Saturday Night Special: Phish Xfinity Theatre In Hartford – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

By Andy Kahn Jul 9, 2016 8:48 pm PDT

One night after playing the Xfinity Center in Massachusetts, Phish headed one state over to the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut for their Summer Tour stop Saturday night. The quartet’s sixth show at the outdoor venue marked their first since a two-night stand in June 2010. The band delivered a performance with unexpected songs and song placements and memorable moments throughout both sets – including band members again swapping instruments.

The show opened with the second “Pigtail” of the summer, which was busted out at the tour opener in St. Paul and marked just its third time being played by Phish. The upbeat rocker lead by guitarist Trey Anastasio was followed by the first “The Moma Dance” since the standout version at SPAC. Saturday’s version of the original held true to its typically funky execution before giving way to a peppy “Birds Of A Feather” that saw rapid fire delivery from Anastasio and a “they attack!” sample from “The Birds” at its conclusion. A third song in a row from the band’s The Story Of The Ghost album, bassist Mike Gordon led the jaggedly funky “Meat” which was last seen played in August 2015.

Another Ghost-era selection on shelf since last August, “Vultures” presented Page McConnell an avenue to dart around his piano in response to Anastasio’s soaring guitar work. An eager crowd “wooed” along with the song’s ending ahead of a sharp move into “Free” that featured Gordon’s synthy-tone and drummer Jon Fishman locking into a thumping rhythm. Busted out for the first time since August 10, 2010 and breaking a 229 show gap, Trey’s “Let Me Lie” returned for its ninth Phish performance. A brisk run through “Halley’s Comet” transitioned to a lively “Julius.” Making its first opening set appearance since July 27, 2014 the band’s classic, multi-part composition “You Enjoy Myself” once again had Trey joining Fish on Marimba Lumina (like he did at The Mann) while Page picked up the bass and Mike took over the keys for a rotation jam that ultimately ended with the song’s usual vocal jam.

Regular set two opener “Down With Disease” emerged from Gordon’s wash of subtones and provided a pathway to a vibrant improvised sequence colored by McConnell’s runs on the Fender Rhodes and focused, restrained soloing from Anastasio. The linear jam picked up pace behind Fish’s rolling collection of fills while shifting further into an intense vibe. The shift to “Sand” jumped right back into a short lived bit of energized improv. The majestic Gamehendge ballad “Tela” then made its first appearance of the summer, coming back to a setlist for the first time since October 2014.

Little time was wasted getting back to hard-hitting improvisation after a fierce start to “Carini” snapped the set into a forcefully gritty jam. They didn’t get too far with the “Carini” jam before forcing the intro to the slow burner “Twenty Years Later.” A rare non-set closing “Run Like An Antelope” fit well into its atypical placement as the setlist staple reached its expectedly frenzied peak. A jaunt through the jovial set closing “Backwards Down The Line” sprouted a final surge of enthusiastic playing. One more trip to Gamehendge was in store as “The Lizards” held down the opening encore slot for the evening. The show’s lone cover, a night-capping take on “Loving Cup” by The Rolling Stones, brought the night in Hartford to a rowdy end.

Phish plays again tomorrow night at Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, New York.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Xfinity Theatre [See upcoming shows]


5 shows — 06/30/2000, 07/01/2000, 08/14/2009, 06/17/2010, 06/18/2010

The Music

10 songs / 8:12 pm to 9:32 pm (80 minutes)

9 songs / 10:05 pm to 11:31 pm (86 minutes)

19 songs / 18 originals / 1 cover


23.84 [Gap chart]


Meat, Vultures, Let Me Lie, Tela, The Lizards

Let Me Lie - LTP 08/10/2010 (229 Show Gap)

Down with Disease - 19:00

Let Me Lie - 5:25

Junta - 2, Lawn Boy - 1, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 3, Farmhouse - 1, Joy - 2, Misc. - 7, Covers - 1

The Rest

69° Cloudy

Koa 3 / Ocedoc

Phish From The Road Photos


JamBase Collections