On Saturday night, Phish returned to Rosemont, IL’s Allstate Arena for their second of three nights in the Chicago area this weekend. Following a heater two-set performance Friday night, including an 18-minute take on “Mercury” in the first set, and a top-notch “Tweezer”, Phish returned to the Windy City arena for another red-hot rock and roll affair. If these past two nights are any indication of what’s to come next week in Las Vegas, fans better buckle up and get ready for blastoff.
Phish jumped into “Stash” to open the first set, last played in the opening slot three summers ago, at Bend, OR’s Les Schwab Amphitheater in 2015. Following up last night’s high energy dance party, Trey Anastasio was noticeably “on” and took “Stash” on an exploratory ride, with Page McConnell following closely behind, laying down some delicate work on the grand piano. After taking a brief pause, Page initiated the opening recorded line for “The Dogs”, as Trey quickly took charge into an aggressive rock-fueled guitar riff. “The Dogs” led way to “Blaze On”, as Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon quickly found each other to lead the way into a bubbly, funk-fueled excursion.
With Anastasio picking up the pace, Phish took “Blaze On” into deep type II territory, as Gordon hammered away at a ferocious bass line. Anastasio continued to push the bar, adding a tease of “Dave Energy Guide” into the mix, before bringing “Blaze On” to a halt with a peaking guitar solo. Next, McConnell took no time to dive into the opening tinkering piano riff of “Water in the Sky”, with the quartet showcasing their impressive vocal harmonies along the way. As “Water in the Sky” faded out, Trey worked his way into the fluttery opening riff for “Ya Mar”, with Mike continuing to dazzle the Allstate Arena with his thunderous bombs.
Phish launched into “Vultures” next, with Trey and Page bouncing back and forth off of each other’s delicate improvisation. The band’s precise and hearty take on “Vultures” led way to “Roses Are Free”, as lighting designer Chris Kuroda showered the crowd with psychedelic rainbow patterns, with his intricate rig’s patterns bouncing off of the venue’s ceiling. Fishman signaled for “46 Days”, laying down a cowbell-heavy beat for Anastasio to build off of. Anastasio navigated through a series of evolving, explosive guitar solos, with Gordon and McConnell adding the perfect touch to Anastasio’s final peak. Phish smoothly segued into “David Bowie”, as Fishman laid down the groundwork, chipping away at his hi-hat. Moving out of the song’s main theme, Trey took the lead, with Page locking in with his dark and evil guitar work. As “Bowie” continued to peak, CK5’s lights absolutely obliterated the Allstate Arena, before Trey took one final ferocious solo, bringing Saturday’s first set to a close.
Following a brief set break, Phish returned to the stage, opening their second set with “Moma Dance”. The band took their time with a bit of an extended intro, which led way to a groovy jam, as Gordon took charge on his five-string Modulus bass. “No Men In No Man’s Land” was next, and last night’s “NMINML” took a hell of a ride into deep type II territory. Anastasio set up a progressive theme revolving around a three-note riff, as the band continued to move forward, diving head-first into some raw rock n’ roll.
Last night’s “No Man’s” developed into a multi-faceted beast, as Gordon laid down some sticky bombs heading into a slower, melodic segment. The jam slowed down for a brief period, with Fishman continuing to hold down a steady back-beat. Anastasio sprinkled a washy effect on the evolving behemoth of a jam, accompanied by a hint of McConnell’s plinko work. The quartet pushed forward into a tenacious, ripping guitar segment, as Trey brought “No Men In No Man’s Land” to the ultimate grand finale peak.
Phish took an extremely quick jump straight into “Steam”, slowing down the pace to catch their breaths after a near half-hour of strictly improvisational work. “Steam” took a blissful ride, as Trey triggered the jam into a major chord-led theme, chock full of impressive interplay between Page and Trey. “Steam” came to an abrupt halt, as the band moved into “Chalk Dust Torture”. Mike let it all hang out, paving the way for Trey to focus in on a soaring peak. “Fuego” was up next, as Page and Trey chased after each other around Mike’s earth-shattering bombs. A tender take on “Joy” followed before a “Suzy Greenberg” dance party brought the set to a close. Last night’s “Suzy” was ripping, as Page brought it all home, tickling the ivories like a madman. Phish returned to the stage for their encore with a roaring take on The Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll”, played in honor of the fifth anniversary of frontman Lou Reed’s untimely passing.
Phish fall tour continues with the band’s third and final performance at Allstate Arena tonight. For a full list of Phish’s upcoming dates, head to their website here.
Setlist: Phish | Allstate Arena | Rosemont, IL | 10/27/2018
Set One: Stash, The Dogs > Blaze On, Water in the Sky, Ya Mar, Vultures > Roses Are Free, 46 Days > David Bowie
Set Two: Moma Dance > No Men In No Man’s Land > Steam > Chalk Dust Torture, Fuego > Joy, Suzy Greenberg
Encore: Rock and Roll
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