SPAC On The Train: Phish Saratoga Springs Night 2 – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

By Andy Kahn Jul 2, 2016 8:43 pm PDT

Phish held the middle show of a three-night stand at Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saturday night. The foursome’s return to the familiar confines of SPAC again saw instrument shifting, standout jamming and more as the band’s Summer Tour finds itself in full stride.

The first set started with “Crowd Control” joyously delivering its lyrical warning message, and bassist Mike Gordon’s “555” then popped into the second song slot. Guitarist Trey Anastasio introduced the start of the first “Seven Below” of the year and quickly jumped on a pretty riff, holding it over drummer Jon Fishman’s shuffling beat as an early-show improvisation fully materialized. The “Seven Below” excursion was followed by the bouncing “Back On The Train” that saw Anastasio inject lyrics from “Sleeping Monkey” which was played at SPAC Friday night. The lively “BOTT” setup keyboardist Page McConnell’s ballad “Army Of One.” The breezy summer night favorite “Divided Sky” served up a dose of intricate composition while Trey couldn’t help but smile widely during the veteran song’s silent pause.

The band continues to appear more comfortable with the material debuted at Halloween 2014, as evidenced by the “Martian Monster” that saw Anastasio again trade his guitar for mallets, joining Fish to play the Marimba Lumina (like he had Friday during a massive “Chalk Dust Torture” jam) before jumping back on guitar for more sample-aided jamming. A rapid run through “Rift” was countered with the slowed down arrangement of “Water In The Sky.” A stuttered intro to “46 Days” nodded at the recent toying with tempo, but the quartet ultimately delivered the tune at its typically blistering pace bolstered by Anastasio and McConnell’s fervid playing. Another Round Room track – the third of the set – “Walls Of The Cave” brought the evening to setbreak.

The second half of the show began with “No Men In No Man’s Land” which stayed close to home while interjecting energy into the start of the set. The tailing “Fuego” provided the pathway to a blissful segment of improv that successfully wound its way back to the song’s theme. More improvisation was quickly in order as the foursome took “Light” on an exploratory venture that settled into a tranquil groove led by Gordon’s melodic low end and Fish’s restrained beat. The “Light” jam eventually picked up in intensity as Trey reasserted himself, but that surge was short-lived as it deconstructed back into a patient groove. Anastasio sang lyrics from “No Men In No Man’s Land” but instead of returning to the song, TV On The Radio’s “Golden Age” slid in as the night’s first cover. Accidentally repeated lyrics gave the crowd a second chance to clap in response to the guitarist’s fumble and the focus quickly shifted back to more group improvisation.

Soon the jam transitioned to the first “Taste” of the summer, giving McConnell’s commanding piano work a chance to dictate the direction of the band. “The Horse” > “Silent In The Morning” classic pairing appeared for the first time this year followed by the rocking blues of “Julius” that saw Page wow with his swirling organ solo. The third song by The Beatles covered this summer, “A Day In The Life” brought the second set to a bombastic completion. The easygoing “Bouncing Around The Room” initiated the encore and “Run Like An Antelope” raucously brought the second show at SPAC to conclusion.

Phish’s final show of their three night SPAC run takes place tomorrow evening. A webcast is available from LivePhish.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Saratoga Performing Arts Center [See upcoming shows]


18 shows — 07/27/1992, 07/10/1994, 06/26/1995, 06/19/2004, 06/20/2004, 08/16/2009, 06/19/2010, 06/20/2010, 07/06/2012, 07/07/2012, 07/08/2012, 07/05/2013, 07/06/2013, 07/07/2013, 07/03/2014, 07/04/2014, 07/05/2014, 07/01/2016

The Music

10 songs / 8:26 pm to 9:41 pm (75 minutes)

11 songs / 10:11 pm to 11:36 pm (85 minutes)

21 songs / 19 originals / 2 covers


8.91 [Gap chart]


Crowd Control, Seven Below, Army Of One, Taste, The Horse, Silent In The Morning, Julius, A Day In The Life

Crowd Control - LTP 08/11/2015 (25 Show Gap)

Divided Sky - 14:36

The Horse - 0:48

Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, Rift - 3, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 3, Undermind - 2, Joy - 1, Fuego - 2, Misc. - 2, Covers - 2

The Rest

69° Cloudy

Koa 2 / Languedoc G2 #4


[Back On The Train | Captured by rdeal1999]

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