Phish Summer Tour 2019: Merriweather Post Night 1 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
Phish Summer Tour 2019 posted up at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday night for the first of two shows at the outdoor venue in Columbia, Maryland. The show was the 17th appearance by Phish at the venue they first played in 1992 when supporting Santana.
“Undermind” was selected by guitarist Trey Anastasio to open a show for the first time. The groovy opener served as an entry into “Tube,” which contained a few minutes of inspired improvisation inside. Bassist Mike Gordon then stepped up to lead a cover of their longtime staple “Funky Bitch.” The band then eased into “Steam” and soon engaged in an energized sequence of jamming as Trey let off a scorching solo. Taking a collective step back, a relaxed, reggae-ish jam that saw Trey, Mike, keyboardist Page McConnell and drummer Jon Fishman equally sharing space developed and was held down for several delightful turns. After returning to end “Steam,” Fish then rattled off the opening to their bluegrass favorite “My Sweet One,” which they paired with “NICU.”
As they’ve done all summer, Phish continued to incorporate songs from Anastasio’s recent Ghosts Of The Forest project, on Saturday adding the poignant “Friend” and its soaring guitar solo to the mix. “No Men In No Man’s Land” was then the set’s second avenue to improv, as Mike’s melodic playing set the initial tone while Trey strummed rhythmically along and Page added warm textures. Trey found a spot to work in several guitar lines from the Violent Femmes’ “Blister In The Sun” during the “NMINML” jam that finished with a towering peak. The band stuck to their older material for the remainder of the set. First turning to “The Horse” > “Silent In The Morning,” which they followed with “David Bowie” and “The Squirming Coil,” the latter leaving Page alone onstage for the song’s solo piano conclusion that led into setbreak.
Phish came back from the break with “Ghost.” The set opener led to several minutes of improvisation, which proved to be scarce in the second half. Page commanded attention at the onset and throughout the “Ghost” jam, eliciting a vibrant response from Trey as Mike and Fish found a pocket over which the keyboardist layered rich synth lines. The energetic finish to the “Ghost” jam was met with the punch of “Axilla.” The quick rocker was trailed by “Set Your Soul Free,” which opened into the other substantial improvisation in the set. The jam again found Page — on piano, organ and synths — playing a primary role throughout the well-formed segment.
Lighting director Chris Kuroda draped MPP in shades of blue for the subsequent instrumental favorite “What’s The Use?” The not-often played ballad “Billy Breathes” followed, with “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” from the Kasvot Växt set punched in next. It was then time to go “Backwards Down The Number Line” as the peppy number gave way to the old-school standby “Harry Hood.” The band squeezed in some intense interplay during the succinctly played “Hood.” A vocal misfire at the start of “Rise/Come Together” forced Trey to restart the song’s first verse, which he quickly shook off to deliver the feel-good anthem. The first Phish performance of “Golgi Apparatus” in over 30 shows (last played on opening night at MPP last summer) closed out the second set.
A combo of tunes commonly chosen for encores once again filled familiar roles as the reflective “Bug” and the rocking “Character Zero” closed out Phish’s first night of their 2019 Merriweather Post run. The band returns to MPP tonight, a live stream is available via LivePhish.com.
No Men in No Man’s Land Captured by Fred Ramadan
Billy Breathes Captured by Fred Ramadan
Merriweather Post Pavilion [See upcoming shows]
17 shows — 07/17/1992, 08/08/1998, 07/09/1999, 09/17/2000, 08/15/2009, 06/26/2010, 06/27/2010, 06/11/2011, 06/12/2011, 07/13/2013, 07/14/2013, 07/26/201, 07/27/2014, 08/15/2015, 08/16/2015, 08/11/2018, 08/12/2018
11 songs / 7:31 pm to 8:54 pm (83 minutes)
13 songs / 9:20 pm to 10:56 pm (96 minutes)
24 songs / 23 originals / 1 cover
13.13 [Gap chart]
My Sweet One, NICU, Friend, The Horse, Silent in the Morning, David Bowie, The Squirming Coil, Axilla, What's The Use?, Backwards Down the Number Line, Rise/Come Together, Golgi Apparatus, Bug
Golgi Apparatus -- LTP 08/11/2018 (33 show gap)
Set Your Soul Free -- 14:17
The Horse -- 0:50
Junta - 2, Lawn Boy - 2, Rift - 2, Billy Breathes - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Undermind - 1, Joy - 1, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 10, Covers - 1
76° F and Fair at Showtime
Phish From The Road Photos
Tour Dates for