Tonight Phish returned to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, aka SPAC, in Saratoga Springs, NY for the first of three consecutive shows at the venue. This evening’s performance marked the band’s 12th at the shed since they made their SPAC debut opening for Santana on July 27, 1992.
Only two nights into summer tour, and fans have already encountered their first weather related incident. At 7:01 p.m. local time, Phish tweeted, “A lightning storm is about to pass overhead and we’re asking fans who have not yet entered venue to return to their cars until it passes” and followed it seven minutes later with, “We will tweet again when it’s safe to return.” Similar announcements were made over the PA system at SPAC encouraging fans on the lawn to seek shelter in the venue’s balcony until the weather passed.
The show got under way in standard fashion opening with five tunes in the regular rotation. After some extended stage banter from Trey and Page regarding Ian McLean of Ian’s Farm, a house that hosted many classic Phish shows in the ’80s, the band launched into the debut performance of “Yarmouth Road,” an original featuring Mike Gordon on lead vocals.
The set’s third cover, “Cities,” came deep into the set, emerging over an hour after the band took the stage. The “Cities” outro jam was taken out for a little ride before fizzling into the intro of “David Bowie.” The set-closing Bowie featured some great full-band interplay in a jam that included a section where they all locked in on a major-key section of improvisation.
Phish opened the second set with a curveball by debuting a cover of “Energy” by The Apples In Stereo, from the band’s 2007 album New Magnetic Wonder. The Apples In Stereo share an association with another indie band Phish covered in recent years, Neutral Milk Hotel as they are both members of The Elephant Six Recording Company. From there, the quartet opened it up on improvisational highlights “Light” and the jam connecting “46 Days” and “Steam.” “Steam” had been in rare supply after being the countdown song at New Year’s Eve 2011, as it made only its only second live appearance since. Up next was a cover of “Drowned” by The Who, which surprisingly has fallen out of Phish’s heavy rotation being played only once in 2011 and once in 2012. A powerful “Slave To The Traffic Light” and “Character Zero” encore rounded out the evening.
Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s first show of 2013 at SPAC…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 25,100 / 20,000 (estimate) / Outdoor Amphitheatre
- Previous Shows at Venue: 11 Shows – 07/27/1992, 07/10/1994, 06/26/1995, 06/19/2004, 06/20/2004, 08/16/2009, 06/19/2010, 06/20/2010, 07/06/2012, 07/07/2012 and 07/08/2012
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 8:25 p.m. – 9:53 p.m. (88 minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 8 / 10:23 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. (82 minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 20 / 5 / 15
- Biggest Bustout: Drowned – 33 shows (LTP – 06/17/2012)
- Average Song Vintage: 1998
- Debuts: Yarmouth Road, Energy
- Weather: Lightning storms pre-show before clearing
- Average Song Gap: 7.56
- The Spread: Junta – 1, Lawn Boy – 1, Rift – 1, Hoist – 1, Billy Breathes – 1, Story of The Ghost – 2, Round Room – 1, Undermind – 1, Joy – 2, Misc. – 3, Covers – 5
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Light 15:07 / Nellie Kane 3:08
- Audio: Live Phish
Phish From The Road Photos…
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