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

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After opening their summer tour with a pair of arena shows in St. Louis, that included a celebration of the city’s first ever Stanley Cup win, Phish picked things back up on Friday with their first of two headlining turns at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The venerable jam act was returning to Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee for the first time since 2012. Phish delivered a lengthy one-set affair that saw them pepper in a number of their best-known jam vehicles.

Trey Anastasio served up the choppy, fuzzed out opening guitar chords of “Carini” signaling the start of their night for the What Stage crowd. As the dark psychedelic rocker unfolded, drummer Jon Fishman inserted a number of wild screams while Anastasio got an early chance to shine, leaning in on some heavy, arena-sized guitar runs. Mike Gordon‘s familiar bubbly bass intro to “Down With Disease” emerged from the ether next. The unfinished take found the rhythm section holding things down for Trey and Page McConnell. The keyboardist supported Anastasio’s steady stream of guitar runs that drove the band’s first extended jam of the evening with flourishes of impressive piano playing. The foursome would lock-in a funky groove, dropping into the fourth ever take on “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” next. The short but punchy excursion through the Kasvot Växt track kept the high-energy run going.

“Everything’s Right” delivered some “don’t take things for granted” self-reflection before melting into a dose of gorgeous full-band jamming. Swampy Clavinet and melodic guitar and bass would take the quartet through the first portion their longest tune of the night at just over 14 minutes. Working in concert, blissful interplay would help carry them through, never rushing to hit a frenzied peak but instead slowly dissolving as Anastasio counted them into the start of “Mercury.” The lyrically-dense prog tune found the Vermont-birthed band exploring some spacey tones highlighted by McConnell’s Hammond B3 organ playing. As they began to meander deeper into the jam, Anastasio had other plans as he assertively dropped into “Tweezer.” Friday’s take on the A Picture Of Nectar classic focused on dancey interstellar-funk before Trey would take charge with his Guitar God side unleashing one furious solo after the next.

The cosmic disco vibe continued with romps through “2001” and “Martian Monster” that was broken up by Phish once again showcasing their darker tones with a percolating “Steam.” The hippie-laced positivity of “More” gave a euphoric blast of energy ahead of “Harry Hood.” The beloved classic found the foursome settle in on a delicate groove as they moved away from the composed section and deeper into previously unexplored terrain. A short burst of dub-reggae led into Anastasio delivering some of his best guitar work of the night with winding unearthly sustained tones as McConnell, Gordon and Fishman provided “Hood’s” dreamy foundation. The band closed out their set with another dose of their “seize the day!” advice courtesy of the celebratory rocker “Character Zero.”

Phish returned to the stage for a two-song encore, sending the Bonnaroo faithful into the rest of their night on a high note with a double-dose of “Possum” and “Tweezer Reprise.” Phish will close out the 2019 edition of Bonnaroo on Sunday night that will be live-streamed for free.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Great Stage Park [See upcoming shows]

3 shows — 06/12/2009, 06/14/2009, 06/10/2012

The Music

14 songs / 11:01 pm to 1:04 am (123 minutes)

14 songs / 13 originals / 1 cover

2002

3.86 [Gap chart]

N/A

[ALL Except Character Zero]

Down With Disease / Harry Hood - 6 Shows (LTP 12/31/18)

Everything's Right - 14:05

Tweezer Reprise - 3:34

A Picture of Nectar - 2, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 8, Covers - 1

The Rest

64° and Partly Cloudy at showtime

KOA 1

Capacity: 80,000

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