Photo by Jake May
On Sunday, Dec. 1, Phish returned to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the first time since 2003. The band delivered a rarity-filled first set and highlighted the second frame with a smooth segue from “Down With Disease” to “Cities.”
The night began in style with the fan-favorite “Ghost.” Phish again showed their ability to efficiently improvise, as the jam shifted to type-two after only a few minutes. A standard “Rift” followed, leading up to the first surprise of the night, “The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday” > “Avenu Malkenu” > “”The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday Reprise.” This was a surprise for two reasons: one, Phish has only played the sequence five times during the 3.0 era. However, it was also unexpected because the band has already played the set of songs once this year (Jul. 14 at Alpine Valley) after only playing it three times total from 2009-2018.
As the beautiful composition came to a close, guitarist Trey Anastasio started up “The Wedge.” “Martian Monster” came next, marking the first ‘Chilling, Thrilling’ song Phish has played this tour. After a tight rendition of “Timber (Jerry the Mule),” the band played another rarity: “Cool It Down,” a song they’ve played only nine times since its debut in 1998. Standard versions of “Roggae” and “Poor Heart” came next, followed by perhaps the improvisational highlight of the set: a type-two “Tube.” “Character Zero” closed the exciting first set.
The second set began with “Everything’s Right,” which saw the band wade into some darker territory for the thrilling jam segment. The “Down With Disease” jam came out swinging, with Anastasio playing some precise lines during the type-one section. As the jam began to move into a funky type-two territory, Anastasio began to suggest the beginning of “Cities” by Talking Heads. Rather than shifting the feel entirely, drummer Jon Fishman held steady with the funky groove that had emerged from “Disease.” Anastasio then began singing the lyrics for “Cities,” which resulted in a unique performance of the song. After two verses, the band full executed the segue, as Fishman finally dropped into the classic “Cities” groove.
Following this fantastic transition, Phish delivered a powerful trio of “Carini” > “Ruby Waves” > “Twenty Years Later.” While none of these jams were particularly lengthy, each reached an interesting place. Finally, an energetic pairing of “Backwards Down the Number Line” and “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” closed the set.
The band treated fans to the first ever “Roses Are Free” encore, before sending the crowd home with a stunning rendition of “Slave to the Traffic Light.”
Phish tour continues on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at The Met in Philadelphia, Pa. Check out a complete setlist of the show below (via Phish.net)!
Dec. 1, 2019
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
Set I: Ghost > Rift, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday Reprise > The Wedge, Martian Monster > Timber (Jerry The Mule) > Cool It Down > Roggae > Poor Heart > Tube > Character Zero
Set II: Everything’s Right > Down with Disease -> Cities > Carini > Ruby Waves > Twenty Years Later > Backwards Down the Number Line > Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.
Enc: Roses Are Free > Slave to the Traffic Light