Phish Summer Tour 2019: Mohegan Sun Night 1 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
Phish tour continued on Tuesday with the first of two concerts at the intimate Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Mohegan Sun Arena is the only venue this tour that the band hadn’t played before. The last time Phish made their debut at a venue was way back on July 19, 2017, when they performed at Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center for the first time. The quartet treated fans at the casino-adjacent arena to a first set featuring a handful of rarities and a standout “Bathtub Gin” and a second set spotted with adventurous improvisation. Tack on a three-song encore that included the first “Foam” in that slot and the bar was set high on night one at Mohegan Sun.
The band had a surprise in store for the opener, as they dusted off their cover of Apples In Stereo’s “Energy” after nearly six years on the shelf. Phish debuted “Energy” on July 5, 2013 at SPAC and played it three more times that summer before it disappeared from the repertoire. Tuesday’s version, the first in 226 shows, was well-jammed just like each other one besides the debut at SPAC. Guitarist Trey Anastasio weaved together one melodic riff after another over the course of the 11-minute cover, while keyboardist Page McConnell countered with blissful melodies of his own. Eventually, Trey led a transition into “Weekapaug Groove,” which had never appeared in the two-slot previously. The crowd went wild as Phish presented a typically smoking take on “Weekapaug” just 45 minutes from the Rhode Island town that gave the song its name. Last night’s “Weekapaug” was one of just three to appear at a show without “Mike’s Song.”
“The Moma Dance” came next and then drummer Jon Fishman upped the ante by singing his own “Lengthwise” while playing the beginning of “Maze.” A double dose of Big Boat followed in the form of Anastasio’s complex composition “Petrichor” and McConnell leading the band through the year’s first “Things People Do.” A quick romp through “Sample In A Jar” gave way to an unusual “Bathtub Gin.” Trey focused on rhythmic work during the start of the jam while Page soloed on Rhodes. Bassist Mike Gordon engaged a transition into a different key at which point Anastasio stepped up and made his guitar scream for a few blissful minutes. All the while, McConnell continued to solo as Fish provided a deep groove. The band built to a soaring peak and ended the 17-minute “Gin” and the set on a high note.
The four-piece kicked off the second set with “Soul Planet” and rapidly blew through the structure of the song into a swampy jam space. Fish slowed down the beat to a “Free”-like speed and employed 16th notes to lay the groundwork for a transition into the Phish debut of “Wider.” The band’s first rendition of the Ghosts Of The Forest track was slickly fit in between “Soul Planet” and “Undermind” with spacey improvisation tacked onto each end. Phish took a straight forward approach to “Undermind” and then Trey extended his “The Final Hurrah” solo ever so slightly. It was right back to Ghosts Of The Forest with the second “Beneath A Sea Of Stars Part 1.” The delicate vocal portion was followed by a pretty “Reba”-esque jam and then the improvisation took a dark turn into evil territory for some of the most exciting jamming of the tour. Phish was in lockstep as adventurously they explored new ground that at one moment was dissonant and at another extremely harmonic. For comparison’s sake, Tuesday’s “Beneath A Sea Of Stars Part 1” was nearly twice as long as the Phish debut in Camden.
“Ghost” was up next and just as with “Soul Planet,” Phish wasted no time in painting outside the lines. Mike, Page and Trey patiently and expertly telegraphed a segue into the second “Weekapaug Groove” of the night, while Fish still pounded out the same Clyde Stubblefield-inspired beat from the start of the “Ghost” jam through the brief return to “Weekapaug” and into the Anastasio-forced transition into “Birds Of A Feather.” Yet again the song seemed besides the point as it was right back to Type II jamming. The improv was a bit sleepy until Trey threw in teases of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone From The Sun.” Something was triggered in the band as they built up the pace to a crowd-pleasing climax before finishing yet another standout “Birds Of A Feather.”
“Waste” filled the ballad slot and an uneventful run through “Golgi Apparatus” closed out the frame. Anastasio asked the crowd if they were in a rush to leave. The response was an overwhelming chant of “No!” With that, Phish delivered the first “Foam” encore ever. The Junta track had gone 343 previous performances without ever being played in the encore. “Foam” had been missing in action for 79 shows since the “Baker’s Dozen” residency in 2017 and the rust was evident. The encore continued with the 2019 debut of “Contact,” which additionally marked the third song in a row from Junta, and ended with “More.” Phish returns to Mohegan Sun Arena on Wednesday. A live stream is available via SiriusXM’s Phish Radio.
Mohegan Sun Arena [See upcoming shows]
9 songs / 8:08 pm to 9:29 pm (81 minutes)
12 songs / 10:17 pm to 12:06 am (109 minutes)
21 songs / 20 originals / 1 cover
25.86 [Gap chart]
Energy, Lengthwise, Wider, Foam, Contact
Energy -- 226 Shows (LTP - 08/04/2013)
Petrichor -- 17:43
Lengthwise -- 0:45
Junta - 3, Lawn Boy - 1, Rift - 2, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 3, Undermind - 1, Big Boat - 3, Misc. - 5, Covers - 1
81° and Sunny at showtime
Beneath A Sea Of Stars Part 1 Captured by Matt Frazier
Bathtub Gin Captured by Matt Frazier
Foam Captured by Matt Frazier
Phish From The Road Photos
Tour Dates for Phish