Photo by Rene Huemer via @PhishFromTheRoad on Instagram
With rumors swirling for weeks about what LP they would cover in its entirety, Phish defied all expectations this Halloween, presenting a new batch of original material as an obscure Scandinavian record dubbed í rokk by a fake band called Kasvot Växt.
After an opening set that kicked off with two Halloween-themed tunes (“Buried Alive” and “Ghost”) as well as a substantial “Halley’s Comet”> “Ocelot”> “Theme From the Bottom” segment, Phish reappeared onstage clad in white, ready to present their ten disguised originals as í rokk.
The band had a spring in their step, as they kicked off their costume set with “Turtles in the Cloud.” Mike Gordon and Trey Anastasio even presented some onstage choreography à la “Guelah Papyrus.”
Committing to their Kasvot Växt gag, Phish planted a blog post and a band interview online to legitimize the Scandanavian group. In their traditional Phishbill, the band gushed about how much they admired the fabricated Kasvot Växt.
“Everytime the Halloween discussion comes up, we talk about Kasvot Växt,” Trey Anastasio confesses, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “We honestly were worried we wouldn’t have the chops to pull it off or to do justice to the sound, but when it comes down to it, we just couldn’t resist any longer.” Hilariously, the the first sentence of the Phishbill essay also reads, “It is as if Kasvot Växt never existed…”
The mid-set “We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” reveals the English translation of the band name and the album as Faceplant and into rock respectively. Throughout the set, 12 LED squares added extra ambiance as they raised and lowered over the crowd. “Play By Play,” segued into one of the set’s most substantial type-two moments, and “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” had a groove similar to Phish’s live mainstay “Camel Walk.”
To close their non-costume costume set, the band dug into the New-Wavey “Passing Through,” as skyscapes and landscapes were projected onto the squares overhead.
Set three was a return to the usual Phish songbook, bookended by “Set Your Soul Free” and a rocking “Run Like An Antelope” that contained a lyrical tease of “faceplant into rock.”
Most noteworthy was the pacing of set three, as “Set Your Soul Free” led into “Tweezer” which was followed by “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing,” “Backwards Down the Number Line” and venue-wide groove to “Meatstick.”
Phish encored Halloween 2018 with “Loving Cup” and “Tweezer Reprise.”
Read Phish’s full 2018 Phishbill here.
Check out the full setlist below:
October 31, 2018
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
Set I: Buried Alive > Ghost > Crazy Sometimes > Free, More, Halley’s Comet > Ocelot > Theme From the Bottom, First Tube
Set II: Turtle in the Clouds^, Stray Dog^, Everything is Hollow^, We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains^, Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S.^, The Final Hurrah^, Play by Play^, Death Don’t Hurt Very Long^, Cool Amber and Mercury^, Passing Through^
Set III: Set Your Soul Free > Tweezer > A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > Backwards Down the Number Line > Meatstick, Bug > Run Like an Antelope
Enc: Loving Cup > Tweezer Reprise