Tonight, Phish returned to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA for the second of three shows at the Bay Area venue. Last night the band dusted off eight songs for the first time this tour. In this evening’s high-impact, 16-song first set alone they played an unreal seven tour debuts, while the second set contained an outrageous 15-minute “Rock And Roll” opener.
At the start of the show, the members of Phish assembled in front of a microphone set up on the lip of the stage for the tour’s first a capella number “Grind.” Two songs in and two tour debuts as the foursome dusted off Mike Gordon’s “Weigh.” Despite some fans’ opposition, it’s clear the band likes the “woo!”s since they left some room for the audience’s response at points during their rough take on the underplayed gem and other songs throughout the evening. Speaking of underplayed gems, out came the initial “Alumni Blues” > “Letter To Jimmy Page” > “Alumni Blues” sequence of 2013. The Vermonters kept digging deep as tour debut number five of the night was another a capella song – “Lengthwise.” Drummer Jon Fishman sang the oft-forgotten deep cut and started “Maze” as he finished. The ferocious “Maze” was followed by “Sample In The Jar,” which hadn’t been played in 15 shows (longest gap since 1993) and “NICU.” Phish continued to lean on 1993’s Rift with “Mound” marking the fourth song of the night off the album. Ever since late in the second set last Tuesday in Lake Tahoe the quartet had been focusing on originals as last night’s “When The Circus Comes” was the only cover they played in a string of 57 songs until this evening’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” (ZZ Top) another tour debut. Unbelievably, “Driver,” performed as a very special request, served as set’s seventh tour debut. A quick cover of “Timber (Jerry)” led into a set-closing string of repertoire staples in “Axilla,” “Bug,” “Possum” and “First Tube.”
Phish used a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Rock And Roll” as an improvisational launchpad to kick off the second set. The quartet deftly moved from dark and aggressive passages to blissful segments in the experimental “Rock And Roll.” Ten minutes in, guitarist Trey Anastasio led his mates to a beautiful peak that was so tight it almost sounded rehearsed. After more impressive full-band jamming, the plug was pulled in favor of “Steam.” McConnell’s organ blasts resonated throughout both of Anastasio’s “Steam” solos as haze enveloped the stage. Next up was the tour’s seventh “Backwards Down The Number Line.” Between 1988 and 1992 every version of “Mike’s Song” gave way to instrumental “I Am Hydrogen” and “Weekapaug Groove,” but the song suite has become increasingly rare over the years. Tonight’s “Mike’s Groove” was the first time they played the trio together since July 3, 2012. Keyboardist Page McConnell’s slick interactions with Anastasio in the “Weekapaug” was the highlight of the triumvirate. The title track from 2009’s Joy LP gave band and fans a breather before the dynamic duo of “Fluffhead” and “2001” arrived. “2001’s” funky breaks saw the crowd “woo!” once more. As the clock neared midnight, “Slave To The Traffic Light” brought the second set to a close. “Waste” and “Suzy Greenberg” filled the encore slot with a gut punch and rambunctious rocker. In an interesting move, Anastasio worked “Waste” teases into “Suzy,” which also featured more “woo!” action. Phish returns to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for the penultimate show of the pre-Dicks Summer Tour 2013 on Sunday night.
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 8,500 / 8,500 / Indoor Auditorium
- Previous Shows at Venue: 4 Shows – 08/17/12, 08/18/12, 08/19/12 and 08/02/13
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 16 / 8:13 p.m. -9:38 p.m. (85 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 12 / 10:12 p.m. -11:52 p.m. (100 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 28 / 4 / 24
- Biggest Bustout: Lengthwise -50 Shows (LTP -6/19/2012)
- Tour Debuts: Grind, Weigh, Alumni Blues, Letter To Jimmy Page, Lengthwise, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Driver, I Am Hydrogen
- Average Song Vintage: 1993
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 58° and Partly Cloudy at ticket time
- Average Song Gap: 15.69
- The Spread: Junta -1, Rift -4, Hoist -1, Billy Breathes -1, Farmhouse -3, Undermind -1, Joy -2, Misc -11, Covers – 4
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Rock And Roll 16:38 / Letter To Jimmy Page :26
- Audio: Live Phish
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