Phish Serves Up Big Jams, Ballads & Song Debut To Close Charleston Run [Setlist/Review]

first_imgPhish tour is back in full swing! The band returned to the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, SC last night, playing the second consecutive show at the venue. Night one was highlighted by some serious jamming (“Disease -> Cities” anyone?), not to mention three new Big Boat songs performed live for the very first time – “Petrichor,” “Home,” and “More” – all in the first set.With the stage set after a great opening night, Phish wasted no time getting to work with the bouncy Big Boat jam, “Blaze On.” The selection made for an exciting start to the show, with Trey Anastasio ripping a great peaking guitar solo to set the stage. He would keep up the work with a beautiful “What’s The Use?,” treating fans to a rare standalone version that didn’t segue into another song (the last time that happened was back in 2009). After the instrumental slow-down, Phish built the energy back up with another instrumental: “Martian Monster.” The first Thrilling, Chilling selection of Fall 2016 was an all-out funk jam, with Mike Gordon holding it down on the low end.After a short-but-sweet “Devotion To A Dream,” the band brought out their second Big Boat song of the night in “Waking Up Dead.” Played for only the second time, the complex Gordon/Murawski original saw the band move through various compositional themes and challenge themselves improvisationally. Jon Fishman was particularly noticeable in the song, driving the rhythm forward with a gusto. “Timber (Jerry)” followed, letting the band cut loose with a fun upbeat jam.“Things People Do” came next, delivered as a peppy, bluegrass-style tune. The Page McConnell original was left in demo form on the Big Boat album, as the band said they recorded a few different versions in the studio but felt Page’s original – recorded on an iPhone with just Page and a Wurlitzer organ – was the best. The song made a few appearances through summer 2016, and kept people smiling in its first performance post-Big Boat.“Let Me Lie” followed, the Joy original that was busted out for the first time since 2010 earlier this summer. The slower moment was reprieved as Fishman tapped the opening rhythm for “Maze.” He even used the intro time to sing the lyrics to “Lengthwise,” the song that precedes “Maze” on the 1993 album Rift. “Lengthwise” hadn’t been played since 11/1/14, but it was the following “Maze” that lit flames towards the tail end of the first set. A glorious Fishman-led “Ass Handed” came next, before Phish erupted in “Carini,” played in the first set for only the second time since their 2009 reunion (and first since 2012). The spacey jam ended nicely, before Phish led their fans on a true funk-a-thon “Wolfman’s Brother” to end the first set.After the setbreak, Phish got the second set started on the right foot with “Mercury.” Though the song was ultimately cut from Big Boat due to time constraints (according to Gordo), the song has been a fan favorite since its 2015 debut. Of the five times “Mercury” has been played, this was something of a stand out, as the band stretched their legs after the composed sections for a nice and patient jam. Eventually they dropped into melodic territory and wound into “Twist,” with Trey working in teases of “What’s The Use?” into his melodic playing. As the improvisation was winding down, Fishman kicked into a new driving rhythm beat, which led into the debut of Page’s new song “I Always Wanted It This Way.”The album version of “I Always Wanted It This Way” was very 80’s influenced, and those synthesizer tones carried over nicely into the live setting. Page’s vocals worked well with the song in the live setting, abandoning the album’s vocal filters for a more natural approach. The album version also featured very minimal guitarwork, and Trey stuck to more of a rhythm guitar role for most the performance. From the album, it was evident that this song would be a second set jammer, and Phish certainly lived up to the expectations by flushing it out in Charleston. Trey finally made himself known in the second jam, playing off of Page’s synthesizer arpeggios in style.After the song’s triumphant conclusion, Phish dove into the Big Boat ballad “Miss You.” The heartfelt song dedicated to Trey’s late sister made for an emotional moment, especially highlighted by his guitar melody to end the song. The set then got rolling with the exciting introduction to “Fuego,” which worked its way into a funky jam. Trey then laid down the opening riff of “Sand,” and the rest of Phish followed him into the song. Where “Fuego” felt shorter than expected, “Sand” more than compensated with a grooving cow funk jam out. With several natural climactic points, “Sand” was easily one of the improvisational highlights of the performance.“Joy” came next, providing the set with its second moving ballad. The song’s melodic ending was a nice lead-in for the tension-building introduction to one of Phish’s oldest tunes, “Possum.” Page was in fine form, letting loose with a noteworthy solo mid-song. “Possum” would close the second set, and the band returned with their energetic take on Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” for the encore. It was a triumphant way to end a great Saturday night show.Phish will continue their tour tomorrow night, October 16th, for their first-ever performance in Jacksonville, FL. Check out the full setlist from tonight’s show, below.Setlist: Phish at North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC – 10/15/16Set One: Blaze On, What’s the Use?, Martian Monster, Devotion To a Dream, Waking Up Dead, Timber (Jerry), Things People Do, Let Me Lie, Maze -> Lengthwise[1] -> Maze, Ass Handed, Carini, Wolfman’s BrotherSet Two: Mercury -> Twist > I Always Wanted It This Way[2] > Miss You, Fuego -> Sand, Joy, Possum,Encore: Good Times, Bad Times[1] Sung by Fish over the Maze intro.[2] Debut.This show featured the debut of I Always Wanted It This Way. Lengthwise was sung by Fish over the Maze intro. Trey teased What’s the Use? in Twist.[Photo via Phish From The Road]last_img