Phish Oak Mountain Pelham Alabama | Setlist & The Skinny

By Scott Bernstein Aug 2, 2014 8:00 pm PDT

We’ve reached the tail end of Phish Summer Tour 2014 as on Saturday night the quartet played their penultimate show of the run (at least until Labor Day Weekend’s three-night stand in Colorado) in front of a capacity crowd at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham, AL. Phish has been as unpredictable of a live act as they come over the past 30 years and continued to display a disregard for any absolutes like “no covers” (they played three they hadn’t performed yet this tour at Oak Mountain) and “play Fuego in every city this tour” (as they had until Saturday night). Saturday’s show was highlighted by a “Walkoff Wingsuit” to end the first set and an improv-heavy start to a roller coaster of a second set.

When Phish returned to Oak Mountain in 2012 following 13 years without a visit, they played a show with a vintage setlist that didn’t contain any songs debuted after 1999. For a little while it seemed the band might have the same game plan in mind, as they opened Saturday’s concert with three songs debuted in their formative years -“AC/DC Bag,” “Poor Heart” and “Cities.” Though the set had a distinctive old school feel throughout, “Kill Devil Falls” broke up that string and served as the first song from the 2000’s Phish had ever performed at the venue. “Cities” had been on the shelf for a span of 33 shows (last time played -October 25, 2013), the longest the quartet had gone without covering the Talking Heads classic since 2000. Even guitarist Trey Anastasio took a moment to note it had been a long time since the last “Cities,” and of course the crowd at the Birmingham-area amphitheater went wild for the mention of their beloved city. The guitarist also bantered about how happy he was to be back at Oak Mountain before igniting a “Reba” played by request. It was a gorgeous, if somewhat subdued, rendition of “Reba,” which marked the song’s fifth appearance of the summer. The last time Phish played five “Reba”s in one tour was on U.S. Summer Tour 1998. Standard renditions of “Possum” and “Sample In The Jar” brought us to the tour debut of “Funky Bitch,” another cover that had previously been the victim of the band’s focus on originals this run (last time played -April 26 at Jazz Fest). A typically fiery “Maze,” solid “Ocelot” and fun “Sparkle” then led into an energetic “Cavern.” Just when we were on the verge of our first Fuego-less opening frame of the tour, Phish kicked into a walkoff “Wingsuit” that featured an exquisite guitar solo from Trey worth seeking out.

The “Carini” that began the second set blazed the same path taken by most others of the era as the quartet moved beyond the song’s traditional dark rock motif into a more blissful jam space propelled by keyboardist Page McConnell’s fluid electric piano work. Anastasio focused on rhythm and would pop out of his shell every once in a while to drive a brash riff into the mix. Once Phish was done taking “Carini” for a spin, the jam dissolved into “Ghost.” Saturday was the third time this tour Phish played the “Carini” > “Ghost” sequence. Trey immediately took control at the start of a “Ghost” jam that served as a showcase for many of the tones the guitarist has successfully employed over the course of the summer including his Echoplex device. In what was a rare occurance, bassist Mike Gordon was at the forefront of a brilliant build towards a frenzied, crowd-pleasing climax. The bassist settled in on an anthemic chord progression and his band mates were eager to follow. Though at first Trey made a head fake towards “Simple,” the “Ghost” resolved into “Mike’s Song.” Anastasio utilized the aforementioned Echoplex throughout the “Mike’s,” which showed how adeptly he’s added the effect to his bag of tricks. And yes, that “Simple” he wanted so badly came next. “Simple” featured some of the best interplay of the night between the four band members as a shooting star exploded in the sky above the venue. The gorgeous “Simple” gave way to the ballad “Joy,” which in turn led into the anticipated “Weekapaug Groove.” Each of the five versions of “Julius” Phish has performed in 2014 had been within the encore slot. Saturday’s galloping, second set rendition brought that trend to a close. “Sand” came next and once again saw Anastasio coax extra magic out of his rig. He alternated between a thick, fuzzy tone and an aggressive but compact sound for the duration of the straight-forward “Sand.” Our ride aboard the Phish Oak Mountain Set Two Roller Coaster took us back down from the high-energy “Sand” to the mellow sounds of “Wading In The Velvet Sea” and then up again for “You Enjoy Myself.” Trey added to the evening’s old school feel with a well-within-the-lines, Santana-esque solo in the set-closing “YEM.” For the encore, Phish dusted off Bob Dylan’s “Quinn The Eskimo.” The tour comes to a close tomorrow night with a show in Alpharetta, GA that can be viewed via a free webcast.



  • Venue Type / Capacity: Outdoor Amphitheatre / 9,936
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 10/15/1994, 09/28/1999 and 08/24/2012 – 3 Shows
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 13 / 7:53 p.m. -9:21 p.m. (88 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 11 / 9:48 p.m. -11:20 p.m. (92 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 24 / 3 / 21
  • Biggest Bustout: Cities -33 Shows (LTP -10/25/2013)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1994
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Tour Debuts: Cities, Funky Bitch, Quinn The Eskimo
  • Total Number Of Different Songs Phish Has Played This Year: 144
  • Weather: 75°F and Mostly Cloudy
  • Average Song Gap: 7.09
  • The Spread: Junta -1, Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar -2, Rift -2, Hoist -2, Story Of The Ghost -2, Farmhouse -1, Joy -3, Fuego -1, Misc. -6, Covers -3
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: You Enjoy Myself 19:43 / Poor Heart 2:35
  • Audio: Live Phish

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