Phish Circulates ‘Plasma’ & ‘Tests’ THX Sound Effect In Providence On Fall Tour 2019
This year marks 25 years since Phish’s historic Fall Tour 1995. In recognition of that noteworthy tour and to make up for the lack of shows this fall, JamBase presents a daily retrospective highlighting a noteworthy moment from a Phish fall tour concert that took place on that date over the past 25 years (read a note on Fall 1997 here). The 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour series runs each day between the start of Phish Fall Tour 1995 on September 27 through that tour’s finale on December 17.
Phish’s Fall Tour 2019 concert on November 30, was their second of two held at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The second show contained a number of aspects that made it anything but a typical Phish performance, one of which was keyboardist Page McConnell repeatedly playing the THX Sound Effect test throughout both sets played that night.
More 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour on JamBase
One of the unusual moments in the first set was the slowed-down version of “Llama” that came as the third song of the evening. Carried over from the night before, part of “Plasma” was tacked onto the ending of “Stash,” just as Phish had done to a few songs performed on November 29. But it was after “Llama” that ushered in the first THX test from Page, with prompting to “Hit it Page” from guitarist Trey Anastasio while he introduced the next song, “Meat.”
Trey went on to introduce “The Old Home Place,” “Lawn Boy” and “I Didn’t Know” in a similar fashion and each time Page responded with another THX test. Subsequent first set songs, “Maze,” “Horn,” “Gotta Jibboo,” “Stash” and “Golgi Apparatus” were teed up by Page sending out THX test signals.
An almost 18-minute “Bathtub Gin” opened the second set, starting as it normally does, without any embellishment from McConnell. It was Anastasio playing the THX sounds at the end of “Bathtub,” which Page picked up and added to before the start of “Alaska.” Set two continued with “What’s The Use?” into “Piper” into “Golden Age,” ahead of another dip back into “Plasma.”
The set ended with a truly standout version of “Harry Hood” that was described like this in the JamBase post-show The Skinny recap:
While “Gotta Jibboo” and “Stash” both were highlighted by key changes from minor to major, the “Harry Hood” that followed the show’s second round of “Plasma” went in the opposite direction. The quartet began the jam in blissful territory before transitioning into darker terrain. Phish used the new key they settled into as the base for a build to an exemplary climax. After painting outside the lines, Trey fronted a move back into the song’s typical progression to end the must-hear “Hood” and set. But not before Page threw in a [“THX Riff”] for good measure.
The encore began with a false start and Trey telling the crowd, “We’d like to do an old favorite we used to do back in the old days that none of us can remember,” ahead of bassist Mike Gordon leading a raucous “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” The abnormal-ness of the night permeated the “BBFCFM” as drummer Jon Fishman briefly sang the chorus of “Lengthwise” that led to a segue into the spoken-word weirdness of “Kung.” The lone “Wombat” to make an encore came next, followed by a lively “Possum” and one more return to “Plasma” for the final time of the run. As the last notes rang out through the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Page sent the audience off with one mre THX Sound Effect test.
Watch videos from the JamBase Live Video Archive of Phish’s November 30, 2019 in Providence, including pro-shot footage of “Harry Hood,” below: