Slow It Down Mann: Phish Phillly Night Two – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

By Andy Kahn Jun 29, 2016 8:53 pm PDT

Night two of Phish‘s 2016 stand at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia featured new original songs debuted in both the first set and second set. In addition to the new tunes, new approaches to old songs and satisfying doses of inspired improvisation made for a well-rounded finale in Philly.

The foursome took the opportunity to stretch out a bit during the show opening “Wolfman’s Brother” that saw guitarist Trey Anastasio soloing around the rhythmic interplay of drummer Jon Fishman, bassist Mike Gordon and Page McConnell’s responding piano. The sampled screeching feline yelp set off the nimble pulse of just the fifth rendition of the otherwise instrumental “Your Pet Cat.” Sticking to newer material, the bouncy “Blaze On” rounded out a trio of high energy songs to start the show. After being played at soundcheck earlier in the tour, the formal live debut of “Waking Up Dead” was led by Mike with vocal accompaniment by Trey and lyrics about sleep and dreaming. The new song penned by Gordon and his solo band mate Scott Murawski featured a Page organ solo before taking a turn toward an intense, angularly composed ending.

A quick move to a funky, slowed down beat of the otherwise rapid fire “Llama” – much like last summer’s version in Raleigh – kept up the buoyant vibe. That upbeat approach continued in the succinctly delivered “Devotion To A Dream” that came next. The first “Reba” of summer rose to typically sonically fierce heights, with Anastasio building tension to the song’s roaringly climactic peak. Upon making it through the whistled closing, the conclusion of the song was played in the same half-time approach as “Llama,” after which Anastasio then commented about which song they could next play slowly. A disjointed, modified start to “Mike’s Song” hinted at another tempo change, but instead Gordon piloted the song into into its typical forceful pace and McConnell once again asserted himself on organ while responding to Anastasio’s emotive soloing.

An unexpected turn to a hazy “Horn” (the first-ever “Mike’s” > “Horn”) then saw a performance of “Farmhouse” that eased into a mellow pocket making for a great soundtrack to a warm summer night. The bubbly bass thumps initiating “Weekapaug Groove” were quickly met with “They attack!” warnings from the sample from “The Birds” that appeared during the lively – and full speed – set closer.

The first cover of the night and first song of the set two, “Crosseyed And Painless” by Talking Heads was the platform for the show’s first extended jam. While still playing within the confines of the song’s structure, Anastasio jumped on a riff that immediately brought about a portion of pointed improvisation. The multifaceted jam later saw Gordon deliver thumping, effects-layden layers of bass notes that shifted to an uplifting climatic bit of pretty four-person interplay. The improv eventually segued into the first performance of the Fish-sung rocking new original “Friends.”

Following the debut, Gordon filled the Mann with the bellowing notes that signify the start of “Down With Disease.” Page then emerged to head the full band excursion that ventured into a patiently developed jam that left all traces of “DWD” far behind as Gordon supplemented with a sturdy low end over Fish’s rapidly modulating fills. The impressive improv display was finished with the anthemic opening guitar notes of “What’s The Use?” The instrumental soared under Anastasio’s piercing guitar work, eventually melting into the beginning of “Meatstick.” The fun sing-a-long with Japanese lyrics was followed by a straightforward take on “The Line.”

“Tide Turns,” the third new song debut of the night, kept up the slowed down pace as Anastasio sung the ballad. “Backwards Down The Number Line” gave Trey one more outlet to shred within the energetic rocker. Serving as the set closer, just the second a cappella rendition of “Dem Bones” – the other taking place on New Year’s Eve 2014 – brought an end to the second set. What seemed like a one-time bust out at the tour opener a week ago, The Beatles “Dear Prudence” instead returned to open the encore. The third-ever performance of the cover preceded the show wrapping “Harry Hood” that sent the Philly faithful home with one final roaringly gorgeous peak. Phish will appear at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York on Friday, a webcast is available via LivePhish.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

TD Pavilion at the Mann [See upcoming shows]


10 shows — 07/18/1992, 07/16/1993, 07/01/1994, 06/25/1995, 06/26/1995, 07/08/2014, 07/09/2014, 08/11/2015, 08/12/2015, 06/28/2016

The Music

11 songs / 8:10 pm to 9:28 pm (78 minutes)

10 songs / 10:04 pm to 11:32 pm (88 minutes)

21 songs / 18 originals / 3 covers


9.53 [Gap chart]

Waking Up Dead, Friends, Tide Turns

Your Pet Cat, Waking Up Dead, Llama, Devotion To A Dream, Reba, Farmhouse, Crosseyed & Painless, Friends, What’s The Use?, Meatstick, Tied Turns, Dem Bones

Dem Bones - LTP 12/31/2014 (41 Show Gap)

Crosseyed And Painless - 16:20

Dem Bones - 3:11

Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 1, Hoist - 2, Farmhouse - 1, Joy - 1, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 10, Covers - 3

The Rest

79° Fair

Koa 1

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[Friends | Captured by LazyLightning55]

[Dear Prudence | Captured by 215Music]

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