Phish Tour 2022: Alpine Valley Night 1 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny

Highlights included an atypical "Moma Dance" that anchored the first set and adventurous versions of "Golden Age" and "Ghost" in the second set.

By David Onigman Aug 13, 2022 7:46 am PDT

“Alpine & Deer Creek”, two venue names that have no doubt been uttered in the same sentence by thousands of Phish fans in the Midwest and beyond for decades now. By the end of this weekend, the band will have played 49 shows combined at the two venues dating back to 1995.

Between the years of 1996 and 2010, Phish didn’t play a summer tour without playing at least one show at each venue. Then there were 11 years where the band would only stop at one location, and not the other, with 2012, 2015, and 2019 belonging to Alpine Valley, and last year’s 2021 tour stopping at “Deer Creek”. For the purposes of this recap, I choose to just use original venue names, but kudos to Alpine Valley for holding onto its original title all these years.

2022 brings two new wrinkles to Phish’s Midwest tour routing. First, a whopping six shows at the two combined venues, 2003 saw five Deer Creek + Alpine Shows, six is a new record. Second, the shows aren’t over the same weekend, they are separated by over two months. With Phish playing a “Spring” and a Summer Tour this year, this marks the first time “Alpine & Deer Creek” could not be consumed together in a single road trip.

With all this history in the band’s collective rearview, Phish stepped to the oversized stage last night in East Troy, Wisconsin for the first time since July 14, 2019 – a show adored by many fans in part for hitting a trifecta of bustouts (“Olivia’s Pool”, 692 show gap), lighthearted silliness (“Icculus”), and deep depths of improvisation (a 38 minute “Ruby Waves”.)

The band hit the stage at 7:39 and with a quick nod from guitarist Trey Anastasio to keyboardist Page McConnell, the show was underway with the first show opening “Fuego” since November 1, 2014. “Fuego” briefly veered towards being a more extended take on the song like the most recent rendition at Merriweather Post Pavilion with a short modulation from A to D, but Trey immediately brought the band back to jam’s standard key and queued the signature riff and return to the vocals.

Trey gave the crowd a quick thank you and counted off “Clear Your Mind,” part of the batch of Phish originals debuted last Halloween as part of the Sci-Fi Soldier set. This tour, and all shows since last Halloween have been a bit lighter on Sci-Fi Soldier material than we might have expected as these tunes have taken their time to find their way into setlist with consistency. The band sounded comfortable with the arrangement and its quirky full-band vocals felt better executed than the two previous live takes of the song.

As the band segued into “Twist,” the band continued to sing a little bit of “Clear Your Mind” over the intro, to the clear delight of Trey. Seeing he could get an easy laugh out of Trey, drummer Jon Fishman kept the “Clear Your Mind” vocals going into the song’s chorus. An ensemble that has long been masters of volume control, bassist Mike Gordon led the charge for the Twist jam to start at a hushed volume before it slowly built up. Gordon led the jam’s first modulation up from G to Bb where the band remained for a few minutes before Trey brought the jam back to G and signaled the song’s closing vocals.

As the band hit the final chord of “Twist,” Mike immediately began singing the a cappella intro to “Halley’s Comet,” a song that they normally take a quick moment to find the key before kicking it off, Trey seemed again visibly excited that Mike executed this interesting no huddle segue. As he has been doing recently, Trey took the opportunity to transpose his vocal part in “Halley’s” up an octave and sung him with more excitement, to the delight of the crowd. Hitting a foot switch that allowed him to use his vocal mic to speak only to the band’s monitors, Trey let the band know that this was not going to be a long “jammed out” Halley’s, but rather was calling for the Gordon lead “Destiny Unbound.” Drummer Jon Fishman may have misheard the instructions as the band was not exactly in sync to kick off the song but Trey and Fishman quickly laughed it off.

As a somewhat clumsy reading of the song was concluding Trey again used his vocal mic in talkback mode to queue the next song before the one he was playing was already done. As the band, once again, not totally together began “The Moma Dance,” Trey was in a playful mood, lightly singing the vocal intro typically reserved for versions from the Trey Anastasio Band and leading the quartet in some brief start-stop action.

Using some quick loops and a little reverse delay, Trey made sure this was not going to be a standard eight-minute reading of “The Moma Dance.” This rare ‘jammed out’ “Moma” at times sounded akin to what you typically expect from “You Enjoy Myself”, playing with a similar tempo and in the “YEM” jam’s key as well. After bringing the jam to a strong peak, the band returned to finish “Moma” in typical fashion.

“Drift While You’re Sleeping,” the most frequently played by Phish selection from Anastasio’s Ghosts Of The Forest closed the first set. As the first frame close to a close, it was clear that Alpine Valley unfortunately is not one of the venues that can support lighting designer Chris Kuroda’s moving trusses which have become a signature look in recent years. Anchored by the atypical “Moma Dance” and some brief jams in some of the sets other selections, the first set clocking in at almost 75 minutes, only included seven songs, the least in a first set since the April 20, 2022 first set at Madison Square Garden.

