To Xfinity & Beyond: Phish Returns To Xfinity Center In Mansfield – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

By Ben Greenfield Jul 8, 2016 7:56 pm PDT

Phish rolled in to Mansfield, Massachusetts, on Friday night, playing the Xfinity Center (née Great Woods) 22 years to the day after the venue witnessed their last full performance of Gamehendge. Coming on the heels of two concerts regarded as subpar by many fans, the band came out like they had something to prove. And prove it they did, treating the sold-out crowd to two improv-heavy sets, and maintaining the energy throughout the night, despite technical difficulties that threatened to derail the entire show.

A crisp, peppy “Party Time” opened, appearing for the first time this year. “46 Days” came next, bringing with it the night’s first screaming guitar peak. The energy stayed high with the tour’s second versions of both “Poor Heart” and “The Dogs.” “Bathtub Gin” injected another dose of adrenaline into the set, with the band reaching a fast and frenzied peak, fueled by Jon Fishman’s hyperspeed drumming and Trey Anastasio’s blistering guitar solo. Appropriately, “Fast Enough for You” followed, appearing for the first time in almost two years. After the tour debut of “How Many People Are You,” “Strange Design” made its first appearance since 2014.

“Fuego” came next, and its jam flirted with a departure from the song’s structure, but ultimately stuck to familiar territory. “Cities” started with Trey breaking a string and introducing his guitar tech, Brian Brown, and continued with an otherworldly jam. The band first went into a space-funk groove, led by Page McConnell’s clavinet, then stretched into uncharted sonic waters as Trey got behind the marimba lumina and Mike strapped on Trey’s guitar for a dark, spooky jam. The band closed the set at their a cappella mics, performing their arrangement of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” for the first time since debuting it at Wrigley Field two weeks earlier.

The jamming came quickly in the second set, as “Ghost” first flew high in a major key before modulating to a driving minor-key section, which dissolved into “Light.” This jam took a darker, more rhythmic direction than its predecessor, with Mike’s punchy bass leading the way through passages that sounded like they could’ve come out of “Timber (Jerry).” A “woo”-inflected breakdown followed, building to a dirty funk powered by the beats of Jon Fishman, before a final ambient stretch.

The set took an unexpected turn in “Wolfman’s Brother” when the PA system cut out. The band played a brief jam that was only audible through the on-stage speakers before leaving the stage for several minutes. Once the main speakers came back on, they returned for quick versions of “Chalk Dust Torture” and “Saw It Again.” A funky, Mu-Tron-assisted “Back on the Train” came next, followed by an extra lyrical “Slave to the Traffic Light” to close the set. The encore was another of Wrigley Field’s special treats: the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” Sadly, many out on the lawn couldn’t hear much of the end of the second set and the encore as the sound never returned to the back of the venue.

The band travels to Hartford next, for a show at the Xfinity Theatre on Saturday night.

Videos

[Space Oddity | Captured by Benjamin Hoadley]

[Wolfman’s Brother (PA Cuts Out) | Captured by mario4prez]

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Xfinity Center [See upcoming shows]

19900

16 shows — 07/21/1992, 07/24/1993, 07/08/1994, 07/09/1994, 06/30/1995, 07/01/1995, 07/12/1999, 07/13/1999, 09/11/2000, 09/12/2000, 08/10/2004, 08/11/2004, 06/06/2009, 06/22/2010, 06/07/2011, 07/01/2014

The Music

11 songs / 7:39 pm to 8:57 pm (78 minutes)

8 songs / 9:31 pm to 10:50 pm (79 minutes)

19 songs / 16 originals / 3 covers

2000

13.21 [Gap chart]

None

Party Time, Fast Enough For You, How Many People Are You, Strange Design

Fast Enough For You - LTP 08/02/2014 (62 Show Gap)

Light - 19:17

Poor Heart - 2:25

Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Rift - 1, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 1, Joy - 1, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 5, Covers - 3

The Rest

65° and Cloudy

Koa 2, Koa 3 / Ocedoc

Capacity: 19,900

Phish From The Road Photos

Posters

Coins

JamBase Collections