Phish Summer Tour 2019: Blossom – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny

By Ben Greenfield Jun 20, 2019 5:41 am PDT

On Wednesday, Phish played their eighth show at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio’s Blossom Music Center, and first since 2015. Following a Tuesday night show in Toronto that left some fans complaining about the ratio of ballads to jams in the second set, Phish gave the Ohio crowd little to complain about, with plenty of highlights, including one of the strongest versions of “Birds Of A Feather” ever played.

As has been a theme of this summer tour, the first set leaned equally on newer and older material. “Soul Planet” set the pace with a short, dirty jam that never left the song’s structure. A tight “Moma Dance” was followed by “Kill Devil Falls,” which seemed ready to lift off into a major key jam, but then returned to the song’s home base. Short, energetic versions of “Your Pet Cat” and “Back On The Train” came next.

Prior to Wednesday night, every song from the Kasvot Växt set from last Halloween had subsequently been played, with one exception: “Everything Is Hollow.” That song finally reemerged at Blossom, making Kasvot Växt the only Phish Halloween album ever to have had all of its songs return after their Halloween debuts. This version was somewhat rusty, but to fans’ delight, it saw keyboardist Page McConnell reprise his headlamp schtick during the song’s “bright white light shining right between my eyes” refrain. The tune was followed by Phish’s second version of the Ghosts Of The Forest song “About to Run.” That song — like the “Divided Sky” that immediately followed it and the “Walls of the Cave” set closer — was well played, with some strong guitar soloing. The only truly out-of-the-ordinary moment from the remainder of the set occurred in “I Didn’t Know,” when Trey Anastasio introduced Jon Fishman as “Jon Sullen Melancholy,” referencing the documentary Between Me & My Mind. Trey riffed on “John Cougar Mellencamp” before instructing the drummer/vacuum cleanerist to “Suck it for the people!”

Set two started out with yet another short, punchy rocker: “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan.” From there, the band stretched out, and they did so in a big way: with a “Birds Of A Feather” that was the longest jam of the summer by a margin of more than six minutes. It was also among the most compelling jams to date. Contrary to most of the show that preceded it, Trey was quite restrained for most of the focused, ever-shifting, often mellow but never boring jam.

“Birds” finally ended, and Phish’s fifth take on the Mike Gordon solo staple “Crazy Sometimes” followed. On the heels of the funk-rock number was “Miss You,” which featured an especially emotional guitar solo. “Everything’s Right” has become a major jam vehicle, but on this occasion, it dead-ended fairly quickly.

Trey took a turn into “Chalk Dust Torture,” which was not lacking in the jam department. Like many jams this tour, it wasted no time straying far from the song’s rhythmic and melodic core, morphing into a textured, upbeat major key riff that benefited from the many layers each member added to the jam. The haze into which the music evaporated made a set-closing “Slave To The Traffic Light” a more apt choice than the closing chorus of “Chalk Dust” might have been.

Not content to hang it up there, the band launched into “Split Open And Melt,” the first time the tune had appeared in an encore since 1991. They made the most of it, with a downright evil jam that took full advantage of Trey’s pedalboard, every corner of Page’s keyboard rig, and Mike and Fishman’s ability to keep things grounded when their band mates go into outer space. From the darkness emerged a more hopeful song from Ghosts Of The Forest, “A Life Beyond the Dream,” the fourth song Phish has debuted this summer from Trey’s most recent solo project.

Phish returns to the stage Friday night in Charlotte. A live stream is available via LivePhish.com.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Blossom Music Center [See upcoming shows]

23000

7 shows — 07/31/1992, 06/20/1995, 09/18/2000, 06/12/2010, 06/04/2011, 06/24/2012, 08/07/2015

The Music

10 songs / 7:36 pm to 8:57 pm (81 minutes)

9 songs / 9:18 pm to 10:59 pm (101 minutes)

19 songs / 19 originals / 0 covers

2005

12.56 [Gap chart]

A Life Beyond The Dream (Anastasio)

[All Except Moma Dance, About To Run, Everything's Right, Chalk Dust Torture & Slave To The Traffic Light]

I Didn't Know & Birds Of A Feather - LTP 10/17/2018 (25 Show Gap)

Birds Of A Feather - 23:28

Your Pet Cat (4:00)

Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 1, Joy - 2, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 9,

The Rest

76° and Cloudy at showtime

KOA 1

Capacity: 23,000

Phish From The Road Photos

Posters

JamBase Collections