Phish Tour 2022: Bangor – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny

The Vermont Quartet unleashed a top-shelf, 30-minute "Down With Disease" during the second set.

By Robert Ker Jul 17, 2022 11:27 am PDT

In between anticipated two-night stands at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA, and the TD Pavilion at the Mann in Philadelphia, PA, Phish directed their tour bus north for a Saturday night appearance in Bangor, Maine. While the show wasn’t as strong from start to finish as the two concerts in the venue formerly known as Great Woods, it boasted the finest jam of the tour’s first week — a blistering, 30-minute “Down with Disease” — and a sharply performed second set.

The band’s self-imposed challenge to play extended runs of shows without repeating songs won’t last the duration of the extensive summer tour, but for the time being, they didn’t repeat any song that they played in Massachusetts. They opened with “Free,” a song they’ve discovered a renewed appreciation for in recent years, expanding the pocket in the middle into a funky jam. “I Never Needed You Like this Before” and the Mike Gordon composition “555” followed, both in fairly by-the-books fashion.

The middle of the set featured a pair of songs often deployed earlier in sets — “Possum” and “No Men in No Man’s Land.” Those two selections, plus the “Ocelot” that followed, fell just short of ten minutes each and featured relaxed jamming that hewed close to the song structure. After this somewhat mellow stretch, the band brought the energy back up with “Reba” and “Axilla (Part II).” “Reba” contained strong guitar work by Trey Anastasio, even though it felt like it had at least one more peak to ascend before giving way to the whistling conclusion. It should be noted as well, that the American sign language translator —- stellar all night — did incredible work translating the verbal gymnastics of the lyrical portion of the song.

After taking the psychedelic coda to “Axilla (Part II)” for a brief stroll, they closed the set with “Run Like an Antelope.” While the truly high-octane performances of the song remain fixed in amber back in the 1990s, Trey’s playing was focused and the dazzling work on the lighting rig by Chris Kuroda gave the song a cinematic, “Blade Runner” like feel.

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

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Maine Savings Amphitheater [See upcoming shows]

16,000

3 shows
7/03/2013, 6/25/2019, 6/26/2019

The Music

9 songs / 7:33 pm to 8:52 pm (79 minutes)

7 songs / 9:22 pm to 10:51 pm (89 minutes)

16 songs
15 originals / 1 cover

2000

7.63 [Gap chart]

None

Roses Are Free

Roses Are Free LTP 10/31/2021 (20 Show Gap)

Down With Disease 30:31

Twist 5:47

Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 2, Hoist - 2, Billy Breathes - 1, The Siket Disc - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Joy - 1, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 1, Sigma Oasis - 1, Misc. - 2, Covers - 1

The Rest

76° and Partly Cloudy at Showtime

Koa 1

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The band opened the second set with “Sigma Oasis,” devolving the jam portion of the song into washes of mellow effects that didn’t take listeners from point A to point B so much as provide an array of textures to luxuriate in. This set the table for the “Down with Disease” to come —- an electric excursion that featured numerous peaks and whipped the crowd into an ever-escalating frenzy. The jam initially seemed like it was going to wind down early, but Jon Fishman refused to let it die, pushing the band forward with his typically inspired play and relentless drum rolls that egged Trey on. Around the 16-minute mark, the band cooled down to a slower pace that featured space to breathe, and Mike colored this canvas with riffs from his arsenal of bass effects for several minutes. Page McConnell’s organ then shifted the jam back up a few gears with a fast-paced riff that led the group to a final, glorious peak.

After landing back on the “Down with Disease” riff, Trey cooled things down considerably with “What’s the Use?” Seemingly inspired by the performance on “Down with Disease,” they then offered the cleanest and most tightly played “Fluffhead” in recent memory, nailing the composed portion of the song like it was 1993 and bringing the “Arrival” portion to its climax in a nice demonstration of tension and release. The band still had one more trick up its sleeve, eschewing a typical set-closer for a rendition of “Twist” that toyed around with various rhythms before bringing the set home with a bookending return to the “already there” refrain of “Sigma Oasis,” complete with Fishman shouting “woo!” in between the lines.

“Roses Are Free” made a welcome appearance in the encore slot — its first there since December 1, 2019 — before giving way to “First Tube.” It often seems that Trey reserves this song as a show-closure for when he feels he delivered a heater of a show, and while the first set was not quite on par with the Mansfield performances, the creativity and cohesion of the second set —- and the satisfaction of nailing the first major jam of the tour — certainly sent the crowd home smiling. On to Philadephia. Livestreams are available via LivePhish.com.

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