Saturday In South Carolina: Phish North Charleston Coliseum – Setlist & The Skinny

By Ben Greenfield Oct 15, 2016 8:23 pm PDT

Phish returned to North Charleston Coliseum Saturday night for the back half of a two-night run. Following a tour opener that showcased the new album, Big Boat, this show leaned even harder into the new material. In fact, tonight’s Average Song Vintage — the average debut year — was 2004, the highest of any show in the band’s history. The evening’s one debut, “I Always Wanted It This Way,” was arguably its musical highlight, though the second set featured some other strong improvisation and excellent segues.

“Blaze On” opened a Phish show for the first time ever. The straight-ahead version of the song was followed by a stand-alone “What’s the Use?” The band next played a pair of tunes debuted at their last two Halloween shows: “Martian Monster” and “Devotion to a Dream.” These were followed by a quick, tight rendition of Mike Gordon’s “Waking Up Dead,” which had only previously been played live in Philadelphia this past summer. “Timber (Jerry)” came next, and featured a satisfying, if brief, guitar solo from Trey Anastasio.

While “Things People Do” featured a fast, “My Sweet One”-like tempo during summer tour, its appearance here was more of a full-band adaptation of the slowed-down, stripped-down version on Big Boat. Next, for the 10th time ever, “Lengthwise” was paired with “Maze,” as on the Rift album. The former hadn’t appeared at a Phish show since November 1, 2014. The latter was graced by big solos from both Page McConnell and Trey Anastasio. The Jon Fishman epic “Ass Handed” followed, after which Trey asked the crowd to “let that sink in.” “Carini” then slipped into a first set for the first time since August 31, 2012. The song was dirty, but much shorter than a typical second-set version. A rousing “Wolfman’s Brother” closed the set.

“Mercury,” which missed the cut for Big Boat, was the first of this tour’s four set openers not to appear on that album. The song briefly flirted with an extended jam, but instead headed for “Twist.” That tune spun “What’s the Use?” teases into a jam that began to pick up steam before a transition into the live debut of “I Always Wanted It This Way.” The song’s driving beat and synth keyboard quirks seem to guarantee it would take its place in the jam pantheon. And indeed, this version went hard, if not especially long; Trey laid down some of his most fiery licks of the evening before it came to an end.

“Miss You” slowed things down. The song’s third-ever rendition bounced back from some forgotten lyrics, ending with an impassioned guitar solo. “Fuego” kept things relatively conservative before an unexpected, and unexpectedly smooth, move into “Sand.” Trey went on the attack in a brief run through the song, then “Joy” provided a bridge to a set-closing “Possum.” Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times,” appearing alone in the encore after the previous night’s three song affair, allowed Trey to send the crowd out with one last huge guitar solo.

Phish’s tour continues Sunday night in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

North Charleston Coliseum [See upcoming shows]


5 shows — 11/18/1995, 10/27/1996, 10/15/2010, 10/16/2010, 10/14/2016

The Music

13 songs / 8:01 pm to 9:19 pm (78 minutes)

9 songs / 9:53 pm to 11:17 pm (84 minutes)

21 songs / 19 originals / 2 covers


10.09 [Gap chart]

I Always Wanted It This Way (McConnell)


Lengthwise - LTP 11/01/2014 (67 Show Gap)

Mercury - 13:23

Lengthwise - 1:06

Rift - 2, Hoist - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Joy - 1, Fuego - 2, Big Boat - 5, Misc. - 7, Covers - 2

The Rest

69° and Partly Cloudy at show time

Koa 1

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Full Show Audio (Taped by Taylor C. / Shared by Jam Buzz)

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