For the first time in their 30+ year career, Phish played to a sold out crowd at the historic Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. The band sold out two nights with ease, bringing in tens of thousands of fans to witness the second and third shows on tour. With night one at Wrigley in the books, it’s safe to say that Phish felt right at home with the Cubs fans.

The first set opened up with a joyous “Sample In A Jar,” celebrating the band’s debut at the famed stadium. The song seems to have found a home in the opening spot, and it’s always a great way to get the show going. From there, Phish immediately got to rocking with a great “Chalk Dust Torture.” The version never strayed too far improvisationally, but served to get the crowd riled up and ready to rock.

Sample In A Jar, Chalkdust Torture

After “Chalk Dust,” the band broke out into “Martian Monster.” While the first set trip was as short as advertised, the band kept the energy level high with “Rift.” The song raged from start to finish, before the band let loose with a groovy “Yarmouth Road.”

Martian Monster, Rift

From there, the band got into some classic “Sand” cow funk, with Trey Anastasio really firing a great solo. Phish then took an opportunity to try out a new song, debuting a ballad called “Miss You.” The slow, Trey-led original was a touching moment, and the guitarist promised the song would be featured on the new release.

Yarmouth Road, Sand

The rest of the set was one rocker after another, as “The Wedge” brought some heat to the stadium. “Free” really showcased the band’s rhythm section, as bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman shined in the song’s jam. Finally, the 2015 original “Blaze On” closed out a great first set, rocking hard for a nicely stretched out rendition.

After the setbreak, it was Gordon who opened up the second half with the slapping bassline of “Down With Disease,” leading into the show’s first major jam session. The band members traded leads, keeping the groove rhythmic throughout. Things kept jamming with Page McConnell’s opening notes of “Fuego.” It was Anastasio who led the melody of the jam, soaring over the music. It’s also worth mentioning Chris Kuroda’s work with the lights, using the new LED boards to their fullest potential. 

The “Fuego” jammed seamlessly into “Twist,” bringing some true funk rock into the second set. This was a nicely jammed out “Twist,” with the band finding the pocket and never relenting. They slid into the darker song “Twenty Years Later” for a heavier moment, before lightening the set with “Waste.” The sing-a-long was an uplifting moment before running into “2001.” 

Twenty Years Later, Waste

The “2001” was some true funk madness, before settling into “Backwards Down The Number Line.” The Joy track featured its familiar upbeat solo from Anastasio, but it was the pure energy of the Rolling Stones that helped close the set with “Loving Cup.”

2001, Backwards Down The Numberline

Loving Cup

Of course, the real highlight of the show was the first song of the encore. With their traditional three-microphone setup on stage, fans guessed familiar a cappella selections like “Grind.” What followed was the perfect Phish tribute to the late great David Bowie, honoring his memory with a note-for-note a cappella version of “Space Oddity.” Anastasio even sang the guitar melodies, air guitarring all the while. It was one of those true “oh my God” Phish moments, perhaps inspired by the weight of their host venue, Wrigley Field. You can bet that all 30,000+ in attendance were singing along.

Watch the rest of the footage below, courtesy of Tom Rowles:

The show ended with “Run Like An Antelope,” leaving fans rocking all the while. Considering “Space Antelope” was Anastasio’s pre-Phish band, the “Space Oddity” and “Run Like An Antelope” combination was a perfect way to end the show.  With the new music, the Bowie tribute and all of the great jams in between, Phish certainly made their mark on Wrigley Field. The good news… we get to do it again tomorrow.

Setlist: Phish at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL – 6/24/16

Set 1: Sample in a Jar, Chalk Dust Torture, Martian Monster > Rift, Yarmouth Road, Sand, Miss You[1], The Wedge, Free > Blaze On

Set 2: Down with Disease[2] > Fuego > Twist > Twenty Years Later > Waste > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Backwards Down the Number Line, Loving Cup

Encore: Space Oddity[3], Run Like an Antelope

[1] Debut.
[2] Unfinished.
[3] Phish debut.

Notes: This show was webcast via Live Phish. Following the debut of Miss You, Trey noted that the song would be on their new album, and thanked the crowd for letting them try new material. Disease was unfinished. Space Oddity was a Phish debut and was performed a capella