Oh Mann: Phish Kicks Off Two-Night Stand In Philadelphia – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny
Phish opened the northeast leg of their summer tour on Tuesday in Philadelphia with the first of two shows at The Mann. The band’s third stop at the venue in as many years kicked off in fine fashion, with arguably the most spirited first set of the young tour. As was true the previous two years, the first Mann show’s biggest jam vehicle came out of a second-set “Fuego.” The set also included a surprising jam out of the new song “Breath and Burning,” and a powerful one-two punch of “Slave to the Traffic Light” and “You Enjoy Myself” to close.
“Wilson,” with its nod to the nearby community of King of Prussia, got the ball rolling, followed by an energetic run through “Funky Bitch.” Next up was the tour’s first repeat, “No Men In No Men’s Land,” which came with some piercing licks from Trey Anastasio. Trey welcomed the crowd after the song, noting that the Mann was “one of our favorite rooms to play,” before strumming the opening chords to “Roggae.” The tune’s first appearance of the summer featured interlocking melodic lines from Trey and Mike Gordon en route to a triumphant climax. The band next dusted off Hot Rize’s “Nellie Kane” and “Gumbo” for the first time in 2016. The latter tune, which often ends in a ragtimey piano solo, saw Page McConnell funk it up on his unaccompanied clavinet, followed by a brief full-band funky swing jam.
“Birds of a Feather” came next, with a blazing guitar solo and a single “They attack!” over the final chord. “Sleep Again,” which has been played dozens of times by Trey’s solo band, was called up to the big leagues for the first time since 2010. Next up was the debut of “Things People Do,” a fast-paced bluegrass original with Page on lead vocals. In the “Limb by Limb” that followed, Trey’s singing guitar solo was buttressed by Page’s energetic piano lines. The song immediately transitioned into a “Split Open and Melt” that went dark and deep, with Jon Fishman keeping a loose grasp on the rhythm while Page pushed the band forward with dissonant chords on his piano, finally reaching a rugged peak. Not done yet, the band busted out “The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony” for the first time since 2013. The nearly note-perfect rendition went into “Suzy Greenberg,” which featured some extra drum fills in addition to its usual shenanigans.
The Mann has enjoyed standout versions of “Fuego” each of the last two years, and the second set opener extended that streak to three. The jam quickly settled into a patient funky groove, led by Trey’s Mu-Tron pedal and Mike’s persistent bass jabs. After a few minutes in this pocket, the band faded into “Runaway Jim.” Returning after a 29-show absence — the longest in the song’s history — the tune was given a spirited run. A gliding, focused take on “Gotta Jibboo” came next.
The set’s next exploratory jam came from a surprising source: “Breath and Burning,” which was debuted two nights earlier in Indiana. While the first rendition took up a mere few minutes of the first set, this version quickly went deep, as the band entered a dark, effects-laden groove that sounded nothing like the song. The darkness continued through Page’s excellent organ work on “Timber (Jerry).” A typically ecstatic “Slave to the Traffic Light” followed, before the band launched into the opening arpeggios of “You Enjoy Myself.” The classic song, making its first appearance of the tour, was almost perfectly executed. Trey traded in his guitar solo for a turn on Fishman’s marimba lumina, with Mike on bass and Page mostly spectating. The band returned to the stage and played Bob Dylan’s “Quinn the Eskimo” for the first time since 2014. The high-energy tune left the audience in a state of bliss as the night came to a close.
Phish will return to the Mann stage on Wednesday night.
Mann Center for the Performing Arts [See upcoming shows]
9 shows — 07/18/1992, 07/16/1993, 07/01/1994, 06/25/1995, 06/26/1995, 07/08/2014, 07/09/2014, 08/11/2015, 08/12/2015
13 songs / 8:12 pm to 9:32 pm (80 minutes)
8 songs / 10:06 pm to 11:27 pm (81 minutes)
21 songs / 17 originals / 4 covers
27.26 [Gap chart]
Things People Do (Page lead vocals)
Only repeats were No Men In No Man's Land, Fuego and Breath & Burning
Sleep Again - 224 Shows (Last Time Played = August 7, 2010)
You Enjoy Myself 18:43
The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony 1:48
Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 0, Rift - 0, Hoist - 0, Billy Breathes - 0, The Story of the Ghost - 3, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 0, Undermind - 0, Joy - 0, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 9, Covers - 4
80° and Mostly Cloudy at showtime
Ocedoc & KOA1
Phish From The Road Photos
Tour Dates for