Phish Saratoga Performing Arts Center Setlist And The Skinny – Night Three
Tonight Phish returned to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, aka SPAC, in Saratoga Springs, NY for the third of three consecutive shows at the venue. This evening’s performance marked the band’s 14th at the shed since they made their SPAC debut opening for Santana on July 27, 1992.
Phish kicked off the evening with “AC/DC Bag,” a popular show opener for the band as it’s the 17th time they started a gig with it since returning in 2009. From there, Phish treated fans to “Back On The Train,” another impressively executed heavy rotation staple. Last night we mentioned that “Tweezer” was performed at SPAC for the first time. Well, tonight “Divided Sky” made its SPAC debut and was the first one played in Saratoga Springs since a March 8, 1990 at Aiko’s. Following “Free,” Phish dusted off “It’s Ice” for the first time since June 15, 2012 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, NJ, though they did soundcheck it last night. “Mound” continues its resurgence as after only playing it three times between 1997 and 2010, Phish has performed “Mound” nine times in the past two years. “Maze” kept the focus on material from 1993’s Rift for the third song in a row.
Last summer “Limb By Limb” came out of its shell once again, especially a version from Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, where the ensemble impressively veered far off from the song’s usual jam. Tonight’s version, while not as long and adventurous as the St. Louis take, showed a continued willingness by guitarist Trey Anastasio to toy with the “Limb” jam. Just as “It’s Ice” hadn’t seen any action between last summer’s Atlantic City Run and this evening’s SPAC finale, the same held true for Round Room track “Walls Of A Cave.” “Walls” featured a ferocious solo from Anastasio to close out the set with a bang.
Just as “AC/DC Bag” frequently opens first sets in this era of Phish, the same can be said about “Down With Disease” for the second set. In fact, tonight’s “Down With Disease” second set opener was the 24th time its served in that role since Hampton. The quartet quickly latched on to a dark and more mid-tempo groove than the typical arena rock solo that follows the composed sections of “Disease.” Bassist Mike Gordon laid down one deep bass bomb after another while keyboardist Page McConnell played off Trey’s shreddy melodies on electric piano. The lengthy jam faded out leaving Trey to start “Ghost.” At the beginning of “Ghost,” McConnell showed off the most recent addition to his rig – a vocoder-like talk box attached to a synthesizer – leading to smiles all around on stage.”Ghost’s” fine improv featured Page on clavinet and saw the keyboardist engage in a round of call-and-response with Anastasio. Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman held down a strong funky beat while Trey and Page engaged. Eventually Trey slipped in the “Piper” intro and off Phish went on their third jam song of the set.
Whereas the “Disease” jam was mellower than most, the opposite was true for the hyperspeed start to the “Piper” improv. Fishman propelled the jam to a rapid pace as Trey fired off bombastic licks making for a fantastic few minutes of music that dissolved into “Wading In The Velvet Sea.” The “Disease” > “Ghost” > “Piper” start to Phish’s final set at SPAC in 2013 stands as a sure highlight with all three worth repeated listens. Apparently a one- song breather was all the band needed as “Run Like An Antelope” came next. The straight- forward “Antelope” built to a strong peak, but will be remembered for its “Meatstick” ending as Anastasio changed the song’s lyrics to “Been you to have any Meatstick?” and “Set the gear shift for the Meatstick of your soul. You’ve got to run like a Meatstick out of control.” And, yes, they followed up “Antelope” with “Meatstick.” Phish continued stringing “big guns” together in the seamless set with “You Enjoy Myself.” Another powerful Trey solo, in a set filled with them, was a fitting capper to the set. Though tonight’s two sets didn’t contain any covers, Phish encored with “Loving Cup” by The Rolling Stones. Next up for Phish is their first gig in Canada since 2000, when they play Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre on Tuesday night.
Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s final show of 2013 at SPAC…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 25,100 / 19,000 (estimate) / Outdoor Amphitheatre
- Previous Shows at Venue: 13 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, 07/08/2012, 7/5/2013 and 7/6/2013
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 9 / 8:12 p.m. – 9:38 p.m. (86 minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 8 / 10:10 p.m. – 11:35 p.m. (85 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 17 / 1 / 16
- Biggest Bustout: It’s Ice – 37 Shows (LTP – 6/15/2012)
- Average Song Vintage: 1993
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 79° and party cloudy at ticket-time.
- Average Song Gap: 9.47
- The Spread: Junta – 2, Lawn Boy – 1, Rift – 3, Hoist – 1, Billy Breathes – 1, The Story of the Ghost – 3, Farmhouse – 2, Round Room – 1, Misc. – 2, Covers – 1
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Forthcoming
- Audio: Live Phish
Phish From The Road Photos…