Phish Tour Continues In Albany – Setlist & Recap
Phish’s Fall Tour continued Wednesday with a second straight night at Times Union Center in Albany, New York. The setlist for the second show of the tour featured a mix of newer and older songs, straightforward jamming and exploratory improvisations for the group’s 13th concert at the venue first played by the quartet in 1995 when it was still known as the Knickerbocker Arena.
The show began with “Crowd Control,” marking the rarity’s second performance in a single year for the first time since 2014. “Chalk Dust Torture” brought a burst of excitement to the arena as the band came close to playing it straight, but instead ventured well beyond the song’s structure for several moments of rewarding jamming stacked upon guitarist Trey Anastasio’s piercing riffs. The scarcely-played Round Room ballad “All Of These Dreams” then made just its 12th setlist since its 2003 debut. Next, “Wolfman’s Brother” birthed another course of improvisation, first coming out slow and churning before drummer Jon Fishman lifted the tempo and Trey locked into a repetitive spiral that circled back smoothly to end the song.
Bassist Mike Gordon led the band’s first romp through “Scent Of A Mule” of 2018 with Trey following the dueling by calling for “NICU.” A swift transition led to a tight and concise “Gumbo” that had Page McConnell showing off his piano skills as it drew to an end. They then slinked through an atypical first set “Steam,” taking their time twisting a dark and menacing jam. Fish was summoned to the front of the stage by the acapella “I Didn’t Know” intro and dubbed “Jezmund the family berzerker” by Trey prior to starting his vacuum solo. The drummer returned to his kit for the final song of the set, “Bathtub Gin.” The ensuing improvisation didn’t last too long or venture too far from home but it built to a rapturous peak and put an enthusiastic cap on the first set of the evening.
The second half started with “Set Your Soul Free,” its fifth appearance since debuting with Phish at The Gorge earlier this summer. A methodic jam soon built over the pocket laid out by Mike and Fish, constructed with deliberate intention in a way that unassumingly grew in complexity. As the foursome quieted, Trey counted off “Birds Of A Feather,” which never gained much traction and was wrapped up fairly succinctly. The band then worked through the various parts that make up “Mercury,” shifting from a funky feel, to proggy, angular structures, finally settling into a loose ambient sequence.
“Light” rumbled out of the ambience, giving way to an uptempo jam that had the four onstage together chasing each other musically at a frantic pace. A triumphant return to the “Light” chorus drew an enthusiastic roar from the crowd who then warmly received the percussive start to “The Wedge.” Trey guided a mellow progression through the steady rocker. Page then helmed a tender “Waiting In The Velvet Sea” that Trey punctuated with an emotive solo. The arena-filling chants of “Wilson” signaled a raucous surge that came with the classic anthem. Sticking with the time-tested favorites, “Slave To The Traffic Light” brought a passionate end to the second set. The long-played set-closer supplied one final climatic roar before they exited the stage. The guys came back to punch up “Julius,” popping off the bluesy rocker before Trey thanked the audience and told them it felt like “a hometown gig.” Gordon then led a charge through the bluegrass sing-along “Rocky Top” – the lone cover of the night – to end the show.
Times Union Center [See upcoming shows]
12 shows — 12/09/1995, 12/12/1997, 12/13/1997, 11/25/1998, 10/09/1999, 10/10/1999, 09/08/2000, 09/09/2000, 12/01/2003, 11/27/2009, 11/28/2009, 10/16/2018
10 songs / 7:47 pm to 9:09 pm (82 minutes)
10 songs / 9:43 pm to 11:12 pm (89 minutes)
20 songs / 19 originals / 1 cover
8.05 [Gap chart]
Scent of a Mule - LTP 8/5/2017 (31 show gap)
Chalk Dust Torture - 16:49
Rocky Top - 3:18
Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 1, Hoist - 3, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 1, Undermind - 1, Joy - 1, Misc. - 7, Covers - 1
45° F & Mostly Cloudy at Showtime
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