Photo by Rene Huemer via @PhishFromTheRoad
On Saturday night at the Alpine Valley Music Theater, Phish delivered another quality two-set offering with many fan-favorites, and a standout “Blaze On” jam and plenty focused jamming throughout.
The band got the show on the road with “AC/DC Bag,” and after some quick shredding from guitarist Trey Anastasio, the band moved into “NICU.” The ballad “Shade” came next, followed by “Funky Bitch.” The band brought some heat to the Son Seals original, particularly during keyboardist Page McConnell’s solo. Next came the improvisational highlight of the first set: a thrilling version of “Blaze On.”
This “Blaze On” jam continued the trend of efficient improvising; it began with a type-one section in which Anastasio led the band to a roaring peak, before gliding into a moving type-two section, all in just 12 minutes. As the jam fizzled out, Anastasio began “Ya Mar,” where McConnell again shined during the solo section. “Frost,” a ballad from Anastasio’s 2012 solo album Traveler, made just its fifth appearance ever in a Phish show (but its second of the summer). “The Sloth” followed, making its first appearance of the tour (and, just for fun, its 172nd appearance ever). The rocking song contains a few difficult sections, and the band nailed each of them. Next came “Fuck Your Face,” a fairly rare song that has only been played 17 times in the band’s history (16 of which occurred during the 3.0 era); however, it has now been played twice this tour alone, the first time that has happened since Summer 2012. Phish kept the trend of old-school songs going with “My Friend, My Friend,” again nailing the tricky composed sections of the song. A crowd-pleasing duo of “The Final Hurrah” > “Character Zero” closed the set.
Set two began with “Halley’s Comet,” which quickly moved into “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing.” While only about nine minutes long, this version featured quality improvisation, culminating with a modulation to D-major that led to “Runaway Jim.” The “Jim” was perhaps the highlight of the second set, featuring a stunning type-two jam that moved through multiple sections in just 11 minutes. Finally, the band settled into the key of A, and Anastasio spearheaded a segue into “Undermind.” The version was rather standard, until the drum feature at the end, which the band extended allowing Jon Fishman to shine. “Ghost” followed, and again the band delivered a quality type-two jam in just 11 minutes. “Golden Age” emerged as “Ghost” lost steam, which kept the jamming going. “Back on the Train” came next, albeit remaining in type-one territory.
Finally, “Harry Hood” brought the set to a fantastic finish. This version flirted with type-two before its typically magnificent peak. “Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” closed out the night with a bang, complete with “Martian Monster” quotes.
Watch both set openers and check out the full setlist – as it appears in our Box Scores section – below:
July 13, 2019
Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI
Set I: AC/DC Bag > NICU, Shade, Funky Bitch, Blaze On, Ya Mar, Frost, The Sloth, Fuck Your Face, My Friend, My Friend, The Final Hurrah > Character Zero
Set II: Halley’s Comet > A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > Runaway Jim > Undermind > Ghost > Golden Age > Back on the Train, Harry Hood
Enc: Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S.