Tonight (Tuesday, July 14th), Phish will air their standout show at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI from July 14th, 2019 as the sixteenth episode of their ongoing archival webcast/cooking series, Dinner and a Movie. Tune in below at 8:30 p.m. ET and scroll down to follow along with our 7/14/19 Stream Companion.
Phish Dinner and a Movie Episode 16: 7/14/19, Alpine Valley Music Theatre [Full Show]
The sixteenth episode of Dinner and a Movie follows the 8/31/12 “F— Your Face” show, the 7/27/14 Merriweather “Tweezerfest”, the 7/25/17’s Baker’s Dozen “Jam-Filled” night, Magnaball night two (8/22/15), last year’s first night at Mohegan Sun (7/9/19), the first night of the band’s 2016 Halloween run in Las Vegas (10/28/16), the final night of 2017’s Mexican destination event (1/15/17), the band’s first of three nights in Alpharetta, GA in 2018 (8/3/18), the out-there 1997 U.S. tour opener featuring a guest appearance by LeRoi Moore of Dave Matthews Band (7/21/97), the improv-heavy second night of their 2018 Madison Square Garden New Year’s run (12/29/18), 2013’s Friday night at The Gorge (7/26/13), the band’s 1995 debut at Deer Creek Music Center (6/19/95), the fiery Wednesday night at The Mann in 2015 (8/12/15), an evening at the iconic Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA from 2010 (8/7/10), and an “avant-garde” set two video from Northampton, MA back in 1989 (5/1/89).
While last week’s dive into the archives marked the oldest show to be featured on Dinner and a Movie so far, this week brings us our “newest” offering: the tour closer from last year’s summer trek (not counting the plague-plagued Dick’s run over Labor Day Weekend a few weeks later).
Aside from the Mexico show/taco combo served up for the sixth episode of the series on Cinco de Mayo and the setbreak Zoom call to announce the release of Sigma Oasis during episode two, these weekly streams haven’t corresponded to our actual timeline. They’ve been momentary trips down memory lane, regular opportunities to escape reality and relive a moment in time as a community. This week’s stream, however, feels tethered to real-time in a number of ways.
This marks the first episode of Dinner and a Movie to take place on the show’s actual anniversary: exactly one year ago today, Phish and their fans were at Alpine wrapping up an eventful summer on the road with the last of three nights at this storied venue. Today, July 14th, was also supposed to be the first day of this summer’s tour, initially set to kick off in Eugene, OR before the coronavirus decimated the 2020’s live music schedule.
Then, of course, there’s the buzz du jour about the fact that the members of the band appear to have gathered at The Barn for the first time since the lockdowns began. Though the band members have noted on various occasions that they don’t normally partake in the archival streams, there’s a very real possibility that Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell could be tuning in with us from the same room this evening. Maybe they just finished jamming. Maybe they just wrote your new favorite song. It would have been difficult for fans to immerse then themselves in a bygone moment in time when it looks like Phish is making real moves right now.
Instead, we get the near-consensus (all apologies to Camden N3) reigning “show of the summer,” a stream that doesn’t lament the lost experiences we might have had this coming month but rather celebrates the fact that you can still see magic like this in the rearview—no matter how endless 2020 may have felt so far. 2020 is a strange passage in Phish’s story, but last summer wasn’t really all that long ago and, with Phish at the Barn, we can take solace in knowing that more good things lie ahead.
[Via Reddit user TwentySeventh]
Now, on to the show itself. There’s plenty to dig into on this one. First, let’s talk bust-outs. Much like the band’s Alpine finale in 2015, the first set of this show was packed with rarities. “The Landlady” opened set one with its first appearance in 122 shows. “Olivia’s Pool” came next, notching its first appearance since 1997. That one, in particular, was so obscure that it even faked out the Phish From The Road setlist team, who initially called it as “Shafty”—the re-arranged version of the tune that appeared on The Story of the Ghost.
The rarities kept coming with “The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday” (first in 147 shows), “Spock’s Brain” (second in 454 shows), “Pebbles and Marbles” (second since 2017), “Glide” (first since 2017), and “Strange Design” (first since 2016). Stir in a Ghosts of the Forest rocker (“About To Run”) and some fan-favorites (“Meatstick”, “Vultures”, and “I Didn’t Know”), sprinkle with a pinch of Led Zeppelin, and you’re ready to serve up one of the strongest first sets in recent memory.
While the bust-outs were the focal point of set one, improv and Phish-y antics took the spotlight during set two. The set opened with “Mercury”, followed by the centerpiece jam of the show and the tour as a whole on “Ruby Waves”. The Alpine “Ruby Waves”, as it will forever be known, marked the longest jam of the 3.0 era and the seventh-longest Phish jam ever. It wasn’t just “long” either—it was fantastic.
