2, Misc. – 7
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Divided Sky 16:17 / Poor Heart 2:36
  • Audio: Live Phish

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