Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Oak Mountain

Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Oak Mountain

Phish tour continued Friday night as the band returned to Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham, Alabama for their first show at the venue since 2014. The band’s fifth visit to Oak Mountain, where they first played 1994, was made up of two well-played sets. The highlight of the evening was the second set’s “Carini,” which turned out to be the longest version of the song to date.

After enduring an afternoon of “1 million degree muggy weather” according to bassist Mike Gordon’s pre-show Instagram report, the band took the stage at Oak Mountain and promptly kicked into “The Moma Dance.” It was the 19th time the funky rocker opened a Phish show.

Next came “Sigma Oasis,” the title track to Phish’s 2020 studio album, which was played by the band for just the third time. Coming days after Phish issued a pre-tour COVID-19 statement encouraging attendees to wear masks, the song’s “take off your mask” lyric elicited a smattering of cheers from the audience. After “Sigma Oasis,” guitarist Trey Anastasio spoke to the audience, telling those in the crowd:

“Thank you so much everybody. Thank you for having us. This is just the most beautiful part of the country. I love playing here. I love this venue. I love the drive in and all the people. Thank you so much for having us. We are thrilled to be here.

Trey then kicked off “Back On The Train,” which came with a somewhat unexpected solo by keyboardist Page McConnell. “BOTT” also likely made happy guitarist Daniel Donato who was there attending his first Phish show and covered the song for JamBase’s Cluster Flies project. Next came the rarely played “Dirt,” making for back-to-back selections from the band’s 2000 album, Farmhouse.

“The Final Hurrah” started with a slow build-up as Trey said, “Trying to remember this one … haven’t played it in a while. We had stuff, you know, stuff going on.” They then locked into a groove and rode it for several turns, racking up another cheer from the audience at the “taste the humidity” line. The Kasvot Växt song’s “faceplant into rock” conclusion saw drummer Jon Fishman firing off some samples on his electric drum pad. Gordon then led a straight-forward blues rock cover of “Funky Bitch.”

An ever less-elusive first set “Ghost” brought the first dose of improvisation of the night, and more Fish-triggered samples. The jam took form when Trey and Page found common ground and led a progressive, linear improvisation that steadily grew in tension before dissolving to a gentle end. Trey then captained another scarcely played slower tune, “Driver.”

“The Wedge” brought the energy level in the venue back up after the “Driver” respite and lighting designer Chris Kuroda’s kaleidoscopic rig intensified along with the setting sun. Trey let loose over Fish’s rumbling beat, setting up the final song of the set. The closer role would fall upon “Walls Of The Cave” and it provided electrifying punctuation to the opening set as the foursome worked through its opening passages to get to the frenetic ending.

Read on after The Skinny for the rest of the recap and more.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

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The Venue

Oak Mountain Amphitheatre [See upcoming shows]


4 shows — 10/15/1994, 09/28/1999, 08/24/2012, 08/02/2014

The Music

10 songs / 7:54 pm to 9:12 pm (78 minutes)

10 songs / 9:41 pm to 11:12 pm (91 minutes)

20 songs / 18 originals / 2 covers


5.75 [Gap chart]



Mountains in the Mist – LTP 08/31/2019 (18 Show Gap)

Carini – 24:59

Driver – 3:33

Rift – 1, Billy Breathes – 1, The Story of the Ghost – 2, Farmhouse – 2, Round Room – 1, Big Boat – 1, Chilling Thrilling Sounds – 1, Kasvot Växt – 1, Sigma Oasis – 2 Misc. – 6, Covers – 2

The Rest

87° and Partly Cloudy at Showtime

Koa 4

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More Skinny

Phish eased back in to start the second set, performing the brief Sigma Oasis track “Evening Song” for just the third time. That was the calm before the storm called “Carini” that roared in behind the mid-tempo opener.

The heavy crunch of “Carini” was a springboard for a dark and twisting jam that lightened as it developed and sequenced through different melodic passages. Page employed a variety of synths, layering in swirling textures while the others coalesced around a consistent rhythmic foundation. The groupthink jamming continued with little to no soloing as the four weaved sonically together for several minutes. Trey eventually cut through with an assertive, melodic line that ushered in a lively increase in tempo and energy as he took charge and began rapid-firing notes from his guitar. At 25-minutes, it was the longest performance of “Carini” since its debut on February 17, 1997.

Out of the jam emerged “Martian Monster,” which was slightly slowed down, giving a more deliberate, funky feel. Page triggered the usual “your trip is short” audio samples and Fish got in on the action by adding some of his own from his drum pad as well. Without stopping, the band moved on to TV On The Radio’s “Golden Age” and soon were back to improvising. This jam loosely kept within the “Golden Age” groove before expanding out beyond its structure as Page danced around the piano keys.

It was then time for another rarely played slower number as the pace was throttled back for “Mountains In The Mist.” Things quickly picked back up with the bounce of “Blaze On,” which jumped off behind Trey’s agile fretwork. Fish was again embellishing the jam with his sampled “yeah” shouts augmenting his drum patterns. Those audio bombs continued during the subsequent “Harry Hood.” The classic Phish original once again ended a set with a gorgeously climatic culmination.

Gordon’s “Yarmouth Road” was an unexpected choice to start the encore, having been a first set song on 27 of 28 prior performances and never coming before in the encore slot. The bassist stumbled through some of the lyrics but recovered quickly. The concert kept going with “Gumbo” appearing during an encore for just the third time. The band then selected a more common end-of-show song, “Character Zero,” to wrap up the three-song encore.

Phish tour continues on Saturday with the first of two shows in Alpharetta, Georgia. A webcast is available via

Phish From The Road Photos