Phish Merriweather Post Pavilion 2014 Setlist & Skinny | Night One

Tonight, Phish began a two-night stand at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD; a venue very familiar to the band. The Vermonters made their Merriweather debut on July 17, 1992 and have now performed at the shed 12 times, including eight shows since 2009. This evening’s show featured an improv-heavy second set that contained many memorable moments and a first set with a focus on well-played staples.

If you look at the setlist for tonight’s first set, there’s nothing that particularly jumps out at you. Yet, it’s one of those sets in which most songs were performed with an extra level of emotion, nuance, swagger and just sheer fun. There was guitarist Trey Anastasio scatting during “Wolfman’s Brother,” keyboardist Page McConnell’s extended vocal outro to “Lawn Boy,” drummer Jon Fishman’s intriguing rim taps in “Stash” and even more passion than usual brought to “Roggae” this evening. As with most first sets this tour, there wasn’t much in the way of free-form improvisation. Phish kicked off tonight’s show with “Sample In A Jar,” a song that hadn’t been used in that slot since June 24, 2012. “Backwards Down The Number Line” was a fitting selection on the occasion of longtime Phish LD Chris Kuroda’s birthday and led into a spirited rendition of “Roggae.” Anastasio did struggle with “The Wedge,” which was a much more straight-forward rendition than the beast laid down in Chicago. The set’s lone tour debut was a cover of Hot Rize’s “Nellie Cane,” which returned to action for the first time since October 27, 2013. “Stash” wasn’t its usual juggernant self, but did have a few interesting moments before “Suzy Greenberg” brought the set to a close.

While the first set didn’t contain much in the way of flowing jams, the quartet followed their typical game plan of going in the opposite direction for the second set. Once again, Phish used the set-opening “Carini” as a springboard to a blissful jam space. Trey switched back and forth between confident rhythms and anthemic leads throughout the exploratory “Carini” as McConnell blasted powerful organ riffs, when he wasn’t countering the guitarist’s melodies on piano. After the quartet rode the “Carini” groove they had established for a while, they pulled an impressive out-of-left-field transition into “Ghost.” Phish hasn’t relied on the big rock peak as much as usual this tour, but it’s still a part of the band’s bag of tricks. As an example, the Merriweather “Ghost” was featured a guitar-driven climax that drove the crowd wild. Anastasio and Gordon started the fun by connecting on one of those familiar chord sequences that you could swear sounds like one of many classic rock anthems with a similar progression but isn’t quite the same and building it to an explosive peak. The “Ghost” ended on a more spacey note before Trey made a move for “Steam.” “Steam” contained two distinct, fluid Type I jams played with the type of swagger and nuance we mentioned earlier. From there, Phish executed and completed an exciting segue into “The Mango Song.”

We had our first break in the action when “The Mango Song” came to its conclusion. The seamless sequence of four songs played over the first 40 minutes of the set was A-level Phish worth seeking out. It was right back to the flowing jams with “Light” following the upbeat “Sing Monica.” A swinging “Light” was on the more mellow side as compared to other versions of the song, but that’s what made it particularly interesting. Jon Fishman continually switched up the syncopated beat which provided plenty of space for his band mates to weave in and around each other. When “Light” started to lose steam, Page and Trey toyed with the “Also Sprach Zarathrustra” theme and eventually began what’s commonly refered to as “2001.” Tonight’s second set had already worked its way into the conversation for best set of the tour before Phish started “Harry Hood,” and then came another masterful rendition of a song that has blossomed once again in 2014. McConnell took the reins at the start of the jam and led the way on this “Hood” with one exquiste string of melodies after another. Anastasio stepped back for the majority of the jam and added layered rhythms and subtle riffs that accentuated what Page was doing. Once the “Hood” jam reached a rolling boil, Trey came in and brought the song to its compelling climax. It was yet another “Harry Hood” from 2014 worthy of much praise. “Julius” continues to be a popular encore choice as the Hoist track served the role for the fourth time this tour tonight. Phish returns to Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday night.



  • Venue Type: Outdoor Amphitheatre / 19,316
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 07/17/1992, 08/08/1998, 07/09/1999, 09/17/2000, 08/15/2009, 06/26/2010, 06/27/2010, 06/11/2011, 06/12/2011, 07/13/2013 and 07/14/2013 -11 Shows
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 7:35 p.m. -9:00 p.m. (85 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 9 / 9:29 p.m. -10:55 p.m. (86 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 21 / 2 / 19
  • Biggest Bustout: Nellie Cane -26 Shows (LTP 10/27/2013)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1997
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Tour Debuts: Nellie Cane
  • Total Number Of Different Songs Phish Has Played This Year: 124
  • Weather: 87°F and Sunny at show time
  • Average Song Gap: 4.95
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar -2, Rift -1, Hoist -3, Story Of The Ghost -3, Joy -2, Fuego -3, Misc. -4, Cover -2
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Harry Hood 14:29 / Nellie Cane 3:14
  • Audio: Live Phish

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