Phish Put On An Instant-Classic Performance During Their Second Night In Las Vegas

first_imgPhish is on fire. At least, they have been the past two nights. Whatever it is about the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the band seems to be right at home in its spacious confines, delivering back-to-back shows that have featured some of the best jamming of the year. After last night’s incredible version of “Golden Age”, the band jumped out of the gate on Saturday night and never let down, putting together one of the best and most complete shows of 2016 on their second night in Las Vegas.The show began with “The Birds”, making it the second night in a row that Phish have started their show with a song from their Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House Halloween album, which was debuted the last time they stopped at this venue back in 2014. This was only the third time they had ever performed the song live, but you couldn’t tell as they attacked the song with confidence. They followed that up with “Kill Devil Falls”, which featured a small, yet high-energy peak. “555” came next, and Phish delivered a standard version of the song, before Trey Anastasio started the familiar ethereal opening chords of “Roggae”. “Roggae” has been showing up more and more in recent years, and it’s always a welcome addition, especially when they trick it out with some serious improv, as they did on this evening. Mike Gordon was incredible on this track, delivering a melodic bass solo before he and Anastasio linked up for a dual-pronged jam.“Gumbo” was busted out for only the second time this year, and it can be considered one of the best versions of the song that they’ve ever performed. “Gumbo” featured a “Camel Walk” tease, and then a raging type II jam that was reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, taking the song in new directions that it has rarely, if ever, been taken. The song normally clocks in at around five minutes long, and this version landed at just over nine minutes, giving the audience four minutes of ambitious improv before they brought the song to a close.“Lawn Boy” provided a nice breather, while Gordon delivered another impressive solo on the relatively short tune. The band surprised many when they started “Wilson” next, bringing the energy right back up with the Gamehendge favorite. “Maze” was a true standout, with Anastasio comping wildly as Page McConnell soloed his way through the song. The jazz-fusion vibes were strong during this wild and weird improv, eventually heading back into the song via its standard huge peak. A blissful “Wingsuit” was executed perfectly, with Anastasio nailing the song’s David Gilmour-esque guitar solo. Phish then performed the Big Boat standout “More”, with its cheesy-yet-uplifting lyrics serving as the perfect fit to put a cap on the high-energy first set.Phish wasted no time in set two, getting down to business with a dark and dirty “Mercury”. The band performed the song well, jamming patiently before Anastasio started chugging power chords. Eventually, Gordon’s dissonant bass playing dragged the band into the weird, with the jam remaining there for several minutes before it fizzled into “Piper”. This almost fifteen-minute version of “Piper” was one for the ages, as they started jamming powerfully as soon as they could, with tons of exploratory playing from Anastasio. The band eventually settled on a bluesy theme, which made way for a speed funk moment that dissolved into a major groove that reached an other-worldly peak.The jam was eventually brought to a close as Anastasio led the band into “Scents and Subtle Sounds”. While Phish eschewed the song’s beloved intro, this was a tight and powerful version of “S&SS”, one that saw Anastasio screeching psychedelic guitar stabs into the sky as the song built in energy. Just as a jam started to form, the band switched gears and started “Tweezer”, which perfectly harnessed the energy of the MGM crowd, sending the audience into a wild frenzy of glowsticks and excitement that served as the evening’s peak. “Tweezer” clocked in at just under thirteen minutes, but it was thirteen minutes of balls-to-the-wall improvisation. What started as a funk jam turned into psychedelic shredding, eventually dissolving into the ambient intro to “I Always Wanted It This Way”. The new Page McConnell song from Big Boat is turning out to be a reliable dance number, with a pulsating beat and lots of electronic sounds. Anastasio put his guitar down and moved over to Jon Fishman‘s Marimba Lumina, moving the band into a synth-heavy jam section that saw Gordon add melodic high notes, before he offered up a few bass bombs.Anastasio laid off the guitar for “The Horse”, which of course led into “Silent in the Morning”, making only its second appearance of 2016. The band then brought the exciting second set to a close with the old and energetic favorite, “Golgi Apparatus”. For the encore, Phish offered up a heartfelt version of The Rolling Stones‘ “Shine A Light”, which was a nice throwback to their 2009 Halloween show.  The band then closed out the evening with a super-charged version of “Tweezer Reprise”.When the dust settled, it was clear by the stunned look on many of the faces in the audience that they had just witnessed something special. Phish plays tons of shows every year, and many fans go to multiple concerts (or even all of the shows) in an attempt to find “it”. This show was “it”. It had loose, and energetic playing, an excellent selection of songs from across their catalog, and adventurous improvisation that was second to none.Phish returns to the MGM Grand Garden Arena this evening for the third night of their four-night Halloween run. Check out the setlist, below.Phish | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, NV | 10/29/2016Set 1: The Birds, Kill Devil Falls, 555, Roggae, Gumbo, Lawn Boy, Wilson, Maze, Wingsuit, MoreSet 2: Mercury > Piper > Scents and Subtle Sounds >Tweezer > I Always Wanted It This way, The Horse > Silent in the Morning ? Golgi ApparatusEncore: Shine a Light, Tweezer Reprise Load remaining imageslast_img

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