Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Shoreline

Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Shoreline

Phish tour rolled on to Shoreline Amphitheatre on Tuesday for the first of two concerts at the Mountain View, California venue originally planned for Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena At Harveys in Stateline, Nevada that were moved due to the Caldor Fire just five days prior. Last night’s show had it all from the third longest jam in Phish’s 38-year history, a 47-minute “Soul Planet,” to a bevy of rarities that included a song long thought gone forever since its last play on New Year’s Eve 1995, “Axilla (Part II).”

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The quartet opened the rare general admission show at Shoreline with a relatively well-played “Glide,” a song last played at the bust out-filled Alpine Valley 2019 finale. Phish then provided attendees with a trip to Gamehendge via the first “Colonel Forbin’s Ascent”/”Fly Famous Mockingbird” pairing since the band’s Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden in 2017. Guitarist Trey Anastasio garnered a huge cheer from the crowd with his mention of “Icclus” within “Forbin’s.” Anastasio provided a brief bit of narration between “Forbin’s” and “Mockingbird” explaining, “Flying … peering out of the clouds, a tiny tiny pin speck of black fluttering its wings towards us now. From on top of the mountain, it’s the famous mockingbird flying down off the top of the mountain carrying the Helping Friendly Book. Here he comes now.” While the guitarist struggled with his parts in the composed section, he nailed the final riff with authority.

Anastasio also took an opportunity after “Mockingbird” to talk with the crowd:

“Before we keep going and get the show rolling here, I want to send an incredible amount of love to everyone in Lake Tahoe that’s been affected by the Caldor Fire. Especially a message of love to firefighters and emergency personnel. Families. We’re all thinking of everyone there. I also want to thank our friends at Another Planet and everybody at Live Nation and everybody on the Phish Crew and Phish Team who made this leap to one of our all-time favorite venues. We’re real excited to be here. It was a herculean effort. Last but not least we want to thank all of you for being here with us. Thank you.”

Head here for a list of ways to help Caldor Fire survivors.

A swampy “Wolfman’s Brother” followed the heartfelt words from Anastasio. Trey utilized his wah pedal as keyboardist Page McConnell provided stellar countermelodies and the rhythm section of bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman held down the bottom end for a build to a surging climax. It was then back to rarities for just the sixth “If I Could” since 2012. All four members played the Hoist ballad delicately with emotion laced into each section. Next, the band lit into rocker “I Never Needed You Like This Before” from Anastasio’s 2020 quarantine album, Lonely Trip. Last night marked the fourth version of the song that opened the tour and Phish seems more confident with “I Never Needed You Like This Before” each time.

“Stash” gave the four-piece its first opportunity to stretch out on Tuesday night. Anastasio landed on a descending pattern towards the start of the jam after which he kicked on his new synth effect to lay the groundwork for an evil and lengthy improvisation. Phish filled the excursion with tension and explored Pink Floyd-esque soundscapes. Mike and Fish kept the groove tight throughout the winning “Stash” as Page moved from piano to synth to Clavinet and back to synth. Gordon then stepped into the spotlight for the fourth “Weigh” since 2015. Staple “Bouncing Around The Room” and a frisky “Gotta Jibboo” were followed by a cover of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” featuring fretboard fireworks galore from Trey to end the set.

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

Shoreline Amphitheatre [See upcoming shows]

22500

14 shows — 08/29/1992, 09/30/1995, 07/31/1997, 07/19/1998, 10/17/2018, 10/18/2018, 09/16/1999, 09/17/1999, 10/06/2000, 10/07/2000, 07/09/2003, 07/10/2003, 08/05/2009, 07/24/2015

The Music

11 songs / 7:25 pm to 8:52 pm (87 minutes)

8 songs / 9:24 pm to 11:07 pm (103 minutes)

19 songs / 18 originals / 1 cover

1996

68.89 [Gap chart]

None

Glide, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent, Fly Famous Mockingbird, Weigh, Moonage Daydream, Axilla (Part II), Tela, Fee

Axilla (Part II) – LTP 12/31/1995 (855 Show Gap)

Soul Planet – 47:10

Bouncing Around The Room – 3:22

Junta – 1, Lawn Boy – 1, A Picture of Nectar – 2, Rift – 1, Hoist – 3, Billy Breathes – 1, Farmhouse – 1, Kasvot Växt – 1, Misc. – 7, Covers – 1

The Rest

70° and Sunny at Showtime

Koa 4

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Phish began the second set with a “Soul Planet” for the ages. The band quickly broke form and started painting outside the lines as they modulated into a pretty major key while Jon Fishman pounded away on his kit at breakneck speed for the first of many segments of the jam. Last night’s epic 47-minute “Soul Planet” escapade was an extremely creative affair that saw the foursome cover plenty of ground. Vastly different grooves were landed upon, including a particularly nasty progression in which Mike Gordon put his drill to work.

Anastasio sang “Screaming through space” near the 20-minute mark seemingly bringing what was already a tour highlight to a close, but then the band served up a deliciously weird round of psychedelia that could’ve scored a Star Wars movie to the Bay Area massive. Phish fit in many sounds not heard before into both that section and others of the third-longest jam in the band’s 38-year history. Yet another other-worldly excursion followed as a blissful jaunt filled with angular riffs from Trey and gorgeous Wurlitzer melodies from Page came towards the 40-minute mark. Eventually, a wild and spacey foray laid the groundwork for a spot-on transition into Kasvot Växt standout “The Final Hurrah.”

“The Final Hurrah” turned into a jam vehicle at Shoreline. However, it may have gone deep yet spanned less than 10 minutes before dissolving into an urgent “Theme From The Bottom,” the first finished song of the frame. The embarrassment of riches continued with the return of “Axilla (Part II)” for the first time since December 31, 1995 — a gap of 855 shows and the biggest bust out since the band dusted off “Glide II” on December 30, 2018. “Axilla (Part II)” came complete with the outro section featuring Trey and Fish screaming, “Don’t shine that thing in my face man.” The Hoist track was preceded by “Axilla” in 1992 and 1993. Phish played “(Part II)” in 1994 and 1995 before shelving the song in favor of the original through Tuesday night.

A ballad would come next, but not just any ballad. Phish treated fans to a beautiful version of the beloved “Tela.” From there, “Harry Hood” followed with Jon Fishman stating simply “Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry” towards the beginning of the song three days after the pioneering reggae musician/producer’s death. The Shoreline “Hood” was the perfect capper for the frame featuring a delicate build that stuck to the major key and saw Trey let the jam breathe by focusing on rhythms for a few minutes. The instant-classic concert contained many elements that made it a historic night in the Bay Area and the encore played off two of those elements. “Fee” showed a playful side as Trey put his megaphone to work and laughed through a few lyrics, while “Wilson” included chanting from a crowd of fans who found themselves in the right place at the right time and were ready to receive the gift Phish gave them.

Phish returns to Shoreline Amphitheatre tonight. A livestream is available through LivePhish.com.

Glide

Soul Planet

Phish From The Road Photos

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Poster

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