Phish returned to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD tonight for their second of two consecutive shows at the shed. The band made their debut at the Frank Gehry-designed venue as support for Santana on July 17, 1992 which was the opening night of their tour with Carlos. This evening’s gig marked the group’s eleventh at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
The Vermonters arrived on stage to a clear sky in stark contrast to the last two shows. Phish fired up the tour debut of “First Tube” as this evening’s opener. Both the “First Tube” and “Moma Dance” that followed featured ferocious guitar solos from Trey Anastasio. Setlist staples “NICU,” “Roses Are Free” and “Chalk Dust Torture” came next. Drummer Jon Fishman stole the show in the romp through “Chalk Dust” as the band’s namesake propelled Anastasio’s tension-and-release theatrics. A stand out “Stash” saw bassist Mike Gordon power a major-key exploration, a trademark of this summer’s jamming, before Fishman and Anastasio led the quartet back to the song’s typically dark improvisational space for an otherworldly conclusion. Gordon’s 1994 classic “Scent Of A Mule” then made its tour debut. Keyboardist Page McConnell’s segment of the “Mule Duel” was ceded to Fishman who employed a Marimba Lumina. “It’s Ice,” off 1993’s Rift, continued the show-opening string of eight songs debuted in the ’90s and featured a nice little jam in which Trey and Page played off each other, while Gordon laid down synth’d out bombs. A straight-forward “Tube” kept the streak of ’90s songs going before “Run Like An Antelope” (debuted in 1985) broke it up. The set-closing “Antelope” was a typically high-intensity version and the jam stuck within the song’s usual confines.
The quartet came out of the gates for the closing stanza with the tour’s second cover of “Golden Age” by TV On The Radio, which saw Trey work in teases of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun” early on. McConnell quickly hopped on electric piano as the jam got going before Anastasio channeled his inner Jimi for a spell. When the improv hit a lull the guitarist kicked off “Twist,” mimicking the start of the tour opener’s second set in Bangor back on July 3. Each member of Phish had their turn in the spotlight during the raging “Twist,” with Fishman’s contributions standing out as particularly impressive. “Backwards Down The Number Line” followed, giving us the same three-song segment that kicked off Bangor’s second set. The middle of the closing stanza was a Joy double- dip as “Light” came after “Number Line.” “Light” featured stop-and-start jamming with choppy, angular rhythm work from Trey, melodic piano licks from Page and Fish and Mike holding it all together. You never know what you’ll get from a “Light” jam and tonight’s take was extremely different from other versions thanks to the fluid stop-and-start segment. On one of the stops, Gordon kicked on his micro-synth effect and the other three members of Phish fell in line for an outstanding segue into “Boogie On Reggae Woman.” Standard takes on “Boogie On” and “Julius” led into “You Enjoy Myself.” For his “YEM” solo, Anastasio strung together one powerful and dirty riff after another as Gordon offered counter-melodies and McConnell “plinked” away at clav and electric piano. Fish and Mike’s drum and bass duet at the end of “YEM” saw Anastasio dance around stage in his t- shirt, with the drummer employing the Marimba Lumina once again. A “Loving Cup” encore capped off the night. Phish Summer Tour 2013 moves on to Alpharetta, GA for shows on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s Merriweather Post Pavilion finale…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 19,316 / 17,000 (estimate) / Outdoor Amphitheatre
- Previous Shows at Venue: 10 Shows – 7/17/1992, 08/08/1998, 07/09/1999, 09/17/2000, 8/15/2009, 06/26/2010, 06/27/2010, 06/11/2011, 06/12/2011 and 07/13/2013
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 10 / 7:39 p.m. – 9:02 (83 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 8 / 9:27 p.m. – 10:51 p.m. (84 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 18 / 4 / 14
- Biggest Bustout: Scent Of A Mule – 26 Shows (LTP – 07/07/2012)
- Tour Debuts: First Tube, Scent Of A Mule
- Average Song Vintage: 1995
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 84°F and Sunny at Showtime
- Average Song Gap: 6.22
- The Spread: Junta – 1, Lawn Boy – 1, Picture Of Nectar – 2, Rift – 1, Hoist – 2, The Story Of The Ghost – 1, Farmhouse – 2, Joy – 2, Misc. – 2, Covers – 4,
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: You Enjoy Myself 22:27 / Tube 4:20
- Audio: Live Phish
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