Phish Pauses Eugene Show To Address Death & Injuries At San Francisco Concert – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny

Guitarist Trey Anastasio discussed the tragic incidents that took place during Sunday's show.

By Robert Ker Oct 20, 2021 9:28 am PDT

Phish Fall Tour 2021 has gotten off to a promising start, highlighted by thrillers at San Francisco’s Chase Center. While it doesn’t quite seem like a usual fall tour, with the summer and Dick’s only six weeks in the rearview mirror and a Trey Anastasio Band tour that kept guitarist Trey Anastasio and drummer Jon Fishman loose in the interval, it’s refreshing to see the band remain inspired after COVID-19 quarantine shut down tour for over a year and rising to fan expectations in their long-overdue return to the indoor venues on the West Coast.

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In a show originally scheduled for July 14, 2020, Phish returned to Eugene, Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena for the first time since October 17, 2014 and immediately made up for lost time. The band opened with “Down With Disease,” which blossomed into a sick, +25-minute jam that featured Trey showcasing the new bottom-heavy, gutter-funk effects of his new rig to Oregon crowds and cycling through creative melodies like a kid with a crayon box. This marked the first time Phish opened the concert with a song over 20 minutes since a lengthy “Scents And Subtle Sounds” began the band’s show in Noblesville, Indiana on July 23, 2003.

The “Down With Disease” jam then seamlessly evolved into a “Runaway Jim” that compared to the epic “Disease” opener didn’t run too far from home. Instead, it hit quick, crowd-pleasing peaks that effectively served as a climax to both opening songs. “Ocelot,” fresh off its stellar turn on TAB tour, cooled things down, but with Trey performing a soulful, blues-inflected solo over a solid foundation by bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell, still showed they can “Type I” jam with the best of them.

A classic Rift combination of “Rift” and “Horn” followed, with some minor distractions as Page missed a couple of his first-verse lines in the title track of Phish’s 1993 studio album. A breezy “Ya Mar” kept the old-school flavor going, with Trey having some fun with the “grandpa” bit. This was followed by “Stash,” having an excellent year in 2021. While this version wasn’t up to the peaks set this year in Noblesville, Indiana on August 7 or Mountain View, California on August 31, it still showed that the band is finding new life in the old warhorse, opening the sprawling jam portion with a swinging improvisation kept afloat by Fishman’s deft, Latin-tinged playing.

After “Stash,” Trey took a moment to tearfully reflect on recent tragedies in the Phish community, naming Keith Thompson and Evan Reeves, who were hurt at the San Francisco show on Sunday, and Ryan Prosser, who passed away in a separate incident at the same show. In some ways, this heartfelt moment shows how far the band has come to appreciate the fan community that grew around them. While Anastasio was hardly unsympathetic or unkind in the 1990s, it’s hard to picture him acknowledging individual fans and their families in such personal fashion from the stage back then — not to mention that the band, crew and fans are all part of the same experience, only from different perspectives. With that, Phish then closed the first set with “Walls Of The Cave.”

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

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Matthew Knight Arena [See upcoming shows]

1 show
10/17/2014

The Music

8 songs / 8:05 pm to 9:36 pm (91 minutes)

8 songs / 10:08 pm to 11:35 pm (87 minutes)

16 songs
14 originals / 2 covers

2001

9.38 [Gap chart]

I Never Left Home

All but Plasma, Sigma Oasis

Ocelot LTP 08/04/2021 (19 Show Gap)

Down With Disease 25:52

Horn 3:46

A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 3, Hoist - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 1, Joy - 1, Big Boat - 1, Sigma Oasis - 2 Misc. - 3, Covers - 2

The Rest

52° and Cloudy at Showtime

Koa 4

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The band began the second set like the first: with a song that would also prove to be the longest in the set. The “Twist” that opened featured a full palette of guitar effects, before morphing into “Blaze On.” The “Blaze On” jam was brief by 2021 standards — only the band’s July performance in Pelham, Alabama contained a shorter version — and quickly segued into “Plasma.” The “Plasma” jam offered promising outbursts before itself giving way to “Leaves,” in what is somehow only the fifth performance of a song that has been part of the catalog since 2017.

The Phish debut of the Lonely Trip track “I Never Left Home” followed, and didn’t disappoint, with Page and Mike in particular carving psychedelic territory in a song Trey composed at home during the 2020 quarantine, and nimbly tossing out melodic ideas in a jam portion that was sadly brief. Stay tuned for the band potentially opening this one up in the future. On this night, perhaps feeling they were leaning too heavy on slower songs, they then picked up the pace by running through the crowdpleasers of “Sparkle,” the longest and most inspired “2001” of the year and a rousing “Sigma Oasis” — the tune’s first appearance as a second-set closer. After an encore of “Drift While You’re Sleeping,” it was off to bed and to get ready for the second night. Stay safe out there.

Phish returns to Matthew Knight Arena tonight. Livestreams can be purchased via LivePhish.com

Down With Disease

Twist

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Poster

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