Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Shoreline Night 2

The first set featured a 16-minute “Cities” and the second set a 34-minute “Tweezer.”

By Andy Kahn Sep 2, 2021 6:06 am PDT

Phish returned to Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on Wednesday night for their second show that was originally scheduled for Stateline, Nevada but moved due to wildfires. The band followed Tuesday's memorable performance with another delightful mix of setlist selections and exploratory improvisation. Among Wednesday’s highlights were a 16-minute “Cities” in set one and a 34-minute “Tweezer” in set two.

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All donations to the WaterWheel Foundation at the Shoreline shows will benefit the El Dorado County Community Foundation, and the band will match. Head here for a list of ways to help Caldor Fire survivors, including donating to the Caldor Fire Fund.

After a bit of a delay due to what appeared to be issues with keyboardist Page McConnell’s rig, Phish took the stage about 20 minutes later than Tuesday’s show at Shoreline. Bassist Mike Gordon was tapped to lead the band on the show-opening “Mike’s Song.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio soon got to work, needing little time to warm up and feeling at ease enough to tease “Walk This Way.”

They then dropped into a pretty instrumental, opting for the Gamehendge theme “The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday” instead of “I Am Hydrogen.” The commonly paired Hebrew prayer “Avenu Malkenu” came next, with Gordon slapping out a funkified solo. The band eschewed the usual return to “TMWSIY” and went straight into “Weekapaug Groove,” with Gordon again getting the spotlight to solo.

After the typically high-spirited “Weekapaug,” the mellow “Brian And Robert” made its first appearance of the year. The band followed with the summer’s second version of “Thread,” a song they recorded for their 2020 studio album Sigma Oasis but have now played a total of six times since debuting in 2017. Sure thing rocker “The Wedge” was then called upon for the third time this tour.

Trey then counted off “Cities,” and the Talking Heads cover opened up into an exceptional jam, rooted in the song’s funky groove, but evolving through a few distinct sections. At one point Trey employed the fuzzy effect that continues to push the band into new and exciting sounds and textures. Mike and drummer Jon Fishman were holding a tight pocket for Trey and Page to push the progression into a more straightforward melodic groove.

As the improvisation built, the foursome expertly segued into “Passing Through” delivering just the fifth performance of the song first played during the Kasvot Växt set on Halloween 2018. Not yet through with the opening set, it would culminate with the fan-favorite “Fluffhead” that brought a joyous conclusion to the first half.

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

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Shoreline Amphitheatre [See upcoming shows]


15 shows
08/29/1992, 09/30/1995, 07/31/1997, 07/19/1998, 10/17/2018, 10/18/2018, 09/16/1999, 09/17/1999, 10/06/2000, 10/07/2000, 07/09/2003, 07/10/2003, 08/05/2009, 07/24/2015, 08/31/2021

The Music

10 songs / 7:47 pm to 9:12 pm (85 minutes)

9 songs / 9:41 pm to 11:20 pm (99 minutes)

19 songs
17 originals / 2 covers


13.37 [Gap chart]


The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Avenu Malkenu, Brian and Robert, Cities, Passing Through, Miss You

The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Avenu Malkenu, Cities LTP 12/01/2019 (31 Show Gap)

Tweezer 34:01

Tweezer Reprise 3:17

Junta - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Rift - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Joy - 2, Big Boat - 1, Kasvot Växt - 1, Sigma Oasis - 2, Misc. - 4, Covers - 2

The Rest

70° and Sunny at Showtime

Koa 4

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Coming out of set break was a visit to Gamehendge via “The Lizards.” Then it was “Tweezer” time as Fish embellished the intro with a “yeah” sample, likely reading the minds of many listening along. The “Tweezer” jam quickly dug into a groove that was reminiscent of “American Woman” to the point that Trey half-heartedly sang a bit of The Guess Who hit. Making his guitar howl, Trey introduced a subdued sequence while lighting designer Chris Kuroda made his “fifth member” presence known.

The multi-sectioned jam moved from the restrained to the fully unleashed while layers of synthetic sounds began to pile up on stage. Another section rolled in, complete with stop/start interplay and some wooing from the audience. At another point, the jam again went minimal as Trey and Page played in tandem in hushed gestures. Trey found a lick and melody he could cultivate and pushed the jam along while incorporating elements of “The Lizards.” He then took the band to blissful-soaring-peaks land, riding a wave over the glorious terrain.

Trey cycled through a couple of effects before landing on an otherworldly tone that ushered in another distinct section of the “is this still ‘Tweezer’?” jam. The band came close to something sounding like “Split Open And Melt,” coming just to the edge but never dropping into the song. More than 33-minutes after the start of “Tweezer,” the band had its say and moved on to the meditative “Miss You.”

Seemingly picking up where they left off before “Miss You,” the subsequent “Piper” was an almost immediate springboard to improvisation following a swift run through the song’s lyrics. The path the “Piper” jam took was another, shorter, round of distinguishable segments with Trey cycling through exotic-sounding effects. Reeled in before getting too far out there, out of the “Piper” jam emerged “Twenty Years Later.” The ensuing presentation was dark and eerily methodical — as if driven by an underlying menace.

A shift into “Twist” soon paved some additional improvised territory. Trailing “Twist” was the set closer “Backwards Down The Number Line,” the jovial rocker complimenting the preceding swampiness. Wednesday’s encore was initiated by the Ghosts Of The Forest/Sigma Oasis track “A Life Beyond The Dream” making its third appearance of the summer. “Tweezer Reprise” was then an emphatic closing to the two-night run at Shoreline.

Phish heads to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado for their annual Labor Day Weekend three-night run. Livestreams are available through


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