Phish MGM Grand Las Vegas Night Two | Setlist & Skinny

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How would Phish follow a epic Halloween show that won overwhelming raves from the band’s notoriously persnickety fanbase? By treating a capacity crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to an inspired performance that contained a first set filled with bustouts and a second set highlighted by an adventurous and generally fun mixture of songs and improvisation in its middle.

While Phish’s Chilling, Thrilling three-set Halloween show didn’t contain any songs off Fuego, a feat that hadn’t even happened in a two-set show since the album’s release earlier this year, they immediately pulled from the LP in opening with its title track. The 18th “Fuego” since its debut one year and one day ago was the first to open a show and was one of the more fiery and tight renditions of the year. In fact, The Vermonters would go on to play a total of five songs off their latest studio album –Fuego. “My Soul” was the evening’s initial cover, marking the Clifton Chenier song’s second appearance of the year. Phish then locked in on a funky groove within “Back On The Train” and pulled from Fuego once again for “555.” The evening’s first bustout followed as the Vermonters dusted off the Hoist balled “Dog Faced Boy,” which had been mothballed since June 8, 2011 (144 shows). Guitarist Trey Anastasio’s voice was in fine form, a rarity for a Vegas run, as he sang “Dog Faced Boy” with minimal accompaniment. Bassist Mike Gordon then took the spotlight for the 2014 debut of “Fuck Your Face.” The White Tape rarity begat first set staple “Horn.” Another rarity was up next as the delicate “Frankie Says” made its first appearance since August 28, 2012 (87 shows). Then, it was back to Rift for “My Friend, My Friend.” The band continued to dig deep in bringing “Roses Are Free” back after 51 shows, the longest span between versions of the Ween cover since the 2.0 days. “Roggae” has shined bright in recent years and tonight’s version continued that trend. Anastasio’s inventive riffing propelled the jam in glorious fashion. When “Birds Of A Feather” started we couldn’t help but think of “The Birds” from last night’s Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House set and apparently the same thoughts were on the band’s minds. Trey, Mike and keyboardist Page McConnell each yelled “They Attack!” during the ferocious “Birds Of A Feather” jam. Another fluid and emotion-filled “Wingsuit” brought the opening stanza to a close.

Phish called upon “Possum” to kick off the second set in Las Vegas. Anastasio has been at the top of his game this run and the “Possum” benefitted from his penchant for deep, heavy and creative blues-rock riffs in Sin City. Up next was “Crosseyed & Painless,” which was debuted by Phish 18 years and one day ago in Atlanta as part of the Remain In Light set. Drummer Jon Fishman kept the beat funky and firm, McConnell alternated between swampy clavinet riffs and eerie organ swirls, Gordon welcomed the darkness with synth bombs and Anastasio mixed screaming leads and choppy rhythms; which all made for a fine version of the Talking Heads classic. The spooky, exploratory “Crosseyed” ended with a particularly cool, layered transition into “Light” that for a little while saw the band playing both the beginning of “Light” and the end of the “Crosseyed” jam. A ten-minute “Light” came to a bold finish with Anastasio barking into the microphone and leading his mates through a jam on “The Dogs” from Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. Unlike the “They Attack!” vocal teases in “Birds Of A Feather,” the quartet went full throttle into the progression of “The Dogs.” There were no samples this time, just Fish, Trey and Page barking like dogs. We must mention “Light” tread interesting, psych-y ground before “The Dogs.” After Phish was finished flashing back to the previous evening’s performance, they expertly explored a hard-rock milieu for a few minutes. Anastasio turned to Fishman and urged him to sing “Lengthwise,” which hadn’t been performed since August 3, 2013 (59 shows). Fish sang the Rift track with Trey harmonizing as the layered soundscape from the “Light” jam backed them up.

Just as “Light” bled into “Lengthwise,” “Lengthwise” bled into “Twist” as both Fish and Trey sang “Lengthwise” over the beginning of “Twist.” A fun and adventurous “Twist” saw Trey work multiple “Manteca” teases into the stew as well as a bit of “Smoke On The Water.” The full band lit into “Manteca” a few brief instances leading fans to immediately label it “Twisteca.” Jon dropped out of the mix after a few minutes and Mike and Trey soon followed, leaving Page alone to transition into his intro for “Wading In The Velvet Sea.” The whole “Crosseyed” > “Light” > “Lengthwise” > “Twist” sequence was one of the highlights of the fall and should be among your first stops when listening back to the show. “Harry Hood,” which looks to be the JamBase winner for Most Valuable Phish Song of the Year with just over two shows to go in 2014, had another impressive showing. While “Hood” used to be about Trey leading a beautiful build to a glorious climax, there’s a new exciting feel to the song this year. Tonight’s “Hood” saw the band keep at generally the same tempo throughout the eight-minute jam, which made for a unique and inspired version in which Trey’s leads were almost an afterthought. From there, Phish finished off the closing stanza with “Golgi Apparatus” and “Backwards Down The Number Line.” For the encore, the quartet went with a double dose of Fuego – “Waiting All Night” & “Sing Monica, with the latter making its first appearance of the fall. The foursome then crowded around the a capella microphones for a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Phish finishes the fall tour and the Vegas run tomorrow night (a webcast is available via LivePhish.com) and you know what they say about Sunday shows…

Setlist…

[via Phish.net]

  • Venue Type: Indoor Arena / 16,800
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 1 Show -10/31/2014
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 13 / 8:13 p.m.-9:32 p.m. (79 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 12 / 10:05 p.m. -11:37 (92 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 25 / 4 / 21
  • Biggest Bustout: Dog Faced Boy -144 Shows (Last Time Played -June 8, 2011)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1999
  • Debuts: N/A
  • 2014 Debuts: Dog Faced Boy, Fuck Your Face, Frankie Says, Roses Are Free, Lengthwise
  • Tour Debuts: Dog Faced Boy, Fuck Your Face, Frankie Says, Roses Are Free, Lengthwise, Golgi Apparatus, Sing Monica
  • Weather: 62°F and Mostly Cloudy
  • Average Song Gap: 21.68
  • The Spread: Junta -1, Rift -3, Hoist -1, Story Of The Ghost -4, Farmhouse -2, Joy -2, Fuego -5, Misc. -3, Covers -4
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Light 14:12 / Star-Spangled Banner 1:53
  • Audio: Live Phish

Phish From The Road Photos…

Soundcheck night two in Vegas

A photo posted by phishfromtheroad (@phishfromtheroad) on

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