Phish Summer Tour 2019: Bangor Night 2 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny

By Robert Ker Jun 27, 2019 9:09 am PDT

What would Phish sound like if the band had formed in the new millennium?

That was the question the band seemed determined to answer for much of their concert on June 26 at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine. In the first set, only “Saw It Again” and “Sand” dated back to the 1990s (and “Sand” only barely). Until a classic run of “Chalkdust Torture,” “Lizards,” and “Suzy Greenberg” closed the show across the second set and encore, the oldest original song of the evening was “Prince Caspian.”

Even if you adore the band’s 3.0 material, this likely isn’t what you’re looking for from a Phish concert — a performance that played as if Phish were making up for ignoring Maine for so much of 3.0 by showing the locals everything they’d been up to in the meantime. On paper, the show might look grim, lacking in heavy hitters and peppered with song choices that are generally unpopular. A closer look shows a concert sprinkled with cool moments and punctuated by a 30-minute stretch of damn-near perfection.

An opening sequence of “Crowd Control,” “Plasma,” “Army Of One,” “Alaska” and “Kill Devil Falls” has a general early-2010s vibe to it, and aside from the fun thematic continuity between the latter two songs, a patient, airy jam in the underrated “Plasma” and an exploratory jam in “KDF” marked the points of interest. Bassist Mike Gordon‘s “How Many People Are You” followed, and one of his strongest compositions this decade infused a manic, almost post-punk energy that was highly welcome.

The band then opted to serve up “Petrichor,” a song that some people assumed would come among the rainfall the previous evening. Few would deny that the song is objectively an awe-inspiring, accomplished composition, and the Big Boat version is among the band’s finest studio moments, but in concert, it simply occupies too much real estate. It may seem callous to say, but Phish shows are too rare, and too expensive, for nearly 17 minutes of them to be given over to a strictly composed number that never shifts into fourth gear. A typically evil “Saw It Again” and typically awesome “Sand” then reeled the set back in.

Set two was where the fun truly began. “Turtle In The Clouds” started the engine, featuring the song’s typical array of new-wave sound effects. The choreographed segment was flubbed yet playful — Mike seemed a bit behind what guitarist Trey Anastasio was doing — and seemed to my eyes to have new moves added to it. “Gotta Jibboo” got the audience in on the dancing, with a concise jam that nonetheless hit all of the sweet spots.

“Fuego” is a song that can bog down a second set, or can lift one up, and on this occasion, it did the latter, serving as a launchpad for 30 minutes of pure hose. As with many jams on this tour, Mike led the way, with Trey providing fills and counter-rhythms but adding little in the way of lead guitar. Keyboardist Page McConnell contributed the texture, laying down rich swaths of synthesizers as the jam settled into its ambient passages, and then ushering in the funk with Hammond organ and later Clavinet.

A segue into “Cities” proved to be a brief break from the improvisation, as the band soon dove right back in with a post-“Cities” jam that went straight to a dark place and stayed there for a while, propelled by drummer Jon Fishman‘s airtight pocket, crisp rolls and cymbal crashes. The interplay between Fishman and Trey throughout was an absolute joy, causing Fishman to yelp with delight several times, and deft work on the lights by Chris Kuroda accentuated the experience with shadow and colors. The uptempo funk flowed seamlessly into “The Final Hurrah,” which served as an exclamation point to 30 minutes of extraordinary play. Trey sang the song’s “taste the humidity” line with relish, referencing the thick layer of cool mist that hung in the air all evening.

From there, Trey seemed to want to segue into “Heavy Things” but changed his mind to “Prince Caspian” at the last second, making for an awkward transition. Brief runs through “Prince Caspian,” “Farmhouse” and “Backwards Down The Number Line” earned derision from fans following the show online, but the song selection wasn’t the problem so much as the performance, which felt a bit rushed and sloppy after the patient, inspired jamming that preceded it.

The “Chalkdust Torture” that closed the set out boasted a solid jam with fine playing by Mike leading the way before Trey took over solo duties and brought the song, and the set, home. An encore of “Lizards” and “Suzy Greenberg” had the audience partying like it was 1995, and that closed the door on the band’s latest stay in Maine. Let’s hope it isn’t three more years before they return. Phish kicks off a three-night stand in Camden on Friday. A live stream is available via LivePhish.com.

Turtle In The Clouds Captured by dresnok

Petrichor Captured by dresnok

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion [See upcoming shows]

16000

2 shows — 07/03/2013, 06/25/2019

The Music

9 songs / 7:06 pm to 8:24 pm (78 minutes)

11 songs / 8:54 pm to 10:29 pm (95 minutes)

20 songs / 19 originals / 1 cover

2003

13.95 [Gap chart]

N/A

Crowd Control, Army Of One, Alaska, How Many People Are You?, Petrichor, Saw It Again, Cities, Lizards,

How Many People Are You - LTP 07/27/2018 (45 Show Gap)

Fuego -- 17:19

Farmhouse -- 4:15

A Picture of Nectar - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, Farmhouse - 3, Undermind - 2, Joy - 2, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 8, Covers - 1

The Rest

60° and cloudy at showtime

KOA 1

Capacity: 15,000

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