Plenty of words have been written about this “Ruby Waves”, and since you’re about to watch it yourself, we won’t go into too much detail here. Instead, a story: According to Trey, “Ruby Waves” was not even supposed to be the biggest jam of set. As the guitarist explained on Episode 4 of the wonderful Long May They Run podcast (which anyone reading a Phish Stream Companion is bound to enjoy),
It just happened at Alpine Valley where the last night of the summer tour, we do soundcheck and I’m like, ‘Man, we should do like six songs … this song we haven’t played in so long, what songs haven’t we played in a long time? Let’s go back to the practice room!’
This is where I get so proud to be in this band. Everybody’s just right back, laughing, learning these songs after a three-night run, after a whole summer tour. Anybody else would be tired, and everybody was backstage and we’re learning, like, ‘Olivia’s Pool’ and these songs we haven’t done since like, 20 years, you know what I mean?
And then, we were gonna open the second set with ‘Mercury’, which is a song we all really like, and we kinda opened the door to doing this big jam on the new song, ‘Mercury’—and it just didn’t happen. We thought that was gonna be the big jam. And then, all of a sudden, we started playing this song from Ghosts of the Forest, which is brand new [“Ruby Waves”], and it’s, like, the most open-ended, big song of the whole summer. It was the jam of the summer, and none of us had any inkling that that was going to happen. … We’re doing this song that I think we had played maybe once, and it has so much to do with the friendship of the band and so much to do with the trust that goes on between band members, which is off the charts now, in all four directions.
Though the obvious highlight was the “Ruby Waves”, the show continued with fluidity as the band moved through “Twist” and “Swept Away” > “Steep” before landing in Kasvot Växt rocker “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long”.
That particularly deranged rendition of “DDHVL” gave rise to some highly rewarding antics that lasted the rest of the show, and much of that bizarre tangent stemmed from Trey’s “drooling.” The guitarist’s inability to control his saliva propelled the band into the great, knowledgable, almighty “Icculus” (featuring a “Buffalo Bill” interlude). As with any “Icculus”, there’s a lot to unpack here. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with a thorough examination of this “Icculus”, Trey’s drooling habit, and the band’s history of teasing him about, On Phish’s Trey Anastasio, Drooling, & That Alpine “Icculus”.
The fun didn’t stop there (yep, just one of those shows), as the band launched into their signature composition, “You Enjoy Myself”. Already an apt assessment of the band’s thoughts toward this particular show, this “YEM” featured plenty of bonus shenanigans including a detour through “Catapult” and a seemingly out-of-place “Contact”, which Trey explained was dedicated to a couple he’d met earlier in the day who said they would get engaged if the Phish played “Contact” at Alpine that night. Had to sneak it in. Love conquers all and whatnot.
With time for a couple more, the band returned to encore with “More” and the “Tweezer Reprise” owed for the first set “Tweezer” from the first night of the run.
This kind of show is what keeps fans going back again and again. While we can’t all congregate this summer, don’t forget that this magic is still alive and well—and not so far behind us. Enjoy it, everyone.
Below, check out some photos from the show courtesy of photographer Keith Griner.
Setlist: Phish | Alpine Valley Music Theatre | East Troy, WI | 7/14/19
Set One: The Landlady, Olivia’s Pool, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Meatstick, Vultures, Spock’s Brain, Pebbles and Marbles, Glide, About to Run, Strange Design > Timber (Jerry The Mule) > I Didn’t Know, Good Times Bad Times
Set Two: Mercury > Ruby Waves > Twist > Swept Away > Steep > Death Don’t Hurt Very Long, Icculus, Buffalo Bill, Icculus Reprise, You Enjoy Myself -> Catapult > Contact > You Enjoy Myself
ENCORE: More > Tweezer Reprise
This show featured several bustouts: The Landlady (first since July 10, 2016, or 122 shows), Olivia’s Pool (November 17, 1997, or 692 shows), The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday and Avenu Malkenu (August 21, 2015, or 147 shows), Strange Design (July 8, 2016, or 124 shows), Icculus (December 31, 2013, or 210 shows), and Catapult (July 27, 2014, or 191 shows). Trey teased Funiculi Funicula in Vultures. Trey teased Dave’s Energy Guide in Ruby Waves. Prior to Contact, Trey mentioned meeting a couple in his hotel lobby the day before where the man said he would propose to his girlfriend if Mike sang Contact on Sunday night at Alpine Valley. Trey teased Bridal Chorus at the end of Contact.
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Tonight’s Dinner And A Movie features the band’s July 14, 2019 show from Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI. The full show will play for free at 8:30PM ET at webcast.livephish.com or at Phish’s Facebook page. For this week’s recipe, Jon Fishman turns to Jim Hamilton, Phish’s touring chef, for a band favorite on tour: Thai Coconut Yellow Curry, with a side of Blistered Shishito Peppers. The recipes are at phish.com. Whatever you decide to make, tag us at #phishdinnerandamovie. This week’s beneficiary is Waterkeeper Alliance. You can donate any time at phish.com/waterwheel. Waterkeeper Alliance strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water. They are the largest and fastest-growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water. Their goal is drinkable, fishable, swimmable water everywhere. For more information, visit waterkeeper.org #phish #phishdinnerandamovie #rubywaves