Having settled into their Magnaball festival with a smoking hot performance on night one, Phish continued in fine fashion for a marathon day of music that began at 3:30 pm and didn’t finish until 1:30 am.
It all began with a “Divided Sky” that literally brought the sunshine through the clouds, with the band relishing in the Phish phan love during the middle pause. “Moma Dance” got funky, followed by the first “Mound” of the tour. “Army of One” was next, followed by the second-ever Phish performance of “Scabbard”. The Trey Anastasio original was a fun choice for the daytime set.
Other highlights of the first set included “Sample in a Jar”, a funkified “Tube”, the upbeat “Camel Walk”, and a set closing “Run Like An Antelope”, which was as out of control as advertised.
After a couple hours, Phish returned to the main stage for two more sets of music. The first of two played out like a second set, with extended improvisation sessions scattered throughout.
A fiery “Wolfman’s” kept the energy rolling, and a fun-loving “Halley’s Comet” kicked the set into high gear. “Halley’s” segued into “46 Days”, a big funky jam that never relented. Page McConnell kept the jam grooving!
“46” jammed into “Backwards Down The Number Line”, a standard sing-along version with an uplifting peak. Of course, that dropped into “Tweezer”, and all of Watkins Glen went wild! This was a great “Tweezer”, but the real highlight of set two was the closer, “Prince Caspian”. Led by the thunderous bass claps of Mike Gordon, this stretched out “Caspian” got weird before closing out nicely.
And then there was a set three! Opening with “Meatstick”, the first big jam was “Blaze On”. Phish took their new song deep, spreading out with some dark jamming. Heavy beats from Jon Fishman punctuated the big build up into “Possum”, a really energetic version that had the crowd up and dancing.
Next up was a cover of the Talking Heads’ “Cities”, which jammed into “Light” and wound its way into “555”. “Wading In The Velvet Sea” and “Walls of the Cave” closed out a fantastic set three, bringing the heat out to Magnaball.
To close out the show proper, Phish encored with Stevie Wonder’s song “Boogie On Reggae Woman”. The funky version was rich with Gordon basslines, and the whole thing found its way into a final celebratory “Tweezer Reprise”. A great performance in the books.
Of course, with any Phish festival, Saturday night means a secret set. Moving from the main stage to the screened “Drive In” area by the MAGNABALL sign, with intense visuals synchronizing to an ambient jam. Starting with the words “And now…. Its Showtime” that faded into oblivion, signaling the start of the madness. The band wasn’t visible, but the group shifted from ambient through more typical Phishy jam themes. The group was feeding off each other tightly, listening intently and moving through various ideas with glee. At times heavy, at times light; the whole improvised instrumental ran for about an hour. Near the end, abstract projections of the band members appeared on the screen. It was quite the fun way to end a full day of Phish music.
The final two sets of Phish at Magnaball begin tonight!
Set 1: Divided Sky, The Moma Dance > Mound, Army of One,Scabbard > Sample in a Jar, Tube, Halfway to the Moon, Camel Walk, How Many People Are You?, When the Circus Comes,Undermind > Run Like an Antelope
Set 2: Wolfman’s Brother, Halley’s Comet > 46 Days ->Backwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer > Prince Caspian
Set 3: Meatstick, Blaze On -> Possum > Cities > Light > 555,Wading in the Velvet Sea > Walls of the Cave
Encore: Boogie On Reggae Woman > Tweezer Reprise
Encore 2: Drive-In Jam
· Tweezer tease in Prince Caspian
· Mind Left Body Jam tease in Cities
Notes: This show is being webcast via LivePhish and is the second show of the Magnaball festival. Tweezer was teased in Prince Caspian. Cities contained a Mind Left Body Jam tease. The Jam in the Fourth Set started with the band playing behind the “Drive In Movie” screen that had been created for the festival. Slowly, their silhouettes became visible and the ambient jam veered towards a full on band jam while the screen simultaneously showed fractal like images of close-ups of the band. Eventually, the band was visible.
[Cover photo by Dave Vann]