Phish Summer Tour 2019: St. Louis Night 2 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
During the break between Phish‘s two sets at St. Louis’s Chaifetz Arena on Wednesday night, the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup. And, like a well-timed torrential downpour or a naked fan running on stage, a hometown championship has the ability to change the energy of a Phish show on a dime. Sure enough, the breezy, at times sleepy vibe of set one was followed by an ecstatic, celebratory set two. Not only did the band pay tribute to the victory with two setlist nods, but they busted out songs from two different solo projects, and treated the crowd to a series of jams that were frighteningly good for the fourth set of a tour.
The evening began with “Chalk Dust Torture,” whose delicate interplay between Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell suggested a band fully tuned in to each other even after several months off the road. A standard “The Moma Dance” was followed by “Waves,” appearing in the first set for the first time in almost 15 years. After “Bouncing Around the Room” came “Undermind,” featuring a dazzling organ solo from Page, and some excellent effects-laden staccato grooving from Trey and Mike Gordon. Both “Heavy Things” and “Roggae” kept the chilled-out first set summer vibes going, and they continued them with “We Are Come To Outlive Our Brains.” This version of the Kasvot Växt tune was notable mostly for the band’s differing memories about when to start singing the chorus, leading to some fun ad-libbing (“One more time!”)
The St. Louis crowd was treated to some blues courtesy of “Funky Bitch,” followed by “Set Your Soul Free,” which had only been seen in second sets aside from its set one debut at the Gorge last summer. This relatively by-the-numbers performance was followed by “Run Like An Antelope.” During the song, a roar filled the arena, as fans learned that the Blues had scored, making a Stanley Cup all but inevitable. Trey smiled as he glimpsed a fan near the front of the floor holding up a Blues jersey that read “ANASTASIO” on the back. As “Antelope” ended, the woman holding the shirt had put it on and been hoisted onto another fan’s shoulders. Trey teased Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” in appreciation — a song that has become the hockey team’s victory anthem this season.
During the setbreak, the Blues closed out their championship, and Phish gave their audience the opportunity for some musical celebration: they opened with a full version of “Gloria,” as Chris Kuroda’s yellows and blues illuminated both the elated audience and Trey’s massive grin. This was followed by another nod to St. Louis’s Cup victory care of “Loving Cup.” This was no ordinary take on the Rolling Stones classic, though: it kept going and going, its extended funk-rock jam making it the longest of the 134 versions Phish has played since its 1993 debut.
Phish – Gloria Shared by Phishhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bEznEYCh5k
“Twist” had no hockey references, but it did feature some championship-level improvisation: a fantastic funk jam, with Trey on backwards guitar, was sandwiched by two ecstatic peaks. It was followed by Phish’s debut of the Ghosts Of The Forest tune “About to Run.” Though the arrangement was similar to how it sounded this spring, Trey seemed extra loose backed by Phish, flexing his guitar muscles with some fiery, wailing licks.
Next, he fired up a tune from one of his other solo projects: “Mr. Completely” — only its fifth performance by Phish, and its first since 2017’s Baker’s Dozen. There was no rust, as the song downshifted into a delicate section, led by Page on synthesizer, that highlighted the tune’s similarity to The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” Then Mike took the reins, with the band bouncing along with him over an extended passage that wasn’t quite groovy enough to be funk, but wasn’t quite hazy enough to be spacey — in other words, it was pure Phish.
“Light” kept that energy going, featuring an even deeper groove, devoid of solos, but instead showcasing the four-headed monster of Phish, completely dialed into each other just two shows into their first full tour in seven months. “Waste” provided a breather, and “Suzy Greenberg” an exclamation point to a set that had a bit of everything. The cherry on top was some more “Gloria” teasing and a couple of Blues shoutouts from the band.
“Farmhouse” and “First Tube” provided a fitting one-two punch to bring the tour-opening two night run to a close. Before it was all over, Page squeezed in one more “faceplant into rock!” sample, calling back the “Cool Amber And Mercury” that opened the run. The band took a final bow, and Trey held up a replica Stanley Cup from an audience member, then threw it out to the overjoyed crowd.
Phish returns to the stage at Bonnaroo on Friday night.
Chaifetz Arena [See upcoming shows]
2 shows — 08/28/2012, 06/11/2019
11 songs / 8:10 pm to 9:30 pm (80 minutes)
10 songs / 10:09 pm to 11:41 pm (92 minutes)
21 songs / 18 originals / 3 covers
9.89 [Gap chart]
Gloria, About To Run
Mr. Completely - 59 Show Gap (LTP - 07/26/2017)
Twist - 14:27
Gloria - 3:21
Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 4, Round Room - 1, Undermind - 1, Joy - 1, Misc. - 5, Covers - 3
64°F and Mostly Cloudy at Showtime