Phish Returns To The Mann In Philadelphia | The Skinny
After a gap of more than 19 years, Phish returned to The Mann in Philadelphia, PA on Tuesday night for their first of two consecutive performances at the urban shed. The show started about two hours after ticket time thanks to severe thunderstorms that rolled through the venue, which forced an evacuation of the lawn and terrace areas. The storm and subsequent delay came nearly one year to the day a similar situation forced the postponement of a Phish show in Toronto. However this time around the concert went on as planned and the band played a full two sets and encore despite the late start.
When Phish finally took the stage, they opened with “Axilla” for the first time since July 18, 2003. A slow, prodding “Gumbo” that was extended ever so slightly came next. “Taste” kept the tour debuts coming. Keyboardist Page McConnell took an opportunity after “Taste” to thank fans for sticking around through the rain delay. Page also mentioned The Mann was one of the group’s favorite sounding sheds and that they were happy to be back. “555” then saw action for the third time this tour. First set staples “Tube,” “Halfway To The Moon” and “Camel Walk” -aka the “THC” combo -were followed by the third “Sparkle” of 2014. Next, “Halley’s Comet” quickly segued into “It’s Ice.” Both “It’s Ice” and the “Ocelot” that followed contained some of guitarist Trey Anastasio’s best work of the set…until he upped the ante with his “Walls Of The Cave” solo. McConnell warned fans after “Walls” that the band would take a quick break and within 20 minutes Phish was back for the second set.
Phish continues to toy with song placement this tour as displayed by the “46 Days” second set opener. The last time “46 Days” was found in that position was over ten years ago (June 17, 2004). Up next was “Fuego,” which was jammed to the 20-minute mark at SPAC. “Fuego” was expanded in a completely different, much more mellow, direction at The Mann. Yet both were rewarding in their own ways showing that “Fuego” has already developed into a true jam vehicle for Phish. The Mann “Fuego” explored a number of different spaces, a few of which were led by McConnell on electric and acoustic piano. Anastasio seems much more content this tour than usual to cede the leadership role to Page in jams. As in tonight’s “Fuego,” the guitarist will be sure to poke his head in from time-to-time to change the direction of the improv or to step up with a stirring, anthemic riff. After more than 20 impressive minutes of jamming, “Fuego” faded into “The Line,” which in a case of “line” setlist antics gave way to “Backwards Down The Number Line.”
“Tweezer” at The Mann was of the straight-forward, guitar-driven peak variety. Eventually, the band completed a drawn-out transition into “Ghost.” The “Ghost” jam saw the Vermonters connect on a pretty, trilling pattern Anastasio laid down and ride it to a euphoric climax. “Also Sprach Zarathrustra,” aka “2001,” showed Phish’s focus on originals this tour isn’t absolute. The quartet then stuck to the familiar “Harry Hood” script for the first version after the monstrous “Hood” in Mansfield during the tour opener. “Tweezer Reprise” brought the second set to a high-energy close and “Possum” served as encore. Phish returns to The Mann tomorrow night.
Set One: Axilla, Gumbo > Taste, 555, Tube, Halfway to the Moon, Camel Walk, Sparkle, Halley’s Comet > It’s Ice, Ocelot, Walls of the Cave
Set Two: 46 Days > Fuego > The Line, Backwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer -> Ghost > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise
- Venue Type / Capacity: Outdoor Amphitheatre / 14,000
- Previous Shows at Venue: 07/18/1992, 07/16/1993, 07/01/1994, 06/24/1995 & 06/25/1995 -5 Shows
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 9:22 p.m. -10:46 p.m. (84 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 11:06 p.m. -12:42 p.m. (96 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 22 / 1 / 21
- Biggest Bustout: Also Sprach Zarathrustra -LTP 10/27/2013
- Average Song Vintage: 1997
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 90° and Partly Cloudy at show time after severe thunderstorm
- Average Song Gap: 6.32
- The Spread: Picture Of Nectar -2, Rift -2, Billy Breathes -1, Story Of The Ghost -1, Round Room -2, Joy -2, Fuego -4, Misc. -7, Covers -1
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Fuego 25:58 / Sparkle 4:07
- Audio: Live Phish
Phish From The Road Photos…