Read on after The Skinny for the rest of the recap and more.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Alpine Valley Music Theatre [See upcoming shows]

37,000

20 shows
8/10/1996, 8/09/1997, 8/01/1998, 7/24/1999, 7/08/2000, 7/18/2003, 7/19/2003, 6/25/2004, 6/26/2004, 6/20/2009, 6/21/2009, 8/14/2010, 8/15/2010, 6/30/2012, 7/01/2012, 8/08/2015, 8/09/2015, 7/12/2019, 7/13/2019, 7/14/2019

The Music

7 songs / 7:39 pm to 8:53 pm (74 minutes)

10 songs / 9:31 pm to 11:08 pm (97 minutes)

17 songs
16 originals / 1 cover

2005

12.06 [Gap chart]

None

Clear Your Mind, Destiny Unbound, Ass Handed

Destiny Unbound LTP 10/17/2021 (47 Show Gap)

The Moma Dance 17:53

Lonely Trip 5:00

Junta - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 1, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 1, Sci-Fi Soldier - 2, Misc. - 8, Covers - 1

The Rest

67° and Clear at Showtime

Koa 1

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As the band milled around onstage to start the second set Trey displayed a Pepé Le Pew t-shirt that was thrown onstage, Mike teased a little bit of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung,” and Fishman performed a spoken intro to one of his latest compositions — the instant classic “Ass Handed.” Like the most recent version from October 29, 2021 in Las Vegas, also a second set opener, the band tacked on a brief jam to what is otherwise one of the shortest songs in Phish’s catalog. Having explored all the space he wanted to, Trey took the band into one of the band’s strongest current jam vehicles “Set Your Soul Free.” While not clocking in as extended as other recent readings of “SYSF,” the jam nonetheless produced a beautiful section before the ambience lead to TV On The Radio’s “Golden Age”, a cover so frequent in Phish’s rotation that its 63 plays outpaces other classic Phish covers that have been played for far longer such as Ween’s “Roses Are Free” or The Who’s “Drowned.”

After a fifteen-minute performance of “Golden Age”, Trey started the guitar lick that the title-track from his recent album “Lonely Trip” is based around. Like other recent versions, Page chose to play his solo on the baby grand piano and not his electric keyboards that were showcased on earlier live Phish renditions.

With the cool-down slot of the set concluded, Trey immediately started the intro chords to “Ghost,” and with that selection, the song joined 55 other songs in Phish’s catalog that have been played at least 200 times. “Ghost” is the most recently debuted to join the 200-club, joining “Character Zero” and its 233 plays as the only members debuted after 1995. After taking “Ghost” to a blistering peak, Trey lead the band into a reprise of the “Ass Handed” vocals and an uptempo showcase of some of his latest favorite guitar effect layerings with some well executed digital delays, Mutron/auto-wah stylings and more.

After one more “Ass Handed” quote from Fishman, the band kicked off the second Sci-Fi Soldier song of the evening, “The Howling,” the tune from last Halloween that has had the most plays since its debut. While yesterday was technically the full moon (and a Supermoon at that), the moon still looks full the day later, and with it visible from the band’s vantage point from the stage, this selection felt inevitable, complete with some fans choosing themselves to indeed howl at the moon.

As “The Howling” wrapped up and the band was at the 60-minute mark of the set, Trey took a few seconds to look down at his songlist before deciding “Simple” was next. As Trey recently said at a solo acoustic concert, “the jams end when they end,” and this “Simple” like the most recently played one before tonight was of the shorter variety, both considerably less of an exploration than the rendition from Philadelphia towards the beginning of the tour. The 15th selection of the night, an especially strong set closing “David Bowie,” was the first song in the setlist from any of the band’s first six studio albums.

A noticeably hoarse Trey delivered the “The Lizards” encore, while he may have struggled with getting some of the words out, he nailed the song’s iconic guitar outro. Trey was able to call on a little more voice to bring the show to a close with “More” and one more quick thank you to the crowd.

A good Phish show? Absolutely. A great Phish show? Depends what you are looking for in your Phish shows, something tells me by the time next week rolls around, the opening night of Alpine Valley ’22 will not be the fan favorite of the run, and those in attendance will get their asses handed to them by one of the other two remaining shows perhaps destined to be more of the instant-classic variety.

Fan-Shot Videos

Ass Handed


00:00:00
shinepigeon (See 1,425 videos)
Phish (See 3,894 videos)

Golden Age


00:00:00
Brett Bergen
Phish (See 3,894 videos)

The Howling


00:00:00
shinepigeon (See 1,425 videos)
Phish (See 3,894 videos)

Phish From The Road Photos

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